The February Funk

Don't Let it Kill Your 2017 Plan

Summary: The February Funk is real. Doing the work comes after the grand vision of December’s plan. Here’s three things you can do to make sure you stay on track: 1) Review your plan every Monday, 2) Focus on the small stuff and 3) Toss the stuff that doesn’t fit.
 

December found my newsfeed littered with business planning inspiration and exuberant sales managers encouraging you to kill it in 2017.  If you are like most entrepreneurs, the end of January results in a reality check. It comes in the form of the daily grind and habits decades in the making. Your big plans for 2017 seem just a bit grandiose, and your business plan lies beneath a stack of far more significant paper.

The Business Plan Replacement

Summary: Year after year, when I take time to reflect, react and redirect, I learn and integrate lessons that would have been lost otherwise. Because it’s the end of the year, I’m sharing my three step process that represents the foundation of my business plan replacement.

The holiday season is a wild mix of celebration, regret and overindulgence. Meanwhile, every business owner is working on a plan for next year. The smart asses amongst you will point out that planning for next year should have happened in October (which is correct but if you pulled that off you wouldn’t be reading this). Alas, this is real life and most real estate pros think about planning the Monday following Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Building Champions advocates a planning process that includes the “Core Four” which are a Life Plan, Business Vision, Business Plan and Priority Management. I have transitioned from student to advocate for their methodology although the act of planning is the key. This blog post is about what you do BEFORE all of that. Before you sit with your team and declare what 2017 looks like, take some time to let last year settle in. The business plan replacement is a three step pre-planning process that includes the following: 1) Reflect, 2) React and 3) Redirect.

The 7 Commandments of The Digitized MLO

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The term digitization is everywhere.

It has become a mantra, a strategic planning cornerstone and the source of nightmares for entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 CEO’s alike. I met with a big time Mortgage Planner a few weeks ago. By big time, I mean 7 mil per month, small team, all self sourced. Before we wrapped up, I asked if they would grade their team on digital strength. They looked me in the eyes and said 9 out of 10.

Handling Busy Part 2

Repost

Rather than a badge of honor, busyness is often in direct conflict with productivity.  When you’re busy, you confuse motion for progress. Lifehack.org gives 20 additional reasons to not be proud of your busyness. What do you do when the length of your to-do list is rivaled only by the length of your call back list?  

Handling Busy Part 1

Repost

You have no idea how busy I am.  If you are like me, hearing that grates a nerve deep inside you.

Of course you know how busy I am! Like most professionals, you’re just as busy. In our lives the demands often overwhelm the number of hours we allocate and we are forced to manage tradeoffs. Fortunately, (or unfortunately), we all have the same 8,765 hours in a year to achieve the lofty goals we set in December. You have the same amount of time as Bill Gates and (insert name of person you think is killing it here).  

One Race, Three Champions, Three Lessons

Recently, a non-profit invited their tribe to the woods. The invite guaranteed the following: limited cell reception, almost no running water, no flushing toilets, complete separation from civilization, and an epic weekend of riding bicycles in the Lost Sierra. Seven hundred cyclists headed the call and were followed by a thousand volunteers and spectators. The Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship builds and restores multi-use trails while operating a guide service and hosting bicycle races in the interest of recreation based economic development. Our event,The Lost and Found Gravel Grinder, allows world class professionals and cycling enthusiasts to explore some of the most beautiful country on earth while discovering what lies inside of them.  

Some ride, some race, and some survive. My possession of the microphone put me in the midst of the chaos. This year I learned a valuable lesson: The diversity found among the champions is what makes them amazing! I found three champions among the crowd that stood out. The finisher, the winner, and the tribe builder all had different paths to victory.

Relationship Sales and the Persistence Problem

Most Real Estate and Mortgage veterans generate a significant portion of their business from referrals. We are relationship based sales people. We came up with Buffini, Stumpf and Duncan promising to eliminate uncomfortable cold calls by nurturing a handful of quality relationships. The unintended consequence of our referral mindset is that we haven’t taken persistence seriously enough to win consumer direct business. The bottom line is that most of us don’t make enough dials and don’t have enough patience to successfully work in the tech focused coming market.

Don’t tune me out, I have attended and advocate Buffini’s Success Tour, Stumpf’s BRO, and Duncan’s High Trust Selling.  They have pioneered best practices that fuelled the growth of our industry for the last 20 years. The problem is that in our zeal to build businesses that feed themselves effortlessly, we risk missing out on the next generation of consumers that are learning, engaging and soon, buying via technology platforms.

Handling Busy Part 2

The Four Things You Can Do Today

Rather than a badge of honor, busyness is often in direct conflict with productivity.  When you’re busy, you confuse motion for progress. Lifehack.org gives us 20 additional reasons to not be proud of your busyness. What do you do when the length of your to-do list is rivaled only by the length of your call back list?  

The Cost Of Perfection In Your Business

The law of diminishing returns states that all processes have a point at which further improvement does not translate into better results.  Perfectionism shows up as paralysis by analysis, over planning, or just good old fashioned procrastination. When we seek perfection in a process or system, it is often at the cost of revenue generating activities.  It is time to focus on progress, not perfection.