I’m about to share with you the number one rule for success, and my promise to you is if you follow this rule, success will follow you. People ask me all the time, if it came down to one thing for somebody to really master to be successful, what would the thing be? And oftentimes people go to skill, competence, and certainly knowledge. Those are all very, very important elements of success. But it’s actually something else.
Watch this video to learn the number one rule for success:
But before I tell you the number one rule, I’m going to ask you a question. And the question is, have you ever caught yourself in the middle of doing something and you have asked yourself this question: “Why am I doing this?” Or, if something continues to repeat itself, the question might sound like, “Why does this always happen?” And you might personalize it with, “To me.” And so if any of those things have ever happened to you, I know they’ve happened to me, I can tell you right now, that that is a signal. That is a cue that maybe you’re not following the number one rule for success.
So here it is, the number one rule for success. Are you ready? It is one word, and the word is no, N-O. That’s the number one rule for success.
How Saying No Can Lead to Success
Now, what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is the most successful people in business realize that they need to be more intentional about what they exchange their time for. And I’ll give you a very, very clear idea of what this means.
When we take a look in our coaching company, when we’re coaching loan originators and managers and real estate agents, we’re always interested in how much time is actually being devoted to the simple idea of income-producing activities. I’ve been talking about this since I was a loan officer in the eighties and nineties, certainly as we built this company, and we wrote books about success. It is so much not about what you say yes to, it is about first what you say no to.
What to Say No to in Your Business
Early on, we came up with this idea of having two lists in business. One’s a to-do list, one is the not-to-do list. The to-do list is usually reactive. The not-to-do list is usually based on a hopeful difference and an articulate understanding that it doesn’t make sense for me to do this, because I could delegate it less expensively than it’s actually costing me to do it. And so what does the word no mean? I think it means no.
So here’s an idea. Attention span, right? Attention span. How long can you stay focused on an income-producing task? Attention span, attention span. Let’s say no to the things that get in the way of that span being large or being bigger than it is right now. And let’s come back to a unique twist on this and let’s infuse into it what is your intention span? We had a team meeting recently and I was talking with our team, and one of our head marketing gals said, “You know, I think this is a really important concept. What is your intention span?” Not attention span, but Intention Span.
Creating Your Not-To-Do List
So here’s what we know. We know the most successful mortgage professionals and real estate professionals spend around 52 minutes focused, intentionally executing usually one of three disciplines. For a real estate agent, it’s going to be working with sellers, working with buyers, and negotiating contracts. Those are the three main things that a real estate agent has to do with his or her time. And again, the more that they theoretically say no to everything else that is impeding on 70 or 80% of the day being around those three things, the more likely they are to be more successful.
So if I’m a mortgage professional and I help people with financing, my top three things are working with buyers who are going to buy, working with business owners and referral partners who know those buyers, and then having face-to-face high trust interviews with those clients. Those are the three things that should occupy 70 to 80% of a mortgage professional’s day.
So, the big list is, what am I going to say no to? What do I need to get organized around? What person am I going to say no to? What referral partner am I going to say no to? What task am I going to say no to? And the mindset is you get paid based on how many nos you say, because theoretically the nos give you time for more yeses around those three things we talked about.
So when we talk about the not-to-do list, we’re talking about a constant and vigilant oversight on your time. It’s the biggest gift you’ll ever have. It’s the one non-renewable resource that you have, that we have. Once a minute is gone, you never get it back. A second gone, you never get it back. I know you guys know the basics of time management if you’ve been following me, but in Time Traps, we really, really talk about how do you free up your time to say yes to the things that you’re passionate about that make you more revenue, and that are actually the income-producing things that as a practitioner you should be about anyway?
How Much Time Do You Spend on Tasks That Aren’t Producing Revenue?
And so the question would be if you take a look at all the things that you want to say no to. We put people through an exercise in the academy, and we just had one about four weeks ago. And it was very interesting, the average number of hours per week that mortgage and real estate professionals say they’re doing things that aren’t directly producing revenue is 21 hours. That’s half the work week. And so half the work week should be replaced by somebody who is competent that you can teach and then delegate these things to.
And then that should be reclaimed so you can bring back 10 or 15 of those hours to making money, and then use the other time for either time off or for different business purposes and focus in terms of growing a team and growing more referral partners or growing your intellectual capital, those types of things. Or quite honestly, if you do this right, you can watch a 10 hour piece of equity occur in a week. You can go from 50 hours to 40 hours or 40 hours to 30 hours inside of about 30 to 75 days if you really focus on what to say no to.
How Saying No can Improve Your Business and Life!
I got a text about six months ago from one of our elite members, and she had indicated to me that for the first time in her life, she made over $2 million in a calendar year doing loans. And she said the most important thing she made a decision on was what’s unacceptable. What are the things happening in my business that are unacceptable that I should say no to? And as soon as she started saying no, and as soon as she started empowering her team to take over the things that she was saying yes to, her volume skyrocketed, the team performance skyrocketed, the five star reviews skyrocketed, and guess what else skyrocketed? Her joy, happiness, and fulfillment. And in that whole journey, she also lost about 70 pounds.
So my message to you is the number one rule for success is the word no. Say no to the things that get in the way, and replace those things with either talent that you can delegate to, efficiencies that you can automate, and take your time back and go do one of those three things that I just mentioned to you. Because at the end of the day, it’s about saying yes to fewer of the right things that produce greater relationships and greater revenue.
And that’s it. That’s it.
Say no, just say no.
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