Have you ever been cruising through life, when all of a sudden, you hit a wall? I experienced this feeling of being stuck shortly after the Great Recession of 2008.
My business and life were both in the midst of an upheaval, and I began to question my purpose in life. I decided to take massive action and enroll in Life Coaching School at IPEC (Institute For Professional Excellence In Coaching), and was presented with these five empowering questions during the training:
- What do you want?
- What frustrates you about your life/business?
- What would it take to double your business?
- What have you tried and not tried?
- What is the number one thing you are trying to accomplish?
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What do you want?
This may seem like a fairly easy question to answer, but I will guarantee you that if you ask most people what they want, they will quickly proceed to tell you what they DON’T want. Therein lies the enormous problem. Most people’s focus is on what they don’t want, and any successful person learns that what you focus on is what grows in your life. It may appear to be a simple question, but once you can address the question, answers will begin pouring out.
Let me give you a personal example.
During the time I became disgruntled with my business, I kept telling myself that I did not want to continue down the same path. I knew what I didn’t want, to work at the restaurant. What was it that I did want?
I focused on what I really wanted, and my answer was a fulfilling, empowering, exciting career that would bring financial freedom and surprises every day. That led me to multifamily real estate and life coaching, which ultimately led to Jake and Gino.
Begin by focusing on what you want, and the answers to how you get there will soon follow.
I had many struggles and difficulties to achieving financial freedom, and my passion and desire were the two elements that kept me motivated to attain my goals. If the goal is not truly important to you, then the first impediment will throw you off course. Only passion and purpose will help you attain your goal.
Finally, once you realize your why, the way “how” will show up.
What frustrates you about your life/business?
To be able to fix the problem in our lives or business, we have to diagnose the problem first. For me, the restaurant business became a mundane job where I felt like I was always the smartest person in the room. I wanted to be surrounded by smarter people and be challenged daily.
I knew that my environment would not be conducive to this. I realized that I needed to change my surroundings and my profession.
The other thing that frustrated me was working harder and earning less. I had to learn that working in your business was totally different that working on your business. Multifamily real estate allowed me to work on the business and scale the business to where I could generate enough passive income to “retire” from my job.
Once you diagnose your frustration, choose a mentor in your profession that has achieved what you are trying to achieve, and try to learn what your mentor has done to become successful. Success leaves clues, so don’t be afraid to ask other for help. But be prepared to offer any type of assistance in return for help.
What would it take to double your business?
This seems like a pretty obvious question, but I never asked myself what it would take to double my restaurant business. Looking back, I know it would take a LOT. I would have either had to open another location or focus on private events and opening on Monday. There were a lot of moving parts, but I could have done it.
With real estate, my focus is to acquire more properties and become more efficient at running my current portfolio.
I want you to focus on the tasks you need to perform to double your business. Maybe it’s doubling the amount of phone calls, sending out more letters, or networking with more professionals. Concentrate on those tasks that will create momentum and help increase your business. Being busy is totally different than being productive. The focus should be on tasks that generate revenue.
What have you tried and not tried?
I heard this question from Tony Robbins, and it made me burst out laughing. He was describing me! I had the excuse that I tried everything to get out of the restaurant, when in reality, I probably tried a few things. We all delude ourselves into the thinking that we have exhausted all of our options, but if you have not succeeded, then rest assured, you haven’t tried everything.
Jake likes to call it “Make It Happen”. The difference between success and failure is the tenacity and the ability to not give up that winners exhibit. The key is to be aware of when a strategy is not working.
As Tony says, you can’t be running west and expect to find the sunrise. Start to document your successes and failures, and begin to course correct. In my example, I was trying to invest in real estate in NY and expect to find cash flowing properties.
It wasn’t happening in my market, no matter how many different deals I looked at (sun rising in the west). I had to change my strategy and invest in different markets. I began first in Rochester with a couple of duplexes, but quickly changed my approach and partnered with Jake in Knoxville to acquire properties. That’s when my success began to compound.
What is the number one thing you are trying to accomplish?
This question comes back to focus and how you need to prioritize your goals and what tasks need to be accomplished first. The One Thing, by Gary Keller, describes perfectly the concept on focusing on one thing in your life and then placing all of your effort towards achieving that one thing.
For me, it was financial freedom and my mind was constantly focused on becoming financially free. My focus has now shifted more towards my family and the time that I am able to spend with them. I put all of my effort to relocate to Florida so that I could spend time with them at the beach, biking, fishing, swimming, kayaking and spending time outside.
By focusing on the one thing, I was able to build a plan and execute all of those little tasks to get to the one thing!
If you want to help out friends and family, ask them these questions, and shut your mouth. Listen to them, and let them answer their own questions. We all have our answers buried deep inside us, and fear and limiting beliefs hold us back from listening to those answers.
Realize that you have your own answers, and don’t be afraid to dig deep and pull them out!
If you found this article interesting, then check out my article on how to summon motivation:
A Letter To My 30 Year Old Self
How You Can Summon Motivation When You Need It
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