Sharpen the Axe
"If it is going to take 3 hours to chop down the Tree, then take 2 hours and sharpen the Axe"
Anyone that knows me has heard me say this at some point and time. If it takes 3 hours to chop down a tree, then spend 2 hours sharpening the axe. You know how sometimes you lock on to some sort of “saying” or an “old adage” and it seems to just explain something so well that once you say it, people kind of just start nodding in agreement or seem to get the jist of what you are saying.
This saying is so applicable to all parts of our lives.
As you may have heard in another episode called “no pass back”, I love Football. I have been a Seattle Seahawks fan for over 20 years. Lately they have had a lot of success and their current quarterback Russell Wilson, has his own saying that I love….”The Separation is in the Preparation”. He was hired late in the draft. He is shorter in stature. But the Seahawks saw something in him. Plus he was a really good deal for the first couple of years….now he is one of the top paid players in the NFL. He has amazing athletic ability and he has this amazing skill of being able to escape from tacklers. When he started he "wowed" everyone with these tricky abilities and really made the game so exciting. But eventually the other teams started to catch on to this and designed their defensive strategies to eliminate some of his antics. It started working. Then he actually got quite injured but kept playing and he wasn’t able to scramble so much. It forced him to have to learn how to deliver the ball quicker and more accurately while staying in the pocket. He had to learn how to prepare differently for games and get better at the deep ball as well as getting the ball out of his hands faster. He couldn’t simply rely on his “survival skills” any longer. He had to get good at being a smart quarterback and make quick decisions and deliver the ball perfectly in order to win games with is sore ankle at the time.
If you think about it….it actually put a bit of a strain on the team somewhat. We hailed it as amazing. We celebrated his crazy antics and we love watching it still to this day because it is really exciting! But the team had to learn to practice what they called “scramble drills” and learn certain cues in order to attempt to get into position to help Russel out when he started scrambling.
Football is a very exacting type of sport. The team is made up of a lot of moving parts and they have to work in sync. If something goes out of sync it puts a strain on everyone else. Imagine the Offensive Line, the blockers, and the receivers running their exact routes designed to work in concert with what everyone else is doing. When things go out of sync, everybody gets under a lot of stress….and everyone goes into survival mode or "scramble mode".
IS that how we should run our businesses? There is not a lot of longevity to that is there?
I think that we do this quite often. We get pretty good at finding ways to overcome some skillsets that maybe we are aren’t as good at. We rely on our other abilities to kind of “make up for” what we are lacking. This is extremely common. We fall into complacency sometimes because it is hard. It’s not easy to overcome our weaknesses. It's just easier to carry on doing what we are comfortable with. Sometimes we don’t even really know, what we don’t know. Is that fair?
This was me. Everyday was like a hurricane. We would be in this constant state of “scramble mode”. OR as I call “survival mode”. When we are in this mode we are sacrificing something. Something is not working right. Something is getting missed. Somebody is under more stress than they need to be.
Who? What about your family? What about your Broker owner? What about your seller? Or your Buyer? What about the Mortgage Professional that you are working with? Your assistant? The Notary or Lawyers you work with? All the people that you need in order to make the experience amazing for your clients. Are they experiencing undo stress? Are your clients experiencing undo stress? Is your family experiencing undo stress?
Could it be because you aren’t taking care of something well? Could it be because you haven’t properly prepared your client for the next step? Have you rushed into listing the home before it is ready to list? Have you started working with a buyer, wrote an offer, without being properly prepared? Have you failed to provide all the information needed to the lawyer? Have you put pressure on your mortgage professional because you didn’t take care of prepping the client better?
You are the quarterback. You are running the show. You are the hub of the wheel. You are the expert. You are the person everyone is relying upon to get it right.
When the experience goes bad, who is to blame? Is it everyone else that should step it up?
"Don’t they know the scramble drill? Come on everyone suck it up and let’s get this deal put to bed! I’m busy. I need you to step up and make it happen. I don’t want to hear about the challenges…I want to hear solutions." This was me. I was always so frustrated with everyone else wining and complaining all the time. It stressed me out. The truth is, that I was the one stressing everyone else out.
Does it make sense to spend a little time sharpening the axe before you starting swinging it at the tree?
Doink doink doink …."Oh man why am I getting all these crazy phone calls from stressed out people?"
Doink doink doink…."Oh man why has the listing been on the system for over a week with no pictures?"
Doink doink doink…"I have a listing meeting in an hour and I have no time to prepare….I just missed three calls … One of them might be a new opportunity…darn it."
Doink doink doink…."Oh man why is it taking so long for this mortgage approval?"
Doink doink doink…"Why am I still swinging away at this tree….it should be chopped down by now!! This is wearing me out. I am exhausted. This axe doesn’t work. It’s a stupid Axe!!"
See how ridiculous that is.
Doink doink doink….."Oh man why is this so hard?"
– Listen bonehead..the tree is not hard….you have a dull axe and you need to sharpen it…
That’s why we have taken the time to put a course together to create 4X Agents. People who are in control of their business. We prepare you with tools and show you how to prepare for everything because…..The Separation is in the Preparation.
1X and 2X Agents are in a constant state of stress. Its true. Been there done that. Been that guy. Let me help you save yourself from yourself….
Alright….I hope you got some value out of this…take care and have an awesome day!
Kelly Johnston - if you want to listen to this episode Click HERE