Have we ever done anything worth remembering while we were stuck in our comfort zone? Doubtful. Being comfortable is too normal. Normal’s ceiling is mediocrity. We need to step outside of that comfort zone and do something different in order to ascend. We can never conceptualize true success if our thoughts are always normal. Take a risk and generate some excitement. Create a new normal and discover the feelings you can create with those new successes. If we do the things we’ve always done, then we will get the results that we have always gotten.
Quick! Make sure you have your 2016 budget handy before we begin. Don’t have one? That’s what I thought. Don’t feel bad. Most other people don’t have a written budget either. But wouldn’t it be fair to suggest that in a world rife with ads begging you to buy more things, rampant mismanagement of personal finances and the ever escalating cost of living, a written budget is more necessary than ever?
When it comes to spending, most people learn the hard way. Over-spending, excessive credit usage and ignorance of available funds causes destruction. Avoid chaos in your finances through smart decision making, because it’s all in the choices you make with your money AND time. Many growth-minded entrepreneurs make sound financial decisions based on what their current expenses can reasonably handle, not what their projections forecast they can handle. They then budget accordingly to allow for additional spending to fund future developments in their business. These choices allow for new ideas. New ideas create the spark for new dreams and new dreams fuel the flames for a more interesting life. You can rationalize spending so easily with the choices you make.
Here’s 6 ways to avoid financial chaos:
- Mindshift through simplicity
Deciding, “I want to be better with money.” doesn’t involve a life-altering series of events, but it does take a mental commitment to break the habit of being poor with money. Recognize this and work through your debt. Find out where you can save money. Trim the fat. It’s as simple as finding the courage to examine each transaction in your bank account(s)
- Get help through tech
Start with visiting www.everydollar.com. This free site takes 10 minutes to set up and will help you take the first step in getting your financial life in order.
- Just say NO
Remember, it’s all about choice. You don’t have to put it on the credit card. You don’t have to drink the expensive coffee every day. And you certainly don’t have to be persuaded by advertisements of things that aren’t critical to your everyday life. Saying YES to everything leads to financial ruin, stress and strained relationships. It’s much easier to say NO!
- Time is money too
Budgeting dollars is one layer. Budgeting time is another. Time is your biggest resource and the most wasted resource. If you write down what you are doing by hour and see how much time you are currently wasting, its shocking! Start calendarizing your life and watch your efficiency go up. If you could add in one more hour per day of lead generating, what kind of financial impact could it have on your life? That is seven hours per week. That buys you an additional 45 work days per year just by being smarter with your time. TIME IS MONEY!
- Make a list
Once you make a list of the critical activities you need to perform in a day, week or month, you’ll be able to decide what fits the budget. You’ll also be able to determine what financial sense it makes, whether or not to delegate the task altogether or prioritize what needs to come first. www.Trello.com is an excellent resource for logging and assigning tasks and it keeps you very organized and communicative along the way.
- Don’t be a rebel
Ask for help when you need it. Use your resources early and often. There isn’t a single successful person on this planet who achieved their greatness without the support of others.
Learning with The Right Coach
When you are excited to jump out of bed everyday and head to work, you know you are doing the right thing with the right people. You enjoy life and it is hard to find counterbalance because you love what you do so much! That is a beautiful way to live.
Over the course of your professional career, sometimes there are moments where you lose your energy a bit. You can’t quite place it, but perhaps you start picking yourself apart professionally. Maybe your mind begins to wander into thoughts of other opportunities. You feel burnt out and may even question if you have lost your edge.
There’s good news. You can regain your ascension to superstar status if you simply had the right focus. Have you ever thought about entertaining the idea of a business coach to expand your mind and build your empire?
In the beginning, I never valued the idea of coaching because I was the boss. I thought I knew it all and should be the one coaching everyone else. As my team grew larger, I realized I couldn’t change the accountability structure by myself. I needed more drivers on my side of the table. I needed a business coach.
I was introduced to a business coach who had the desire to make me better and sympathized with my struggles. He helped me discover the need for lifelong coaching and drove me to improve. He also introduced how the right coaching can transform recruiting efforts to spurn massive growth. It has drastically affected my view of our future as an organization. Now, I find myself wanting to share that vision with the world!
My coach asks me very pointed questions that force me to think about the outcome of my choices.
The decisions I make today are based on a five prong approach:
- Does this choice help me?
- Does this choice help my family?
- Does this choice help with time/leverage?
- Will this be profitable for one of my companies?
- Is this an experience that will help me grow and how?
Identifying your coaching needs comes first. Being coachable is second. Then it’s about learning with the right coach who develops and expedites profitability. The right coaching buys your time back and not only helps you find the right highways on your journey to profitability, but keeps you in the fast lane all the way there.
Leading your team to greatness involves outstanding communication. However it also encompasses countless ideas, concepts, systems/models and character traits as well. Finally, understanding the goals of your team and what they want to achieve unlocks endless doors. And when you understand those goals, you can combine accountability to the standards of their roles. The result is greatness.
Here are 17 pieces of wisdom to think about when traveling the road to greatness.
17 Wise Thoughts on the Road to Greatness
- Be mindful of ‘Why you do what you do’
- Work with collaborative people as much as humanly possible
- Check the reading on your economic thermostat
- There is very light traffic in the extra mile
- Your schedule matches your results
- Time on task over time – Make the job easier
- Be honest with yourself
- Be strategic with your time
- Language matters
- The Top 20% of your daily activities will make 80% of your income
- Your best script is Hello…
- Build your pipelines
- Exceed the minimum standard
- Logic vs. Emotion – Know your numbers
- Retirement is really important to you
- Choose to play in the amateur league or the professional league
- TAKE ACTION EVERYDAY
The best solutions to complex problems come from the thoughts of many. At my office, our sum is greater than our parts. This improved form of leadership mandates a different style of thinking. One person may not win every battle but as a group, the team will win the war.
There was a battle in my office a few weeks ago involving commission payouts. I didn’t win. I couldn’t understand the value of giving up more commissions based on what our value proposition was compared to the market. Mathematically it didn’t seem fair. Yet, my entire leadership team fought for what they thought was best for the company and came up with a sliding scale that maximized agent productivity while increasing agent retention. This sliding scale made the financial risk low enough to increase rates of return on both the brokerage side and at the agent level. I was the only one that was against it. Even when we were negotiating through the process and it seemed like the data made complete sense, I disagreed; I was struggling to come to terms with decision. However, once the financials backed the decision, it was a no-brainer. The collaborative presentation and being able to talk through a decision I’d likely never had made myself allowed the brokerage to take a large step forward. The best part about this leadership team is that once we make a decision, whether it’s win or lose, we all come out unified.
We all need to grow. Sometimes we don’t have a choice for when those developmental discoveries present themselves. On the other hand, every leader has a choice to continue to learn and develop at their own pace, often in advance of adversity. Since every personality is different and every voice is a valuable one, discrediting how valuable a collaborative environment can be is literally leaving dollars on the table. You never know what contributions can be made or when the right piece of input can change your outlook for good.
6 Ways Collaborative Leadership Work at the Highest Level
- Participating in a collaborative leadership environment where the key players have a voice and there is a 2 way street of loyalty. Hold swift and frequent meetings with all of your valuable leaders.
- Encourage independent development and solution based thinking. Ask leaders to share results.
- Allocate resources to develop the best strengths in your leaders. The empowerment and confidence in this approach will foster more contribution.
- Ask your leaders not “What” but “Why” and “How”. It aids in more discussion and develops deeper thought processes.
- The right leaders are more important than the same leaders. Surround yourself with purposely different leadership styles.
- Utilize collaborative resources like Trello to systematize and plan processes that involve a variety of minds working toward the same goal. It forces collaboration, but in an efficient and task-oriented approach.
Collaborative leadership is our better version of top-down leadership. It has allowed us to grow faster, develop more efficiently and given us permission to think freely and without consequence. Is collaborative leadership something you can try in your organization?
Belief. What a funny word. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it spoken and not internalized what it really meant. Why had it not meant what it means now? Did I not have any? I guess the answer is, “No. It just took a while to believe.”
I came from a very successful entrepreneurial family. The only thing my parents ever gave me was the gene that controls inner drive. However, I certainly did not recognize that in my childhood. I didn’t recognize I had it in me even into my twenties. As I reached my thirties, it started to manifest itself in my business attitudes. I started looking at work as an absolute vs. an 8-5 thing. The voice in my brain told me, “Do what you need to do to get the job done no matter how long it takes.”
Once I started to understand most people didn’t have that approach, it made me feel special. I then felt empowered to do a better ‘job’. Later it became difficult for me to understand how others didn’t look at life that way. After all, this was the conclusion I came to after all this time. Why wasn’t everyone else growing up too?
Still in my thirties, I battled a near death experience. I was in the hospital for weeks with a mysterious virus and placed in a medically induced coma until the doctors could get my systems under control. My husband walked out on me and our 3 year old child the day I got out of the ICU. My vision, coordination and mental health were distressed and no one was sure what would ever be 100% again. What were my choices? I had to believe. I had to believe in myself. I had to believe in my team. I had to believe I was getting out of this because I had a three year old at home that was completely relying on me. As time went by I discovered my brain was reconnecting the wires, although much slower than I wanted. During this time, I was likely very difficult to be around, yet the people dearest to me surrounded me on a daily basis. I’ll never forget that. They believed in me too. Those individuals are the leaders within my firm today. I am now a better version of myself pre-illness and the sadness, anger, and helplessness of going through a near death experience is a distant memory. I am so grateful for the team that has surrounded me for years. While my memory sometimes fails me when I think of those years, I openly admit it was the belief that kept me alive. The belief that it was just like “work”. I would work at fighting the battle of adversity as long as it took until it was won.
Coke sold 25 bottles of soda in the first year of business. The founder of Starbucks approached over two hundred and fifty banks prior to getting his first loan. And I had to nearly die to understand what belief meant to me. It’s stuck with me ever since.
Today, loyalty and collaboration are the difference compared to how we used to do things. Those methods would have led to us going bankrupt and starting over. We all had so much riding on the success of this business. We had no choice but to believe. We went from 12.5 million in 2011 to 55 million in 2015. In 2016 I truly believe we’ll hit 100 million. Nothing was ever handed to me and yet I succeeded through the simple idea that I believed I would.
I get it now. That is belief.