When we’re our own boss, it’s easy for us to create habits that aren’t beneficial to our business or personal lives. Without someone to tell us what we’re doing wrong, we have to self-reflect and make conscious decisions to break any bad habits so we can be the best versions of ourselves.
I think you’ll notice that if you truly think about your day-to-day routine, there are multiple things that are time-killers or profit-killers that you can modify once you have that realization. Below are four positive habits you can start developing right now:
The biggest habit I’ve found we can typically improve upon is consistency. Consistency helps your life in so many ways. Take a moment and think about how you could be more consistent in the following:
• Your marketing plan: For example, do you have direct mail going out every month, and are you following up on a set schedule?
• Your team: Does your team know your expectations and what direction the business is going? Do you spring random projects on them when you have new ideas?
• Your own expectations: Do you have quantifiable expectations for yourself, your business and your team? Are they obtainable, and do you modify them as you go?
• Your schedule: What does your day-to-day look like? As real estate investors, our schedules aren’t usually set in stone, and while it’s nice to have flexibility, having consistency will allow you to be more productive.
If your answers to these questions show you’re more inconsistent than not, be proactive in taking steps to improve. For example, I read Traction by Gino Wickman, which taught me about goal planning, weekly management meetings and more, thus improving my consistency as a leader.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
In addition to consistency, you should never compare your business to another. Just because someone in your market is doing 10 deals a month doesn’t mean that anything less than 10 deals is inferior. Remember: Everyone’s exit strategies and business plans are different. Some focus on high volume and lower profits. while others prioritize low volume and higher profits. You need to focus on your own goals and only compare where you’re at to where you want to be.
Establish short- and long-term goals.
While we’re on the topic of goals, you need to know your goals so you can measure your progress against them and have metrics to go on. It’s a good idea to come up with short-term and long-term goals.
What do you want to get done in the next 90 days? What will you have to do in order to meet or exceed that goal? What do you want to get done in the next one, two or five years? Once you have goals in place, reverse engineer them and see what it will take for the goal to become a reality. For example, if you want to do 35 deals next year, how many deals is that per month, and how many leads will it take for you to get that many deals?
It’s also a good habit to celebrate your successes. I don’t mean by having a party, but by reflecting on your progress. It will help keep you motivated along the journey.
Once you have your goals in place, it can be a good habit to have an accountability partner. This could be inside or outside your market, but preferably, this accountability partner should be someone in the real estate investing industry. This way, you know they will understand how to guide you through rough patches, and you can hold each other accountable and provide each other with support.
I know a lot of investors, myself included, who struggle with balancing work and personal lives. It’s easy for us to fall into the “on-call 24/7” category because we want our business to thrive. By setting boundaries for our time with friends and family, it can help provide the balance that we all need.
Write down how your time is spent for one week, and then analyze where you’re spending the most time and if you’re happy with the breakdown. If you’re spending too much time on random tasks that don’t help your business or family, those are probably times that you could replace with more productive tasks or with family activities. Time block your days so that you are focused, and don’t let distractions change this time block.
Bad habits are hard to break. Sometimes, we’re stubborn and know our bad habits should be changed, but we just don’t put in the effort to really make progress. Instead of making huge adjustments, plan on making small changes that, over time, will make a world of difference. It’s a big step to just admit what your bad habits are and decide it’s time for a change. Don’t let them interfere with your success. You’re too important to let bad habits get in your way.