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What’s Your GPA? (Pt. 2)

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“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” - John DiLemme

Accountability inspires action. You can have the wildest dreams and the greatest plans, but if there is no action, nothing's gonna happen. That's just science.

Ghandi said, “Action expresses priorities.”  That's also science -- kinda. I mean, you can't argue with that kind of logic. You do the things you most prioritize. Whether it's misguided or not doesn't matter. You're doin' the thing, right?

So what are your actions saying about your priorities?  How are you investing those precious 24 hours you get in a day?  How you use your time tells you and the world what your priorities are. 

Lack of time is the biggest excuse people give for why they aren’t able to pursue their dreams. But it's not like 24 hours is all we get. There's tomorrow. There's the next day. Thirty minutes every day becomes two and a half hours for the work-week.

Comittment is the trick. It means I'm sticking to my plan for the day, that I'm off social media and set times that I'm allowed to echeck it. I don't move on to my next task until I'm done with what I'm working on. 

When people tell me that they don't have time, I tell them that I saw a video of Steve Harvey at the gym. That guy has like, one million TV shows. If he has time for the gym, we probably have some time to do what we've gotta do during our busiest days.

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When I first opened my title company, I had this crazy goal that I wanted to make $240K / year.  I don’t know where exactly that number came from, but its a pretty damn good number, so I kept it. 

For a two-person operation, just little ole me at the beginning, that seemed like a great big goal at the time.  I knew that the only way I was going to be able to get it done was to break it down.

You may have heard that classic question: how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

(Disclaimer: don't eat elephants).

So I started breaking things down.  $240K/year equated to $20K/month.  I knew I had to do at least twenty closings a month to reach my goal.  Twenty closings is a lot for a one-woman show but I persisted. 

I just needed to make great use of my time every day.  I had great mortgage brokers and real estate agents who were loyal to me, so I decided I was going to dedicate myself to helping them succeed. 

That's one of my greatest success secrets. Helping others succeed brings you unprecedented success. Your life and your business will change the moment you change your focus from making money in your business to helping others succeed.

So anyway, once I made that decision, I incorporated some accountability into the mix. Because I didn't have anyone to hold me accountable, I decided I was going to hold myselfaccountable. 

How do you hold yourselfaccountable in a way that works

By committing to the task at hand, by creating habits, and through a willingness to invest your time and resources.

I knew that, for my clients to succeed, I had to make myself available.  They all had my cell number and knew that if they called me on a Sunday with a question from a open house, I was going to pick up. 

I invested in an app so that they’d have access to closing costs at their fingertips at all times - whether they were using me as their title agent or not. 

Remember, my commitment was to their success not to what business I could get from them.  If one of their closings was stuck because of a title issue with another title agent, they knew they could call me.

And the more they succeeded, the more I succeeded. In no time, I reached my goal. 240k a year. I never looked back and never had a month where I didn’t exceed the goal I’d set.

But I held myself accountable to that commitment not only leading up to achieving the goal but well beyond it to sustain it.

Creating winning habits will get you farther than your experience, talent or knowledge ever will. 

Plans change sometimes. Life gets in the way. Things happen that prevent us from doing it in just that waythat we'd wanted to. But when you have a commitment, the path can twist and turn and fork -- no problem. Your comittment and accountability to the goal will see you through. 

Like a GPS, sometimes we have to be willing to reroute whenever necessary. Those habits you’re creating will make you strong enough to be able to stay the course. Success will become passive for you -- based in habitual foundations instead of knee-jerk reactions.

I read once that you should write your dreams and goals in stone and write your plans in sand. Stay open and adaptable.

Charles Darwin suggested that the species that survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent. The species that survive are those most adaptable to change.

When we're flexible and adaptable, we move with life and it presents us with opportunities instead of obstacles. 

People are confusing and neurotic. We're often resistant to change.  Change can suck big time. It hurts, it's uncomfortable, it's scary, and it's worth it.

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This guy was sitting at a park bench, enjoying his lunch outside on a beautiful afternoon.  He noticed a chrysallis jerking about on a tree near the bench. When he inspected closer, he noticed a crack beginning to form. The butterfly was struggling to make it’s way out, so to help it along, he took the top of his pen and slit the opening. 

He sat back, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. 

Within a few minutes, the butterfly made its way out and immediately upon its exit, fell to the ground and died. Sorry. Horrible ending.

The most cynical of us might read the moral of the story as "Don't help anything or anyone because you'll just end up killing it." Not quite.

What the misguided man didn't understand was the process. In that struggle to break free, the butterfly gains the strength to fly.  

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Cynthia Ocelli said “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  Its shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  For anyone who doesn’t understand growth, it looks like total destruction."

In order for us to succeed, we must be willing to change.  Remember that we are always building that bridge between where we are and where we want to be; between who we are and who we want to become. 

Start keeping track of your GPA.  Figure out what, if anything, is missing to start living your most exceptional life.

Make sure your goals are clearly defined.  Make sure you have the right plan in place.

Ask yourself what appointments you are going to start setting today to make sure you are heading in the direction of your dreams.

Find ways to stay accountable, either with a partner or by investing in yourself with a coach or mentor. Every step counts.

And above all, remind yourself every chance you get that you deserve to live that exceptional life you are destined for.

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