I have this theory that all people are fun deep inside. No one is really old, ugly or boring -- deep inside. We are all young at heart, with a beautiful soul and really fun -- if we work on it and bloom. We are often just afraid of showing that side, because few others do in a business environment. But my theory is that everyone in a conference room -- even the senior and the on-the-surface most boring person secretly want to have fun as long as business is accomplished. There is nothing that says we can't have fun and be professional at the same time. Well, some might say you can't get things done and laugh at the same time, but not me, and not you.
The new guard of super brokers out there have moved beyond the old way of doing business without having fun. We are not bankers, we are not accountants, we are not funeral arrangers. We are in the service industry and real estate is a people's business and we sell beautiful homes.
The truth is that you need to make the industry fun, because few other people will. I told my business partner many years ago that our number one goal was to have fun, that we had to laugh at least once every day, that we need to find the humor in the everyday situations. And we have since.
You want to be remembered for being the person who is always happy. Why? Because truly successful people are happy (I'm not talking about money), and only people who love what they do are happy. Happy people are winners. Happy makes happy. And everyone wants to work with a happy winner. You have something everyone wants: energy and happiness. And that’s contagious.
The same goes for pitches, listing appointments and open houses: be happy and be fun. Joke around. Even with the most boring and irritated person, it works. You will melt him or her after a few minutes and their frozen personality and heart will warm up to you. I've seen it so many times where the grumpy old fart of a seller or the bitchy and frugal buyer all of a sudden smiles back at you. Because you are not a threat to them anymore. You are like an overgrown kid, still innocent and young (I'm not talking about actual age). You make them younger too. It's almost like you can see the wrinkles in their faces disappear. You let life and light into the room with your humor.
I invented the high-kick around the age of 14. I had been growing so fast, so quickly. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with growing pains in my legs. I grew several feet in just two years, and it was pretty scary. Every time I saw my grandmother, she literally didn’t recognize me. I was suddenly tall, but the weird thing about my body is that it’s almost all legs. I’m 6’4” tall but over 6 feet of legs. I have these super long, slender Swedish legs with a long foot and pointy toes. I would have made a great female supermodel.
It's important to study the art of the high-kick. It isn't really about the kick itself. The kick is a signature for everything I stand for: to be yourself, to stick out, be the top of your game, and doing it with humor and style. So here the art of the high-kick comes:
Start by standing still. Both feet on the ground and arms relaxed. The high-kick always comes unexpectedly with great energy, and is in contrast to everything else around you which is planned, forced and static, and therefore it's important you do it from a relaxed pose. Then practice by raising your leg up, at first bended in a 45' angle, and then higher up, ending with a straight leg. Now it's important to also straighten your toe, and then keep this pose for a few seconds. Learn how to balance yourself with a straight leg and straight toe. Yes, you will laugh -- that's the POINT! -- and anyone watching you will laugh too. Especially if you are a big, broad-shouldered guy like me.
When you can control that slow kick, you need to add your hands. Pretend you are a T-rex, with angled hands downwards, then kick, and make a sound effect. I like the "Weeeee" with a light Michael Jackson-voice. You can also finish off with a crazy face after the sound effect, like it's an attack on your enemy. Show your teeth.
I do the high-kick several times a day. Always when finding out a contract has been signed. But really any time I get happy. Or when I need to break the ice, with a celebrity (you should have seen Justin Timberlake's face in the crammed elevator!) or a bunch of stiff attorneys. Michael Jackson was really on to something. . .
Wear colorful socks. And then try it when you are sad or when you get bad news: you will instantly feel better. Do it in the dark. Stop traffic and do it in the middle of street. Jump on the beach and do it in the air, just don't break your leg. Do it naked. I've done it inside a taxi once with the window rolled down, and my driver is so used to me doing it in the backseat of the car that he ducks automatically when he hears the "Weeeeeee." Doing the high-kick is like throwing a stone of laughter in a lake, and rings of happiness spreads to everyone around you. It’s a powerful tool that can change your life. Now try it!