Focus and Refuel

Jim Haisler, RCE, CIPS, has a motto that’s front and center on his LinkedIn profile: “Bring it on; life is never boring!” At Heartland, Haisler keeps a full schedule serving nearly 1,200 REALTOR® members and more than 150 affiliate members, but he still takes time to refuel. Here, he shares his best advice on how he makes work-life balance a priority.

Q: Jim, let’s get practical. You’re very busy, as we all are. How do you find time for personal wellness?

Honestly, it’s simple: We get what we focus on. If you want to find time for yourself, you need to make time for yourself. I’m a morning person. I get up at 5:45 a.m. and am on my bike by 6 to ride for an hour, weather permitting. In winter, I ride an indoor bike, but it’s less motivating so I usually do just 30 minutes.

Q: Along with being an avid morning bike rider, you’re also a beekeeper. How do these hobbies fuel you in your daily work life?

Bike riding is so peaceful. It provides me a wonderful hour to let my mind wander with no interference. I call it “white time,” instead of “white noise.” It’s incredibly therapeutic. I often can’t tell you what I thought about on my ride, but I feel like my thoughts have organized and I’m a better person for that time.

Bees are just fun. Beekeeping is a hobby that allows us “beeks” to take care of them on our own schedule. When I’ve got a few minutes and want to go check on the girls, I do. Watching these incredibly curious creatures fly around, land on you—even lick you—is crazy cool. I’m wearing a veil, but often not gloves, and typically wearing shorts. If you listen to the bees, they’ll tell you when they’ve had enough and it’s time to leave them “bee.” Seriously. It’s almost meditative.

Q: How do you support wellness among your staff and members?

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of having staff work from home, but I do have two (of the five of us) who each get one day a week from home. Another one likes to take walks, so she takes a couple a week during office hours. We can’t pay top dollar, but extra perks offer real value. I instituted the “hall pass” program so an employee can work through lunch and leave early. I’m also very flexible with doctor’s appointments during the day.

Q: How do you feel balance in your life benefits your members?

It motivates them to also find time for themselves. I constantly
post my bike rides on Facebook. Why? First, it makes me accountable [to continue doing what I say I’m going to do]. I didn’t say it was easy getting up at 5:45 a.m.! Second, I believe it motivates others to push themselves. Like it or not, AEs are leaders, and leaders have a responsibility to lead.

Q: If you could give other AEs just one piece of encouragement about finding wellness in their own lives, what would you say?

I’ll go back to “we get what we focus on.” What are you focusing on? What’s really important to you? How are you going to focus on it? Then ask yourself, how committed are you to that goal?


Jim Haisler, spring, AEX headshot, 2023

Jim Haisler, RCE, CIPS, is the CEO of the Heartland REALTOR® Organization.


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