—I am here with one of my special friends. You’re going to love Karen. She is the Creator of the 5 Minute Success concept. Karen, thank you for being here. I’m excited that you’re here. Why don’t you share what your badassery is? I always ask my guests to brag a little bit because we’re not good at that. It’s good to hear when you’re like, “Here’s what I’ve done in the world and here’s why we want to pay attention.” I love the whole idea of your show because if you think about it, that’s how businesses could have achieved a higher level of success. That is how they could make contributions to the people who work for them, their community, their clients and beyond. Thank you for putting it out there. Share with everyone some of the brilliant and amazing things you’ve accomplished in your life.
Invest in your business and personal development.By space, I manage estates, residential. I am what’s known as the Mega Agent, which means I lead a team inside of a brokerage based in the Northern Virginia Washington, DC Metro region. To give you an example of numbers, in 2020, our team of three agents sold $100 million in real estate in a very high sophisticated market with an average sales price of $1 million. We passed that up at the end of September 2021. We’ve been rocking and rolling it over here. Along the way, I got into the residential space out of the commercial side. I started out in dirt, out of college and then my husband’s career moved us to the DC Metro region. I was pretty much outside of the workforce for about 10, 15 years. In my husband’s career, he traveled a lot and I wanted to be home. It wasn’t my skillset, but I’m glad I had those years. When I re-entered the workforce, I reentered on the commercial side. I worked for the Staubach Company on the Nextel account. I was in charge of the sales engineering and warehouse offices. If you’ve seen one sales engineering warehouse office, it was pretty boring work. However, at the time it was during the tech bust and there was no money in disposition. I had an opportunity to stay with Nextel, but I was like, “Doing this? Who wants to do that?” Somebody said, “Why don’t you try residential?” I will say years later at the time, this perception I had and many people have is those people on the residential side are all about the people’s personal feelings. The residential side is considered the soft skills of the business, whereas commercial people think they’re doing all the hard stuff though, market knowledge, strategy and negotiation skills. I found that I have both. I am strong in both hard and soft skills. I met with success very rapidly. That caught the attention of the number ten agent in the nation. I joined her team and we became partners in ’06. In ’08, you may remember what happened in real estate. Financial markets crashed and it also happened to be the same month that my business partner passed away. I met with challenging situations in ’08, ’09 and beyond, but I had this double whammy. I set about rebuilding the company or the business amidst these challenging market conditions. Along the way, my current business partner, Lizzy Conroy, joined me in ’09. Over the next several years, we’ve rebuilt the business and we’re at a good level. Many people say, “How did you do it?” I had this unique challenge. I would share business practices and success principles and life hacks, if you will. Invariably, I found that people said they didn’t have enough time to invest in their business and personal development. I was like, “I have time and I know I am doing a lot of things. I’m busier than you, so I don’t quite understand this.” To break down that limiting belief, I said, “Do you have five minutes a day?” This stuck, this idea that you could achieve a high level of success in five minutes a day. My stories or my trainings were very sticky. People remembered them. That led to me writing a book. The book Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day was launched in 2016. There are now three other books and the 5 Minute Success Podcast in which you’ve been a guest. I’ve become a time guru. My badassery is real estate sales, negotiations at a high level, running a team and a business. The book and podcast, I call them my creative endeavors. My guru area is time. Let’s talk about that because a lot of entrepreneurs have that excuse all the time and looking at what are the core principles of your 5 Minute Success. There’s hype and then there’s reality. Some people are like, “The four-day workweek or the four-hour workweek.” What would you say are the core principles and 5 Minute Success? The core principles are very applicable across industries and professions. I’ve interviewed over 400 people now in the 5 Minute Success Podcast and they all use these principles. The first one is to commit to get leads. Everybody does business development and prospecting lead generation. It truly is a commitment because the people who sustain business long term, they’re not on that rollercoaster, which many people in sales are and it isn’t sales. As I mentioned, every profession does this. If you think about your dentist, your dentist does business development. If you think about your church, they call it evangelism. Sales are the most common field for prospecting lead generation. It’s those people that sustain success and get off that rollercoaster. They’re the ones that consistently lead generate. They have strategies and success principles. The next component is to consult to sell. Everybody takes their prospect, customer, client and patient through some process that “converts” them. I call it consulting because I find that in the service of meeting the needs of the customer client, they convert themselves. The most common terminology would be converted, but this idea of consulting to sell means that there’s business or an outcome. There are results. There’s something that happens. What often happens with salespeople, business owners, as they get on a hamster wheel of only as good as their next deal or next client, repeat this over and over again which has good aspects of it. What happens is they often burn out. There are principles to do what I call connect to build and grow. That’s where you create scale, leverage systems to have a more ongoing, sustainable enterprise. People who achieve a high-level success and sustain it over time commit to success thinking activities and vision. They have the vision of what they want for their business in life. They think about how to do it and then they put it into action. It includes affirmation, the Law of Attraction, and all of that, but there’s also action and vision along with the thinking. All of that leads to the sweet spot of success. This idea that came to me was like, “The time has come in the world for this to come out because it resonated with people.” I want to make sure I got them right. Commit to get leads, consult to sell, connect to build and grow, and then commit to thinking about success. Success, thinking, activities and vision. It’s all of them. Many people will do the vision board or the affirmations, but they need to put the actions together so that it can take off. How can one achieve a higher level of success in five minutes a day? This is the time component. What often happens with what I found with people is that they have the want to. They want to achieve a higher level, but then, whatever happens, their life gets in the way. When people say they want to do something and then they’re not, I often share with them this quote by Lao Tzu, which he said many years ago, “Time is a created thing. To say I don’t have time, it’s like saying, I don’t want to.” This resistance of what is stopping you from doing what you say you want to do. If you want to break through that, one of the strategies to success I’ve had many people use is the idea of starting small and building up. That is a key component of 5 Minute Success. You start small and you meet with success consistently, then you’re going to start to experience its benefits. You’ll want to do more. Many people think about any new habit. They have this grandiose vision, which seems like a great idea, but then they aren’t able to implement it because they aren’t able to sustain it.
Start small and build up.I’m sure you’ve heard about many habits and micro habits, but the idea is you want to build a habit that you will do and then sustain it. You then start to experience the benefits and you can take on the next one. That’s the key component of 5 Minutes Success. What happens with many people who are doing personal and business development? They go to a training or they say they’re going to read a book or whatever. They run out of time or get busy with other things and then don’t do it. The first thing to do is to figure out how to do it. This is one of the key ways to do that. There could be several things that can happen as you start the 5 Minute Success principle. One is you can start experiencing the snowball effect. You do it every day and it builds on it. Some people experienced the ripple effect. You’ll start to do something and it’ll have a ripple effect on other areas of their business and life. For some people, it’s more of a domino. You knock over one thing and then it knocks over others. For some people it’s exponential. They make one change and they’re able to make more significant changes. The idea is to start. The other thing that happens to many people is what some people call the Einstein effect because time is truly relative. This is part of my time guru-ness. What one does with their time does matter. The best way I can explain it is if you were to put your hand on a hot stove, you immediately know not to do that. You can’t sustain that. It’s painful. If you were doing something with someone you love or something you’re passionate about, that’s where you have the experience of time flies by. What happens with investing your time in things that are meaningful, time will fly by. Even a short amount of time will have a huge amount of impact. People often continue to do things that aren’t meaningful to them and are painful to them. An example is sitting in traffic or maybe your inbox, email box, meeting or certain things that they do in their life, they continue to do them, but they drain them. They drain their energy. Even if it can be short, the impact over time is that you’ll start to increase your energy by doing the things that bring you meaning. When you do more of that, then you’re going to want to do more of that. That’s one strategy to success and one way of looking at it that oftentimes helps people because it isn’t time management. If you think about it, time is not something you manage. You’re managing yourself. Time is a human construct. It’s yourself you’re managing. First of all, you have to realize that the only person you can change is yourself. You have to change yourself. The other aspect of it that many times people talk about is this whole idea of work-life balance. I think it is a delusion. It is because if you think about balance, on a scale, if you were trying to achieve work-life balance, it means that every time work is good, life is bad. Every time life is good, work is bad. What we want is a whole life or a full life in all areas of life. You start getting bored. Entrepreneurs are creators of business. People are creatives. All of a sudden you create more and blow something up. It’s like, “No. Let’s look for harmonization.” I love that you said you increase your energy by things that give you joy instead of spending. The time to your highest income-producing activity. What’s that thing that only you can do and you love doing, then you’re never working. It’s all the minutia we do that we don’t like that that we’re like, “I got to do it.” No, give that to somebody else and do what you love to do and then the money will come. That concept comes out of real estate. The idea of real estate to be at its highest and best use. I explained to somebody that you can use the land for a dump or use it for a school. Your mind and time are your most valuable real estate. You will never get that time back. There will never be enough time to do something you don’t want to do ever. Never ever will there be enough time for something you don’t want to do. Put the energy and time into figuring out who could do it, how you could do it differently, maybe why are you doing it, or what you could do? The other way to do it is if you start doing what you do love to do, the other things will start to go down in “priority” because you were truly putting in priority what you love to do and what you’re called to do. The idea of the hero and heroine’s journey is we all have a calling. We all have what you said, the highest and best self. When we’re doing things out of that calling, that’s when we’re not in alignment, that’s not when we’re living our best life. Sometimes those are interior things and sometimes they’re exterior, these disruptions in our life. The best example of heroine I could give you is Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. She wasn’t happy in Kansas. The twister came and picked her up and took her out of Kansas. That was the physical thing or the exterior thing. Interiorly, she didn’t want to be in Kansas either. She goes on this whirlwind journey and she meets friends along the way, mentors and Glinda the Good Witch. She also met friends The Lion, The Tin Man and The Scarecrow, but she also met with challenges. She met with The Wicked Witch of The West and The Winged Monkeys. She was on this journey to find her way back home. She had it inside her all along. She had to go on this journey to discover that and to figure out how to do it. That’s what this hero/heroine’s journey calling is for each of us. Burnout is a good indicator that this journey is over. That’s what I’ve learned. I’m like, “This isn’t fun anymore.” To me, work is fun. When it’s not fun, then I have to start questioning, “What am I doing that’s not fun?” I love what I do. I’ve noticed I hit pass if it wasn’t fun. I was like, “I’m done with that now,” then it’s like, “What do I reinvent myself to,” which is scary but also exciting. People stay stuck in what they know because that’s comfortable. Dorothy was not comfortable at all. The way you share that, that’s why the hero and heroine’s journey is described in a circular format because we do have more callings. That’s a great way to listen for your callings if it should be time to think about creating the space for, “Maybe there is something else I’m called to do.” We often come back with treasures.
Your time is your most valuable real estate.Dorothy came back with treasures of things she had learned. She realized that she did love Kansas, after all, and her family and everything. We may come back with those treasures, but we may come back with treasures that empower us to go out on the next journey. It could be a call to creativity, business venture, relationship or contribution. These are all different kinds of callings that people have. The idea is, though, you have to make the space for it. You’ve got to make the space. You’ve got to schedule it. They’re busy that they know they’re not happy or they know that there’s something wrong. Another way to look at this that I share with people is if you think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Many people work their way up the pyramid. Maslow found that people have these basic physical needs. If you think back to the beginning days of COVID, the pandemic and it’s still going on, people’s basic physical needs, they need to make sure they had toilet paper. It’s very human. The security needs and safety needs that’s still very common right now. You then have the relationship needs. You have esteem needs, then you have self-actualization, which is what we’re talking about. As some people call it flow, some people call it the zone of genius. You can’t shortcut. You can’t skip belonging and go to self-actualization. You can’t skip security because the minute you can’t pay your bills, you’re freaking out and you got to go back down to survival. I watched people trying to skip. It’s like, “You’re not there yet.” Some people take longer than others. I know every time I start a business, you start over. Even though the business is exciting, you still are trying to figure out survival. It’s like, “Can I pay all these people? Can I do all these things?” You get in that groove. When you realize there’s a cycle and it’s cyclical, you don’t freak out as much or I don’t freak out as much. I’m a systems girl. I am so creative and I do like to generate, but the system gives me safety and this is the process of where you’re at. Talk about that because a lot of people are facing a lot of big challenges. I know you face some big challenges. Some people call them failures, I call them challenges or obstacles. What was the biggest failure that you’ve had and how did you boomerang back? What did you learn from it? What was your Kansas story or your Dorothy story? I appreciate you asking that because this is very powerful. My Dorothy story was I had had people tell me over and over again to write a book. I kept saying I didn’t have enough time. It was a total limiting belief. I was on this weekend retreat with some other women. I’ve been at a coaching program with them. On the last day, we were all to share what was stopping us from doing our vision and my vision was to write this book. I had this light bulb go off and several other women there still to this day say they saw it. The epiphany I had was the only one stopping me was me. I’m self-employed. I have a supportive family, husband and business. I was like, “That was very insightful,” because I kept looking outside of me for things to change in order for me to feel like I could go do write this book. I found that to be empowering because again, up until then I was waiting for other things to happen or people to do things or to change. I was waiting for them. As soon as I saw that it was me, I was like, “I can change me.” I’m not going to say it was easy. It is still the same challenges other people have. I still had to figure out where I was going to find the time. That’s when I met Hal Elrod and got introduced to The Miracle Morning. I set up my morning routine. That was when I wrote and that’s what many people do write. I had other challenges along the way. It wasn’t a yellow brick road. I had the Wicked Witch of the West and Winged Monkeys too. I was living in alignment and true to what I felt was my calling at that time. It did empower me. It empowered me because I no longer put my life in what I viewed as other people’s hands or the market’s hands. The failure was I waited so long. What it does for me now is I remember. Whenever I start to experience those feelings again, then I can reclaim them. I don’t think it was too late. It wasn’t the time. The caveat of the teaching and what you had to put inside that book took 55 years to get to that point to see it in a way that can translate to business. We have to be accomplished. You can’t just write a book. You’ve got to be accomplished in something. When people go, “I want to write a book.” “About what?” “I don’t know.” What has been your hero story? What has been your sweet spot or magic?
When you start doing what you’re supposed to do, then you can see the next step.Sometimes you got to get the bloody knees and the bloody elbows and the wicked witches so that you can see, “That was the gift that was wrapped in sandpaper. That was the lesson I needed to learn that got me on the other side.” Some of my horrific failures have been my biggest growth as a person, woman, mom and business owner. I don’t ever want to do them again, but they were the growth that I needed. I realized I had the chutzpah to do it to go, “I can do this.” You’re tried and tested. It’s a great story. I talked with a lot of people. The person that’s stopping them is them. I can share, change the way you look at things and the way you look at things changes. As soon as I changed the way I looked at it, I saw how I might do it. I started doing it. I started small and built up, but I started doing it to see the next step. Many people don’t get started. Before then I didn’t get started because I had this holding me back, this limiting belief that I didn’t have time or the money to write a book. That’s the message, my lesson learned or my failure for your community. I’m a big advocate of your trying to survive. Who’s inspiring you? If you’re the only one inspiring people, that’s a whole different level of burnout. If you’re not ever being poured back into like investing in yourself. I love to read and podcasts. I’m a lifelong learner. We’re never done. If you could be remembered for one thing, Karen, what would that one thing be? To do that for people to help them be inspired and to recognize where they’re stopping themselves. To help them start or go on their call to adventure their heroines or heroes’ journey, they could start small and build up by achieving it five minutes a day, if I could be remembered for that, that would be very meaningful for me. Do you coach people? I do. I’m going to offer to your community that if they want to, I have a free 30-minute consult to see if that would be something that would be beneficial to them and their life and business. They could go to the website. What’s one question you wish I would’ve asked you? Would there have been anything else I would have done differently? Would you have? It’s interesting. I’d always say in reflection and looking back. It’s easier to see it in hindsight. I see other people who started earlier and I think there’s a benefit to having experience, but I also think there’s a benefit to starting earlier. That would’ve been the one thing I would have done differently is started my real estate career earlier. If I’d known that I could have been this successful earlier on, I would have done it. I didn’t know I could. The only thing I look back on was confidence because when I started my first business, I was 23. Thinking back now, I had some confidence. I said, “I’m going to do this,” I didn’t know how to do it. I think back like, “That’s so brave.” I’m thinking back at how naive I was not knowing, which was part of the saving grace is when you don’t know. When I sold my last business, they were like, “You’re going to open another business?” I’m like, “Hell no, I know too much.” They’re like, “No, you need to start another one.” No, I need some time off. I need to step back. I need to not have employees and think about it for a while. I appreciate you being here. If you want to meet with Karen and have a delicious conversation, 5MinuteSuccess.com/workwithkaren. What a joy to have you and even so fun. I love this whole five minutes a day. I’ve two pages of notes. I do take notes when it’s a juicy conversation. It’s a great reminder. It doesn’t have to be hard and it has to be systemic. We make it too hard. I love that you reiterated that. Let’s not make it hard. Let’s get started. Find someone who can be your champion in your court. Karen, I or your tribe can be the champion in your court. Find a tribe that is your vibe. Get some support so that you don’t wait. Let’s get it earlier. Karen, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate all your support. Make sure you like this and make sure you share it with your community and your friends because this was a juicy topic and delicious. Five minutes a day can be a game-changer in your life. Thank you for joining us, Karen.