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The Success Formula

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of agents, and one of the things I often discuss with them is how truly simple it can be to reach success in this business.

At the core of it, success in real estate is profoundly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Being successful in real estate does not go to the luckiest, the smartest, or most attractive individuals. My experience has been that success goes to the ones who move the needle the most, through whatever means they can find.

In trying to share with people what they need to do, I’ve boiled it down to a few simple rules, rules which I believe dictate success not only in real estate, but in business in general. Stepping back and looking at it, I think you can apply this rule, or equation as you’ll see in a minute, to life in general.

You can boil down what anyone achieves in their life using a very simple formula:


Achievement = action*abilities^environment

A boy doing simple math on a whiteboard

Let’s walk through this together:

Achievement is pretty self explanatory, but let’s indulge ourselves. I see this as the end result of not just your business but your life. It’s not just the money in the bank, it’s how many hours you spend with your family, the vacations you take and the peace of mind you enjoy while doing it.

Action is you going out and doing the stuff that you need to do every day to move the needle. It's you sitting down and making one hundred phone calls, stopping by the houses of your past clients to check in, or even just strapping on your cross trainers and getting out the door to the gym. Don’t fool yourself, you can’t outsmart laziness. Failing to take action gives you nothing to get results from. If you want to be successful at action you need to get out the door and make it happen.

Abilities is the level of power that you bring to the action you take. It’s your skills, experience and knowledge you have helping you get the most out of the time that you spend. Here's the thing; the time you spend to improve your abilities really only represents a fraction of the time you will spend taking action, but it has the potential to move the needle exponentially with the action you take. Think about it: 15 minutes of scripts and dialogues a day makes a huge difference, but you’ll subsequently spend 2-3hrs doing lead generation. Attend a one day class and learn how to knock your listing presentation out of the park, spend the next decade benefiting from the tricks you learned. Even doctors and lawyers who often spend 6-8 years in school benefit from their knowledge for decades to follow. It’s a tiny fraction of your total time, yet it’s the thing most often overlooked when people take on a new venture.

Environment is one of the things that makes me the saddest when I see people miss it. Your environment is the people you surround yourself with. It’s the mentors who guide you, it’s how your office space makes you feel… it’s the support of your family when you go home at night. Counterintuitively, I actually think this is the most important because it will either prop you up or completely stop you from moving forward. This is the small fish in a big pond effect.

It's the difference between sitting next to people who gave up years ago or are doubling their goals every year. Imagine trying to quit smoking when your partner takes in 2 packs a day in your living room.

Your environment either pushes you ahead, or drags you back. The silver lining is that YOU get to choose your environment.

A team hugging and smiling

So what should you do about it?

Over the coming weeks I’m going to do a deep dive on all of these factors, one by one. So stay tuned. For now, consider this:

Achievement is something people often either fail to get clarity on or overestimate. Be clear with what you want, otherwise how are you really expecting that you’ll get anywhere. I see agents all the time set goals because numbers sound cool, not because it actually gets them closer to where they are going.

  • I want to close 1000 deals

  • I want to net $100,000,000

  • I want to finish the year with 100 agents on my team

Does this actually serve you living the LIFE you want to live? Do you need this much? Will this bring you joy and fulfill you?

When it comes to taking Action, this is the baseline measurement. You could be the most skilled person in the world and if you don’t talk to anyone or do anything with it, you’ll never achieve anything. So start with small commitments you know you can uphold. Start by spending one hour a day focused on whatever your most important needle mover is. Dig in on whatever the biggest domino is - and after a few weeks, make it an hour and a half, then two hours. Make it your mission to protect this time and remove distractions or things which slow you down and soon you’ll be amazed at how much is showing up for you.

Step back, take a look at the effort you are putting into your daily action and ask yourself some questions:

  • What part of this could you refine?

  • Where could you remove time wasting steps?

  • How could you up-level your skills and get more from every step you take or conversation you have?

Look for opportunities and start putting time into growing your Abilities, bit by bit. Join a scripting group, look for a mastermind you can join, attend a class once per month, go meet your broker for coffee and pick their brain. Better yet, hire a coach!

Finally, give yourself a gut check and get real about your Environment. This is often, unfortunately, the hardest thing to change. If you are licensed somewhere that depresses your energy and motivation, if you live in a place where success is not the norm, or if you feel trapped and can’t move freely towards the vision you have for yourself, it might be time to have a hard conversation with yourself.

A plant in a pot with mountains in the background

Bit by bit, take baby steps to improve. Focus on small, daily, bitesize growth and before you know it you’ll have more momentum than you could have predicted. The best part is, by spreading it through a few different focus points, you won’t believe how easy it can be.

Next week I’m digging in on achievement and we are going to talk about how to set goals and actually match them so they are in alignment with the life you want to live.

As always, thanks for reading!


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