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May 27, 2016


Yesterday I was listening to an old Brian Buffini CD I borrowed from a friend. He was telling a story about a lumberjack competition. 

There was this one competitor who won over and over again, a man in his 60s, and this newer competitor who was 30 years younger and determined to win. He told the story from the younger man's perspective, and talked about how he was so sure that he would win that year as he had the best new tools and was so much younger. As the competition started, the younger man started out strong, frantically chopping away at the tree, and dropped his first one before the older man. He was well into his 2nd tree when out of the corner of his eye he could see that the older man had finally dropped his first tree, and was sitting down to take a drink of water. He was sure he would win. 

The younger man dropped his 2nd tree before the older competitor, and starts on his 3rd, again seeing the older competitor drop his 2nd and stop to sit and take a drink. At this point, the younger man is getting quite tired but keeps working as hard and and as fast as he can, but notices that the older man is catching up and is now dropping his 4th tree, 5th tree, again stopping to sit and drink between each one.

When the competition was over, the older man had again won, and looked like he had barely broken a sweat, while the younger man was completely exhausted and spent. He asked the winner how he did it and he said that after dropping each tree he would stop a minute, sit down, drink some water, and take a moment to sharpen his ax ... so he was methodically and consistently taking down each tree with a sharp axe, whereas the younger competitor by the 3rd tree was working with a blunt axe.

I don't re-tell the story nearly as eloquently, but I think you can get the message. Consistency is key. This applies in so many areas of our business. You may have a terrific, booming business today, but if you aren't taking time consistently to work on your skills and yourself, taking time no matter how busy you are to prospect, focus on your database, build relationships, it will start to taper off. Momentum will only go so far, you have to keep learning, keep engaging consistently.

This is why so many of us in our business experience the up and down roller coaster of activity. We focus on some lead generation activities, sit open houses, ask for referrals, do some pop bys, and then ... it works! We get busy working with those clients, focusing on those transactions and stop those activities because we are so busy working IN our business that we don't take time to work ON our business. Then in a month or two when those transactions close there we are again with little to nothing happening, and the cycle starts all over again.

Imagine if instead you consistently spent time doing those lead generation activities. Maybe it is sitting 1 open house per month, no matter what. Scheduling an appointment with yourself, with your business, for 2 hours each week to prospect, call on your database and make that appointment immoveable. Block off 3 hours once per month to deliver pop bys to your favorite and best clients. If you make the time to do those activities consistently day by day, week by week, month by month, then you can get off the roller coaster that you create. Our markets can create enough of a ride with seasonal ebbs and flows, those become much more pronounced when we we don't focus time on our business.

What is one activity that you could do consistently that would help to continuously propel your business forward?

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