How is it March already?! I feel like I just put away the Christmas decorations and was organizing Mia’s playroom with all of the unnecessary toys she got over the holidays. Now we are almost through Q1. (In sales we live in quarters because that’s the way most of us measure and assess our goals throughout the year). I guess this is a sign of getting older because time feels like a complete blur and the days just run together.
In my first blog post I divulged my struggles of consistency. I’ve come to the realization that in the world of real estate (and I’m sure in many other industries) our days are not ever going to be consistent. The constant “shoulding” ourselves to be doing something better and that we aren’t doing enough, has to STOP. I’ve thought about how I can get past the “shoulding” and focus more on the “doing” that works best with my personality, my weaknesses and my insane schedule. The conclusion I’ve come to that seems to work best for me, and I hope will help you too, is accountability. I must have accountability in my personal life, and business, in order to follow through and complete tasks. Without accountability I realize I fall short and ultimately feel like a failure.
So what does accountability look like for me?
I want to share this because when I started getting really busy with real estate, no one was able to tell me how they were able to get so much done in a day. There are always so many different hats we wear in this industry and when I went to other successful agents to ask for help, they all looked like a deer caught in headlights. We were all just running around with no direction and stressed out ALL OF THE TIME. This really bothered me because isn’t the point of becoming more successful (making money) and running your own business all about freedom? Freedom to spend our time how we want to spend it and not on someone else’s watch?
The busier I got the more I realized I needed help. I thought about how I didn’t want to be running around like an unproductive adult – I needed to learn how to delegate tasks.
So I let go of complete control and I delegated tasks. Not only has delegating tasks made my life easier but it’s made me ACCOUNTABLE to other people which is exactly the encouragement I need to stay at the top of my game.
My accountability squad:
- My husband – he doesn’t take any shit from me when I try to make excuses and I get lazy. I need that accountability in my life. Someone to really crack the whip when I try to take the easy way out.
- My Parents – my parents are getting older (that’s not an insult) and the one thing I so greatly appreciate about them is they are all about the simple life these days. When I tell them about all of the crazy businesses Darien and I are creating, they are so proud of us, but they also make sure to mention to slow down and enjoy what we have in front of us. Not only do they hold me accountable to living in the now but they also remind me that it’s not all about work all of the time. I need that reminder regularly.
- My Marketing Manager/Executive Assistant, Tamara – I would drown without this girl. She literally is my life line. Not only does she put everything on my calendar for me but she also yells at me when I’m late. She reminds me that I am not a superhero, as much as I try to be. I cannot get 100 things done in a day (hence my struggles with time management. I always think there is more time). She gives me deadlines which clearly I have trouble following, but when I don’t meet them I get anxious about not finishing a project because she’s waiting on me and that makes me feel horrible. One way or another these projects always eventually get it done (even if they are two weeks late). If I didn’t have her my business would not have grown as exponentially as it has over the last two years. This is because she focuses on everything I don’t have time for and gets SHIT DONE!
- My Transaction Coordinator, Colleen – She is my lifeline between my clients, current transactions and getting my deals to the closing table. With the volume we do every month, there is no way I could handle managing all of my current files while continuously helping new clients successfully sell or buy homes. It just doesn’t work without my back end team handling all of the details I have no patience for.
Let’s talk about a couple of the personal life people who hold me accountable:
- Our Incredible Cleaning Lady, Harriet – She comes once a week. One way she holds me accountable is she gets really mad if we don’t have our laundry at least started so she can actually focus on cleaning the house, not washing and folding clothes. Without her telling me when laundry needs to be started and done, I would be sleeping in a room filled with dirty clothes. I know that’s disgusting but I clearly put my priorities in different places other than house chores. I need help with household chores, this was a delegation & accountability fix!
- To name off others who I delegate tasks to and hold me accountable include: our gardener, the pool guy, nanny, Mia’s school, the list literally goes on and on and on.
And my number one person to hold me accountable this year is – (drum roll please) – MY LIFE COACH.
Yes, I hired a life coach. At first I thought it was silly and thought I could handle everything on my own. Over time, after having Mia and suffering from severe postpartum depression, I realized I couldn’t handle it all and had to find a way to ask for help. I resisted for so long and even though allowing all of these other people to come into my life that help me delegate my career and personal tasks, I still was floundering in my subconscious. I realized I needed someone who I could go to not only let out all of my fears, anxiety, anger, stresses, hopes, dreams/ goals, but someone who wouldn’t judge me. Someone to help me better understand why I was feeling certain ways and how to make a plan to reach a less stressed and happier me. I struggle when it comes to realistic planning. I set all of these expectations and goals for myself but haven’t been in balance with what my priorities are. I’m just starting to break the surface of identifying what my real life priorities are with my coach. And you know what? I feel like a million pounds of weights have been lifted off of my shoulders. This is because I’ve been able to share all of my fears and weaknesses with someone who is helping me put them into perspective but also giving me strong life skills and a plan to move forward. Who doesn’t feel better when they have a plan?
Side note – If you have ever considered getting some kind of coach, whether that be business, personal, a hybrid of the two, I strongly suggest you do. DO IT NOW. I resisted for so long and in only the first three months we’ve been working together I feel like my thoughts are so much clearer and my lack of creativity and zest for just living has come back stronger than ever.
Back to accountability. I have to do my part to the people I have delegated things to so they can finish out these tasks for me. And what does all this delegating and accountability do for me? It allows me to focus on the aspects of my business and life I’m really good at and enjoy leaving me a happier and healthier person.
I used to think in order to be strong I had to prove to everyone I can do things on my own. That is SO far from the truth. We all need people to hold us accountable. This year, my main focus was to find the squad I needed to surround myself with who will help me stay accountable to the things I say I’m going to do and the goals I set for myself. It’s easy to set goals and write them down in the beginning of the year, but it’s a lot harder when you’re in the thick of it to actually accomplish them. Strength really does come in numbers and the minute I surrendered to allowing other people to help me by delegating tasks and hold me accountable, I literally feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s a damn good feeling too.