Dear Brian ... I have been a fan of your articles for a number of years. While I realize you have been in the business a very long time (nearly 25 years right?), I am amazed at how you can keep your composure during times like these. The last two years have devastated our business, myself included. I have now made my wife go back to work, and I have taken a part-time job. I still originate, but closed down my company and work part-time just to keep my head above water. What do you do to stay positive in these times? Looking forward to your answer, —B. Stanovich, Wisconsin Dear Bob: What a great and timely question. Yes, these past few years have been terrible for most, but not all. Even those who remain are not earning what they had. One of my clients just reported earning $92,000 in revenue from $8.3million in closings for October … not bad! However, I do realize that he is the exception right now so keep reading. First, let me give you some good news, and then I will share some ideas with you. The good news—the tax incentive is still in place for the beginning of 2010. More good news … there are less of us chasing the same deal than there has been for the past seven to eight years. Yes, it may be tougher to get these deals done, but one big secret that I have always shared is to work backwards. Find out what programs you have to offer, and only then, market to those folks. That is even more important now since most have fewer resources. But, more importantly, when you go after just anyone, you may become very frustrated with all the deals that you cannot do and that is not good! Second … stay positive. I know, staying positive is easier said than done, but I read and listen to educational audio every single day, including weekends. One of the keys to success I discovered was your self image. It controls everything you do … period! I used to read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and all of the other motivational books on success, and yes, they are good, but something always seemed to be missing. Ever see someone do well and reach a certain level and implode? Or, have you ever seen someone who has all of the skill and talent in the world, but just never gets to that top level? Both are because of self image. Most of these books, etc. are teaching you to think positively but that just doesn’t always work now does it? I knew there had to be more than just thinking positively and daily affirmations. I searched far and wide, and finally found what I believe to be the answer to these questions. It is contained in a classic book called Psycho-Cybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. It’s a book I give to all of my brand new coaching and consulting clients. Go get this book! Everyone has rough times … myself included. How you get through these rough patches mentally will determine your success! Nothing else! If you want even more tips I have put together a 32-page free report at www.loanofficerformula.com/nmp. Dedicated to having buyers chasing you … Brian Sacks is CEO of www.loanofficerformula.com. He has been an industry expert for more than 25 years, closing 6,000-plus loans totaling $1 billion. You can read Brian’s 32-page special report entitled “The Death of Mortgage Origination as We Know It” and “The 10 Things You Must Do Now to Survive and Thrive” at www.loanofficerformula.com/nmp. This report sells for $97 and has been downloaded by more than 9,200 originators and company owners, but is free for a limited time for readers of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.