The Habit-Forming App That’s Changing My Approach to Business & Life


This morning I woke up, thought briefly about my day, and pulled up the calendar to refresh my memory. I was also reminded of several habits I want to do each and every day and how those habits are affecting the rest of what I do. I love having clarity on how to start my week and my day.

Right now, we often have client meetings during the week for future deals, potential JV projects, retail flip projects, checking in with our growing team, and walking new houses that could be deals. Our management company may be in the midst of leasing new properties and the little details that go with it, of setting up new utilities, contractor bids, and project walk throughs.

I’m really trying to be focused on what I do with MY time in the midst of all that we have going on, both on the turnkey side of things and our property management company. After all, last month alone, we had 30 new properties.

I know I’ve written about this some in previous posts, but it’s so important, and I wanted to continue the conversation and perhaps even expand a little further on it. Within the context of our company, we are growing. With growing comes growing pains. With growing pains come a couple of options. As the owner, I can continue to attempt to do everything I was doing before.

Attempt to being the keyword.

Or, conversely, I can think through what the highest and best use of my time is — and do that. Thinking of the highest and best use of my time also means we need to have that conversation with ourselves, our partners, and our team to have clarity on what we are and are not actually doing.

Are you great at details and keeping things organized? Then awesome, do that. Do more of it, along with a lot of planning, details, and operation. Are you great at being a big picture thinker and setting company or team-wide goals and objectives? Awesome. Then do more of that.

Related: The Productivity App That Will Change How You Run Your Real Estate Business

Outside the two or three things you are focusing your attention on, you in the same manner need to building a great team of people who are fired up about the big picture but also have focused attention to detail, job, role, and execution of that portion of the mission.


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A New Habit-Creating App

I heard of the app HabitList on a podcast episode with Chase Jarvis and Timothy Ferriss. Chase was talking about this app specifically and how he was able to focus on both the do and don’t list with a limited and specific list of habits he wanted to have. This can and does have benefits, both personally and professionally.

This idea really spoke to me, and I laughed a bit as I spent the $3.99 and downloaded the app. On the episode, Chase specifically was chastising people who were complaining about the price of the application while they were still willing to go spend that or more on their daily coffee habit.

It’s awesome. Go buy the app already.

So, I downloaded the app and began my list. A few things that first landed on the list were to drink four glasses of water, to tell my wife I love her, and to go to the gym. Let me break this down for you a bit more. I don’t love drinking water, but I know drinking water helps with my workouts and it helps my body operate better. If my body operates better, I feel better, and I’m in better physical and mental shape to handle putting more deals together for my company or playing with my kids. Telling my wife I love her everyday is not about the fact that some days I don’t love her; it’s because on those days I wake up and I am hurried, stressed, whatever it might be, then I have a wake up reminder saying, “Hey dude, tell your wife you love her.”

I bet I get flack for this. That’s totally cool.

Just so you know, it works. And I haven’t missed a single day (and I know because I check the box on my app) since I started. Not one. I bet my wife appreciates it, too. It’s made a difference for me because now instead of wondering IF I said something nice and loving to her, I can think of different ways to say “I love you” with a daily reminder to do so.

Intention to Lead and Grow

Last night chatting after our Brazilian jiu jujitsu class, one of the guys was talking about how he does not have a lot of structure in his life, and it doesn’t work well for him to have goals. He said he always sets them, but doesn’t achieve them or doesn’t complete them.

I told him I think he had the wrong goals. He disagreed. I tried to go further and suggested if he just had a different perspective on those goals — maybe set fewer goals or different ones altogether — they would be more impactful to him, and he would experience a different (successful) outcome. He still disagreed.

To me, he had the wrong objective, and therefore he wasn’t compelled to keep with that goal in a long-term sense. So, if you set up your habits to be a part of your daily ritual and you are reminding yourself everyday what you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be doing, don’t you think you would be able to be more focused and achieve those goals?

And within those goals, if you are continuing to not complete this habit at a significant rate (and the app will tell however many days you’ve missed in red next to the habit), you need to ask yourself a couple questions.

Why am I not taking time to make this a priority? Do I really have goals congruent with what my mind and body feel are important to me?

Maybe you are just being lazy with it or overbooking your time in other areas of your life. Or maybe you really do have the wrong goals. Either way, you have to look it in the face and decide what you will or won’t do that day.


Related: The Android User’s Guide to Top Real Estate-Related Apps

Team Impact

If you expect this same kind of implementation with your team and you talk about the habits and actions your team is performing each day, what kind of impact could that have?

Your team is more focused on their roles. Their relationships. Their jobs. Even if you don’t have employees on your payroll, it doesn’t mean this still isn’t impactful. Call your contractor once a day. Once a week, check in with your clients. Get to the gym. Who are potential clients you aren’t working with right now? Take 15 minutes once a week and imagine or dream where your company should be in 12 months.

If you put these basic practices in place and you are reminded daily to do what you are best at, my guess is you will find more contentment, make more money, and have more time to do whatever it is you want to be doing.

Create your list of habits. Own them. Do them. Repeat that process daily. Succeed.

Investors: What apps have helped you build a better business and life lately?

Let me know with a comment!

About Author

Nathan Brooks

Nathan Brooks is a dad, husband, worship leader, and real estate investor in the Kansas City market. Foodie. Coffee addict. Crossfit junkie.


  1. Rick Dimicco

    “Why am I not taking time to make this a priority? Do I really have goals congruent with what my mind and body feel are important to me?

    Maybe you are just being lazy with it or overbooking your time in other areas of your life. Or maybe you really do have the wrong goals. Either way, you have to look it in the face and decide what you will or won’t do that day.”

    Ultimately, we all have limited time to chase whatever goals are most important on any given day, week, month. Sounds like this app can help keep the focus on those goals you decide for that time period. Like eating an elephant one bite at a time, sometimes we might forget why we are doing activity X because we are so caught up in the doing and details.

    Great post Nathan.

  2. steve g.

    you don’t need a reminder app to tell you what is important in your life. If you need an app for that, your not really dedicated to the job or task at hand, and if you need an app to remind you to tell your wife you love her, well, maybe you need more than some app, maybe you need counseling…

    a scheduling book does the same thing your app does except it does not spy on you with cookies. it does not send spam to your friends list, and it does not spam your tablet or lap top with messages you didn’t want to see. it also doesn’t fill your computer, laptop or cell phone with viruses. the more apps you use, the less privacy you have ,as these apps all find ways to steal your private information.

    • Nathan Brooks

      Steve … I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond, although I think you are misinformed on the ideas, and the details here. There are no cookies, and nothing you are doing other than checking off items on your list.

      Whether it is telling my wife I love her (which is no longer on the app since I had built it into my daily routines by coffee in the morning its awesome … and I’ve formed a habit thats really working) … there are so many cool things this helps remind you of the important things. No trolling, no nasty responses … good luck with your business, thanks for reading the post.

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