Welcome to 2016! We are in the first month of the new year. It is not too late to write your business plan for 2016 if you have not written it already. Do not end the month without it. If 2015 was not good year, then consider it a pilot year for the new you. You have learned from your mistakes and you have made adjustments. The pilot is over. Now is the time to reset, re-adjust, re-imagine, and rethink. Now is the time to realign, refocus, and recharge. The Power Is Now to get pumped up and envision the great deeds you will accomplish by December 31st, 2016. Napoleon Hill said, “Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.” This is not the time to have doubt, but it is the time to be conscious about the success that you want in your life.
The Power Is Now to set and achieve production goals higher than you originally planned. The Power Is Now to redouble your efforts, to work smarter and to get the assistance you need. The Power Is Now to take what the market is giving us instead of whining about what the market is not giving us. In every market and in every economic environment there are winners and losers. Are we winners or losers? We are winners. Why? We are winners because we have made the decision to be a winner. You are who you choose to be. Failure is not an option; it is a choice. We must capitalize on what the market is giving us. There are many market opportunities before us, but we must choose to execute on what we are great at doing. We must do what we have the most power and ability to accomplish, because we do not have unlimited time and financial resources.
We have a plan. The Power Is Now to execute the plan.
We have a team of great people around us. The Power Is Now to maximize the individual talents on our team.
We have the money and resources to invest in ourselves and our company. The Power Is Now to operate with courage and make the investment in ourselves and plan to succeed and not fail.
We have mentors to help us. The Power Is Now to be accountable to a coach, mentor, or manager to guide us and keep us accountable to our plan, goals, tactics, and strategies.
There are four steps to exercising the power that we have within to win this year.
Step 1: Be Extraordinary
Step 2: Failure Is Not An Option
Step 3: Operate With Professionalism
Step 4: Set a Routine and Stick With It
Step 1: Only perform the sales activity in which you are extraordinary
Give all other sales tactics and strategies to someone on your team to do and make sure they are extraordinary at the tactic. If you want to wake up in the morning on fire and ready to take on the day, then you have no choice but to focus on what you are great at doing and what gives you the most satisfaction and joy. Anything outside of your greatness and power makes you ineffective as a leader and as a sales professional. Our power lies in our greatness and not in our weakness. Some people are great at many things, but there is only one thing that they are the best at and that activity will move the needle of their business and bring immediate results. We must focus on being great. You know what it is so just embrace it and do it. The 80/20 rule only exists because the twenty percent get it. They stay in their lane and only focus on what they are the best at doing. Their focus is where all their power is and that is why they get the job done and achieve extraordinary success like nobody else can. Be extraordinary – Be Great!
Step 2: Believe that failure is not an option – it is a choice. Choose to succeed.
Why a real estate agent and/or mortgage consultant would choose failure is very simple. It is not an intentional choice, but it is very easy choice to make. As human beings we always choose easy. It is part of our human nature; just look at kids! It requires no effort or real thought to choose failure and be a victim, because it is the default setting in our human nature. No real estate agent or lender I know would ever say, “I choose to fail,” but our human nature will choose evil over good, negative over positive, failure over success if left unchallenged, untrained, undisciplined, and unaccountable. It is easy to fail, but it takes work to succeed.
What empowers the negative choices we make in life is fear. Fear robs us of just about everything good in life: the fear of failure, the fear of loss, the fear of criticism, and the fear of rejection. Fear breeds uncertainty and doubt and causes us to shrink back when we should be pushing forward. Fear diminishes our personal power, confidence, smile, and positive attitude toward life. Fear is devastating to any business and is infectious, even as dangerous as any lethal virus. Unfortunately, fear is not like some viruses like the common cold that the body can handle and will eventually fight off and destroy. Fear is more like a flesh eating disease that can destroy the body and take your life. That is what fear does to a business, all the stakeholders of the business, and especially the leader. It sucks the life out of you, the people around you, and your business. You must believe that failure is not an option.
Step 3: Operate at the highest level of professionalism.
How do you want to be seen by the public or be known by your peers? What is the trademark or signature of your business? When your name comes up socially or professionally, do you know what people are saying about you? To operate at the highest level of professionalism means that you bring your “A” game to work every day. It means you are always prepared for every meeting with a client.
It means that you are always prepared to provide an intelligent answer to a problem or situation. It means that you are always dressed professionally and never have an off day. It means that your phone is always answered, not necessarily by you, and that you return phone calls in a timely manner. It means that you never appear frustrated or angry, but calm cool and collected as if you are the chosen one to lead in any situation. It means that you are a problem solver, adviser, confidant, and leader. To operate at the highest level of professionalism means to value what all people value and that is time.
Step 4: Establish a daily routine and stick to it.
Warning: Step 4 is only for disciplined people who want to guarantee that they will achieve their goals this year. If we are going to succeed, then we must have a plan to succeed and within the plan there must be an established routine that you will accomplish every day. The routine must happen no matter what happens in life. The routine is non-negotiable, immutable, inexcusable activities that must take place every day and at the same time. If you cannot be a person of integrity and do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it, then this may be the primary reasons why you may not achieve your goals.
People who lack integrity are typically not dependable in most things. They are never on time and there is always something that prevents them from achieving some task or goal. We all know people like this and we try not to conduct business with them. If this is a description of how you are conducting yourself then just make a decision to stop doing it because you have chosen this way of being. It did not choose you and you are not a victim. You are just undisciplined and need a coach. The following is a suggested routine if you are up for the challenge. For some of you it is not a challenge at all, because you are already doing these things. Congratulations if you are doing the following:
- Live by the calendar and respect your time and time of others.
Set appointments for everything that must be accomplished each and every day. This means every phone call you make or take must be by appointment. Even if yo are cold calling, you must block the time. Rarely is anything done on a moment notice because your day is planned with personal activities, family activities, business meetings, business phone meeting and special projects. Voicemail exists for a strategic reason. You must hire someone to answer your phone and check your voice mail frequently, so that time can be scheduled to speak to a client or team member requesting your time. Everyone deserves your full attention and you cannot give it to them if you are not working on a schedule or constantly answering your phone. Do not be reactive instead of being proactive.
2. Begin each morning with exercise and mediation/prayer.
Exercise for health and meditate to be in sync with God’s divine purpose for your life. We need balance in our lives. God, family, and business are the balance that we need.
3. Eat a great breakfast so that your mind and body can function at its highest level.
Without great health you will not have a great business.
4. Confirm your entire day before you start your day.
Make adjustments to your schedule if necessary, but have a plan to handle your priorities first and to be accountable for every minute of the day. Confirm your week and month to make sure that everything you are doing today will have a positive impact on the future.
5. Review your production goals for the day, the week, the month, and the year every day.
Know where you are at all times and what you need to do to stay on track. These activities should be competed by 7:30 AM.
- Start work: Spend 70% of your day (9-hour day) 6.3 hours generating leads, capturing leads and following up on leads.
This is your highest priority. You cannot make money if you have no one to sell to. It is just that simple.
7. Spend 30% of your day in ensuring that your current clients are receiving great customer service and that your marketing efforts are going to bring you future clients. This means tracking and following up on people and systems, meetings, planning session, strategy session, and production planning.
8. Take a one hour lunch at 12:00 PM. Not at 1 or 2 or 3 but 12:00 PM. Breaks are important and you must eat to stay alert and energetic the whole day. Occasionally bring someone to lunch to bond with. Relationships are important in business and life.
9. Leave at the end of the day and do not take the work home. I know this is hard to do but it goes back to being disciplined. Your priorities must be handled first and should not take more than a couple of hours of your day. Even if they took the whole day at least they would be completed and you can go home at five or six.
10. Be clear on what your priorities are. Some people put off the most difficult task to the end of the day and end up staying at the office all night. This is a person who needs a coach.
Another reason to leave the office at 5:00 or 6:00 PM is so you can spend the rest of the day with your family. Success for many people is measured by having a great family life. You can be successful in business and successful as a spouse or parent to your children. It is not an either or proposition. Family is worth more than money or gold.
These are the four steps to become a power player. If you are like me, then you are working on each of these steps all the time. We are all a work in progress. No one is perfect or executes perfectly all the time, but without a plan, goals and a desire to be the best you can be every day you will not achieve your potential this year or in life. The Power Is Now to make a change. May we all achieve extraordinary things in 2016.
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA
President and CEO