The energy crisis - and what to do next

December, 2021 | Thought Provoker

This is a bold new era that demands new leadership. We’re in the middle of the biggest human energy crisis I’ve ever seen, with media that’s designed to shock and awe, social media driving insecurities and division, and an Information Age that’s flush with misinformation. This article will provide a bold new path to a much bigger future.

The Energy Crisis

How we renew, manage and expend our energy determines what we achieve. It’s time to hit refresh. We need new energy sources to perform at our best for sustained periods. We’ve been running on adrenalin and cortisol; short term enhancements not designed to assist us for long term crises like the pandemic. Here’s how to renew your energy:

Physical: Think of your physical energy as your stress release valve. From age 30 we lose 1/2kg of lean body muscle that turns to fat without active intervention. Weight-bearing exercise helps us to build and maintain muscle mass so we can respond. Thirty minutes of training each day keeps us moving, flexible and agile for the challenges ahead.

Nutrition is our fuel for life. You perform well with 21 meals per week, 15 to your dietary plan if you eat well. Think plenty of colours. From our time at the Kangaroo Island Health Retreat with Sue McCarthy, 10% fatty acids (nuts, seeds, avocado), 20% lean protein (think anything from an animal, beans), 70% simple carbs (if it has to be cooked, it’s most likely complex, i.e. potato). Three litres of room temperature water per day. Stay hydrated to think clearly and feel good.

Sleep is critical for long term success. It removes toxins from the brain. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. 9:30pm sleep time, for a 5am start time. They call it the golden hour, the first hour of every morning before sunrise, and it’s where all the great things happen. Time out and away from the game allows us to perform at our best.

Mental energy is built through periods of intense work followed by moments of respite. Work in 45-minute sessions to channel your focus, then take a 15-minute break to rest, renew and review. Writing a task list each day allows you to determine what’s important now.

Emotional energy is boomed through high-quality relationships. Relationships are the key to renewal. The secret is to ensure you understand what gets the best and worst out of people and make sure you play to the positive side. Music has the power to transform how we think, feel and act. When we connect, we feel good and play at our best.

Goals give new energy. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of setting a goal and achieving it. The only reason a goal isn’t achieved is that we don’t have a system for it. We need goals to stretch and challenge us. Having something to look forward to gives us new energy and excitement for what’s ahead.

Values are our guiding lights. Having a clear set of personal values allows us to make decisions at speed. When something happens to us that is against our values, it drains our energy. Five values I’ve used to make personal decisions include:

Dream big, move fast

Learn for lifetime growth

Travel far and often

Build strong relationships

Create opportunity

You need to learn how to hit 'refresh'. Getting perspective helps. New therapies like saunas, cold water therapy and the power of breath allow almost instant relief in an ever-changing world. Plug into a new energy source and watch it transform your performance.

The Move to Models

Rapid changes in conditions require us to think at speed. Mental models allow us to gain perspective and make game-changing decisions. Here are some favourites:

Edit - and do it frequently.

If it doesn’t serve you well, edit it out. If it works, edit it in. Review what steals energy from you; stop doing it. Review what brings energy to the table, do more of that.

What matters? And what motivates?

Write a list of the things that matter to you. They could include:

Financial stability

Owning your own home

Having spaces for living and working that inspire you

Meaningful work that stretches you

Connection with the people around you

Then write out a list of what motivates. Simple things could include:

An early morning run

Seeing a great sunrise/sunset

A motorbike ride

Great holidays

Shared experiences with others

Only do things that matter and motivate. If it doesn’t matter, and/or it doesn’t motivate, stop doing it.

Agree on, Work on, and the Third Option

Perspective shifters in negotiation change how you play the game. Write out T, left-hand side; what are the things you agree on? Then on the right-hand side, what do you need to work on? It gives clarity on areas of contention. Focus on what you already agree on. Promote flexibility via the work-on column to close out the deal, whether it’s selling a property or recurring a new candidate for your team.

The third option invites the subject into the negotiation. What we can do from here is either 1, 2, or maybe there’s a third option that you can see?

Most people have become tactically excellent during this era, but they are strategically negligent. The secret: Stop playing by an outdated rule book. We’ve never lived through this before, and it requires new thinking. Escape the traps of old school thinking and new age detours. Amplify what works.

Digital and Physical Headquarters

This new era forces us into two headquarters. We have your physical headquarters. These buildings provide collaboration spaces, spontaneity, on the job training and a real sense of community. What’s the benefit of someone working from your physical headquarters? It allows for on the job training, connection, and an environment that supports the type of person they want to become.

The digital headquarters is what we used to call the 'paperless office'; now it’s a work-anywhere digital world. Your digital headquarters is where work happens in the digital space. Communicating and connection tools like Slack change the game. Integrations with essential software give you notifications the second anything happens in your business, direct on mobile. We need to facilitate information flow, collaboration and a sense of community in our digital headquarters.

Workflow has gone digital, from signing agency agreements to exchanging contracts. It’s helped automate compliance, drive system usage, and provide digital reporting for more timely decision making.

Definition - Personal and Business

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of emotions on social. We have real-world experiences and digital lives. Those digital lives are forcing us to redefine what’s important, and when.

Simon Sinek had a global best selling book ‘Start With Why’. In it, he challenged people to find their way. Anyone who reads it often leaves feeling a loss of identity. I prefer to go the opposite and get people to provide definition about who you are.

If you’re not being a real estate agent, what would I find you doing? Here’s a list of interests for me:


Graphic design

Music and live events

Shared experiences

Restaurants and dining experiences

Once you have a defined list of what interests you, you go all in. There’s no time to be bored when you’ve got a definition of who you are and what interests you.

In business, it’s time to get definition. Let’s get strategic to find big opportunities:

When the buyers buy, where do they come from?

When the sellers sell, where do they move to?

Both of those are future markets for trade-ins. There’s so much data that can provide incredible insights into the markets you want next and your existing relationships in those markets.

Then there’s the power of landlords. If we mapped every landlord and their principal place of residence, where do they live? How many of our landlords have we given an opportunity to have their principal place of residence appraised? If they have additional equity, they may purchase an additional investment property or trade their existing principal place of residence.

The secret to business success is to know your formulas.

How do you generate your leads?

Review every listing your business won this year and ask one simple question:

How did you meet the seller?

How Did You Win Your Business?

Stop guessing. Start asking. Have an independent marketer conduct a study with clients within 36 hours of signing an agency agreement. Find out why they decided to use you. The sooner you know how modern consumers decide to select an agent, the faster you can alter your trajectory for the future. Do more of what works.

How Does Your Firm Deliver Experiences?

Every moment for the customer is either happy, anxious or sad.

A buyer decides to buy - happy moment.

The buyer finds something online they like - happy moment.

The buyer turns up at an open with many buyers present - anxious moment.

The buyer asks to move forward in an offer, and the agent discourages it, preferring they bring their offer to auction day - anxious moment.

The agent rings and advises they are now taking offers - anxious moment.

The buyer puts forward an offer - happy moment.

The agent calls to advise they are now in a multi-offer situation - anxious moment.

The buyer increases their offer - anxious moment.

The agent calls to advise the offer is accepted - happy moment.

Great businesses manufacture the happy, sad and anxious moments to produce better customer experiences. Disneyland gives a wait time expectation on rides, then they exceed the expectation to land the customer on the happy moment at just the right time.

To develop a deeper understanding of what you do next, we teach the ‘then what?’ philosophy. You attend a market appraisal, then what?

Add to ‘market appraisal’ category

Add to ‘buyer/seller' list

Add weekly email to ‘buyer/seller’ for total market listings and sales summary

Call re: Underbidder on a similar property, can we show them through?

Call re: We have something for you to see, can you spend an hour with us on Thursday to see two homes?

Connect to property services suppliers

Invite to auctions/opens

If your team can’t explain what happens next, what chance do they have to deliver the customer’s experience?

Can the Fries Go Out?

The final big trend to manage the energy crisis is to adopt the leader/leader model made famous in the book 'Turn The Ship Around' by David Marquet. At McDonald’s, the 14-year-old decides if the fries go out. Imagine if they didn’t? Imagine you were the shift manager, and every time they cooked the fries, they asked you if they could go out? In the leader/follower model, you’re the leader, they are the follower, and they ask you the question, and you keep answering, Yes! If you adopt the leader/leader model, you never answer. Instead, you ask great questions.

Are they hot?

Do they have salt on them?

Are they golden?

Are they in the right container?

Did the customer order the fries?

Have they paid for them?

Do you think the fries can go out?

Teach people how to think so you don’t have to. In the new world, we want the lowest level of labour in your business to be able to make all the decisions.

The energy crisis doesn’t have to exist in your world. The secret is to minimise the gap between knowing and doing. The best businesses get on with doing what they know; the worst know a lot but continue not to do much that matters.

Overcome the energy crisis. Get definition, move to teach models, create phenomenal digital and physical headquarters and hit 'refresh'. The world needs more confident leaders who are prepared to set incredible trajectories for the future and what’s next.


Josh Phegan is the internationally renowned go-to speaker, trainer and coach for high-performance real estate agents and agencies. He is the number one preferred trainer for Australia’s top 100 agents and top 50 women in real estate.

In 2022 he’s the drawcard speaker at over 200 events in the UAE, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

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