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3 Choices to Make You More Successful

The following is a guest post from Jef Conn of Coldwell Banker Commercial Capital Advisors in Lubbock, TX

Real estate, including commercial, is an entrepreneur’s dream. You get to control your own destiny with limitless income and leadership potential. In my opinion, the greatest freedom as well as challenge in life is our time and how we spend it…especially when it comes to how much of it is given to our business.

As commercial real estate professionals, we have many options to choose including the clients we work with, when we get to the office, how much time we dedicate to marketing our properties and visiting clients. The choice is ultimately up to you, even though you may have some guidance through mentors and others. But there are a few choices we don’t think as the “big ones” that will make a bigger difference in your business than deciding which clients you will work with. Here are 3 big choices that need to have some serious thought put into them.

Choice 1: How You Choose To Prep for Tomorrow

Do you choose to prepare for the next day before you leave the office?  If so, good choice! For years, I would leave the office and show up the next day ready to prepare for the day. I’d spend the next 2 hours getting ready to get ready. I wasted 25% of my workday by preparing for the day. I made the shift and set an alarm on my phone and put it in my calendar that every day I would use the 30 minutes before I left the office to prepare for the following day. This has made my career at Coldwell Banker Commercial substantially more successful.

I put the most important things on top of the list and make sure those are handled first thing in the morning. I put the important but can wait at the middle of the list and those that need to be done but not now at the bottom of the list. I have my call list of every person I need to talk to typed up and in order so when I walk into the office, I know exactly which direction I need to be going to move my business forward. Going through years of business planning with Coldwell Banker Commercial, I’ve learned the skills to prioritize what’s important and doing those things first.  I keep a digital checklist that has things added and checked off throughout the day to make sure I stay on top of all the big and little things.

What do you choose to do in your evenings? Those who know me well know I have a strict schedule I follow during the week. My alarm goes off at 4:30 am every workday. I’m in the gym by 5:30 am and at the office or headed to my first meeting no later than 7:45 am. Without a clock, you could simply follow my movements and know exactly what time it was. While this sets me up for success, it is terribly challenging if I don’t take the same rigid structure to my evenings.

After years of running myself ragged and not getting enough sleep, not scheduling sleep, I was worn out and tired. I wasn’t productive at the office and my sales were suffering. I made a commitment to getting up at 4:30 am years ago while training to complete an Ironman race. In the years that have followed, I have kept the same schedule. 4:30 am wake ups do not become habits unless you choose to make sleep a priority and get to bed! Your success tomorrow and 6 months from now depends on you becoming disciplined in getting enough sleep. For me, I started going to bed at 11 pm, then moved it back to 10 and now I aim to be asleep by 9 pm every night. Yes, this means I’m not going out having happy hour every night. I’m not staying up watching TV or going to the movies. I do that on the weekends. I’m focused on building a great business, so I’m in bed by 9 pm so I can wake up at 4:30 am and conquer the day. After years of doing this, it’s just what I do.

Take it a step forward when making a choice about how you spend your evenings. Get in the habit of eating dinner with your family, laying out your clothes for the next day so when you wake up, you don’t have to think, you just do. I realize those with children will say “this will never work”. It can, it just takes some dedication and family commitment to making sure you and your entire family have a successful day tomorrow by preparing today.

Additionally, try to set aside some time to learn. Coldwell Banker Commercial has a large library of resources along with a unique LinkedIn Learning Platform that you can use to boost your skills to be the better agent your clients deserve.

Choice 2: What Do You Choose to Feed Your Body AND Mind?

Is what you are feeding your body and mind fueling you to success?

I love eating. I love making food and being from Texas, I love Dr Pepper. Oh, and I love cupcakes. The more frosting on top, the better. But, if you eat fried chicken, dr pepper and cupcakes everyday, your body is not going to be properly fueled to get you through a tough day of negotiating deals and dealing with difficult clients.

After years of eating whatever I wanted, my body quickly began to tell me “you’re not so young anymore”. Food seemed to settle faster and easier and after a night with family and friends and a couple drinks later, the following day felt like I had got run over by a truck. You’ve all been there. As you get older, whatever that means to you, you have to be conscience of what you eat. I knew I needed to make sure I had enough energy to train for an Ironman, so when I began waking up at 4:30 am, I hired a nutrition coach at the same time to make sure I had enough fuel and energy for 2-4 hour training sessions in the week and 4-8 hour sessions on the weekends. I completely changed my diet and began to see the food as fuel, not just for fun. Now, I still have that same nutrition coach who has helped me dial in what to eat, when to eat and how to maximize my energy in the office. Are your food choices fueling you to success or holding you back? So put down the donut, grab a salad and focus on what you put into your body. If you are in an office with multiple brokers at Coldwell Banker Commercial, find someone to help you keep accountable to this and invite them along on the journey.

It’s not just your body that needs fuel. The choices you make on what you put into your mind are equally as important. In today’s 24 hours news cycle world, it’s tough to separate from the negativity that surrounds us. I love politics, but over the last 4-6 years, I noticed a correlation between my choices to watching TV quite a bit and my attitude. I tried something that at the time I thought would be difficult: I turned off the TV. Now, I didn’t disconnect from the world completely. I still listen to podcasts and read the paper, albeit in its online form. After 6 months of turning off the TV, I found I had a more positive outlook than my closest friends who watched Fox or CNN religiously. If you choose to pour negative thoughts into your mind or listen to the left and right badger each other over anything and everything, you too are more likely to become depressed, angry or mirror what you see on TV. That’s not a good thing, choose how you feed your mind instead. Books on building a business, sales, real estate, mindset and positive thinking are a better option than mindless TV. Are you choosing to grow your mindset?

Choice 3: Choose Your Mood

Are you choosing to be happy?

I get it, not every day is a great day. But every day is a great day to have a great day. But, life is hard! Yes, congratulations. You have found a constant in everyone’s life. Life is hard and things happen out of our control, but it is our choice on how we respond and react. I have found the happiest and most successful people in our real estate industry and other sales careers, are usually the ones that are the happiest. Though they may seem to “have it all together”, they rarely do. They struggle just like everyone else but choose to be positive and not talk themselves out of having a good day.

Over the last 5+ years, I’ve actively worked to surround myself with people who are positive people, encouraging and are generally content and happy about life. That doesn’t mean they don’t strive to be better, stronger, wealthier, etc. It just means that they aren’t talking down to themselves or others. They uplift those around them. Those are the people I want to be around. When I began to consciously be careful of who I spend time with, I lost some friends. Gradually over time, friends became more distant, but new more encouraging friendships emerged and now fill the void that was left by those friends who were too negative to continue a close friendship with moving forward. You aren’t guaranteed to lose your friends, but you might just add some friends! Its your choice who you surround yourself with and how much time you spend with them. Choose wisely. I’m been extremely blessed with my associates at Coldwell Banker Commercial Capital Advisors. Everyone on the team produces at a high level and maintains the utmost integrity, a trait I’ve seen throughout CBC all across the nation.

These three choices set the stage for major leaps in terms of sales production, general wellness and building a business that lasts. If you took these 4 options and worked on them every day for 1 month and continued again for another until you hit the 6-month mark, your life, marriage, family, career and health would be demonstrably better. Why don’t you give it a shot? The choice is up to you.