Getting the Best Out of Yourself

During a recent coach­ing ses­sion, I was asked, “How do we get the most out of ourselves?”

Sev­eral ideas came to mind, and I quickly rat­tled off a short list. Upon fur­ther reflec­tion, I thought it was a list worth shar­ing, because we all have the poten­tial to do more than we are doing today.

Here are eight ways that you can unleash the best from within yourself.

Plan in Detail

Spon­tane­ity can be fun and excit­ing. Why spoil all the fun by planning?

Much of what we want to accom­plish is not sim­ple. It takes work. It requires a game plan. The more specif­i­cally we can think out the crit­i­cal steps needed, the more likely we are to get what we want.

If we cre­ate a step-by-step detailed plan that clearly maps out what we want to accom­plish, our exe­cu­tion will improve. We will be less likely to miss impor­tant steps, and avoid wast­ing pre­cious time. Plan­ning helps us visu­al­ize how we can go about get­ting the results we expect — and noth­ing is more fun that achiev­ing our desired results!

Set High Expectations

We can do far more than we real­ize. We need to keep push­ing our per­sonal per­for­mance bar higher.

The power within us is enor­mous. I saw a YouTube video recently about a Korean boy who lived on the streets since he was five. He sold gum in night­clubs, where he was cap­ti­vated by the vocal­ists. He sang to him­self, and dreamed of singing as an enter­tainer. He then com­peted on Korea’s Got Tal­ent. He was amaz­ing. There was not a dry eye as he sang in a mag­nif­i­cent tenor voice that no one could believe.

Yes, there is more locked within each of us than we real­ize. We need to push our­selves to unleash it and share it with the world.

Exe­cute Flawlessly

The clearer our game plan, the more likely we are to strive for excel­lence. The old say­ing “it’s close enough for gov­ern­ment work” is not close enough. We need to expect bet­ter and hold our­selves to a high stan­dard. It’s true that if we aim high, we may fall short. But if we strive to improve every day, we have a much bet­ter chance of excelling.

Change When Necessary

The best plans can be way­laid by chang­ing cir­cum­stances. When a mis­take is real­ized or an out­side force acts against us, it is time to make changes. Some­times we believe that alter­ing our plan is an admis­sion of fail­ure, when in real­ity, the unwill­ing­ness to make change is the great­est fail­ure of all. When we begin to real­ize that our course is no longer the best one, we must make the needed change and move on.

Mea­sure Progress

Mea­sure­ment keeps us focused and encour­aged. If we begin with a clear pic­ture and under­stand­ing of the major mile­stones along the way to accom­plish­ing our goals, we can eas­ily mea­sure our progress. Projects, espe­cially big ones, need to be mea­sured in small steps. Make the mile­stones and respon­si­bil­i­ties clear, and more progress will be made.

Be Account­able

We need to hold our­selves account­able for accom­plish­ing each step needed to stretch toward our goal or tar­get. Clear and known account­abil­ity is a pow­er­ful self-motivator. Ask oth­ers around you to hold you account­able as well. The sim­ple knowl­edge that some­one else is going to ask you about your progress may be just the push you need to keep mov­ing toward your goals.

Keep Learn­ing

No mat­ter how much we think we know today, there is still so much more to learn. Greater knowl­edge enables us to be the best we can be at what we are doing. Be inquis­i­tive, read often, write down what you learn, and strive to know more. Learn­ing should be a part of every day.


Take time to rec­og­nize and cel­e­brate your progress. Accom­plish­ing mean­ing­ful goals is not easy. We all need a lit­tle encour­age­ment to stay moti­vated. Take time to step back and cel­e­brate the major mile­stones accom­plished along the way to reach­ing your goals.

We all have great things yet within us, wait­ing to be unleashed. I am con­fi­dent that if we fol­low these points, it will make a difference.

(Thank you Jerry Baker of Building Champions for this great post.)

Stop hoping the market gets better…Make sure YOU get better.

Once a month, The KCM Crew sends out 5 Quick Tips for Real Estate Professionals. July’s email included the following valuable insight:

Stop hoping the market gets better…Make sure YOU get better.

As I travel the country sharing my message with real estate professionals, the same question comes up over and over – Steve, when do you think the market will get better? I have a difficult time addressing the person asking the question. I don’t want to be rude but the real question we should be asking is – When are we going to get better?

The best market a true professional can hope for is a market that truly needs the skills of a well-trained expert in the field. Anyone can do the job in a market that doesn’t require competency, skill and insight. To the great real estate professional, a market’s strength has always been determined by how many people needed our help. In my 25 years in the business, I have never experienced a market that had more people who need our help in making the right decisions for themselves and their families.

Are we consistently doing the necessary research to keep abreast of what is happening in today’s rapidly evolving market? Are we taking classes to help us understand why certain things are taking place? Are we taking the time to sit with our clients and simply and effectively inform them of their options?

“Are we prepared to help?” becomes the question that needs to be answered; not “When will the market no longer require a true professional?”

Putt Unobstructed

Even if golf analogies are not your bag, there was one lesson from the world of golf recently that could help us all.

At age 22, Rory McIlroy, creamed the field this last weekend at the US Open. Much will be written about his character and comebacks. But for me, the greatest lesson of the weekend was actually from past champion-turned-announcer, Johnny Miller.

In an obscure moment of the tournament, Zach Johnson missed a putt from about 3 feet away. Miller commented, “Folks, you just have no idea how hard it is to make the little putts once you have the years of experience. You stand over them and you just know too much and remember how much you have to lose.”

In that moment, I knew this comment wasn’t just about golf.

As 22 year-old McIlroy was bouncing from hole to hole making shots like…well, like a 22 year-old, Zach Johnson – a very accomplished, seasoned pro – was missing an easy putt. Like many of us, he carried his experiences around with him, and they can be heavy and burdensome.

Think of every time that you didn’t make that call or reach out to that client for fear of something going wrong. The fear doesn’t have to be massive to cause you to hesitate. Maybe it’s the memory of a past rejection. Maybe it’s the fear of not living up to a past success.

I believe that putting like a 22 year-old again is attainable. Living your life free from your own past experiences could be one of the single greatest actions you ever take.

Nobody makes every putt. Everybody must face rejection and loss.

As you stand over your own putt today, remember McIlroy. Free yourself from yourself. There is no guarantee that your ball will go in the hole, but you will make a lot more shots when you play lose and free.

Stay focused today. You have some disciplines in your business and your life that require you to be unobstructed.

Be liberated from your fears.

(via Steve Scanlon, Reality and Hope)