He asked me what I was going to write about. I told him I didn’t have a specific topic picked yet. So he piped-up and asked, “Well, what do you feel like writing about?” And that’s when it hit me. See, the truth is…I didn’t “feel” like writing about anything. I didn’t feel like doing any work. And the honest-to-goodness truth is…I never “feel” like working. Right then I discovered a revelation that differentiates the most successful and productive people from the “wannabe’s” in our society. Most people believe they need some motivating force or driving inspiration in order to accomplish an important goal or task. But I have a very different philosophy. Actually, it’s not a “philosophy.” It’s is a time-tested, hardened and proven fact that separates those who achieve amazing success, live productive lives, make huge amounts of money, and enjoy the true richness of life itself…from everyone else. And it’s this…
Inspiration Does Not Create Action, ACTION Creates Inspiration
Most people have the formula backwards. They think that, as soon as they get inspired or motivated, they’ll go head-long into action. Yet the opposite is actually true. See, I don’t wait for “inspiration” to show up. If I did, I’d still be waiting. Instead, I MAKE myself start taking action. Because long ago, I realized…
The First 10 Minutes Of ANY Task Are The Most Difficult. After That, It’s Gravy
I also realized long ago that the best and worst thing about being self-employed was the same thing: I’m my own boss. And as a boss, I’m never going to get anything done from myself or my employees without some kind of structure, organization and accountability. And neither are you because…like it or not…you’re self-employed too. As your own boss, you won’t get much productivity from yourself without structure, organization and accountability. Let’s take, for example, the process of calling 100 of your power list members just to check-in or make sure they’re receiving your Service For Life!® real estate newsletter (a simple exercise, by the way, that has proven to yield hundreds of thousands of dollars in referrals, etc., but that’s another story for another time). If you need to make 100 calls, and you know each call will take you, on average, 6 minutes, then you need to make an accountability of 600 minutes to get the task done. That’s 10 hours, or about a day-and-a-half. See, if you don’t actually set that goal, and establish some kind of accountability, it’s going to take you 40 hours…and maybe longer (or never at all)…until you “feel” like calling those people. If you’ve been a member of our community for a while, you’ve seen some amazing marketing ideas, business-building techniques and helpful advice from me and other members over the years. But the difference between those who actually see results (incredible results!) and those who just collect a “library of potential” will come down to a simple “Planning and Executing Technique” that involves 3 simple parts. And because (above and beyond anything else) I want you to achieve great results in your business and life, I’d like to share with you a powerful process for achieving any size goal you ever desire. Here are the 3 parts… 1. How Well You DEFINE What Your Business, Life, etc., Will Look Like “When It’s Done.” 2. How Well You ORGANIZE and PRIORITIZE The Shortest, Most Direct Route To Accomplishment 3. Your COMMITMENT To “Focused” Implementation Let’s look at each one of these parts individually…
DEFINING Your End Target:
Talking about focus on “getting things done” is worthless if you don’t know WHAT needs to be accomplished. One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from agents who get our 3-Steps system is, “Where do I begin?” Knowing the answer to this question is essential, and frequently I can’t answer it because it’s different for each person. Why? Because each person has different goals for their business and life. The best place to start is to ask two questions: The first is, “What am I committed to achieve in my practice, life, etc.?” What specifically do you want to happen? The second is, “What is the MOST IMPORTANT thing (or few things) I can do reach that goal?” Talking about focus and accomplishment is meaningless if you don’t know what to focus on…what’s important. If you’re having trouble deciding what you need to do first, it’s probably because you aren’t clear about where you want to go – your goals. Once you know exactly what kind of business or life you want, it becomes infinitely easier to make DECISIONS between the various options and activities to get there.
An Amazing ORGANIZING and PRIORITIZING System:
Once you’ve determined “specifically” what you want from your business or life, the next step is to focus on getting pre-determined, USEFUL things done – emphasis on “done” every single day. I want to introduce you to a remarkable technological breakthrough. No it’s not a calendar, computer, organizer, software, smartphone or the endless parade of tools and gimmicks out there. In fact, you only need to invest about 25 cents for this tool. It’s a little wooden stick with lead in the middle. There’s no cord. No recharging. No software. No battery needed. No uploads or downloads. No support required, except for a sharpener. Yes, it’s called a pencil. Here’s what I do to transform this simple instrument into a powerful success tool… At the end of each year (usually November or so), I decide exactly what I want to accomplish in my business for the next year. I first make a strategic assessment of where we are, what markets we want to pursue, where the opportunity exists, what threats are looming, what the competition is doing, new product opportunities, etc. I call this an Opportunity Analysis. I’m looking for the opportunity in my business to grow, but this could easily apply to personal goals as well. Once I’ve gathered my information, I then take out a sheet of paper and make a list of only 4 to 6 Major Outcomes I want to have happen, say, within the next year (you can use whatever time frame you want). They may be new products, new revenue streams, or entirely new businesses I want to create. Or they may be improvements or advancements I want to make with existing products, etc. Anyway, I make the list of 4 to 6 Major Outcomes (I also assign revenue or profit goals to them as well, so I can see the payoff to my efforts). Then, I take that list, and I take ONE sheet of paper for EACH Major Outcome – so I’ll have 4 to 6 sheets now. At the top of each sheet, I write down the name of the project, task or product to be accomplished. Then I ask myself, “What needs to be completed to make this major outcome come about?” Again, I make the list. Then I prioritize the list. I now have 4 to 6 sheets of paper, each with the major outcome at the top, and a list of all the things I need to accomplish to bring it about. Depending on the complexity of the prioritized tasks I’ve listed out, I will next do something else. I take each one of those 4 to 6 sheets of paper with the prioritized tasks, and I make a list of what needs to be accomplished for EACH ONE of the prioritized tasks on each sheet. I call these Minor Outcomes. So, in essence, I am breaking down each of the major goals into prioritized tasks. Then I break down each one of the prioritized tasks into sub-tasks, and on and on. Do you see what I’m doing here?
I’m Taking A Seemingly IMPOSSIBLE Goal And Breaking It Down Into A Simple, Easy-To-Accomplish ROADMAP To Success!
Remember the old riddle, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: One bite at a time! You can actually take a complex business, and break it down, further and further, and assign a time line, thereby breaking it into weekly or even daily manageable tasks. I break my prioritized tasks into monthly goals, then weekly goals. Then, every Monday I make a LIST of what needs to be accomplished that week. Now, rather than becoming overwhelmed with a seemingly insurmountable goal, I have a simple, easy-to-achieve plan. Do you see the power in this simple little exercise? Heck, you can use this process for ANYTHING in your life. Going on a trip? Use this technique. Remodeling your home? Use this technique. Building a real estate practice? OK… you got the point. Oh…by the way, here’s another little secret about all this (speaking about “effectiveness”):
Your Income Will Increase Proportionately To The Percentage Of Your Time Shifted From All Other Activities Combined…To MARKETING!
Make a note. Measure yourself. Become accountable for results. Marketing creates results; everything else is a cost or overhead to be managed. OK, a quick review: You’ve determined your overall objective. Then, you’ve taken your high-tech pencil out and made a prioritized ROAD MAP of Major and Minor Outcomes to be accomplished (you can even break it down into weekly or monthly or daily outcomes). But we’re not finished. There’s ONE MORE thing you need to know as part of our 3-Step technique for accomplishing more in a week than most people get done in 3 months. Actually it’s at least as important as any of the other steps. I make…
An Unyielding COMMITMENT To FOCUSED IMPLEMENTATION:
There are 2 road blocks you will encounter during this process. The first is distractions created by YOU. And the second is distractions created by OUTSIDE FORCES. Let’s talk about OUTSIDE FORCES first. Outside forces will steal your goals like a thief in the night. They are usually created by people, but not always: phone calls, emails, faxes, personal interruptions, the overflowing toilet, and more. And they are deadly. The only way to manage these interruptions is…
Get Yourself A Stun-Gun And Threaten Anyone Who Comes Near!
Yes, this includes clients too. YOU are your most important asset to be managed. If you want to know the secret to time management, it’s this:
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with yourself (1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours a day) to get the most pressing things DONE each day.
And NO ONE will steal your time away from YOU! Not Oprah. Not your broker. Not your pestering client. No one!
Focus On THE LIST!
I turn my phone off. Shut the computer down (unless I’m writing, like now). Forget about the 7 email accounts we manage with messages from people who “insist” someone respond to their email within 15 seconds because “I sent it by email…where are you??” I focus on my task list. Whatever “new things” happen today has to be sorted through after today’s list is done, and put on tomorrow’s task list, next week’s list, or someone else’s list, or no one’s list. But today…today’s already booked. Now, let’s talk about the second distraction: YOU. In fact, this conversation brings us full-circle to where we began at the beginning of this article. It’s all about the “feel like doing” thing. Truth is, much of the time you won’t “feel” like doing anything – let’s be honest about it. BUT…mature, successful individuals FOCUS (that word again!) on desired results, not necessarily desirable, enjoyable or easy activities. Immature, struggling people focus on the acceptable activities and sacrifice results in favor of less taxing, easy or comfortable tasks. But if you’ve created your plan as I mentioned above…and you have a strong, emotional picture of the PAY-OFF of your efforts, it becomes easier to break through these personal barriers.
Successful People Set Pleasing GOALS Failures Set Pleasing TASKS
Successful people control their time and limit or eliminate distractions from themselves and others. It’s your choice. And if you want to know one more tip for how I manage my time, I use a simple personal formula:
If it will help me get closer to my goals…or make more money…or will PRODUCE something rather than CONSUME me or my time…I will deal with it.
If not, it goes on tomorrow’s list. Or no list at all. If you let yourself be bossed around by all this stuff, you’ll never be rich…and you’ll never be truly free. Of all the systems I could share with you…of all the marketing and business-building ideas we’ll cover over the next few years…none of it will do any good unless you have structure, organization and accountability to GET IT DONE.