Use Deadlines to Create Urgency in Your Business

On this 235th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will teach you a proven strategy that will help you create the urgency you need to finally get unstuck. By simply giving yourself more deadlines, you'll start the process of harnessing the power of momentum that I talked about last week in MMPT Episode #234.


Before I introduce the idea of creating more deadlines, I want to remind you of my professional purpose and that is to help you, the broker/advisor, optimize your productivity and help you become the best version of yourself.  Why? "Because Happy Brokers Sell More Real Estate".  I help you become that by teaching you to handle the challenges and opportunities that you face every day. If you can effectively manage those certain situations that arise on a daily basis in your business, you'll be more productive and live a life that is the best version of you. My ask is that you listen as if you are in a one-on-one coaching session with me in my office or on a phone call.


Last month, I saw the power of deadlines. In the state of Illinois, continuing education and license renewal was due April 30th for real estate brokers.  Two weeks prior, 50% of my roster had not completed their renewal, but as the expiration date neared, the renewals started to flow in and ultimately everyone received their renewal. It wasn't until those brokers’ ability to conduct business and make a living was in jeopardy that the process became a priority. This is human nature. Knowing this, why then wouldn't we create similar urgency around our goals and dreams, using deadlines to make them a reality?


Unfortunately, in most cases, comfort wins and urgency loses. That's just the brain doing its job. It wants to keep you in the status quo, and most people's default status quo is just to "pay the bills.”


That’s why as a coach, mentor, brokerage manager and leader, the cries for help I hear the most are:


"Jim, I just can't stay consistent."

"Jim, I believe in everything you say. I've tried it. It works but I get off track and then I'm sunk."

"Jim, how does that broker do it? I'm a good broker. I've got 15 years of experience and my clients love me. Why am in this rut?"


In every instance, there is a major gap in that broker's business. They listen to my MMPTs, read all of the books and, in many cases, have attended a Ninja installation or another training program. The problem is that most of what they've read or learned goes unexecuted. If the results don't happen quickly enough, they quit while looking for an easier solution. With that being said, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…


To build a predictable and enjoyable business (30,000 feet) supported by repeatable processes and systems takes 2 to 3 years.  Yes, 2 to 3 years of consistent effort. Is it worth it?  Yes, because 30,000 feet is a beautiful thing. You'll see dollars in your bank account you didn't think possible. The challenge then becomes how you handle the opportunities and increased pressure of running a business that is producing at 2x to 3x from the day you committed to running a business instead of a hobby.  (That's an entirely different level of my coaching.)


How do you use Take Flight to get to 30,000 feet? Simple. You must create consistent effort over a long period of time with no interruptions, just as I talked about in MMPT Episode #233. So, how do you stay consistent?


The answer: Give yourself more deadlines. 


Daily and weekly deadlines are the answer. "Time Blocking" is an example of a micro-deadline. Time blocking is when you create a goal for a short period of time, normally 1 to 2 hours. You must pick a project and intentionally create urgency to get the project done and "meet the deadline.” I listened to an interview with Jen Gottlieb and Cody Sperber where Cody described how he used a "Systems Saturday" to completely reinvent his business. He took a block of time every Saturday for years and created a new system or process in his business that he documented and systematized. Over those years he was able to fully automate, delegate and outsource his business. His business became so successful that he is now teaching others how to do the same.  He did it through weekly time blocks, building out a small portion of his business every week over years. The result?  30,000 feet.


It's worked for me. Every Sunday morning from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. for 10 years other than on holidays, I have written a Monday Morning Pep Talk. These micro deadlines become part of a weekly rhythm.  Results follow.


How does this translate to your business?

  1. Each quarter, create a goal or initiative for your business. For example, you may want to rebuild your entire CRM/database in Q3.
  2. Break that project down into 12 parts, giving yourself 1 initiative for each week.
  3. Schedule a time during the week that will be most productive. Put the phone on airplane mode and do the deep work for 1 to 2 hours each week.
  4. In week 13 you celebrate the result, a fully functioning CRM that will drive more business to you throughout your career.


If you complete this process, for 12 quarters over a 3 year span, you've got a life and business operating at cruising speed.  It’s a mathematical certainty.


Let's do a quick review surrounding your current deadlines based on the proven "Take Flight" principles:


  • Do you have 3-year vision?  That's a deadline.
  • Do you have a goal for 2024?  That's a deadline.
  • What is your current quarterly initiative?  That’s a deadline.
  • Do you set time aside each week for deep work?  Do you time block?  That would be a micro-deadline.


Deadlines create urgency. Urgency creates action. Consistent action creates momentum. The results follow. Those results provide you with the life and business you desire. I have found that the more deadlines you give yourself built around proven strategies, the more successful your business will be. You have to “trust the process.”


This concept is so simple yet so hard for most.  Not up for it? Don't believe me?  Expect more of the same.  Just has Albert Einstein has been quoted so often, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”