By Brian Buffini

In these challenging times, many people are feeling stuck and unsure. With everything so uncertain, it’s difficult to know where to start or what to do in order to safeguard a business and emerge successfully when the situation improves. Now more than ever it’s important to remember that, while much is out of your control, you can still control your own environment. Despite the tough circumstances, it’s possible to create momentum and channel your energy in ways that will reap positive rewards for your business as you navigate the new normal.

The best way to do this is to borrow an approach from NASCAR – it’s called the rolling start. This is used at the beginning of a race, or when a race has been stalled by a crash. After a pile up, drivers don’t just head back on to the course full-speed ahead. Instead, they work up to it, following a pace car around the track at a reduced speed a number of times until everyone is warmed up and ready to accelerate. This tactic means that drivers’ stress levels are minimized and crashes are vastly reduced, making it far safer than a dead start.

This rolling start approach is exactly how you should view your business as you start to acclimate to a new normal. Everything may have come to a sudden crashing halt when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the real estate industry across North America is going to experience pent-up demand once this storm passes. Because the spring buying season was paused, people are going to be eager to get back onto the real estate scene once the economy begins to move again. As restrictions lift and the new reality takes shape, you need to be fully prepared to get your business back on the racetrack and meet the demand with energy and drive. By using a rolling start and working on yourself and your business right now, you will be ready to do this in a safe and powerful way. Taking this time to warm up properly by investing in yourself and your business means that you won’t risk crashing or burning out your engine when the race restarts.

For an effective rolling start, you must find wellness in the five major areas of life – or what I like to call the Five Circles: spiritual, family, business, financial and personal. All of these circles of life are intricately interconnected. When one circle is off, it can affect the others too. For example, if you aren’t carving out enough time for self-care (personal circle), then you may find yourself frequently agitated with your spouse and kids (family circle). Similarly, if you aren’t keeping your finances in order, your business may struggle as a result.

As part of your rolling start, challenge yourself to make improvements in each circle to increase your overall wellness. You could go all-in with every circle or you could focus on one or two circles per week, depending on your circumstances and appetite. In your relationship circle, for example, you could commit to calling one person a day that you haven’t stayed in contact with. In your business circle, you might listen to an informative business podcast or enroll in a real estate training program. In your personal circle, you could do one workout a day or go for a walk within your designated area.

The beauty of taking on a challenge like this is that you don’t have to go it alone. You can still get support from your friends and colleagues without getting face-to-face. Seek out an accountability partner online by way of a business coach, a mentor or a colleague. You can encourage each other to stick with it.

Working to build each circle of your life is a great way to keep active, maintain balance and improve every area of your life, so that you can be ready to navigate the new normal with ease. When full market activity resumes, you’ll be firing on all cylinders to better serve your family, customers and community at full speed.

In these unprecedented times, the best way to get back to business is by taking baby steps. Committing to little actions to improve yourself now will translate to big results later. A rolling start will have a powerful snowball effect on your life and your business to make sure that you are ready for whatever will come your way.

Getting started begins with the decision to control your attitude, energy and activities. Get focused, trained and engaged and you will come back stronger than ever and ultimately be a source of strength and encouragement for others.

Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego from Ireland in 1986 and became a top-performing Realtor. He then founded Buffini & Company to share his powerful lead-generation system. Buffini & Company has trained more than three million people in 37 countries and coaches more than 25,000 business pros. Today, Brian is a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over seven million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast.


  1. I just ordered his book. I must have been one of the first ones to attend his conventions in Canada, although I thought it was prior to 1985. Our local board had invited him to present. As was often the case, conventions and trainers were American, and most had products to sell. The speaking/training circuit didn’t seem to appeal to Canadians as a profession. It was a great presentation.

    I adopted his Referral system but modified it to suit my system and used it for networking with other agents. Eventually I shared my networking concept with my matching top referral agent in Calgary. He modified it further, being a heavy agent networker also and was heading off to a convention stateside that week, and he had special specific business cards printed to use as my networking tool: Networking for Life, specifically for use when he was travelling.

    Here’s how my system worked: You sent me a referral for example to sell a property locally here, owned by your client. I agreed to pay your 25% referral fee. Done. Confirmed lots of ways, including sending you regular updates and a copy of the Ontario trade record sheet maintained by the office.

    NEXT: I sold your sellers a new place. Typically you would not get a referral fee on that transaction. But in my agent referral for life system you would. But not only that, if and when those sellers who became buyers hired me again a few years later to sell what they had bought, and bought again, you would get through your brokerage a surprise referral cheque. Agents loved it. And I was made a gift of keys to his City.
    I always remember the other most enlightening event was at Roy Thompson Hall, Tom Peters’ convention offered by RLP, and his “stick to the knitting” comment (specialize). I remember leaving thinking I was already long on the right track in how I “farmed,” to grow my track record. When I look back I must have been way ahead of the curve. And even now after nearly four decades, I still don’t hear anyone talking about geographical mapped farming.

    And Tom, as he paced the auditorium stage gently side to side and back again,almost hypnotizing, predicted “just in time shipping” long before it became the way for retail not to have to have storage space and warehouses. That would have been about 35 years ago. That just in time shipping concept alone changed the industrial commercial storage bricks and mortar real estate world.

    Carolyne L 🍁

    • “If you want to make your business big, you have to make your focus small.” — Brian Buffini [on his blog]

      … [many people do not understand this is so true; we have to focus on the smallest details]
      On all my real estate boutique corporation print materials, even on stationery, from the very beginning, back in March 1991:

      Small Company but we’re BIG in Brampton – where it’s the LITTLE things that count, and our reputation is on the SOLD sign.


      A local colleague complained to the Board that since I worked alone, I should not be allowed to use the words “we” or its contraction “we’re.” He also complained that my market share promo in my ads made it sound like he didn’t do much business (in fact he didn’t but that was nothing to do with me; likely promoted by his immediate neighbour having listed with me, and then bought a half million dollar home).

      My corp lawyer had to get involved to explain that a corporation is referred to as “we,” and that my market share was provable, as confirmed in response by the Board.

      Carolyne L 🍁

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