Surviving BOLD: Nikki’s Personal Laws for Creating a Life by Design

Published on June 10, 2015

When people find out that I was formerly a MAPS BOLD Coach for Keller Williams Realty, they often ask me, “Should I take BOLD?”
(In case you aren't sure, BOLD is a coaching program written by Dianna Kokoszka, President of MAPS Coaching with Keller Williams Realty.)
Others have asked similar questions like:
Is BOLD worth the investment of time and money?
What do I need to know about BOLD so I don’t foul out?


I can't answer the question as to whether it's worth the time and money for you or not. It was for me. Only you can know if it is worth it for you.
Having been both a student of the course since the beginning, and a BOLD coach in 13 different locations over two years (some locations multiple times), I have journal after journal with “notes to self” about how to personally survive the several week life-changing coaching experience.


It's one of those things where you say to yourself, "If I had known then what I know now...."


With that, I would like to share just a few of my personal "laws" with you -- those that I hope to help you not only survive the BOLD coaching program, but THRIVE in it. By the way, I also encourage you to create your own set of laws along the way and share them with us either here (in the comment section) or on our Facebook page.


Nikki’s personal survival laws:

  • Be a first rate version of yourself vs. a second rate version of someone else.
  • Focus on your personal zone of genius.
  • Accept, reject or modify everything.
  • Acknowledge your strengths, talents, and gifts, while accepting that they may be viewed as flaws by others.
  • Be a thought leader vs. a thought follower.
  • Personal growth and business mastery takes more than 8 weeks.
  • Think for yourself. Challenge what you’re told. Be the expert on you.
  • Everyone is doing the best they can at any given time.
  • Honoring your own values, beliefs, and commitments is more important that winning any contest or award.
  • If you focus on a niche, you will NEVER run out of people to connect with or things to say.
  • Everyone’s version of a life by design is different.
  • Prepare for the upsell. Respect it, learn from it, choose your response to it.
  • Make a decision to be ALL in.


Be a first rate version of yourself vs. a second rate version of someone else. 

I recently heard this said by a wise team leader in reference to the best way to approach lead generation techniques taught by self-proclaimed “masters” of real estate. It is also a great premise taught by Lou Cassara in his book, “From Selling to Serving.”


It can be really easy to buy into the idea of modeling others and doing exactly what they have done to become successful. The flaw in this particular model is that no two people are alike. Because of this, it stands to reason that just because it worked for them, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. There is only one Chris Heller, Dave Norberg, Dianna Kokoszka, or Gary Keller, and there is only one you. Oh, by the way, YOU have everything you need within you to succeed!
What you may need however, is a new way to look at your potential! 


Focus on your personal zone of genius.

During our teen and 20s, we are often taught to identify those people that we most admire and who we would like to model our lives after. I think this is a big mistake. At the end of the day, more of our time should be spent identifying our own strengths, preferences, gifts, and talents so that we can maximize them in all areas of our educational and vocational endeavors. Danielle LaPorte in “Fire Starter Sessions” calls this your "zones of genius.”


Each of us have skills, passions, and natural abilities within us that, when activated and utilized, not only create for us great joy, but spark our creativity, enthusiasm, and ultimately impact our earning potential.


Accept, reject or modify everything.

My amazing coach, Anna Kleimer, taught me that I had permission to accept, reject, or modify anything she said to me. As you listen to the MANY ways others have created successful real estate practices, give yourself the permission to accept, reject, or modify the strategy or assignment.
Ask yourself, “Does that zing with me?” If the answer is YES, go do it. If the answer is “kinda,” then either try it or try a modified version of it that DOES zing with you. And if the answer is unequivicably, NO, just move on. As my grandmas said, there are lots of ways to skin a cat. (I have never tried to skin a cat. Have you?)


Acknowledge your strengths, talents, and gifts and accept that they may also be viewed as flaws by others. 

I was frequently in trouble throughout high school for speaking my mind and have been called into the company president’s office on more than one occasion for the same. This has been a theme in my life and chances are it will continue to be. Until recently, however, I had deemed it a personal flaw. What I realized, you see, is that a direct, honest, opinionated, and authentic style of communication is actually a gift I have been given and it is part what makes me a successful coach, trainer, speaker, writer, Realtor, and leader. What it does NOT make me is a good employee, rule-follower, yes-person, or puppet.


You have gifts, talents, and unique skills that when applied effectively can and will bring you great joy and create prosperity in your life.  Accepting that with that success also comes scrutiny and criticism. Consider adopting the saying, “What others think about me is none of my business.” 


Be a thought leader vs. a thought follower.

There aren’t any new ideas, just repackaged insights, truths, and teachings from those who have gone before us. When I first participated in BOLD (the very first sessions) and then became a BOLD coach, I was mesmerized by all the material and what I was learning. It was life changing and I wanted more. I wanted to dig deeper and apply the concepts beyond just my real estate practice.


What I realized is that when I did a google search for “BE-DO-HAVE” I got hundreds of hits!  Authors, speakers, coaches and thought leaders such as T. Harv Ecker, Esther Hicks, Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and others teach the Be-Do-Have principle.


Personal growth and business mastery takes more than 8 weeks. It also takes periods of rest and recovery to maximize the results.

Go deeper — courses like BOLD are like swimming in the shallow end. Read the sources of the “laws” and become a thought leader as you create your OWN life by design. My coaching clients and I have a lot of fun and gain a lot of value from studying the various sources of the material and getting the multiple “spins” from various authors and subject matter experts.
For me, I am still working on things I started back in 2008 when it all began, so unless I am just a slow learner, it definitely takes more than 8 weeks to integrate all you learn. Just like work out hard and then you need to rest in order for your body to recover and strengthen.


During the resting period from the program, you need to incorporate what you learned rather than jumping into another hardcore workout right away. Personal coaching helps you keep your heart rate adjusted for maximum benefit.

Think for yourself. Challenge what you’re told. Be the expert on you.

You and only you can know what is right for you and your life. Anyone else who thinks they are the expert on you is, not only arrogant, but is likely trying to sell you something. Stay curious and be your own authority.


Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte

Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte


Everyone is doing the best they can at any given time. 

When you are in a course such as BOLD, you will likely be on a team. This team will have a captain and that person may even be you. From time to time it can get a little competitive and every single week there will likely be someone on your team that is experiencing a life event.


Whether it be a celebration like a new grand baby being born, a graduation, or a wedding, or an unfortunate situation like a death, illness, or accident, life happens! When life is happening, people are doing the best they can. Love people and give everyone around you grace - they are doing the best they can and so are you.


Honoring your own values, beliefs, and commitments is more important that winning any contest or award. 

One of my favorite productivity coaches once said, “Through BOLD, we seem to be teaching people to become really good liars.” She was right.


It isn't uncommon for people to “fudge” their numbers "a bit" in order to look good and be right. We learn in school that you can manipulate numbers, data, and statistics to work in our favor if we just ask the right questions and set the rules up in our favor. Frankly, as a coach, I can’t help people if they aren’t honest (at least with themselves) about what they are or aren’t doing.


If you report that you made 100 contacts and you only made 80. Or if your 100 contacts were “less than genuine” as it relates to purposeful conversations, are you really doing yourself any benefit by reporting that you did? The fact is, everyone defines “purposeful” and “genuine” differently. Be true to yourself and report true numbers. If that means fouling out … suck it up and go home. The standards are only as good as the accountability to them. I would rather you be in integrity with yourself than get some award for falsifying your efforts. Keep your commitments and be honest, period. 


If you focus on a niche, you will NEVER run out of people to connect with or things to say.

Formerly, when I was a MAPS BOLD coach, I consistently heard agents say that they either didn’t have enough people to call or that they ran out of excuses to call them. If you choose a niche in which to specialize, neither of these two issues will ever come up. By focusing on seniors as our niche, I have new business to business connections to make daily with the thousands of vendors who serve older adults.


When I make it my mission to add value to everyone around me, or to educate my tribe about the things they deem important, I can always find a reason to connect.


Everyone’s version of a life by design is different.

You will likely be in a room with 50 to 100 or more people, with each person creating his or her own version of a life by design. No two people will have the same definition of a life by design and no two people will approach the coaching experience the same way. There will be measurements of success, like number of listings, sales, appointments, contacts, and others.


At no point will your coach likely ask you to document any improvements in your marriage, the fact you lost weight, stopped smoking, or finished your college degree. Chances are that no one will ask you if you are sleeping better at night, gave up worrying about things you can’t control, or if you are eating healthier. If these things are important to you in creating a life by design (they were for me), it will be up to you to either privately celebrate these non-real estate successes, or find a group of people (maybe your coaching team or team leader) who will celebrate them with you.


Despite what you may think, real estate sales coaches are generally (or specifically) evaluated purely on real estate results -- not evidence of holistic lives by design. It's a tracking issue. Preparing for this in advance might help you to draft the support systems necessary to insure a well-rounded experience.

Prepare for the upsell. Respect it, learn from it, choose your response to it. 

Let’s face it, we’re all in sales. You sell your services AND you sell houses. Brokerages and divisions of brokerages sell services and products too. They have conferences, coaching, classes, T-shirts, books, and lots of very useful and cool stuff. Everyone is selling something.


If selling offends you then you may be in the wrong business.

Learning to upsell is indeed a valuable skill and, when executed effectively, can be highly beneficial to you as a real estate agent. Think about it… a waiter asking you if you want dessert is an upsell. The kid at the theater who asks you if you want like to add a large drink for only $6.00 more is doing an upsell. And when you are asked if you want fries with that, you are being presented a form of upsell.


As an agent, when you offer a home warranty, encourage a home inspection, or recommend title insurance, you are essentially upselling. Yes, you will likely experience a few upsells into MAPS coaching programs during BOLD. Pay attention to how you feel and what you think when you hear it, see it, or experience it [the upsell]. Ask yourself, “Does this feel right for me or does it feel obligatory or guilt laden?” Then, choose to accept, reject, or modify your response.  If hiring a coach seems right  do it!
Now assess what you learned and how you will incorporate that learning into your own upsell approach.


Make a decision to be ALL in. 

Now that you have heard a few of my laws for surviving and thriving in BOLD, it’s time to decide. Are you going ALL IN? Will you commit to being curious? Are you ready to defend your integrity and do the right thing in reporting both your efforts and results? Do you have what it takes to show up as a leader? Can you differentiate between reacting and responding to upsells? Are you prepared to surround yourself with the support you need?


I believe that you already know the right answer — for YOU.   



So there is no confusion.... see note below!

This post is not in any way associated with or endorsed by MAPS or Keller Williams Realty. We are not affiliated with the MAPS coaching program or BOLD.  

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