The highlights below come from concepts found in the book "Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time" by Brian Tracy. Sometimes the best things come in small packages. This quick read is filled with aha! moments that solidify concepts we think we understand but tend to ignore. Mr. Tracy does a fantastic job reminding us how easy it is to get distracted in our busy lives. As small business owners we are pulled in every direction. His book clearly identifies the benefits of "Eating That Frog" and what we can accomplish when we do so.
These are just a few highlights:
As real estate professionals most of us are very familiar with this idea. Especially in the context that 20 percent of the agents do 80 percent of the business. In the Pareto Principal this is known at the "vital few". In a way this can be discouraging for those of us who may not have reached a point in our career where we are a part of the 20 percent club.
The interesting point that Brian Tracy makes is this, the Pareto Principal can be applied to many other aspects of our business. For example 20 percent of your efforts will cause 80 percent of your results. Never could this be truer than in real estate. Consider the truly productive tasks vs. the tasks that simply suck your time away and generate no revenue.
You could also argue that 80 percent of your referrals come from 20 percent of your contacts.
You could also speculate that 20 percent of your marketing accounts for 80 percent of your leads.
When you consider all of this it becomes clear how critical it is that you focus your energy on the most productive tasks.
Can you do this? Really ask yourself, when was the last time you focused 100 percent of your full intelligence and care into a project or task. Mr. Tracy makes the point that this is one of the differentiating factors between highly successful people and the rest of the population. When you boil it all down, the value of our professional life and our deservedness for compensation is the direct result of the tasks we are able to complete. You may be a highly intelligent real estate agent, you may have a magnetic and charming personality but if you lack the ability to put these skills to work in a productive manner they are useless.
"One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all." - Brian Tracy
This is a common problem for us with a career in real estate. We often find tasks which have no positive impact on our financial situation. Yes, I said financial, meaning they DON'T PAY! I've yet to meet an agent who said they didn't want to make more money. Some have said they didn't want more business but not one has said they would turn down more money. Yet we find hundreds of tasks that keep us busy and none of them make us more money. I've often speculated that agents working for 2 hours a day doing productive tasks will make more money than an agent who works very hard 8 hours a day "staying busy".
How can you change your habits and develop the discipline to do the hard work and complete the difficult task that will move the financial needle?
It's easy in real estate to focus singularly on the here and now. When you slammed with clients and complex deals it seems like the only thing that matters. This is another thing that separates the successful from the average. Successful people can differentiate between what's happening right now and what needs to be done to achieve their long term goals.
When you make your long term goals concrete in your mind, you will make decisions on a daily basis which move you towards those goals. You will not forgo the tasks because of your immediate circumstances if you know that it compromises your long term goal.
These are just a few of the topics I found highly relevant to real estate agents and the challenges we face in this crazy business. I'll be the first to admit I struggle with focus and eating the frog but books like this move me closer to being as effective as I hope to someday be. As individual proprietors it is crucial that you find ways to stay motivated and learn new strategies for personal improvement. Consider this book or a host of others that will take you to the next level.
Note: We are in no way associated with Brian Tracy.
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