Business By Design Questions

You’ve heard of Life by Design and yet one thing we don’t typically think about is Business by Design. A Business by Design serves multiple purposes. The most obvious is funding your Life by Design and yet it can be so much more. For some, as you’ll read below, their businesses are a place for self-actualization and growth. For others, their businesses are places to serve others both inside and outside the organization. As you’ve probably heard before life is 25% discovery and 75% design. Today I intend to give you five powerful questions for you to design your business in support of your best life.

How well are you leading yourself?

On a scale of zero to 10, 10 you absolutely unequivocally make the right decisions that support your ultimate vision. Zero being, you are failing miserably. Do you take the areas of your life that must be taken seriously, seriously enough? Things like your health, finances, key relationships, etc? If I were to follow you around, would I witness a walking, talking, living, breathing model of success in your life? On a scale of zero to 10, how well are you leading yourself?

“The chokehold of any life or business is the psychology of its leader.” -Tony Robbins.

What type of agent are you?

This question is really asking; what drives you? For more info on this check out our previous Growth Tool on this topic by clicking here. Over time entrepreneurs will separate themselves into one of two groups, Growth, and Lifestyle. Growth is those that look at the business as their athletic sport. It’s where they go to self-actualize, compete and grow. Lifestyle agents look at the business as a means to support a particular lifestyle for themselves or their families. One isn’t better than the other. Ask yourself honestly “Why am I in business in the first place?”

Next, you’ll see, people break out into two additional quadrants; Entrepreneur & Intrapreneur. Entrepreneurs are people who operate by their own rules. They’ve got their own vision. They want to go out and do things their way. Intrapreneurs are those who typically want to do things inside the ecosystem of somebody else’s vision and rules. They want to operate within someone else’s world.

You’ve got these four different types of agents.

1. Growth Entrepreneurs

Someone who looks at their business like a sport — they want to compete and grow. It’s not really about the money. Business is simply a means to personally develop.  

2. Lifestyle Entrepreneurs

The business is truly just a means to support a certain lifestyle. If lifestyle agents had passive income that could support the lifestyle they wanted, they would probably stop working. In short, they work for money.

3. Growth Intrapreneurs

Growth-minded agents who want to build something inside the ecosystem of someone else’s vision. They think big and take massive action and like being a part of an organization. Most fortune 500 company CEO’s fit here.

4. Lifestyle Intrapreneurs

The question is, “Which of the four are you?

Also, keep in mind tt can change, when I showed this to Jen Davis, for example, she said she started out as a Lifestyle Intrapreneur, but as she surrounded herself with bigger thinking people, her thinking eventually changed. For now, I’d love to know where you are and what ultimately is driving you. There are a lot of people out there masquerading as Growth Agents who are really ifestyle driven and they would be much happier if they would just slow down and focus on what really matters to them rather than what they think should matter to them. What type of agent are you?

What is your exit strategy?

Everybody, regardless of how long you’ve been in real estate, should have an engineered exit strategy. I’m not necessarily talking about retirement here. As one of my clients, Priscilla Swanter puts it “I want to be optionally employed.”

What is your exit strategy to become optionally employed so that you, if you don’t choose to, don’t have to work anymore? I find that optional employment happens in three tiers.


Answer the following questions.

  • How much money do I need coming in passively every month to meet all my basic living expenses? (example: mortgage, gas, food, utilities, clothing, etc)
  • How much money do I need coming in passively every month to live the lifestyle I want? (example: travel, eating out, cars, etc.)
  • How much money do I intend to leave behind to the people and causes I love most? (example: net worth, trust funds for those you love, giving to causes you are passionate about)

I find for most people that engineering their exit strategy through those three tiers and starting with the living creates a lot more urgency. We also have an amazing Growth Tool on this that provides a lot of perspective through the Cash Flow Quadrant. Check that out here.

What is your model?

Inside real estate, I have found that most real estate teams will break out into one of four models. If you look at the graphic below understand the vertical line represents lead generation. As you’ll see there are two different lead generation models; Team Driven & Agent Driven. Team Driven means the Rainmaker has created a system that’s driving most of the lead generation. And then there is Agent Driven, which is dependent on agents in the company and relies on their efforts to do the lion’s share of the lead generation.

Next, look at the horizontal line moving from left to right. This line represents leverage. Inside the context of leverage, you have Generalized and Specialized. Generalized means two things. One is people who can do both buyers and listings. The second is having agents with lower skill and motivation levels. This creates the need for a lot more agents doing fewer deals per agent i.e. lower production per agent. A team like this might have 20 or 30 agents doing one to two transactions per month. The number of deals per agent is pretty low.

Then you have specialized. Specialized agents typically only work with buyers or sellers. Secondly, specialized agents are typically more skilled which means you have fewer agents, but those agents are doing a lot of transactions. Tony Baroni’s team is a great example of this, between Craig Kellner and Kate Conroy, just two agents. They almost do about 300 transactions in 2021.

Another question to ask inside of what’s your model came from another MAPS coach, Liz Landry. Liz posed the question “When you’re looking at which model you intend to run, what kind of problems do you want to have?” The problem with generalized is that you’re constantly dealing with motivation and getting them into the office, or experiencing high turnover. Whereas with specialized, you don’t typically have those issues as much but if one person decided to up and leave to start their own company or go to another team, it blows a massive hole in the side of your organization. So “what is your model” could be really determined by what set of problems you want to have.

What is the org chart that creates your ideal job description?

This question is twofold and it forces you to work backward because, in order to know the org chart, you have to know the ideal job description.

So what is your ideal job description? All of us, regardless of what industry we’re in, have three to five things that we love doing and make us come alive… Gary Keller is a great example of this because if you watch him, over the course of his career, he always puts himself back into four to five things he loves the most: teaching, coaching, training, and writing.

Those are the things that Gary Keller loves to do, and he has set up the org chart so that he’s constantly getting put into that ideal job description.

What are the three to five things in this industry that you absolutely love doing? You can get good at them because you’re interested in the mastery of them.

And then what’s the org chart that allows you to live your ideal job description, but does it in a profitable way. The best place to start is with your executive team. Who must you surround yourself with so that you are able to consistently live inside your ideal job description?

Think through these five questions, use the visual aid and I think that you’ll find this a really powerful exercise for you to create your Business by Design.