This week I had the opportunity to speak with several real estate agents about their upcoming 2020 New Years’ resolutions. Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months. Like me, does this statistic make you wonder why? What’s the solution? Consider this:
What would happen if starting today, you never tolerated inaction in yourself? Think about that for a moment again, what would happen if starting today 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 error 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 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 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 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 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 the motion doesn’t lead to results, why do we do it?
Sometimes we do it because we 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 right 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 be planning merely. 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 need 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 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 lack is clarity.
A straightforward 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 apparent 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: 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 only #failure can teach. Failure is not the problem… inaction is… procrastination is.
Let’s commit this week to move from motion to action.
These statistics will shock and surprise you. So, get ready. We recently did a blind study on incoming leads. 85% of the new leads received a follow-up, 15% got crickets.
So what is the psychology of the 15% of sales professionals that never follow up on a new lead? Even more shocking is we found that of the 85% that did make the initial follow up, only 25% made a second attempt! And of that 25%, only 12% made a third attempt. So what’s going on here?
It’s the voice inside your head. It’s a growth vs. fixed mindset.
- 2% of sales are made on the first contact
- 5% of sales are made on the third contact
- 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
Persistence is the key to your success. In a study specifically related to real estate sales, sales professionals that made three attempts vs. those that made five or more attempts had more than a $100K difference in annual income.
Today we are bombarded with information. We are in information overwhelm. But that does not mean someone doesn’t want to buy, sell or invest. It might be, like me, right now, it isn’t a high priority.
Staying connected is the key. Using content from tools like Keeping Current Matters can help, yet so can a casual check-in call, text, or video chat. It’s you vs. your baby, and nothing is in your way except for your growth vs. fixed mindset.
Unplanned events can disrupt everything. I’ve experienced that several times in my life. And we all know there’s nothing you can do to prevent unexpected events. There are some strategies to cope with. And coping, especially for self-employed business owners, is critical to maintaining the resources to recover and ultimately thrive.
Work In Short Bursts
While it sounds simple, working in short bursts is not that easy, yet very useful during uncertain times. After all, you can’t truly focus when your world is in chaos.
Working in short bursts only works if you know what you have to do. So, creating and keeping a list of things that you have to do becomes very helpful. When you work in short bursts, the question “what’s the most critical task I can work on right now” becomes useful and essential.
Every time you plan a moment to yourself, don’t play with your phone, but instead, squeeze in some work even if it’s only 8 or 10 minutes. Pick one thing that you feel like doing at that time or is critical for you to get done. Your goal is not to work like this forever. When you’ve weathered the storm, you’ll get back to your regular routine.
Life is very demanding and even more so during a crisis. You need proper fuel, rest, and support to handle the physical and mental stress that you endure. As a business owner, the weight is on your shoulder yet it’s ok to permit yourself to:
- Decide what matters
- Scale back
- Rest and refuel
Stay Focused On Your Tasks
When something important interrupts your life, it’s easy to develop tunnel vision. Before you know it, your whole life is disrupted.
- Prioritize and delegate
- Use your support system
- Stay in the moment, what needs to get done now
For self-employed business owners coping in a time of crisis is critical to maintaining the resources to recover and ultimately thrive. Preparing in advance can make coping easier.
I was recently reflecting on some coaching conversations and thinking about vectors. Let me explain:
In math and physics, a vector is a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.
If a pilot makes the slightest one-degree error in the aircraft’s flight path, after traveling one mile the plane will be off the course by 92 feet. And after going 60 miles, that error adds up to being a mile off the path.
A minor off course adjustment over time and distance magnifies the error. If a pilot were flying from New York to L.A. a one-degree shift in the flight path over the entire course would put the plane 40 miles to the South in Orange County at SNA not Los Angeles at LAX.
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.” Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, and many times they call with a complete overall idea – overwhelmed and burned out – yet many times it’s just the 1-degree change that compounds over time. Yes? Who can relate?
The compound effect, it works both ways. What small course correction can you make this week?
K minus A equals 0
K plus A equals W (Winning)
I’ve coached a few folks that told me, “I want to produce more… my desire is to be more consistent.” Some have been saying this for way too long. Why… fear. Fear keeps our behavior inconsistent with our goals.
Those of you that know me, know I’m a life-long learner. Although I agree with life-long learning, I agree much more with a life-long application – taking action – on what we’re learning.
At the end of the day, the winners are the doers.
Figure out where you want to go, start with the end in mind, and work your way backward to the moment at hand.
Example… what would happen if for every 12 people you know you set a system to touch them 33 times throughout the year? Could that “system” create 1 new transaction for every 12 people in your database?
What would happen if you added 1 new contact to your CRM everyday… and that contact was then touched 8 times in the first 8 weeks of meeting them and then 33 times during the next year? What would happen?
Here’s the best of the blog series, the highest engaged post about taking action:
5 Lessons From The Death Crawl Scene In “Facing the Giants.”
Too often our own perception, surroundings, and beliefs get in the way of victory and success. Or said another way, the meaning we assign to things becomes the lens through which we see the world.
What Would Happen If You Never Tolerated Inaction In Yourself?
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.
Tired Of Not Getting What You Want?
Ever wonder why so many of us have to hit rock bottom before we find a breakthrough?
If Information Was Enough…
If information was enough, we would all be top performers in our profession, exercise every day, eat more vegetables, be within the government height and weight standard, and have a ton of money saved for the future.
3 Steps to Mastery
Who doesn’t want to be a better agent, better team leader, a better entrepreneur? If there is one concept that can lead to more powerful performance with immediate impact… this is it: “It’s difficult to control our thoughts and feelings, yet we have total control of our actions.”
In summary, information overload creates a lull in productive activity, so let’s look at three simple, fuss-free steps to get you the results you need:
Step 1: Move beyond the learning phase. While knowledge is a powerful thing, don’t make the mistake of thinking your good intentions count. It’s time to stop procrastinating and trust the tools you have to start taking positive steps.
Give yourself permission to execute on the things you know now… nothing good happens when you wait.
Step 2: Skip out on perfection. Perfection is a stall tactic. Typically, nothing big and drastic needs to happen in your routine. Small changes are what really count.
Just take action, now!
Step 3: Execute an action plan. Knowledge is only power when combined with action.
What actions can I take? Here’s one approach to consider:
- 5 or more check-in calls that create 1 or more appointments
- 3 or more personal notes
- 1 addition to your database with an “8 touch campaign” over the next 8 weeks
- Grab a beverage of choice with a top client or prospect that creates 1 or more new appointments
- Host at least 1 business to business networking session
- Complete 7 pop-bys that create 1 or more new appointments
- At least one video about local events or local market conditions
- Start of the month and mid-month eReport of value to your database – with video content that creates appointments
- Targeted FB or Google ads that create appointments
- Strategic text messages to an opt-in database that create appointments
Knowledge plus action is power. Figure out where you what to go, start with the end in mind, and work your way backward to the moment at hand. #GO #GSD