For the last two decades, I thought business planning was useless.
I’d go to business planning workshops and read all the business planning books hoping that there would be one that I’d feel so inspired by that I’d actually put everything I wrote in the plan in place over the next year.
I’d write business plan after business plan and then promptly do nothing with them and never look at them again.
Every one of them left me feeling like something was missing. I never felt inspired enough to actually put into action what I wrote down in my business plan.
So, a few years ago I swore off business planning for good.
And then I met Erin Bradley.
She is brilliant as so many things, but her approach to business planning forever changed my mind on the subject.
Not only is her approach to business planning unlike anything I’ve seen before, but it actually makes you WANT to execute the plan.
Her theory is that our business plans should not just focus on our businesses, but that it should actually be a lifestyle plan first and foremost.
A business plan that puts your life first. Brilliant.
Because why else do we have a business at all if it isn’t for the life we hope to create with it?
In this episode, Erin walks us through the five-step process she uses to design a business and life that leaves enough room to enjoy the time and financial freedom that we hope having a business plan will create for us but most business plans completely skip this part!!
And, the best part is that the entire plan fits on one page. So, you can reference it all year long and make sure you are on track.
You’ll definitely want to pause while you’re listening to this episode and take notes.
That’s why Erin shared her one-page lifestyle and business planning worksheet– so you can follow along as she walks us through how to create a life we love and a business we won’t want a vacation from.
Download your free worksheet!
Use her template to make 2022 the year you designed the life and business you’ve always wanted.
Start by listening to today’s episode and following along with worksheet in hand and doing each of the exercises that Erin walks you through.
Don’t rush this. Give yourself the space and time to reflect and dream big.
I can’t wait to see what you make happen.
To your success,
On today’s episode, we’re doing a business plan, but not any old business plan. No, no, no. I’m not sure those were kind of work. I personally haven’t done a business plan, I think in about 16 years until I met my guest today, Erin Bradley, she has an incredible approach to business planning that I love so much. And I’m so excited to share it with you there. She has a five-step process where you design the lifestyle that you want. And then from there build the business plan. It’s so brilliant. And I’m so excited to have her walk you through this process.
She’s also been generous to provide a worksheet slash template. So you can follow along and write out this lifestyle and business plan as she walks you through how to do it. So if you want to grab that first, I highly recommend grabbing that, filling it out. As she’s walking you through the process and you can get firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash business plan. I hope you enjoy this episode. This is one of those where you probably want to like be sitting somewhere with a cup of tea or coffee, a pen in hand that printout, and be ready to kind of pause it and actively go through the business plan as you’re listening.
I hope you enjoy welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I use in date two became top producing agents. Now through this podcast and agent grad school.com, I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques, or paying for leads. Just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted.
And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. All right. On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about business planning because everybody wants to do a business plan. This time of year I, in the past, until I met my guest, tell him that my guests this year, I did not believe in business planning because nine times out of 10, we were just talking off camera and off, off the recording, nine times out of 10, you do this like 15-page business plan, and you never look at it again.
So I am so happy to welcome Erin Bradley of Pursuing Freedom to talk about her approach to business. Aaron, thanks for being here. Thanks for having me, Jennifer. You know, when we first met on my show, I totally nerded out and started like stalking you to make you my friend, because I just think you’re so amazing. And I love what you’re doing for this real estate community. So I’m so glad to be connected with you. Yeah, same, same here. Okay. Let’s focus. We can talk about so many things and we’ll probably have you back, but today let’s just focus on business planning. So how did you become, how did you come up with your business plan approach?
Okay, so, you know, there’s a little bit of a backstory where I went a hundred percent commission in oh seven and I fell flat on my face. I was terrified of sales. I had no safety net, no savings, no, no game plan to speak of. And you know, a year later I was 35 grand in credit card. Debt had to ride my bike to a client meeting. And I had my credit card declined for a $2 cup of coffee as the client was introducing himself to me. So I just remember feeling like rock bottom and you know, all those years of the early years in the business, I was totally winging it. Like I have a mortgage business and I was four years into the business before I had a realtor friend or referral partner so much I of course being seen as salesy.
And so I never believed in setting goals or busy and writing a business plan because to me it felt so out of my control, like it didn’t feel like it was realistic for me to set goals and expect to hit them. And it wasn’t until crazy enough. Gosh, six years later, I was in our real estate mastermind group with a bunch of realtors and myself and another lender. And they, you know, in the group, they said, you know, come next week with your business plan for the following year for 2014. And I had never written a business plan. Didn’t believe in it, like you said. And so I just copied the format of the guy next to me. I was like, let me see your business plan. How do I do this? I have no idea.
And it was so detail-oriented. It lists like how many transactions, how many buy-side, how many sell-side, you know, what was his marketing calendar, like his budget down to the dollars and cents every little detail in this 15-page business plan. So I was like, I’ll just, I guess that’s what it looks like. That’s what I’ll do. And I did it and I put it in a drawer and never looked at it again. So needless to say nothing transformational happened in 2014, well, in 2014 going into 2015, I stumbled across the concept of a one-page business plan. And so I modified it and I created my first one-page business plan going into 2015. And what it entails is it literally has my top 10 goals, business, personal professional, financial health, whatever is really on the forefront because we evolve as human beings are our goals in life should be evolving alongside us as humans and our business should evolve alongside us.
Sometimes you’re going into a brand new year and you exceeded your, you know, financial goals the year before, but perhaps you were out of alignment and out of balance and your goal might need to be focused on scaling that business and allowing it to plateau while you restructure with a stronger foundation for growth, it might be that you or your health was put to the wayside and that needs to be on the forefront. Maybe you’re trying to start a family. You know, there are all kinds of things that happen. So the top 10 goals aren’t necessarily just business. It’s really about life and all the different gardens of life. From there. I pick my banner three and typically if I hit my banner three, it usually means that everything falls into place for the others to come to fruition.
I also come up with three words to kind of anchor me and guide me when I started to go off course, which we’ll talk about a moment. And then I come up, I reevaluate each year, those rocks in my schedule where I sometimes I think we as busy people and people-pleasers, we say yes to too much, and we find ourselves overwhelmed. And so each year it’s a matter of looking at those rocks in the schedule and saying, do I have enough commitments to move the needle in my business? Do I need more or do I have too many, do I need to be saying no to some things to create space for more important priorities? And then lastly, I usually come up with some kind of loose schedule or what I’m committed to on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, et cetera.
Anyway, the first time I did this was at the end of 2014, as I mentioned, and I put three banner goals that far exceeded any reality I had ever experienced. And I looked back on that a year later because I nerd out and I print mine and condense it to the size of my planner and laminate it to be my bookmarks to not to here. So I look at my goals every single day when I opened my planner and I looked back a year later and I had more than doubled my business. We had bought a second home in the mountains. I had built a team and hired three incredible people that are still with me today. And I couldn’t believe it because as I reflected on it, then, and as I teach it to people now, if you never put, if you never would, I say like, put the pin in the GPS for a destination, even if it’s unfamiliar territory, if you never put the pin in the GPS, you can’t exceed your own expectations.
So when you have this feeling of like, it would be so cool to double my business, but, and then we start talking ourselves out of it with our insecurities or fear of overwhelm or whatever, or even like about how, how am I going to do it? How you got it, right? Yeah, it’s both. So right. I feel like sometimes what happens is we want to say it would be so amazing to dot-dot, but, and I always say like, don’t let your butt get in the way of your dream. So, you know, I looked back on that. And then over the years, I started teaching this process that we can talk about of how do you arrive at the right goals? A lot of times what we do when we’re told by our manager or a managing broker, or maybe even just a friend, Hey, you know, let’s get together and share our goals for the next year.
And you get this blank piece of paper and you start thinking your goals into existence. And your heart is saying it would be so amazing too. But the head is filled with all the chatter and the negativity of how that’s not realistic. It’s not possible or whatever. So we, when we think our goals into existence, we often don’t allow ourselves to dream big. When we feel into our heart, what our intuition knows we want and need, and what we truly deserve, which is like the stuff that pulls on your heartstrings, that deep desire where, you know, you’re meant for more maybe financially or professionally or that longing for more present moments with people that you really care about because your career has started to suffocate your ability to be present with others.
There’s a lot going on in our hearts. And we know it and we’re very, very good at talking ourselves out of it. So what I teach as a process to help people arrive at those goals from the heart, because when they come from the heart, they’re anchored in what really matters to you today, not what mattered to you three years though, or what’s going to matter next year, but what matters to you right now? What stage of life are you in? What do you really need? And let’s dig in. And so it just makes for a more powerful vision, a stronger WHY, more emotional attachment to the outcome. And then what’s happened year after year, every single year, since then is nothing short of miraculous.
Like now I just feel like it’s an experiment, like be careful what you write down, cause it’s probably going to come. So now I just have fun. Like I really had to think about like, I mean, spend a lot of time and work through this process. And I do it at least twice a year because things change or maybe you accomplish your goals, or maybe you realize that those goals weren’t truly anchored in your heart. Maybe you wrote goals based on what you think you should do based on what’s realistic or what somebody else is doing. And when you’re shooting all over yourself like that, you will, you will find a lack of connection or a lack of alignment in pursuing those goals. If they’re not really meaningful to you. And so sometimes that happens, you get a few months into the year and you’re like, you know, I, I, I wrote this goal down, but it’s, it’s, it’s really, doesn’t actually matter to me.
I just think I wrote that down. Cause it’s what I thought I should do. Right. So Well, when I love what you’re saying and what we’re going to go through the process of doing that, your approach to business planning here in a second. But what I love about your process the most is that you never get caught up in how you’re focused on the what and not the how. And I think that’s so important as we think about, like you said, like dreaming big and our goals and not getting caught up in our head and really kind of with our heart. Because once we kind of anchor into what we want, why we want it, the how will come, right? Like, it’ll come. It’s just first. You have to admit what it actually wants.
So, okay. Anything else you want to say before we start diving into the process? Oh, I mean, it just kind of comes down to, like I say, the pin and the GPS, because if you gave me your address, I don’t know where you live, but if you give me your address and I pulled it up on my phone, I’d probably say a number of different routes. I don’t know how to get to your house. I don’t know how long it’ll take. I don’t know which method of transportation I’m going to use to get there. So if I fly, it might be fast. If I walk, it would take a long time, maybe a year. Anyway, the point is that, like, I know I’d find my way there. And so I always tell people, you know, don’t worry about how long it might take to accomplish that big dream because time is passing.
Anyway, you might as well put the pen in the GPS and see what happens. Because like I said, it could be nothing short of extraordinary. And then you look back and you’re like, Right? Like, so what if it took 18 months and not 12, if it took two years or 10 years instead of one. Right? So I also feel like if I could do it, anybody can cause you, you don’t, I’m literally the person who was like the hobo, riding my bike to client meetings. Cause I didn’t have money for gas. So like if I take it, if it works for me like I have to preach it from the top. Like it’s possible. Everything is possible. Agreed. But especially, I feel like people who come like you and I both like share this common story of credit cards declined.
Like, I mean, we had like nothing and we, we both have this rock, bottom story. And if we can make our dreams possible, like I, that’s what I really want people to get. It’s like, do not talk yourself out of what you want. If you just literally admit you want it and then not give up on it, you can, it can happen eventually. So what if it took me probably five years, quote, unquote too long, but the first step, and this is why I love the way that you approach business plan. And I don’t even know if I want to call it a business plan. It’s like a life plan. It’s like the life plan. And then your business somehow rises up to meet what you want for your life. And that’s what I love about your approach. So for everybody listening, you can get a copy. So Erin is going to walk us through this process of the one-page business plan.
And if you want a copy of it, go to www.agentgradschool.com/businessplan, download a copy and follow along and, and like pause this as she talks through it. Okay. So it all starts with reflection. Okay. Everyone who’s listening right now is in a certain state of emotions, state of mind, state of being feeling, et cetera. Right? And you’re right. I mean, I’ve changed like the workshop where I teach this process is now called the lifestyle and business design workshop. Because I think before we can ever decide what we’re going to do or create in this world or in our business or in our bank account, we have to first be very, very decisive about how we want to feel how we want to show up in the lives that people that matter most and what kind of person do we want to be.
And then we figure out what we’re going to do. And so as people are listening right now, you might be exhausted. You might be burnt out. You might be stressed. You might be worried. You might be fearful. You might be anxious and you might be just living your best life today, having the best day ever. And, and your, your light is shining bright and that’s a great place to be. So what I teach is how do we get ourselves into that bright light state so that we can access the message of our heart? And that might sound cheesy, but I believe that every person has a light within them. And what I mean by that is, you know, the feeling you have when you’re laughing hysterically.
And then you’re, you just get off the phone with somebody who made you laugh. And then the next interaction you have, you’re bringing the smirk with you. Like there’s a vibration about you and electricity. That’s kind of bubbling at the surface. And it happens when you’re doing your favorite thing. Like if you love to dance or you, you love being out on the lake fishing, or you love riding your mountain bike or skiing, like there are certain activities that we can invoke that feeling of liveliness within us. Everybody has the light within. Okay. And when we are shooting all over ourselves or we’re thinking our goals into existence followed by the, but then what we’re doing is we’re, we’re allowing the dimmer to be pushed down. There’s a dimmer switch on our life.
So in order for us to move successfully into creating extraordinary transformation, we need to figure out how to control the switch within. We need to notice when we’re feeling these emotions of low energy and low light and figure out how to access that control switch to turn the light on before we try to tune into the heart. So what I do is I work with people through a reflection process. And if you want to like pause this, as I’m saying these things and really think, and write down the question, the answers to these questions, it will probably be impactful for you. So a few examples of the types of questions I would ask folks is to identify three to five of the greatest happenings of the last year.
And maybe you pause it and you write down three to five, the greatest happenings. Then from there, we move into some of the relationships you have in your life. What are three new relationships you’ve developed in the last 12 months? What are three relationships? You’ve deepened? Is there anybody that you need to thank? Okay, then we move into like skills and experiences. You know, what are you really great at? What kinds of experience makes you feel most alive? And as you’re writing the answers to these questions, I want you to tune in really kind of connect with that memory, the feeling of that greatest happening of the last year.
Why was it great? What was it about that experience that lit you up and what is it about these new relationships you’ve developed or the people that you need to think that makes them so important to you? And isn’t it incredible how every year you can look back and recognize at least three people, new relationships you developed that have impacted your life in a positive way. I mean, you’re going to be one of mine, Jennifer, you know, it’s like, oh my gosh, it’s so cool. Like we meet new people all the time. And then, you know, I always ask people, what was the biggest risk that you took? I love this question. So people think about it and they write it down. And then the next question is what was the smartest decision you made in the last 12 months?
So there are many more questions that people can access. But the purpose is that after you’ve sat with these questions and you feel into the thoughts and the memories, and then the emotion of those experiences, what tends to happen is the light is starting to come on. You’re starting to recognize the gifts and the blessings that are already in your life. The people that have supported you and continue to nudge you along on the journey, you know, nine times out of 10, the greatest risk was also your smartest decision, which is incredibly empowering because, in the evolution of life, we’re always taking chances. And we always, we hear our hearts saying it would be amazing too, and sometimes that feels like a leap.
Sometimes it feels scary or risky, but if we can look back and recognize that those big risks often turned out to be our smartest decision and created some of our best moments in our lives, then it will remind us to step forward into that new reality and then have faith that we’ll look back and be proud and be grateful that we took that leap when we did. And the cool thing about the people that show up in our lives and the relationships that get deepened over time is that when we set that pin and the GPS to that unknown territory, that scary foreign place that we’ve never been before, that makes us feel that trepidation.
When you look back to see all the people that have come into your life, just in the last 12 months, it’s an indication that when you set that destination, when the path begins to unfold, when the house starts to make itself known, new people will arrive. Unforeseen experiences and opportunities will show up on the path to give you that next right step. And that’s, what’s so extraordinary. Like it gives you the chills because you can’t foresee all the people you’re going to meet in the next 12 months. That might just be the person, the catalyst that the little push that you needed to get you one step closer towards that ridiculous, unrealistic, audacious goal.
And so we do this stuff before we ever start talking about where you want to go from here, because what you need to realize is that you’re already enough that you’ve already accomplished so much. Like you’ve come so far. You’ve, you’ve overcome obstacles. You’re capable, you’ve taken risks and you’ve made smart decisions and nothing has fallen apart yet. So it’s probably not going to fall apart. The worst-case scenario is highly unlikely and that’s, that’s what feeds our fear, right? Is that worst-case scenario. So then we move into a visioning process.
Oh, wait, hold on. So first I reflect the past, was it year?
Yeah. I usually do the last 12 months whenever I do it. But that includes if I do it in June, I don’t just do this in November, December.
I worked through the whole process all over again in June. Right. Okay. So whenever you’re doing this, you first do those reflections and I can hear people saying like, I get like, don’t speed through those questions. I think like how long should people plan on doing this reflection phase? Like half hour probably like go slow. It sounds like, and really feel into it. Yeah. So I give myself two hours alone, early in the morning, uninterrupted, no phone, nothing. A lot of times what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll go to like a beautiful hotel resort and spa and I’ll get myself breakfast, cup of coffee, maybe a mimosa. I put myself into like reading myself to this experience of creating my extraordinary life. And if you can’t, I just need to interject this one thing. Yeah. Every single person listening is capable of protecting time unapologetically for other people’s agendas. We do it all day long. When you’re at the dentist, you’re not on your phone, right. You can’t be, it’s really hard. I’ve tried putting out fires. I’m like texting other drills. And the dentist is like right now, anyway, you know, when we’re in a meeting with a client or we’re at the closing table, we’re not also looking at our phone and we don’t feel guilty about that.
Like we leave those appointments and we catch up on our phone and we don’t feel guilty because it was, we were doing it for somebody else. So the challenge here is that you’ve got to prioritize you. If you want to create any reality you’ve ever imagined. You have to carve out this time for yourself. And there is no excuse and there’s no guilt and there’s no apology. You just do it. So I do that. I go to a hotel lobby or whatever, a restaurant, because I don’t want to be at my house with the chores or, you know, the distractions. And I don’t want to be at my office either where I can be feeling pulled into the reactivity of my busyness and my business. So that’s just one thing is like at least two hours. And you deserve it.
Treat yourself. Yeah. For yourself. Okay, good. So reflection. Okay. So now what happens next? You’ve reflected, you’re in the light state.. then what do we do?
Okay. So the next step, and this takes about 10 minutes, and usually you need to give yourself the full 10 minutes is that I recommend doing a brain dump. Someone once told me that our brains are not meant to store information. Our brains are meant for computing. And when your brain is storing too much information, like your to-do list, your ideas of projects, you need to complete the doctor’s appointments. You need to make, you can feel overwhelmed and it can get in the way of accessing, you know, what you really want and need.
So all you need to do is take a piece of paper and literally dump everything. That’s on your mind, everything from your to-dos to your projects, to your ideas, hopes and dreams, whatever, just get it out on a piece of paper. So you can clear your mind. And then from there I have, I think you can find this on my website, in the resources section, but I have this like thought provokers for vision and what I recommend. And I personally do this at least once a week. So today as we’re recording this it’s November 2nd, I know it’s going to release on a different day, but I would say it’s November 2nd, 20, 22. And I am celebrating dot, dot, dot, and then daydream with reckless abandoned.
Don’t get caught up in the, how, like I am celebrating. And I’m like, heck yeah. And when I read what I’ve written, I feel alive and proud and like, yes. Oh my gosh, this excites me. And as long as that emotion is there, the probability of making that, my reality is stronger. If it’s like, well, I don’t know. That would be nice. Or yeah. Then I dunno, like maybe you need to sit with that a little bit longer, but from there it’s like, I might feel one page of a notebook. I might feel five pages in the notebook and everything. It’s like, what happened with my kids in the next year? W what trips did we take?
You know, what experiences did my husband and I have together? What did I do with my immediate family? My siblings, my, my mom, you know, where I don’t know, like, where do we travel to kind of income desire? What kind of projects that I complete did I write my next book? You know, like all kinds of wild stuff. And then at the bottom, and again, like, I’m hoping people are pausing this and, and, and doing this in increments, but at the bottom, I write, I am capable of all this. And so much more with exclamation points. There always has to be enthusiasm. It has to be exciting anyway. So that’s the kind of the vision. And like the thought provokers are kind of like for all the different gardens of life.
So in your business, do you need to hire an assistant? Do you want to double your volume financial? Is there a savings goal? Is there a net worth goal? Do you want to invest in real estate? Do you want to buy another rental property? Do you want to buy five more rental properties in my, and my spirituality? You know, am I going to try to meditate every single day and the next year, am I going to try to do two a day workouts? Am I going to do yoga three days a week? You know, what am I going to do for my health and my spirituality? How many books am I going to read skills? I want to learn, you know, what classes am I going to take? And then family, you know, like what kind of experiences and keep in mind for the audience that this is somebody who just spent six months on an RV road trip last year, while running my business and homeschooling my kids.
Because why not? It was, it was, you know, it was like, if not now, when, so, you know, these are the ridiculous things, right? Like these ridiculous things, those some days, why not now? Why not in the next 12 months? So maybe you say in the next 12 months I’ve bought the, we bought the RV and we’ve, we’ve decided upon a departure date and we’re leaving on the next day or whatever, or we’ve booked that safari for the following year, you know, whatever that big, crazy pipe dream that you have. So that’s kind of the, you know, it’s that like daydream was reckless abandoned. Yeah. Because what I’m hearing you say is like, just admit what you want, rather than think it, like, just be like, it’s crazy.
It doesn’t make any sense. I want to live in a band for six months with my two kids. Right. Like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t make any sense, but like, I want it. And so just start by when I’m hearing you say it, it’s like first getting to this place where you have a full heart and a clean slate so that you can pull away all the crap and really admit what it is that you want. Yes. Okay. So now we’ve done that. How do we turn this? What you’re saying into that one-page business plan? Okay. So this takes time because you need to really sit with this stuff. But I come up with my top 10 goals and, you know, just for an example, in 2021, 1 of my top 10 goals was Costa Rica.
But because of COVID, that suddenly became not as realistic. So we did the road trip instead. So it’s like crossed out and then it’s like, okay, maybe it’s not Costa Rica, but maybe it’s four to six weeks of beach, vacation, 12 overnight dates with my husband. One life fully lived, which is an incredible organization that I have a plan to contribute to with every closing that we do, how much in passive income from our real estate investments. So you can see here that this isn’t just like, how many mortgage deals do I want to close? Right. I have 10 clients with Sometimes it’s like, maybe it’s this lofty goal of, I want to hit 25 closings in one month.
Now, if it’s like, you’re a one-man band, and you’re listening to that. You might think that, you know, maybe that sounds cool financially, but it sounds awful from a lifestyle perspective. So if I put that pin in the GPS, chances are the, how is going to involve enlisting the help of others to make that goal become reality. Right? But there are, you know, there are goals here that, that result in the financial, that power, the experiences. And so for folks whose relationship with money is tangible, you have an emotional connection to money. If your savings account is dwindling, you feel a lot of emotional pain and fear. And if you’re, you know, you’d get a big commission check, you feel a strong emotion of, of joy and pride.
And if you’re someone for whom money is intangible, then you kind of have that money is just a means to an end philosophy, or I only need so much to get by or whatever. And sometimes that can also mean limiting beliefs around money. But how do you know is like, look back on the greatest happenings the last year was the greatest happening of the last year that you hit your volume goal, that you hit your income goal, that you saved a certain amount of money. That might be an indication. You have a tangible relationship with money. And therefore your top goal is your banner goals should probably be anchored in the financial because it’s enough to spark emotion in you to create movement. For me, the greatest happenings tend to be the trips that we took or experiences we had.
Therefore, I know that my banner goals tend to be the experiences that the money’s going to afford me. I still need to know my numbers. I need to know how much money I need to make to have that kind of life. But I anchor my goals and the experiences that the money can afford me to invoke emotion that creates movement. Right? So, okay. A couple of things. So one is, I want people to hear loud and clear that even though at the top of this piece of paper, it says business plan. It’s not, it’s a life plan. So your top 10 goals shouldn’t be 12. I mean, it can be, but it should be. In addition, you should have additional goals. Then you don’t sell 12 listings, help 12 buyers. The top 10 goals should be all-encompassing of your life, including your business goals.
But in addition to your business is just one aspect of the top 10 goals for your life, what I’m hearing, right? Yes. Because my motto for pursuing freedom and my mantra is that the goal is to build a life. You don’t need a vacation from. And I’m pretty sure that if most of the people here are listening are self-employed. They probably took that risk and that leap of faith to quit the W2 job and go for it in pursuit of some vision of freedom and flexibility. Yet I see far too many real estate professionals achieve success at the expense of their life and convince themselves that it’s fine because they’re so grateful and they’re lucky.
And so all of a sudden you start like surviving your success and sucking it up in the best months of your career. And it’s like, wait a minute. That’s not, you shouldn’t be up and surviving your life. It’s like, you know, obviously there’s going to be good times and bad, but I mean, we should be surviving, you know, when things are going rough, but not when things are going well. So that’s why I think it’s so important. Like first and foremost, how do you want to live? Who do you want to do you, how do you want to feel, how do you want to show up in the lives of the people that matter to you? And then how do you organize your business to power that vision it’s all integrated. So from that place, create your top 10 goals. And then you mentioned banner goals. So how do you take your top 10 goals and turn them into the top three banner goals?
Yeah. So I pick from my top 10, so the banner three are not different. It’s three of 10 and I just highlight them and put them. It’s funny. Cause I actually like highlight mine. Yeah. How do you even know whether it’s a tangle or a banner goal? Usually, if I hit my banner goals, it, it results in everything else happening and falling into place, I think. Okay. So for example, that first time I did my, my very first one-page plan, one of my banner goals was hit 10 units a month and or 30 million in volume.
And I ended up closing out the following year at 38 million in volume, never in a million years and more, it was more than double what I had ever done previously. I’d never in a million years, did I think that was possible or realistic? So it was proof, but because that happened, we were able to buy the second home in the mountains. And in order for that to happen, I had to build a team. Right, right. So build a team was one of my goals. And again, that’s not very specific. What does that even mean? I had no idea. I have no idea what I was doing. Literally, it was no, I was like a hot mess express, but I did bring on two, three team members and they’re still with me today.
So again, I looked back it’s like, I didn’t know what that meant to build a team, but then I did. And I didn’t know what it meant to buy another property. That’s what it said, buy another property. It ended up being a second home in the mountains. But I assumed when I wrote the goal and then another rental property, right. Moving to that ski town, like the following year, it was like move to the mountains. Well, how do you do that when your business is in the city? Well, you will figure it out. So just put the pin in the GPS. Yep. Okay, cool. So we have our top 10 goals. You’ve picked three banner goals that help you accomplish everything else. What comes next? So then the three words, my three words are always intended to be my compass and to keep me on track.
So like one year my words were focused, inspire, and pots. And I had become one of those people that was surviving my success back then. And I didn’t like the way that felt I needed to embrace the pause more often. And when people would invite me to go skiing or something, I would, my default mode was no, because I’m too busy. So then I would be reminded that one of my words was pause. And then I would say, yes, that makes sense. I want to, I want an awesome life always. And then I skied seventy-five days that year, the year that pause was one of my words. So, you know, other words I have had are clarity, consistency, joy, abundance, ask, like sometimes you have to ask for help, delegate receive, breathe.
You know? I mean, why do I need to be reminded to laugh? That’s kinda sad, but you know, That’s what one year maybe it means then look at you now you’re laughing. Now it comes naturally. Anyway. I mean, you know, do you see that he had to sit with these words, like you’re not going to figure it out in two hours. Like sometimes you got to brain down by 10 different words. Listen is a good one. Listen to your heart, listen to your body. You know, rest, rest is of a good word. One. I don’t know, three words that like kind of serve as your north star help you make.
It’s kind of like, what do you need right now? It’s not like what you’re already naturally good at. Does that make sense? So that’s why if you need to scale your business and you’ve been burnt out for a long time, you might need the word ass, you might need the word delegate or whatever. And then that’s going to remind you when you notice you’re doing too much that you’re like, I hang on. One of my words is delegate. I need to delegate that. I need to listen to myself. You’re like, you’re being your own coach. I love that distinction. Not what you already are, but what you need so that you pick your three words and they keep you headed in the direction of the GPS pin that you put in place.
And then what happens next? The rocks, Like I alluded to this before, but like the rocks are kind of what needs to happen weekly, daily, monthly in order to ensure that you’re moving towards your target. So examples like weekly video production, weekly social media content, weekly track your numbers and networks. These are things that I’ve been working on this year to become more consistent in those areas. And those for me are examples of things that I had previously been inconsistent on. And because I look at this every single day, it reminds me that I’ve committed every week to doing a video, creating social media content and tracking my numbers and network daily meditation, gratitude, reading affirmations, laughter channel.
Why is that there? I don’t know. I feel like you’ve got that one pretty good. I think I wrote that one because like, as a mom, I’m just like, sometimes I’m so short-tempered and impatient with my kids that I need to remember to like laugh with them because they are pretty funny, but sometimes they, anyway, you get the idea. And then the last bit is the schedule. I know we’re short on time. So the schedule is when, okay, this is huge. When do you commit to do the things you need to do to make, to move the needle in your life and business and your health and your relationships, et cetera. It’s one thing to say, I’m going to do those things. It’s another thing to commit to when I’m a huge proponent of like a very minimal scheduling.
What I mean by that is that I even just talked to one of my team members about this today. I have a two-hour me block every day. And that’s when I work on myself on getting access to the control, switch of the light within, before I engage with any other human apart from my husband and kids, but maybe the last lesson til after my two hours. But anyway, I have like, I have carved out time for me to work on me. And then, because I blocked that time and I don’t allow calls or appointments or anything to get in the way of that. I’m able to get clear-headed, I’m able to do this process on a daily basis. I’m unloading what’s on my brain tuning into what’s in my heart, finding my way into gratitude, focusing on my goals, feeling excited and empowered, and all of this before I ever take any action to talk to people or to try to, you know, do anything right.
And that helps. That helps me access the ideas that live within us. Like our intuition is so powerful that there are, there’s so much creativity that resides within us problem-solving solutions, you know, the unknown path unfolding it’s already within us. We just need to sometimes silence a little bit and quiet the mind to be able to hear what’s going on. And your intuition will typically not fail you. But I also have like huge blocks of scheduled reactivity. So tomorrow I blocked from noon to five on a Wednesday of nothing. No, nobody can, I’m not having any calls. I’m not having any meetings. I don’t even know what I’m gonna do during that time.
It literally says on my calendar block. So that allows me to catch up on the reactivity. It allows me to not feel frazzled or overwhelmed of what am I going to get to my to-do list because I’ve just carved out half a day for whatever I need to do. So it’s not necessarily like you need to schedule every minute of every day for what you’re going to do and accomplish. It’s actually like just carving out time to give yourself space, to figure out problems. I’ll be creative and, and move towards that destination. Well in time. And also it sounds like put in your big rocks. Yes. So that you can know when it’s happening. One thing I want everybody to hear is like, Erin is not, she doesn’t have like a ton of extra time.
You have multiple businesses. You’re very involved in lots of things. You have a big life, you have kids, you have a husband. So it’s not like she’s like this magic unicorn where she could say like, she has all this extra free time. She creates this time because it’s important to her. Can you just talk a little bit about that? Cause I can just hear people in our audience be like, literally where’s the time. How did you carve out time to do these things? Yeah. I mean, it’s not, I tell my team all the time. This is the hardest thing for anyone in our society to do with all the over connectedness and in inbound demands and pulls on our attention.
But what I’ve found is that when I successfully disconnect to give myself that space to tune in and then make progress, I am able to engage in whatever I’m doing and with whomever I’m with that was repetitive. But you know what I’m saying with a much higher vibration, higher energy and I’m really present moment experience. And to me, I say that I, I define success as unlimited present moments with the people that matter most to me. And that includes in my business. But of course, it also includes in my personal life.
So when I find myself running at a breakneck pace, noticing myself over-connected, checking my emails at the red light, checking my emails while waiting in line for Starbucks, checking my emails while I’m in bed. You know, all the things. When I, when I noticed myself burning out and the light is going off, I have to step off the hamster wheel. I have to force a pause and it’s uncomfortable and it’s difficult. It’s not intended to be easy, but it’s extraordinarily powerful because when my, when my light is bright, when my electricity is at the surface, instead of like, just the way most of us run around is that we’re very successful at digging deep to access that spark within and put on our game face.
And when that client meeting, but what we have leftover for the people in our personal life is often the deflated version of us. Totally. Just want to live like that. And it’s not, I get like that. I mean, I’d burn out. Yeah. And the only way you probably got to this point is because you lived like that for a period of time. Oh yeah. Right. Oh yeah. Yeah. So, no, I mean, I tell, I always tell my team that anyone there are two things I would say is that anyone who’s living the life that you want, or, you know, desire, the only difference between you and them is that they decided to do it. They decided to try, they’ve fallen on their face.
They’ve failed. They screw up, they get up, they try again and they keep going and they made a decision at some point that they were going to create that life. So the only difference between you and them is that decision to make and to go and to fall and to get up and keep going. The other thing is that they have the exact number of hours in the day as you do. Yeah. But that’s an equalizer. We all only have 24 hours, But it’s, it’s all about the energy. Like if you’re just muscling through your day, multitasking, ping-pong all across all different platforms and noticing yourself becoming exhausted and your life becoming dim. The first step is noticing it. The second step is asking yourself, is this the life I envisioned for myself?
Does this match the vision I had when I started? And if not, nobody’s going to come and take the wheel for you because you’re the CEO of your life and business. It’s up to you. You’ve got to decide you’re going to live differently. And when you choose to live differently, I promise you every material goal you ever have will come to you as a by-product of the light 100% and it’ll feel easy, not hard. So last thing I want to say about the schedule is not every day has to look the same. I think you and I both have the approach to our week is like we do certain things on certain days. So also know that the schedule doesn’t have to look the same on Monday as it does on Friday.
Anything you want to add to that piece? Cause I know that you’re never Do the same thing every day. Yeah. I mean, same thing for me, it’s like on this day, this is what I do on this day. What I do. And I know you would subscribe to that. So, and as a real estate agent, that’s how I like got through it, doing so much is because on Thursdays, I list. On Friday, I get ready for my showings. Right, on Monday, I write contracts. On Tuesday, I present contracts. On Wednesday, I rest. That was my, how my day left. Yeah. So, all right. Well, anything else you want to add about this life plan that you create first?
Then you can create a business plan or what, what happens next after they create this top 10 goals, banner goals, three words, Rocksmith schedule weekly daily schedule. How do they then make it happen? The first thing that everybody listening needs to do is decide, you know, they say decisiveness takes courage. Cause it means being willing to say no to other opportunities. Every single day we make decisions. And when you think that it’s, you’re serving everybody else by over committing and over connecting and running like a chicken with your head cut off, you’re living in an illusion that you’re doing your best. You’re not doing your best because your light is dim. And when your light is damn, you’ll get some results. Don’t get me wrong. But it’ll feel like grind.
And when your light is on and when you’re in control of you first and foremost, and you figure out how to get control of that Daimler switch and notice when it’s going down and, and be willing to step off the hamster wheel and figure out how to turn your light on, which is whatever fills your bucket, like incorporate that into your day. But you have to decide to do that. And that’s all, it is a decision in spite of fear. Fear is not going to go away. You’re not going to wake up camera ready. One day. Don’t look at me like I’m fearless. I’m not frigging fearless. Everything I’ve done from moving to the mountains and still running a business in Denver to going on a road trip, to scaling my business, hiring my friends, like everything I’ve ever done has been absolutely terrifying.
Every single juncture. I thought this is it. This is where everything’s going to fall apart. I’m going to go broke on me back on my bike. And then, and then nothing falls apart. And these incredible opportunities keep coming, which is why I’m so freaking passionate about this because I’m like, oh my God, holy crap. Look what just happened. I can’t believe this is happening. So I’m just like you guys like, just decide, it’s scary. It’s, it’s beyond scary. It’s like terrifying at times. And then you look back and you’re like, that was freaking scary. And then I took the risk and like, it was the best decision I ever made. Amazing. Yeah. Be scared and do it anyway. Yes. I love it. I love your approach. You literally changed my way of looking at business planning with your business plan.
So I really appreciate you sharing it with our listeners. I think this is such a powerful way to plan your life and then putting your business versus playing your business and then like, forget all about the life part. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for creating this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being you are in this world. Yeah. Just thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. We purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial-free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that will help them grow their real estate business. And how about life? They love out five of business too, but we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents.
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