Over the past decade investing in real estate, I’ve come to realize my strengths and weaknesses as a real estate investor — and as a human being in general. In the past I routinely found myself with the day finished, and few, if any, new calls to sellers dialed and no appointments made. This trend continued for weeks, giving me a persistent feeling that I was perpetually behind the proverbial 8-ball.
My excuses were not all over the place, but rather contained to just a few areas of my business.
My main complaints were:
“Arg! I really don’t want to make calls to sellers today.”
“Stuffing envelopes is so boring!”
“Why can’t I motivate myself to wake up early on the weekends?”
“I feel like a loser since I skipped my morning workout.”
“I can’t make personal calls at work ’cause my lunch is only 30 minutes long.”
Every problem has a solution. After considering my challenges, I decided to set up positive triggers to remind and encourage me to perform a specific action.
Positive trigger = A friendly reminder typically established by you. Usually premeditated and placed in a way to be unmistakable, it reminds you to do something productive. See examples below.
5 Examples of Positive Triggers
Below is a list of the biggest 5 positive triggers I’ve set for myself. Disclaimer: Some of these positive triggers may not work for you based on your goals, traits, motivation, and physical abilities. Try thinking of positive triggers you can create for yourself.
1. The Trusty To-Do List
During the daytime, I used to tend to go easy on myself if no one else was watching. I would have little guilt in throwing my feet up and reading a good self-help or business book for a few hours. However, I too live in the real world, and most of us already complain about too few hours per day. I needed a way to bring clarity to my routine and be more productive daily.
Related: 14 Things Every Real Estate Investor Should Do Every Single Day
My solution: To create and write down the bulk of my daily to-do list the night prior. Once the bite-sized tasks are committed on paper, I find that the next day, these items always get checked off my list. Become a to-do list murderer! If there is an undone item on your to-do list, complete it quickly and without prejudice. Start smiling every time you cross off an item. As you think of more bite-sized tasks, add them to today’s or tomorrow’s list.
2. Strategically Scheduled Meetings
Waking up for work is easier for me because I know that I have to be there. If I do not go to work, I may very likely lose my income source. On the weekends, I needed a consistent and proven way for me to wake up early so that I could maximize my few days off from work.
My solution: To set my appointments with sellers in the mornings on Saturdays and possibly Sundays. In my mind, appointments with sellers equate to profit. Profit and helping sellers highly encourages me to rise up eagerly to meet with local sellers. After my weekly morning appointments, I can now stay out and continue growing my business and network.
3. Letter Mailing Materials Stored… in the Freezer?!
In my niche, mailing We buy houses letters to certain owners is very profitable. Even though I know mailing letters produces deals, I found myself losing steam whenever “envelope stuffing day” was here. I needed a way to make myself stuff and address envelopes — and be happy.
My solution: To keep my stationary in the freezer. Everyday after coming home in the afternoon or evening, I like to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or some other frozen dessert. To set up my positive trigger, I’ve begun keeping my current prospect list of names and addresses, preprinted letters, and a box of envelopes in my freezer. Everyday I come home, I’m forced to stuff envelopes prior to eating my reward.
4. Carefully Placed Athletic Equipment
I find that even 20 minutes of cardio and stretching each morning gives me energy and fire for the rest of the day. No coffee needed! The only problem is that my bed is cozy, and the snooze button is so easy to hit. I needed a way to get up, stay up, and start moving immediately.
My solution: Step 1: Every night, I position my jump rope on my light switch to remind me to start jumping when I wake up. In my house, the living room switches are OFF when in the up position and ON when in the down position. My jump rope can be supported by the light switch when in the OFF position.
Related: 6 Weekly Habits of Successful Real Estate Investors
Step 2: Drink a full glass of water before bed. This old classic trick gets me up early each morning, as I stumble through the living room, only to find my jump rope waiting patiently for me.
5. A Pre-Packed Lunch
For the last few months before I began working full-time investing in mobile homes, I worked 2 jobs 6 days a week. While this is not a big deal to anyone with 2 or more jobs, you can likely sympathize with the lack of time to call sellers, buyers, Realtors, lenders, brokers, community managers, etc. I needed more free time during the daytime hours to call sellers and set appointments.
My solution: Pack a lunch and call sellers from work. Here’s a story: When I was a boy, in my grade school, you were called a “nerd” if you brought your home lunch to school. This of course made me very popular carrying my ALF lunchbox and thermos. While the name calling was not appreciated, I really did like my home made lunch; I knew it was going to be delicious, and I really liked watching all the other kids have to wait in line for …read more