Kathleen Black: “You Need to have Confidence in your Value”

You Need to have Confidence in your Value. It’s very difficult as a leader to negotiate for yourself in general, but I think it’s very difficult without knowing yourself and knowing your strengths and weaknesses to actually garner what you’re worth in the market. I wish I knew that I had to be unbelievably confident […]

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You Need to have Confidence in your Value. It’s very difficult as a leader to negotiate for yourself in general, but I think it’s very difficult without knowing yourself and knowing your strengths and weaknesses to actually garner what you’re worth in the market. I wish I knew that I had to be unbelievably confident and relentlessly motivated to believe in myself and to believe in the services and products that we bring to the world.


The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Black.

Kathleen Black is one of North America’s leading team coaches and trainers, delivering her proven success techniques to agents and teams around the world. That growth is worth billions in additional sales volume annually across her client network with 80% of her clients being national top 1% producers. Kathleen, the best-selling author of “The Top 1% Life”, will help you to expand your business, at a fraction of the time and cost, using the tried, tested, and true “KBCC Ultimate Expansion Strategy” that has powered her client growth into the most efficient, productive, and profitable teams in the world, powered by performance cultures.

The success of KBCC centers around integrity, honesty, and results-driven measures, the very things that represent Kathleen. Kathleen has been named twice Top 100 Elite Women Driving the Future of Real Estate by REP Magazine and Top 20 Emerging Leaders by T3 Sixty’s Swanepoel Report. She was recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in the Toronto Real Estate Board, has ten plus years, over 20,000 hours personally, of agent development experience, and hundreds of teams attribute their growth and success to Kathleen’s leadership.

Kathleen is also the driving-force behind the Ultimate Team Summit, the largest team specific

Real Estate summit in North America and the Ultimate Mastermind Series of events, including the 100 Deal + Ultimate Mastermind. Recently recognized as a Global Leader Making the World a Better Place by the Women’s Economic Forum.

Kathleen lives in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada with her two free spirited, independent, and very loved children Ethan and Ella, and their cat Ethel.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Some people are born entrepreneurs, and I would say I fit into that criteria. There are always early signs: The proverbial lemonade stand, an innate youthful rebelliousness, a way of seeing things differently, and an early discovery of the power to manifest.

I knew as an 8th grader that I could manifest whatever I envisioned. Every milestone I reach comes from an inspired flow state — a practice of inner work I leverage now as one of Canada’s leading Real Estate Coaches and Trainers, delivering my proven success techniques to Agents and Teams across North America.

I have never done things the easy way. I had a tumultuous childhood that culminated in me leaving my home while still in high school. I self-funded my university education and completed it as a new mother.

I saw a need for more women voices in a female dominated industry (Real Estate), where there were predominately men being highlighted.

The more that we show and highlight women in these professions and positions, more women will follow them to lead successful careers.

We can have a landslide of valuable women, but if we don’t learn to listen to and respect their voices as valuable, then is it going to matter in the end? Women leaders are only as valuable as the people they serve are open to hearing value from them and other different perspectives.

At the end of the day you have to be committed to getting there, and even though the disparity is there, in most industries, the top 10 percent of performers or skill sets, the disparity is almost invisible.

You have to be so good that people can’t ignore you, and that is what I chose. I wanted it to cost others more by ignoring me. I chose to build and offer results so good that they spoke for themselves.

We all have a simple choice, to plant and nurture seeds with our focus and determination, or to attempt to will ourselves through ceilings and obstacles. I built my own stages to house our message, network, and results. we do not need to play in broken houses, when you can build your own.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favourite life lesson quote is something that I’ve heard in my head since I was very young and that’s “You’re built to win”, and when you believe that, when things get hard, you’re going to lean in and really win or learn, so either way you win overall.

Some of my most devastating losses in life and in business catapulted me forward ten times more than I could have ever gotten without them.

‘I was built to win”, allows me to see things in my favour as I’m working in a place of abundance and I’m trying to see myself in the world.

I’ll always try to be better because I want to do good here and I want to have the resources in order to be and do good.

I need a strong business in order to make the changes and impact I want to make for myself and in order to contribute and have a positive impact with as many people as possible.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho tells the story of a young shepherd named Santiago, who is able to find a treasure beyond his wildest dreams. Along the way, he learns to listen to his heart and, more importantly, realizes that his dreams or his Personal Legend, are not just his but part of the Soul of the Universe.

It tells and captures an amazingly beautiful story that deserves to be heard. The book resonates with me so much, as the constant theme in The Alchemist is to pursue your dreams by following what your heart desires. During the young boy’s journey, he learns to listen to the heart and to follow the language of omens. With each passing obstacle and hurdle that the young boy encounters, there is a lesson to learn.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

Beginning my career as a RE/MAX Real Estate Agent and working my way to being recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in both the Durham Region and on the Toronto Real Estate Board, many would agree that this level of success is the pinnacle achievement amongst their peers; but for me it was only the beginning.

Identifying the need, I set out to work on further developing the systems and platform of educational programs and coaching methods to which I attributed her own professional and personal success.

With the launch of KBCC in 2015 and building upon my 10+ years of Team and Agent development and guidance, hundreds of teams (80% of which are top 1% producers) have attributed their growth and success to my integrity, honesty and results driven leadership directly or through one of my coaching programs.

I was selling real estate as a busy single mom of two children and I had done a lot of content and systems development with a look to creating better work life balance.

The team I worked with was creating a coaching company and I had a background in psychology, so it just seemed like a natural fit to try to become involved.

That coaching company found itself in some challenging territory in its early days and there were differing opinions within the ownership as to how it should be resolved.

This ultimately resulted in the departure of the director of coaching and I was given the opportunity to step into that role within 18 months of the company going live. I had been a coach for just under one year at that point.

It was really a chain of complicated events that led to a great opportunity for me.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

During one of the most unique times in our lifetime, we hosted our KBCC Ultimate Mastermind Series, 5 times a week. These Masterminds were designed to give you insight into what you can do to optimize your business to stay in control.

We had 4,616 attendees to our KBCC Ultimate Mastermind Series, to our total of 40 Ultimate Mastermind sessions.

We dedicated our time, along with 30 experts, some from Australia, United States of America, and Canada, to help a community and industry in one of it’s most extenuating circumstances.

In the initial 13 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team donated 400 hours to directly connect with the industry, as well as, teaming with select struggling clients to provide complimentary coaching when they needed our support.

Our Masterminds were held from Monday March 23rd, 2020 to Friday May 22nd, 2020 and proved to keep our industry highly motivated and thoroughly engaged in their personal & professional legacies, giving them strategy and strength for the future.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

We’ve had several times where we’ve been in uncertainty. Both in my current business and in my past business, and I think the most important thing we’ve had to do that was a little bit of an “Aha moment” is carve out a strategy to determine why we’re here, what we want to accomplish and to be able to focus on the future.

Sometimes when we’re in uncertainty, or in fear, we can be blind because all we see is the possible worst case scenarios. If we can align a team around opportunities in any difficult situation, to visualize where we’re going in the future, we’re able to move forward together with confidence.

The other thing I find we excel at during times of uncertainty or adversity is coming together as a leadership team, with taking 100 % responsibility in the different areas of our business so we’re not inundated with little complications.

Most people get stuck in the mess of the current times and lose focus on building. No matter what, the world can be in uncertainty, or your business can be in uncertainty, you need to be building for where you’re going with confidence, data driven risk is essential for every entrepreneur.

How are things going with this new initiative?

When our company started, our vision was to help busy entrepreneurs, who were largely in the sales industry, carve out a business that had the structure necessary to give them the freedom they wanted.

We found that a lot of entrepreneurs feel structure is restrictive, when in fact it gives them the path they need to give them the ability to leverage and scale so that they can have a successful business and life.

At the end of the day, what we found, was that we had to empower people in order for them to take empowered action, which is vital to create a structured business.

The purpose of our company is to power up people so they can build the businesses and lives that they are capable of leading, that they don’t choose to build until they approach it with a higher level of consciousness and confidence.

I’m grateful for our team, I have an amazing group of people who support me and there’s no way I would be able to do what I do without them.

We have a collaborative leadership team who are very entrepreneurial, and who take ownership over what needs to happen. It’s very collaborative without a director style delegation, everyone owns their portion of the business. That is how we thrive.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I don’t think there has ever been one person. A lot of my opportunities actually came from overcoming challenges, so some of the people who gave me some of the opportunities I had are also people who presented massive challenges for me and my career.

At the end of the day, it’s relying on great mentorship, there’s not only one person I can name.

There were definitely brokers who gave me great advice and now we’ve built programs in place that we’ve created together, like Paul Baron from The #1 Century 21 Brokerage for the country, C21 Leading Edge in Canada.

I’m grateful for our team, I have an amazing group of people who support me and there’s no way I would be able to do what I do without them.

We have a collaborative leadership team who are very entrepreneurial, and who take ownership over what needs to happen. It’s very collaborative without a director style delegation, everyone owns their portion of the business. That is how we thrive.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

This isn’t necessarily a new direction for our company. We’ve always taken a consultancy approach, rather than a sales approach to our business.

When our company started, our vision was to help busy entrepreneurs, who were largely in the sales industry, carve out a business that had the structure necessary to give them the freedom they wanted.

We found that a lot of entrepreneurs feel structure is restrictive, when in fact it gives them the path they need to give them the ability to leverage and scale so that they can have a successful business and life.

At the end of the day, what we found, was that we had to empower people in order for them to take empowered action, which is vital to create a structured business.

The purpose of our company is to power up people so they can build the businesses and lives that they are capable of leading, that they don’t choose to build until they approach it with a higher level of consciousness and confidence.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You Need to have Confidence in your Value. It’s very difficult as a leader to negotiate for yourself in general, but I think it’s very difficult without knowing yourself and knowing your strengths and weaknesses to actually garner what you’re worth in the market. I wish I knew that I had to be unbelievably confident and relentlessly motivated to believe in myself and to believe in the services and products that we bring to the world.
  2. You Have to Make Hard Decisions — That People Will Judge. I wish people had told me that being a strong leader doesn’t mean that everyone will agree with you.
    For example, I’ve had to make decisions to stand up for myself, I’ve had people on my team try to compromise our business, and at the end of the day, the most important business decisions I’ve made, that anyone in my place would have made, were the most judged decisions I’ve ever made.As a leader it’s okay to trust yourself.
  3. You Don’t Have to Tell your Side of the Story. You don’t have to justify your actions, as long as you have good, clear intentions and you’re doing what you feel is right for the whole business in the long-term, the people who stay in that business will be stronger. Business can be difficult, you have to make decisions that will help the future of your business. People management can be really tricky. At the end of the day I really believe that if someone is not a good fit for the business, if you don’t see them being a part of the business in five years, or the impact of their presence in the business will not support your vision, then it’s also not a positive fit for that person. It’s more important to focus on where you’re going than to stay in the mud of any challenges that might come up.
  4. You Have to be so Good People Can’t Ignore You. Our benchmark is to be the best in the world at what we do. At the end of the day we have to be so good, and bring so much value to the market and let our results speak so strongly for themselves that they can’t ignore us. Setting the bar up so high will give you an edge, because most people aren’t confident enough to show up and be the best.
  5. How Often People are Dishonest in Business. I wish someone told me how often people are not honest in business, that it’s more important to work with people who share the same values with you, than the opportunity on the table. If you do business with people who you don’t believe in or you cannot trust, or your values don’t align with, you’re going to spend more time spinning your wheels, you’ll never be able to get to the opportunities or the growth. I wish I had known that not everybody has great intentions in business, and that the old saying is true, people will say a lot, but very few people will show up and act on it. Always watch what people do, before you listen to what they say.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

Everyone feels nerves and anxiety from time to time, even those with high levels of confidence. But when it comes time to perform under pressure, how can stress impact performance?

When I get tired, stressed or frustrated, I’m a typical entrepreneur. Instead of thinking ‘take a day off’ or ‘take a week off’ i think ‘okay maybe I’m done’ or ‘maybe I’m not meant to do this business’. But the reality of it is, I get a good night sleep and I know that this business for me, is not about money, it isn’t about a business, it’s about a purpose in my life and I believe that I’m destined to be doing what I’m doing.

This mentality has dragged me to the future, even when I feel exhausted and burnt out. To build this business, I had to run and jump off of a cliff. There was no ability to hesitate or play it safe, I think for me I had to believe it was my destiny to do it, or I wouldn’t have been able to take the risks that I did.

Tension creates focus, and if anything, you want to elongate the amount of time that you have that tension. The focus that is created from tension is invaluable to any business owner.

I like to say that if you could bottle that tension, that fear, that little bit of angst that is created in turmoil and sell it to people when the sun is out and the economy is strong, and confidence is high, you would make billions of dollars.

It’s one of the best times to align a team when you lean into that tension and use it. The tension will allow you to be 10x better than you were when you came into this situation.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Conscious living. I think people who are conscious about who they are, their values, and what they’re bringing to the world are typically better parents, better team members, better community supporters, better people.

I find the ability to ‘do good’ is just more naturally present for people with a conscious mindset. If I can help people raise their consciousness and see their abilities and power, they will ultimately serve the world through their greater purpose with ease. If KBCC can have any influence on people leading themselves versus looking at others, that’s a win!

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

There are so many, but I would love to sit down and talk to Glennon Doyle. There are of course so many reasons why I would like to talk with her but most recently, she released her book ‘Untamed’.

I can honestly say that I have never read a book that I could relate to such an extent. I felt like I could have written that book. I have such an affinity for her values and the need for relentless leadership.

Her book demonstrates such a remarkable message to stand-up unapologetically and build what you’re meant to build.

Her book has been a treasure to me because it’s allowed me to feel less lonely, some people say that alpha women don’t travel in packs, but I’m lucky to have an amazing leadership team and I would never get anything done without them.

It’s also inspiring to me that she works on the ground with charities to get average donations of 25 dollars.

Glennon founded Together Rising as an expression of her belief that the surest way to lift a family or community is to lift one woman at a time — that when a woman rises, she brings her people up with her. Her charity initiatives are incredibly inspiring and life changing.

How can our readers follow you online?

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10528394/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenBlackCoaching/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/kathleenblackcoaching/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kbccoaching

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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