Finding the Right Balance
How many slashes do you have in your title? If you're like most REALTORS®, your title looks something like this: REALTOR®/broker/instructor/trainer/coach/author/speaker/parent/spouse/volunteer.
Balancing all these roles can get messy. As REALTORS®, we often put our customers' needs ahead of our family, health and other important life elements. We fear losing the next potential sale, so we sacrifice in pursuit of that commission.
Corporations are beginning to invest in work-life balance programs for their employees. They recognize that an employee who has a more balanced life is more productive, has less down time, enjoys a greater sense of fulfillment at work and at home and has stronger relationships. These all contribute to a healthier bottom line. REALTORS® who improve the balance in their lives can enjoy the same benefits.
In our book, 7F Words for Living a Balanced Life, my co-authors and I offer seven strategies to help anyone improve his or her work-life balance: focus, faith, freedom, family, finance, fitness and fun. Following are some tips to help maintain balance between your work and business lives.
1. Set goals that you're passionate about. Combine your professional and life goals. Take time to evaluate what you need and want to work on. Identify your strengths. Define what makes you happy and determine how your individual strengths can support both your life and business plans. If you're passionate about playing tennis you might farm tennis communities and combine both passions.
2. Adopt an attitude of faith. Be confident in yourself, your mission, your vision and your purpose. Try keeping a gratitude journal in which you list the things you're grateful for along with your successes, both big and small. When your confidence waivers go back and re-read your gratitude journal. Look for the good in every experience – even that real estate transaction that falls through – and move forward.
3. Just say no. Allow yourself the freedom to say no. Freedom from debt, guilt, clutter and negative influences is truly freedom! Ruthlessly prioritize and only say yes to things that will propel you toward your goals. As REALTORS®, it's important to satisfy our customers, but we sometimes have to set boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no to the customer who wants you to show a house when you've promised your child you would go to their soccer game. The relationship with the customer may not be there in five years, but your relationship with your family is forever.
4. Focus on your "significant seven." Most people have at least seven important people or groups in their lives. Those important people should get your prime time not just the leftovers. Include them in the life you're living, and when work gets in the way why not bring them along? Take your spouse or best friend to an open house or have your child help you distribute property brochures. Find a way to spend quality time together.
5. Control the inflow and the outflow. You can control what you can measure. Keep track of everything you spend money on each month, and you'll probably be surprised by some of your expenses. Think of new ways to add different streams of income. If your passion is music you might try giving lessons or starting a band.
6. Put PANACHE in your routine. Physical and mental fitness should be a top priority. Take time now to put yourself at the top of your to-do list and add PANACHE to your day by planning, avoiding excess and exercising. When you're in a hurry, instead of driving through the fast food line, pack a nutritious lunch and eat it at a local park while you de-stress. Bring a little cooler of water and healthy snacks for you and your customers to enjoy on those long property-showing trips.
7. Enjoy the journey. Make a concerted effort to regularly do something fun with your "significant seven." Work should be nothing more than productive play, so add some fun activities to your work routine, like listening to a comedy show on the radio while on your way to an appointment.
Deborah Bacarella is busy having fun running her Elite Florida Real Estate brokerage and doing workshops to help others put fun and balance back into their lives. All of the workshop forms are available to download free at www.7Fwords.com along with an oath card to ruthlessly prioritize each day. Deborah is co-author, along with Cathy Lewis and Barbara Agerton, of 7F Words for Living a Balanced Life, which is the foundation for her professional workshops and individual coaching. She can be reached at DebBacarella@gmail.com or 561-239-2300.
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