What is the road paved with?

The answer might seem to be good intentions. Not a great or durable driving surface for a car or life. Good intentions can be misinterpreted. Good intentions can lead to disappointment. Good intentions are the stuff over promise and under deliver is made from. Good intentions are words not actions.

What is a better pavement? Actions. Live your road with actions. Which are intentions fulfilled.

Food for thought. Over scheduled, wanting something for others that they don’t want with the same conviction, is really nothing more that good intentions with a false premise.

Think before you intend. It will save a ton of wasted energy.


Whose your hero?

Mother’s Day! A day that really does not due justice for mom’s. It is a day laden with commercialism, obligation and at times remorse. It is the scapegoat for 364 days of the forgotten hero’s mom’s are. You see, while we hold up in the limelight the hero’s of history, and rightfully so, we forget about what true heroism is and how our mothers are truly hero’s everyday. Being a hero is all about courage and facing the onslaught of fear that grips us from the moment we get up in the morning, to the last blink before we fall asleep. And, even in our dreams fear can grip us.

So as far as the definition of a hero goes, my choice is a mom, my mom, Corice Jasper. Mom’s are the queens of worry. My mom has been mom to so many! Obviously to me and Amy Jasper. Even though we get irritated at her line of questioning, concern and worry, we are blessed to have such a pray warrior and hero in our corner.

Also, mom was mom to dad. Making sure he was fed, being a pillar of support both in life and in faith, taking care of him in good and in bad, in great health and in his last days. Setting aside her own fears to heroically be strong.

Mom is mom to her grandchildren, Taylor Jasper and Kylie Jasper. From their births, through colic, sickness, joys and heartache, mom set aside her own needs to mother these precious gifts. Mom is the listing ear, the gentle scolding and the unconditional love that her grandchildren need. A safe haven. She has had to set aside her fears about their futures to be support today. At a beckoned call.

Mom is mom to her brothers, Paul Kranz and Curt Kranz. Guiding and leading. Caring and offering tough love. But, no matter what, loyal to the end.

Mom was mom to her parents and dad’s parents. Giving sacrificially to their care and service. Driving hours monthly, nursing them in their twilight years with unsurpassed love. Sacrificing her own desires for the sake of their needs.

Mom has been mom to her nieces and nephews. Even when she has not had contact with them, she cares about their well being, their health, their joy and sorrow. Stephen Kranz Paula Broadwell MikeandLori Kranz Clark Kranz Chuck Kranz Scott Sternberg Stephen Beckström-Sternberg Lisa Mullin Annette Sternberg Benavides

Mom has been mom to many, many of her close friends. Giving them their shots, listening to their grief, sadness, joy and fears. She has been a regular visitor of those friends shut in, bring meals and loading her car trunk with their junk!

My mom is a fiercely independent woman. While none of us are saints, she, in her imperfect perfection, has lived a giving life for us all. Thank you mom.



The Where The Who and the When

Being positive and believing anything we set our mind to can happen is a great ideal to have. We speak our affirmations, we write them down, we look ourselves in the mirror and say the “I am’s”, all is well and good. But where do we turn when self doubt creeps in and fear silently overcomes us? Who do we trust to share our vulnerabilities with? So many say they are our confidante’s, but who they are? And when is that time to step out of our comfort zone and ask for a listening ear, for the wisdom of others, to share of fears of failure, inadequacy and vulnerability?

A true Zig Ziglar quote ” One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder”.

Trust is not easy. Confiding in others can cause their own fears to rise up and in stead of listening, sub-conscience judgement may lash out. Those we assume we should be able to confide in may not have the ability to counsel or just listen and support.

Timing is everything. Whether you lead a team, or a company or church or whatever it might be, others look to you as a pillar, maybe as a person that should not have moments of doubt. Or, worse, that is what our fears tell us.

I have my moments of self doubt. It is a danger to isolate. Don’t be an island, be human and find the outlet you need; it might even take some trial and error. Learning at its best.

“I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.” 
 Tennessee Williams


What did you learn?

What did you learn today?

In the business of real estate, the focus is on the art of the deal.  In getting the transaction to closing, to payday.  But where was it ever written that we get to choose only the fun parts of the art of the deal?  Where are the lessons learned that serve us and our clients in the future.  Where is the highest level of knowledge gained?  I would challenge anyone by saying in the art of the deal gone off the tracks.

When all goes well, we go through the numerous steps that we have become accustom to following.    This applies to any business, hobby, relationship or classroom experience we have.  While there are always bumps in the road, we navigate from our past experience and bring our goal to a successful conclusion.  But with this there is very little growth.

When our goal goes awry, we have a fork in the road.  A fork that will either lead to greater success, or a cycle of falling into the same cycle again, blaming someone else, calling it bad luck, or worse, telling ourselves that we are failures.

A more constructive path would hit the following thoughts:

  1. Seek a solution for the obstucle
  2. Seek the guidance of peers and leaders
  3. Isolate areas where a different action would have created a better outcome
  4. Be honest, admit any mistakes, rectify where possible
  5. Grant yourself a degree of latitude.  We are all human.
  6. Make note of how this experience can be used constructively in future goals or transactions
  7. Let go, focus on the next objective, find success quickly

When we view failed goals as text book and practical learning, we have bettered ourselves, added value to pass on to the next client and have prevented the cycle of self destruction.

Be a student of life, not a martyr of failure.  It happens to all, if we don’t see that, then we are just living in denial and mediocrity.




Grit or Talent, Captain Kirk has the Answer


I have been self employed for basically my whole working life. Over these many years, I have lived through highs and lows, successes and failures, clear paths and seemingly impossible situations. In the end, what mattered? Grit or talent?

I remember watching Star Trek. When Captain Kirk was at the academy, he was both disciplined and accommodated for his solution to the no win scenario; he changed the parameters so that he could beat the test. Grit.

It is interesting to me, how grit can trump talent. My son, when he was a freshman in high school, tried out for the basketball team. He was determined to make the team. He was no Michael Jordan to say the least, but, his grit and commitment to making the team, determined his fate. The coach told me that while his skills were in need of great improvement, and there were those that were more talented players, my son made the team because his perseverance and enthusiasm were of greater value to the whole. Grit.

My daughter, had never practiced yoga. She went with us several years ago to a hot yoga class. After nearly tipping over from the heat vowed to never practice hot yoga again. A few years later while visiting, she inquired about taking a class again as we had been talking about the health benefits. After a class where she practiced in the back of the room, she announced that she had signed up for a 10 class pass at home and work diligently, where 2 years later, she is leading her own classes, instructing other instructors and is assistant manage of a large yoga studio. Grit.

While one of these scenarios is fictional, the other two are not. I have watched how both of these young adults have used their grit and intelligence to forge their way to success in areas they are passionate about. But grit was the catalyst first.

The same is true real estate industry. As I have observed over the past 3+ decades, grit, passion and determination in many cases trump intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, many very smart individuals succeed, but when it comes to choosing team members, employees and for me agents, grit plays a huge role in those decisions.

Many select a career based the perception of income potential, flexibility of schedule, or expectation of others. They may been highly intelligent, but without true passion, no career will be fulfilling based on those criteria and when the going gets tough, at least in my industry, they fade into the landscape of obscurity.

Real life is full of whirlwinds, challenges and unpopular tasks. Those with grit, like Captain Kirk, my son and daughter, will find the determination to seek solutions that may be outside the box, but ultimately will bring them victory and personal fulfillment.

We owe it to ourselves to find our purpose here on earth. To find our grit, find our passion. Without it, we are destined to live lives that are unfulfilled and miss out on our true calling.

We are all different. Our Grit is individual.



Old School, Stop, Look and Listen


In the real estate industry, there is much talk about the evolution of the brokerage and the agent.  Technology has been heralded as the future, full-service brick and mortar brokerages will die a slow death and the agent of future will be virtual, homes will show themselves and customers will be able to buy or sell their home from an app.  I had better start looking for a new job…..or NOT!

I marvel at how fast some in our industry jump to the sky is falling mantra.  One major player says they are no longer a real estate company, but a technology company.  Another has a plan where, if you recruit enough agents, you will have so much residual income that you wont even need to sell real estate.  WOW!  What will happen to the scripts we have learned,  “So all you have to do is sign the contract, so I can help you get what you want, in the time you want, won’t that be great?  Now sign the contract!”

I am far from saying that our industry is not changing; and rapidly.  We have the flash of venture capital flowing into real estate ibuyer and iseller companies who hope to make everyone’s life perfect by buying their homes, put lipstick on the pig and sell them for big money.  Of course, the market is always going up and appreciating at a breakneck clip, so the investors will never lose money……The one thing that you can count on is that what goes up must eventually come down.  Yet with all of the new innovations, what has remained the same since the first real estate transaction?  People.

I believe that people are always going to be handling real estate.  Technology cannot calculate human emotion, fear, sense of loss and ego.  All of these elements are a part of every real estate transaction that occurs.

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Stop, Look and Listen.  These 3 words are, simple put, the words of success for agents today.   In the high tech, email, text world we live in, the huge void that is being created is Stop, Look and Listen.

Stop and observe. Stop and evaluate. Stop talking about ourselves.  Clients today do not need raw data, they need guidance, counsel and wisdom.  No app for that.

Look and see.  Body language speaks louder than the spoken word.  Thoughtfully consider how we posture ourselves.  Look at how our clients are either open or closed in their stance.  When someone is closed, more questions need to be asked.  Understanding what has caused them to close up.  What might we have said that played a part in their posture.

Listen.  The most important.  While Siri can listen and crank out an answer, we have the tools and gifts to listen to what is said and what is between the lines.  So much of our business is counsel.  It is not just trial close after trial close.  It is truly taking interest and concern in our clients dreams, goals, fears and vision of success.  The same is true with the agents we work with on the other side of the transaction.  When we listen, ask questions, listen again to the point of silence, the other side will give us the clues we are seeking to formulate a plan of attack to bring success to our clients.

We must keep up with the technology changes.  But, they will not replace the emotional component of people.

No one cares about how many millions of dollars of real estate we have sold, or how many homes, what awards we have earned or how heavy the card stock is on our postcards.  That is vanity.  People are dying of thirst for authentic people that will Stop, Look and Listen.   I will take Old School interaction over virtual interaction any day of the week.


The Haboob of Everyday


When I moved to Arizona, I never thought much about this phenomenon call the haboob.  A sand storm.  I only thought this happened in the movies like Laurence of Arabia.  But, in the first month I was here, I experienced a haboob first hand.  I was in downtown Tempe, walking from my car to a restaurant, when, like in slow motion, I saw this wall of dust and dirt, a black cloud rolling in.  I turned around, got in my car and decided to head home.  As I was driving, the dust started to blow, and envelop the cars around me.  Next, it started to rain MUD!  Cars were pulling over, turning on their emergency flashers, and like a blizzard, traffic on the I-10 came to a halt.  After the pause, the rain continued and cleared the air of the dust and everyone started to move again.

Much like our lives.  I have experienced may haboob’s of life.  It is tempting to keep driving on, somewhat without direction.  Unaware of the path to success or the danger that is right around us.  These haboob’s of life have become a warning for me to stop, pause, let the air clear, reoriented myself.  Even though it does not seem natural to pause; we might miss a deal, or miss out on an opportunity, but in the end, we do not have the clarity to take advantage of the best that life and business have to offer.

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn.  But, the haboob keeps moving.  So when we pause, it blows on past leaving us with a vision for the mess around us and the path to navigate the obstacles heading to a higher level of prosperity.

Pause, Look and Listen.  Haboob’s are only temporary if we left them move on by.

#OrangeisTruth #JayJasper #DesertSellerAZ


fast paced

Fast pace, multi-task, rise to the top, I deserve it, it’s all about me.  Sound familiar?  We are all guilty in some capacity of uttering these phrases.  Coming from an environment of upper midwest guilt, there can be great negativity associated with a persons desire to rise to the top, be the best and know it, feeling deserving of the good life.  While I believe that we are put here on this earth to be successful in our calling, this may, in many instances, not be by being at the center of the spotlight.  In fact I challenge the notion.

#HelpOthers.  Simple, easy to do. Even in the smallest way.  Want to have an impact on our families, places of work, neighborhoods, cities, countries, the world?  #HelpOthers.  Set aside bias, judgement, fear, pity, superiority, just #HelpOthers.

In my study of Mentor Leadership, the premise is based on this very simple two-word phrase #HelpOthers.  One of my favorites Zig Ziglar quotes “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  Simple.  But true.  If you haven’t done this, or not done this in a while, think about a time when you helped someone out with purely good intentions.  Not expecting something in return.  Not looking for a pat on the back.  I will bet that as you reflect, something good came back to you.  Not necessarily immediately, nor related to the help you provided. But we feel better, our hearts warm and the impact on one person or group spreads exponentially.  This very act of selfless #HelpOthers can change another persons day from bad to good.  This in turn can affect how they act toward others and even better may drive them to selflessly help someone else.  Simple.  #HelpOthers

I struggle when I am the busiest, under the most stress and pressure to be mindful to #HelpOthers.  But when I keep that intentional mindset in my mind, no matter how stressed or busy, when I #HelpOthers, it reliefs my situation.

We do not know what is truly happening in others lives.  No matter that front that they put on, fear , helplessness, sadness and loneliness surround everyone to some degree.

Are you willing to make a difference in someone elses life today?  #HelpOthers.  Share the thought.  Share the hashtag #HelpOthers.  STOP! SLOW DOWN! #HELPOTHERS

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill

Take Another Look

Is there something you have failed at in the past? Revisit it and try again. Maybe enough time has passed that you have learned a new approach or technique that will help you succeed with this attempt. If you fall into a mud puddle, there isn’t much you can do to make matters worse—unless you stay there. – Tony Dungy 

Our culture is driven to succeed.  Push, push, push and push some more.  70, 80 90 hours a week.  In the Real Estate industry, because of phone, email, text, Facebook messaging, LinkedIn messaging, Instagram, Snapchat and more, we have created a 24/7 culture.  One of the fallout of this can be one of two things.  First if something doesn’t work, we quickly abandon it because of our desire for fast results or second, we push forward, sometimes through brick walls without taking the time to assess the plan, the path and the cost of a “bull in a china shop” approach.

A few thoughts before one throws up their hands and gives up:

  1. Some of the greatest creators, leaders and athletes went through a few do overs
    1. Michael Jordan.  Most will remember the quote, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”  
    2. Babe Ruth struck out almost twice the number of times thae he hit a home run, yet is still considered one of the greats.
    3. Abraham Lincoln lost almost every political race he entered, until he was finally elected president of the United States.
    4. Thomas Edison, went through thousands of attempts before inventing the light bulb.

Lesson?  Everyday presents itself with new opportunities.  In reflection of the failed attempts, we can glean a valuable education, then file those events into the history books and use what we have learned to bring success to our new, fresh opportunites that are there for the taking.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston S. Churchill 

When you run into a difficulty or failure, grab a trusted friend or mentor.  An unbiased view may give you the perspective you need.   Look not just at the failure of the venture, but look for the successes.  There are always positives in every attempt.  Build on those and change the aspects that did not work.   Remind yourself of your passion and committment to your calling.  We are our own best cheerleaders.  As they say, “Get over it, get up, and try again”. 

Olympian Eric Liddell one said, “In the dust of defeat as well as the laurels of victory there is a glory to be found if one has done his best”.



Moms, a Perfectly Imperfect Form of Love

Moms.  What would be do without them.  There has always been a very high expectation put on mothers’ from my perspective.  The unsung hero’s of the family.  They are the ones who enjoy the pain of child birth, nurse their child at all hours of the nights, hold the household together and in most cases carry on a career to boot.  Simple super hero’s.

But as I have come to understand, mom’s are just human beings with a God given task of bearing the next generation with the same human frailty that everyone has.  Mom’s are a product of their own DNA, environment as a child and have learned the good and the bad from their mother’s and father’s.  As we get older, we seem to expect that our mom’s should not make mistakes, should not have their own wants and desires and should be perfect.  Impossible due to the human element.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to dive deep into my past, take a look at my mom from a third party point of view and have come to understand that she, like all mom’s does that best that she can with the information and training she has as a child.  We expect that our mom’s will have all the answers, will make all the right choices, will not falter , become jealous, be angry or be selfish once in a while.  But that is unfair of us.

Mom’s are just as human as the rest of us.  Only they have a weightier responsibility.  Today, as we at times superficially celebrate Mothers Day, go beyond the card, flowers or candy and tell mom how thankful we are for her heroic leadership, sometimes in the most difficult of situations, as acknowledge her human frailty.

I appreciate my mom so much more now that I have a clearer understanding of her humanity and understand more of the whys of the past and cherish the wisdom she has now as priceless.