In today’s blog, we honor our veterans, those that have served us in preserving the freedoms we enjoy. President Franklin Roosevelt spoke about four freedoms: the freedom of speech & expression; the freedom of worship; the freedom from want and the freedom from fear. I’m reminded on this Veterans Day, that all the freedoms we enjoy don’t come without a cost.
What can learn from those that serve and how can we apply those learnings to our real estate practice? American Express, in their Open Forum, interviewed 18 veteran business owners who shared the lessons they learned in the military that has led to business success. They are summarized here:
1. The Power of Intense Focus
4. Superior Decision-Making Skills
5. Resourcefulness, Flexibility, and Persistence
6. The Ability to Harness Processes and Procedures
7. Extreme Discipline
The ability to silence distractions is a critical business skill that allows us to quickly assess situations and identify solutions that yield positive outcomes.
In order to achieve a mission, the military teaches that it takes a team watching each other’s backs while doing their individual best.
In the military, if something stays the same for too long, it starts to feel strange. You’re constantly moving to a new base, changing roles and deploying to different locations. In private business, change is also constant, especially in companies like ours that strive to be ‘innovative and growth-oriented’ and continuously look to improve.
Superior Decision-Making Skills
All leaders would love to make decisions with perfect information, but that never happens. In the military, you learn to trust your ability to make decisions under pressure using what information you have available. Then you adjust as the situation warrants. Situational awareness is a skill learned in military service.
Resourcefulness, Flexibility, and Persistence
Veterans learn to pivot on a moment’s notice from plans that aren’t working to plans that are. When you are faced with the challenge of getting a job done without access to the resources that would ideally be available, one of the greatest skills you gain is an uncanny and nearly unparalleled ability to independently solve complex tasks with little to no guidance.
The Ability to Harness Processes and Procedures
In the military, everything is built on the fundamentals with a process and a procedure. We would never be able to progress to conducting night live-fire exercises if we weren’t able to shoot, move and communicate during the day. You don’t just hop into a plane and take it off the ground. There are many checks and safety inspections that have to be done, and a responsible pilot has to be accountable for all of it.
Starting and running your own business is the most all-consuming thing you can do. Running on little sleep, having a no-quit attitude and preserving until the end is all attributes I can trace back to the military culture and training.
There you have it, 7 key skills that we can learn from Veterans. Which ones can you apply today to #WinTheDay.
Have you ever told yourself, “I don’t have enough time to do that?” Or “I’m so busy!?” When out of time or overwhelmed, it often can mean, “I don’t know what’s important right now.” Can you relate? If so, this article is for you.
I recently ran across a fantastic author, Amber Rae. What I like about Amber is she is not a therapist, a neuroscientist, or even a life coach. She is a woman who is obsessed with the human condition, with what our emotions are trying to tell us, and how you and I can express the fullness of our gifts. Her book, “Wonder Over Worry” is an official invitation to face our fears and create a life that reflects who you are.
I’m SO busy! Here are a few questions to ask yourself intended to align your behavior with your ambition and goals better.
- What is my #1 priority right now?
- Are my behaviors consistent with my priorities? For example,
- Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” right now when I need to say “no”?
- Is there anywhere I’m saying “yes” to that is not serving me or my goals at this time?
- How much of my time and energy is devoted to things that feel like a burden?
- Can I make them feel less of a burden?
- Can I delegate or do less of these activities?
- In terms of where you are investing your time write now, what brings you the most fulfillment and joy?
- How can you do more of that?
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” ~ Coco Chanel
“I’m so busy” — three little words many of us use all the time as a way to decline invitations. Think about it, and it makes sense, though: Time is the most precious commodity because unlike money, we can’t make more of it.
But guess what? Everyone is busy, so while you might think the message you’re sending with “I’m so busy” is, “I’m slammed,” what the other person hears is,
“What I’m working on is more important than you!”
Wow – is that the message you want to send to others? Stop saying ‘I’m so busy.’ Harvard researchers say this is what successful people do instead:
Take a rain check.
Let the other person know what you have going on. Telling others what you’ve been doing (even if it’s unrelated to work – for me like preparing for a Spartan Race) also allows them to get to know you better. In turn, the other person is invited to share updates of their own, which can help to establish rapport.
Be honest and lend a hand.
Showing complete honesty and sincerity can boost the relationship. Depending on what the invitation is, here are a couple of examples:
- “I can’t make it to the brainstorming meeting because I have a few deadlines to meet. I’m not finished and to be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed. Would it be helpful if I send my ideas tomorrow morning?”
- “I can’t make it to your networking event next week because I have dinner plans that night. I’ve rescheduled it twice already, and I’d hate to do it again. But I know a few colleagues who would love to attend your event. Can I extend the invitation?”
The key is to show that you trust the other person enough, to be honest and that you care enough to offer support.
Be honest about your condition
In a study from Harvard, participants found two valid excuses that resonated with others:
- I don’t have the money right now for that activity… with some context.
- I don’t have the energy right now for that activity… with some context.
The significance of the Harvard study is that it provides valuable insight into how we can be more protective of our time without making others question how much we value the relationship.
Rule the day or the day rules you!
When you undertake a project, a new initiative you’ll hit predictable resistance. It may sound strange, yet some of the most unlikely personal tendencies will actually help you be more successful.
Consider some of the odd champions on your side:
Picasso painted with passion, Mozart composed with it. A child plays with it all day long. You may think that you’ve lost your passion, or that you can’t identify it, or that you have so much of it, it threatens to overwhelm you. None of these is true. Fear saps passion. When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.
Is there a spiritual element to creativity? Of course, there is. Our mightiest ally (our indispensable ally) is a belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste, or feel. Resistance wants to rattle that faith. Resistance wants to destroy it. Don’t let that happen.
The three dumbest guys I can think of: Charles Lindbergh, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill. Why? Because any smart person who understood how impossible the tasks that they had set out for themselves would have pulled the plug before they even began. How do we achieve this state of mind? By staying stupid. By not allowing ourselves to think!
Don’t think. Act.
You can always revise and revisit once you’ve acted. But you can’t accomplish anything without action.
Once we commit to action, the worst thing we can do is to stop. What will keep us from stopping? Plain old stubbornness. We don’t have to be heroes to be stubborn. We can just be pains in the butt. Make sure you’re in until the finish.
If resistance is the shadow, it’s opposite–assistance–is the sun. Attempt to pull others into your project. Assistance is the universal, immutable force of creative manifestation, whose role since the beginning of time has been to translate potential into being, to convert dreams into reality.
Friends and Family
When art and inspiration and success and fame and money have come and gone, who still loves us–and whom do we love? In other words, don’t leave those you value most behind in pursuit of your goal—this is a true failure.
What’s the Lesson?
Go out and follow your passion with the blind faith that allows you to stupidly pursue that passion with a sense of stubbornness that prevents you from stopping… all while being a light to others drawing them in and allowing for their assistance because at the end of the day they will see that passion.
What would happen if you never tolerated inaction in yourself? Think about that for a moment, what would happen if you never tolerated inaction in yourself?
From the book, Atomic Habits, there is a common mistake that often happens to too many of us. The mistake has to do with the difference between being in motion and taking action. They sound similar, but they’re not the same.
When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.
Here’s a couple of practical examples:
- If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion. If I actually write and publish an article, that’s action.
- If I email 10 new leads for my business and start conversations with them, that’s motion. When I actually set an appointment that’s action.
- If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If I actually eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
Sometimes motion is useful, yet it will never produce an outcome by itself. It doesn’t matter how many times you go talk to the personal trainer, that motion will never get you in shape. Only the action of working out will get the result you’re looking to achieve.
If motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we actually need to plan or learn more. But more often than not, we do it because motion allows us to feel like we’re making progress without running the risk of failure. Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure.
It’s easy to be in motion and convince yourself that you’re still making progress. You think, “I’ve got conversations going with four potential clients right now. This is good. We’re moving in the right direction.” Motion makes you feel like you’re getting things done. But really, you’re just preparing to get something done. When preparation becomes a form of procrastination, you need to change something. You don’t want to merely be planning. You want to be practicing.
Some ideas to get out of motion and into action:
- Work expands to the time you give it: Set a specific time for each task.
- Set a schedule for your actions: Basic time blocking.
- Pick a date to shift you from motion to action: set hard deadlines.
- Ignore, switch your feelings: “I don’t feel like it” to “Let’s get this done!”
For some goals, setting a daily or weekly schedule doesn’t work as well. This is the case if you’re doing something that is only going to happen once: studying for your broker exam or getting your GRI. These things require some planning upfront (motion). They also require plenty of action to complete them. For example, you could set a schedule each week to study. In a situation like this, research shows it’s best to simply pick a date. Put something on the calendar – like the test date. Make it public. This is when X is happening. In other words, set a HARD DEADLINE.
Research shows that people who make a specific plan for when and where they will perform a new habit are more likely to follow through. Too many people try to change their habits without these basic details figured out. We tell ourselves, “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to write more,” but we never say when and where these habits are going to happen. We leave it up to chance and hope that we will “just remember to do it” or feel motivated at the right time.
Hope is not a strategy!
An implementation intention sweeps away foggy notions like “I want to work out more” or “I want to be more productive” or “I should vote” and transforms them into a concrete plan of action.
Many people think they lack motivation when what they really lack is clarity.
One simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:
I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION]
- I will follow up with 4 leads a day for 30 minutes at 9 a.m. in my office.
- I will complete part 1 of my project investing twenty minutes at 10 a.m. in my office.
- I will exercise for one hour at 5 p.m. at my gym.
- I will make my wife a cup of tea at 7 a.m. each morning in the kitchen.
Give your habits time and space. The goal is to make the time and location so obvious that, with enough repetition, you get an urge to do the right thing at the right time, even if you can’t say why.
To put it simply: planning out when and where you will perform a specific behavior turns your environment into a trigger for action. The time and place trigger your behavior, not your level of motivation.
Motivation is short-lived and doesn’t lead to consistent action. If you want to achieve your goals, then you need a plan for exactly when and how you’re going to execute on them regardless of how you feel.
There are some lessons that the only #failure can teach. Failure is not the problem… inaction is… procrastination is.
Let’s commit this week to move from motion to action.
When you are inconsistent, nothing works. Here’s what I know: agents who are consistently setting and going on appointments are producing more results, period. These agents are consistent and disciplined in their daily routine of prospecting and marketing.
Consistency… social media does not work if you are not consistent; geographic farming does not work if you are not consistent; repeat and referral do not work if you are not consistent; open houses do not work if you are inconsistent; online leads do not work if you are not consistent.
Show me something in your life or business that works when you are inconsistent. Anything you are going to do, the more consistent you are with your mindset, your attitude, your approach, your expectation, your strategy and your tactics the more predictable the result. Bottom line: when you are consistent everything works… when you are inconsistent nothing works.
So my question is, what have you been inconsistent with? What has that inconsistency cost you financially, cost you emotionally, cost you physically?
I’d submit the action – we can all be more consistent in setting and going on more appointments.
We CANNOT control the market.
We CAN control ourselves, our thoughts and our actions.
1. Make an appointment setting goal for the next 2 weeks and share it with an accountability partner.
2. Gather your past client list, all of your past leads, open house registers and people you know and start making appointments today.
3. Be CONSISTENT… list the 1, 2 or 3 things that you must do on a consistent basis that will propel your business forward.
Unproductive busyness, bad for you… bad for your business.
Work increases to fill the time available.
Extra time fills with unimportant activities.
Ask yourself – How would you get your work done tomorrow if:
You only had 2 hours per day to complete it?
You only had 2 hours per week to complete it?
Then, write down only 2 mission critical items and test by asking:
Would I be satisfied with my day if only that happened?
What are the consequences if they don’t?
Complete those tasks by 11 AM the next day.