While SHIFT was first published over a decade ago to help agents navigate difficult economic times, there is no time greater than the present to implement its tools and tactics. Especially in today’s business landscape, which has presented new challenges that have had a dramatic effect on the economy, our businesses, and our lives.
As Gary Keller writes in SHIFT, “When the market turns, it is time to roll up your sleeves and for everyone around you to do the same.”
This article is the first of six tactics we will publish that have been outlined in the book. Collectively, our SHIFT series will help you implement time-tested practices so you can thrive through industry and economic change and place your business in the best position possible.
Join us as we pivot and shift ahead!
Tactic #1: Making a Mental Shift
“To survive a shift you must first make the mental shift to run towards what you most want and avoid the temptation of running away from what you most fear.” – SHIFT, p. 24.
Having a good outlook is easy when things are easy. It’s when the going gets tough that our mindset is really tested, and only those who are prepared to make mental shifts will emerge on top. As a rule of thumb, most people in a shift fall into three mindsets:
- Pessimistic: Those that give into their fear, predict the worst, and are unnecessarily pessimistic.
- Optimistic: Those who are hopeful, don’t think they’ll fail, and are unrealistically positive.
- Realistic: Those who respond to the fact that failure is a possibility, prepare for the worst, but still choose to strive for the best.
Taking a hope for the best and planning for the worst mentality of a realist is the key mindset for your business, regardless of the economy. Because, realistically, you can’t control external forces; you can only control how you respond. And your response should be comprised of thoughtful consideration, careful planning, and decisive action.
Those who are prepared to make mental shifts will emerge on top.
Those that are overly optimistic, while they may do well in a great economy, won’t survive when faced with a shift. Hoping for a sunnier day won’t prompt them into action. Meanwhile, being overcome with pessimism can be just as dangerous. You’ll struggle to identify opportunities for your business. You’ll be too focused on what isn’t possible.
A realist, however, sees with a sense of clarity, makes plans with priority, and takes focused actions accordingly. An espresso of the month subscription for your whole team may seem nice when everything is smooth sailing, but it isn’t a priority when money is tight. Understanding the challenges ahead, knowing what steps to take to shift-proof your business, and taking actions to implement these changes are the only things that will keep you afloat.
Choosing a realistic mindset is the first step to tackling this shift.
Taking the Right Kind of Action
“The difference between a career worth having and a career worth heaving is the amount of focused action you take every day.” – SHIFT, p. 26.
Figuring out the next actions to take means working with a sense of priority. But sometimes deciding what your first priority is can be challenging. If you’ve read The ONE Thing, you’re probably familiar with the Focusing Question. If you haven’t, or need a refresher, the Focusing Question is as follows:
What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
The Focusing Question helps you figure out what needs to be done now. For most of us, there are only two critical actions we need to set as our priority: expense management and lead generation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with things, break those two priorities down into smaller bite-sized pieces. Before you start slashing the budget, make sure you’ve updated your P&L to give you a good reflection of your existing expenses and returns. Instead of going all in on a new lead generation strategy, try texting everyone in your database whose name starts with the letter “A” first. Then, tomorrow, text “B,” then on the next day “C,” and so on.
Whatever you do, it’s imperative that you spend time on both. For one thing, it will give you a more immediate sense of what’s happening in your market and how the market is impacting your finances. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to keep track of and understand your numbers. That way, you can stay on top of any pitfalls or problems in real-time and respond quickly and efficiently.
No matter what you do, make sure you do it with a measure of accountability – accountability to yourself, your business, and your clients. When we hold ourselves accountable, we’re setting a standard for others to follow. And, with so much uncertainty, it’s imperative you show yourself responsible for results in each of those areas.
When we hold ourselves accountable, we’re setting a standard for others to follow.
While the ups and downs of the day-to-day may make you want to try several strategies, it’s important to stay focused, prioritize a lean budget and revenue generation, and be realistic in your approach to shifting markets. The basics are the basics for a reason: they’re the fundamentals on which every strong business is built. And, remember, the good habits you put in place during a shift are the same good habits to carry into a more prosperous market when it shifts back.
And it will shift. Tomorrow is always a new day.