How I lost 240 pounds and grew my real estate business fivefold

By Amy Izzo

We are all a work in progress. Some of you are suffering in silence, like I was. Everyone sees your smiling face, nice car, home, success, money, happy family, friends, highlight reels of deals closed, travel and life events that make others wish they were like you. Behind the smile and highlight reels, though, lie discontentment, uneasiness and maybe even a deep suffering others don’t suspect.

A trip inward may be scary because you’re not living up to your full potential. You know you can be more, but you continue to feel stuck on an ever-present secret journey of trying to figure out how to get over the hump or maybe even what is wrong with you. This vicious cycle will eventually leave you in pain, robbing you of living your best life, hurting your relationships and stunting your growth. I know this firsthand.

I was perceived as very successful by others over a 25-year corporate career and a more-than-10-year real estate career: a polished corporate executive who successfully transitioned to a top-producing agent, team leader, coach and speaker. All true, but also my truth: at my heaviest, I was 440 pounds, exhausted and unfulfilled, and my income was stagnant because I was unhealthy and, therefore, less productive.

Today, I am 240 pounds lighter; my income has grown five times what it was just three years ago; and I am a competitive ballroom dancer and running a thriving, growing real estate, coaching and speaking business. I work less, play more, feel more fulfilled than ever and make more money.

When you line up my success with my health journey, you’ll see my lowest-performing year in business aligns with my rock bottom in my health, and my explosive growth happened in the years I spent more time focused on myself, while playing more and working less. The more I pour into myself, the easier it is to scale my business and make more money, too.

Right about now you may be thinking: How is it possible to make more money by focusing on ME? I am a living practitioner of this, and I have the data and photos to prove it.

Here are three critical strategies that I practice to transform my life:

1. Be honest with yourself about where you are RIGHT NOW and what you really want.

We lie to ourselves and make excuses so we feel better. This behavior doesn’t move you toward the life you want. It keeps you operating small and away from realizing your full potential. Whether you are consuming too much alcohol, are overweight, live a sedentary life, function in a cycle of burnout-recovery-burnout, or whatever it is, you are living a recipe for disaster. When you don’t feel healthy and fulfilled, your productivity is lower, you work more hours, your relationships suffer and you make less money.

2. Make a decision TODAY to commit to one immediate action that will move you forward.

Decisive people take action immediately. When you choose one small action, something seemingly insignificant, so small that it appears IMPOSSIBLE to fail, and you keep that commitment to yourself every day, you create a trust within yourself that propels you to new levels. My road to a 240-pound weight loss, massive income growth and competitive ballroom dancing started with walking 15 minutes a day, every single day, no matter what.


This has been the hardest lesson for me. You must come before everyone else. You before your partner, children, family, friends and clients. Self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for you to BE your best for every person you serve. Once you really embrace that neglecting your needs and desires actually robs others of enjoying the best version of you, you will always prioritize your needs first so that you can serve the world better. Stop cheating the world of the best of you by cheating yourself out of what you really need.

True transformation comes when you get honest, make a real action-packed decision, stop shaming yourself and allow yourself grace without excuses. You will have tough moments, but living stuck is more painful than those tough moments. Reframe those moments and move your focus back to what you really want and to your one small commitment. You are not broken. No one is coming to save you. Be the hero you need. It’s time to rise and run into your next season of life with a smile on your face and a heart full of grace.

Real estate coach Amy Izzo, team leader of The Amy Izzo Group brokered by eXp Realty, has been a Realtor since 2014.

3 things to do to take advantage of the shifting market

By Jared James

Unless you’ve been on hiatus for the last six months, you have for sure heard the words “shifting market” more times than you care to count. The problem with this is that it puts the focus on the wrong place. The question is not whether the market is shifting; the real question is how you are shifting in your own business to stay ahead of the market and remain the best option for your consumers moving forward.

Let’s talk about that.

I’m a big believer that there is no such thing as a good market or bad market. There’s just the market you are in and what you do with it. I don’t just run one of the largest coaching and training companies in the industry today; I’m one of those rare breeds that actually sold a lot of real estate before getting into this side of the business, and I can tell you that my best year ever selling was 2008. Not exactly the best time to be selling, according to all reports at the time.

So, here we find ourselves again at a time when the headlines are less than ideal and yet opportunities are everywhere if you know where to look and how to

Here are a couple of tips to help you take advantage of the market we are in while so many of your competitors are just hoping things go OK and waiting to see what happens.

1. Don’t build your business on rented land

Would you build a house on rented land? Of course not. Then why are so many of you building your real estate business on sources that you don’t control? That’s a dangerous game when you consider that any one of them could pull the plug on their leads program and you would be out of luck. Building on rented land has more to do with the intent than it does the source. I’m actually all for pulling business from third-party companies and buying leads or paying referral fees, as long as you understand that the ultimate purpose of that customer is to get them into your database. Your database is only business that you actually own and control and have direct access to whenever you need it. When you understand the lifetime value of a real estate client, and aren’t just looking at them as a one-time sale, you will start to understand that the answer to any market or the next disruptor is sitting right under your nose: it’s your database.

2. Build your content library

Our business has changed, and while none of you got into real estate to be a content creator, that’s what it now takes to be a successful Realtor.
We teach our students that our job every day is to give people in your area the opportunity to KNOW you so that they have a chance to NO you. Most of the people that would have worked with you in the past are not even giving you an at-bat in today’s world, because the first thing they do is go online and decide who to talk to. The agent that answers their questions before they ever even get a chance to meet is more times than not the one they use.

If you aren’t sure what videos belong in your content library, it’s simple … just look at the questions that your clients ask you by text and email, and answer those questions one by one on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. That will be the start you need to get going.

3. It’s time to be a professional again

We just came through a market that was a fool’s gold market for anyone new in the business. That wasn’t a normal market by any standard. We are now entering a market where pros are going to win and winging it won’t cut it anymore. This means that you will actually need to have specific strategies that you follow every day for results. Not sometimes … every day. It will also mean that the words you use will matter again, because, like it or not, we are in sales and the quality of the answers you get will always be determined by the quality of the questions that you ask. So, practice, practice, practice and commit to being a pro.

The coming market should only be scary for those that aren’t prepared, but for the rest of you, get with your coach, come up with your plan for 2023 and then remember what we tell our students every day: consistency is undefeated. It doesn’t matter what you do tomorrow or three days from now. All that matters is what you will still be doing eight months from now if you want to see results and succeed in any market regardless of the conditions around you.

Jared James is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach and author.