Three things I did to pay off my third rental property

As of this writing I have written well over a thousand articles on a wide range of topics.  A topic that I haven’t written about is real estate.  And it is probably one of my favorite topics on the planet.

I bought my first rental property in 2006 at the age of 26.  It was a duplex that I owned up until I moved to Florida in 2015.

My attraction to real estate started when I was young and it is something I have loved ever since.

As of this writing I own five single family residences.  Four of the five are paid off. Two of the five are condos that I paid cash for when I bought them, so I never had mortgages on them.

Over the years I have listened to many so called experts.  I say so called experts, because I am sure they are all successful in whatever they have done and accumulated.  However, they all had different processes they used to get there.

Some of them used a lot of debt to have success, some used minimal debt, and some used no debt to accumulate the wealth and experiences they have in the area of real estate.

I have always been a fence rider on the topic of debt when it comes to real estate.  I innately hate debt. When I became debt free other than the mortgages I had on rental properties and the house I lived in.  I said I would never have debt again.  And I haven’t.

The topic of debt in real estate is something I go back and forth on though.  I am not sure I have a clear opinion one way or the other on it as of today. However, I did make a commitment to myself that I would pay off the other three houses that I did have mortgages on though.

This morning I looked in my journal to see when I made the goal to get the third rental property paid off. The first date I wrote in this journal is 10/19/2018.  Today is 7/1/20.  I assume it may have been in there before.  However, lets just assume that was the first date I wrote that goal down.

On 1/31/2020 we paid off the third mortgage. Since then we have paid off a fourth and could pay off the fifth, but I am having that whole internal discussion on whether to pay it off or use the money we have saved to buy more.  This is another topic for another day.

How did we pay off that third mortgage?  What did we do?

  1. I wrote the goal down everyday:  As I mentioned, I can look in my journal and tell you when I started writing that goal down.  I wrote it down for close to two years almost everyday, until I accomplished the goal. This one thing is first for a reason.  To achieve what it is you want to achieve you have to remind yourself daily that this is what you want to achieve.
  2. Everything extra went towards it. As I mentioned I struggle in the area of whether to have debt or leverage debt when it comes to real estate.  There is one person who is clear on this topic though.  That is Dave Ramsey.    He is a firm believer in no debt on anything.  He has a proven method for people to get out of debt and has helped millions of people do it. One of the things he talks about is the snowball effect.

    The snowball effect is if you take a ball of snow and you roll it down ahill.  As it makes it way down the hill it gets bigger and bigger as it accumulates more snow around it.

    Also, the momentum of the snowball picks up as it makes it way down the hill.  He uses this method when it comes to paying off debt.  Which is to take all extra money and apply it to your smallest debt and pay it off first. He believes, and he is right, that the momentum that a person creates when they are able to pay off something quickly provides them the momentum they need to keep them going to pay off other debts.

    I used this method for paying off this mortgage.  I took all extra money we made and applied it to this mortgage.  It allowed us to pay it off in seven years from the time we took the loan out.

  3. Stay committed no matter what: From the time I made this commitment until we accomplished it, a lot had changed.  I started two different companies, we moved twice, and my income was wildly unpredictable.  During these kind of times most people throw their goals out the door and say they will come back to them when things are more secure. I did not.  I stayed committed.  I kept committing to that goal everyday.

I am a novice when it comes to real estate investing  However, it is something I am committed to and will continue to get better at.  My hope is you find this information to be helpful in your journey.

To your success and your future.

 

Repetition and Frequency and why you need both for success

A good question to ask yourself is “How often should I get a check up on my health?”

At my age, health, and background, my doctor believes once a year is sufficient.  As I age, it will become more frequent than that.

Someone very close to me goes to the doctor more often.  It seems like at least once a month, if not more.  They have several chronic illnesses and they have several medications that they are taking.  Which requires more tests and check ins.

Repetition and frequency for them is more important because of their situation.

Success in your health, life, career, etc. all comes down to the repetition and frequency.  And you have to do both of these to have any success in life.  I believe the more you do them both the quicker and more success you will have in the thing you want success in.

Repetition is the act of doing something over and over again. The more we repeat something, the better we should get at it.  I say should, because the level of complexity of the thing is also part of the equation.

If you take a job that now requires you to give more presentations than your previous position.  When you first start that job and start giving presentations.  You most likely won’t be very good at it.  But over time you will become better at it, or at least you should become better at it.

This is where frequency comes in to play.  The definition of frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event in some time period.

This is the game changer and why you need both repetition and frequency to have success.

What if you had a job where you delivered a presentation once a month.  By the  third month you would become better at it.  However, if you had to get up every single day and do it, your number of occurrences would be 2900% more, than doing it once a month for three months.  You would have 87 more occurrences. In each of the occurrences you would have refined your presentation and delivery and gotten better at it.  Which in turn you would get better results from it.

Most people can do some level of repetition in their life.  That is the easy part.  But where they typically fail is in the frequency part. They allow too much time in between occurrences of the the activity they are repeating.

I like to use fitness as an example. If you are over weight and unfit and decide to change.  You can’t say I will start working out once a week. Its not enough frequency (occurrences).   You could repeat the exercises once a week for the next seven months and you would most likely not change much.  Because of this you would end up quitting. Plus your body would not change much.

If you instead decide to workout every other day, your would dramatically increase your chances of having success.  You would start to see results sooner, which would motivate you to keep going.

The more often you do something the more success you will get from the act or the results from that act.

If you want to have success in anything in life, I believe you have to increase the repetitions and the frequency. And yes you can accelerate your results depending on the frequency you do the repetitive act.

So the question becomes how quickly do you want to change something?  How quickly do you want to change your financial situation?  You have to either increase the frequency you are paying towards your debt. Or you have to increase your output (work) to be able to earn more to put towards your debt.

Take a look at any area in your life today where you are not getting the results you want.  Now look at the frequency at which you do the activity that should deliver the results for you in that area.  What if you increased the frequency? I guarantee if you do you will get better results.

To your success and your future.

 

 

Show up

Success in life really comes down to these two words:  Show up.  

There is nothing magical or hard about it.  When you show up good things will eventually happen.

When you show up you are keeping the commitment that you made to yourself.  This one thing alone is just as important as the showing up part.  Once you quit lying to yourself, you can take control over everything in your life.

Humans suck at commitments.  We don’t like to make them to ourselves and we definitely don’t like to make them to there people and be held accountable to them.  When we commit we are putting ourselves out there. We are taking the chance that we could fail.  Humans don’t like failure and we will avoid it all cost. Because of this we don’t go “all in” on commitments.

Work is a commitment that you keep because there is an incentive tied to it.   I am not talking about these commitments.  These are the easy ones.  I am talking about the commitments that you don’t have to make.  And you definitely don’t have to keep them. These are the hard ones and these are the ones that will impact your life the most positively.

When people aren’t getting the results they want.  When they are not accomplishing their goals.

It comes down to their lack of commitment to them.  If you haven’t fully committed, you won’t show up.

Take inventory of your life today and ask yourself the simple question.

Are you showing up to the things you said were important to you? If the answer is no.  Then I would challenge you to ask yourself how committed you really are to the thing.

My mentor said it best.  “action follows commitment.”  You won’t take action until you are committed.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Never quit, but you can pivot

One of my favorite topics to write and talk about is goals.  Not because I consider myself to be an expert in setting and achieving them.  It is quite frankly the exact opposite.  I actually come up short on them more often than I would like to admit.

How I learned the value of never quitting but learning how to pivot as necessary.

When I was 33 years old.  I became a student again.  This was seven years after I completed my MBA.  I consider all of my formal education, K-12, associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree.  That formal education something I just had to do.  It was required.  Not because it was forced on to me by my parents. I knew to compete in the world I had to be prepared with those credentials.

At 33 is when I started to take my personal education more serious and became a student once again.  I became a strategic goal setter.

At 26, I was a landlord.  I had purchased a duplex.  I had always had a desire in the back of my mind that I wanted to own real estate one day that I would rent. I am not sure why this thought entered my mind.  No one in my immediate family that I knew of had owned real estate.  The only thing that I can remember as a young kid that would have prompted me to think this way, could have been a good friend of mines grandparents who I spent a decent amount of time around when I was younger.

My friend was a really good student.  One of his motivations to be a good student was very simple.  For every A he would get on his report card he would get $50 dollars from his grandparents.  B’s were worth $25.  I can remember him showing me the money after every report card. I was jealous. Keep in mind this started around middle school up until tenth or eleventh grade.

To me my friend was rich, because his grandparents were rich.  I couldn’t imagine having that much money handed to me. Being around his grandparents I knew that they owned a lot of rental property.  That was the extent of my knowledge.  Outside of that I didn’t know exactly how much or how long, etc.

This is the only thing that I can thing of that would have planted the seed of me wanting to own real estate.

Fast forward back to age 33, I had owned the duplex for seven years.  I had not purchased anymore property up until that point. At 33, after purchasing a goal setting seminar.  I decided to set a goal of owning ten rental properties by age 40, and I wanted them all to be paid off by that time.  I didn’t know how I was going to achieve this goal. But I said if I can buy one house every quarter.  I could get there.

I set this goal and reminded myself of it daily.  For the next three years.  I purchased another five houses.  Now at age 36, I had seven total tenants and 6 properties. Seven if you included my own personal home.

I was well on my way.

Like most of life though, things happened and things changed.

In 2015, I met my future wife.  My dad died unexpectedly and about a year later in 2016, my wife and I decided to pack up and move to Florida.  When deciding to move to Florida, we also decided to sell the duplex I had owned since I was 26.  This is something I regret now, but at the time it made a lot of sense. I had also sold my personal residences a few years before.  We now had just the five rental properties. Two of them I paid cash for and the other three had mortgages.

Once we made it to Florida.  I took a position where I was 100% commission.  Meaning if I don’t sell, I don’t make any money.  For about the first year, my income was really unpredictable.  I had good months and months were I didn’t make any money.

Now during this time, I continued to put all of my money that came from the rental properties back in to paying off the mortgages I had.  Once I paid each mortgage,  any remaining money I would put towards the principal of my lowest dollar amount mortgage.  I knew if I could get one of them paid off quicker, it would make the next one even easier.  Because I would have more money to put towards it.

Once I started making some more predictable income with my new position in Florida, it was around the year and a half mark.  Also, at this time.  My wife and I decided that we were going to pack up and move again.  We didn’t love Florida, and we were now moving to Dallas.

During this time in Florida, I continued to look at real estate every single day.  My income wasn’t predictable enough at the time where we felt comfortable enough to buy anything.  But I continued to look and knew if I could find something I would figure out a way to buy it.

Now that we are in Dallas, I once again found myself with zero income.  This time, I was going to go out on my own.  I had been freelancing for years.  I knew where some opportunities existed and where I could make a difference and build a business.  So I poured all of my resources in to doing that.

Keep in mind I still had that goal of 10 rental homes by 40 and all of them paid off.

At this time I am now 38/39.  I am putting a lot of money into my business.  Pretty much most of everything I would make would go right back in the business.  I did this for about a year or so.  It was hard.  Really hard.  And it wasn’t bringing me any joy.

Once again, I pivot and take a position with a great company last fall. By this time I am now 40.  I was excited to take this new position because once again, it was 100% commission, but the product was a great and it had great market presence. I knew I could crush it.

This past February I turned 41.  I didn’t make the goal of ten houses by age 40 and all of them paid off.

I was only able to get four of the five paid off.  Yep.  I am sitting here today, and my goal wasn’t accomplished and if you gave it a measurement.  I guess you could say it took me a year longer, and I only accomplished 40% of what I wanted to accomplish.  This is true, if you look at it this way.

However you want to look at it.  Here is what I know.

Life is really hard. Things change.  People change. Our priorities and our goals change.  The world around us changes.  I know that with out the constant reminder to myself of what my goal was, I wouldn’t have even accomplished the 40%.  It may have been zero.

One of my favorite shows of all time is Boardwalk Empire on HBO.  if you haven’t watched it. You should.  The main character says something that has stuck with me ever since. He said “You always need to have something planned, because you need something to look forward to.”

I believe goals are a lot like this. You need to have them set because they give you something to look forward to, but even more importantly they give you a direction and more importantly motivation to do what it takes so you can achieve them.

 

 

 

You’re Going To Miss Me When I’m Gone

I have spent the last 73 days (based on my calculations) tracking the lockdown, quarantine, shelter in place, or whatever you want to call it.

By tracking, I mean I have written a few notes down in my journal.  Nothing too elaborate.  But just some general notes to remind me of the sentiment of what I was feeling and what was going on in the climate and culture as a whole.

Overall I believe this situation was a totally oversold and overhyped by the media, who are dealers in “fear” and basically created the situation and the politics were forced to follow suit.  But I digress, this is not the point of my writings today.

This past Saturday May, 23, the gym I attend opened for the first time in the last 73 plus days. As I walked in, I was more than enthusiastic. I was so glad to be back in there and was grateful for the opportunity.  Before the lockdown, I never resented the gym, but I don’t think I always appreciated it the way I should have.

This morning the gym at our high rise building opened for the first time in 73 plus days. It was so great to walk in there, even with a lot of restrictions, and have the opportunity to get a workout in and use the equipment.

Over the last few weeks, we have now been able to actually go back into restaurants for the first time. If I am honest, I kind of liked the fact that during the lockdown we saved ourselves a lot of money by only being able to do takeout.  Mainly the savings being not spending money on alcohol while dining in.

However, being back around people, the energy in the restaurants, and supporting people to have jobs that can contribute to the economy as a whole is even better.

On Monday, my wife and I randomly went to the mall. Walking around the mall again, which is not something we did very often pre-shutdown, it was still nice to have the opportunity to do it again.

As I am sitting here typing this post, I am in my favorite coffee shop drinking my mocha.  This is something I have done for years.  I usually spend the first hour of the day in here.  During the lockdown, I was unable to sit in the coffee shop, but was thankful that they were open and I was able to get it to go.

I say all of these things really as a reminder to myself that some of the small things we take for granted can easily be taken from us.  For the most part we never think about it when we have them.

Brooks and Dunn one of the great country ban duos of all time, have a song titled “You’re going to miss me when I’m gone.”  The song was a great hit for a a lot of reasons, but one of them being that it is so true.  We typically don’t miss something until it is gone.  Which is why we must appreciate it when we have it.

I am not perfect by any stretch and I am sure I will forget at times.  However, I am going to do what I can to remind myself to appreciate the little things I mentioned here, but more importantly, the bigger things in life as well.

 

5 reasons I have to get back to writing again

Wow!  It has been almost two years since I posted a blog on this site.  I did write a lot on another site I own for about a year, but I haven’t technically done any writing for the last nine months or so.

So what compelled me to pick it back up?

I felt like that I had lost some of the really good habits and emotions that created opportunities for me in my life when I was writing before. So here I am making a commitment to myself to start doing it again.  Writing provided a lot of different things in my life, but here are a few of those things along with my opinion on why I want to get back to writing.

  1. Consistency: If you know me, you would probably say that I am very consistent in most of the things I do.  Whether it be exercising, working, or emotionally.  I am a consistent person.  But to me working and exercising are those things that I really do enjoy, but at the end of the day, I have to do them.  Yes.  I have to do them.Writing on the other hand is not a “have to do”.  My livelihood will not be in jeopardy if I don’t do it, like it would be if I didn’t work.  Or my health is not at risk, if I don’t write. Writing is truly extra.  Nothing bad will happen to me if I don’t do it.  However, that is the reason I choose to do it. It forces me do something that I don’t have to do. Forcing yourself to do things you don’t have to do is a muscle that needs to be worked.  And frankly I am not very good at writing, but I love the benefits of it.
  2. Thinking:  Writing forces me to think.  Thinking isn’t something most people spend enough time doing.  Most of us are too busy doing things to think.  Whether it is working, spending time with friends and family, or watching sports or Netflix.  I have found myself the last nine months just doing and not thinking as much as I should.  I want to force myself back in to thinking more and that is what happens when I write.
  3. Clarity: My mentor told me that putting things on paper, written or typed.  Is the best way to crystallize our thoughts and to make things more clear.  Over the last nine months and really the last couple of years, I have continued to journal daily, but it has gotten shorter and shorter.  I am not spending enough time doing it.  I feel like I need clarity more in my life than ever before and writing helps me have that.
  4. Audio/Video: The world is now audio and video dominant.  Everything is consumed in these two formats.  And I have bought right in to it as well.  I have gotten in the habit of watching videos to get my news, to get additional training on a subject, to be entertained, you name it.  Video is everywhere and I consume it as much as the next person.Audio is the same way.  I am always listening to a podcast, a book, an interview, etc.  These are great mediums to get the full context of someones words and they are great when you are trying to do two things at once.  Like working out, driving, and working.  Personally, I have started to rely on these too much for my information, education, and entertainment.
  5. Focus (attention span): My attention span sucks right now.  Seriously.  It is a weakness.  I can’t even read an entire article on something I would be interested in reading.  I skim through it and sometimes I will scroll down to see how long the article is, and if it is too long, I will bail out on it altogether.  Even though I am interested in it.Writing forces me to focus.  It requires focus.  Look, I am not a great writer.  If you have read this far, you probably have cringed at my grammar, sentence structure, my misspellings that spell check didn’t pick up, etc.  But for me to get this far, (679 words) I had to really focus. Because it is really hard for me to put together what I have put together.I believe focus (attention span) is a muscle.  Like all muscles if it isn’t worked and exercised over time it becomes weaker and weaker.  This is what has happened to me.  I haven’t worked the muscle enough and I have lost, frankly, a lot of my ability to focus on the things I need to focus on.

Focus, clarity, thinking, and consistency are all great habits to have.  When you are at your best you are implementing them all to have success.

Today’s society, and life in general has taken some of the gains I made in these areas that provided me a lot of success in my past, away from me.  I have to get what I lost back and build even more on them so I can get to the next level of success.   Writing allows me to work the muscles in each of the areas I mentioned in the post.

To your success and your future.

21 reasons your Admissions Representatives aren’t motivated

I have been in the higher education sector for the last fifteen years of my career.  Primarily working with admissions managers and admissions representatives. I have worked in the for-profit sector, the non-profit private sector, and even the public sector.

As a manager myself for many years, and as a consultant for just as many, I have found the following 21 ideas, things, excuses, or whatever you want to call them.  To be true in every one of the higher education groups I have worked with.

I am not only blaming the admissions representatives or the schools themselves for this lack of motivation.  They are all in it together. From the top down, everybody has to be held accountable and understand the mission.  And no matter what your Tax status says you are.  For-Profit, Non-Profit, or Public, no institution would exist if they didn’t have students paying tuition.

Ultimately, this responsibility falls on the admissions representatives and the admissions managers. They are both equally responsible for the livelihood of the school.

Here are 21 things that could help you diagnose the problem you might have on your team right now.  I am not going to solve your problem in this blog post.  However, the first step to all change is realizing that you need to make a change.

After you read the post, if you feel like your team needs some additional skills please reach out to me.  I have perfected a training system for Admissions Teams.  We call our product the Admissions Advantage.

Do you want an advantage for your team and your school?  If so, let’s have a conversation.  If not, use this information and make the necessary changes.  It is up to you.

21.  They don’t like their job

  • I don’t know why they don’t like their job.  It could be a variety of different reasons.  They don’t believe in what they do, or they don’t believe in the leadership.  You need to find out why and see if this can change.  If not, you know what needs to be done.

20. They don’t see a career path for growth.

  • On the first day of the job everybody wants to know two things.  After they learn how much they are getting paid.  What is it that I am responsible for?  And where do I fit in here?  They want to see where they are now and where they could be in the future. Show them.

19.  They don’t know the bigger picture.

  • Show them the marketing budget, show them the instructional budget, show them everything.  And then show them how the revenue they generate from the students they enroll make the budget work.

18. You have some toxic people on the team bringing everyone else down. 

  • Who are the negative people.  All teams have them.  You have to get rid of them ASAP. Why haven’t you? Quit waiting.

17. They don’t get respect from other departments 

  • Admissions representatives are going to push other people to do things they don’t want to do. They should do it respectively, but at the same time, they need to have the respect across the board from the other departments.  Everybody in the institution needs to know that without students none of them will exist. Period.

16. They are too focused on their next steps instead of the current step they are on. 

  • If we aren’t happy in what we are doing we are going to be looking for what the next step is. In many colleges and schools this is usually being done on the schools dime.  With additional educational benefits.  I am a fan of this, but admissions representatives must be doing their full-time job first.

15. They have too much free time. 

  • Free time is not good for any of us.  Especially an admissions representative. If your people are not seeing enough prospective students then you have to figure out a way to get everyone busier.  Too much free time will make them lazy and they will get in trouble.

14. They don’t know the consequences of missing budget or goals 

  • When is the last time you wrote someone up or let someone go because of a lack of performance.  I understand that everybody got a little scared under the previous administration and the rules. However, if you don’t have consequences for not doing your job, then mediocrity will creep in and kill your school.

13. They don’t know what excellence looks like 

  • I have seen it a hundred times.  You have one person that is killing it.  And that becomes the standard.  What if their standard is not that high though?  Then everybody else is trying to live up to a low standard.  Get some A players in and set some new standards.

12. They don’t know what it means to own something 

  • If your staff is younger, the chances are they haven’t lived long enough to truly own something. You must teach them how to own their career and their goals on the job.  This will keep them motivated to performing.

11. They are short timers

  • You have some people who just took this job because it is the one they were offered.  And you were sold in the interview. If this is the case get them out and make them really short timers.

10. Top leadership doesn’t remind them of how important they are.

  • A supervisor must be setting the standard every single day and showing the team appreciation.  However, the top leadership must do it often as well. It just means more when they hear it from the top leadership.

9. Direct supervisors are uninspiring.

  • If you are a manager and are reading this.  I am sorry.  It has just been my experience.  The question I have for you.  Are you motivated?  If not.  Why not?  What can you do to get excited again?

8. They don’t know what accountability is.

  • Accountability is a bad word.  Everybody says they like it until they get it.  But without it, there is no motivation to do better.  You must have systems in place that not only inspire the team to perform better, but you also have to have systems in place that show them when they don’t and what happens if they continue to not perform well.

7. They are too close for their own good. 

  • If your institution has hired a lot of graduates of your school then you know what I mean here.  They are either selling the schools features too hard and their experiences, or they talk to candidly about all of the problems with the school.  Either way, you have to teach them some skills to eliminate some of these tendencies.

6. They know they aren’t very good and they are being allowed to stay. 

  • Most people know when they aren’t performing very well.  And if they are being allowed to do it, they will just ride it out as long as they can.  Why not.  Especially if this is your first position in your career.  Management must figure this out immediately and make the changes.

5. They aren’t bought in. 

  • Again this is a management problem.  If you have some people on the team they aren’t bought in, you must figure out why.  And it all starts with creating a plan for their career and their growth while there.  Everybody needs to see how they can grow in their career and make more money ultimately. When you do this.  They will buy in to this path and their current position.

4. They lack the communication skills required. 

  • If you suck at communication, which unfortunately is not a skill that is learned the way it used to be. Then you aren’t going to be able to communicate to people internally or to your prospective students in a way that encourages them and motivates them to want to attend school.

3. They haven’t learned any people skills. 

  • Similar to communication.  People skills aren’t being taught the way they used to be.  The bottom line is that we have to teach people what basic people skills are, and then build upon that and teach them what it means to influence other people.

2. They are scared to be assertive. 

  • If you have grown up being passive and have never been taught what it means to take initiave and make things happen, then you wont know how to do it. You have to show them how.

1. They don’t have the self-confidence. 

  • Some people think that the younger generation has too much self-confidence when they get on the job. However, they don’t have the self-confidence to do what it takes to get people to walk through the doors to your institution.  This requires the confidence to say hard things and be assertive and direct with parents and their peers. This again, is not something that is being taught, but it can be taught.

Wherever you are reading this blog, I would love to get your feedback and thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree?  What else would you add?

Here is the one thing that I want to share.  All of the ideas in this article can be trained.  You can increase a persons self-confidence by increasing their skills.  If you aren’t investing in your admissions representatives development.  And I don’t mean formal education.  I mean real skill development on how to communicate to people to take action, phone skills to get people to call you back, and all the skills required to perform at their job better. Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation and see if the Admissions Advantage could help your institution.

bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

142 days of motivation!

Writing my goals down has been a deliberate action that I have taken the last eight years.  When I look at my spreadsheet from 2010, I laugh because I wasn’t very good at it.  My goals were small, they weren’t very specific, and there also wasn’t very many of them.

Fast forward to today, and I look at my goal sheet and it looks more like a ten-year strategic plan for a very successful and large organization.  And as good as I am in the area of strategic goal setting and accomplishing the goals I have set for myself, there is always room for improvement.

A couple of years ago my mentor challenged me to write down my goals every single day.  Yes.  Every day.  He writes them down in the morning and again at night.  I don’t do this, although maybe I should.

So around a year and a half ago or so, I started doing this.  I started writing down my top ten to fifteen goals I have in my life every single day. These goals could be one year, two-year, or even ten-year goals.

These goals are not the strategic document that I write down at the end of the year for the following year.  That document is much more comprehensive and very specific.  I do write down the ten to fifteen overarching bigger goals that I want to accomplish in my life though. The big things.

By doing this I have learned that I am much more motivated to stay motivated and accomplish the goals.  I am reminded every single morning that I must do this, or take this action or that action, because if I am going to accomplish the goal, that is what is required.

I have learned that although I had a very good goal setting and goal accomplishing process that I could be even better than I was.

One of the big goals that my wife and I had in 2018 was to buy her a new car with cash.  Not a brand new car, but something a few years old.  And since we both like really nice cars, I knew this would be an expensive endeavor.  When we sat down at the end of 2017 and the start of 2018, we wrote this goal down as something we were going to do in 2018.

We didn’t know when we would do it in 2018, there wasn’t an exact date.  It really came down to when we chose to do it, and when it made sense based off our income flow of the business.

Here is one thing though, I didn’t want to use our money to buy the car.  I wanted to use someone else’s money.  Which required me to get up every single day and make sales calls, follow-up with clients, and find new clients so we could get the money to buy the car.

From the time I first wrote down the goal on 12/7/2017 to 4/28/2018, it was exactly 142 days.   I wrote the goal down for 142 days just like this:

“We paid cash for a brand new car this year.”

If I am honest, I will tell you that I started off writing down the goal as:

“We paid cash for a brand new Lexus this year.”

But my wife decided that she did not want a Lexus.  Probably because I have one.  So the goal changed over the 142 days to just a car. Because we didn’t know exactly what she wanted until the day we bought it.  As you can see by the picture I didn’t get what I originally wrote down.

I tell you my story not to brag but to encourage you to set goals.  You must write down your goals for your life. This is required.  Whether or not you choose to write them down every day is up to you, even though I would highly suggest you do. Especially the bigger goals and even the more immediate goals you are going after.

As an executive coach and trainer I work with companies and individuals to help them accomplish their companies goals and their personal goals.  If you are interested in learning my system let’s have a conversation.  Hit me up at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

 

 

Can people really change?

This is a question that I have been asked many times by people.  You most likely have a strong opinion on this question as well.  Can people really change?  Especially if they are more experienced (older) and more stuck in their ways.

As a leader for well over twenty years now, a full-time corporate trainer and speaker the last five years. I have come across lots of people in a variety of different environments. I have also studied human behaviors for the last ten years or so.  When I say study, I mean not only through observation, I have been doing that for my entire life.  I mean studying the research that has been conducted and collected by some of the experts in the field of human behavior since the beginning of time.

One of the best books I have read on the study of human behavior, and specifically on the question of whether or not humans can Change, is a book titled Change or Die, The Three Keys to Change at work and in Life.  

In the book, the authors look at research conducted by doctors on people who were diagnosed with severe heart issues.  Some of the participants in the study even have had open heart surgery to other heart related surgeries.  The question was simple.  When faced with death, would the patients change their behaviors to prevent future heart related issues.

What do you think they found?  Did people change their behaviors?

The study concluded that after one year after the diagnosis, or the surgery, that well over 50% of the patients had stopped taking the medication they were supposed to be taking.  At after two years, well over 90% were back to the same behaviors and lifestyles they had before the surgery or diagnosis.

This example says a lot about change doesn’t it?  It says that even when faced with death, change is very hard. Luckily most of us are not in position at this moment that we have to make a life or death decision, and our willingness to change determines what the outcome will be.

However, many people are in situations where making some changes could greatly impact their career and success. The question is, are they willing to make the changes necessary. As the book would tell you, most people aren’t.  But the book, also shares many stories on where people did make changes and how they did it. And in my business, I see the same thing.

From my observations through meeting thousands of people in my training seminars and courses, I have watched people significantly change to get better outcomes in their life and their business.  But there are some conditions and questions that must be answered for those changes to occur in those people.

First, the person must have a need to make a change.  As my mentor said, we make changes for two reasons.  We are either inspired or desperate.  Obviously, both situations lead to change.  I just prefer to make the changes before I am desperate to have to make the change.

For example: Lets says I am an employee at a company.  I have been there for five years.  I know my business pretty well.  So well, that I don’t listen to feedback very well.  Matter of fact, I dismiss most suggestions people make.  In addition to being dismissive I am kind of known as a jerk that nobody likes to work around.

This person could become inspired to make changes, because they realize the impact they are having on the coworkers around them.  Or they could be sat down by their manager and told how they are perceived, and if they don’t change it they will no longer work there anymore.

In either case, a need has been identified, but the better path is to become aware of the change yourself and start to make shift.

My experience tells me that people who do make changes see the need.

The second piece to change is the want.  Do they want to make the change.  Again, it comes down to motivation.  How motivated are you to want to make the change.  If you are about to lose your job, you may be highly motivated, however, are you sold on the concept?   You could fake it for a while, but eventually it will come out on whether or not you really want to change.

In my observations, the people who really see the need and then really want to change are the ones who can make the changes.  And I know it isn’t that simple.  The environment has to be right, and then the right support has to be there as well, but when the need and the want are strong by the individual, change will occur.

The third piece to making a change is a question the person will ask themselves. Can I change?  The simple answer is, Yes, they can change.  But it is the follow-up question that is more important.  Will I change?  We can all change, it is just whether or not will we change.  These two questions, have to be asked and answered with a yes.

To answer the question I posed at the beginning.  Can people change?  Yes, I whole heartedly believe people can change.  They must answer the four questions above though.

Do they see a need to change, however the need is presented to them.  Either they see the need or someone shows the need to them.  Do they want to change?  And then lastly, do they think they can, and will they do whatever it takes to make the changes. When these four questions are answered, and how they are answered, you will know whether or not someone will make a change.

Once these four questions are answered, and answered correctly, the person is willing to do whatever it takes to make whatever the change is.  Then they must get in to the right system or program to make the changes.  This is where it can get complicated.  What is the best system.  I’ll keep it generic on my suggestions as far as what the right system is.  I will just tell you what I believe the system must include.

First the system, must have a singular focus.  It must be focused on whatever the change the person is trying to make is.

Secondly, it must have daily accountability of some kind, that requires the person who is making the change to have to be accountable to.

Thirdly, they must receive some kind of coaching along the way.

Lastly, it must be at least a year-long process with accountability and follow-up.  This is by far one of the most critical things.  The bottom line is change is hard, we know this.  People would rather die than change, as the book validates.  And this kind of change doesn’t happen over night, it takes at least a year to make sustainable changes to a behavior that we have had for a long time.

I have watched people in my training courses make significant changes in their behaviors over the years.  Whether it is a leader that changes the way they interact with their employees and peers.  Or the sales person that has to change their work behaviors to make more sales.

These people were able to make these changes, because they not only answered the four questions.  They had a need, they wanted to make the change, and the sad they Can and they said that they will.  But they also found the right system, with a singular focus, with daily accountability and coaching, and they were committed to at least a certain period of time to work in the system to make the changes.  They haven’t always been year-long processes, but they were lengthy periods of time.

Here is the question for you.  Can you change?  Are you willing to make a change?

I know the answer to the question.  People can change. Will you?

To your success and your future.

 

 

Unrealized Potential, do you have some?

I recently read a quote or statement that said that the graveyard is full of unrealized goals, un-lived dreams and untapped-into potential.

I am not sure if it is just me, but this statement just resonates with me.  It does sound a little morbid, but it paints such a clear picture of what I don’ want.  Who wants to wake up one day and say to themselves:

  • “I wish I would have done more”.
  • “I wish I could have done that.”
  • “I wish I would have pursued that”
  • ” I wish I didn’t spend so much time on that”

All of these statements are things that I can change now.  I have control over all of these things.

My mentor said it this way.

He said that the pain of regret weighs tons, and the pain of discipline weighs ounces.

If it is not obvious to you. This statement means that it is much easier to do the things today and everyday, that is necessary for you to realize your potential and live your life to the fullest, by just implementing the right daily disciplines in your life.  The work is hard, but when you are consistent it gets easier.

But if you don’t do the things you are supposed to do.  And you allow neglect in certain areas of your life to creep in.  Whether it is your health, your wealth, or your education and knowledge, then one day you will wake up and have regret.  Because when you don’t focus on these important things in your life, and you neglect them consistently for a long period of time.  You will eventually wake up one day, and because of it, you will have regrets.

You will wake up one day at age 50 and know that you don’t have enough, or any money, saved for retirement.  You will go into work one day at 52 and learn that your company is not doing so well, and so they will be letting you go.  And because all you have every done at the company was one thing for many years, your skill set isn’t transferable to another job very easily.

And as I have learned from first hand experience in my personal life.  If you neglect your health for years and years it will eventually catch up to you.  As I am typing this, I can still see my fathers face as he was sitting in the emergency room that day.  I didn’t know and he didn’t know what was going on, but I know that it was the last time I saw him alive.

My dad was the best dad anybody could have.  I loved my dad.  He would do anything for anybody.  I had a great child hood.  But when it came to health and wellness, my dad was just not that interested in it.  I hate to say that he didn’t think about it, but he was old school. If he wasn’t bleeding or hurting, than nothing was wrong.

He would occasionally go on diets to lose a few pounds.  Or cut out certain foods here and there.  But it just wasn’t his top priority.  He was too busy doing work and life.

I am not sure about you, but I know for me that I never want to wake up one day and say any of the above statements.  I want to reach my potential in every aspect of my life.  I want to be the best husband that I can be.  I want to be the best I can be in my community and church.  I want to make the most money that I can make.  I want to be in the best shape and health I can be in.  I want to buy and own as many rental properties that I can buy.

You name it, and I want to achieve it.  But it isn’t going to happen unless: I choose to realize and fulfill my full potential.  My potential isn’t going to be realized doing things I shouldn’t be doing.  It isn’t going to be realized and fulfilled by spending hours and hours doing things that should only take one hour.  It isn’t going to realized and fulfilled by listening to people who don’t even know or care about what I am trying to accomplish.

Nope none of this will happen unless I decide and go all in.

I have to make the decision today and everyday, that I will do nothing and I will do everything that it takes to realize and fulfill my full potential.

Are you with me?

I didn’t hear you!

Are you with me?

If you are with me.  Drop me note in the comments section wherever you read this and let’s make it happen.

To your success and your future.