Take Flight – Turn Chaos Into Opportunity

On this 194th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will do a high-level review of "The Tail" of the Take Flight V4.0 set of episodes that I started 7 weeks ago. Systems, Processes, Habits and Routines are the tools that leverage the time and create sanity for anyone, in any industry, to grow a business and live a centered life. Ultimately, that is what I've witnessed as being the goal for 95% of the brokers/advisors I've worked with over the years. I can only remember 1 person who told me that they literally would put their business first over having a life. Today, I will take you through the 7 stages I've witnessed ELPs and super achievers go through to turn chaos into opportunity.

Stage 1: Hobby Stage to Business Stage

This is the stage where the light bulb goes on and the broker/advisor realizes that there are steps that need to be taken to build a business instead of a hobby. This could happen early in a career or after 25 years. Real progress starts to happen with the implementation of news skills and ideas. Using the metaphor of "Pumping the Well,” the broker/advisor starts to see trickles of what come of the faucet when he/she officially moves from having a hobby to running a business. The majority never get out of this stage.

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Stage 2: The Wheels Come Off

All the hard work starts to pay off, but the broker/advisor wakes up one day and realizes that the business is starting to overtake them. This realization sets in after they have bit off more than they can chew and the quality of the work and the quality of life starts to suffer. The broker/advisor finds themselves playing on defense most of the time and working late into the evening just to stay afloat. The overriding question that enters their mind is "how am I going to handle all of the commitments I've made to not just my clients but to my family and friends? and How long can I do this?" The faucet is gushing water at full go with no plan of slowing down the craziness in the near term. "Where am I going to find the time?" is the overriding question of the day, every day. This is normally when I get the 911 call.

Stage 3: Win the Day

The need to find productive time in broker/advisor's schedule is apparent at this point. Attempts are made to maximize "me time" and productive hours in the morning and in the evening. The broker/advisor realizes the need to break their day down into 3 sections: Morning, Arena Time and Evening Wrap Up. This concept starts to bring some relief as the day is much more productive and produces higher quality results.

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Stage 4: Elimination and Setting of Boundaries

With more time in the mornings to think and review, the broker/advisor realizes that some of the business that they are conducting is not a good fit for them and honestly, for the client. They said "Yes" just because they still have PTSD from all of those lean years. They've started to realize that 20% of their clients do steal 80% of their joy and they've committed to doing a better job of taking on business that is more aligned with their skill set and their experience. Since creating habits and rituals that have them winning the day and developing the courage to say "NO", slowly but surely, their life calms down a little bit while their business continues to grow. At this stage, they start to have confidence that the "right" business will always present itself if they stay true to themselves and create consistent effort.

Stage 5: Multiplication

Since the broker/advisor is now working within some structure and has the time to think about their business, they realize that they need to build systems and processes around their transactions to "multiply their time.” They know that hiring someone to help them is in their near future but they know that they need to get their business out of their head and into documented processes and systems. This will take some time, but they realize that they cannot wait any longer if they want their business to grow the right way. They commit to this project and in just one quarterly initiative, they've built out the 9 transaction processes that they will use to take their business to the next level.

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Stage 6: Buy Back Time

The business is built. It's time to buy back some time by hiring their first person. The decision comes down to who to hire. Does the broker/advisor hire a Transaction Coordinator, a full-time personal assistant, an assisting agent to help with showings, does he/she partner with someone on certain listings and buyers? At home, who can he/she hire to help me with some the day-to-day stuff? Another entire quarterly initiative is built around this one topic. Who? How? When? Within 90 days, a plan to buy back some time and get back below 50 hours a week will be in place. All of the hard work is starting to really pay off. A real business has been built and it's time to give back to oneself with more time to focus on things other than just the business.

Note: Use the number 25 as a guide. 25 transactions or $25M in production is the max one can produce by themselves. You will need to spend a max of 25% gross of your commissions for marketing and operational support to maintain and create consistent growth in the business. These dollars should be looked at as investments, not expenses.

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Stage 7: Mastery

The ideal day has been producing quality, productive hours for months. Boundaries have been set and followed. Systems, processes, habits and routines have created needed efficiencies in the business.

People and resources have been added to the business to maximize the broker's ability to focus on what matters: lead generation, database and relationship management, strategy and negotiation of contracts. The business is built and is paying dividends on the investments of time and resources. In the mastery stage, the broker/advisor plays around the edges and improves all of the areas of their business and life that provide further growth and happiness. This is when it gets fun. People notice and want to know what the broker/advisor is doing? The changes are obvious to everyone around them. The broker/advisor has arrived. They are an ELP/super achiever and officially in the top 3%. The life that was once in chaos is throwing off opportunity everywhere. Proper decisions are being made based on the experience the process has taught that person. Life is good. Being grateful is much easier.

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Do not think for a minute that is unobtainable. I've seen it happen in real time and seen businesses grow 2x, 3x and 4x while the ELP/super achiever works fewer hours. I can tell you for a fact that personally I worked harder at $10M than I did at $40M just before I got into leadership. This was over a decade ago, but the principles still apply and they are more needed today because of the added pressure put on a broker/advisor in this market. This episode really lays out the steps of how to master the stages of growth. All of this is said with one major disclaimer: This business is difficult and there will be challenges at every stage, including "mastery.” There is constant bobbing and weaving and this is why brokers/advisors get paid at a high level because few people can or will live the lifestyle that is required to build a highly functioning business.

On our next MMPT, I'll pull together at a high level how to weave what I taught in Section 1 of Take Flight V4.0 "The Cockpit" with Section 2 "The Tail" that this call wrapped up today. I want to you to see in real time how all of these sections work together to help you build a business that supports your life, not the other way around. If you believe and allow it, "Happy Brokers/Advisors do, in fact, sell more real estate.” It’s proven and I've dedicated by professional career to spreading this concept.