Happy Monday. Have you ever been too busy to stop and get gas? How did that work out for you?
As we start the week, can you relate to this story:
Once upon a time, there was a strong, ambitious young woodcutter who needed work. She traveled to the nearest timber merchant and asked if she could secure a job. The timber merchant could sense the woman was a hard worker and decided to give her an opportunity. “Meet me here tomorrow at daybreak,” the merchant said.
The young woman arrived the next morning where the merchant led her to a dense patch of trees in the nearby forest. “Chop down as many trees as you can today and meet me just before sunset.” The young woman chopped down 18 trees that day. The merchant was impressed. “Well done!” he said, “You are the best woodcutter we have!”
The next day the young woman returned, feeling even more motivated. Her muscles were sore but her ambition was strong. She chopped down 15 trees the second day. On the third day, the young woman arrived before daybreak and stayed until she could barely see the tree she was chopping down. She cut down only 9 trees that day. This pattern continued over the coming week.
“I must be losing my strength,” the young woman thought to herself.
The next week her boss met her in the early morning hours and told her she was fired. The young woman was upset and scared about her future. But she knew she worked as hard as she could and just didn’t have enough time to chop more trees. Her head hanging low, she handed her axe back to the timber merchant. The merchant took one look at the axe and said, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” “Sharpen my axe?” the young woman replied, “I’ve been too busy trying to cut down enough trees to sharpen my axe.”
I’m curious… can you relate? If so, how can you sharpen your axe this week? Consider this:
Abe Lincoln’s productivity secret was to use sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently. He said: “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Lincoln, who was a skilled woodcutter before becoming one of the most important presidents in US history, probably meant this both literally and figuratively. Inefficient tools waste your energy. It’s better to spend the majority of your time finding and cultivating the best tools for any task.
If you have 10 minutes, you might consider investing in watching this classic video from Stephen Covey on big rocks and little rocks… no endorsement of the YouTube channel here, it’s just the only one we could find that still has this classic video. It’s worth your time, watch it!
Today Mike Porter, JPAR Austin, TX shares his secrets to success in real estate sales serving over 32 families to buy, sell or invest in real estate annually. Mike shares how there have been a few times he wanted to “throw in the towel” and how he overcame those ups and downs. Mike uses kvCore to stay organized and accountable. He also shares other secrets he uses – like BuySide Home Valuations and Cole Resources – to stay focused and relevant in today’s marketplace.
Learn more by watching NOW.
“There is always a way to achieve the dream of home ownership!” ~ Mike Porter, JPAR Austin, TX
As we close out the year, I was reminded of a previous blog post that is well worth posting again. As many of us are thinking about the New Year, resolutions and what’s possible. Here’s a quick question for you to consider:
“Do you prefer the pain of discipline OR the pain of regret?”
Research shows that we regret those things we have not done MORE than we do the things we have done. Can you relate?
What I’ve experienced personally and observed in others is, procrastination blocks us from creating to the fullest the business and life we want. You already know, the main reason we procrastinate is that taking action can cause us a certain amount of “pain, a certain amount of discomfort.”
Coaching clients have shared with me, “I’m avoiding undertaking certain tasks because of the risk of shame, vulnerability or failure. Taking action means we might be making a mistake or we might fail. Let’s face it, it’s easier to not take action and avoid the pain of looking less than perfect. Thus, many of us instinctively retreat to our comfort zone and miss creating our ideal business. Basically, in trying to protect ourselves from failure it’s easier to erect our own barriers to success. Can you relate? If you’ve ever been in this place – as I have – how do you get out?
Psychologist call this a strategy of self-sabotaging. Research shows, that by creating impediments that make success less likely, we protect our sense of self-competence. And believe it or not, we as humans tend to do this more when the stakes are the highest.
So how do we procrastinate less and take action more? Practice… practice taking action faster and more often. Get an accountability partner and join a mastermind group. By taking more small steps that lead to bigger steps you’ll build the “take action muscle.” By creating an accountability partner and mastermind group you’ll have others who can help you discern what is an excuse and what’s not.
2. Make your goal tangible and specific. “Grow my business” sounds great but is also meaningless.”Land five new clients a month” allows you to determine exactly what you need to do to land those clients. Always set a goal that allows you to work backward and create a process designed to achieve it. It’s impossible to know exactly what to do every day when you don’t know exactly what you want to achieve.
3. Make it matter to you! If you want to get in better shape so other people will think you look better at the pool this summer, you’re unlikely to follow through. Ultimately, who cares what other people think?
Yet, if you want to get in better shape because you want to feel better, and feel better about yourself, or to set an example for your kids, or to prove something to yourself…then you’re much more likely to stick with it. Now your goal has meaning–not to your doctor, not to strangers at the pool, but to you.
4. Make it positive. “Stop criticizing other people in meetings” is a great goal, but it’s a negative goal. It’s a lot harder to give up or stop doing something than it is to embrace a new and positive challenge. Example, setting a goal like”stop eating sweets” means you constantly have to choose to avoid temptation and since willpower is often a finite resource, why put yourself in a position of constantly needing to choose?
When you pick positive goals, you’ll be working to become something new rather than avoid being something you no longer wish to be.
5. Focus on the process, the DAILY process. All incredibly successful people I’ve worked with have one thing in common… they set a goal and then focus all their attention on the process necessary to achieve that goal. Sure, the goal is still out there. But what they care about most is what they need to do today–and when they accomplish that, they feel happy about today.
So, I’ll ask again, do you prefer the pain of discipline OR the pain of regret? The choice is yours.
Do you have a question, theme or topic you’d like to see in a future blog? Let me know, until then #WinTheDay and remember what Abraham Lincoln said: “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
This week Amy Minor from Austin, TX is my guest on Success From Scratch.
Minor just came back from France and is a self proclaimed Mindset, Personal Growth and Development junky. She grew up in Germany and was big into the theater before getting into Real Estate three years ago.
Watch today’s episode and learn more about making Success come from Scratch!
“I found women that were successful, or business owners, or CEOs and I was like, ‘well they’re going to have friends that are like them,’ so I was reaching out to friends of friends essentially and one of them was a real estate agent […] at the end she was like, oh you have to go into real estate, you would be amazing! […] I truly started from scratch.” – Amy Minor, JP and Associates REALTORS®