Rules for CORE Agents #35: Self-Improvement Plans Fail Because They Don’t Work, Or Because They Do

We’ve all been through it.  You go to some sort of coaching or training seminar, and get inspired to make some changes in your business. You’re going to set up a whole new system for developing your sphere, or engage in two hours of lead generation a day, or join a bunch of new organizations, or whatever.  You’re going to make some changes that will completely transform your career.

A month later, you’re back to “normal.” Those training manuals?  They’re in a drawer somewhere.  The follow-up classes? You had to skip them because you had an inspection that day.  No change. No transformation.

One of two things happened.  First, maybe the program didn’t work.  You tried it, gave it a little time, didn’t get any results, and so you stopped doing it.  Let’s put aside whether you gave yourself enough time for it to work, and stipulate that if you don’t get results from the program, you’re not going to continue to put time, effort, and money into it.

More interestingly, the second reason that self-improvement programs fail is because they actually DO work.  Let’s say that you started doing the program, and you really started to see the results.  You’re making lots of new contacts, a whole bunch of new leads, and you’re almost giddy with excitement.  You had your doubts, you were worried that it all sounded good but wouldn’t actually succeed in practice, and now you’re seeing it pay off.  It really works!

But now something very strange happens – you get a little over-confident.  You marvel at how simple it was, how easy it now seems.  You can’t believe that you didn’t start doing it years ago.  But now that you’re a little busier, you start to cut corners.  Those two hours of prospecting calls?  That follow-up campaign? You don’t really have time for it, because you have so much new business already.  So maybe you’ll just take this week off to “catch up” with everything else. Just a short break.  After all, it’s so easy, you can just turn it on anytime you need to jumpstart your business.  So you’ll get through this backlog, keep that great program in your back pocket, and pull it out anytime you need it.

And you never do it again.  In other words, it worked, so you stopped doing it.  I know it sounds nuts, but it happens.  We go on diets, lose 10 pounds, and start cheating because we figure we can go back on the diet whenever we need to lose weight again.  We go on a lead generation campaign, develop a bunch of leads, and stop because all those leads need our attention. Then a month later we wonder where all our leads went.  Don’t let that happen to you.  If you start a new program, you need to give it time to work.  And if it does indeed work, then realize that you would be absolutely crazy to stop doing it.


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.