July 30, 2019

JF1790: Developing Emotional Fitness To Grow Your Real Estate Business #SkillSetSunday with Carla Blumenthal


Carla and Joe used to work together in New York City before becoming entrepreneurs in different industries. She has been coaching high achieving men and helping them with business and personal relationships for the past four years. We’ll hear some great insights into emotional fitness, as well as get her best tips and advice that we can put into action. If you enjoyed today’s episode remember to subscribe in iTunes and leave us a review!

Best Ever Tweet:

“There is a six step process to minimize the negative effects” – Carla Blumenthal

Carla Blumenthal Real Estate Background:

  • Coach for high achieving men to master their emotions so they can create thriving businesses, relationships, and lives.
  • Over the past four years she’s coached executives and senior leaders across the US in a wide range of professions, including real estate, tech, marketing, entertainment, even an international DJ
  • Clients have included an Emmy-Nominated entertainer, a PR Week 40 Under 40 CMO, a Facebook exec, Fortune 100 executives, CTOs in Silicon Valley, among many others
  • Based in NYC, NY
  • Say hi to her at https://www.carlablumenthal.com/
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Joe Fairless: Best Ever listeners, how are you doing? Welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I’m Joe Fairless, and this is the world’s longest-running daily real estate investing podcast, where we only talk about the best advice ever, we don’t get into any of that fluffy stuff.

First off, I hope you’re having a best ever weekend. Because today is Sunday we’ve got a special segment for you, like we usually do on Sundays, called Skillset Sunday. Here is the skill that you can acquire once you listen to our conversation – it’s the skill of developing emotional fitness to grow your real estate business.

With us today to talk through that is my dear friend Carla Blumenthal. How are you doing, Carla?

Carla Blumenthal: Joe, I’m so great! I’m so thrilled to be here with you!

Joe Fairless: Well, I am thrilled that you’re here. Carla is a good friend of mine; I’ve known her for many years. We worked together in New York City, and we both have become entrepreneurs, in different fields. Her field is — well, let me tell you a little bit about it. She’s a coach for high-achieving men to master their emotions, so that they can create thriving businesses, relationships and lives. Over the last four years she’s coached executives and senior leaders across the U.S, from a bunch of different professions, including real estate. One of her clients has included an Emmy-nominated entertainer, a person who was a PR Week 40 Under 40 CMO, a Facebook exec etc. She’s based in New York City. You can learn more about her and her company at CarlaBlumenthal.com.

With that being said, do you want to first give the Best Ever listeners a little bit more about your background and your focus? Then we’ll roll right into developing emotional fitness.

Carla Blumenthal: Sure. So I coach high-achieving men on emotional mastery; what that means is that I really believe that your emotions and mindset can either propel your forward in your life and business, or leave you in mediocrity.

I started coaching four years ago, and truly, it found me. My first client was a real estate investor whom I met at a networking event; I explained to him my insights and passions around personal development and the work I do on myself, and really the next day he emailed me asking for me to coach him.

Over the next year I worked with over a dozen men who had a very similar story, reaching out looking for support and helping them through challenges in their relationships and business… And I realized most of the work I had to do, whether it was business-related or relationship-related, actually had to do with their own ability to understand and manage their emotions.

So this really inspired me, and it snowballed into my coaching business, where – like my bio said – I serve men all over the world: CTOs, architects, CMOs, Emmy-nominated entertainers… The list goes on. And really the focus of my coaching is uncovering the emotional and mindset barriers that are stopping people from the full success that they long for in their business and relationships.

Joe Fairless: Normally I hear about the mindset barriers… For me to understand and for people to communicate and get behind, you’re talking about emotional and mindset barriers, and the topic of today is developing emotional fitness to grow your real estate business… So why is emotional fitness important, and what exactly is it?

Carla Blumenthal: Emotional fitness is the skill of understanding how your emotions work, so you can use them to propel you towards your goals. In any business you have to do a lot of things, but some of the main things you have to do is motivate yourself to take action consistently; you have to work with others, build and lead a team, really have successful, lasting relationships with those who can support you… And all of these skills involve mastering yourself and mastering how to influence others. So emotional fitness is really understanding the emotional side of yourself.

Emotional fitness – we can look at it sort of what it’s not… I like to call the opposite of emotional fitness emotional laziness. And there’s really three symptoms of emotional laziness. The first symptom of emotional laziness is really letting your emotions overrule you; perhaps you really anger quickly and start yelling at a contractor when he’s gonna be late with a project… Or we’ve all been in that situation where you get a nasty email and you quickly send a snarky one back. Or maybe it’s in your personal life and you just wanna eat better, but you are eating unhealthy snacks, or ordering pizza when you don’t really mean to. That’s sort of letting emotions overrule you.

Next is avoiding situations or people because of uncomfortable emotions about them. Maybe you start your day looking at your email instead of starting with the most important things for your business. That’s sort of an avoidance process. Or avoiding an important conversation because you don’t wanna rock the boat.

The last way is really suppressing or denying your emotions or what’s going on for you. Maybe you had a deal fall through and you deny your disappointment, or maybe you have  a team member who’s always late, but you bottle up your anger and never communicate it. These are three examples of emotional laziness, and a lot of these can lead to unintended actions – overeating, or overdrinking, or numbing out with Netflix or social media, sort of these stop and start situations with your business. I’ve seen it all.

So it’s helpful to see what emotional fitness is not before we dive into what it actually is. So really emotional fitness is the ability to really skillfully manage all your emotions, so they work for you instead of against you… And it’s not about being happy all the time, it’s about being able to feel different emotions, including both positive and negative, because every emotion serves an important purpose, but it’s about being able to really minimize the negative effects and super-charge the positive ones, so that no matter what happens in your life or business, nothing can take you off your path.

Joe Fairless: How do you minimize the negative in that instance? What are some things you can do?

Carla Blumenthal: Well, I have a whole process on how to minimize…

Joe Fairless: Even better.

Carla Blumenthal: Yeah, so emotional fitness – I really have a six-step process that you can go through to minimize any of the negative effects. Because like I said, you can’t control whether you’re frustrated, or disappointed, or angry. Those are natural things that come up. But what you can do is take them through this process and really be able to choose how you want to respond. So you’re not responding from anger or frustration, but you’re responding based off of your goals and what you want to accomplish.

This six-step process – the first step is to really slow down and see what’s happening. So slow down. Basically, everyone’s running a thousand miles a minute, multi-tasking, and really just trying to reach their goals… But they haven’t trained themselves to recognize that the time to practice anything in their life is right in front of them. So the goal here is just slow down, and any example – maybe that email came through and you’re starting to get angry… So just recognize, “Okay, I’m gonna slow down in this moment.”

The next step is to observe what’s happening in that moment. Literally, our mind is always making meaning, so our goal here is to just be really present and observe the fact of what’s happening. By doing this, you’re taking any meaning or story out of the situation; so you’re just literally observing that email came through, and it said “This, this and this”, and not making a whole story about what it means.

So it’s just really being able to literally observe with curiosity the facts of what is happening. That’s the second step.

The third step is to really assess your thoughts and physiological responses. Starting with your thoughts – are they leaning negative, are they coming up with a story, is self-doubt creeping in? And being able to observe your thoughts and then observe what’s going on in your body. You have sweaty palms, is your chest tight, are your fingers tapping on the table? What’s going on within your body? So next is assess your thoughts and physiological responses.

The next step is to recognize your emotions. There was an interesting study out of UCLA a couple years ago that said that verbalizing your feelings actually makes your sadness, anger and pain less intense. So when you name your emotion, the intensity of the emotion actually goes down.

Joe Fairless: I believe that. That makes sense. I’ll speak for myself – anytime I have something that I am concerned about, if I write it down or talk about it, then it just seems less daunting, because it’s no longer this mysterious thing that’s omnipresent, it’s “Well, it’s now this one specific thing that we’re talking about” with vulnerabilities, as well.

Carla Blumenthal: Totally. That’s the first step – being able to name the emotion; exactly what you said. Whether it’s writing it down, speaking about it with someone… That’s the next step, and you can do this very quickly, to yourself as well.

So naming the emotion, and then the second to last step is pausing. I think this is the most powerful one… Because when you pause, you get to choose how you get to respond, instead of being overruled by your emotions. Like you said, if you’re feeling angry or you’re feeling frustrated about some things, all of your power resides in your ability to choose your response. And when you can really let that sink in, that you don’t need to be overruled by something or you don’t need to supress it, it’s about bringing it forward and pausing and recognizing how you want respond, you get to build your life from there.

And the last step is choosing which response you want to take, and then taking action on it, and creating the meaning for the situation that you want to create.

Joe Fairless: One of my favorite quotes – I think it’s Abraham Lincoln – is “You’ll be as happy as you choose to be.” I just love that. It’s something I wholeheartedly believe. Nothing has meaning in life until we choose to give it meaning, and that’s what this is all about, right?

Carla Blumenthal: Exactly. It’s being able to slow down enough, choose how you want to respond, versus letting something else choose for you, letting the pattern choose for you… And then being able to make the meaning that you want from there.

Joe Fairless: The challenge with this – and I’m sure you’ve heard it before – is… You just gave a six-step process, but we’re talking about emotions, and emotions can be a quicker thing, or maybe there’s something in the moment that’s taking place… How practical is it to go through a six-step process in our head, and then also verbally in some of these steps, whenever you’re in the middle of an event that is high stakes and high emotions?

Carla Blumenthal: That’s the root of what we can get at here, is the power of the pause. Like you said, we can’t control the emotions coming in. We can’t control what comes up for us. What we can do is even if it’s a two-second pause, saying “Oh, I recognize there’s the emotion of feeling frustration. How do I wanna handle this? Am I gonna share my frustration in this way? Maybe I do wanna send that snarky email. Or how do I wanna handle it in this moment, knowing I need to collaborate with this person?” So that power of the pause in the middle of this process is so important… Because it gives us the full power to choose not only our actions, but then really down the line, the meaning that we assign to it.

Joe Fairless: I love the power of the pause… And it sounds like it’s also being very intentional and self-aware of what we’re going through in that moment, what we’re feeling… And then Malcolm Gladwell would say we’re thin-slicing at that point, where we’ve had similar experiences throughout the course of our life, and now we can thin-slice, so in a split second we can identify “Okay, here’s how I wanna approach it, because I have come across these situations before”, whereas without the power of the pause we’re on autopilot and we’re not being as thoughtful or mindful of how we’re reacting.

Carla Blumenthal: Yes, exactly. And when we’re on autopilot, we’re not really choosing our responses, or to be honest, what the end result is.

Joe Fairless: Right. A lot of the success in real estate is about relationships. And if we are building relationships for the long run and continuing to – as Tim Ferriss would say – play the long game, then we’re gonna set ourselves up for success in the short and the long term… And the power of the pause and the six-step process is a great tool for that.

What else that we haven’t talked about as it relates to developing emotional fitness to help us grow our real estate business do you think we should talk about?

Carla Blumenthal: Well, there’s a difference between information and transformation. There’s a difference between intellectually learning something, intellectually reading the six steps, and even listening to podcasts and reading books… But until you are really ready to change, and unless you’re really willing to go beyond the information part and put things into practice, things are gonna be very slow for you and you are not gonna get to the outcomes that you want as quickly. So that’s a big area here – really saying “What’s in the way of me changing?” and being very clear with yourself what the barriers are, even if they’re just sort of made up in your head… What are the barriers for you to make the transformation, to move from information to making the change you want? I think it’s such an important skillset to practice.

Joe Fairless: Is there a legitimate barrier, or are they all just made up?

Carla Blumenthal: Well, there are stories in people’s minds, but they can feel real. One of the things that we often overcome in looking at emotional fitness is when you do want to move into changing. I know a part of your story, Joe, is moving from living in New York City, working in advertising, to being a really successful real estate investor… And I’m sure over your time, I’m assuming you had to really assess your identity, in many ways; who are you, and who are you becoming? Sometimes when we move from information to transformation, we do have to assess our identity, and we do have to be willing to let go of, in many ways, a past part of ourselves, or be very clear about the vision of who you want to become. I know you went through this process.

Joe Fairless: Sure. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve interviewed professional athletes, or former professional athletes who are now in real estate, and they say a similar thing – they say “I was known as X, but now that’s over, and now I want to be Y.” And first off, it’s an ego hit, because they’re going from being on ESPN and having some notoriety, to not… And then also it’s transforming their identity to then take it into a different direction and try and climb a different mountain.

Carla Blumenthal: Definitely. And when you aren’t aware that you’re going through that process, a lot of people self-sabotage. A lot of people don’t recognize that when you’re shifting from one identity to another, so if you’re becoming a real estate investor, or maybe you’re even becoming a dad, or whatever it might be, this is about shifting your thoughts, your emotions, your overall way of existing into the person you wanna become. And if you aren’t aware that you’re going through that process, sometimes you do end up self-sabotaging and taking you back down to your old ways of being, your old identity, your old demeanor.

Joe Fairless: Yeah, change is inevitable, but progress is a choice, right? Change is gonna happen, but if we’re progressing and evolving – well, that’s more of a choice and an intentional thing… So Carla, how can the Best Ever listeners learn more about what you’ve got going on?

Carla Blumenthal: Sure. I have a free gift for the Best Ever listeners. CarlaBlumenthal.com/bestever – you can download a free audio and workbook about mastering productivity and focus by really becoming more emotional fit. Feel free to download that guide for you guys, and also, I’m at CarlaBlumenthal.com as well.

Joe Fairless: Awesome. Well, Carla, as always, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for being on the show. Best Ever listeners, CarlaBlumenthal.com/bestever, go get that free guide. Carla, I hope you have a best ever day, and we will talk to you again soon.

Carla Blumenthal: Thanks so much!

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