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Jason Gelios: “There is always room to improve”

I feel the top five things that people need to possess to be a successful entrepreneur is a strong mental attitude. Things will happen that will absolutely put a dent in your day. But having that strong mental attitude will pull you through it easier than if you didn’t have it. Being able to take […]

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I feel the top five things that people need to possess to be a successful entrepreneur is a strong mental attitude. Things will happen that will absolutely put a dent in your day. But having that strong mental attitude will pull you through it easier than if you didn’t have it. Being able to take criticism and feedback from others is also something that is helpful. I have grown as a professional through feedback from others. There is nothing more valuable than that. Adapting to change and having the know-how to sell what you offer is very important in business. Communicating your value proposition to others in a way that they find interesting is a life skill in itself. Lastly, knowing that you will never know everything about your craft and that you always have to be learning new things is advantageous, because there is always room to improve.


Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Gelios.

Jason Gelios is an Award Winning Top Producing REALTOR® in Southeast Michigan, Author of the real estate book Think Like a REALTOR®, Expert Media Contributor to major media outlets and the Creator of The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show where he educates home buyers and sellers the in’s and out’s of the process with real-world expertise.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Thanks for having me! I was in my early 20’s when I was working odd jobs and was not really focused on a career path. I always had a strong work ethic but felt that I was not really motivated by the jobs I held. I was working for the weekend so to speak. You could say I was a ship without a sail. It wasn’t until I had met my wife at that time that I really got inspired to become more to improve my situation. I had watched as she worked diligently toward earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Seeing her get rewarded for her hard work and ambition really inspired me to change my life and to pursue a career that I could really be proud of.

As I was looking at different career paths, I had a family member tell me that I should be in sales because of my personality. This comment opened up the possibility of that path. After looking at different types of sales positions and industries, I decided to go into the mortgage field. This was the start of me eventually ending up on the REALTOR side and growing a successful brand/business from the ground up.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

I had been successful in the mortgage industry for some time and decided it was time to make a change. I was impressed by how real estate agents were in the field with clients, instead of sitting at a desk, looking at houses and putting together deals. After speaking with some successful agents, I decided to become a REALTOR.

In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I don’t think that people are born with career or life skills. I think that you develop yourself and the skills as you grow older, identify and pursue interests that ultimately define you and develop who you are in your chosen role. I don’t feel I was a natural-born REALTOR. It is something that I sharpened over time and built up the determination to be successful in what I wanted to be. They say what you focus on becomes reality.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

One of my key motivators was, and still is, my wife. She was setting goals for herself and doing the work necessary to achieve. This inspired me to make a change in my life and to position myself in a situation with better opportunity. Having a positive motivator is one of the keys to success in life. Setting written goals for myself and learning as much as I can about a topic has also been a huge contributor.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

One of the best things I have done to stand out from the crowd was to build my own personal brand. As a REALTOR I am the business. Potential clients choose to work with me because they find a connection to me and what I have to offer. Being successful in real estate means that you have to consider yourself a business and think like one. Too many times I have seen other professionals not acting as a brand only to be looked upon as in general, or like everyone else. You have to have an entrepreneur mindset to succeed. Maybe I haven’t invented a product or a new process, but I have utilized my business skills to create a brand that people can trust to provide the right solutions. Finding a way to stand out in your business should be the first priority of a business owner or entrepreneur.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The three character traits that I feel were most instrumental in my success are a very strong work ethic, the ability to admit mistakes yet learn from them and the ability to move on from defeat quickly. These three things really defined me as an industry leader in my space. These traits will develop stronger over time.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

This is a great question. Early in my real estate career, I was given the advice that I should begin and stay with a larger broker/office. I was also told that the bigger the brand, the better. While I enjoyed my time at the office where I started my career, I learned that the bigger broker office is not always the best fit. Thinking like a businessman and building my brand has contributed to the success of my business because people do business with those they like. This is what shifted my focus more towards my own brand and less on the office I am with.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

I can tell you how it feels to be in an organization that is simply not the right fit. It’s one of the worst feelings an employee can have. Companies should create a work culture that is based on harvesting ideas and increasing productivity without alienating the team. An effective work culture should encourage ideas to flow and recognize those that contribute value through positive reinforcement. People want to be valued and not overlooked.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?

I feel the biggest and best thing that business leaders can do is to create content that educates those they want to do business with. We are knee deep in companies using video to get their message out. The message should not be all about their business though. It should be about educating others and really offering to help without expecting anything in return. Potential customers and clients are open to a business offering this kind of content and perceive it as valuable. This is what inspired me to create a weekly online show where I share answers to common real estate questions and tips. Nobody likes spam or sales pitches but they love value and good advice. Another focus I committed to was offering free home buying classes with my local college extension. I would share my knowledge with the class and that built up a lot of clients because it was an informative offering.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

Even before the COVID19 pandemic where many people are now working remotely and holding video meetings, savvy business leaders and entrepreneurs were using video to share their message and value to others on their terms. This will continue to be the favorite way that people look to connect with professionals, businesses and entrepreneurs. Businesses and professionals can also reach more people with video, versus regular content, especially on social media.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners and entrepreneurs make is that they don’t think like a business. They start their company or share their product and they are reactive to everything that happens around them. Being proactive; The second mistake I see people making is not having any goals written down. This would be like a ship’s captain going to sea without a map. Having goals written down and adjusting them often should be one of the main focuses of business owners.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

It really boils down to having realistic expectations.I think people get excited about their idea and they don’t anticipate the challenges that will arise.Going into entrepreneurship you have to know that there will be ups and downs no matter how much success you gain. The road to success is never a straight path, but a series of winding roads with surprises that come up. The ability to adapt and overcome these challenges and bounce back quickly is really what makes people successful.

I’ve seen people gain success and then remain stagnant as if it will last forever. You see this a lot in sales where someone meets or exceeds their quota, only to relax and ‘slow down’ the hustle. Remaining successful means staying strong and moving forward, even on days when you don’t feel like it. To me, these are the real champions.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

One of the biggest highs I received was when my book was completed. I had spent a good amount of time coming up with what my book would be about. When I saw the finished book in print, I felt overwhelmed. Writing a book is not an easy task. It was a huge project, but worth every ounce of effort. It was very rewarding to see my book complete and available for others to enjoy. That for me was and continues to be the biggest high of my career.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

I would be happy to share! When I was adding video marketing to the mix I really had a hard time being satisfied with how I came across on video. I picked at things and took forever to record a video, let alone edit it. Matter of fact, I almost stopped focusing on creating videos. I eventually got over this low, because the more I made video content that helped others, the more confident I became with it. I had to remind myself that it’s all about putting out value content to others and helping them with their questions.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

After committing myself to create videos to not only build my brand but to offer value to others, I created as many videos as I could. The more I created videos, the more comfortable I felt creating and sharing them. This was very empowering because once people found value in what I was creating and sharing, it became very rewarding.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

I feel the top five things that people need to possess to be a successful entrepreneur is a strong mental attitude. Things will happen that will absolutely put a dent in your day. But having that strong mental attitude will pull you through it easier than if you didn’t have it. Being able to take criticism and feedback from others is also something that is helpful. I have grown as a professional through feedback from others. There is nothing more valuable than that. Adapting to change and having the know-how to sell what you offer is very important in business. Communicating your value proposition to others in a way that they find interesting is a life skill in itself. Lastly, knowing that you will never know everything about your craft and that you always have to be learning new things is advantageous, because there is always room to improve.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

My definition of resilience is having the gumption to get back up after being knocked down. To be able to keep moving forward in pursuit of your goals while adapting and overcoming the things that life throws your way. Many people have adapted pretty well during this pandemic, even though many went out of business. Having the resilience to stay in the game and push through life’s challenges can really make someone come out stronger, wiser and even more successful. Resilient people have a stronger mentality and oftentimes see things differently than others who may dwell on an issue or situation.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

One of the hardest things that I had to overcome throughout childhood was my speech impediment. Every day throughout grade school was a complete nightmare that I had to deal with. I had to learn how to get through it and be resilient so that I could get through school. I really had no choice. You could say that this really built up my resilience to be strong in the business world because I have been conditioned to deal with hardship. They say when you have hit rock bottom, you really have nowhere to go but upward. I believe this to be true in life and in business.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

I don’t feel that I am the best at staying positive all the time. I have good days and bad like most people. Maintaining a positive attitude may be cliché, but it really is the best advice. Difficult situations and problems will arise. We have learned this with COVID19. Having a positive attitude will keep you level-headed and help keep things in perspective. Nothing good will come out of a negative attitude. Negativity has robbed more people of opportunity than any other factor. So it’s important to remain positive as much as we can. When I seek out positivity and tune out the negativity, I have a much better attitude about the challenges and problems I may face.

Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.

Positive Leaders are absolutely contagious to a team and clients. Unfortunately, so are negative leaders. Positive leaders are those who look to build others up, whether it’s their team or clients that need solutions. Positivity goes a long way. On that same note, people do not want an overload of positivity which can come across as fake. Projecting just the right amount of positivity can go a long way. In one of my former roles as an Outside Sales Rep, our sales team had been introduced to a new Sales Manager who believed that micromanaging was the best way to lead a team. As you can imagine, in a short period the majority of the sales team left the company with the Sales Manager eventually being fired due to poor performance. Micromanagers rarely have success leading this way, because it’s a negative way to manage other people.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

My favorite quote that applies to my personal and professional life is a quote from Zig Ziglar. “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” This is a daily reminder that if we provide positivity and value, whether in the marketplace or in our personal lives, that value will come back to you tenfold!

The quote I just shared is a major motivator for me and to why I create content that I feel others will find valuable, instead of sharing regular ad content like many of the professionals in my position do. I share answers to common real estate questions that people find valuable. This is much more appealing to those that view it. This comes back to me in the form of referrals and attention.

How can our readers further follow you online?

I invite everyone to visit my website at ItsAllAboutTheRealEstate.com and to connect with me on Social Media from the website.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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