Q: “Denise, I want to take some time for education this fall. I really feel like I need inspiration and some new ideas to energize my business. But if you were to look at my calendar you would freak out!! Seriously. Between taking care of my aging parents and shuttling them to appointments, dealing with all my kids’ activities, plus business…every week I look back and wonder how I got through. I just don’t see how I can fit it in!”
A: First, know that there are many other agents who have walked a mile in your shoes. Because our business isn’t a 9 to 5 business and we work for ourselves, people in our lives tend to pile on and assume we can do it all. And usually we take it all on with a “can do” attitude because we are used to saying, “yes”. Can we pick the kids up from school and shuttle them to soccer practice? Sure! Can we take out a buyer couple who just flew in from Phoenix to see properties all weekend? Absolutely!
The challenge with always saying yes is that it is going to burn you right out and make you resentful. And you said it yourself, your business is craving attention right now – and it has probably been neglected.
Here is what I suggest:
- Take an hour today to think about what you need the most help with in your business. Go to your local coffee shop, grab a cup of coffee, and grab some paper and a pen. Or maybe you need to sit somewhere in nature. Put away the computer and your phone. You need to get rid of the distractions and really ask yourself what your business needs.
- Once you have a few things on your list, search for the educational opportunities that will address those ideas or systems. However, I want you to look for opportunities that are not local. If you look for something local it is just going to become another to do item that you are rushing to or from. Book an overnight just outside driving distance or go to a big event. When you can get out of town and away from the things that are pulling at you, you will be in a much better position to absorb the material and begin to work on implementing those systems. Time in the car, time on a plane, time in a hotel room can all quiet your mind and help you focus on improvement.
- Now, in terms of what to do about all your juggling at home when you are gone – you need reinforcements. Get your spouse to take care of the kids’ activities or better yet, depending on their age, get them to get creative or carpool with other kids. As for your parents, is there another family member nearby who can step in for a few days? Maybe your spouse can help out there too.
I actually think it is a really good idea to allow others to pick up the slack and have better appreciation for all you are doing. You absolutely need to make time for you and your business on a regular basis. In fact, going out of town for education twice a year can keep your business fresh.