Join me in a quick thought experiment: You only have 30 days to get your business ready for the next year. You’ve got 30 days, and then you’re not allowed to do anything to develop your business again until a year from now.
Obviously, the idea of taking 11 months off from developing your business is a little absurd. We’re in it every day, always seeking to find that thing to take us to the next level. But this thought experiment raises a few valid and valuable questions: If you know where you want to be in a year, what is holding you back from acting today to get there? And what changes could you make today to see the growth you want a year from now?
You’d probably start by figuring out what you want your business to look like in a year — what kind of growth you’d like to see, that kind of thing. From there you’d start working backward, identifying the tasks you need to complete in the next 30 days so that growth can actually take place. You might decide that you need to hire additional team members or resolve certain operational challenges. Then you would put together an action plan laying out the specific activities you need to do every day during the month.
Growing a business, like growing a garden, is largely a function of time. We don’t see the full results of seeds that are planted until weeks or months have passed. Seeds need time to germinate and flourish, and it is folly to expect a summer garden full of wonderful vegetables and flowers without taking time in the spring to plant and cultivate seeds.
But too often in business, we think that we can somehow skip the cultivation process and skip straight to the harvest—or that there is some magic seed we can plant that will yield immediate results. But that, like Jack’s beanstalk, is just a fairy tale.
That’s why I like the 30-day thought experiment. By pretending that there is a severe limit on the time we have to prepare our businesses for the next year, we are able to identify the things we know we need to do over that time but probably haven’t actually planned to do yet. By creating an artificial window in which to accomplish those tasks, we can realize that there is most likely no good reason to continue putting off completing them.
I’m not saying you should go beyond your means and hire 10 new agents today because that’s where you dream of being in a year. But what I am saying is that what you do today likely won’t yield real results for weeks or months, if not longer. And every day you put off doing what you know you need to do is another day your dream business will be a year away.
If you want your business to look a certain way in a year, all you need to do is start executing on it now. It’s just a matter of time.
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, a real estate consulting company that specializes in performance coaching and building highly effective teams. Talk to a WSS business analyst to learn more about how real estate coaching can help you.