“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” – Jessica Jackley
Delegate, Automate or Eliminate — Today’s post is short and sweet. Sometimes those are the best, yes!?
You see, I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs follow this idea like it’s some kind of commandment: “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”
Can you relate?
Imagine if you could delegate, automate or eliminate many of the tasks you’re not good at, or dislike… like booking appointments, marketing yourself or running errands. The result? Creating more time to do what you are best at, love and find important.
The key in delegation, is understanding and accepting that others simply won’t do it like you. So, get over it! Have standards, yet allow your team to run with it. When you do, what is possible in your personal productivity and life satisfaction? For real estate professionals, consider this as your JOB description:
- Lead follow up
- Appointment setting
Everything else delegate, automate or eliminate!
For automation consider “If This Then That.” IFTTT is the freeway to get all your apps and devices talking to each other. Not everything on the internet plays nice, so IFTTT is on a mission to build a more connected world.
Consider letting go of some of the things so you can spend more time in your genius zone. CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke, Business Consultants and Authors of The Beauty of Conflict recommend taking an honest look at how you are spending your time through a four zone model.
What is your zone?
- Zone Of Incompetence – you don’t do these things well. Better to eliminate, automate or delegate.
- Zone of Competence – you can do these things but don’t like them much. Better to eliminate, automate or delegate.
- Zone of Excellence – you are very good at these things. They bring you success, but they don’t make your heart sing.
- Zone of Genius – you absolutely love doing these things, you do them well and they give you the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to the amount of time invested.
What type of workplaces you in your genius zone?
What can you delegate, automate or eliminate this week? This week is YOURS. Own it!
Many of you know my story… I’m an immigrant from Italy that came to America barely speaking any English and now, the leader of the 88th largest real estate broker in America. In the last 6 years, we’ve grown from the trunk of my car to #3 in the DFW marketplace and #88 in the nation. When I created JP & Associates REALTORS I wanted to provide a solution for top producing agents and teams, I wanted to create a culture of productivity and service, I wanted to help others overcome the 7 things I wish my broker had told me along the way:
What do you need to know as an Agent?
First, the conclusion… instant success is very rare. I’ve learned there are simply no shortcuts on the road to success in real estate. It takes hard work dedication and what I call the “7 S’s” of success. (More on the 7 S’s in a later blog post). Yet I’ve also learned there are no speed limits either, you can move as fast as you can, and no one is going to stop you. Success is never owned it’s only rented. And in real estate sales, the rent is DUE every day!
Second, don’t confuse being an independent contractor with being the CEO of your own business. It’s true you are an independent contractor; however, that does not mean you’re free to do whatever you please. I wish my broker had told me, being the CEO of your own business… that happens when you unite your talent with your leadership skills. Understanding where you are now; creating an action plan to eliminate gaps; developing systems, structure, and process for your business and having the mental disciplines to win is what separates the rich from the rest.
Third, the job of ALL marketing and social campaigns is to generate appointments that lead to signed contracts, period. When I was selling full time, my sole objective was to participate in activities and marketing that led to signed contracts. Everything else was secondary. That means assertive networking, self-promotion and relationship building.
Fourth, generalist struggle while specialists thrive. Meaning create a niche for yourself. I see so many of you trying to be all things to all people. “I’ll go anywhere!” Really? Why? Because you are so afraid of where the next deal comes from. Develop your brand so you are known for something… “the condo queen,” the “luxury home specialist,” the “relocating executive expert,” the “investment hub for doctors, lawyers and other professionals.” Be known for something, not everything. Stay in your lane… if you get a commercial deal refer that to a specialist; you get a short sale lead refer that to an expert; you have lead for farm and ranch refer that to the folks that know “the dirt.” Going outside your expertise is the fastest way to disaster in your business.
Fifth, I quickly learned that when I help people achieve their goals it’s easier for me to achieve mine. I never approached a potential customer with how much commission I could make. I always served my potential customer with what they needed. Once I understood the importance of allowing people to make their own choices in finding a place to live my business changed. I learned to become the HUB, the local area expert and my brand stood out as the go-to guy.
Sixth, I wish my broker has told me that my colleagues could be both good friends and tough competitors. No one owns the business – not them and not you. It’s the only job you wake up each day unemployed.
Seventh, I wish I’d known the fact that everything in real estate stays the same, yet everything changes. Typically, in 90-day cycles. Every day you will be presented with challenges and opportunities to stay ahead of technology and the industry. Without a well-defined business plan, a strategy and a process to evaluate that strategy you will be whipped around by the forces to be vs. building a business by design.
What to do next?
At the end of the day, decide what you want; create a compelling reason why you want it; find an accountability partner; stay committed vs just interested; execute your plan with passion; remain flexible yet focused and finally celebrate the small wins along the way. I’d leave you with the exercise, with this action plan for today:
Think about what the next 5 years, the next 10 years look like for you. When you stand there and look back at today, who do YOU NEED TO BE to make that happen? Go BE that person today! At JP & Associates Realtors, we are here to encourage, support and celebrate your journey.
“We are here to encourage, support and celebrate your journey. – JPAR Team”
The first quarter of 2018 year is gone. Can you believe it? Where did the time go?
Are you ahead, behind or on track with your personal & business goals? In any case, I’d encourage you to “declare it perfect and move forward powerfully.” Make the necessary adjustments, and keep moving forward.
“It’s not where you start but where you finish that counts”
The story of Bennett Moehring.
Bennet hadn’t even turned 21 yet when he suffered one of the most crushing disappointments of his life, live in front of nearly 70,000 people in “swirling snow,” he missed a game-winning field goal in the Army-Navy game allowing Army to win 14-13.
After the failed 48-yard kick, his teammates helped him off the field, and he wept in the locker room. But then he started drawing upon what he’d learned from the leadership course he was taking and from talks about character he’d heard from Navy coaches. He decided to face reporters, take responsibility, and talk about how lucky he felt to play football. “I’ll use this as motivation,” Moehring decided. “I’ll get better. It’s the only option.”
Then a surprising thing happened. Moehring started getting words of encouragement from everywhere offering him praise and support via social media, email, and texts. All of this backup, as well as soul-searching on his own part, eventually helped Moehring cut himself some slack on not making what was likely a near-impossible kick in the first place. He realized that his missed field goan turned out to be more of a blessing than a burden. “If I made the kick, the glory would’ve faded,” he said. “But with this, I can be an example of good sportsmanship, and that’s lasting.”
Bennett Moehring “declared it perfect” and so can you.
Next Monday as a firm – our support teams – will learn from the past 3 months: we will celebrate success and also make whatever adjustment and changes are needed to not only catch up with goals but also to move ahead.
This is just the first quarter of 2018. We all have plenty of time to reach our 2018 goals… as long as we are all willing to execute the daily activities, track the results, make the changes to our behaviors and engage an accountability partner.
Are you interested or committed? 75% of the year remains, let’s go!
The most URGENT or the most IMPORTANT?
What matters most – the most urgent or the most important?
If you are like me, you face the challenge each day of choosing to handle what is urgent and what is important. I’ve been struggling with this balance lately and wanted to re-ground myself in those things I know are important, helpful and useful in focusing on those activities that make a true difference.
Every expert I’ve asked agrees – if you let urgent matters consume your time, you’ll never get to those important projects, activities or tasks. In many cases, those important projects, activities, and tasks are the ones that generate the most revenue, creates the most satisfied clients or help you be more productive in delivering an exceptional consumer experience. The word project here does not necessarily mean a specific project it could be a task or activity. For example cultivating relationships with clients, vendors or co-workers, acknowledging a job well done, taking time to improve a skill or focus on your health by exercising, are all important but not urgent activities.
Stephen Covey recorded an exercise with rocks of different sizes (small, medium and large rocks) and a glass pitcher. Students see all the rocks in the container and the instructor empties the container and then has a student try and get all the rocks back in the pitcher. Most if not all, the students failed to get all the rocks back in – they typically start by placing all the small rocks in the pitcher and then trying to stuff the remaining large rocks into the pitcher. The instructor steps in, place the big rocks in the pitcher first, and then all the little rocks fall into place and they all fit!
Start with the BIG rocks first.
Few of us have the luxury of focusing on just the urgent or just the important; to be successful you must be able to manage the important and the urgent. How can you handle both?
Keep the big picture priorities in front of you at all times. Do you have a “top 5” list? What are the outcomes you what to achieve? By keeping the big picture close to you it makes it easier to get back on track after an “urgent” distraction is handled.
Turn your email off and only focus on email during specific times during the day.
Schedule your important items as actual appointments – schedule specific times to focus on your most important projects when urgent matters don’t normally occur. The phrase, “How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time” comes to mind.
Urgent matters get in the way, so plan for it! There are certain things in our business that we can plan on happening. These urgent matters draw you away from your important priorities. Schedule these interruptions as part of your daily routine.
Before you tackle an urgent matter, ask yourself how important is it to do “right now.” Can it wait? Can someone else handle this? Is it an excuse to get off task and avoid the harder work of the important project list?
What you measure you can manage. Here is a proposed action plan to help you see your own pattern. This week, keep a journal and take note of the following:
- What task or project you are working on?
- How much time are you devoting to this task?
- Why are you doing this task?
What you measure you can manage and improve.
At the end of each day write a “U” for urgent or “I” for important next to each entry. How do these activities relate to your big picture and overall priorities?
After the week is over, read through your journal and cover these 7 areas:
- How many U’s and I’s did you have?
- Are you closer to achieving your big picture or farther away?
- How many U’s could have been bypassed or delegated to others?
- How does the U’s interfere with your I’s?
- If your number of I’s is low, what got in the way?
- How can you better manage or cut out some of these U’s?
- Are you avoiding your I’s?
If urgent items keep getting in the way, stop the madness. Talk to a trusted advisor, business coach or counselor and get clear on some strategies and tactics that will work for you in staying focused on the important while handling the urgent.