3 Steps to Greatness

There are a million articles out there about resolutions, goals, and becoming a better you, so I'm not going to waste your time with a 12-step manifesto on the subject.

I am, however, going to highlight 3 very simple principles that everyone with long-term success shares:

1.) The Process creates the Results

You can't magically create a dozen new clients out of thin air. But you can create a process of making sales calls every day. And those sales calls will create clients throughout the year.

You also can't run a marathon, do 250 push-ups, or lose 30 lbs today. But you can make jogging (or doing some push-ups, or eating a little better) part of your daily routine.

The process is what you can actually affect; it's what you have control over - day after day - for the rest of your life.

2.) Small to Big

You don't have to think about giant numbers, like making 20 sales calls per day, or running 5 miles at a time.

It's better to start small. Very small. Tiny.

How many sales calls are you making today? Zero? Then let's start with 1. The action of dialing the phone and making that 1 call is huge, even though 1 is a small number.

One isn't a lot by itself. But the process of making 1 per day quickly becomes 5 per week, and eventually compounds into 250 for the year. (and 250 is A LOT more than 0!)

After a while, when the process has become a normal part of your routine, you can consider increasing the numbers - maybe you make 2 calls on odd-numbered days and 1 call on the even-numbered days. If you get comfortable with this and you still want to increase your business, you can move up to 2 calls everyday, and so on.

It's no different for push-ups (try doing 10, or even 5, to start with), running (start out with a mile, or even 1 minute), and eating habits (try adding 1 carrot to your plate at lunch, or even just throwing away the last sip of your sugary soda instead of finishing the can.) You can level-up later once you get comfortable with the new process.

Start small, and grow to big over the long-term.

3.) Be Consistent

Repeating that itsy-bitsy little action over and over again is the difference between winning and losing at your goals.

Consistency is what converts that new action into a habit, where it just becomes part of who you are and what you do. It’s also what allows those numbers (and successes) to accumulate and add up to bigger numbers.

Doing 100 push-ups today, but then not doing any more over the next 6 months, has the same long-term benefit as doing nothing at all. I’d rather have done a mere 10 push-ups a day during those same 6 months.

Conclusion

  • Consider the action (or process) - and not the end goal.

  • Make the action so small that it seems ludicrous, like it's too easy. It's so easy that it's a joke. (It's also so easy that you can, and will, succeed.)

  • Be consistent - do that little tiny action over and over (and over) again. (and again, and again.)

  • Grow the action (slowly) over time.

It doesn’t need to be a “Resolution”, as much as just doing something small to get a little bit better. And then doing it again.

Here’s to a successful 2019.

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- Chris Butterworth

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Writing and delivering a monthly e-Newsletter is not something that’s easy to start small, as it requires writing and sending the entire newsletter, each and every month. If keeping in touch with your friends and family is part of your business plan for 2019, I’d love to help. Check out 8DollarFarming and give me a shout!

 

2 Ways - to get in shape

There are 2 ways to achieve your “get in shape” goals.

1.) Work out. Once you’ve done your daily workout, you’ve been successful, and the rest of the day is easy. Over time you’ll get stronger and faster, and more “in shape.”

2.) Wage a constant war against yourself throughout the day, pitting pleasure against self-discipline.

  • Elevator, since I already worked out? But the stairs offer more exercise!

  • Full lunch, since I already worked out and I’m really hungry? But the small lunch will help me lose weight!

  • Ice cream on the couch after dinner, since I had a good day (or a stressful day)? Ice cream, really, when I’m trying to get in shape?!

The first way will get you most of the way there, and is black & white easy - you either succeeded or you failed, each day.

The second way will get you all the way to your goal, and much faster. But it will consume your life.

Both options beat doing nothing.

The best option is a combination of the two: exercise consistently, and make good choices throughout the day. (Notice I said good choices, not perfect choices.) “In shape” will come, slowly and over time. Work on the processes, the daily habits, the pattern of making good choices consistently - and the shape will follow; it won’t have a choice!

There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it - only that you do it. You cannot, under any circumstance, achieve your goals (or even make progress towards your goals) without doing the work. And consistent work over time beats short periods of hard work, every time.

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- Chris Butterworth

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And if making good choices all day long is exhausting, and you don’t have the mental energy left over to sit down and write your monthly e-Newsletter, let me do that for you. It’s what I’m really good at, and it’s why I created 8DollarFarming!

 

How Diverse is your Contact List?

Diversity makes for a good contact list.

Think about the real estate needs of an average up-and-coming young person today (if there is such a thing..)

  • Young person buys a first house - a small starter home, or condo, probably on the outskirts of the neighborhood they really want to live in.

  • Young person gets married - the couple decides to sell one of their homes and live in the other one.

  • Family grows - a couple of kids later and the house is too small; the family needs to sell the starter home and buy a larger, more family-friendly house.

  • Pause - for many people, this will be the last house they need for a long time, as their focus turns towards raising their family.

  • Career grows - those fortunate enough to be climbing the career ladder (or whose businesses are thriving) may have one more purchase - the big house in the good neighborhood, before they pause to focus on family (and saving for college, and retirement, and vacations, and...)

So, from early 20s to mid 30s it's not uncommon for a person/couple to buy 2, 3, or even 4 houses. But then they might have a period of 15-20 years without needing any real estate help.

Sure, there are other reasons people need to buy and sell homes:

  • Job transfer / Relocating

  • Marriage / Divorce

  • Lifestyle Change (wants a condo, or doesn’t want a pool, etc.)

  • Empty Nest / Retirement

There becomes a trade-off, where younger people may buy and sell homes more frequently, but older people (let’s call them more mature, or more established people) may buy and sell more expensive homes.

If you’re going to be in this business for the long term, it’s a good idea to have a diverse mix of people in your contact list. Keep adding younger people to your list, as they will grow into mature people eventually. (Most of the time. Hopefully.)

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-Chris Butterworth

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And if you need help staying in touch with the large, diverse group of people you know, please consider my e-Newsletter service - I would be happy to help!

Outsourcing your life

Outsourcing makes your business, and/or your quality of life, better.

You could pay a transaction coordinator to handle your paperwork because:

  • Make More Money: Getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty paperwork takes your focus, and your time, away from your marketing efforts. You can make more money (consistently, without ebbs and flows) if you pay someone else to push digital paper.

  • Avoid Potential Problems: You aren’t good at filing paperwork, and your lack of details might end up costing you a lot of money in fines, lawsuits, and/or E & O exposure. You can save yourself a potential financial nightmare by spending a little bit of money on each transaction - much like an insurance policy for your business’s long-term well being.

  • Increase Quality of Life: You’re busy, and you don’t really enjoy this part of the business. You’d rather work 40 hours per week and enjoy yourself than 50 hours per week and complain about all the stupid rules your broker has for each document in each transaction.

Outsourcing has been around for centuries; it’s the basis of the entire service industry. (More than that - it’s the basis of the entire free market; otherwise we would all have to be completely self-sufficient - and who wants that?) You can pay someone to do just about anything for you: cooking, cleaning, child care, home maintenance and repair, etc. - the list is infinite.

On the flip side, however, is spending money. You’re welcome to pay all these people for all these services, which will free up loads of time. But you better use that time to make a lot of money, because outsourcing these services isn’t free!

Bottom Line - Pick your spots. Outsource the work that can help you make more money, or more consistent money. Outsource the things you aren’t very good at, or the things you simply hate doing.

We all have a goal which at some level is about increasing our quality of life - short-term, long-term, now or in retirement, family time, work-life balance… Whatever. If outsourcing helps you get there, do it!

- Chris Butterworth

Ps - Here’s my shameless plug for 8DollarFarming. If you want to outsource your monthly eNewsletters, and have someone else write and email them to all your contacts, every month, on your behalf.. Well, I’m pretty good at that.

Service, not Systems

My wife and I bought a new car last month. (Yay - new car! Boo - spending lots of money!)

The car is awesome. The experience was… meh.

Here’s the short version: We spent 6-8 weeks deciding whether we wanted a big or mid-sized SUV, and we looked at several different brands. We stayed in touch with the sales guy for each dealership throughout the process, either by answering their follow-up calls, or calling them with questions, or stopping by to see the car in person (again.) Eventually we narrowed our list down to a couple of options, and bought the one where we were able to negotiate the best deal.

That’s it. The process was over. We have a new car, and each dealership’s sales guy knew if/when they were out of the running. End of story - or at least it should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.

We then received multiple sales emails over the next 2-3 weeks, from the dealership where we had just bought our car:

  • Hi Chris, it looks like you missed an appointment you had scheduled with (sales guy’s name). Did you want to reschedule your appointment to a more convenient time?

  • Hi Chris, we are having a big sale this weekend on (model name). Please give (sales guy) a call to schedule an appointment to come test drive a new (model name) and get a great deal on a great car.

  • Hi Chris, it looks like you haven’t been by our store to see (sales guy) in a little while. Please give us a call or stop by anytime if there’s anything we can do. We would love to help get you a great deal on a great car.

Finally we called the sales manager and asked to stop sending us emails.

This was worse than bad customer service - it was insulting.

We spent two months in constant communication with your sales guy, then spent a lot of money at your dealership, and you can’t even move our contact information from your “prospect” list to your “customer” list?

It’s a good idea to use systems to help increase your efficiency and stay in touch with as many people as possible.

It’s a bad idea to take the customer, and the service, out of a customer service business.

Systems are great; personal is better.

- Chris Butterworth