May 18, 2022

How To Control Your Thoughts with Chris Heller


Earning his real estate license when he was just a sophomore in college, Chris Heller rose to become the leader of the largest real estate company in the world - and didn’t stop there.

Early on, Heller was named Rookie of the Year in 1989 before becoming the top-producing agent in San Diego County and the No. 1 Keller Williams associate in North America. He has consistently set new records and standards across the industry for more than 30 years.

His leadership philosophy and unmatched track record in real estate has provided a springboard for outstanding contribution across many sectors. Heller brings his knowledge and experience to a variety of leadership roles, including advisor, board member, investor, coach, and mentor.

As Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs, Chris’ vision has shaped partner strategies and a cohesive structure between real estate professionals and OJO. His highly-respected expertise as the former CEO at Mellohome and former CEO at Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) has helped him grow as an executive and create sustained success as a leader. All this while leading the Heller The Home Seller Real Estate Team, which has sold more than 100 homes a year for 30+ years.

A growth expert, as President of KW Worldwide, Chris launched the company’s first regions outside of North America, resulting in record productivity and profitability. As CEO at KWRI, he led its transformation into the technology company and powerhouse company it is renowned for today.

As CEO of mellohome, Chris is credited with setting the strategy, led cross-functional groups accountable for simpler and smarter consumer homebuying, financing, and improvement experiences. Under his leadership role, mellohome doubled its growth, while improving the experiential and product landscape for the homeownership industry.

Innovative, ambitious, and results-orientated, Chris Heller is a positive and strategic thought leader whose expertise is sought on multiple platforms. He is a dynamic speaker who shares his proven leadership philosophy with audiences across the country. In his debut book, Dominant Thoughts, Heller shares his simple, yet powerful success strategies, and the mindset that helped unlock his impressive achievements as a leader in sales, productivity, prosperity, relationships, and happiness.

A native of southern California, Heller remains at the top of his game by staying physically and mentally fit through daily exercise and reading. Heller has traveled extensively and makes the most out of family time with his wife and their four adult children.

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Transcript

Josh:

All right. Good day fellows. Welcome to uncensored advice for men. Uh, I just pulled an audible, so I'm interviewing a dealmaker and this guy has an incredible story. Being an investor in technology and real estate. He's an author, just got a signed copy of his book. And, and before, you know, hit and record, you know, I had a gut instinct. I was like, guys, this should be on this show. We were going to talk deals in real estate and investing in such, but I'm yanking them over here. I'm stealing him, putting him on this, uh, impact show for you guys. So, uh, with that, Chris, I want to welcome you to uncensored advice for men. Glad to have you man.

Chris:

Glad to be here. Yeah. All

Josh:

right. So we pulled a quick audible, uh, completely, you know, last second, but, uh, why don't you give us an idea of who you are and

Chris:

what you do? Sure. Yeah. I've been in the real estate industry. Uh, I got my license as a sophomore in college. I was 20 years old, actually. And that was the same time that I met, um, the person who ultimately became my, my first wife and the mother of four. My four kids, uh, grew as a agent, became a rookie of the year in San Diego, became one of the top 10 agents. And instead of California and one of the top 10 agents ultimately in, um, in, in the nation, then after 16 years of just, you know, hard charging switch companies became the number one agent in the world for Keller Williams ultimately took an executive role with the company and B and grew and became the CEO of the company. Um, along the way, um, got heavily involved in real estate technology and PropTech tech and, um, advise a lot of your companies. And, um, and it was an early investor, this company, all of July, Uh, a board member and then I joined them. Full-time in 2000, middle of the 2019 to help grow the RO this company with the other things I'm I'm doing. Yeah.

Josh:

So, I mean, for anybody who knows anything about real estate being the number one in the world at Keller Williams, they know that you were doing a massive amount of volume and dollar bills. And, and to move up into the level of leadership, you know, with, with Keller in all the groups that have done an amazing job at building, that it speaks to your credibility of what you've done, um, along the way, right? You've, you've, you've spent a tremendous amount in personal development in such a new, and I've had these conversations along the way of being a deal maker. Um, you wrote this book and it says, uh, to actually, why don't you just tell us about your book and, uh, what the, what the headline and a sub line says on that book?

Chris:

Yeah. So it's a, um, let me, let me. For context, I'll tell you why I wrote the book. Um, and, and the title is dominant thoughts and the, um, the, the, the sub-line that you, that you referenced is your, your mind grows where our thoughts go. And, uh, and when I was early in my career, I, um, I read quite a few business parables. And did I say that right? Things grow where our minds go, um, as the subtitle and the, the books that I read early in my career, this is like my early twenties, uh, business parables, like the richest man in Babylon, or the greatest salesman in the world by augmenting, or several of those type of books were really impactful. I mean, things that I've read, like, okay, this is what I'm going to do, or this is what I'm going to become, or this is how I'm going to be. And. You know, by the time I finally got around to writing a book, although I thought about many, many times, um, I thought that's the type of book I'm on. Right. You know, something where something in the book will have that type of impact on somewhere else. And, you know, I, I, I like contributing to others. I like to contribute to the success of others. And, you know, that was the, the impetus behind the project. And the other thing is I like those, those books generally are easy reads. They're short, this is 118 pages. It knock it out an hour and a half, but it's, you know, it just takes some of the things that either learn the hard way or things that, that were, you know, planted in me by some of the mentors that I've had in my life and, and things that I think, um, that, that are kind of timeless and in the, the, the value and benefit that they have.

Josh:

Absolutely now, uh, you've been mentored by some incredible people. You've, you've sat at the table and you've also mentored an incredible amount of high-achievers in such a, when it comes to things, grow where our minds go. Right. That's a sub sub-line of your, of your book being the number one agent in the world at Keller Williams and then becoming CEO you're at the absolute freaking top of the game. How was your mindset there? Was there any, w were there any, um, toxic thoughts? Were there any areas that you had to still adjust your mind, uh, as you were on the top of the game, on the top absolute peak of the mountain?

Chris:

I, Josh, I think I do that to this day. Um, you know, one thing I realized really early on, and I don't, I don't, I don't know. We could spend a lot of time to try to analyze why or how, and I realize this, but that. When I looked at real estate agents as a group, um, because that was the world. I was found myself living in, you know, what was the difference between the ones that were succeeding at a high level and the ones that weren't, and, and what I came to learn is probably 90% of it was, was the mental side, you know, 90% of it, it was our thoughts, our attitudes, our approach, uh, the other 10% was just doing the things that you need to do to, to, you know, help someone buy at home or execute a contract or negotiate a deal. But 90% of the success came from, you know, the, the mental side of it, you know, what has someone do? The things they need to do every day when they don't want to, what has someone who puts in the same amount of time as someone else achieve at so much higher level? You know, it's, it's how they approach it, how they think about things. So back to your question, yeah. Even as a, as a top agent, there were, there were. Uh, and, and, and literally to this day, there's things I'm constantly working on myself and, and partly because I'm, I have this insatiable appetite to, to grow and get better and do better, do more. Um, but also because there's, I just know there's, there's always room for improvement. I never, I never, luckily never really competed with anyone else. I just competed with the person in the mirror. And when you're competing with the person in the mirror, then it's okay. How did you get better? How did you, how did you improve? How do you, how do you make changes? Um, I'll tell you when it, when those, some of those dark thoughts really hit was when I went from being top agent to the, I got asked to, to join the executive team and became president of the, of the worldwide division. And, and that was a division we created to expand Keller wines globally kilograms, just in north America. Other national brands have been global for, for 20, 25 years. Remax is all over the world century, go back around all over the world. We hadn't. So they, they called me and said, Hey, we it's time. We want to, we want to do this. And we think you're the person to do this. And are you interested? I said, yeah, I'm interested in the reason I said yes, because it seemed like the closest thing to impossible that I could find at that moment. And I like, I like big challenges. Um, I don't like things that are impossible by like, I like to be big enough to where it's like, oh man, this is going to almost be impossible. Um, cause I had to figure it out and no one in the company knew how to do it. And they said, Hey, we want you to figure it out and we want you to do it. Um, so there were quite a few early on. There were quite a few nights. I remember vividly laying in bed. And I would say out loud that my wife had said, why do they think I can do this? Like, what do they see? Or they see that I don't see, cause I don't know that I can do this. I don't even know how to do this. And um, and luckily I have a phenomenal wife and she said, they, they see you. They, they know you. Um, they know that you'll figure it out. They know that you always figure it out. They know that you, you know, you don't get stopped then, then that's why they chose you. Um, and so in those moments of doubt, there's, it's, you know, I was looking luckily lucky to have someone in my corner that, that knew me and knew me really well.

Josh:

That's so valuable, man. It is so valuable to have to have that. Right. Because, all right, so you hit top, top the best in the. Right. And now expanding the best of the world to the best to the world. Right. And still having those, those doubts, right? Like why, why me? You know, I'm, I'm on the, like, if you're on the mountain, right. If the valley you're you're on the top, I was on the bottom, been bankrupt and all that stuff. And, and when I was there, I was having the same, the same, the same, or similar mindset of, you know, why me or why this one is, you know, they they're both harmful, both hurtful. So you had someone who believed in you,

Chris:

that's unbelievable who knew me, but you know, you, you just reminded me of something else. Before I got into real estate and residential real estate. I had a, um, a marketing company with a partner who, my roommate, we did, we started this marketing company and, and we, we started in, in, in my town home with two toll free numbers and we became a, an inbound, uh, You know, call center to set appointments for timeshare resorts. And within six months we'd grown it to where we had this isn't, um, isn't that early eighties where we had, uh, you know, 25, 30 employees, we had paid cash for all office furniture, paid cash for computers and computers back then were not cheap, um, nor were they small. Um, and then we, um, then we grew very fast and very profitable. And then just as fast as we grew and became profitable, it went the other way. And I had a partner that, you know, sort of went off the deep end with drugs and alcohol and, and I, you know, I had to, I had to end it. I had to, I had to tell him one day I had to walk in I'm in my now I'm in my mid early twenties and I had a lot of people weren't ready that were twice my age. Yeah. I had to go in and tell everyone to go home that you're not going to get paid anymore. Um, and that was like, and that was right before I was getting married or getting on our honeymoon. And like, so I go on a honeymoon, like the businesses failed closed. I don't know what I'm going to do. Um, and you know, yeah. There's, there's been, there's been many times when I've been in the valleys, like you've been in, you know, those are, those are the times that, you know, you either grow or you don't, and, and if you're going to grow, it's, it's a conscious decision. Um, and that's, you know, back to the subtitle it's is like, what thoughts are you going to have? And what do you need to do to get the right thoughts in?

Josh:

Yeah, so things that I love that I, I love that. That thing. Cause the, the, the thoughts that I had that were dominating my time, where you're worthless, you know, like your, your failure, these kinds of things. And then I've also had some successes in my life where I feel at that point, I was at the top of the mountain and I still, at that point, then I go, well, I'm not as big as this person over here competing with them or may. And I'm, um, um, I'm an imposter, the imposter syndrome kicked in. Right. So you had, this is so awesome. You had someone that believed you in new you for who you are, but you've also invest in a tremendous amount from our past conversations. You've, you've invested a tremendous amount in personal development and being mentored and having coaches and advisors in your life. Like how did you after the honeymoon and you did your thing, right? You had four kids. So, you know, things, things worked out really well there, but how did you, how did you pivot? How did you change your mindset? How did you get back in the game and then become the best.

Chris:

Yeah. So, um, I, the burning desire inside never changed. It was just, it was, uh, focusing that desire and, and aiming that desire in the right direction, right. Where you can go in the it's easy to go in the wrong direction and channel things that way. Um, but I, I wanted to, you know, I had that big desire to, to grow and to, um, you know, and to, and to achieve in, in, in reach the, the, the goals that I had. So, um, I, one of the things that I learned, and this was the help with one of my earlier mentors who used to always talk about our mindsets. And he'd say, Chris, you have to be, you have to guard what thoughts and what things you led. And you have to make sure that you're putting more positive in the negative, which is not easy to do because there's, we're surrounded by negative, right? Like when I, when I grew up, when you, you know, before the internet, you had newspapers and TV news, and a 30 minute TV newscast was 20 minutes of, of bad news, you know, five minutes of sports and weather, and then, uh, a feel-good story at the end. And why did they lead with 20 minutes of bad news? Why did every newspaper have headlines that were sensational that were bad things because that's what sells people like that, like the drama and everything is you, you know, the, the, the water cooler talk and all those things. It was all negative stuff. So I, I took it literally and I would, I would, I stopped watching news. I stopped reading newspapers. I, I was, became really, really guarded of who I spent time. And, and kind of had a criteria of who I would spend time with. And that criteria was, is either someone that I could have fun with someone I could profit with someone I could learn from, or someone I could teach. And if it was any, if they didn't meet that criteria, then I just, I just avoided them. Um, and if there was negative people around me, I removed them or removed myself. Um, so that was like, that was shielding the negative. Then the positive was getting really purposeful about what I read, what I listened to and made sure that it's put in match. I had this, I always, to this day, I have this visual that there's a finite amount of room in here. So I'm going to like, make sure I'm putting in, fill it up with as much positive stuff, um, as possible to, you know, to minimize the amount of space for the negative things. Wow. Yeah.

Josh:

Why, why do you think our minds? So I'm I'm somewhere, man. I was on, I was on Facebook. I was on social media. I was watching the news, especially like 20, 20 when the world was falling apart. And I craved it. I craved the negativity. Like I was addicted to it until one day. Like, I, I felt like I had anxiety, depression. I was going through some crazy tough. I had an argument with my wife and I go, what just happened? Right. And I, I had to like pull the rip cord and get out. But why do you think we crave that negativity or become addicted to that so easily?

Chris:

I think, um, look, I think our minds naturally like to be distracted and like to be filled, and those are great things to do that with. Um, and then I think, I think there's, I think a lot of us are, um, and I can certainly say that certain points in my life, I was this way, just aren't conscious of that. Or at all. Um, and so, you know, and it, you know, because when you are, you know, when you really have an acute awareness of, of what's going on, what's your mind, you're, you're more able to become the observer of things. Like I have, there's been times where I've been able to view the world and my world and my life has as, almost like someone looking down, you know, on, you know, on the, on, on the planet or on my, uh, on my existence. And, and, and, and a lot of times it just looks like a bunch of anthills and going, okay. Um, yeah, there, but there's, there's also things I think that happened in our lives that, that either wake us up or, or, or not, you know, I, I came home one day from work when everything was fine, too. Walked into the living room. And my four kids were sitting there, which was unusual because they're usually playing in their love and they all had serious looks on their face and their sort of heads down. And I said, what's wrong? And you know, their mom walked in and said, Hey, I need to talk to you. We were in the other room. And she said, Hey, I'm not happy. I haven't been happy. And you know, and you don't make me happy. And you know, I don't want you to move out and that, and she had already told all my, you know, my kids, it was just a horrible situation, but that, you know, that, that was, there was like, that was the most traumatic thing that could have happened. And, and then then soon. Yeah, events, which, um, I don't want to traumatize your audience. So

Josh:

that was a nervous laugh,

Chris:

but didn't you. Um, but, um, but you know, that, that was like a, a real like, wow. You know, first it was what's wrong with me. Yeah. I remember I remember my first appointment with this counselor and, um, she said, oh, you know, what's going on? Why are you here? And I think, and this is not, um, a good political, the correct thing to say. I said, I think I'm, I think I'm socially retarded and I was dead serious and she's, and she, to her credit didn't laugh or smile or anything and said, well, what did you mean? I said, I don't, I can't figure out how to make things work in my relationship. Not connected and all these things. And in retrospect, those were just things that I had been told, you know, from, you know, for 20 years of being married to someone who kept, you know, convinced, convinced me of all those things. And over time, you know, you, you learn a lot about yourself and about your situations and, and there's certainly things that I was thousand percent responsible for them and things that I wasn't. And, and that was, those are just huge, huge growth opportunities. Yeah, dude, I want to honor you and, and,

Josh:

and thank you for your transparency because it's, it's hard to talk about, you know, it's fun to receive the award on the stage and go look how awesome I am. It's not fun to get on a podcast and share like, Hey man, this is one of the deepest, deepest pain points in my life. And. And I, so I, I appreciate you and I honor you for, for, for being able to do that, man, that takes courage, um, while that was going on, right? Like, did you want to like hide? Did you, you know, you were talking to a counselor and stuff, which is awesome. Guys, you need counselors, you need coaches, right? Like, like I've been to therapy, coaches, counselors, all of the above. Like it is so helpful for relationships, but, uh, how did you, when that was happening, did you, did you retreat, did you want to hide or what was your natural response? So,

Chris:

so my response, I, I knew intuitively that, um, I knew what was the wrong thing to do. I knew the wrong thing to do was to numb out or to, you know, try to, to make the pain go away by, you know, seeking pleasure elsewhere or running the, the arms of someone else. I just knew. And nor did I want to do that. Um, and, and, and I, and at the same time, I wasn't like, okay, I'm going to be on the portrait plan and feel all, but, but, but that's what I did. Like, I just, I, I, I had a counselor, I had a coach. I would call them. There were days when, when I would talk to them four or five times a day. They're like, I like, I can't read, I need to talk. I need, I, I need, I need reality. I would often start the conversation. Like, I, I need, I need reality. Like, here's what I'm thinking. Or here's like, you know, and luckily I had some really good people, but no, I didn't. I went into, I went in Wharton. Um, now I'm naturally introverted, so I'm not, I'm not, uh, know I'm not real social. So that. Maybe maybe, um, you know, it was part of the reason why that's like the route I went, but it was, yeah, it was like going through the eye of the needle over, you know, several months or years. And, um, and then coming out the other side and coming out, um, you know, really, really with a whole new sense of who I was and, and, and, you know, at a, at a, in a much better place.

Josh:

Wow. Um, when I was maybe 2017, like I thought I was a pretty tough dude, firefighter medic wrestled alligators professionally I've, I've seen a lot of stuff, worked in venture capital, like built things, lost things. Like I thought I was tough. And then, uh, I started to get an inside it. Like, what, what is this? It was like a knot in my center, my chest, and I couldn't breathe. So when you were calling your counselors and going, Hey, I need a reality check. I can't breathe. Or that, is that what you were feeling like, like this tightness, like this, uh, suffocation, it felt like for me. Yeah. But, but, um,

Chris:

mine, I'm sure those physical things were going on, but it was more in my mind, like, yeah, I just needed like clarity, like, like, and I wanted, I wanted the truth. I wanted to understand like, you know, where, where, what, what I, you know, what a, why am I doing this work and why does it's not working? And you know, how do, how do I get through this? You know? And so now at the same time, all this is going on, I have a very. Uh, high producing real estate business, but one of the top teams in the country there, this was like 2004, 2007. And, um, yeah, so I would go in, I would go in every day and, um, but after like two or three hours, I'd be like, I can't, I can't do this. And I would leave. And my team and I told them, I mean, I remember it came in, it came in on Monday morning, like this happened over the weekend, you know, on Monday morning, I said, I don't know what's going to happen. This is what, this is what happened. My world is caving in all around me. I don't even know if I want to do this anymore. In fact, I don't know if I can do this anymore. Do you guys want to do this? If, if the only reason I can think to do it, keep doing it is if you guys want to, and then. And, you know, everyone stepped up and, you know, and this gave me the space to like get through. I had, at the same time, I had a real estate coach and I would talk to her weekly or every other week, maybe it was weekly, maybe weekly calls. And, um, and for like several months, yeah. She messaged me to say, Hey, you're ready to talk and go, now you're ready to go back to work. No,

Josh:

push that off for later. I'll deal with this later.

Chris:

Um,

Josh:

my world was caving in around me. Right. And you're like, I, you started losing motivation. I don't like guys, I don't even know what's going to happen. I don't know if we're going to, I don't know. Do you guys, are you guys still in, right? Here's the leader of. I don't, I don't know. You guys still want to go if you're in, um, I guess I'm in, right. Um, can we do this? Like you would call your, your counselor, your coaches, and you said, I need a reality check. You'd sometimes call them five times a day. And then you, you felt like my world was caving in and you would call these people and almost had a mic on the Batphone the speed dial. Right. Um, could you do this for guys? Like there's a guy out there right now that, that his world's caving in relationship, business, whatever the case may be. What, what did your coach or advisor or counselor, what did they say to you in that, you know, in that quick phone call that you could pass on to another guy? Cause I know there's a dude right now. Who's stand on the side of the, you know, on the ledge going,

Chris:

I don't know, you know? Yeah. You know what, here's what, here's what I've learned about, you know, coaches, counselors, mentors. It's not, it's often not what they say. It's what they ask. That's the questions they ask you, you know, it's their ability to listen and let you, you know, and let you emote or talk or, or share. And then, and then that starts the conversation and, you know, helps you, you know, helps to get some clarity as well. It helps you get some perspective helps you get some I'm like there's times where you can't, as I will say, there are times when I can hear things. Like I could hear what they were saying, but I couldn't, I couldn't comprehend it. You know, if they said, Hey, you're going to be okay, or you're going to come out the other side and be better for this or things are going to be good. You know, it was like your world. Ew, Ew, Ew, Ew. There's so much, you know, negativity around. You can't even see through that to now. At a certain level. I knew that that was probably true, but I just couldn't get there like mentally and emotionally at those times. But having this, having those conversations were, were, were really helpful. Um, you know, and it's so yeah, back to your question, Josh, there were, um, there's there's things I remember. I remember, I remember my counselor saying her saying, um, Hey, can you imagine, can you imagine meeting someone that's just happy, that's responsible for their own feelings and their own thoughts? And I was like, no, I can't imagine that. I, I, I don't remember saying, I don't think that exists. I don't, I I've seen no evidence of that. And she said, well, I'm, I'm happy. I'm just. My, my, my relationship is I don't, I don't put any, um, expectations on my partner to make me happy or to do those things. Or, and so, you know, there were, there were things like that. Or, or this coach that I hired, he said, Chris, what you don't understand is you're earning a lot of stripes right now. And so what do you mean? He goes, you know, like in the military, the stripes on their, on their sleeves, you know, the more stripes, the higher of the rank there are, he goes, as you get through this, you're going to be super attractive to a lot of people you're gonna, you're going to be, you're gonna, you're gonna be at a level that a lot of guys aren't at, or, you know, you're gonna understand how to listen. You're going to understand how to do things. You're going to understand what works and what doesn't work because of all the things that you've gone through. And um, at the time that was like, okay, that sounds good. Maybe that will happen. And when it happened, yeah, like they, they knew it. They were just helping me through my process. Cause they knew where, where things would end up

Josh:

the it's not so much about what they say, but what they ask. Right. That is that's cool. Um, and then earning stripes, just like, you know, you were ranking up, you were leveling. If this were a video game, you were leveling up in the middle of the shit. You don't feel like this is, you know, like this is good for you feel like the world's like happening to you. Like you're the, you're the, the punching bag of, of the shit of the world. Right. But the coach was like, you're just earning your stripes. This is going to be super valuable one day. Just realize that this is going to be helpful to others. One day there's something.

Chris:

So going way back really early on, I was in a, I got invited to the seminar to see this motivational speaker was in San Diego. And I was like, I don't know, I was probably 2021. And I ended up in the front row and it was this, it was this guy that wrote this book called the psychology of winning Dr. Dennis Waitley. And, and he gave this talk. And I remember like, I remember several of the points vividly, but I remember this one thing that he did, he said, Hey, I'm going to write 10, two letter words on the board. And these 10, two letter words can change your life. And he wrote up if it is to be, it is up to me. And when he did that, I don't know what anyone else in the room thought. But when he did that, it was like a lightning bolt coming down and it hit me and. Yeah. The whole time, the light shining and everything like, okay, I'm responsible, I'm responsible. I'm responsible for the outcomes. Now. I actually probably took that too far. So when things happened, you know, such as the divorce and those things, I, I, I, I took on the responsibility of it. And, and so that was, you know, that was, uh, a big learning, but because of that, I never, I never had the, um, I never became a victim. I never had any victim thoughts or anything else because I came from the Pikesville. I'm responsible for this. So it wasn't, why is this happening to me? Or, um, there was never any of that. Like, why me, why this is like, okay, what am I, what, um, what have I done? That's caused this? Well, if I had done, that's allowed this, what have I not learned? You know, what do I need to learn? Yeah, the, those were the thoughts that, that were coming because I was responsible for it.

Josh:

That's super cool. So you never became a victim because you knew how to take the responsibility for that. And you could improve upon that. Um, I don't know if I would be strong enough to, to do, to do that. You know, I'm learning now to not be a victim. I'm learning now and I'm 40, man. I wish I knew this shit, like when I was 18, but I'm learning now going, okay. You know, my, my business partner goes, Hey, you weren't responsible for that. You didn't have to take that. I was like, Nope, taking responsibility, even if it's 1%, I own the whole thing. And, um, so, you know, taking that responsibility, let's just role play for a second. Right? What would have happened if you didn't? I mean, that was years ago. Like what, w what, where would you be at, if you didn't take responsibility, if you did it. Own your side of the coin. What, where do you think you'd be? Or what do you think it would look like?

Chris:

Uh, I'd probably be, I mean, who knows? I mean, I, there would probably be a, would have been and maybe even still a lot of anger. Right. Cause when you're, when you're, when things are done, when, when you're at the effect of things, you know, you get angry with that. Um, I, I don't think I would have ever become, uh, um, as good of a father and parent as I think I have. I don't think I ever would have, um, the relationship that I have now, um, would have never happened. Um, you know, no chance, I think, uh, in business. No way the lead, I would have achieved that, like the leadership roles that I achieved, because that's not a trait of great leaders. Um, so I think if, um, yeah, that's, that's not even a life I want to imagine.

Josh:

Yeah, man, it's so good because you know, you, you look back in it, you said your world was crumbling upon you and then you fast forward to now, and you said looking back, I would have never had these things. If I didn't take responsibility and I didn't have those wake up calls, you know, like those looking back, they say hindsight's 2020. Right. But like, like being able to, to see. What you have in, in, in, in that kind of stuff is, uh, just super cool and taking responsibility. That's hard for, for me and for a lot of guys, like what advice do you have for us there? Like on how to start, maybe stepping into that, you know, you, you, it seems like you do it more naturally than I do. Uh, give me some advice. It's,

Chris:

um, it's this, uh, it's this a better place to come from? It's a more powerful place to come from, you know, it's, it's, you're betting on yourself, you know, like it's, I'm, I'm responsible for, for how this goes. I'm responsible for how this turns out now. Are there outside factors and everything else? Yeah. It's like I had, no, I didn't, you know, at the time I was super young and everything else when we met, but you know, later to find out that, you know, I was in a long-term relationship with someone that had. Yeah. I've been diagnosed with mental illness, you know, after, you know, after the divorce, um, you know, w was I responsible for that? No, but I was, I was responsible for in that relationship. I was the one that, um, that made that choice. The, um, I think the, you know, when you're, I think here's the key point, Josh, there's a difference between being responsible and being at fault or guilty. Oh yeah. And so when you're responsible and you own it and to, to use your expression, then you have the power to do something about it. The, where, where it can go wrong is if you turn that into like a judgment about, you know, and beat yourself up with it, then, then that's obviously negative and, and everything else. So it's, there's a fine line. Um, where, you know, you want to learn from it and everything else. Um, I can, I can tell you from experience. I can look back and wait, are there things I'd change if I, if I could go back and magically change? Well, of course we all would, but I don't know that I have any real regrets. Like, like all those things that have happened, it made me who I am and I like who I am and what I wished them on other people, or want them to go through. And, and there is, um, and again, you know, um, I'm giving you a little pieces of some things and there were many others. Um, but there's, but, um, but yeah, those are the things that, you know, that's life, right? And, and, and no matter how bad we have it, or I had it, there are people that have it worse, you know, look at we're doing this, we're having this conversation. There aren't bombs going on around us. We aren't living in a basement or underground, like a lot of people right now and in your crane and, you know, it's, it's, um, you know, I think, again, back to the responsibility thing, it just, it's a more powerful place to come from because, you know, you can then be the, the, the decision maker or the driver in the situation say, Hey, here's, here's what I might do to fix this. Or here's what I'm going to do to get to where I want to go.

Josh:

You make it to the top, right? You you've had some collapsing world experiences, right. You went to, uh, an event which is funny for an introvert to wind up in the front row. That's your, that's a, that's like your worst nightmare, but, uh,

Chris:

you know, luckily I didn't get called on.

Josh:

Right, right. Eh, you know, you've, you've, you've hit these massive highs in your career and in your life. And, um, you know, now you're in a new season where you're, you know, you're an investor, you're an advisor, you sit on boards, you run companies, you, you take care. A lot of people like with, with what you're with the position you're in. Now, what new challenges do you have in terms of mindset since you, you know, in your thoughts? Right? Cause that's what your book is about. Like what are you working on now in your brain? Um,

Chris:

it's funny, you asked me that because last night I was actually thinking about this last night. Like I am, I'm not, I have a hard time ever being satisfied and I want to achieve more and I want to have more freedom and I want to, um, not accumulate material things or cumulate wealth for the sake of having them, but to be able to do, to do more WL, help, more, to be able to, uh, have more freedom. And yeah, so I like, and it's been, this has been the thing that's been gone for a while. So wrestling with in my mind, um, what matters and what doesn't matter, you know, I'm, um, I'm at 10, I'm attending a Memorial service tomorrow. We've, we've all had people that we've lost and. Yeah, when that happens, it, one of the gifts is that it puts things in perspective and you know, it helps help. Has you look at, you know, what's, what's really important. So you know where, where I'm spending a lot of time thinking about now. It's okay. How, what am I doing to make sure that I'm, I'm living to my full potential that I'm, um, uh, I'll share another thought. So you know where this confirms, um, you know, when things happen when green you lose people, you okay. Well, what's it all about? Like what it's in one day and one instance, it's all gone. It's all over breathing. You built everything, you try to accomplish everything you were working on. Everything you'd have. It's none of that's complete. Meaningless. Yeah. Um, so what's left and, um, so I'll show you what this was. So, um, on March 12th, my mom died and she died. It happened very suddenly and I have four kids and my brother has two kids. There's six grandkids. So we were immediately all flew in to San Diego or altogether, and over the next 24, 48 hours. Um, I was listening to the grandkids, talk about their grandmother and all the things that they learned from her and all the things they loved about her and all the things. And it really hit me in a way that I hadn't had any before that all that's left is the memories and the impact that you have on other people. And so. You know, now it's like, okay, what am I doing every day to make sure that I have a positive impact on the people around me, on the people I work with on the people I've worked for and the people who work for me, um, because what else matters when it's, when it's all gone? Like hopefully one, one little thing I do or say will make a difference for someone else after I'm gone, that will then benefit someone else. And so that's, that's where this bit of a tug of war in my mind lately is between like the things that I'm wanting to achieve and those things, and then keeping in perspective, like, you know what, what's

Josh:

the most important things. Totally, man, please accept my condolences. That's that's tough. Man. So how, how do you think you're going to do that? Right? Like, so this is the new journey, right? You've made it to the top of many mountains. You've led teams. You were the number one in the world, go, Chris, go, right? Like you you've, you've made it. And now, you know, now something that you're working on is going, wow, I need to focus on being content, not always, you know, driving and finding out the things that truly matter memories and impact on others. Like what do you think you're going to put into place? Or what are you starting to practice? Cause this is new for you to, to help you do that.

Chris:

Yeah. I w I would say it's, it's this level of that awareness is new. Like, it's, there's always something that's always been there and the things that I've, I've done and wanted to do, I've never done for the, like the outside recognition. Um, w we used to get, uh, our company is do these awards programs and they'd give you. Everyone shows up at the hotel and big awards. And they, and I used to tell the owner of the company that like, don't, don't spend money on a reward for me. Cause I give you these like big crystal trophy isn't everything. And like I said, don't spend the money on me, like give the money away or, or give me a dinner certificate, something like that because I don't, I don't want their words. Cause I always had this view, like you're getting an award for, you know, how many, you know, being the number one agent last year, well, last year is over and you know, I, I, I'm looking forward, I'm not looking in the rear view mirror and I would actually take these awards and I would walk out and I'd find the first trash can and throw it in the trash. I go back to my office and my team would be like, Hey, you know, congratulations. Or, you know, where's their word. And I go throw it away. So that was for last year and we're in this year. And um, and so the, the not being satisfied that part's not going to go away, like I'm not going to I'm. I actually feel like I haven't even done my, my big thing yet. Um, and that there's, there's more to come and there will be more to come. And, um, but I think there's when I was younger, I spent way too much time in the future and way too much time, um, envisioning, managing, um, uh, fantasizing about what it was going to be like or where I was going to go. It was going to accomplish and, and probably missed a lot of, um, you know, what was, what, or, or enjoyment about what the process. So now it's just more about like the process, it's the journey it's like, there's nowhere to get to. Um, do I want to keep climbing mountains and achieving? Yeah. So I want to keep helping, I like to win and I want to keep winning. Um, but there's, there's, uh, I want to also have fun along the way and make sure that I'm, I'm doing good and helping people. That's cool, man.

Josh:

Speaking of fun, what do you do for fun? Right. So we've got a hard to achieve our building companies, doing all these things. What do you do for fun?

Chris:

Um, I like, I love sporting events. I love any physical activity. Um, I love, uh, which is weird. I haven't been to one in a long time because of the pandemic concerts and, you know, live music, uh, traveling, um, the, uh, you know, and then anytime I get to spend with any of my kids, the, um, you know, I, I always had a, uh, w when you, so you're younger than me, but when I, when iPods first came out, when you ordered an iPod. If you ordered it from, from apple, you could engrave, you could put engraving on the back. And I love music. So I was like, oh, I, pods are awesome. And bipods, and I had multiple iPods, right? Yeah. They kept coming out with newer ones, you lose one or whatever. And I always had ingrained with the same thing that I always said, work hard, play hard. And, um, and so I, I liked to have fun. I liked the laugh and I liked the, you know, I have, uh, you know, I have some great lifelong friends and spending time and those types of things.

Josh:

Yeah.

Chris:

So I'm doing the low maintenance, so it doesn't have to be any big old,

Josh:

got it. October 23rd, 2001. That's when the first iPod came out. Right. I just did a quick search. So if I'm wrong, guys, I'm sure someone's going to correct me. I just did a quick Google search. So let's just say you and I. October 23rd, 2001. We stood in line. We got the first iPod. Got it. Engraved work, hard, play hard. You and I, if we found that iPod today, the first one you got, what was the number one played song on your iPod? In 2001?

Chris:

It probably would have been and ACDC song. Um, let's see. In 2001, I'm trying to think of 2001 news. Oh, um, maybe you two song. Yeah. Um, I mean, this is sort of been a constant from the eighties, but, uh, um, yeah, I was probably in 2001. I probably would have been at YouTube would have been the number one. Super cool.

Josh:

Um, during this interview, We had a lot of chat about mindset and thoughts. And in, in these things, like what questions should I've asked you that I didn't ask you during this interview?

Chris:

I don't know, 30 seconds before this interview started, w we weren't even talking about any of this stuff. So, um, so, um, no, I think, um, there's a lot of things. So the things we didn't talk about, and I'm not, I don't have, I don't have the thought. You should have asked me these things, but the things that we didn't talk about that, um, and this is not to promote, but because there are more there's someone reads it or not, but there's there's concepts in the book. So the book is a story about a mentor and a mentee, but each chapter I took a lesson. That's helped me succeed that and woven into the story. So things that, that, that are in the book that we haven't talked about were, um, a lot of about mindset, the mindset of success, um, training your mind to, to not give power to your wants and don't wants. So by that, I mean, part of my success that an agent came from having a schedule every day and following that schedule and generating business everyday generating leads, doing lead follow-up and prospecting, and just like everyone else. There were days where I didn't want to do it or days where I wanted to go fishing or go to the beach and go play dolls with my friends. But I would, I would acknowledge those thoughts and I say, I'm not going to listen to my wants. I'm not gonna listen to them. I don't want, I don't want to do this. I want to make it more calls. I'm not going to listen to my dog. I'm going to do, I need to do, because my goals are important enough to, to do that. So, you know, developing the discipline to do the things that you know that you should do or need to do, even when you don't want to do them. That's a big differentiator we see between, you know, people that succeed at a high level, people that don't

Josh:

my thoughts run away. And every once in a while I go, holy, you know, like I, I wake up almost like a, I could be aware of that. And I go, how did I get to this point? I was thinking about something. And now I'm thinking about like the, the darkest things of, you know, something happened to my wife or my kids. And it was just like, I was just sitting there. And now I'm thinking about this stuff, or I'm thinking about money too much, or, and I'm not being present or, you know, my, my thoughts run away with me sometimes. Like, what is a, what are some tips, you know, maybe from the book or maybe that you've experienced on how to become conscious, how to become mindful of what's going on? Because I haven't figured that piece out the first step is

Chris:

always awareness, right? Like being aware that that's even happened. And then I don't spend too much time on like how that happens. Sometimes it's almost for entertainment. I like go back and connect the dots. Like, how did I go about thinking about this? So this thing happened. Let me think about that thing. And, or my wife will say, how did she'll say, what do you think about, I'll say, why are you thinking about that when we're having those conversations? I said, because 10 minutes ago, you said this, when you said this, my mind went to that and then went to that like crazy, crazy puzzle. Um, but the other thing is when I, one thing I think I, as a little kid, I used to have, um, Don't worry. I won't go into the store things that happened when I was little kid, but I I'd have nightmares. And, and, um, my mom used to say this, just tell those, telling that mirrors, go away, tell those thoughts to go away, release those thoughts. And so I would, I, to this day I do this, I'll have a, you know, a dark thought or a bad thought. Um, and I'll, I'll say release that thought release that thought. And when, as soon as I do is like, is even operates. Um, you know, the, the other things I'd say, um, the more that we can be observers, the, the easier it is to be more mindful, you know, it's like, it's like, if you're in, if you're in a movie theater watching a movie versus. Being in the movie. Yeah. Yeah. You can, you can then have more perspective and, and watch yourself and your thoughts. So, um, you know, my, um, I was talking to someone who had to give a deposition the other day and, um, actually one person had to give a deposition. The other person I had assigned her had to have a, how to have a very difficult conversation with an adversary. And, and to both of them, I said, Hey, try to be the observer. And what I meant by that was just watch, observe the other person don't get sucked into the dialogue, observe and listen. And then, then, you know, being able to, to respond like someone who was watching it and say, oh, here's, what's going on. Oh, let's see this. Um, so the more that we can do that, I think that the better also.

Josh:

Yeah, that's super cool. Uh, for the guys listening in who want to check out your books and start, man, really being able to take their thoughts captive, right? Put them under control and maybe release the ones. Um, one thing that happened. So I, I want you to tell guys where they could go to, to find that book, uh, and to connect with you. And then I've got something that just popped in my brain. So w where can we find the book?

Chris:

The book is you can go to dominant thoughts.com or the Amazon, and, and you'll find the books. There are back paperback, audio, you know, Kendall, Virgin. Um, you can, uh, my website is Chris heller.com. So you can find me there and, uh, and I'm on social media. And so feel free to reach out or going to.

Josh:

Super cool. Um, one thing that popped in my head, right, as I was, as I was saying, this is like, I have dark thoughts or I have negative thinking or I have, you know, something terrible will pop in my brain. And someone told me this, I think maybe a coach or someone you are not your thoughts because I would take them on and go, oh man, I feel bad for thinking these things. I didn't mean to, they just popped in there. Like I'm not a control of that, right. If, unless you're like Freudian, who says there's subconscious crap in there, but whatever. So I would release that. Walk, can you, can you share an exercise of how to release your thoughts and how to make sure that they're not digging in? Cause I know you've done a lot of work in that. Could you maybe show us an exercise before we say goodbye today? Yeah. So, um,

Chris:

I first became aware of this like early in my career where, um, you know, you have this voice and you have these thoughts and, and. The realization that I control my thoughts, not my thoughts control me. Now I can let my thoughts control me, but you know, I am, I am the one that controls it. Like if I, if I don't exercise control, then who knows where my thoughts are going to go or what tunnel they're going to go down or anything else, if it was that bad or dark thought, I would, I would say I released that thought released that thought. And I would literally like, just let it go. And that would stop the thinking about that. Right. Then I also, um, early on, I was told that you, it's hard to have an inquiry with yourself. And so a lot of times you need another person. I need another person to talk to Nathan a pro say, Hey, this is what I was thinking. Or this has been bothering me. It's super important. I don't think enough people, you know, or are realize that, or, or, or maybe some people just don't have those types of people in their life where they can do that. How someone who, you know, like I have friends, like you tell anything to, and I have told them things and they're not going to judge me and they're not going to, you know, they're mad or do this. They like, they're just cause they're friends. Um, and so just having, you know, sometimes it's sharing that with a friend or a partner and being able to say, Hey, this is, this is what I was, that's what I was thinking, man, I got this crazy. I got to stop this. Yeah, look, it is probably why you're doing it. And it's not a big deal that there's, um, as far as the specific exercise, I can't think of anything off the top of my head right now. Josh says, write down what I think of certain things. Um, but there's, uh, You know, we got to keep remind ourselves that we, we control our thoughts. And if we're having those thoughts, we're either allowing it or, or having them ourselves. And just as we're having them, we can change them and changing our thoughts is, is probably the greatest gift that we have. So we want to make sure that we take advantage of that. No,

Josh:

that's super good. That's perfect, man. It's it's, you know, I release it. I release it. You could talk to it, like you said before, like, Hey, dope. That's not. And then the, you said, what you're really trying to work on now is you want more freedom? I think one of the greatest freedoms we have is the ability to be ourselves. So you being able to talk to friends or partners or people that you could just go, these are the crazy things that are popping into my head or my life or whatever. And you could do that without judgment. Like that to me is like the, one of the greatest forms of freedom. So, man, it sounds like you got an amazing treasure and you're working on some cool stuff. I really appreciate, I got a signed copy of the book. I'm super thrilled about that. I, I really appreciate you making that happen. And, um, Chris, one more time. Where's a good place for people to find the book and to connect with you.

Chris:

Dominant thoughts.com. You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. I have a website at a grade, I would create my own website for the books. And when you're an author, you then your own website. So Chris heller.co is the, is the website. Um, but yeah, any of those places you can find me super cool

Josh:

guys, as always, uh, man, if you're struggling, you don't need to do it alone. There's resources. There's coaches, there's people who say just, Hey man, here's some resources for you. It could be someone's book. It could be, you know, listening to podcasts or whatever, but as always reach out to our guests, they thank you by their books, follow what they're doing, connect with them. If you need help. And uh, if you can't get ahold of someone head on over to uncensored advice for men.com, there's a little microphone in the corner. You could leave me a voice message or a contact button at the top. You could send a message saying, Hey, I'm struggling with X. Or if you have some advice for men, you could fill out a quick form to maybe get you on the show next, but till then, love you guys talk to you all next step. So see you guys.

Chris Heller Profile Photo

Chris Heller

Author

Earning his real estate license when he was just a sophomore in college, Chris Heller rose to become the leader of the largest real estate company in the world - and didn’t stop there.

Early on, Heller was named Rookie of the Year in 1989 before becoming the top-producing agent in San Diego County and the No. 1 Keller Williams associate in North America. He has consistently set new records and standards across the industry for more than 30 years.

His leadership philosophy and unmatched track record in real estate has provided a springboard for outstanding contribution across many sectors. Heller brings his knowledge and experience to a variety of leadership roles, including advisor, board member, investor, coach, and mentor.

As Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs, Chris’ vision has shaped partner strategies and a cohesive structure between real estate professionals and OJO. His highly-respected expertise as the former CEO at Mellohome and former CEO at Keller Williams Realty International (KWRI) has helped him grow as an executive and create sustained success as a leader. All this while leading the Heller The Home Seller Real Estate Team, which has sold more than 100 homes a year for 30+ years.

A growth expert, as President of KW Worldwide, Chris launched the company’s first regions outside of North America, resulting in record productivity and profitability. As CEO at KWRI, he led its transformation into the technology company and powerhouse company it is renowned for today.

As CEO of mellohome, Chris is credited with setting the strategy, led cross-functional groups accountable for simpler and smarter consumer homebuying, financing, and improvement experiences. Under his leadership role, mellohome doubled its growth, while improving the experiential and product landscape for the homeownership industry.

Innovative, ambitious, and results-orientated, Chris Heller is a positive and strategic thought leader whose expertise is sought on multiple platforms. He is a dynamic speaker who shares his proven leadership philosophy with audiences across the country. In his debut book, Dominant Thoughts, Heller shares his simple, yet powerful success strategies, and the mindset that helped unlock his impressive achievements as a leader in sales, productivity, prosperity, relationships, and happiness.

A native of southern California, Heller remains at the top of his game by staying physically and mentally fit through daily exercise and reading. Heller has traveled extensively and makes the most out of family time with his wife and their four adult children.