Have you ever found yourself facing a project to complete but, instead of starting, first you feel like you need to do some research, or get organized, or clean your office? Or maybe it was a personal goal like a diet you wanted to start, but you just need to get through this weekend first because you’re going to be out of town? Or, my personal favorite, have you ever been asked if you were ready to start doing (insert thing you’re supposed to be doing here) and simply answered no because you before you start you needed to do (insert thing you think you need to do first here).
At the end of the day, it’s all procrastination.
The question that matters for the purpose of this post, though, is why. Why are you putting off what you know you need to do, what you know you need to do? In my experience the answer generally boils down to one of two things, or sometimes both. The first is laziness and the second is a desire or need to have whatever the project is 100% perfect before unveiling it to the world. The first one is the easiest to tackle, so let’s get that out of the way.
If you’re lazy and you know it clap your hands. Hopefully you aren’t clapping your hands right now, but some of you may be. So, without coming off as horribly rude, if you did, update your resume and get out of here. Real estate is a 24/7 hustle. Sustained success in this industry is not for the lazy. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are no overnight successes and HGTV isn’t waiting outside your testing center ready to give you a show as soon as you pass your licensing exam. Truth be told, we have enough lazy Realtors in the industry. We don’t need another one.
So, you can either get your ass up and go to work or get out of the way of those who do. The choice is yours.
Now, let’s get to the real point here.
Getting Ready to Get Ready
The idea of getting ready to get ready, or procrastinating in exchange for action is neither a new concept nor is it really unnatural. It’s why procrastination is such a problem for so many people. I mean, how many hundreds of books have been written on the subject? When you see people who seem to accomplish a great deal, it is usually not a natural thing. It’s usually a practiced skill, like any other skill. But there’s more to it than just having the initiative to tackle a project. Anyone can start on a project. The key is to finish your project, at least enough to launch it.
It Will Never Be Perfect
Do you own a smartphone? If you don’t, we need to have another discussion, but for now we will assume you do. Every couple of months I’m sure, like I do, you get a new update to the software on your phone, right? Of course you do. So, here’s the question. Why didn’t Apple or Samsung or LG or hopefully not Blackberry wait until every single aspect of their software was 100% perfect forever before releasing it? I mean, aren’t these updates just an admittance of failure?
No, of course they aren’t an admittance of failure. They’re a normal part of auditing systems and updating them for what is relevant at the time. Why then, do we feel like we have to have every aspect of a project perfect before releasing it? Our database has to be perfectly organized, classified, and every aspect of our follow-up system in place before we would even consider the idea of sending an email. We wouldn’t dream of publishing a website without every single last detail being perfectly in place. But why?
How about instead, as you organize and classify your database, you also call them? How about you put your follow-up program to work right now instead of waiting until you’ve written or created every single piece of content that will go out over the next 24 months? The bottom line is that it will never, ever be perfect. Ever. You will make adjustments as you go along or you will find yourself with the most perfect yellow pages ad of all time. In the immortal words of Nike, Just Do It!
You Don’t Know What You Need Until You Do
Until you start, you won’t really know what you need to do to finish. You can plan and scheme and dream, but until you get your hands dirty and actually start, you won’t know what you need to be able to finish. Dan Sullivan, executive coach and co-host of the popular 10X Talks podcast, calls it the 80% Principle. Based on all of the plans you make, you’ll probably be able to finish about 80% of your project. 80% is good enough. Launch it and then put the finishing touches on it. Seek counsel, audit, adjust, and continue to do so at regular intervals to ensure that your plan stays on track for the long-run.
Its A Marathon, Not A Sprint
I get it, you’re a Type A personality. I know. We all are. You’re a control freak. We all are. You feel like unless it’s ready it will make you look unprofessional. I get it. We’ve all been there. Remember, Rome wasn’t built-in a day and neither will your business be. Ten years from now you will likely look back and laugh at how much you worried over this stuff. The point is that if you never start the journey, you’ll never know. Sometimes the first step is the hardest, but, once you make it, each ensuing step becomes easier and easier.
Very Few Others Are Doing It
To wrap this up, let me drop a bit of unadulterated honesty on you. 90% of your competition isn’t doing it. Doing what you ask? Anything. Truly, they aren’t. Less than half of your competitors are using a CRM (and most probably aren’t really using one, they just pay for one), fewer than 10% use video, and the list goes on and on. Almost every statistic available on what agents do for follow-up and marketing is pretty embarrassing, really. So, as you sit there fretting over whether or not whatever you’re working on is good enough, just remember that 80% of anything is way, way better than 0% of nothing.