Denise Says: Real Estate - The Teeter-Totter Principle

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

Balancing Your Work and Personal Lives

By Denise Lones M.I.R.M., CSP

Agents have a million excuses why they can't afford to take time off.  Whether it be a weekend or a vacation or even two hours on a Wednesday, we struggle to allow ourselves to relax.

By thinking like this, we are setting ourselves up for burnout, stress-out, and financial failure.

I'm often asked a question like, "Denise, you've got one minute.  Give me sixty seconds of advice on what I could do today to increase my income."

"Take tomorrow off", I say.

Their jaw drops.  "What?!?!" they say.

"Yes, take tomorrow off.  Go see your grandchildren that you haven't spent time with.  Take a walk on the beach.  Go hiking.  Meditate.  Whatever."

"But Denise, that's not business advice.  That's personal advice."

I have news for you.  Our personal lives ARE our business lives.  They are intertwined together.  You cannot have colossal success in one area if you don't have colossal success in the other.  It may seem like you have success but what you really have is an unbalanced teeter-totter.   Yes they are loving the success they are having at work but at what cost to their home life.

Picture a teeter-totter.  On one side is your business life.  On the other is your personal life.  We all know agents who are tipping the teeter-totter to one side or the other.

Some agents spend too much time on the personal side, but ultimately end up broke.  Others spend too much time on work, convinced they can't afford to ever take a day off.  These agents are sunk into the ground on the other side.

Is this really what you want out of your business?  No, what you want is a sense of balance between the two sides-a balanced teeter-totter.  If you're not prepared to create this sense of balance, one side will drag you down and you'll sink to the ground.

The top 5% of agents aren't in the top 5% just because they make a lot of money.  There are a lot of moneymakers out there who haven't been to a parent-teacher meeting in years.  I don't consider these "top 5% agents".  Nothing infuriates me more than seeing a child neglected because of the financial goals of a real estate agent.

A true Top 5% Agent is one who has learned how to make a lot of money and yet still have a life.  A true Top 5% agent knows that it's not the number of hours they work-it's the quality of work during those hours.

If you have a hundred things to do in a week, it doesn't matter if you do them in a 7-day period or in a 5-day period.  You WILL get those hundred things done in a 5-day period even if you force yourself to take two full days off.  Working 7 days a week is NOT the answer.  Getting the hundred things done IS the answer-not the hours you spend doing them.  You can even get them all done in 4 days!  Yes, that means you have 3 days off!

I could not run my business anymore by working 5 days.  When I reduced my week to 4 days, I became more productive and my business grew.  Hard to believe, I know.  But it's true.

Of course, this requires surrounding yourself with great people.  You also have to learn how to give up control to them.  It wasn't natural for me to work a 4-day week.  Nor was it natural for me to give up control to anybody.

But since I've done so, I've never been more productive-both personally and professionally.  It is truly knowing that you don't need to work 100 hours a week to get everything done.

By putting restrictions on the hours you work in your business, you force yourself to become more productive.  When you have less hours to do the things that need to get done, your powers of focus multiply.  With less time available, there's less time to waste.  Get it done and get out.

Another benefit to all this is "recharge" time.  There is no better way to come up with new ideas to grow your business than by being well rested.

When WAS the last time you took a day off?  Or even a week off?  When was the last exotic trip you took?  Stop making excuses.

Excuses like, "Can't do it in the spring.  That's the busy time."  Or, "Can't do it in the summer.  People want to move before school starts."  Or, "Can't do it in the fall.  A lot of people are still moving before the end of the year.  Or, "Can't do it in the winter.  I gotta plan for the spring."

Resolve today: No more excuses!  Plan a day off-right now!  Resolve to not even think about work for one second that day.  Create balance in your life and watch your business grow.

What side of the teeter-totter are you on?

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Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection
Denise - My priorties include taking time for myself to have fun; after these breaks I usually get a lift.
Oct 15, 2007 11:35 AM #1
Denise Lones
The Lones Group, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding


My office may say that I don't take enough time off as I do put in long days when I am teaching or traveling for work, but I find that I get up early in the morning, get in some exercise, get prepared to face my day, get my children ready for school and I feel so much better about my personal and professional lives.

(I also recently completed a marathon, which I enjoy!)


Oct 18, 2007 11:26 AM #2
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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