Monthly Archives: November 2016

Look Back So You Can Leap Ahead!

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reviewtimeI can tell you from a Business Coach’s perspective that forecasting one’s sales numbers and setting clear income goals is an exercise most often overlooked by solo-entrepreneurs and is exactly WHY it is the 1st step in my business plan development process with my own clients.

If you don’t set your earnings goal, and you don’t break it down to numbers you can track on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, how are you holding yourself accountable to the grander visions of your business?

How do you gauge when you need to put the pedal to the metal, or when you can give yourself some deserved time off? You can’t! Hence, the feeling of overwhelm, and eventual burnout.

When determining your income goal this year, avoid being too conservative or getting mentally stuck in the here and now. Remember, you are embarking on a new adventure of building your business. Opportunities will spring from the goals in your business plan that you simply cannot predict right now. So go ahead, astonish yourself and set the bar a bit higher.

For example, if you made $82,500 last year and you’re thinking that there’s a good chance you can make $100,000 this year, push yourself a bit beyond what you think you know to be, “realistic.” Tack-on another 10% to cover all the unforeseen possibilities that your new business focus will generate. The number you choose should feel like a stretch but still motivate you.

Have you ever heard the saying, “The numbers never lie?” Well, there couldn’t be a truer statement when it comes to your mortgage business.

Knowing your numbers and tracking results is the ultimate way to treat your business like you mean business! So charge into 2017 like the C.F.O. you truly are and eliminate all excuses to attaining your grander visions of your life and career.

Get started now by downloading Coach Victoria’s Income Forecast Worksheet.

Be on the look-out next Thursday for Business Planning Season Part V-What Does a Great Mortgage Business Plan Look Like, Anyway?

No Time for Hibernating!

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hibernatingDo your Realtors and Mortgage peers seem to curl up and go into some form of hibernation around the Holiday seasons?

Then that’s the perfect time for YOU to turn up the heat on your own business planning efforts.

Don’t just send out cards, make calls before the holiday rush is in full force.

Don’t just squirrel away cuz it’s chilly outside, grab your parka and make it to those holiday mixers, company parties, town festivities, etc.

Don’t just talk about what you’re going to do differently in 2017, gather up a couple of B2B professionals and write down your goals together, brainstorm, collaborate and become each other’s accountability partners through the winter season.

Don’t let your Realtors go it alone with their charity events, fundraisers, etc., Call ’em up and ask how you can lend your helping hands to their causes this holiday season.

And when the ice and snow simply get to a point where driving anywhere is just not an option, then that’s the perfect time to really delve into social media, blogging and videos.

Staying active, even when your Realtors may grow cold and house-bound, creates an enormous edge for you so that when everyone does finally come out of their hibernation haze, YOU will be the first one they immediately warm up to!

Three Tips to Consider for your 2017 Marketing Plan

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marketingplanThere are literally hundreds of marketing ideas, plans, tools, and systems, all vying for your marketing budget dollars via email blasts, webinars, social media, and at every industry seminar you attend, from sales gurus, other mortgage professionals, and coaches on a daily basis, it seems. Oodles of time and money are wasted in the hot pursuit of the best of the, “shiny gems” of marketing.

But, here’s the dirty, little secret…

It ALL works!

It’s not whether one marketing plan is better than another. It’s about the marketing plan that’s right for you, the one you are excited about, that matches your style, that won’t break your bank, the one you have the capacity to implement from A to Z . That’s the best marketing plan or tool for YOU, that’s the one that will work!

T.I.P.S. to consider

1. Your marketing messages have to show up where the masses are searching for information. With 1.79 billion active monthly users on Facebook, can you really afford to leave it out of your marketing plan this year?

2. Have you embraced video? YouTube reports that we watch more than 4 billion hours of video through their site each month. We are a community of voyeurs, no doubt about it. If your email marketing campaigns aren’t getting a good, “open” rate, it may be time to change those messages into short YouTube vids! Again, where are the masses getting their information?

3. Buying into several marketing ideas but never fully implementing and following through on one consistently, will leave you frustrated, derailed, and broke!  Focus on just 1 or 2 marketing platforms this year. Commit to seeing them through and tracking your results on a monthly basis.

Who’s Inspiring YOU?

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I love Jack Canfield’s quote, “You’re the average of the 5 people you choose to hang out with the most.”

Go ahead take a mental account of your friends, your acquaintances, business partners, referral partners, and your peers. Sometimes, what you realize is that YOU’RE the one upping the average of everyone else.

Now, that’s all fine and good and strokes the ego nicely. However, it certainly doesn’t help us to grow personally and professionally to always be the one doling out the advice, being in the teacher/mentor role, inspiring and pumping others up. At some point, your own well will run dry.

If you find that you don’t generally turn to your peers, friends and partners for advice and different perspectives or that they aren’t lending any to you of their own accord, the first question to ask yourself is, “Do I really have ALL the answers?” No way!

In order to grow both personally and professionally, we’ve got to be willing to tap into people who we feel possess unique perspectives, are smarter, more creative, and/or more experienced than ourselves. This is the secret to upping our own average and taking our lives to the next level.

So where are the pools we can draw from to fill up our own wells?

  • Professionals who lead seminars, workshops, classes, networking and mastermind Groups
  • Other Top Producing Originators with similar business models
  • Other Sales Professionals in your sphere of influence, like successful Financial Planners, Real Estate Agents, Insurance Agents, etc.
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Business and/or Life Coaches

It may take swallowing a piece of humble pie to embrace the idea of upping our own average, BUT as the saying goes, “Nobody succeeds alone.”

Business Planning Season Part II-Why Having a, “Why” Matters!

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Will you make the commitment to see your 2017 business growth goals through to the end?

To determine the true answer to that question, you FIRST need to ask yourself, “WHY are my business goals so important for me to see through to completion, anyway?”

It could be that you no longer want to spend 60 hours a week stuck behind a desk in your office. Maybe, you’re sick of pounding the pavement, asking real estate agents for their referrals. Or perhaps, finding the fun and rekindling your passion for your chosen career is at the root of your goals for 2017.

If you are unclear about your Why, or if your Why is driven not by your needs and passions, but by someone else’s idea of how you should conduct your business (or your life), you’ll discover that you simply won’t have the will to enact the steps to see your goals through to the finish line.

No why-No will = No results!

Your, “Why” is the grander destination you envision for your life and business, which fuels your, “Will” to take the necessary, daily steps to get you there.

Remember when developing your goals for your 2017 business plan, to run your goal ideas past your, “why meter” first. Make sure you have an excited feeling in your gut about the project, system, marketing strategy, etc., that you plan on implementing.

If your, “why meter” runs hot and the goals are in alignment with your current capacity and business growth vision, then SUCCESS WILL BE YOURS!

To get you kick-started, download my Vision Exercise and gain more clarity about your personal, “Why”

Be on the look-out next Thursday for Business Planning Season Part III-Setting Goals…Bigger Isn’t Always Better

What’s Holding you Back from Growing your Business?

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If you’ve ever found yourself trying to forecast which one of your business growth plans is sure to give you a return on investment, you’ve also likely found yourself pondering too much time away and engaging in very little action.

How do I know this for certain? Because fear of wasting time, fear of wasting money and fear of failure are what keep us from implementing new business growth strategies. In an attempt to mitigate these losses, we try to predict what’s going to work and spend countless hours thinking, planning and researching, but many times, don’t end up pulling the trigger.

Here’s a statement I’ve heard repeatedly from Mortgage Professionals that illustrates this dilemma of trying to foresee the future, “I know I should attempt to meet more Realtors, but I want to know what’s really going to work and what’s really going to entice them to send me business.”

My response to this statement is always the same, “There is no way of knowing what’s going to work. You don’t have a crystal ball. All one can do is to decide what they are willing to try, do it consistently for a period of time and measure the results. If your actions gain results, then we keep pressing forward. If they do not, we try another strategy.”  

It’s important to remember, one size does not fit all when it comes to the growth of your business! What works for one or even what is proposed to have worked for thousands, may not work for you for the simple fact that you are an individual with your own set of interests, strengths, natural ability, etc. When it comes right down to it, what’s going to work are the strategies and approaches you are most willing to implement, which align with your deeper, “Why” or grander, future vision of your business and personal life.

So, stop staring into that crystal ball you bought at the Renaissance Faire, hoping it will illuminate what’s going to work and instead, determine what one or two new business growth strategies you’re willing to try and consider the following questions to ensure you’ll be dedicated to taking massive action…

  1. Is the tool, system or strategy that I’m considering, one that excites me? Do I feel interested? Do I feel challenged?
  2. When I speak about my idea to others do I find myself saying, “I really should try XYZ” Or do I say, “I’m going to try XYZ.”
  3. Does it fit my current capacity? Can I realistically implement it alone or do I need help?
  4. Am I clear about what it will take to implement my new strategy from A to Z?
  5. Do I have a plan?