This day stands alone

No matter what you did yesterday, or last week, or last month, or last year…this day stands alone. 

This day stands alone to be a terrible day, or the beginning of some yet unknown grief…and sometimes life events and catastrophe can dictate that. 

But this day also stands alone to be a great day, or the beginning of one of the best periods in your life…and you can be the one to dictate that.

On most of our average days (barring significant loss, etc.) we have the control to determine the amount of work we put into creating our own happiness, contentment, and success. 

This day stands alone….waiting for your decision as to what kind of day it will be-  It is waiting for your cue, your prompt, or your guidance so it knows which way to go.

This day stands alone….as do you.  Who you were yesterday doesn’t matter (whether the best, worst, or mediocre version of yourself). 

Your previous success is no longer felt or honored the way it once was; As your previous failures are no longer felt or held against you the way you thought they once were.    

This day….TODAY….stands alone.  What work will you put in?  What guidance will you give this day?

Ian Aubourg – Regional Director

 

A Minute in Which We Falter

“Doing your best is more important than being the best” –Zig Ziglar

I love that quote because Zig is highlighting the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other approach to finding success.

If we focus on “being the best” as a grandiose overview of who we want to be, we could miss the daily activities and the little pieces of struggle that actually create success:

In the times that we struggle, we may find many moments during which we succumb to less than our best (and we have ALL been there), but we can rise by striving to remember that we also have an opportunity to overcome:  Minute by minute, hour by hour, week by week, month by month; we have to remember that a minute in which we falter MAY not matter, but too many minutes will…

Success doesn’t come to the vast majority of people that just declare a lofty goal and have no idea how to follow-through.  They don’t just magically find themselves at the pinnacle by declaring their intent and just waiting it out long enough.  (For those fans of “The Office”, bankruptcy can’t be garnered and/or finalized by just “declaring” it to your co-workers, as an example)

We find success incrementally.  With every action (or inaction), every minute, and every day- we make a decision to do our best…or succumb.  I hope you find the best version of you this week.

Strive to DO your best.  Fight to BE your best.  Win.

Ian Aubourg, Regional Director

For The Professional Sales People Out There…

20130813041801

This is a long one, so read at your own risk- but for those aspiring professional sales people that want to better understand their craft:

I would never ask you do something I have never done or wouldn’t do myself.  It wouldn’t be fair, it wouldn’t be authentic, and it wouldn’t be me…and, in fairness, I wouldn’t expect you to listen. So for those that want to know how I sell, feel free to hear me on this:

– I have been in your shoes.

– I have pitched to literally thousands of Realtors.

– I have pitched to literally hundreds of Loan Officers.

– I have pitched to numerous banks and affinity partners.

– I have pitched to a plethora of executives from all different companies.

– I have vetted out multiple investors and service providers.

– I have been to countless networking events…and I’ve felt the awkwardness.

– I have failed.

– I have won.

– I have failed again.

– I have had great pitches.

– I have had God-awful pitches.

– I have worried about my family financially in a commission-based environment.

– I have left some personally fulfilling creative pieces of myself (music, etc) so I could work more

– I have used creative pieces of myself to fill the void mentioned above in my business.

– I have worried about bills.

– I have worried I wasn’t good enough.

– I have worried about what people would think of me.

– I have worried about past failures setting a tone for my future.

– I have worried that my best was never good enough.

– I have worried that no matter how many hours I work or how hard I try, that there will always be someone who doesn’t think I’ve done enough (and there will ALWAYS be someone even in a 90 hour work week- trust me, I’ve tested).

– I have worried about the next 7 tiers of potential fallout from a decision I have made.

– I have been debilitated by fear.

I’ve been lauded in my career for being a “great” salesman.  I’m not sure that’s true because most of it is just trying to be authentic, but I know I get asked by a lot of folks “how” I sell.

And I have coached a lot of people in my industry on sales…and most of them don’t know the things I just told you. They still always believe there is a magic sauce. There isn’t one. There are strategies and learnings, but there is no magical top 5 that works for everyone.

I fear like you do. I worry like you do. I am insecure sometimes like you may be.

The “secret sauce” is more complicated than a magical top 5 list of success in sales. Success in sales is a very complicated, ever-changing thing…and it’s a different version for everyone.  My version is this:

– Refuse to give up. Ever.

– Study your craft and choose to see sales as an artform.

– Study the tools available to you. Every day. No matter how long you’ve done it or how much you think you know.

– Never allow yourself to linger on the darker sides of you for more than a few hours of “woe is me” time…bc every day you need to start again.

– Package your sales pitch…and literally practice it.

– Allow yourself to wallow in your self-imposed perspective of ineptitude when you lose a deal…for a night, when needed…and then start the new day as the BOSS you ought to be.

– Work. Every day. Unrelenting. Until your bones are tired. Like every blue collar worker in the country (except you’ll make MORE than they do if you actually WORK the way they do).

-ALWAYS guide your customers in a way that is good for THEM, not for you or your commission check!  You will sleep better than your less-scrupulous competitors, and you will get more referrals and do more business in the long-run because of it.

– Read. Read a lot. For me now it is global industry publications and new-aged motivational books, but there was a time it was just me, a handful of beers, some FHA regulations and some Zig Ziglar and John Maxwell.  Become the expert , bc your referral partners will find one if you’re not (SOMEONE else will be, if you’re not in that role). Whether your expertise is in marketing, industry news, rate environment, or all of the above. Take your sales pitch seriously. Like a professional.

For those that lasted this long, I love you…and I love those that didn’t too.  I’m here for you if you want to brainstorm sales ideas -day or night.

Have a great week!

Ian Aubourg

Regional Director, Movement Mortgage

A Belated Happy Holidays

From my window I can see snow, so that’s my excuse for posting this so late -it’s lame, I know.  This was the message that I shared with my team right before Christmas…and I hope it carries some weight all year long:

This is the week before Christmas, and no matter what or how you celebrate the holidays it seems an appropriate time to pass along this sentiment:

Please let us remember those without a loving family with which to celebrate, amidst our mad rush to please the ones we love. Let us remember those that long for that kind of love and security, and let us try to help those that would otherwise go without.

The success of a society (as it is with each of us individually) will be judged by how we treat the least fortunate in our community- our philanthropy, our caring, our giving, our humility, our modesty, our compassion, and the accuracy of our moral compass will all define our success as human beings. While I hope we consider this every day- let us allow this season to guide us with even more purpose in that direction, while we ALSO show love to our own families.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and/or Season’s Greetings to each and every one of you and your families. My wish for you is to enjoy every moment with everyone you love…

-Ian

Ian Aubourg, Regional Director

Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away -by Ian Aubourg

tobealiveI would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.” –Jack London.

OR, the simpler version from the great philosopher, Neil Young “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away”.

Most people that know me know that I find great peace in the woods.  I LOVE to hunt, fish, hike, and sometimes just walk quietly, basking in the silence of it all.  As such, I’ve always loved Jack London; from the “Call of the Wild” to “To Build a Fire”, he captured the wilderness better than almost anyone.  That’s why I chose him today, but this quote has little to do with any of that…

It has to do with the fire that burns inside all of us.  It burns brighter and hotter in some than it does for others, but ALL of us can fan our respective flames.  We can each take on every day, every week, every year with a renewed perspective to be great at something.  To stoke the flames of desire and motivation by encouraging our most bold ideas and inclinations.  To take a chance, to work harder, to be the best…to change our lives.  To be innovative, to be different than our fears want to allow, to be impulsive, to be daring and bold….is to be alive.  Be different than your fears allow this week.  Be the “superb meteor, every atom of (you) in magnificent glow”.

Have a great week!

Our Version of Greatness, by Ian Aubourg

greatness-1  I missed my blog post last week because I was in New Hampshire with my kids. It struck me as we as we were driving through the White Mountain National Park how incredibly lucky I am to have been born in this country. It is so beautiful in it’s diversity -both in the landscape and the people. 

And it struck me also that creating these states from colonies, this government from an autocracy, the national parks from land that could have been forfeited to selfish uses, the programs, the initiatives, the innovations, the defenses -all that we have created as a country required unwavering commitment, tremendous risk, and unparalleled work ethic from many different people. In other words, it required greatness. 

If we think about what our forefathers, scientists, artists, philosophers, community leaders, etc have accomplished in their lives and what they have contributed to our society; it makes me wonder what greatness we can add…

-Every day we can work harder to provide a great life for our children and build the next great generation. 

-Every day we can work harder to earn more money that we can use to bolster our economy or give back to our charities and communities.

-Every day we can work harder to show love to someone who really needs it. 

-Every day we can work harder to have an impact on our work and on the people around us. 

Let’s show appreciation for our independence, our incredible country, the sacrifices and risks that others have taken to give us these opportunities, by working harder to make a difference in all that we do.  In other words, let’s find our version of greatness. 

Have a great week!

Ian Aubourg, Regional Director

 

Our Responsibility to Live Well…By Ian Aubourg

There is an old saying that living well is the best revenge.  That may be true, but I also believe that living well is the greatest way to honor…

responsibility quote

-To honor those who have fallen

-To honor those who miss holidays and big life events and parties to keep hell on earth from visiting our front door

-To honor those who delay the start of their careers or families in favor of representing the bigger picture

-To honor the selflessness that is ingrained and inherent to the men and women of our armed forces

-To honor the spouses who maintain a life at home -alone, while their significant others serve abroad

-To honor the parents who worry every day about their child overseas

-To honor the young mothers and fathers who must represent both sides of parenting

-To honor the parents, spouses and children who will forever be forced to cope with losing their loved one, if/when they laid their life down at the altar of freedom

As these men and women have taken an oath to protect us, we too have a responsibility -to live well.  In order to sufficiently say thank you, we must take every opportunity to utilize our advantages in order to give them quantifiable measures of success for their sacrifices.  Take every opportunity to say “thank you” when you see a current service member or veteran, but let’s take the extra step to SHOW them we are thankful by living well.  Be extra motivated at work to contribute to our economy in the most impactful way possible, be inspired to contribute to innovation by sharing your thoughts, be loving to contribute to raising a great American family, be kind to contribute to our sense of humanity here at home, and most of all; be overtly thankful for all that we have been granted by the sacrifices of the few….

Have a great week!

By Ian Aubourg, Regional Director

Tell Your Story and Then Tell It Again by Ian Aubourg

I tell the story to recruits, customers and referral partners of my first interactions with Casey Crawford, Toby Harris and Deran Pennington (owners and Sr. Executive, respectively) as part of explaining why I chose to come to Movement Mortgage…. and I’ve told that story a LOT in the last few months.

Tell Your Story-Ian AubourgI have been traveling a lot lately too; if not by plane, then I’m in my car…and almost always on the phone –even when I’m home, just to make a futile attempt at “catching-up”.  These last eight months since we really started a fully licensed and concerted effort to build New England have been exciting, but challenging personally.  I have two small girls (Ellie and Catherine) and there are too many days and nights that go by that I don’t see them.  A lot of sacrifices need to be made when you’re building.

 On top of the personal stressors, I have found myself reciting the same stories to people about Casey, Toby and Deran b/c I know they are impactful and I want everyone to share in the emotion that I first felt when I joined.  Recruits and Realtors are usually moved by my stories to one extent or another and it seems worth it to have recited the story yet again.  What I have found though, is that I need to remind myself to always really feel my own story.  When you say something over and over it does 2 things simultaneously: it makes it less impactful for you in the moment b/c you get bored with the same story, but it also can make it more a part of you.  As with a romantic relationship, when the initial infatuation dies down, excitement is (hopefully) replaced by contentment; lust is (hopefully) replaced by love.  And I realized that I am no longer excited by about my stories…but I love them for the experience they might  give someone else.

As such, I want us all to remember a few things…

I want everyone that joins us or works with us, to remember your story in coming here or doing business with us -How excited you were by how different Movement Mortgage was; the hope of having a better/easier process, the promise of a new perspective, the excitement of how our referral partners and customers would benefit, and the hope of having some amount of fun in the process! 

My story is overwhelmingly positive and inspirational; yet, I am working and traveling way too much.  I will likely regret the karate class(es) and bedtimes I’ve missed, and I need to work harder on coordinating around my family so I can be there for them too.  But we are building a new market; we are building a business that has people excited to take part…and it’s almost impossible to balance.  But we knew this wasn’t going to be easy.  We knew it would take long hours, training, learning new people, learning new processes, re-branding, re-introducing, suggesting, and adapting.  It was overwhelming sometimes.  The pursuit of greatness will never be easy (the paraphrasing of an old quote)….and while I agree, I would add that it can be fun and we should enjoy the ride.  We are growing to a size now that the newer people joining or working with us will see a completely streamlined effort and well-oiled machine, but they won’t know the story of how we got here. 

To my current and future employees: I would ask you to remember your story.  Remember what you felt when you decided to come here, and remember that every time you share your story in your respective markets, someone else will have great things to say about Movement.  YOUR story can help us continue to grow an industry-leading reputation.  Your story will encourage someone else to join our adventure.  Your story will help you remember what we were trying to build when the hours got too long, or why you missed another karate practice.  As we grew and learned the players and became experts in the processes, things have continued to get better and better.  We will continue to get control of our time, and our lives will be of better quality than most of us have ever had in this business.  Other companies can’t promise giving you time back as their ultimate pursuit b/c they never even cared to ask if we needed that.  That is why I came here.  In every decision we make as a company, we care… about your time, about your community, and about your quality of life.  While we all continue to work hard to build this presence and take over counties across New England, we can know our hard work has been worth it b/c we have built something better.  So remember your story and tell it again and again; it will always be new and impactful to someone, and in the longest hours of the day, it will remind you why you came…

Be purposeful, be accountable, be disciplined; create your own contentment. 

 Ian Aubourg the Regional Director for Movement Mortgage

Forgiveness by Ian Aubourg

I loved Mark Twain as a kid.  He is likely one of the most notable and prolific minds and writers of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin captured the imagination of millions of young boys and gave credence to the idea that the mischief inherent to some children, does not always correlate to their deeper sense of morality.  In one of his many quotable musings he said: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it”.  One of many beautiful illustrations Mark Twain left us. 

On a similar subject he also pondered that: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it stored than to anything on which it is poured”.

 If we do nothing else this week, forgive a person that has long needed your forgiveness (even if that person happens to be you).  As hard as it may be, at least consider it…forgiveness will always do more for you than it even does for the person being forgiven.  It doesn’t matter how it is received because it is ultimately your own health that will be bolstered.  And with that clearing of your conscience, try to re-focus your energy and be the best version of yourself this week.  Start there…and then, even if you falter, start that same effort again next week. 

Forgive and then move forward –in so doing, you will invite your true potential. 

Have a great week!

* Ian Aubourg the Regional Director for Movement Mortgage.

Not I, Nor Anyone Else Can Travel That Road for You…by Ian Aubourg

I love the thought that every day we can choose to build with the straw of ignorance and negativity, or we can build with the stones of knowledge and optimism…

I love the power that words can have to inspire and to invoke emotion or thought.  I have a lot of favorite writers (I’m sure you’ll hear some Robert Frost from me at some point), but it was Walt Whitman that came to mind this morning regarding personal accountability: “Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.  You must travel it by yourself.  It is not far.  It is within reach.  Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.  Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.” – and excerpt from Leaves of Grass.

My company provides many tools for our employees: from our industry-leading 7-day process, to unique marketing, world class CRM platforms, trainings, classes for partners, and pre-packaged relationships we can provide.  We also provide deeply rooted culture and a healthy sense of philanthropic perspective.  As such, we can provide an altruistic platform from which to sell.  And we can provide intrigue and excitement that can be sold to recruits, borrowers and partners alike.  But one thing my company will never be able to do is travel the road for our employees…   We provide ALL the tools to be successful, but employees must first understand them, and then they must use them.  We give them cultural and reputational weapons with which to develop relationships and a reputation; but only the employees can make sure “it is everywhere”, and only they can infuse positivity into any given situation.  In business, as it is in life…

In all that each of us has done since we were born and the way we carry ourselves every day, we are always building a personal reputation.  For those of us who have ever faltered in our lives: some of us may have altered that reputation by at least TRYING to change…while others make their reputations perpetually worse by caving to negativity.  We must remember that we can make a daily choice to change our engagement in positivity.  We must realize that in every new interaction, we are building upon a reputational foundation.   Some of us may have been provided that foundation and floor plans by our parents, or a mentor, or a even a company; but no matter what advantages we are given, WE must actually build it. 

Make sure you are building with every available tool at your disposal.  If we use ALL the schematics, we will likely build an impenetrable fortress.  If we DON’T use all the tools, then we will inevitably have noticeable weaknesses.  And therein we circle back to the daily choice: We can build with the straw of ignorance and negativity, or we can build with the stones of acute knowledge and optimism.  But no person or company can force us to choose the straw or the stone on any given day…because “not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you”.    

Have a great week!

* Ian Aubourg the Regional Director for Movement Mortgage.

Time is a fleeting thing…by Ian Aubourg

“You may delay; but time will not” -Benjamin Franklin

My grandfather and grandmother kept a cuckoo clock in their house. I remember as a child being bothered by the sound of it because it was so loud- every hour, on the hour. It was startling and disruptive to me back then because I didn’t live with the sound every day. I’ve thought about that clock in the years since they passed away because it has become a nostalgic sound for me.  And in thinking about it, I wondered about the nature of a cuckoo clock- the beauty and the curse of it…

That clock was an unmistakable, loud  and noticeable reminder that yet another hour had begun. In that consideration I garnered two potential perspectives: 1) yet another hour of our lives has passed…OR 2) it could serve as a simple and consistent reminder to make our next hour better.

In our business of month ends, we tend to live and focus on months, quarters and seasons.  We tend to think in blocks of time, and our efforts for change tend to follow the same thought process (thus making change seem an overwhelming task).  But I think it is the minutes and hours in-between that matter because we can have small and consistent victories. We can make incremental efforts towards changing behaviors and seeking our own best selves- hour by hour.

I would ask this week that we try to notice the hour as a new one begins (maybe even literally set an alarm…or buy a cuckoo clock?).  Whatever you do, I ask that we take more notice of the time that inevitably and unforgivingly passes through our fingers…and always try to make our next hour better.

Ian Aubourg the Regional Director for Movement Mortgage.

 

It is our shared sacrifice, as it will be our shared success! by Ian Aubourg

I have a mantra that I wrote for my teams at Movement Mortgage: “It is our shared sacrifice, as it will be our shared success”. 

This mantra is written in my office in Providence, RI to remind my teams that we are all in this together.  When one of us makes an extra effort; stays later to get a file done and ensure the customer is happy, or goes above and beyond to impress a referral partner, I think the intent is often perceived as stemming from selfish motivation.  After all, Loan Officers look out for their own pipeline and their own customers because that is what they HAVE to do.  However, with a simple readjustment of our perspective, we could see that the extra effort was not ONLY for their own commission check or their own customer.  I like to see that the extra effort makes the whole team (our whole brand) look better, and that level of effort is altruistic in nature.  That customer ends their process by telling someone how great their LO was…but they will likely also tell where their LO works.  That Realtor that was so impressed, will sometimes tell his office-mates about how great his/her LO is…and will likely also tell where that LO works. 

This effect can be called reputational impact or reputational risk.  Reputational impact/risk can work both ways obviously, but positive reputational impact is particularly powerful.  Most people want to be able to say they “know a guy”, and if they’ve had a great experience, they will then “know a guy” they can talk about.  This trickles down in so many ways when we are cognizant of the fact that our efforts (or lack thereof) impact more than just one customer or referral partner.  In building a brand, it is important that we know that our sacrifices to create great experiences will have wave-like impact on others on your team, and even neighboring markets.  So when you are at the office alone late at night, or working on a Sunday, or scrambling to correct a mistake –you must hope and encourage that many others in your work family are doing the same along with you.  Your efforts will help them, and theirs will help you, with overall market reputation.  So continue to work hard, appreciate the sacrifices of each another, and then we will celebrate together.  Or in other words…It is our shared sacrifice, as it will be our shared success…

Ian Aubourg the Regional Director for Movement Mortgage.