“With self-discipline, most anything is possible,” said Theodore Roosevelt, one of America’s great and arguably most motivational presidents.
He had a good point. In fact, there’s a reason a simple Google search of quotes about self-discipline turn up hundreds. By now, we surely know that while talent is a bonus, it’s for nothing if we don’t have stick-to-it-ness.
And, now is the time of year when we are beset with multiple distractions from parties to holiday shopping so there’s no better time to focus on what it means in our industry to be discipline.
- Prospect every day. It’s unlikely any agent, no matter how successful or how long they’ve been in the business, gets too good to prospect. The most successful among us stay on top because of their willingness to keep grinding out the basic steps we all begin with. Call reluctance is a real obstacle to overcome but no amount of e-mailing and texting – useful tools though they be – beats going old school and picking the phone up. Carve your call time into manageable chunks, say an hour at a time, and make those calls.
- Write down your plan. Since we are sharing quotes from famous people, we’ll add what Lee Iacocca, visionary leader of the automobile industry, said of discipline: “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” There’s just something about committing to your tasks in black and white to force accountability. This could mean reviewing your annual business plan or monthly goals or even writing down each night what you want to accomplish the next day.
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Whatever makes you uncomfortable, be it cold-calling, attending networking events, or closing on a sales pitch, the first step to overcoming your discomfort is: Start. Pick up the phone. Walk into the room. Self-discipline is making yourself begin, and each step after becomes easier. Frankly, the only way to grow is to take new steps and getting out of your comfort zone.
- Practice makes perfect. Practice those scripts so you are comfortable with any situation. This discipline can ensure you aren’t ever thrown for a loop. Record your phone calls and presentations and have a mentor or colleague critique them. Think of this as self-research: It’s often uncomfortable to receive criticism, even constructive, or to watch ourselves, but we refer you to the bullet point above. Practice is the key to success in any endeavor, from sports to music to real estate.
Should you have doubts about this advice, we leave you with a quote from none other than Gary Keller, founder of industry giant Keller-Williams Realty: “Success is actually a short race – a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.”