4XF 40: Achieving work/life balance

 
 
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Achieving Work/Life Balance

Online Real Estate Training: Achieving Work/Life Balance – Podcast #40

Hey all you future 4X’ers out there.  Thank you for joining me once again on 4X Formula Radio.

Have you experienced the feeling of being out of control.  Out of balance.  Have you ever felt that you need to act like a mother hen and hatch your listings… or experienced that insecurity that your clients would hop on over to work with another agent if you weren’t totally on top of things?  Have you ever felt that you only feel a sense of security and control if you are only thinking about Real Estate and nothing else?  Have you experienced tension with your loved ones when it comes to choices made with your time?  If not now, it will happen at some point in your business building.

There is this tension that goes on inside you.  I understand it.  I still struggle with it too.  If you are at all ambitious in any way.  If you have this burning desire to succeed.  If you are listening today, I think that you must be that kind of person so you will relate to what we talk about today….

How do you achieve that perfect LIFE/WORK balance as a Real Estate Professional?  That’s what we are going to talk about today…

I remember the days when I would spend considerable amounts of time on activities that weren’t really fruitful.  I wasted a lot of time on activities that I now consider “C Activities”.  There are A, B, C, and D Activities in Real Estate when it comes to building your business.  Don’t get me wrong….if your time is not consumed with A and B activities then you have to do C Activities to get the ball rolling….but I found that I would spend time on fruitless activities for the sake of it.  IT was time consuming but I thought that it was a good investment of time to eventually get business.  Or…I rationalized, that “I was doing something.  Its better than doing nothing.”

The problem is that I was not taught anything.  I had no mentors around me.  I had nobody close to me that I could rely upon to help me figure it out.  I believe that this happens a lot. So, we end up doing D Activities by default just to be doing something.  D Activities are a waste of time in my opinion.  Advice is tough to come by in the Real Estate world unless you pay good money for coaching but in the general real estate world there are three ways to receive advice if you seek it out…

Here is how advice happens in Real Estate as I see it.

  • The Office Mentor has been in the business for over 10 to 15 years and is now resigned to be the “trainer” in the office. They teach a few tactics.  They are the same ones that everyone teaches and usually from the “old school” ways of doing business.  I found that it was very “salesy”.  I have heard so many different things from so many different trainers from phoning 100 people a day to knocking on doors all day long to get 1 “maybe”…..I’ve heard that there are some companies that recruit based on their “tricky” little “lead generation campaigns”.  There is no system.  There is no Formula.  Those are C and D Activities.  They may talk about hitting up FSBO’s or Expired listings but again with no system in place.
  • Learn from the Top Dog. In the office there is always someone who is very successful.  Its someone that most people are intimidated by.  They are usually very busy and have limited time to speak to people especially if they are successful.  If you do get up the gumption to ask this person to lunch and ask them how to succeed it can be a motivating lunch but, truly, in the end they most likely will only be able to intellectually explain one thing.  It most likely will be the thing that they are really good at.  This is very normal and not to be criticized.
    I relate to that because I remember talking to people and thinking to myself… “I want to give this person some pearls of wisdom, but I don’t want to give away the “secret sauce”.  OR I would think to myself… “I can’t vocalize how to operate a successful business in 1 hour….its impossible.  So what is one thing that I think is really impactful.”  I would talk about that.  This person is looking for information that is in the middle of the Alphabet…like at “M” or something and they really need to get A to D set up first.  The problem with that is that its not really sexy.

Does that make sense?  Its really challenging.  Unless an office has a full A-Z program…they don’t really have a training program.  Everyone is really left to figure it out and the office is simply interested in ensuring that you pay your bills every month.  This is more often the reality in the Real Estate business and that is ok.  It’s the way it is.

So with that in mind…. part of the problem with the Work – Life Balance is due to simply not knowing what to do.  Would you agree with me on that?

#3 – Pay for a full training program of some kind to fine tune your efforts.  There is really no way around it.  IF you want to succeed in this business and have some chance of achieving a balanced life then you need to invest in training.  This will save you hours, and days and months of aggravation and save you a lot more money than you spend on the training for sure.  It is an investment that will pay dividends.

First thing you need is to get properly trained on the activities that you need to focus on and how to do it properly with the right tools to maximize your time output.  That is number 1. 

There are various ways to obtain the proper training…take a course…go to seminar…watch webinars…get a coach…read some books…listen to podcasts…watch youtube videos…Its like going to a grocery store and choosing what you want.  There is a lot of information out there right now.  You need to find the right fit for you.

Knowing what to do with your time is half the battle.  This is one of the most common issues that Real Estate Agents face.  But I find that a lot of Real Estate Agents looking for info tend to go down the Chip and Pop Aisle and spend time there.  They want what tastes good and kind of satisfies a craving. Do you get my meaning?  It is tasty and easy to consume but not really good for you in the long run.  There is no silver bullet or quick get rich plan, or simple game changing solution to make all the difference in your business.  IT is always a combination of many things all put together…

So when you are searching for training, look for a complete training program that covers all aspects of the business.  Don’t look for the short cut – “will it make it easier for me” kind of training…Go through the produce section.  Salads are better for you but take a little preparation time.  Combining different kinds of produce and fruit to make healthy dishes are better for you.  But it is rarely one ingredient that makes a great salad.  Sometimes I will have 7 to 10 different types of ingredients in a salad and it is awesome and very satisfying.  I do not enjoy eating one type of lettuce in a bowl and nothing else.  It’s the combination of things that makes it enjoyable and achieves the balance for your body.  Does that make sense?

Consuming the right training and information that gives you a specific plan, with action steps, and tools to ensure proper standards, and creates a positive outcome, is the way to go and will be pivotal in creating a Dream Real Estate business.

Here’s the reality: It does take time to get the ball rolling.  It takes time to get the systems in place.  It takes time to record things and keep good records.  It takes time to ensure that all your client care touch systems are in place.  Your after sale follow up.  Building relationships with strategic alliances etc.

Those are all investments that produce dividends in the future.  Nothing happens over-night.  Just because you aren’t doing up listing paperwork or working on a contract to purchase or working on a CMA doesn’t mean you have nothing to do.  Also keep in mind, that even if you have all of those things to work on in a day….you still have to do those items…People think that when they are busy with the busy-ness or business of today that fulfills their business activities…that is not true.  You have to build your business for tomorrow and next year while doing today’s business.

If your days and weeks are spent in A and B activities which are fruitful and “money-making” and you have momentum in your business then you are in control.  That is where you want to get to.  So while more time and energy and focus may have to be in place in the beginning for the first little bit, and all of that time and energy is put into the right areas of your business, then you eventually will be able to create a healthy and fruitful balance.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

So what I am saying…Is….#2 – you have to be totally out of balance first before getting balance.  Does that make sense?  Or does that confuse you.

If you think about the building of a brick home for a second.  First there has to be a foundation put in place to support the heavy brick walls.  That must be well planned out.  We actually have a whole foundation section of our course that we do before getting into the how to’s.  The reason for this is, that it is not worth setting out on a journey unless you know where you are going.  You need to see the landmarks along the way to be sure that you are on the right path.  Your foundation will support everything.  It will give you a solid purpose.  It will clarify the WHY as well as goal set properly for the real estate business…then you build it according to that plan.

Now, think of each client as a brick that gets laid in intentionally and with the appropriate amount of mortar.  This is your database.  This is your referral business.  This is a solid business that begins to support itself and can withstand the storms of the real estate markets, and the weathering challenges.

If you listened to one of my earlier episodes called the LIFT OFF, I go over the airplane analogy.  At the beginning of the business is where you must have the throttle fully pushed forward.  There are a lot of people that instinctively understand this, but I have noticed that 5 years down the road they are still at full throttle mode and have not experienced lift off.  They are working hard but using the wrong systems, or working without a plan, or have not put in the foundation properly.

I was that person.  For a long time.  Luckily I have an awesome wife.  She stuck with me but I believe a lot of relationships can be damaged from building a business incorrectly like this.  A lot of people work really hard out of emergency mode, in short sprints and then as soon as they experience some success they release the throttle and begin to enjoy the fruits of their labour too soon… then they get into emergency mode again and the cycle continues.  Lift Off never happens.

The reason that I am doing these podcasts and have designed this course is to help others get clarity:

  • Developing the plans for your ultimate Dream Business
  • On what needs to be done – this is the 4X Formula and mastering the 4 facets.
  • What are the landmarks along the way – How is success defined by a 4X Agent?

But it is unavoidable that you have to be out of balance for a little while.  Anybody that tells you different is not telling you the truth.

How do you get and then maintain the momentum?

– After Lift Off, Once the pilot gets the plane to 30,000 feet, he has to lay off the throttle or he will burn out the engine on the plane.  There is less friction up that high and the plane seems to propel itself.  This is where you need to get your business to…but if you keep going that hard you will burn out too.  That is no good to anyone.

SO if you know that you have to be totally out of balance for a while in order to get your life INTO balance eventually…then wouldn’t it make sense to figure out how to shorten that time, that you are out of balance, so that you don’t put unnecessary strain and stress on your business, your relationships, and your income potential.

So the 3rd point, to gain balance, is to have a plan and execute the plan.  Set goals.  Know your Why and do some work to establish where your starting point is… where you are currently uncomfortable… and where you want to be.  This is only the first destination but it is a destination.  What does “lift off” mean to you?  I refer to this as the moment that you get out of Survival Mode to Thrive Mode.  What is Thrive to you?  I don’t mean just one good year because the market was blowing up in your area.  I mean a sustainable business that you are in control of that is organically growing and feeding itself.

Then you begin to plug in people to take care of certain activities.  Create a little automation with a personal touch.  Schedule small moments, in your days and weeks, to implement your client touch programs intentionally.  Inspire people to refer business to you.  Constantly checking in with your clients to ensure that you are getting feedback…Figure out what can be done for a small wage that achieves those things and then you insert a person to help you, and then jump in yourself once in a while to keep it fresh and warm.

But the biggest part is understanding that you can Schedule yourself.  You are in control.  You can use a cell phone to put a contract negotiation together on top of a ski hill or sitting in a beach chair!  Right?  This is the new Reality.  So how do you leverage that.

#4 – Don’t forget about your loved ones.  Schedule them in if you have to.

So if you have a family, then scheduling that time for those special events is really important.  Your kids are only kids for a snap shot of time in their lives and it is important to be there for those special moments.  Resentment is the toughest human emotion to dissipate.  Once resentment sets in it starts to germinate and it festers.  Anger and Happiness are fleeting but Resentment is kind of under the surface and the people experiencing that emotion aren’t even aware that it is happening.  Its like a cancer that targets relationship.  I have seen it a lot.  Striking that balance is really important to save that seed from being planted.  After all, what are you working so hard for anyway?  What is the reason?  I hope that your “why” definitely includes something about them…if not, then you are already out of balance before even starting.

Think about this.  When things go bad, it is even more time consuming.  When marriages start to crumble, it is even more mentally draining.  It is hard to focus.  Other challenges come up when it comes to the kids etc.  The very thing that you neglected because you didn’t think you had the time, is now consuming you.  This is the balance of life.  The balance of nature.  The ying and the yang.  Your family and loved ones are not distractions from your focus on your business…they are the reason that you are doing it.  Does it make sense to neglect them, in order to build the business for them?

#5 Involve your loved ones in your Goals so that they know why you are working so hard

In order to achieve a good work /life balance it is important to involve those that are important in your lives.  Share your goals with them.  Share your Why with them.  Share the obstacles that you are working to overcome with them.  Sometimes your spouse can see things that you don’t.  Their outer perspective can give you some amazing insights, if you let them in.  This is important because now they are your cheerleaders. Your spouse will explain to the kids from the perspective of a cheerleader rather than a disappointed wife or husband….

How would you like them to be speaking to your children?

“Oh…I guess your father is going to let us down again.  He can’t make it… that’s typical”

If this is going on, then the family is in trouble.  I am sorry to state this so confidently.  This is something that YOU need to fix and fix it soon.  This is on you… Resentment is setting in and you are becoming the bad guy or gal in the family.

Or

“No honey, sorry, Daddy can’t make it today but you will see him tonight when he gets home.  He is working really hard for us and he really wishes he could be here”

This is a case where the goals are shared.  The Parent is positioning it in the child’s mind that this is a unique circumstance.

Make every effort to make your loved ones a priority.  Even if it is for a snippit of time.  If its in the middle of a work day then do it…then get back to work.  You may need to push appointments into the evening or work on a Sunday in the afternoon to ensure you make those events but that’s what you have to do.  I have finalized negotiations on the sidelines of a Rugby match many times.  You do what you have to do.  Get it done.  Get off the phone…watch the game…then get back to it after the game.  People can wait 30 minutes to an hour for you to return to things.  I do this all the time. Very rarely is something that important that it can’t wait until afterwards.

I have explained to my clients that I can’t see them during short blocks of time during the daytime because of a family event and I have found that they actually respect that.  They actually feel better about doing business with me.  I am a regular person just like them.

I coached soccer, I helped coach football and attended all of the School Events that I could.  I bet I made about 90% of those.  I have a great relationship with my family and my wife has always been my cheerleader.  That’s because she always knew the plan.  I shared the dream with her all the time.

#6 – Don’t bring the challenges of the day into the home.  I didn’t bring home the baggage from my day.  Once you share the dream….you can’t come home every day and wine about your day.  That’s not fair.  See the problem there?  If I spend all this time and energy building the dream with my wife, and then come home every day and wine and complain about the challenges I have been facing and the jerk clients that I have to deal with and the jerk Realtors that I have to deal with….what does that do the dream that I have helped build with my wife?  IT causes her belief in that dream to dissipate.  That’s not good.  That’s bad.  And to be honest…extremely selfish.

When you are home.  Be home.  Be engaged in them.  Be with them physically and mentally.  Everything should be about them.  This the reward that they get from you.  Give it to them.  Don’t make it all about you, make it all about them….believe it or not….this is a huge stress reliever.  That’s the benefit that you get to enjoy.  There will be times when you will be spending less time with them.  Well if that’s the case…make it count.  Make it fun!  Make it all about them.  Give them yourself 100%….don’t make it all about you.  I understand stress.  I do.  But your family doesn’t deserve your stress.

As long as you have done everything you can about that stressful issue or challenge then there is really no need to stress about it anymore for the rest of the day.  Put it on your list to deal with tomorrow or nail down the action steps today so that your mind is clear, and then, just decide, that you will do everything that needs top be taken care of, tomorrow.  If nothing more can be done today…then push it aside mentally and enjoy our loved ones.

Don’t dump it on them.  They don’t need it.  They are not going to solve it.  They aren’t going to do the action steps tomorrow for you, to help…there is no benefit to dump this on your spouse or loved ones.

#7 – Involve Them in Bigger Business Decisions

If there is a larger business challenge that is going on that effects the overall life plan…this is different.

Things like bringing on a business partner…..I believe spouses should meet the partner.  This is another type of “marriage” and they deserve to know and have a “say” in who you are now getting involved with.  My wife has an amazing gut feeling about people, and there are many times that I should have involved her and listened to her opinion.  It would have saved me a lot of disappointment and heartache and money.

Changing offices…this is a major business decision and sometimes they are a great sounding board to speak to about this decision.  This effects the family dream.

Life or Business Events, Decisions, Major Purchases and things like that, are definitely events, that your spouse needs to be involved with.  They need to know what is going on.  If it is exciting and it is bringing the plan forward then this is something that you should share in for certain.  Discuss and evaluate.  Talk about the Pro’s and Con’s and then if it goes great, then you both get to share in the feeling of success together….BUT if it goes bad, then they get to share in that too.  You aren’t necessarily the one to blame 100%….they were part of the decision so now there is less chance of resentment building up.

I don’t think that I can possibly cover all the aspects of “work/life balance” in this episode but my goal was to get you thinking about these things. I think that you get the basic premise.  Apply these principals and you will be ok.  When you have a cheerleader that you love in your corner, you will produce much better.  You will be more creative.  You will have more drive and motivation…It all works in concert together.  The last thing you need is additional stress and what I refer to as “home stress” to deal with.  The “building years” before lift off are crucial to your success and you need to be able to focus like a laser during that time.

When you work…work.  Work diligently and with absolute focus of energy and intention.  If you waste a lot of time during the day and have a lot of “coffee talks” and spend time on things that don’t produce results then your loved ones absolutely have a right to be upset with you.  Don’t you agree?  So don’t sabotage your potential business success.  Be true to what you plan out together.  Be accountable to that.  Be the best you that you can be….for you, for your business and for them.

That’s it for today… thank you for listening once again… I appreciate you.  To Learn more about our FREE Training where you can see if we are a good fit together to get you to Lift Off, go to 4X Formula.com.

Go out there and make a great day!

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