In this episode of Power Tools we talk about how Realtors can avoid procrastination through “getting ready to get ready”, or better known as being a perfectionist.
Being an entrepreneur often means being on a metaphorical island all by yourself. Not very many people understand how your time is pulled in a myriad of directions, employing skills (or sometimes lack thereof) that you didn’t know you had, and becoming a jack of all trades while only a master of one. It’s not unusual to see the tasks that you really need to get done get set aside in favor of whatever you feel needs to be done right this second. Naturally, as soon as you put that fire out, the next one pops up. The result is that you continue to delay the things that drive your business while you take care of minor things to keep your business running.
The problem, as I see it, is not a delegation problem or a time management problem. Too often, the things that are distracting you from accomplishing your priority tasks are things that require it be you and need to be done in a timely manner. In my opinion, this is an accountability issue. Generally speaking, unless you have a true partner, a business coach, or a mentor relationship in place, you are probably also responsible for holding yourself accountable for your actions. I think that is a problem when it comes to 99% of the people out there. It’s hard to come home after a 20 hour day and say you didn’t work hard or get things accomplished, even when you didn’t accomplish the things your business really needed for you to accomplish.
So, how do you, in a world of real distractions, set everything aside and focus only on the tasks that truly need to be accomplished?
You have to, as far as I can see it, find a way to be held accountable. The problem with that is most entrepreneurs also don’t really care for being held accountable and so they seek out someone who will act like they are holding them accountable, but really is just having a five-minute conversation with them. What the entrepreneur struggling with accountability issues needs is someone who will, legitimately and with a blow torch, hold their feet to the fire.
So, who is that person? It depends. I think there are more examples of who that person isn’t than who that person is. That person isn’t, usually, your spouse. It should never, in my opinion, be an employee. It usually isn’t your best friend, brother, sister, parent, or anyone else that either a) doesn’t understand what you’re really doing, and b) isn’t tough enough to hold you truly accountable. Frankly, I think that the best person for this job is a coach. Because they are independent, they can do or say whatever it takes to get you to do the things you need to do. Moreover, because you pay for them, you are more likely to get your money’s worth. It’s kind of like the difference between getting a gym membership and hiring a trainer.
The bottom line is this: if you’re struggling with achieving the things in your business that you need to do to be successful, I believe an accountability partner is the key to getting back on track. Try it for a few months and see if it works for you.
From the last post, you know that our brokerage has started a monthly Book Club. Our first book was Seven Levels of Communication by Michael Maher. As promised, a couple of times, here is my review of the book.
Bottom line: If you’re in sales or marketing, you need to read this book.
I have a general rule to judge the quality of a business book – If you can take two things out of a book and apply them to your business, it was worth the read. In the case of Seven Levels of Communication, if you can’t take a dozen tips out of this book, read it again. Seriously. It’s that good. Did I mention that I was serious? I don’t want to sit here and gush over 150 pages of paper, but this might be one of the best business books I have ever read.
First, Maher does a great job writing in parable format. The book follows a real estate agent, Rick Masters, as he transforms from a near drop-out to top producer through a coaching program that walks through the 7 Levels. I’m a huge fan of story-telling in non-fiction and Maher does it in a way that is both engaging and lacking arrogance. Honestly, as valuable as the information is, I’m not a fan of books by people like John Maxwell because they tend to be too much “Look at me and what I’ve done and you should be just like me.” This book is written from a perspective of a Coach and, as such, comes off as genuine and truly helpful.
Now, about the tips that the book gives you. The information contained in the book isn’t a reinvention of the wheel. To tell the truth, I imagine that the end product that Rick Masters becomes looks a whole lot like top salespeople from about 30 years ago. He’s more personal, caring, and doesn’t rely on technology and other new gimmicks to build his business. Instead, he relies on tried and true messaging and communication, but he does it with a plan and strategy.
The other great part of this book is that none of the strategies are really that hard to implement or expensive. The result of these strategies is a business that every agent dreams of, one built on referrals. The trick, like with everything else, is that the strategies have to be implemented with a personal touch and executed with discipline and consistency.
So, here’s the deal. I’m not going to reveal everything in the book because you really need to read it. I will tell you this, you will probably want to read it twice. Once you’ve read it once, you can go back
and take it tip by tip to implement in your business. Trust me, it’s worth it.
In conclusion, if you feel like you’re in a rut and need to get out of it, or your new to the business and want to get a jump-start, or are already producing at a good clip and want to take it to the next level, you need to read Seven Levels of Communication. Even if you only get a couple of things out of it or only implement a couple of the strategies, you will without doubt see the results in your business. You can pick up a copy on our Reading List page. Do it.
Our second book, Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, will be the next book review. You can also pick it up on the Reading List page.
As your real estate business grows and you find yourself getting busier and busier it becomes increasingly easier to get caught up in the day-to-day details and minutiae of what is happening in the moment. You’re working hard, doing everything you can to satisfy your clients, get them across the finish line, and, hopefully, get the referrals to grow your business. Outside of the client care, you’re still prospecting, marketing, and doing all of the other little things you’ve been doing to grow your business. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing, right? Of course it is. That being said, at some point, you have to step back and focus on your business from the CEO perspective, not the technician’s perspective.
If you aren’t spending as much time working on your business as you do working in your business, you’ll never transition from practitioner to true entrepreneur.
What’s the Difference?
Before I really get into the explanation, if you haven’t read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, do yourself a favor and read it as soon as possible. To make an illustration most of you will understand, especially those from Houston where we have a restaurant every 500 feet, have you ever been to a restaurant where the food was great only to see it go out of business a few months later? So many of those close because they were opened by great chefs who knew little to nothing about the business of running a restaurant. You see, just because you are a great chef or a great cupcake maker or, for that matter, a great Realtor doesn’t mean that you would necessarily be a great restaurateur or bakery owner or brokerage owner. That’s really the difference.
Using the restaurant example to expound, the great chef worries about creating a great dish. They want to drive the business to the restaurant by having people tell their friends how great the food was. Sound familiar? The restaurateur, on the other hand, is concerned about the overall experience of the diner. They focus on decor, ambiance, seating charts, service, amenities, staffing, and a million other things, not to mention spin-off concepts, expansion, and, ultimately, an exit strategy. See the difference? The chef works in his business while the restaurateur works on his business.
So, how do you step back to work on your business and where do you start once you do? First and foremost, you have to make time. You have to have scheduled time daily, weekly, monthly that is dedicated to your strategic planning for your business. These time blocks have to be non-negotiable. Zero distractions. If you have to get up and leave where you normally work, do it. Turn off your phone and email. Your only focus is your business as a whole.
Below is a short list of the items that you can and should do during this time. This list will expand over time as your comfort level with this grows and as you get deeper and deeper into your business operations, future plans, and all of the new ideas you develop.
- Audit, Audit and Audit – To start off, begin with what you’re doing now and examine every piece of it. Make changes where necessary. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
- Systems and Processes – What makes McDonald’s successful? The fact that a Big Mac in St. Louis tastes the same as a Big Mac in New York or London or Tokyo. Systems and processes make that happen. Your business, if it is ever going to grow, has to have them. From CRMs to lead generation to follow-up, everything needs a system. That’s how you create an asset.
- Expansion and Personnel – That’s right. Most agents wait too long to hire and their business suffers. If you’re not at least thinking about it, you need to be. As your business grows, you need to grow your business and you’ll be glad you’ve been thinking about it all along.
- Strategic Planning – Do you have a plan for growth? A real plan, not just ideas? Are there action steps associated with the plan to help you reach your goals? Do you have a plan for marketing, social media, farming, and everything else in your business? Now would be a good time to start. For every goal you have for your business, there should be an action-based plan in place.
- Exit Strategy – You might just be starting in business, but, wherever you are in your career, you need to consider your exit strategy. Are you creating a true asset that you can sell one day when you are ready to leave the business or retire?
- Technology – If you aren’t regularly looking at ways to leverage technology to increase efficiency, automate what you can, and increase your level of service, you are missing out on one of the best ways to stretch your time and productivity.
Like I said, the list goes on and on and will grow. The key is that you’re actually working on your business instead of always working in your business. I believe that once you change this approach, you will find yourself working more and more on your business. That’s when you truly begin to transition into the CEO role of your business.
When I was going through managerial training, we had a leader, Steve Miller (no, not that one), that changed the way I looked at time management. Up to that point, like many people, I had kept a schedule and had what I thought was a pretty solid routine going for myself. My weeks went pretty smoothly. Sure, there were those times when I had to put in a few more hours and things occasionally got hectic, but I felt, all in all, that I was doing a pretty decent job managing my time and tasks. Then, within an hour, I felt like the least productive and most disorganized person in business. It all started with one question:
“Are you spending your time working at your business or are you investing your time in your business?”
Looking at time as an investment is what really changed the way I thought about work. Heck, if you want to get all deep and philosophical about it, it changed the way I thought about time in general. After that day, I tried my best to keep that mindset. Do I slip up from time to time and find myself stuck in a rut? Sure. Does it last longer than I want it to sometimes? Yes. However, at some point, it always comes back to realizing that I am not treating my time as money that I am investing in my business.
What is your time worth?
So, this may seem like a pretty simple equation, and probably one you’ve done before. You take the amount of money you make each year divided by the number of hours you work and there’s your wage per hour. Use that to calculate your daily or weekly or monthly salary. That’s the easy part, right?
Now, the hard part is figuring out how best to invest that money in your business in ways that will grow your investment. If you think about it from the standpoint of a 401(k), you want your money (time) to earn the greatest return (money or growth in your business) and not sit there and stagnate, grow slowly, or, worst case, decrease in value. So, you want to be investing your time in the activities that will produce the greatest return on your investment and avoiding, delegating, or outsourcing the ones that don’t and that you deem as still necessary to your business.
To start, make a list of the things you do on a daily, then weekly, then monthly basis. Don’t avoid anything. Write it all down. If it takes you keeping a time log for a couple of months, do it. Then, when you have a comprehensive list, it is up to you to decide which ones are the tasks and activities that will generate a return, which are the ones that won’t, and which are the ones that you have to do but are pure overhead. The first list is where you want to invest the vast majority (80% or more) of your time. The second list needs to go away. Trash it completely. Maybe you’ve put a lot of time and money into some of them, but if they aren’t showing a return, cut your losses and walk away. The last list, the necessary but not productive items, needs a little more analysis.
Sweat Equity vs. Check Equity
If you’re relatively new in your business and funds are limited, you might find that you have to put in the sweat equity on the tasks that are low return. If that’s the case, try to limit the time spent on these activities to the parts of your day when you can’t be doing revenue generating activities. If you are able to afford it, you might consider some check equity to take care of the little things and free up more of your time to focus on the revenue generating activities that will grow your business.
Prioritize and Delegate
The last part of this equation is taking your 80% list and your 20% list and prioritizing the individual tasks on each. Which ones are either more vital to your business or give the greatest return on your investment of time? Those are the ones that you want to prioritize in your business. The ones on the 20% list that are the highest priority are the ones to spend that time on. The others need to be delegated or outsourced. Yes, I know, you’re a control freak and have a hard time letting go. Fine, that’s your choice. The sooner you do, the sooner you will see greater returns in your business.
At the end of the day, it’s the end of the day. You only have so many minutes, so many hours, in a day. What you make of those minutes and hours when you are working is your investment in your business. Are you investing your time where you will get the greatest return on your investment? Will your business be better off tomorrow because of the tasks you prioritized today? Answer the question from our training class as honestly as you can. If there’s any doubt, go through these steps and see what the results are on your business. You might be surprised at what a smart investor you become.
The good news is that it happens to everyone at some point (or more than once). But, wait, there’s more!!! The risk that hitting this kind of wall will kill you is pretty low. Yes, you might get down a little. You might experience a metaphorical sense of temporary paralysis. There is also a significant risk of denial that you have, in fact, hit a wall. The one thing you have to remember is that it is all temporary. As my father likes to say, “This too shall pass.” So, the question you have to ask yourself is:
What are you going to do to get around, climb your way over, or bust through that wall like a freaking wrecking ball?
The term “hitting the wall” comes from the running world. “The wall” is defined as that period in a marathon when things transition from being pretty hard to being really, really hard. It is the point where your legs turn into lead and your brain tells you to stop. It’s the perfect intersection of exhaustion and diminished mental faculties.
When I started talking about writing this post, I got this quote from a friend: “The problem in this job is that from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed people need things from me. It’s kids in the morning, clients and agents during the day, then a combination of the two from about 5-10 pm. It’s draining.” You start to lose that feeling of accomplishment, that high of closing the deal, the pride of building your business. That’s not good. Untreated, this leads to an extreme lack of “give a damn” and can severely affect your business. I have a friend in this business, an extremely high producer today, that quite literally quit real estate at one point because he hit the wall and couldn’t figure out how to get back on track. So, here is the Real Estate 12-Step Program for all of you workaholics:
1) Admit You Have a Problem – I once went 67 days without a day off. At the time, I felt like it was fine and that I was fine. Then I got a couple of days off and realized exactly how exhausted I was and how in denial I had been. I never made that mistake again. Sometimes it can be difficult to admit because who else is going to do it? This is your baby and no one can love your baby the way you do. You have to realize the problem before you can attack it.
2) Get Away From it All – Nothing refreshes like a break. A real break. Not a leave town for a couple of days and check your messages and emails every ten minutes break. A break where you disconnect. Leave your files with a working partner, jump a plane and disappear. Leave your cell phone and computer at home. Buy a disposable cell phone if you have to have one and only give the number to people that ABSOLUTELY have to have it.
3) Power Through – Sometimes the only thing you can do is put your nose to the grindstone and just plow ahead. One of my favorite business books is called Rhinoceros Success and the mantra from it is “Keep Charging”. Put on your big girl or boy pants and get through the slump. It will end.
4) Revisit Your Why – What makes you tick? Why did you get in this business in the first place? When you start to lose your motivation and focus, it’s time to revisit the reason you are here in the first place. Make a vision board. Reset your wallpaper on your computer. Put reminders everywhere. Let that reward be the spark you need to re-engage.
5) Make a Plan – Yes, I know you already have one. Yes, I know you probably spent a good deal of time setting goals and working out your plan. Make a new one. Even if it is something totally unrelated to your business. Make a plan for something. Just the simple act of brainstorming a new plan can get the creative juices flowing enough to spark some excitement.
6) Pamper Yourself – When you feel the drag of so many people pulling at you and needing something and wanting your attention and time, go do something that is just for you. Get a massage or a manicure. My favorite thing to do when I feel like this is to get a straight blade shave, even if I don’t need a shave. Plus it has the added bonus of making you feel like an old mobster, which is cool. Spend some time and attention on you, because you are important and deserve it.
7) Get a Coach – Yes, coaching can be pricey. Yes, finding the right one can be tough. Enough with the excuses. Is your business worth the investment. If you go from making $100,000 a year while beating your head against the wall to implementing systems and processes that allow you to make $300,000 a year with far less stress, is it worth it to spend a few hundred bucks a month? Yes, yes it is. Go get a coach.
8) Seek Professional Help – What’s getting you down? What’s the part of the business that is driving you nuts and making you want to quit? Find someone else who can do that and start delegating. See step 7 for the justification. See step 5 for some added fun on what and how you delegate.
9) Go Small – You know the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?” The same thing could be said about dismantling a wall. One brick at a time. Take baby steps. Do one thing to completion and then reward yourself. Then do it again. Next thing you know, you’ll be on a roll of small successes and the big stuff will look less daunting.
10) Kill Vampires – We’ve talked about this before on this blog, but you have to get to a point respecting yourself and your time enough to get rid of time killers, or, as I call them, blood-sucking vampires. Some clients aren’t worth it. Some projects aren’t worth it. Assess honestly and get rid of them. It’s really hard the first time, but it gets easier.
11) Change Your Surroundings – As crazy as this sounds, making a simple change in your surroundings can make a huge impact on how you feel about work. When I first started in real estate, I worked in an 8×10 office five feet from my bed. I got so tired of it that it would drive me nuts sometimes. Get out. Go to Starbucks or somewhere similar. Repaint your office or rearrange your furniture. Just make a change and see how it affects your mood.
12) Get Very Real With Yourself and Your Wall – OK, you’ve been given 11 things to try. If those don’t work, I think you need to have a very serious chat with yourself. Are you the reason you’re up against the wall? Did you build the wall? Sometimes you have to get out of your own head and way. Be brutally honest with yourself and then power through it.
“Hi, my name is Chance and I’m a workaholic.” After starting my day at 7:00 a.m., I am just now putting the finishing touches on a blog post at 1:10 a.m. If you’re like me, you will most likely hit a wall at some point. I hope this 12-Step Program works for you.
All the Best.
As a busy real estate agent it can sometimes be difficult to take a step back from your business and evaluate how things are going, set goals, and focus on what you have to do to reach those goals. I mean, you’ve got clients calling all the time, closings to attend, homes to show and list, negotiations, prospecting, and a pile of administrative work. Not to mention, you probably have a social life and/or family that require your attention. (It should also go without saying that you need to take to time to read awesome blog posts.) There are only so many hours in a day, so where do you find the time for everything?
In a previous post we talked about periodization as a tool to laser focus your business on the things that help you achieve your goals faster. Periodization is tough and might not be for everyone. So here’s an option that is a little easier to digest and implement, but still requires the same level of focus to reach your goals. It’s called the 3×3 method and has proven successful for a lot of people.
Don’t put the cart before the horse when it comes to planning the execution of your goals. Make sure that you have solid, actionable goals in place first.
Once you’ve got a set of goals, now we focus on the execution using the 3×3 method. This is so simple sounding when you first hear it that it’s almost easy to dismiss. Don’t do that. If you stop reading now, not only will you miss out on my quick wit, but you might miss out on that one tip that takes you from having a bunch of good ideas to acting on those ideas and letting your great ideas take you to the next level. Here you go…
Each month you set 3 goals or select 3 items from your Do, Doing, Done board. Then, each week you select 3 steps you need to complete to reach those 3 monthly goals. Once you have those set for the month, the next step is to go about removing all distractions and hurdles in the way of reaching those goals. Deflect, delegate, outsource, or just say no. Laser focus yourself on the three. Don’t stop until you’ve completed them.
Much like periodization, the key to success is the focus. Imagine though, for a minute, if at the end of the year, you had completed 36 big goals or projects. How awesome would that be? Try it for a month and see what happens. You might be surprised not only by how it isn’t as easy as it sounds, but by the sense of accomplishment you feel once you’ve reached those three goals that have been lingering on your to-do list.
All the Best.
Want to know the number one complaint about Realtors? It’s real simple. They don’t answer their phone and they don’t call back. I was just listening to this week’s episode of Watercooler, which is probably the best realtor-centric podcast out there, and Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing amongst others, was the guest. Scott is one of my favorite people on these here interwebs and he was telling a story about house hunting in Las Vegas recently. He and his partner Alison were looking for a new home. They called on four agents to schedule showings. The receptionist at the first office blew them off because they weren’t ready to buy right that minute. The other three? You guessed it. Not an answer. Not a call back. Nothing.
You will find it extremely difficult to talk to new clients if you don’t answer the phone when they call.
Now, I know you are busy and I know you have a lot going on. I also know that you are smart enough to take a couple of very simple steps to make sure that a) expectations are set about calling people back if you can’t answer your phone and b) you have time in your schedule to call people back. People will understand that you can’t always answer your phone. If you aren’t making that first experience a winner for them (and because of that, for you) you aren’t giving them the respect they deserve. And, if you are not calling them back, you are clearly disrespecting them. So, how do you make sure that you are not constantly answering your phone to the point that you aren’t productive while still giving your clients, current and prospective, a world-class experience?
Your Outgoing Message
Most people have some variance of this as the message someone hears when they call and have to leave a message:
“Hi! You’ve reached Sally Realtor with Pineapple Realty. I’m sorry I can’t take your call right now but please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks and have a great day.”
It’s a nice message. It’s friendly, it’s short and by saying that you’ll get back to them as soon as you can, you imply that they are important to you. Heck, you might even tell them outright that their call is important to you in your version of the message. The problem with this version is that it doesn’t set any expectations of any sort.
I would submit to you that this variation, used by a number of By Referral Only clients of the past, is a far better option.
“Hi! You’ve reached Sammy Seller with Pineapple Realty. My hours are 8 to 6 Monday through Friday, by advanced appointment only on Saturdays and I take Sundays off to spend time with my family. If you are calling during my business hours, I will return your call the same business day. If your call is after business hours, I will return your call the next morning. Please leave me a detailed message including the property you are calling about so I can be prepared when I call you back. If you were referred, please let me know who referred you so I can be sure to thank them. Thank you for calling. Have a great day.”
See the difference? Not only does this message set the expectation of when you are working and when you will call back, it asks them to leave a detailed message so you can show them respect by being prepared when you call back. As an added bonus, it sets an expectation of referrals with every single person that calls you. This is a very professional way of getting people to respect your time, understand when and how you will call back, and give you a referral all in one twenty-second outgoing message.
Now for the fun part…
I’ve heard variations of the message stating that you will be return calls between x and y and then again from a to b each day. I’m not a fan because that requires you to record your message every day based on when you’ll return calls and you actually corner yourself into doing it. What happens when you can’t call back during those hours because something pops up? You’ve already let the prospect down and you haven’t spoken with them.
The last part is pretty simple. Block time during your stated business hours to call people back. Then do it. Make sure that you have a time right at the end of the day. You have to make this a mandatory part of the day, every day.
These are two steps that you can take right now to make your business function better, have happier clients, and probably close more deals and make more money. Don’t be that agent that doesn’t call back anymore.
As a busy entrepreneur you are juggling a lot of things. You are an agent, marketer, customer service rep, accountant, and much more. One thing that you have to make time for in your busy work life is a regular check-up, just like you would have a physical from your doctor.
There are a number of different matrices you can use to measure your performance. First and foremost, if you aren’t using client surveys, you should be. Preferably, they should come from an independent source. If your local association doesn’t offer them, take a look at something like Real Satisfied. Second, you should have goals set for yourself and you can measure against those. Third, your CRM system should have a grading mechanism to see how you’re doing on follow-up and client management. If it doesn’t, create one for yourself using a goal system. And finally, your bank account should be a pretty good barometer of your income and expenses. If you have other aspects of your business that need measuring, create ways to measure your progress, or lack thereof.
The next question should be, how often do you need to be reviewing your progress. I would submit that quarterly should be a minimum. Based on where you are in your business, it may need to be more often.
The main thing, is to force yourself to step back and take a big picture look at your business.
No matter how you choose to do this, it is vitally important that you undertake this process without distraction. For some people, that means getting away from it all. For some, it means just taking an afternoon off. Either way, shut off the phone, close down the email and have the time to yourself or you and your coach/spouse/business partner.
A solid growth review not only assesses the measurable criteria in your goals, but should also have a set of qualitative measurements. The trick with this, of course, is that you have to be really honest with yourself. No self-deception allowed.
So, now that you have the data, what do you do with it?
First, you should start with the quantitative items and recast your goals based on your analysis. If you achieved them, congratulations. Now, set new ones that stretch you. If you didn’t, take a look at why and revise accordingly without letting yourself off the hook. Second, look at your processes and systems and see what you can improve. Then, create realistic and achievable action plans, keeping in mind your busy schedule, to implement them in a reasonable amount of time. Finally, you should examine and reset your long-term goals.
Oh, and don’t forget to celebrate your successes from the previous quarter!
By having a scheduled way to continuously, yet objectively assess how your business is performing you will then know where you stand according to your goals and at the same time have a mechanism in place to ensure that you and your business continue to grow. Measuring the health and longevity of your business regularly is just as important as measuring your own health on a regular basis.
During the recent housing downturn there were a number of agents out there who made a literal fortune working with banks and the federal government selling distressed assets. At the same time, a number of other agents, some the same as before, made yet another literal fortune representing investors, large and small, in purchasing those same distressed assets. Sadly, many of those same agents are having a hard time making it today, even in a hot market.
Ask any investment adviser and they will tell you that the key to being a successful investor is diversification. On the other hand, Andrew Carnegie once quipped that “the way to become rich is to put all of your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”
I tend to believe that you can have the best of both worlds.
Have your niche or specialty, but make sure that you have something to fall back on in case of a downturn or setback. I call it setting the table. A dinner table can be laid out with beautiful linens, sterling silver cutlery, candles, and centerpiece. Unfortunately, if there is only one leg to that table underneath all of the fancy dressings, at some point, it will come crashing down. A table needs four legs to stand (and, no, I don’t need to hear about those tables that have one center pillar. I get it. Just go with it.) and carry the load of a full dinner party. In case you weren’t aware, the table is a metaphor for your business and the legs your revenue streams or business sources.
Since we’re going with the theme of four legs, here are four things you can do to set your table:
1) Analyze Your Business
Take a look over the last year or two of your business and really get a good idea of where your business came from. Referrals from your Spheres of Influence or Past Clients? A specific type of client like first-time buyers or downsizing Boomers? Clients from a specific area? New construction sales? You get the point. If you’re a nerd, make a pie chart. If you’re not, break out the old legal pad. Pick 3 other legs to add to your table.
2) Do What You Like
If you aren’t happy doing it, you won’t do it well. So even if you got business out of a certain area or client type, if you don’t like them, don’t make them a leg of your table. Either move on or hire someone who does like it.
3) Be Purposeful in Your Time
Now that you’ve identified your top 3 other legs, it is time to start attaching them to your table top. Just like when you established your niche, it will take time and effort. The key here is understanding that this table didn’t come from Ikea. It is really nice furniture, doesn’t come with awful directions drawn by a second grader, and won’t be put together in a very frustrating two hours. Do a time budget, allot the right amount of time to building your table, and then don’t sacrifice that time. Be deliberate in your effort. Act as though your business depends on it no matter how well you’re doing in your niche. You never know when it might.
4) One Leg at a Time
Like anything else in life, if you spread yourself too thin, you won’t accomplish much. So, don’t try to put all three legs on your table at one time. Take it one leg at time. Once you have the first leg attached, move on to the next leg and so on.
Bonus Tip – As you add more legs to your table and business starts coming in, a.k.a. your guests begin to arrive for the dinner party, you will become very busy. In order to properly add more legs and manage your growing business, you need to know when to seek help. No, not that kind of help. Well, maybe, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Don’t be afraid to hire an assistant or delegate tasks to an existing assistant.
Once your table is set and your dinner party is wildly successful, you will not only be making even more money than you are now, but you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if one of your table’s legs starts to wobble, you have three others holding up the table.