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“Take a day off” With Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated & Kathleen Black

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 […]

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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.


As a part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathleen Black.

Kathleen Black is North America’s leading real estate team coach and trainer, 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.

The success of KBCC centers around integrity, honesty, and results-driven measures, the very things that represent Kathleen. Kathleen has been named twice as Top Elite Women Driving the Future of Real Estate by REP Magazine and as Top 20 Emerging Leaders by T3 Sixty’s 2018 Swanepoel Report. She was recognized within the top 1% of Realtors in the Toronto Real Estate Board, has ten plus years of agent development experience, and hundreds of teams attribute their growth and success to Kathleen’s leadership. Most recently, Kathleen was awarded with the Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All/ Iconic Leaders Creating a Better World for All Award. This award is based on experience, results, influence, and commitment to change the world for the better of all internationally.

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.

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 joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, 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.

Everything that goes well in my business comes from a flow state. That’s connecting with the internal creativity or collective consciousness: I connect to those things and download.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.

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.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? 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 funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

An example that I give often is I used to mentor, coach and train while I was relatively new to selling, so I often had someone shadowing me.

I ended up realizing a couple of years into it when I left a buyer presentation, which I would sign 98 percent of, with one of my mentees, when she told me that she had seen me present my buyer consultations many times, and that she had learned so much, but the logo on the PowerPoint said ‘Your Team Name Here”. I didn’t even realize that for two years I had been using my coaching company’s version of my buyer consultation and it didn’t even have our team logo on it, and yet I was still signing 98 per cent of all consultations I sat down in front of and attended.

When building a business, it’s really easy to say you need the perfect brand, but in reality, what you need are the clients.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

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.

Is there a particular book 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.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

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.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

We’re always expanding. We’ve currently been expanding our resources to help people obviously during the COVID-19 pandemic, to suit their needs of moving remotely.

But COVID-19 has definitely given another reason for top producers to build systematic process driven businesses, where clients get a higher level of services and the team or brokerage have a more organized way to conduct more business and transactions, while also having a life.

Our focus is on making sure the teams and brokerages that we support have a quality of life, to enhance their lifestyles in order to sell more homes. Our systems are allowing them to hit two very important goals at once.

We’re also expanding our services globally, by building systematically, we’re offering teams 16% higher profit margins than a typical team model would. Having agents on the top teams using our models sell 10 to 20 times the average transactions on most of their local Real Estate boards. Additionally, we’re aiding them in converting at up to 7 times higher when they get to our advanced conversion systems.

We’re really committed to helping our agents build the most efficient, productive and profitable teams in the world. Why would agents follow another path and journey when we’ve already created this path with a predictable track record with our agents?

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?

1. Breathe (5 deep breaths)

a. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.

The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.

Breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do them.

You can do different exercises to see which work best for you.

2. Change the Perception

a. Take a mindfulness moment. Mindfulness focuses our attention on what we are experiencing in the present moment. This practice helps us experience events as they are, instead of getting lost in the past or future.

b. Focus on the present, don’t anticipate future feelings at the expense of acknowledging how you feel right now.

c. Notice your experience. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings in the moment.

3. Meditation / Visualization

a. There are over 3000 scientific studies on the benefits of meditation/visualization and its ability to aid in reducing stress or stressful situations.

b. Everyone and anyone can do it, but for some, it takes practice. One of the goals and desirable outcomes is to help people learn how to detach themselves from their moment to moment fixation on the contents of their minds, and instead cultivate a relaxed detachment from which it is easy to watch (but not become embedded in) the various sensations and thoughts streaming through the mind. The repetitive practice of imagery techniques can help this meditative learning to occur.

c. It’s easy; I recommend using guided meditations. When guided imagery is paired with physical relaxation techniques, the aim is to associate the sensations of relaxation with the peaceful visual image, so that future practice sessions involving imagery alone will quickly bring back to mind the physical sensations of relaxation.

Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

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.

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.

Meditation is a practice that takes us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into a place of stillness and silence. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, or religious practice. Athletes, CEO’s, politicians, laborer’s, musicians, artists, etc. have and continue to use meditation and visualization as a part of their lives.

Spiritual and religious practice has NOTHING to do with the process.

There is no real way to meditate or visualize wrong, I recommend that you use “guided” meditations or visualizations as guided imagery techniques work to help people relax for several reasons.

As is the case with many techniques, they involve an element of distraction which serves to redirect people’s attention away from what is stressing them and towards an alternative focus. The techniques are in essence a non-verbal instruction or direct suggestion to the body and unconscious mind to act “as though” the peaceful, safe and beautiful (and thus relaxing) environment were real.

Finally, guided imagery can work through the associative process described above, where scenes become a learned cue or trigger that helps recall memories and sensations resulting from past relaxation practice.

Simply, get comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breathing!

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

You have to sit down and create your perfect week, not because you want to, but because you absolutely have to. You need to grab control of your life again, in order to do yourself and your business the ultimate favour, succeeding.

You may feel some resistance from yourself at first, but once you embrace this plan, you will find your time is freer and actually have time for yourself and relaxation.

Life isn’t perfect, but the perfect week gives us a game plan to follow and guide us through our days.

When planning your days or weeks, make sure you take your non-negotiables into consideration. These are the things that no matter what is in your day’s plan, won’t change.

Now that we’re in a day and age where we’re having issues in regard to the many things that are being thrown at us on the daily, we will go into overwhelm.

Overwhelm can mean we’re snapping at our loved ones, having skin reactions, feeling anxious, and more. Overwhelm makes us want to surrender, and take shelter, but unfortunately, we cannot do that. We have to operate in this new normal.

By ensuring you’ve covered your non-negotiables, you’re ensuring that you can make sure your cup is filled and that you’re okay. When you’re okay, you will not be overwhelmed, you will be at 110% for your clients, loved ones and family.

We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

The top two habits correlated with entrepreneurial success are staying active, which is physical fitness, and meditation or focused thought.

When I started going to yoga classes, I started to think about eating better. Before I knew it I was. Even though I could indulge in unhealthy food or drinks, I feel like eating healthy, unprocessed foods. It changed my mind set.

When I start to do work after a yoga class, I seem to be more productive. My mind is clearer, and my thoughts flow easily. And at the end of the day, I fall asleep quickly. I tend to sleep more and feel fresh when I wake up.

When I don’t exercise or go to my yoga classes, I see the opposite effect. I’m more prone to eating junk food. I stay up later, get distracted more easily, and I waste time on unimportant tasks. Stress builds and I start to feel tension in my back.

In other words, fitness and meditation are the keystone habits that put the rest of my life in place. I don’t have to think about eating better. I don’t have to force myself to focus on getting things done. Exercise naturally pushes me towards my best self.

What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day. But those habits can be changed, as difficult as that may seem sometimes.

Becoming the type of person, you want to become — someone who lives by a stronger standard, someone who is successful in their business and believes in themselves, — is about the daily habits/processes you follow and not the ultimate product you achieve.

There is a simple 3–step pattern that every habit follows. It’s called the “3 R’s of Habit Change” and it goes like this…

1. Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior)

a. Your phone rings. This is the reminder that initiates the behavior. The ring acts as a trigger or cue to tell you to answer the phone. It is the prompt that starts the behavior.

2. Routine (the behavior itself; the action you take)

a. You answer your phone. This is the actual behavior. When your phone rings, you have a habit of answering it.

3. Reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior)

a. You find out who is calling. The reward is the benefit gained from doing the behavior. In this case, the reward for completing the habit was satisfying your curiosity to find out why the other person was calling you.

If the reward is positive, then the cycle forms a positive feedback loop that tells your brain, “Next time this reminder happens, do the same thing.” (i.e. When the phone rings again, answer it.)

Follow this same cycle enough times and you’ll stop thinking about it. Your behavior will just become a habit.

As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

Confident business leaders can access the elusive “flow state”, also known as being in the zone, where they are able to perform better while more relaxed.

They trust in their mastery of core skills, seek expansion, without undue stress. In flow state we are more productive, more creative, and less stressed, up to 500% more than out of flow state!

Flow is most likely to occur when an individual is faced with a task that has clear goals that require specific responses.

To achieve a state of flow, it helps if:

  • It is an activity that you enjoy or feel passionate about
  • There is an element of challenge
  • You are able to stretch your current skill level
  • You have a specific goal and plan of action

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

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!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

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.

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 further follow your work 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 for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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