In renowned business writer Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth Revisited
, he makes the point that many business owners are so busy working IN their businesses that they don’t have time to work ON their business. The entrepreneur who starts the business (i.e. the “E” in the E Myth) now finds him or herself trapped by all the small details required to keep that business running. Real Estate agents are notorious for this. Most of you chose real estate as a vocation because you wanted to be your own boss, and then quickly found out that you were working for a lunatic … i.e. yourself! The trap you find yourself in is that there is so much to do and you’re the only one doing it. Now, instead of building an empire, you’re chasing after your to do list just trying to keep your head above water. The problem with this, of course, is that if nothing can happen in your business without you doing it, you don’t really have a business at all. What you have is a job!
I found myself in this very same trap early in my career and it is what motivated me to find a better way. I was determined NOT to have a “job”, and with the development and fine-tuning of my system, I succeeded. As Michael Gerber said, once he took at look at what I’d developed, “Craig is a perfect exemplar of what I teach -- a visionary who reinvented the job called real estate. Craig is someone who teaches agents about freedom rather than about work”.
So how do you achieve this freedom?
The path to true freedom in your business is systemization. Every single part of my business was systemized, and this is what I teach to agents. I have a system for lead generation, a system for lead conversion, a system to present to buyers, a system to present to sellers, etc. The Quantum Leap system is essentially an instruction manual, much like the manual you get for your car or your phone: do this, and then do that, and if this happens, do this … you get the idea.
One of my coaches shared with me recently that one of the agents he coaches did a great job of systemizing the Craigslist pillar of his lead generation system. During the past two months, this agent began creating two or three new ads every day. He has generated over SEVENTY Craigslist ads and now spends only a minute or two re-posting them each day. Another coaching student sent 20 mailers and got a listing, but then got “busy” and didn’t send any more of the mailings. This second student had no “system”. The stuff that really needed to get done couldn’t happen unless he pulled himself out of the business and made it happen. That’s a big mistake. Working ON your business means planning for success. If you allow yourself to become too busy to advertise … well, what will happen to your business? Correct … your business will die. Unfortunately, traditional training for real estate doesn’t teach this.
Traditional training for real estate doesn’t teach this
Even the agents who have gone on to earn high 6 and 7 figure net incomes with my system had to struggle with this concept at first. Bob Zachmeier, an extremely successful user of my system (and now one of my coaches) confessed that “back in 2005, when I first started in Craig’s coaching program, I learned that if I didn’t schedule a specific time to work ON my business, it never happened!” That’s very common, and you should do exactly what Bob ended up doing – i.e. schedule a specific time. Put it in your day timer in the same way you would a listing appointment, only this appointment is with yourself.
Part of what you’ll have to decide is what you’ll give up in order to get this time. To determine what he needed to delegate and stop doing, Bob told me he used a simple time tracker in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Basically what he did was to break each hour into 10 six-minute increments throughout the day. For a week he wrote down what he spent his time doing and ultimately grouped similar tasks together (such as Email, telephone conversations, document preparation, etc.). Once he had this data, he could easily tally to discover which tasks were taking the largest amount of his time and armed with this information, he asked himself the following questions:
Does this task require my level of expertise, or could someone else do it just as easily?
Is this task something I enjoy doing?
Did my involvement in executing this task change the outcome?
How much would I have to pay an assistant to perform this same task?
You’d probably be shocked at how much time you spend answering email! Take a good, hard look at all of the tasks and isolate those that really don’t require your level of skill or that you hate doing. If you can’t change the outcome by performing the task yourself, you shouldn’t be doing it. For example, do you really need to be the one to bang in the For Sale sign, or could an assistant do just as good a job as you? Once you’ve listed all the tasks that fall into this category (i.e. they are beneath your skill level, you don’t like doing them and you can’t change the outcome), you’ve just created a job description for the assistant you need to hire. Further, you should also be able to determine what DISC personality would be the best fit for this new job.
Thousands in extra income
Many of our members have had great experience with hiring college students. These kids are generally pretty computer-literate and are usually only looking for part time work. As such, they won’t expect health benefits or paid vacations. Hiring a 20-hour per week college student at a cost of $10/hour will only cost you $200 per week but I can assure you that the time this will free up for you will give you the opportunity to generate thousands in extra income for your business.
Who couldn’t use an extra 80 hours each month? If you could free up this amount of time on a consistent basis, how many additional clients could you meet with? How many Craigslist ads could this assistant upload for you every day? How many ads could they submit to the newspaper? By leveraging your time with a part-time assistant in this manner, you can put the tedious but essential tasks on auto-pilot.
I schedule two hours each morning to work ON my business, getting up at 6 a.m. and locking myself away until 8 a.m. Believe me, I get far more accomplished during the first two hours of each day than I do for the entire balance of the day. As stated earlier, you should treat this time the same way you would a meeting with someone else (such as a listing appointment) allowing no distractions or interruptions. In fact, this time is far more important than a single listing appointment because of the leverage it will create for you. Treat this time working ON your business as if it were a meeting with a million dollar client – it’s that important. If someone tries to intrude on the time you’ve scheduled for this important work, simply tell them, “Sorry, I’m in a meeting at that time. Let’s schedule for a different time.”
You’ve heard me say that you can leverage yourself in three ways: with People, Technology and Marketing. You must have a system for each. Often, technology is less expensive than people, so be aware of new opportunities that can help you. You should be cross-training your assistants to create repeatable processes that are clearly documented.
What a business looks like
The benefits you will derive from working ON your business can’t be overstated. At the end of the day you will have:
Done something that will generate future income
Systemized other aspects of your business, enabling you to delegate yet more tasks to assistants that will free up even more time for you
The more you stop working IN the day-to-day routines of your business that don’t really require you, the more time you will free up to not only work ON the big stuff, but also to take time off (while still getting paid!) Now THAT is what a business looks like.
P.S. You can test drive my ideas and systems absolutely free by signing up for Free Weekly Training which includes live weekly webinars, a monthly newsletter and priority invitations to free half day training events. This Free Weekly training will expose you to inexpensive and highly effective methods of lead generation (with no cold calling) -- what I call “Reverse Prospecting”, where qualified prospects actually hunt you down rather than the other way around, and then how to follow these leads through to maximum GCI via proprietary lead conversion and prospect presentation systems. This is the easiest way for you to find out with no risk or obligation what my system is all about and how it can help you profitably grow your real estate business and vastly improve your quality of life. JOIN MY FREE WEEKLY TRAINING PROGRAM HERE