Monday Mornings with Madison


How much would you give to get the answer to this question? You know, of course, that there are no fortunetellers — not here, not anywhere. No one can predict the timing of the market. As the saying goes, “Economists have predicted nine out of the last five down markets.” The best answer possible is that the real estate market moves in cycles, and we are now in the downhill phase of the cycle. In a little while, the market will undoubtedly start moving back up.

But if you are in the real estate business, you probably feel that knowing when the market will turn would make a huge difference to you. Your career and your income depend on it, right?

Well, the truth is that regardless of when the market comes back, the real entrepreneurs will grow before, during and after. So the important question is: are you doing everything you need to do in order to be one of those who survives and grows?

Here are some basic points to consider:

Take  responsibility for your future Understand and believe that it”s all up to you. Yes, there are outside events that you cannot control, but you are still in control of how much these forces affect you.  Putting your focus on how bad the market is won’t help you get more business right now and it won’t prepare you for the future. Instead, put your focus on what the market needs and look for the opportunities that exist. The simple belief that you are in control of your future puts you in the top ten percent of successful people.

Create a compelling vision for the future Where do you see yourself in twelve months from now? In three years? In ten years? Create a clear picture of your business in the future and fill in all the details. Who are your customers? How are they attracted to you? Why do they want to do business with you? How many people do you have working for you? What are their responsibilities? What do your days and weeks look like? Drill down to questions like, what is your net income? Having this vision in mind and on paper will give you something positive to focus on. And a strong positive focus is usually self-fulfilling.

Check often Ask yourself: What can I do today to get me one step closer to my vision? Who can I reach out to this week? What”s the best use of my time this moment? And ask yourself these questions each and every day.  Then check to see if your answers are in alignment with your long-term vision.

Put in the time As an entrepreneur, you may well see opportunities everywhere, but you also need to figure out how to take advantage of what you see. It takes time to build up the systems and resources to handle big opportunities: you have to lay the foundations. Don’t get discouraged if you are not ready now. As much as you want to just race ahead, remember nothing big was created overnight.   You can come up with a grand idea in a hour — in a minute — but it takes time to put any plan into action.  Don”t confuse opportunity with capability.
Keep your eyes wide open We live in an economy that’s changing extremely fast, and in order to stay on top of the game, you have to be aware of what”s going on. Who is successful in your industry? Why? What new technologies are being implemented in your industry? How will they affect future business? What opportunities and challenges are they creating? How could you benefit from them? What”s going on in other industries? What new ideas could you borrow from outside your industry? Don’t let your curiosity go to sleep.

Take the points discussed in this article and focus on each one in turn for a few days. Write down your thoughts and then pick one specific action step for each point.

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.  Carlos Castaneda

© 2008 – 2011, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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