9 Tips to Keep Achieving

By Susan Harrison, Senior Vice President, EXIT Realty Corp. International

I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my more than 33 years in real estate.  Thankfully, there has been far more good than bad, and along the way I’ve noticed some common threads in the people who continue to grow and achieve regardless of the market, politics or brokerage affiliation.

1. Read

The most successful people I know read almost daily.  Self-help, business development, advancements in science and technology, inspirational biographies and memoirs are all good choices.  

2. Establish and stick to a morning routine

Most high achievers would tell you their morning routine is sacrosanct. I follow Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning™ routine of rising early to spend a period of time on silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (ie. journaling).  On days when I’m pressed for time, this routine can take as little as six minutes, but most days I take an hour to establish a positive mindset and control of my day ahead.

3. Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities

This is a tough one for many high achievers to learn, especially in an industry like ours when so much of what happens is beyond our control. Author, Stephen Covey, recommends “starting with the end in mind”, writing a personal mission statement and working backwards from there to determine what’s truly important in your life.  Want a strong relationship with your family? The opportunity to make an impact on your community?  Make time for those priorities weekly before anything else hits your schedule.

4. Act before you have all the information

I don’t believe we ever have “all” the information we need to make a decision, and sometimes fear of the unknown or making the wrong choice can hold us back. There comes a time after we’ve done our research, asked our trusted advisors and made our analysis that we must act.  

More than 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to join the team at EXIT Realty Corp. International.  My husband and I carefully weighed the pros and cons of my making the switch from one of the top brokerages in the country where I had served as administrator for 11 years. While there were more pros than cons, one factor dominated my thoughts: fear.

At the brokerage I could do my job with my eyes closed and indeed once I ran payroll for 120 agents and 14 staff without a computer monitor.  If you know your job that well, you know it too well.  It was time for a change, yet the fear of casting off from the shore of familiarity for uncharted waters gave me pause. Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, directs readers to “choose the bigger life” when faced with a challenging decision. With all other factors being equal, I didn’t want fear to be the reason I said no. So, I marshalled the butterflies in my stomach, chose the bigger life and said yes.

5. Try, fail, adjust

Here’s the thing. It’s not a question of if you’re going to fail, it’s when.  Everyone who has achieved any measure of success has failed at something, and it’s because of those failures that lessons are learned, and opportunities arise.  In her fascinating 10-part series on Audible entitled, The Revisionaries, venture capitalist, Michele Romanow, interviews successful entrepreneurs about how they moved beyond their failures to achieve success.

6. Surround yourself with people ahead of you on their journey

It is said that the wise person learns through counsel and the fool learns through experience.  If you’re not working in a culture where people more successful than you readily share what works and doesn’t, it’s time to make a change.  Regardless of whether you’re new to the business or a seasoned professional, find yourself a mentor or group of mentors and pay attention to everything they say. There is always more to learn.

7. Turn off the news

While it’s important to be informed on current events and issues of concern to you, the media (traditional or social) isn’t necessarily the best place to get that information. Headlines are designed to be inflammatory “click bait” to compel you to read further.  Human beings are drawn to tragedy, shock and awe, and as a result, good news and peaceful accord don’t generally make headlines.  Turn off the news and find other reliable sources. 

8. Delegate

Most people do only a couple of things well but spend their time on myriad other tasks that pull them off course.  As a real estate professional, the best use of your time is likely spent with clients, so why are you doing administrative, marketing or bookkeeping tasks that you can delegate to someone else?  At the start of her career, Marcella Poitras, the 2020 Top Lister for EXIT in North America, was doing it all, but her strength lay with people, not details.  Three years into her career, she met a client who worked as a paralegal, and impulsively Marcella asked the client to work for her.  When Marcella told her husband, he replied, “It’s all fine and dandy, but how are you going to pay her?” Marcella said, “I don’t know, but I don’t want to be without her.”  With her new assistant taking care of the details, Marcella’s production almost doubled within a year.

9. While you’re striving for more, be grateful for what you have

I believe that when you’re sincerely grateful for everything in your life, you signal to the Universe that you have a heart for abundance and prosperity and that you’re open to receiving more.  You may desperately want a shiny new car but be thankful today that the ten-year-old clunker in the driveway starts every morning. There’s nothing wrong with having a fire in your belly to keep achieving, but at the same time acknowledge and be grateful for the blessings in your life now and how far you’ve already come. 

As seen in NAWRB Magazine. Reproduced with permission.  

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