By Bruce Keith
There is a “honeymoon” period in the real estate sales business that starts the first week of every year. All salespeople are pumped up and ready to go. It’s a new year! There are new mountains to climb – new goals to be accomplished! It feels like a honeymoon for three main reasons:
- January 1 brings opportunity for a new start
- The past is behind you and any regrets can be forgotten
- You feel invigorated and filled with hope for what lies ahead
When you are in a honeymoon mindset it’s an exhilarating time. You feel inspired, your energy is high and the periodic setbacks don’t bother you. You start your day with enthusiasm. You jump out of bed every morning and you tackle everything with a vigour that says, “Bring it on – I’m ready!” Life is good and you love who you are being.
Then reality arrives on the scene. It usually happens by the end of the first quarter of the year – usually at the end of March. You are then confronted with this negative thought…
Wake up! Ninety days have passed and the honeymoon is over. Stop dreaming.
At some point, the euphoria of the honeymoon starts to diminish. That’s just a normal part of life and you are being challenged. There are going to be ups and downs. Your earlier excitement is often replaced by thoughts from the past. Those self-doubts and self-limiting beliefs that got in the way last year start gaining power again.
Does this mean your honeymoon is over? No! Are you not the person you were being for the last 90 days after all? Yes you are!
You can make that honeymoon mentality be who you are all the time. How do you keep that initial first 90-day euphoria going and be that way every day for the whole year?
Here are five “honeymoon savers” that you can take on right away:
1. Know where you are right now
Draw a line in the sand and look at your current position after the first 90 days of the year. Draw up a simple chart to help you achieve that clarity. It’s called, “How Am I Doing So Far?” There are four simple steps to evaluating your current position:
- Enter your results for March
- Total up your overall results for the first 90 days
- Enter your targets so far this year from your original business plan (25 per cent)
- Compare your actual results to these targets (+ or -) so you know where you are right now
No matter how these numbers turn out, you are still in a position to stay strong and keep your honeymoon alive. If you are ahead of the game, keep it up. If you are not where you want to be, you’ll need to step it up.
2. Refresh your memory – why do I want to pay the price?
Time to go back to when the honeymoon period started. What were your dreams then? What were the visions and goals that you had in mind that you knew you could achieve?
Pull out your personal goals list from the first of the year. Have a look and make sure these items are still at the top of your list. If you have to do some revisions, that’s quite all right. The whole point of having personal goals is to keep you inspired.
By being excited about what is possible you will always be conscious of why you are prepared to “pay the price” and keep the dream alive.
If your goals list is not current, it’s important to get it up to date right now. Here is a simple format to help you complete this important step. Write out two “must make happen” items for each of these three main categories: My Health; My Family and My Financial Future.
3. The power of baby steps
Often the honeymoon mentality starts to fade when you look down the road to the distant target you are trying to accomplish. It seems so far away. It becomes intimidating and almost impossible to reach. The thought that “I’ll never get there” starts to creep in.
As the metaphor says, “Don’t try to eat the whole elephant in one bite.”
Stay true to the day-to-day steps built into your initial plan. Don’t falter.
Keep it simple – remember the basics that are going to add up to a successful year:
- Prospect every day. Do it in the morning (otherwise it won’t get done consistently).
- The mornings are for lead generation, the afternoons are for lead servicing.
- Set a minimum standard for daily lead generation (such as two hours and 20 contacts). Remember, it’s a minimum, not a target.
- Your principal aim is to set an appointment every day.
These baby steps create momentum. You can’t afford to have gaps in your conveyor belt. Make sure you are being true to your word every day. The honeymoon doesn’t work if you are in start/stop/start/stop mode. Track your results on the wall of your office on a Year at a Glance Calendar. Follow this routine five days a week. This is not optional.
4. Are you still in a honeymoon mindset?
When you started off the year you began with a clean slate. You cleaned up your office, you got rid of the old cobwebs in your mind and you began with renewed enthusiasm. Have you slipped back into the old mindset from last year?
To find out the answer, here are three pitfalls you must avoid:
- Following a daily schedule that looks more like last year’s than the one you started out with in January
- Falling back into the routine of saying yes to everyone around you and not putting yourself first (this includes customers with questionable motivation or no respect for your time)
- Revisit your overall habits. Are you acting differently than you did last year? What new approaches did you take on in January? Are they still alive or have they faded and been replaced by the “same old/same old” habits?
It doesn’t hurt to periodically look in the mirror to evaluate who you are being and how you are performing. If it’s not the “new you” then fix this immediately! Your habits are shaping your destiny every day.
5. Make sure you’re not flying solo
To stay in the honeymoon mode you cannot do it on your own. There’s no prize for doing it solo. Trying to do so is foolish. It may be “lonely at the top” but that doesn’t mean you have to get there on your own. There are two approaches to making sure you have great support:
- Get a coach. Hire someone who has already accomplished what you want to achieve. Someone who really understands the business of finding and converting leads efficiently and focuses on your strengths. Hire someone who is skilled at holding you tightly accountable. No excuses.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Have you upgraded the people who influence you personally and in business? Part of doing so is to get rid of the negative influencers that were in your life last year. Don’t forget, your income is the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
- Stay healthy. Eat healthy, get lots of sleep, limit your alcohol consumption and most of all, exercise! One of the best ways to keep your honeymoon alive is to feel good about yourself. By doing so, you will attract others to you. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t fly solo.
- Stay motivated. Continue to visit your personal goals regularly. It only takes five minutes every morning to write the same goals out in a journal. This is an important part of reminding yourself of what maintaining the honeymoon will make possible. Keep the hope alive!
- Stay focused. What are your top three things for the day? Every morning (or the night before) write down the three top priorities you must accomplish in the coming day – no matter what. This is not a to do list, it is a reminder of what is important. Remember Warren Buffett’s great admonition, “If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.”
Stay in the race and keep your pace consistent. Think about the way the Boston Marathon race is run. At the start of the race everybody is enjoying their own personal “honeymoon mode”. There are hundreds of contestants jostling for position. Everyone’s energy is high and everyone is determined to succeed.
As the race progresses, all contestants are challenged by the possibility that their honeymoon might be over. Fatigue and lack of commitment creeps in. The vision of winning the race starts to fade and doubt starts to gain power.
Inevitably the pack thins out. Slowly but surely most of the runners slip back to their original performance levels and do no better than they’ve done in the past. This doesn’t have to have to happen to you.
Keep your honeymoon alive, be one of those who rigidly adheres to your plan for reaching exciting new heights of achievement. Re-energize your earlier commitment. Start with the above five steps and you will win your race! No excuses.