Ep. 11 - Chump or Champ


Each morning you wake up, you have a question to answer. Are you going to be a chump, or a champ? Every deal you do, are you going to be a chump, or a champ? Listen in today as Kenny challenges our audience to wake up a champ every single day.

Hello my friends, Kenny Stephens here and welcome to Rookie Real Estate, where your road to success begins right here, and right now!

Whether you are looking to transition from your day-job to your dream-job or you are on the road to your first 50 transactions…..

Success is in the details my friends and we are going to unpack the fundamental principles required for you to thrive!  Are you ready? Let’s do this!

I’m back once again my friends!  It’s time to get to work. We’ve got WAY TOO much to get done.  Don’t let off the gas! We’ve got to PUSH forward.

The last episode was an interview with Grant, who just completed his 3rd month full time and past two episodes before that were jammed packed with how to generate leads.  We’ve got some work to do my friends!! Where are you on your list of 115 things to do in your first 90 days? Come on…. It’s time to better your best….. Let’s kill something and drag it home.  Email me your stories, share with me your struggles…. Your successes, take a minute and speak into somebody’s life!   Kenny@rookierealestate.com  

Alright, my team and I just finished reading the 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership by John Maxwell.  If you’ve not read the book, you should. We are actually starting 7 Levels of Communication again… mainly because I’ve talked about it so much on this podcast, that we decided to go BACK through it again as a company.  LEADERS ARE LEARNERS! We can never stop learning. We can not afford to rely solely on ourselves. LEARN from somebody's failures and successes. Avoid their pitfalls but benefit from their recovery & wins too.

Ok, back to The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership…. It’s so empowering to be reminded that there is a process for everything and getting started and WINNING in real estate is no different.  

I can’t remember if the illustration was used in the book or not but one of the chapters got us talking about the energy necessary to get a ball rolling.  On level ground, it requires some effort…… Now, I picture that being your daily environment. You can get moving at your current job because you already know what needs to be known to move forward.  But, if you are launching into a new career or you’ve already launched…… The ground isn’t level. You’ve got a mountain in front of you.

You are probably like….. Great, Kenny…. Thanks for the reminder.  Geeze!

Here we go, here is my point.  What if you pictured TWO people pushing to get you started?  What if you weren’t the only one exerting all the effort? What if I was right beside you, all in….. Ready to get dirty if necessary?  There is strength in numbers my friend and I’m ready….. Are you?

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Alright, back to business!  So, I had this kid that I knew.  He was raised in a very poor family.  This kid was smart…. Kinda socially awkward but smart.  I took a fancy to him. Thought that if I could pour into him, encourage him, help him as he transitioned from High School to College…. Maybe, just maybe…. He could change his stars.  

I started meeting with this young man from time to time.  Learning about his goals, getting him connected with people that could pour into his life and possible make an impact in his life…...  My wife and I were able to give him a car so he could drive back and forth to school. We paid his first year’s worth of car insurance, trying to get him a head start.  Nothing fancy, but a game changer in his world. He had gotten a job at Walmart and planned to work and save while he went to college. All looked good on paper….

BUT, as time passed, he just wouldn’t get out of bed and push the ball.  I felt like we would get the ball rolling up the MASSIVE mountain and then he would tire out on me…… I’d be left holding the ball.  I looked this kid in the eyes many times and told him….. I will match your effort 100% AND Never would he look over and not see me giving 100% effort towards his success.  All he had to do, was HIS PART…. Keep moving forward.

I learned a valuable lesson with this young man.  I’ve got a significant flaw in my mindset. I unfortunately want more for other than they want for themselves.  I’d love to say there was a happy ending to this particular story…. and maybe one day there will be. I made my promise and I will keep it.  But, I can’t do it for him. HE has to get up and show up. Even if he has to fake it till he makes it….. Show up, kill something and drag it home.  Back in the caveman days, you left the cave and hunted down your next meal. You brought back to the cave and ate it. THATS what it took to survive.         

You're saying…. “Wow, Kenny… that wasn’t inspirational AT ALL”  

Here is my point;

Nothing is overnight.  Even bad decisions and people’s lives falling apart, rarely happen overnight.  The process began long before the final decision was likely made that caused the scale to finally tip towards destruction.  

The law of motion REQUIRES energy being exerted.  If you begin pushing the ball DOWN HILL, towards destruction, it will gain momentum much faster, and is much easier to get the ball rolling, down hill…. That’s why so many do it.

Here is my question for today?

Are you going to be a chump or a champ?  Listen to the question: Are you going to be a CHUMP or a CHAMP?  Right now…. I’ve giving you the choice! You get to wake up and make a choice every morning!!!

I’d love to take credit for that phrase.  We call it the “Chump or Champ speech”

As you’ve heard me talk in past episodes, I was an officer for many years.  I worked in Nashville, TN. Metropolotialian Government, 25th largest Police Dept. in the Country. Great city but shockley has plenty of crime and darkness to be fought.  I was in a violent crimes unit called a “flex unit”. We were proactive and usually the first to any major crime in progress, within our area. We would go actively looking for bad guys. Saturating high crime areas, being a visible deterrent.  It was intense and a lot of fun. Very rewarding at times.

Now, our Sergeant was a beast.  He was made for this type of work.  There were 6 of us plus the Sergeant and we were a highly motivated group of officers. Through the process of blowing and going, saving the world…. At least “our world”.....

Every now and then, we would stumble upon a kid that was clearly in over his head.  Doing dumb stuff and found himself caught and in the backseat of a police car, fixing to go to jail.  I’m not talking about curfew issues. When I say “kid”, I’m not talking about a juvenile. Sometimes the person wouldn’t even be young… just immature and reckless in his decisions.  

My Sergeant had a fabulous ability to identify potential.  Every now and then, he would see a “light” in somebody. Something would spark an interest in a particular suspect and our whole unit would see it coming and the first time you witness it, you are mesmerized.  

It’s as if you could personally put yourself in that suspect’s shoes.  Hands cuffed behind your back, sitting on a curb, 2:00 in the morning, surrounded by a bunch of cops, clearly…. Your life was fixing to change.  

And then, my sergeant begins the speech.  He would start asking the person questions….. Personal questions.  Asking about their mom & dad. Asking how far they made it in school.  These aren’t the questions required to take somebody to jail. So, the first time I heard it, I was intrigued…. Like, what’s happening here.  Then he would dig deeper…. Asking them what they wanted in life. What their dreams were. What they were good at. Asking them who they loved and who loved them.  Asking how their decision tonight was going to affect their life. DEEP and PERSONAL.

Now picture this…. I heard this speech about a half a dozen times over a 4 year period.  So, not very often. Each officer on our team would make at least 10 traffic stops per night and arrest about to people each per shift.  So, 4 or 5 times hearing this speech was not very often. Same with the other 5 guys in our unit. But, whenever my Sergeant would start these questions…. We all leaned in….. Everytime.  

Sometimes we would all smile.  We knew what was coming and that if this kid played his cards right…. He was fixing to get the break of a lifetime.  

You see, police have what is called “discretion”.  Often times crime is black and white. You break the law, you must go to jail.  But there are some cases that a crime committed may not “require” per say…. going to jail.  

It’s funny, looking back…. None of us ever rolled our eyes or scoffed at the Chump or Champ speech.  Maybe it was because all of US needed to hear it again. To be reminded that we have a choice.

Rolling the ball up or down the hill of life requires energy, effort…. Motion.  Everyday, every minute you are given a choice to move that ball. Sometimes we kick it back and forth…. Playing with fire.  Pusing that ball hard up that hill during the day when we are working but turning right around and punting it down hill at night, making poor decisions that could negatively alter our lives forever.  

Not every kid that was given the Chump or Champ speech was taken home or let go….. But, no matter the outcome when given the choice…. I assure you.  None of them will ever forget that moment, when they were called out….. Point blank asked…. Given the choice…. My Sergeant would get eye to eye with them and say “Right here, right now…. I need you to decide… are you a chump or are you a champ.  

I can’t give that speech in this podcast.  It’s target specific. It’s not a speech that will ever written down. It’s just not possible.  Too many factors. Too many moving parts….. Kinda like your life…. Too many variables.

After my Sereagant would pour into them for about 20 minutes, he would ask them the question.  

Often they would mumble; “champ”.  That was never good enough. My Sergeant would have them eventually yelling, that they were a champ.  It was a beautiful sight to see. Inspiring. I can remember tears often rolling down their face. My Sergeant would demand that the handcuffs be taken off…. Saying “get those handcuffs off that man…. because Champions don’t go to jail.

I’ve got to admit…. It was hard putting these show notes together.  I had to stop several times and walk away from my computer. It was 10 or 12 years ago, the last time I likely heard that speech.  But, I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Let me ask you something.  Are you a chump or a champ?   Just like in the book… there are 21 irrefutable laws of leadership.  Everyday you get to make a choice. Often, many times a day.

Growth in real estate requires decisions.  Requires movement. Requires you to make a choice….. Energy is going to be expounded today, if you woke up.  You are going to push the ball…. One direction or the other. Yes, one way is uphill and requires an immense amount of energy to get it moving….. But, you aren’t alone.  I’m here and ready to help.

Yesterday a buddy of mine celebrated 10 years of sobriety.  10 years! He was a drunk. He had to have a liver transplant.  His choices affected many lives…. But one day, he made his decision.  Yesterday, His friends gave him a coin, to celebrate the past 10 years.  He posted in facebook that it was now one of his most treasured possessions.  And then he said, “I must earn the right to keep it, one day at a time”.

Right now is your moment…. Today, you have a choice.  Are you going to be a chump or a champ?

I’d love to hear what you decided.  Email me: Kenny@rookierealestate.com if you are listening on the Anchor App, record it!  Let me hear it!

I have unloaded a lot of “to-do’s” in the past 10 episodes.  You’ve got a lot to get done. Sometimes when your plate gets full, you need to ask yourself this question.  Maybe it’s time to inspire somebody around you. I promise you, they won’t forget it but no matter the decision…. We are all given a choice.  What will yours be?

Special thanks to my producer extraordinaire, Scott Parker…. I couldn’t do this without him… HE is a Champion EVERYDAY!  This content is written by me, your host, Kenny Stephens. I’d love to take credit for inventing the wheel…. But it’s simply not the case.  I’m here today sharing what I’ve learned, from so many. Thanks Sarge

Rookie Real Estate is powered by DeSelms Real Estate in Franklin TN.  Until next time, #Betteryourbest!