Sitting down with the regional owner of a large franchise at the conclusion of a recent convention, I found myself in a discussion about how one person can do it all. During this discussion, I had one of those rare moments of clarity that came in the form of an exercise I demonstrated from the stage the next day.
As small business owners with growing pains we were sharing ideas about how to scale and grow without letting either our customer service or our commitment to our employees and partners be diminished by our delusion into other areas.
It was during this deep personal discussion that I saw clearly a man juggling a series of balls, each with a name of or title on it. There were several other balls on the table in front of him with other names/titles. Here are some examples of the names:
Buyers Agent Listing agent Administrative agent
Team Leader Runner Marketing director
Managing broker Mom Dad
Husband Wife Brother
Sister Son Daughter
Car pool Home cook Cleaner
Laundry Lawn Mower
The juggler in my vision was very good. He had four or five balls in the air at all times and did a great job keeping them in the air while moving his hands into position to catch and throw the next ball. But things got interesting when the juggler - with five balls in great rhythm - is asked to pick up another ball. The juggler, knowing that he could not add one more ball, had to make a critical decision: what ball do I put down in order to pick up the next one?
Imagine you are working with buyers and sellers, doing all of your own admin work, and are a parent and spouse. In order to pick up marketing or training a new agent, or giving back to your board or association; you have to choose which ball to put down. The juggler -looking perplexed- looked at the non-negotiable ball of being a father, then then looked at buyers/sellers and decided that he could not put any of those down. The clarity came when the juggler said, "I don’t want to do real estate at the expense of my family." But as he reflected he realized that when he was with his family, he was always on his phone or computer doing work. He voiced his new understanding, "I already put them down to focus on other things."
At that moment, we decided that our families were non-negotiable and that we were going to create leverage in our business so we could be present in the lives of our family.
Leverage is simply using systems and humans to pick up the balls that must be juggled in order to provide great client experiences. It all starts with your first assistant, then hiring a buyers agent and grows from there. Understanding that we all drop the ball at one point or another - and usually it’s the people we care about most that get let down with the excuse that we are doing it all for our families- we have to be willing to delegate and pass the ball to others so we can give attention to what matters most in life. So, we can provide a better life for our families. Our families need us. And I’m sorry to say, but it’s not another home sold. It's something better.
As David O McKay said, “no other success can compensate for failure in the home”. Now is the time and this is the year to create leverage in your business and in your life.
By Verl Workman
Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at Verl@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com.
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