Stay Above The Line – What Realtors can learn from legendary NHL player Ryan Walter

Ryan Walters playing hockeyThe StreetText team had the pleasure of attending a seminar yesterday on Ryan Walter who played 16 seasons with the NHL and won the Stanley Cup in 1986. He is also an author and speaker.

I want to share with you today one of Ryan’s principles that had a great impact on me.

The Power of Your Mind:

You have undoubtedly heard much on the subject over your life and career, but perhaps this will be a fresh approach.

In my previous life I had a successful Real Estate business and know the industry well, since then, we have created a number of Saas (Software as a service) solutions for Realtors.

I actually started my Real Estate career reluctantly. I remember walking around the RLP office with no plan. Everybody seemed busy, too busy to teach me, and most certainly too competitive to teach me. So I walked over to Chapters and picked up the first book I found on Real Estate and opened it up – the first line in the book said something like this…

“If you are at all embarrassed to be a Realtor or do not plan on taking this seriously, do not bother continuing to read. In fact, put the book down and go find another career.”

Wow, that stung! Especially since I actually did not have clear intentions for the business and saw it more of a stepping stone to some other career.

However, challenging the status-quo by nature, I quickly skipped past this statement, trying to put the words behind me as if they would somehow not apply to me.

Why am I telling you this? Because the mindset you have determines your Reality. That’s what Montreal Canadiens team captain Ryan Walters figured out. And it’s what I learned in Real Estate. I lasted in the business 3 years, in fact I was actually quite successful at it, but it didn’t matter. I was already exiting. In fact I was exiting before I even began.

My mindset was to see Real Estate as a stepping stone, so guess what it was. Regardless that I was successful and regardless that I would leave Real Estate only to suffer through some of the most challenging years of my life. When the business I had built in Real Estate would have been a much better long term solution at the time. It didn’t matter, I played to “lose” before I started.

My rebellious nature did not protect me from those wise words. That aside it provided incredible insight into what I do now.

So let me move to the principles:

If you are riding a motorcycle and you come around a corner, to find a deer standing in the middle of the road. If your eyes lock on the deer guess what will happen?

You are guaranteed to hit the deer. You go where your eyes go.

To avoid the deer you must find a way to look past an incredible obstacle, to where you want to be. You have to do the opposite of what your mind wants to do. You need to do the hard part of transforming your thought to focus on what you want the outcome to be.

You will miss the deer.

This of course takes practice. Just as so with the thoughts in your life.

Mindset Diagram (notice the hockey rink). This is covered in much more depth in Ryan’s book.

Ryan Walters 5 Mindsets
Ryan Walters 5 Mindsets

There are 4 zones of thought.

Past Negatives – What we did wrong

Future Negatives – What we are afraid will happen

Past Positives – What went right

Future Positives – What we want to happen

“You need to stay above the line!” – Ryan Walter

How often do you find yourself dwelling on the past mistakes, and then projecting into the future the worst possible outcomes of what will “probably” happen? (Being realistic)

If you spend time dwelling on the “possible” future negatives. That have not even happened guess what will happen. They will come to pass. And you will most likely be reconditioned to say “See it happened exactly as I thought it would.”

This is true in all aspects of life.

The goal is to stay above the “Line” think of Past Positives (being grateful) and on Future Positives (The future you most desire). And to only go “below the line” to learn from your mistakes but to immediately go back above the line.

If you remain below the line you will find yourself paralyzed in fear, unable to take the next step. Unable to “believe” (See blog on Tyler Perry)

A quick ratio (I will not cover the science in this blog) is 5 to 1. You need to – at minimum – spend 5 times as much thought above the line as below the line. Ryan Walter highlighted teams and businesses that were successful and their ratios of “above the line thinking”. The evidence was remarkable.

Spend time thinking on all the positive in your life, and spend time looking past the “deer” in your path, spend time focused on where you want to go. Focus on this and capture every negative thought and kill it.

Only focus on what is right, what is positive. On where you want to go.

For many of our clients they have a hard time seeing past the “deer” in the business. The deer of course being the work required to set up systems to handle leads and to nurture those leads over the long term. They focus on why “it wont work for them” or it “requires too much time, or it is too hard”.

Our Top Producers look past the deer, they know where they want to go. They know this work is required. Just like any athlete that goes to the gym. They stay above the line.

Stay above the line!

To learn more about Ryan or book him for your company please visit his website.

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