Millionaire Morning Ritual Phase 3 – Mastering the Time

Mastering the Time involves soul searching, list making, filtering, prioritizing and planning.

The ONE ThingThe underlying principle in the book The ONE Thing revolves around the Focusing Question: “What’s The ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”  That seems like a fairly simple and straightforward question… The problem is that answering that question takes digging, sifting and patience – not unlike panning for gold.

The first time you ask that question about an aspect of your life or a goal, you have to decide what you really want.  You have to boil it down to something measurable.  Then, you pull out a pad of paper and make a list of possible ways to get there.  There are about 10-15 options…  So you ask the Focusing Question again to rank those possibilities.  It goes pretty well until you end up with 3 or 4 key ones that seem to tie.  So you ask the Focusing Question one more time to rank those 3-4 possibilities.  You go round and round until you can finally identify the ONE that trumps the others with regards to the impact it will have.  Congratulations! You have just modeled the Pareto Principle.  You now have a starting point.

I spent some time today on the phone with Seth Campbell – a guy who is living this process on a daily basis and making some serious headway on his dreams and goals.  Seth wrote a great review on The ONE Thing on that describes the impact the book The ONE Thing has had on his life.  Frankly, it sounded a little too good to be true.  So I wanted to ask Seth some questions.  What I respected most about Seth’s journey was that he wasn’t looking to replace or reinvent who he was.  Seth was looking to “refine” who he was.  Throughout it all, Seth’s faith remained first and foremost in his life.  The Bible was #1 and everything else wrapped around that.

To process through all of this Seth created something he calls his 31-411.  Thirty one days, four weeks, 1 month, 1 year.  This is basically a sheet of paper that boils down all the soul-searching, list making, filtering, prioritizing and planning  around each life goal.  “It’s a training tool not a hammer” he says.  Some goals are business – some are personal.  Coming away from our conversation, I had some huge ah-ha’s:

  1. Make the Time – then Master the Time.
  2. Momentum is crucial in building new habits.  Do not move on until some basic mastery of the task at hand has been achieved.  Stacking new tasks on top of each other too fast results in all of them crashing to the ground.
  3. Seth’s dashboard (his 31-411) has to be reviewed every evening in preparation for the next day.
  4. You can only do one job at a time.
  5. Sifting for the ONE Thing takes about 3 cycles and some tenacity
  6. Identifying a ONE Thing takes a LOT of time in the beginning.  Once it sets off the Domino Effect though, the impact is far-reaching.

Now the hard work begins and with each round I will step one step closer to fulfilling my goals and dreams – all before lunchtime!

Millionaire Morning Ritual

Millionaire Morning RitualLooking for a Millionaire Morning Ritual?  It’s doubtful your first thought would be “I need to find a real estate agent and see what their day looks like”.  Many people get into real estate looking for schedule flexibility and unlimited income.  I know I was.  My background was in consulting where we functioned strictly on billable hours.  That meant we had to keep up with how every day was spent – in 15 minute increments. When I got my real estate license I was RUNNING from that chore.  I now realize my rebellion against time management just postponed my dreams… for a good 10 years.  Yes, a decade.

Starbucks Chastain SqYou see, I was what I refer to as a Leadership Junkie.  I looooove leadership books!  I also love coffee.  Reading a leadership book AND drinking coffee = perfection.  THERE’S ONLY ONE PROBLEM… Perfect is the enemy of Done. I believe people change from either deep desire or disgust.  For me, disgust fuels deep desire. It is just how I am wired.  I thought I had desire to grow professionally.  I thought I wanted to change.  I could talk a great game. I had a coach.  I dabbled in accountability.  But I wasn’t REALLY disgusted with the status quo.  I wasn’t REALLY disgusted with living a fake business life.  I was talking the talk but I was not walking the walk.   I was not living a Millionaire Morning Ritual.

In his Best-Selling book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”, author Gary Keller sets forth what he calls his Energy Plan.  There are five components that “pull” him through his mornings and all are to be accomplished before 11 a.m.

  1. Meditate and Pray – Spiritual Energy
  2. Exercise and Eat – Physical Energy
  3. Hug, Kiss and Laugh – Emotional Energy
  4. Plan and Calendar – Mental Energy
  5. Lead Generate – Business Energy

I read that back in 2003.  Thankfully, I reached my tipping point of disgust in December, 2012 during a class Bob Kilinski was teaching in our office called “What to expect in 2013”.  Bob was asking a series of questions and at I am not sure what the specific question was but my answer was “to get to the office by 8:00 am everyday”.  Phase 1 of the Millionaire Morning Ritual was about to begin!

Time Clock Challenge

Bob offered to buy me a time clock if I was serious about getting my days started off right.  I decided right then to “Walk the Talk”! My task was to designate all of my lead generation “work days” for the first quarter of 2013 and then clock in before 8:00 am on every one of those days.  If I did not, I had to pay Bob three times what the time clock cost AND admit to myself  that I was not serious about having a Millionaire Morning Ritual.  We shook hands, someone took a photo for evidence and I was… flushed out into the open.  Being held accountable very publically.  Ask the experts, they say tell everybody and you will not fail.  Easy advice to give – tough to swallow personally.

Talk about hard!!  I can vividly remember how much my classmates enjoyed my little challenge that day.  They enjoyed asking me how I was doing in the days following that class. In fact I think they enjoyed it a bit too much for my taste.  But after a while all the excitement wore off and life got back to normal – for them.  I had to go buy a damn time clock.

It was actually fun at first.  January 2nd was fine. Then, the traffic came.  What the heck? People were going back to work after the holidays! They clogged up my normal route to work. I came within 1 minute of blowing it my first week thanks to traffic lights, school children and commuters.  Don’t get me wrong, I like people.   I like them a lot when they are not between me and my brand new whoopty do time clock.  So, I found a new route to work. Only two lights, mostly right turns, the roads less traveled…  Hey, I can change!

Then there are my peers.  One good friend in particular was coming in around 8:00 am as well.  HOWEVER, she is not punching a time clock.  Sooooo while I screach in on two wheels, throw my briefcase over my shoulder and run flat out for the door getting my keys ready – she casually glides out of her car and strolls into the office with ease.  Mind you the difference may only be 3 minutes but I am bitter because that is the difference between 7:58 and 8:01.  It was humiliating.  It was also the difference between Winning and Losing for me.  Those mornings showed me that we are all on a different journey at a different speed.  I felt the cost of change.

The closest I ever came to missing 8:00 am check-in was 7:59 and I remember that day.  I was sooo upset.  The traffic lights were taking forever, people were dawdling, they were in the wrong lanes and turning across traffic.  It was torture!  I can promise you I ran for the door that day.  Probably even left my briefcase in the car so I could go faster.

The days turned into weeks, the weeks turned into months and 3 months later the challenge was over.  It was probably the hardest 12 weeks of my life!  Not because I had to punch a time clock every morning at 8:00 am though.  That really was the easy part.  The hard part was living the real-time faith mixture of obedience, staring down fear, resting on God and living out delayed gratification.


Success for me was not immediate even though I was now behaving like I was supposed to.  I was showing up, planning my day, and calling people I knew.  Those conversations took time because I had a lot of reconnecting to do.  Not surprisingly, fellow agents wanted to know how I was doing.  What results was I seeing?  Was it “working”?  This was the hard part.  I was putting in the time and yet I had no tangible results to show for it at first.  I struggled with ways to track who I connected with, what was said, when I needed to follow up, etc.  Looking back, I am not sure how long it took.  What I do know is that I have a solid pipeline of leads and we are working with more clients at one time now that we ever have.  Ironically, the threat to my morning ritual now is actually servicing all the clients.  We need to expand and bring on new team members to handle the work because I do not want to ever go back to the way it was before. The ground of progress is too hard fought. Momentum has been created and I want to build on it.  It is going to be an exciting year!  Stay tuned.

p.s. There is a whole other personal faith journey story going on here too. But that is a topic for another post.