Spring Thaw!

The days are getting longer and the ground has thawed here in the “Banana Belt” of Wyoming.  The real estate market is heating up as well.  After a better than ever 2014 the first quarter of 2015 seemed quiet. The market picked up the 3rd week of March and all signs point to another productive year.

There have been 22 transactions in Big Horn county so far in 2015 which is just slightly less than the 24 we had closed this time last year.  Not too bad for the first quarter!

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Caution Goals Ahead!

Dreams? Goals? Action Plans?  Yes, yes and yes.  I LOVE the concept of a blank slate so much that I am giddy when I hang a new calendar each January 1st. This year I have become more aware that being driven by my dreams, goals and plans is something that I must  handle with extreme caution.  I can so easily go overboard on this and I have recently learned a few things about myself.  Here are some ideas that I am in the process of implementing to keep  my goal oriented self balanced.

  1. Do not allow your goals to torment you.  They are YOUR goals and if they need to be modified then adjust right away as many times as necessary. Amend your goals and action plans until they fit into your  real life. They should challenge you but not discourage you from continuing to move forward.  Regardless of how slow you move…..forward is still forward!  Don’t beat yourself to a bloody pulp and then quit.
  2. Keep your dreams, goals and action plan in perspective.  I never hear Carrie Underwood’s song, So Small, without realizing anew that the mountains I am climbing are just a grain of sand. What I’ve been out there searching for forever……is in my hands.
  3. Do write you goals down and check in on them often but don’t obsess over them. If you set goals and write them down you are ahead of most.  If you obsess over goals and the action plans you’ve set in motion to achieve them you can miss the forest for the trees.  Be flexible and have your eyes open for the most important things.  A neighbor in need or a kid who needs a hug….a little longer hug than the usual.  Sadly, our action plans can prevent us from noticing opportunities that were not specifically on today’s to do list.

People who take the time and energy to set goals are people who want to live well.  We don’t want to waste the life we’ve been given.  We want to be good stewards of our gifts, time, money and energy. Yet I find that the very practices I implement to ensure that I’m intentional with my resources can back fire and create debilitating discouragement. Ironically….an hour spent deeply discouraged rather than being deeply grateful produces the exact opposite of what I hoped to achieve. Rather than waste the time I have spent feeling discouraged I have decided to learn from it.  I will snap out of it and adjust.  I will  modify the goals and amend them to include incremental steps rather than an all or nothing approach.  To be continued….


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This Beautifully Awkward Week

This beautifully awkward week between Christmas and New Year’s Day when we are coming off a short week and going into another is my favorite. The business world moves in slow motion as many in the banking and other real estate related industries take the week off. There is a deep sense of relief that comes with another memorable Christmas in the books and yet there is a simultaneous anticipation of a New Year approaching.  A blank canvas just waiting to be painted by the minutes that turn into months in a blink.

My 2014 goals are not neatly crossed off the way I had envisioned they’d be when I wrote them 365 days ago.  I had no idea what 2014 would hold, we never do.  Even so, the goals gave direction in the midst of confusion and chaos.  Tragic things happened that I never even imagined were possible and I lost loved ones I expected to have here on Earth with me awhile longer.  I have experienced the whole gamut of life in 2015.  Victory, defeat along with a season of disillusionment and disappointment.  The challenges I faced brought to my attention several acts of kindness from people who I now know are true friends. I was forced to drill down several layers in my personal life and in my business.  I gleaned things that I would not have otherwise had the opportunity to discover about my business and myself.

As for 2015… I am looking so forward to putting the finishing touches on my goals and breaking them down into bite-size pieces. My first goal for 2015 is that I am rearranging my morning routine.  As I get the specifics nailed down I will share them here to create some (perceived) accountability for myself.

Happy New Year!

Casual bus photo


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Ouch….It’s Cold! How to Cope

We all knew here in Northwestern Wyoming that we were on borrowed time.  When you borrow anything from Old Man Winter you have to pay in back with interest and penalties. We had the longest, warmest most beautiful fall I can remember. Then the temps dropped from the 70’s to double digits BELOW zero in less then 48 hours!   Now that is abrupt! Below zero temps are not conducive to showing property or for doing anything really. Here is how I have learned to cope with weather that HURTS YOUR FACE!

  • Wool Socks– This is the single best advice I could give for getting through a cold spell.
  • Wear a hat– I prefer the handmade versions.


  • Have the best tires you can afford. Really good tires give me a sense of confidence on the road which I believe is half the battle.
  • Drive slower than you think you need to. If not for yourself do it for those of us who are more stressed out by other drivers that the actual road conditions.
  • Enjoy a few of your favorite things. When else do soups, casseroles and hot chocolate taste as good?

Stay warm my friends….and enjoy! 

Casual bus photo

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A Lifestyle Business

I recently posted on social media an available position here at Johnson Home and Land. I knew I needed to tap into my creative side in order to adequately describe the position.  I also wanted to attract people who would be the right fit for this position. Writing this announcement was more difficult than I thought it would be.  After 20 years in real estate you would think I could describe quickly and effortlessly what I am looking for but I struggled with putting the words to paper.   I came across this article by Christy Wright and it greatly helped me write the following advertisement.

Are you ready for a full time career that you can build around your lifestyle? Are you willing to embrace a meaningful and exciting profession with unlimited potential? Johnson Home and Land is looking for team members who will embrace our mission to provide critical assistance to people with all types of real estate needs. Comprehensive training and education will be provided. Candidates must be honest, hardworking and reliable. Please send resume to Sarah@JohsnonHomeandLand.com

Lifestyle: (noun) manner of living; the way of life characteristic of a particular person, group, or culture.

  • Way of life
  • Existence
  • Standard of living
  • Routine

Describing the position reawakened me to what I love about this business! This is a “full time, lifestyle business.”  I have allowed my career to crowd my life and have had to self- correct several times in the past 20 years.  I have lived in the tension of balancing family, career and self-care. It has been a learning process.  I love the expression, “remember why you started,” and that is what I did while writing this description.


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Head in the Sand vs. The Sky is Falling

Isis, Ebola, Elections Oh MY!  There have been some serious issues  front and center in recent weeks.  It is so easy to allow ourselves to react radically.   Either we become people behaving just like Chicken Little(s) screaming “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” or we end up coping by choosing not to cope.  Putting our heads in the sand by turning off all news, media and essentially ignoring what is happening in the world around us.  I have been guilty of both of these approaches and have found neither to be very effective. During different seasons of my life I have tended toward different extremes.  As a child and through young adulthood I tended toward reacting in fear and took the Chick Little approach.   Later in life after having seen the hyper-sensationalism of our media I began to lean more toward ignoring world events on the premise that I did not have access to  the “real” news.

What I have found and, am making a good faith effort to teach my children, is to be aware without living in fear. Fear-based decisions are 99 times out of 100 going to be wrong.  I have made enough of them to know that if I am fearful….any major decisions must wait until that fear is resolved.  Being uninformed is also a bad plan.  We must have a working knowledge of the world we live in or it will be impossible for us to have an impact on it.

I guess for me it all goes back to Grandma’s wisdom……”all things in moderation.”  I can’t take news in large doses.  I don’t care if it is the left wing slant or the tea party slant or anywhere in between.  If the news is on while I’m in a Dr’s office waiting for my appointment….that is probably too much for me.  I like to go looking for the news myself. I choose the source, read about the event and then any rationalization will be done in my own head using the brain God gave me not 12 points of view from 12 different ego manic analysts.  I will then talk to people I know, trust and respect and get their take on things.  The people I trust are not screaming about the sky falling and they are not in denial.  They are people who share my values.  They choose to cope and still have hope.

I urge you….regardless of your views and opinions to try this method.  Use critical thought instead of letting the media dump hours and hours of information into your mind.  Be aware and don’t hide from it but think for yourself and consider the thoughts of those you trust.

Sarah Johnson 

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