In today’s world, it would be bold to say that the secret to creating a sustaining real estate business is by focusing on building consistent, repetitive, and creative habits. Not by trying to skip steps and create hacks for your business.
A lot of us early on in our businesses (including me) start out by thinking of ways to shortcut the process and forecast our mistakes in order to help our business become successful faster. We often find that there is no shortcut, and by attempting the shortcut actually made our road to success a little bit longer.
What we need to realize is that if we want level up our business, we need to put our heads down, show up, and get to work. Chuck Close has a quote that really puts things into perspective for me:
Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will – through work – bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art [idea].’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you [did] today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere.
~ Chuck Close
How do we create these daily, consistent creative habits without losing sight of our end goal? Keep reading.
Understand that building a business is like building muscle
I’m sure everyone can appreciate the analogy of building a business with building a strong body. Somebody that looks fit has likely spent a considerable amount of time exercising. Similarly, if you look at a successful business person, he or she has likely spent an accumulated sum of time just showing up to work and doing what was needed.
But like so many of us who start going to the gym, we eventually fizzle out. The bread is in the pudding, and that bread for meeting fitness goals is finding a routine that is simple enough for you to execute every day.
Let’s stay with exercise for another minute. I’ve signed up with multiple gyms, bought P90X, etc. With all of them, I have failed to endure. When applying the concept of just showing up, I thought of something I could just show up to with zero thought, effort, or anxiety. For everyone this may be different, but for me Crossfit fit the bill. I can just show up 3-4 days a week and get exactly what I want with little effort on my part.
I made this part of my day so simple that it is impossible for me to quit. Now I am exercising consistently for the longest stretch of my adult life.
How could you apply the same technique to your business? How can you make your day to day routine so simple that all you have to do is show up? This technique cuts the confusion, effort, and anxiety that contribute to the frequent roadblocks.
Building the Simple Habits
I can’t count how many times I have been inspired to do something great, whether it be getting into shape or starting a mail campaign for real estate leads. Most often, I have found myself totally immersed in developing something overly complicated. I tend to overthink things and find myself not really getting much done at the end of the day except a bunch of theoretical garbage.
I found this to be a problem for both me and my colleagues. That’s when I stumbled upon a blog post by Leo Babauta which suggested that “a great way to start building up a new habit is to make it so easy that there is no way to mess it up.”
I then found the following sound advice from a podcast interview: “If I had to focus on getting one thing a day done, it would be getting ONE thing done a day”.
There isn’t much that is simpler than that. Wake up in the morning, show up, and focus on getting ONE thing done and completed. This stuff isn’t revolutionary. It’s simple and simple is exactly what a lot of us need.
Instead of over-stressing on the big picture stuff and worrying about trying to do everything on your first try, just focus on taking the first step. Get that one thing done a day. Things will fall into place.
James Clear wrote an essay on the difference between goals and systems that has revolutionized how I thought about making processes towards those bigger goals.
Goals are good for planning your progress and systems are good for actually making progress… Goals can provide direction and even push you forward in the short-term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win. Having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.
~ James Clear
Establish your goals, but focus on the system that will help you reach that goal. Punch-in, punch-out, get the work done, and embrace the slow growth.
Photo Credit: darkmatter