As a coach, I’ve never considered it my job to tell you how to improve yourself and your business. Instead, I consider it my job to identify the questions you aren’t asking yourself that will open your eyes to truth and power inside of you. Obviously, questions are very important to me. In fact, there was one point in my career where I was challenged to write 50 questions to pose myself a week. And I did. I wrote over 50 questions a week for three years, upwards of 3,000 introspective questions for myself.
When anyone asks me how to be a better coach or leader, the first recommendation I offer is to simply write five to ten questions introspective questions every day and see if their skills and acumen don’t become stronger. Questions are the tools that mine the heart and minds of the people you love and lead as well as those that you want to influence or to use your products and services.
What I’m offering you today is simply a look at my top five questions. You can think of each of these as mini-lessons and I challenge you to really consider each of these for yourself and to pose them to those whom you feel would really benefit from them.
Where is your business still stuck in self-employment?
This question is inspired by Rich Dad Fundamentals: The CASHFLOW Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. The way that he has these quadrants broken out demonstrates that cash flows to us through one of four means: as an employee, as a self-employed person, as a business owner, or as an investor. Most of you are in real estate, and odds are that you are in the self-employment quadrant, which means that you have a job associated with this quadrant. In other words, if you stopped working, the cash from that source would dry up and stop coming in.
The more successful you become in your job, the more you can afford to start offloading certain responsibilities to others. Some will hire an Executive Assistant, Operations Manager, Marketing Director, or give up buyers or sellers altogether in favor of referrals. Each time you give away a portion of your job to someone else to manage for you, you are a step closer to becoming a business owner instead of self-employed. Becoming a full-time business owner instead of a part or full-time “self-employee” is an incremental process that happens over time as you slowly build a business machine that can keep running smoothly regardless of whether you’re there pulling the levers or not.
What have you stopped doing that has made you successful in the past?
There are a lot of different contexts that you can take this one in, but where I see it often affecting real estate agents is around their database. As more business comes in, and less time is available to an agent, they simply stop intentionally adding people to their database. Think back to the times leading up to and directly before you began to see large strides in your business. What have you let slip or left behind altogether that has provided you with success in the past?
How well are you leading yourself, 0-10?
With ten being a walking, talking model of success in your role, and one being an absolute failure, how well are you leading yourself? This question can be broken down to address key areas of your life, your relationship with others, and your role in your business, or taken as an overall view.
This question drives deep introspection and can unpack a huge amount of information. One of the biggest issues I find with companies that have experienced tremendous growth and then hit a ceiling that they cannot break through is simply that those in positions of leadership are asking others to commit to standards that they themselves are not living up to. How well are you living up to the ideals you espouse to others?
What is your exit strategy from your business?
This one comes from my good friend, Craig Zuber. Many people don’t begin to address this question until they are approaching the end of their career, but this is one you should be thinking about right from the get-go. The impact of this question is often in the questions it inspires. For instance, what amount of money would you need to be passively generating in order to move from the world of “have to work” to “get to work”? If you haven’t considered this until a few years before you are looking to retire, you might find that there is a sizeable gap between what you have now and the reality of what is possible to make.
What would be different about your daily prep and execution if Gary Keller was following you around?
We underestimate the impact that our environment has on our performance. I hear a lot of real estate agents tell me that they wouldn’t change a thing if they knew that Gary Keller was going to be sitting in their office and observing them tomorrow. That’s complete bull. Now, maybe Gary isn’t your idol but substitute your own. Facing the reality of operating in an environment where our actions can be scrutinized by those whose opinions and ideas we truly respect heightens our engagement and keys up our self-awareness. Spend a day imagining your hero looking over your shoulder and see what new perspectives on your process arise.
I invite you to go through these questions for yourself and really spend some time contemplating them in a distraction-free environment. Use the download link below to access a worksheet that you can use to document your responses and insights and hopefully you’ll share them with me or someone else.