I was talking to one of our helpers while we were working together on a recent flip. I asked the 18 year old if he’d done any goal setting for the New Year. What he said next, I think, is all too common: “I don’t have time for goal setting. I’m too busy working.”
How many of you have heard the saying, “Time is money?” I disagree with this statement wholeheartedly. Time is not money — time is your life. And if there is anything you need to invest in, it’s the way you manage your life. And that revolves around goal setting.
Now, realize I’m preaching at myself here. Zig Ziglar said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Something I’m guilty of is trying to make things happen while flying by the seat of my pants. That’s not a good way to live a successful life.
I’ll be the first to proclaim that I’ve been blessed. I’ve succeeded more than I should have without routine planning. I think I get a little extra help from upstairs because of my willingness to work my tail off until things shake out. But man, could you imagine how much I could accomplish if I were disciplined enough to plan and set daily, weekly, and monthly goals? It would be a game changer.
This year, Ashley and I took a different approach to our year-end reflections and to our goal-setting process for the new year. Previously, we’d evaluate seven focus areas (family, physical, financial, spiritual, business, education and social). We’d note what we did the previous year and then write down something we’d like to accomplish in the coming year.
This would take all of an hour.
This year, we took those seven areas and broke them down in detail on a whiteboard. So far, we’ve put in close to 15 hours discussing things, and we’re only part of the way done.
As we evaluated our business performance, we noticed some things. One, we have a track record of doing approximately the same amount of deals every year. Two, we didn’t find most of those deals through a realtor. We determined that about two-thirds of our deals were a direct result of our marketing efforts.
This realization led us to a third conclusion: The amount of deals we do is directly proportional to the amount of effort we put into marketing to sellers. And the reason our deal capacity hasn’t increased is because, due to my workload, I only spend a small amount of time working on marketing, fielding calls and making offers. In other words, I’m the limiting factor.
Case in point: We mailed a letter to a seller who inherited a house in disrepair. They contacted us and agreed to show me the property. That was in October. I was in good clothes at the showing and wasn’t prepared to go climbing under the house. So I made arrangements to come back at a later time.
Shortly thereafter, we started a new project, and I put the sellers on the back burner. So far back, in fact, that I totally forgot about them — even though I had the key to their house in my pocket. Three months later, after lots of reminder calls from them, I was able to stop what I was doing and make them an offer.
Needless to say, I dropped the ball — and that’s just one example.
Our year-end reflection revealed that if we want to become more efficient and do more deals, I’m going to need some help. So this spring, we’ll be hiring an office assistant to do our marketing, return calls, and hold me accountable so that I’ll be the limiting factor no more.
Joe and Ashley English buy houses and mobile homes in Northwest Georgia. For more information or to ask a question, go to www.cashflowwithjoe.com or call Joe at 678-986-6813.