As a business owner, you are judged by the actions you take on a daily basis. You can do things right 90 percent of the time, but it is the other 10 percent that can pull your business down. Don’t let 10 percent of your daily activities be the reason your business suffers. Most actions are the result of habits we develop over the years. As difficult as bad habits may be to break, however, it is also just as easy to set your business on a positive path behind great habits. In making small changes, you could drastically improve your results. If you are stuck in the mud and wondering why your business won’t take off, here are five things that deserve your consideration:
1. Spending before you earn: There are many big differences between being an investor and working at a 9-5 job. However, the biggest one is with how you get paid. As an investor, you often get a large sum of money whenever you close a deal. It is not uncommon for new investors to close only a handful of deals a year. The important thing is what you do with said money. How disciplined you are with your spending can make a big difference on the strength of your business. If you are constantly chasing the next deal just to break even, it will eventually start to wear on you. Inevitably, a deal will fall out unexpectedly and force you to scramble to put things together. The key is to run your business and live your life within your means, and only spend after closing. There will be some lean times, but the sacrifice is well worth it.
2. Listening to negative people: Regardless of what business you are in, there will always be outsiders telling you that you can’t do something. While it is important to listen to the opinions of people you respect, you can’t listen to everybody. There are so many jealous and negative people out there; if you listen to them you will start to believe it.
Some of the most successful people in the real estate industry have carved their own niche out by doing things how they wanted to. You never know who you talk to that may have gotten burned in a deal before or tried to invest unsuccessfully. Surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to give their opinion, but do so in a constructive manner. People who are constantly negative do nothing good for your business. All they will do is bring you down if you listen to them.
3. Too much freedom: Another big adjustment for new investors is having the freedom to do whatever you like. With a traditional office job, you knew exactly when you had to be in the office and what you needed to get done. As an investor, you can make your own schedule and do tasks as you see fit. Not everyone can handle this freedom. One of the more critical aspects of the business is being able to get an early start on your competition.
There is nobody forcing you to go to networking meetings or show up at investment clubs. If you don’t want to meet with a new contact, you can push the meeting off until the following week. As great as it is be have the ability to do what you like, however, you need to be disciplined. It is not always in your best interest to brush off meetings. At the end of the day, you will be the one that suffers. Freedom is great, but only if you are willing to put the work in.
4. Wasting time on social media: How many hours a day do you actually spend working? If you are like most people, you will work on the important tasks and kill some time on social media when things are slow. Before you know it, you can easily waste 30-45 minutes without even thinking about it. If you do this three times a day, that is nearly two hours wasted. There is no question that social media has its place in business. That being said, you need to separate business time and personal time. Running a social media account for your business shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes a day to post something new.
5. Eating out: The focus on your day shouldn’t be about what you plan on eating for lunch. Just like social media, power lunches have a place in the business. Eating out should be something you do to generate business. By eating out every lunch, you are not only wasting money, but wasting time. This is another hour or more that is wasted from your day. Of course you need to eat, but you don’t have to have a sit down meal every time you do. Meeting with friends and catching up is a fun way to spend an afternoon, but not a very productive one. There is nothing wrong with grabbing a quick bite between tasks. However, the most successful people know how to maximize their day.
Change usually doesn’t happen overnight, but start by taking things one at a time. A successful business is within your reach if you are willing to make it happen.