Week 10 – Pareto Principal the 80/20 Rule

If you haven’t heard of the Pareto principal (often called the 80/20 rule), it is the idea that80-20_Rule_Blog_640x440 80% of all outcomes derives from 20% of all effort. I’ve known of this rule for a while yet find myself focusing my efforts on the 80% of crap that gets me only 20% results. My new focus is getting out of the “rat race” mentality of working on the non-essential items and instead focusing on the big picture items: tasks that will bring me deals, customers, or in other words PROFIT. This week, I officially started to batch things to make my life easier, in addition to working less so I can only focus on the big picture items.

Monday Feb. 29th – Sunday March 6th, 2016

Monday (1 hour)

  1. Invoice batching (pay all invoices from week before to vendors)
  2. Email vendors batching (send emails to vendors for update on all open assets that are still in workout phase).

Tuesday (2 hours)

  1. Conference with a potential seller that works in the nonprofit realm of non-performing assets. Very interesting phone call and can be a great new client for TapeTechs.com (online preliminary due diligence service that scrubs your tape for you).
  2. Called/signed up/emailed 5 new potential sellers. Worked on finding more sellers to call in coming days.

Wednesday (4 hours)

  1. Volunteered for my local REIA (CFRI). Great networking and hearing what others are doing in the real estate world.
  2. Put in 3 offers on FL assets.
  3. Contacted 3 new sellers.

Thursday (3 hours)

  1. Reviewed inventory sent from two of my sellers, put in an offer in on 2 assets (REO’s).
  2. Updated Invoices, Receipts, and added some backlogged receipts into Evernote for our new bookkeeper.
  3. Heard back on my 8 offers from last week. They were denied (they were expecting 70% and above) which is simply too high considering the cost associated with a non-performing asset!

Friday (day off)

I’m officially starting to take all Friday’s off and focusing my efforts for the business on M-Th to start to make my work week less each week.

Sunday (20 minutes)

  1. Finished this post.
  2. Read for 1 hour.

Total Income for this Week: $0.00
New Sellers Contacted: 9
Offers Accepted: 0
Total New Bids: 3

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Week 7 – The Four Hour Work Week…Kind Of

This week has been productive and business focused. I’m reading a new book, The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (if you haven’t read it you need to now). I’m about 1/2 way into and finding a ton of ideas to help myself cut back on work time and have a lot more me/play/family/free time. While it doesn’t happen over night, I’m starting to implement some of the ideas little by little and am focusing on the tasks that I can outsource now.

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Monday Feb. 8th – Sunday Feb. 14th, 2016

Monday (2 hours) w/o reading

  1. Read for 1 hour.
  2. Called 6 banks that I found were high candidates for selling non-performing loans using distressedpro.com. I got a live person or email contact with 3 banks. I left voicemails for 3 additional and 1 indicated they are not selling currently.
  3. Received updates from many of our vendors. Found out one borrower that was repaying didn’t make Feb. payment. Disappointing news, but the name of the game. Knowing it was always a possibility we are prepared to foreclose if needed.

Tuesday (1 hour)

  1. Got a new loan boarded with my servicing company and made sure the paperwork transition went smoothly.
  2. My attorney confirmed we have officially filed the 45 day demand letter for a borrower in NC. I also received a letter of indemnification from the original title issuer. After my attorney pulled title in preparation to foreclose, they found there were title issues that needed to be rectified before moving forward. I contacted the original title policy company, opened a claim and received the letter about 4 weeks later. It was definitely a set back in the timeline, but all is well and on track now.
  3. Read for 30 minutes.

Wednesday (4 hours)

  1. Closed on our newest deal in Pittsburgh, PA. Smooth, easy, and a $3,000 upfront pay day for us.
  2. Looked at new inventory and submitted offers on 4 assets. 1 was rejected (our pricing was way to far off from each other). The other 3 I should hear back from in a week or two.
  3. Started an account on EverNote (I know I’m way late to the game). I will be using this to store my business receipts, paid invoices, etc. for my new bookkeeper to easily have access to without a paper trail and conveniently located in the cloud!
  4. Hired a new assistant to help set up my bookkeeping using Xero. I found an extremely qualified and highly recommended bookkeeper on ODesk. I will be using them on a trail basis at first in hopes all will go well!
  5. Outsourced searching for qualified bank leads to sell inventory on distressedpro.com to one of my best VA’s. This will save me at least 1 – 2 hours per week.
  6. Inspection was completed for the sale of our property in Tipton, IN.
  7. Read for 30 minutes.

Thursday (3 hours)

  1. Monitored the work of our VA’s on a new tape that was submitted to us from a client on tapetechs.com.

Friday – Sunday (VACATION!)

Total Income for this Week: $3,152.59

 

Hiring a Virtual Assistant

In my last blog post, I highlighted the tops ways to leverage your time using tools like virtual assistants, phone answering companies, or technology. Since the topic of leverage can be quiet involved, I wanted to give you a little more insight into the inner-workings of hiring and managing a virtual assistant.

Unfortunately, I speak to way to many investors who have had terrible luck hiring Virtual Assistants to complete a few tasks or jobs for their company. When I ask about the hiring and training process they went through to see what might have gone wrong, I’m typically met with a look of confusion and a response of “what do you mean how did I hire and find them? You know I found them on (fill in your terrible VA platform here). I didn’t really train them it was just (insert task here)“.

imagesIf you want to get a fantastic VA working for you and without you, then you have to take the time to find the right virtual assistant and more importantly train them for their job! We currently have two VA’s that do a variety of weekly tasks for us, including but not limited to; property research/tape scrubbing, calculating CMV and ARV, sending emails to sellers, fishing the internet and MLS for leads, editing excel spreadsheets for mail campaigns, and marketing when we get a deal under contract. Having awesome virtual assistants didn’t “magically” happen. We spent months creating, revising, and perfecting our VA training program (that you an see by clicking here) and are excited to share some helpful tips and tools for hiring and training a virtual assistant!

Where to Find Your Virtual Assistant:

There are a number of platforms that allow you to hire a VA without the overhead of legal issues and payroll. My platform preference is ODesk because of their size, management capabilities and pay system but there are a number of other platforms that offer similar benefits and qualified virtual assistants. Elance.com (same owner as Odesk and VERY comparable in what it offers), VirtualAssitants.comFreelancer.comStaff.comGuru.com. With ODesk, I can manage my virtual assistant using a time log that requires them to take snapshots of their work randomly as they are clocked in. This ensures I am able to track their work simply by logging into Odesk. There are also millions of qualified virtual assistants from across the globe at various price levels and skills experience, which means I can sift through potential assistants and chose the best candidate for my team.

Language:

This is an important piece if you are searching for a VA in a different country than your own. If you’re interested in branching out of the US or Canada, you will want to find a VA who is fluent, meaning they can both read and write without grammatical errors and are able to easily interpret data and articulate their ideas to you.

Region:

That is completely a personal preference. Keep in mind when hiring the time difference, I love areas that are on the opposite schedule. My work gets done when I sleep! What more could I ask for?

Price:

You can get really qualified and experienced VA in the $4 – $6 price range. That may seem shockingly low to you, but remember their cost of living and currency value may differ dramatically to what you are used to. Research the average cost of living in the region your potential VA lives in, and make sure you are paying them satisfactorily for their time and effort. Yes, you might be able to pay $3 an hour, but with a simply dollar increase to $4 an hour you’ve increased their income significantly, and in result they will do a higher quality job, faster, AND want to stay with you because they’re making more than they could anywhere else.

Skills:

Once again this is by preference. You want a VA who is a problem solver, takes initiative, attentive, and manages time well. If you provide ample training you can hire a great VA with no prior experience and still see them succeed. If you prefer a VA with past experience in your area, look around until you find one that fits there are PLENTY skilled workers out there. Here are some pointers that may help you candidate.

  • Look at their feedback from past jobs
  • Look at their example portfolios
  • If desired, ask them to complete a small “test” related to the job as pre-qualifier to the interview process.

Hiring:

Before the interview I like to assess their initiative and problem solving skills by giving a small task to complete prior to the interview or to bring to the interview. A common one, is to tell them to go to your website and describe what your company does or is. Review their resume and task submissions. Once you’ve narrowed down your top 5 candidates, schedule a phone interview via Skype or google chat. The interview process will allow you to assess their fluency in the language and to get to know them better. You may come across a VA that is SUPER qualified, but you just don’t click with. Hire a VA that you “connect with”. They will be working closely with you so being able to build a relationship with them is important.During the interview ask them questions like…

  • “Why are you interested in my position and why do you think you are qualified?
  • “When is a time in a past job you had to solve a problem that was not initially explained to you?”
  • What is your availability to work with our company (time schedule)
  • What are you current resources (computers, internet, phone – if applicable)

Training your Virtual Assistant & Giving Feedback

This is one of the most important parts of hiring a Virtual Assistant. You may have found an awesome VA but you haven’t given them to the proper instruction to complete your tasks correctly or efficiently. Hands down the best way to train your personal assistant is by using videos with an audio recording linked to the video. This allows them to actually see how to properly complete the task you want them to do! It also allows you to use the same videos for any additional virtual assistants you may hire now or in the future.

I like to provide additional documents of frequently asked questions, website links, step by step guide, or requirements/rules for certain tasks as reference pages for my VA’s. This helps them complete their job without 1 million emails to you! Give them as many resources in one location (such as a website), so they can reference them as much as they need during their initial training.

Remember, that it’s going to take time for them to figure everything out and typically takes a few “trial and errors” before they are 100% independent at your tasks. As with any new job, they need time to learn the routines and tasks, practice them, and get feedback.

Checking their work is key in the first few weeks. I like to provide my VA’s with 2 – 3 “test runs” (for example tapes I have previously scrubbed) to compare their results to mine. I also ask what questions came up when they were going through the process and create videos to help clear up any confusion.

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We understand that not everyone is willing to put forth the effort that is required to really get a smoothly running system with a virtual assistant. That’s why we are so happy to share our virtual assistant training program at www.tapetechs.com. We realize sometimes it’s easier to just plug and go and that’s why we allow investors to use our “plug and go” VA training system OR they can submit their REO or Note Tapes to have our highly trained virtual assistants “scrub” (complete due diligence on). We sacrificed the time and months it takes to create a system as effective as this one. We’ve done the hard work for you and are happy to share our success with you. Maximize your potential, free up your time, and give yourself the freedom to focus on what’s important to you.

Training a virtual assistant is no easy task and requires a lot of time, planning, and organization. If your willing to put forth the time and effort to create a system for your virtual assistant you won’t regret it! I can honestly say I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with and am able to do more of the things I enjoy and want to do! 

The Art of Leveraging

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Oh boy, I love hiring someone else to do a job I don’t want to do. Putting out signs? NO WAY! Stuffing, addressing, and stamping envelopes, Yah Right! I’m a big fan of leveraging my time to others and you should be too! As business owners it’s easy to get caught up working IN your business instead of ON it. I know I was spending most of my “working time” doing tasks that someone else could have easily done with training or support until I started hiring out those tasks and was able to work ON my business instead of IN it. This post is going to shed light on how you can create more time and allow yourself to be free to make more money doing activities that will truly benefit your business.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE Virtual Assistants. They are amazing time savers and eager to work for you. Virtual assistants can be hired locally (in your state or country), or abroad. Rates, experience, qualifications, time difference, and language fluency are some factors you should take into consideration when hiring a VA but nonetheless there are extremely qualified virtual assistants looking for jobs and will do pretty much any task you designate to them. I use my VA for property research, follow up, deriving lists, and other small tasks. I’ve seen others use a VA for social media marketing, blogging, SEO, property research, CRM management, web design, and so much more. The opportunities are endless and the best part about it is you can hire a great VA in the price range of $4 – $7 per hour. I hired two VA’s last year and now have them trained in all of my systems for data scrubbing and property research for my non-performing note tapes (this saves me about 8-10 hours per tape and allows me to work on getting more inventory and making more offers!) I’ve also automated my lead capture with a CRM system from Only For Investors, which has been amazing. My VA is completely trained in how to enter, edit, and update properties and even works on my follow up with each lead! If you’re scared about hiring a VA because you’ve heard “horror” stories, or maybe you’ve even tried but failed, don’t give up. There’s a science to hiring and training a good VA and luckily we’ve got it done pat. There will be additional blog posts on how to hire a VA and what to look for, but if you just can’t wait visit our website www.TapeTechs.com to see about our VA training system for note or REO investors.

Letter Writers

670px-WriteAdressClearly-Step-2I hired my first letter writer in July of last year and boy has this been a time saver. The letter writer picks up the pre-printed letters and stamps from OfficeDepot or Staples (which ever is closest to you) and stuffs, addresses, and stamps my letters typically in 24 – 42 hours from pick up. I pay her .25 cents per letter and am able to free up time to work on my business instead of in it.   Oh did I mention, the envelopes and return address labels are sent directly to their house – for free from Office Depot.com, which is AWESOME! If trust is an issue for you and your worried they won’t be done correctly, or maybe a stamp or envelope will go missing, check their work by adding your address with a fake name in the letters to check. Although, I’ve worked with two different people now and had no issues with stealing items!

Signs

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Alright, I’ll say it. I HATE putting out signs. I hate it so much, that if I’m responsible for doing it…I don’t do it. I hate the traffic, parking, buckling, unbuckling, honking, and time of it all. I hired my first sign placer recently and was happy with the results. I met with them (or you can have them pick up the signs after you “interview” them) and gave them a map of where to put the signs. I used the app simple crew to monitor their progress (they checked in each sign with a picture and geotagged their location) in the app. They sent me a message when they were done and paypal took it from there! You can pay $1 – $2 per sign depending your area, but if it’s any less than that it’s not worth the gas the spend putting them out, so make your pay worthwhile.  When you first meet with someone for this job, talk about the best way and places to put signs – give a few examples and no-examples. If you notice they placed them in a bad spot or not facing the right way, etc, tell them that will be deducted from their pay.

List Research 

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I love to use public records to gather my lists for properties and I like my lists to be as fresh as possible. Although there are wonderful online resources like list source.com, I prefer to go to the courthouse myself and get the freshest data possible. I’m a school teacher by day, so getting to the courthouse before it closes at 4 was challenging if I wasn’t on break, so I realized this needed to be hired out.  While I have not personally hired this job out myself, I am working on the training and hiring process using my colleague and fellow associates method from Only For Investors. She mastered this and had two people in different counties in Florida, successfully getting them probate and eviction lists twice a month! Talk about awesome, right!?

Answering Service Happy call center employees with headset

Answering services can be a huge time saver and are always by the phone 24-7. I use this for all of my preliminary calls and it get’s entered directly into my CRM system were my VA takes it from there (does property research then sends it to me to make an offer). There a lot of services out there and my suggestion is PatLive. They are very professional and offer their services at a reasonable price.

The suggestions for leveraging your time that I mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton of ways for you to maximize your time by outsourcing it to others. The key here. is taking the time upfront to create clear plans of what you want, how you want it done, and training programs/examples for some of the tasks. It can be a daunting process getting it started but once it’s in place you’ll never look back (or have to do it again)! If you like this idea and want to learn more, visit our website to see how you can use our training program for your VA!

Time Management – How to Make the Most of 24 Hours

business turning back timeTime management is a struggle for a lot of people, including me. Still working in a full time job, I have a hard time working on the business as well working out, cooking dinner, and spending time with friends and family. I realized shortly after Seasoned Funding came to be, that if I wanted to run a real estate investment business, I would need to manage my time better. I’ve read a number of books on the subject, read blog posts, and even asked friends for advice and unfortunately I’ve found there is no perfect time management system, it’s really what ever works for the individual. I’ve compiled a few ideas on ways to improve your time management to allow you to chose the method that works best for you.

Time Log

TogglReportFor 1 week straight write down exactly how you spend your day and how long it takes for each activity. When I say exactly, I mean exactly, write down EVERYTHING you do, 8:00 – 8:30 cook and eat breakfast, 8:30 – 8:40 drive to work, 8:50 – 9:00 caught up on emails, etc. This helps you get an idea of what you’re really doing with your time, and how to better allocate certain activities. Toggl is an app you an download from App Store or Google Playstore that tracks the amount of time you spend on activities electronically and can even break it down for you into awesome graphs and charts.

 Time Block

If you’re going to take this route I HIGHLY suggest doing the “Time Log” Activity you read before this. It helps you make realistic goals for planning your time and allows you to get more done because you know how long those activities take and when is the best time to do them. This is a great tool for the “multi-tasker” that does 4 things at once and never quiet finishes any of them!

Time logging is simply mapping out your day specifically saying what you want to get done, and when you’re going to do it. In order to effectively time block you need to know how long an activity is going to take (why I suggested using a time log first). You set aside certain time to do that task and only allow yourself to complete that task. This is a really helpful tool for people who are good at self monitoring and don’t need a lot of reinforcement to follow through. This is my personal preference and saving grace. I love using my Google Calendars because it syncs to my phone and email and can send me text alerts, emails, or just pops up. That way I know I’m on track. I can also easily adjust the calendar if something takes longer than expected or pops up. I like this tool because I can also see when is the best use of my time on certain daysScreen Shot 2014-12-31 at 5.54.31 PM orhours. I can work on socialmedia marketing at any hour, but I can’t always call realtors or leads at 9 pm, so take a look at what you want to get done and when is the most productive time to do it. Here’s an example of what my week looks like.

Check Lists/To Do Lists

myLife-ssh016As basic and old school as this may seem, it feels great to cross something off of a list. It gives a true sense of accomplishment. Whenever I make lists I make them very specific and put down absolutely anything I can think of. I also start with the activities I least want to complete first because I know I will feel more encouraged and motivated to finish off the list after those are done. In order for this to be effective you must create a new list for each day which can be done the night prior or the morning of, what ever you prefer. MyLifeOrganized is another app that will allow you to keep track of your to do lists where ever you are (which is super helpful if you leave your lists everywhere like me)!

Leveraging Your Time

This is by far my favorite way to maximize and manage my time and since implementation this past year has freed up hours each day for me!! Leveraging your time is allocating an activity to someone else’s time, meaning pay someone else to do it! As a real estate investor there a lot of “small” or “lower level” tasks that go into what we do. If you market to sellers by mail, you have letters, envelopes, and postcards to send. If you make calls or walk neighborhoods, those are hours you log. A wise friend of mine (and countless other extremely successful people) told me last year – STOP wasting your time doing those things and pay someone else to do it! I understand wanting to be frugal and save as much money as possible, but when it comes down to it you can make so much money in the time you save by giving the job to someone else to do then what you actually pay them! There are a number of ways to do this but to name a few hire a VA, hire an assistant, answering services, letter writers, hiring a bookkeeper, hiring someone to put out signs or drive for dollars. I’ll be writing more on this topic in my next blog post, so if this peaks your interest stay tuned for more!

Making Use of Technology

Let’s face it. We’re in the 21st century and there a thousands of apps, websites, and companies that exist only to make our lives easier with technology. I have saved so much time (and trees) by switching to more efficient tools online or on my iPhone and it allows me to complete work wherever I am. This is definitely it’s own blog topic, but here are some suggestions to get you started if you aren’t already utilizing them.

docusign-pick-your-signature-100033770-large-2Docusign or Hellosign: Both of these are for sending and receiving electronic signatures: send your contracts or documents to a seller/client online – no need to print, fill out, scan or fax to them. Fill it out on your computer, upload, and send!

googledocsGoogle Docs: Store all of your important documents in folders in the “cloud”. They can be edited directly from your phone or ANY computer by logging into Google Docs and can also be shared or collaborate with others with a click of a button. No need to save, it’s there for you EXACTLY where you left off.

dropbox-logoDropbox: If you’re not using dropbox right now you are missing out on a world of opportunity. It’s a “cloud based” storage solution for anything you can imagine. I keep all of my property photos and documents in their own folder and if I need to wholesale one off, I can send any interested buyers the folder directly with a link from my phone or any computer. It’s free to signup and you free up a TON of space on your computer.

pdfill_pdf_editor-322853Adobe PDF Editor: I use this to fill in and sign contracts that are sent to me or that I want to send out. I can cross out, fill in, initial, sign, and more saving it as a PDF the entire time. I can also convert to a different format if needed. Downside, must be on each computer you’re using.

Staying Focused

focus This “tool”applies to any of the suggestions I made earlier. This one seems easy but is critical to success and often forgotten when you’re in the moment. Focus on completing ONE TASK at a time. Complete one, then move onto the next. A lot of our time is eaten up by a lack of focus on completing the original task at hand and getting “distracted” by other things. If you’re doing an activity on the computer and an important email pops-up, resist the urge to respond immediately. Finish the task you were working on, or give yourself a break at an intricate stopping point. You’ll find you get you original task done faster and you managed to accomplish two things instead of one!

I hope some of these tools and suggestions are useful for you and you’re able to start 2015 with more time to enjoy and do the things you really want to be doing! 🙂

New Year, Same Old Resolutions? How to Succeed in Your 2015 Goals!

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It’s New Years. It’s that time that the gyms are swarmed with new members, diet adds are flooding our TV’s, and gurus are abound with the newest and quickest way to be happier, save more, or become financially free! After all, an average of 45% of americans make a New Year’s resolution. Who can blame them, it is a great time to reflect on your past success from the prior year, and determine what your future goals will be for the impending one. Unfortunately, only 8% of people feel the actually succeed in accomplishing their New Years Resolutions, and 24% fail on their resolutions year after year.

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So why is that we see such little success when our intentions are true, positive, and we know would create a better, happier life? The answer is simple; HABITS. As unfortunate as it is, humans love their habits of either DOING or NOT DOING. Whether it’s a habit of doing something like smoking, eating too much, or procrastinating, you’ve conditioned your body to comply with your habit every day without fail. It has become your “norm”. Why is it easier to eat or watch TV instead of work out? Because you are in the habit of doing those things instead of going to the gym! You are NOT in the habit of working out. If you want to quit smoking but are in the habit of smoking a cigarette once, twice, or even three times a day, well you’re in the habit of smoking! In order to break an unwanted habit, you need to get out of the habit of NOT DOING and DO the activity that well help you reach your new goal.

Research has shown that it takes a mere 21 days to break OR create a habit if it’s carried out consistently. The trouble is that most people break them after a few days and don’t allow them selves the full 3 week commitment it takes to see results and make it a natural part of your life. If you can stick to it and work hard at your goal for the initial 21 days, your chances of long term success skyrocket! Remember, if it takes 21 days to make a new habit, it can take 21 days to easily break it, so it’s important not to “fall back” into your old ways even if you make it through your three week period.

Another reason for short lived success is from choosing too many resolutions to tackle at once. I suggest conquering each individual goal until they have truly become a new habit and are a consistent part of your life. It’s easy to fall back into your old unwanted self without proper support, guidance, and motivation to stay consistent so reach out to someone who is working toward the same goal or is like minded and could be seen as a positive role model for your success.

Planning for your Goals

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I like to start my year off with a few exercises to help my mind get focused on what I want to to achieve, visualize how I will achieve it, and then focus on the feeling I will get when I accomplish them.  Tony Robbins explains in his book Awaken the Giant Within when a person has a deep associations with pain, they are more likely to reach a goal or overcome an obstacle. Pain is a stronger motivator than pleasure. We know losing weight will bring us pleasure, but we stop because the pain of working out keeps us from doing what it takes. If you can associate enough pain to your current habits or situation, then you can transform that into motivation to accomplishing your new goal/habit.

If you’re not sure where to start, I like to do a pain association exercise I read about in the book Turning Terrible Into Terrific from the author Dennis Cummings. The exercise requires you to think about what areas of life cause you the most pain, and typically are the areas you most want to improve on most. Close your eyes and think about your life, think of everything you’re tired of dealing with. What causes you the most pain? What makes you embarrassed? What frustrates you or stresses you out? Write down EVERYTHING you can think of and then more! If you stop for a second, keep going! It can be as big as “I’m tired of not being able to pay my bills” or “I’m tired of being overweight and feeling tired and fat”. It can even be as simple as “I’m tired of working too much”or “I’m tired of not being able to go on vacations”. After you write them all down, think about which ones cause you the most pain (most likely the first ones that came to mind) and order those from 1 – 10 (1 being the worst pain, 10 being the least). From there, narrow these down to your top 5 and turn them into specific goals.

Writing Explicit Goals

It’s important when making goals that you are specific, precise, and use language that does not imply wishing, trying, will, or possibility. Here’s an example goal,

“I’m tired of being overweight and fat, I am healthy, I eat foods that are good for me, and I workout daily!”

Your goals should also have action steps such as, “I workout daily” – by using the word ‘daily’ you are giving yourself an attainable, measurable goal to reach and are setting an expectation for yourself as well. They should also use positive language that implies you are already doing what it takes NOW.  By saying “I am”, and “I eat”, you are telling yourself you are in the habit of doing those things. Whether you currently are or not, your brain will condition itself to believe that you are and the act will happen more naturally to you. Last but not least – READ THEM aloud to yourself daily! Post your goals where you will see it with your morning cup of coffee, tea, or breakfast. Put them at your desk, in your car, or wherever you will see them, read them and believe them as much as possible.

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I’m a big believer in goal setting and planning and firmly believe in the power of setting goals. You should always be working on you, and if New Year’s is the time to start then power to you and plan on! I wish you the best success in 2015!

Making a “SMART” New Year’s Resolution

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The time has come again for people old and young to determine their new year’s resolutions. The definition of resolution is the firm decision to do or not do something. It makes sense that people use the start of a new year as their time to reflect and determine what they will or will not do to improve their current emotional, social, physical, and financial well being.

According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology at the University of Scranton, 45% of the U.S. population make new year’s resolutions. Of the 45%, a staggering 8% accomplish one-hundred percent of their goals and only 46% continue working at their goals past six months!

Why such little success? Many people are not aware of how to create a goal and the majority of them fail to WRITE their goals down, a proven factor in goal setting success and achievement. A recent study on goal setting and success was done at the Dominican University of California in which they determined there is a higher success rate when people not only wrote their goals down, but were held accountable by sharing their goals with a friend and creating action commitments to help them succeed.

If you want to beat the statistics and be a part of the success rather than the failure take the first step by creating a “SMART” resolution.

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A SMART goal isn’t simply “Make More Money” it needs to be specific and time-bound, like “Make a profit of $100,000 by December 31st”. You also need to decide what relevant, measurable, and attainable actions or commitments need to be taken in order to achieve that goal. These actions can be seen as baby steps. If you want to make $100,000 this year, it’s not going to happen all at once. By determining your “action commitments” you can track and monitor your progress, making you more likely to succeed. This could be doing things like “closing 5 flips, wholesaling 3 properties a month, or acquiring 8 doors (rental income) worth $50 each”.

Now that you have your steps, your SMART goal would be “Make a profit of $100,000 by December 31st by doing 3 wholesale deals a month or better and acquiring 12 doors worth $50 each or more.” Adding the words MORE or BETTER eliminates the possibility of a “glass ceiling”. You never know what you’re fully capable of if you stop when you reach your initial goal.

If one of your resolutions is eliminating a negative habit, try not to do it cold turkey, your chance of success is greatly diminished with this method. One way to make sure you’re on track with your baby steps is creating mini-check points, like “made $250 in cash flow by March 1st” or “made $25,000 from liquidation by April 1st”.

When writing your goals try to avoid future tense. Instead of saying “I will make $250 in cash flow by March 1st”, say “MADE $250 in cash flow by March 1st”. Saying “made” instead of “will make” makes your brain believe it has happened getting you one step closing to obtaining the goal.

POST YOUR GOALS WHERE YOU WILL READ THEM EVERYDAY! It doesn’t matter if you have to post them on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator door, or car mirror, just make sure you continue to review and assess your goals throughout the year.

It also helps to have a friend, partner, or family member helping hold you accountable. Doing activities together, discussing your challenges and successes throughout the year will only help keep you motivated and on track.

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I hope this helps you start to be the success you want to see and take action in order to achieve your dreams!