Ten Things to Stop Doing If You Want to Be Successful

Every January you set out to make new year’s resolutions. You think about what you can add to your plate or what you can do better. But what if you flipped the script? What if you resolved to stop doing the things that weren’t serving you? Instead of increasing the things we should do better, let’s simplify. Let’s decrease the amount of things we are doing so we can truly focus on being successful.

Here’s my list of 10 things you should stop doing.

Making Excuses

It’s the new year and I like to think of it as an opportunity to hit the reset button. You get to start fresh. And since the slate is wiped clean, you shouldn’t have any excuses.

It’s time to put actionable items into place and you have to barrel through anything standing in your way. Do not feed into the bullshit that you tell yourself. You might be tired, swamped, or stressed. Or maybe you are just making excuses for why you aren’t executing. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all have responsibilities. If you feed into your bullshit, you will start believing it.

Don’t talk about why something was neglected. Acknowledge that it didn’t get done, it needs to get done, and take the first steps to making it happen. To quote Zig Ziglar, “You don’t have to be great to start but you do have to start to be great.” Just do it. Take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other.

In 2017, excuses need to be eliminated. You need to take responsibility and that starts with putting aside your excuses.

Being Unhealthy

It’s time prioritize your health. Every successful person has a routine for health and fitness. Whether it’s eating healthy and/or exercising, you have to make time to take care of you. Fitness doesn’t mean you have to have a six-pack. You don’t have to be ripped to be healthy.

You can start anywhere at any time (right now, preferably). If you’ve really neglected your health, don’t try to go from the couch to a marathon. Going balls to the wall will only result in feeling defeated or worse, injuring yourself. And then, you’re back where you started. Set realistic goals and go from there. It’s as simple as scheduling a daily walk or committing to staying hydrated.

Thinking Short Term

I love JFK’s “We Choose to go to the Moon” speech where he declares that the US will put a man on the moon within the decade. This long term goal is quite literally, a moonshot—an ambitious and ground-breaking project.

Realtors live in the short term—from commission check to commission check. When you are in this mindset it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. What I mean is, you are often focused on what’s right in front of your nose and that focus obstructs and compromises the big picture.

It’s time to pivot from short sprints and start thinking long term. Make a one-year goal and work backward. Break your year into monthly sprints. Don’t worry about the commission check. Worry about doing good business so you can collect a lot of commission checks.

Successful people set long term goals. They create good daily habits that yield long term success.

Looking for the Quick Fix

Everyone gets hooked by the infomercial but there is no such thing as six-second abs. I promise you. I’ve searched for it. If there was something out there, I would have found it… and I would have shared it with you!

Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small improvements every day will add up over time and give them desired results. The magic pill, the secret to success, is simple: It’s hard work.

Being a Perfectionist

There’s a little saying we have in our office, “Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshiped.” People often spend so much time trying to perfect their ideas that they never actually deliver. An idea is worthless if it’s never acted on.

The startup world uses the term “shipping.” Think of it like shipping a box. Basically, it means releasing your product to the world. For Realtors, you have to ship your listing presentation. You have to ship your open house. You have to get it out there! Stop trying to make it perfect. You can keep working on it after it’s released but at least get it out there.

Nothing will ever be perfect. No matter how hard you try. I will concede and say that sometimes the details matter but the majority of the time they don’t. Fear of failure (or even fear of success) is what prevents us from taking action and putting our creation out in the world.

Having Fixed Mindset

Stop believing what everyone says. Nothing is set in stone. What works today, won’t necessarily work tomorrow. Everything is in a constant state of change and evolution. And just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the only way it can be done.

Successful people understand and welcome change. They do not get stuck believing that there is only one way to do something. A successful Realtor is constantly evaluating the market and figuring out how to stay relevant.

If you maintain a fixed mindset, you will fall behind very quickly. So I implore you to try something new.

Being a Control Freak

No one has the bandwidth to control everything. Remember that game Whack-A-Mole? You try to hit all the little moles but they keep popping up and it gets increasingly faster and faster to the point where you can’t keep up and eventually, you lose. Womp, womp!

So, control freaks, your goal is to stop trying to handle every little task. Hire, train, delegate (and then trust) others to help you. You should be guiding each transaction so that it’s as smooth as possible but that doesn’t mean creating flyers or putting up yard signs. You cannot be successful if you are trying to touch every little thing; you’ll render yourself stagnant.

Your goal is to prospect, turn leads into clients and cash checks. Give up the idea that you do everything the best. You do the most important things best. Focus on your strengths and delegate everything else.

Saying Yes

If it doesn’t serve your true goals or your “why” then you have to stop saying yes. Stop accepting overpriced listings or commission cuts.

I know you think that you are going to lose out to another agent but you have to learn to the art of saying no and setting some boundaries.

You are the professional and you know the business. You are doing your client a disservice by saying yes because most likely you will let them down. Consider accepting an overpriced listing. Chances are the house isn’t going to sell right away and you are going to have unhappy clients. Eventually, you will have to lower the price, and once again, your clients are unhappy. If you say yes to cutting your commission where does that get you with your goal? Two steps forward, one step back… instead of two steps forward…even if they are hard, difficult steps.

Don’t let the client steer the ship. We have to stop this bad behavior. It’s better to turn someone down than to let them down.

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight! If you have to say yes because your bank account is suffering, then be transparent with the client. Tell them your concerns and negotiate a deal where if the house doesn’t get an offer in two weeks, they have to drop the price.

Associating with Toxic People

There are a lot of negative people in the world. They are hard to avoid. You might even be hanging out with a toxic person and not even realize it because you’ve become accustomed to the toxicity.

Really think about the people you spend time with. Do they want you to win or do they cut you down? Are they competitive? Do they seem jealous? Give up the naysayers and the antagonists. Instead, spend time with people who celebrate your wins, have good insight and helpful advice.

You’ve likely heard the quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” When I was first starting out, I went to a Brian Buffini seminar and he asked us to write down the top five people we hung out with. Then he asked us to consider if we wanted to be like those people. The exercise really shaped me. I was young, I was hungry and was open to advice. From that moment on, I prioritized people in my life who were successful. I owe a lot of my success to the people I surrounded myself with.

If you want to be successful, you need to spend time with positive, encouraging and driven people.

Chasing Likes

No thanks to social media, we prioritize being liked at the expense of our values and principles (being honest and authentic). It feels good to count all the thumbs up but there’s a good chance the reality is a lot less appealing.

Unlike aggrandized status updates, successful people prioritize their values over what people think of them. As a Realtor, you’re going to have to deliver bad news and your client’s reactions might range from disappointed to downright pissed. But, if you’re confident and prioritize doing what’s right, your clients will be a lot more understanding.

Being likable has its advantages. I’m not advocating that you act like a jerk. But once people respect you, you’ll find the likes come easy. Professionalism should lead and the likes will follow.

What’s one thing you are going to commit to NOT doing in 2017? Leave me a comment and let me know!