Three times a week, I treat myself to the amazing vistas on a drive up the Kohala Coast from Puako Beach, to Kapa’au, for yoga.
Driving south on the Kohala “Gold” Coast Saturday afternoon about 5 pm…gorgeous
In Kapa’au, I had such an amazing yoga practice on Saturday morning, I pondered the similarities between yoga and real estate all weekend. Granted, yoga has been around, some say, for over 5,000 years while the concept of individual land ownership still doesn’t exist in some countries, but believe it or not, the two “successful practices” actually have quite a bit in common.
1. Breathe = back to the basics.
Breathing is something you do most of the time without thinking about it. During Ashtana Yoga, the point is to breathe consciously, rhythmically, and consistently for the best flow of one’s practice. This practice envokes ujjayi breathing, also known as victorious breath, or “ocean” breath. Hmm.
In my head, I can hear Bobby saying, “Breathe. Let the breath—not the ego—take you into the asana.” I know from experience, my own yoga practice is a lot more fun and “floaty” when I’m spending class focused on my breathing, instead of worried about what I sound like, what I look like, what’s going on at work, or other life stressors. When I’m focused on my breath, everything just flows.
Besides the fact that I type the word “breathe” as a comment to multiple colleagues daily in response to a stressful negotiation, conflict, or all-out-drama (it does tend to have a calming effect on a situation) the word “breathe” is a reminder to get back to basics. What is “basic” for Realtors?
Connecting with people. Real estate is a relationship business. When we focus on our clients as people, and make the conscious decision to authentically connect with them, we are no longer worrying about driving the “right” car, or how we sounded during the last listing presentation. Everything just flows.
2. Both yoga and real estate are a commitment.
You have to practice regularly and consistently to see forward momentum, and ultimately, success. Is it possible to have an active, thriving yoga practice by doing it only a few days a month? Absolutely, just like it’s possible to have an active, thriving real estate practice by working only a few days a month. It’s just not probable.
The most successful Realtors I know are the ones that get up every morning and go to work. Sometimes, “going to work” looks like walking from the bedroom to the kitchen for coffee, then to the office, and the computer. (Occasionally, I’ll take a quick detour across the street to get some ocean vibe as well…) They practice their craft daily. Just like the most accomplished yogis. “It’s called a practice for a reason,” Bobby says. Guess I’ll have to start thinking about a daily yoga practice, too.
3. There’s a flow when you’re warmed up and in the game.
Sometimes getting going in yoga, especially in a vigorous Ashtanga class, is challenging. Like when I feel like I’m dragging my body through mud. Back to basics, focus on my breath, and viola! (Eventually) I’m in the flow, and it feels like I could continue doing standing poses forever.
Practicing real estate is similar—when times are tough and we’re slogging our way through the mud, what we need most is to drag ourselves outside and get back talking to people. It’s always amazing to me how I can be in a grumpy mood, go to a listing presentation and voila! I come home energized and refreshed from having connected with people and discussing a topic I love to talk about: Real Estate.
4. Both practices require “education” beyond your “usual instructor.”
It took me a long time to understand that I couldn’t progress in my yoga practice unless I was willing to go to retreats and classes, and receive instruction from yogis other than just Bobby. No offense to Bobby, it’s just that there are about a zillion different kinds of yoga, and ways to practice yoga, “both on and off the mat” and I figure they all have at least one thing to teach me. In fact, there are so many different facets to the practice of yoga, it could actually be an insult to a yogi such as Bobby to even assume he could be “all things” to my yoga practice.
The 2010 HAR Leadership Academy taught me this is called “The Law of the Lid.” Well, blow me over with a feather. Silly me, here I was thinking that education is important for Realtors because we want to continue to elevate our profession, we need to understand changes to the law affecting our businesses, and we are hopefully contributing positively to mitigating legal liability for our clients and Broker. Those things are true, but in order to progress to our full capability, we must take it upon ourselves to grow leadership and learn from other mentors in the business, and in my case, from a phenomenal business coach, Beth Holiday.
5. At the end, we rest.
Okay, yes, I know that Shavasana in yoga is called “corpse pose” not “resting pose,” let me have my small delusion. After we’ve slogged through the mud, experienced the flow, breathed our little hearts out as consciously and rhythmically as possible, balanced and twisted in all sorts of ways, done a thousand sit-ups, and made it to the end…we rest.
We do that in real estate too. We slog, we unclog, we solve problems and emergencies, and deal with the planning department and contractors and lenders, oh my! And at the end of the transaction, we rest. Well, not always, because hopefully we have another transaction in the works. (I cannot help myself, I am a Realtor, did I mention?)
The point is, we do stop and rest (and celebrate!) along the way, and for me, those are some of the sweetest moments. Everyone goes on vacation, it’s critical to our clients and our team that no one person burns out. It’s something I truly believe in, that we all need to take time to rest and rejuvenate, to relax and enjoy the reason we live and work in Hawaii!