I’m going to share the behind the scenes of what’s going on in our business and how we are growing this faster and easier then we have ever done before.
I’m going to actually be diving into the steps of growing a business the fast and easy way. And you can totally copy this!
So this week, we are going to be going through, Tuesday-Friday, the four, I think it’s four, I can’t remember now, the four steps to business growth plan.
It’s basically, it’s a business growth plan in a box and I really want to go over a little bit today what happened in August and what’s going to be happening in September.
Today is a Monday and I wanted to be sure to come on here and still do this with because I am going live every single week day that I can.
And next week I’m actually going to be at a conference on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so I’m not sure how I’m going to go live then but I am going to go live then!
So, here’s the thing- after the “August Live Everyday” challenge that I participated in. I didn’t actually participate in….I made it up on my own but after that, what’s next?
How do you grow your business one step at a time?
How do you know what to implement next?
How do you know what to do next?
So you know that in August I did weekday live videos and I went through and prepped. It took me almost two months to prep for that whole process and so I’m going to walk you through exactly what I did so that you can do it faster.
I’m going to go through it so you can do it faster!
So the next four days,we are going to go through everything that I did in each of the steps.
Now, I want to give you a quick overview. The system is set up and it’s running and its functioning. Sometimes we have to tweak a little something but overall it’s become a well oiled machine.
That system is this- every single weekday I go live with you.
I answer questions. I help guide you.
I want to help you grow your businesses and I want you to do it in a way that works for your life, that is scheduled around your life because why on earth do we have businesses?
I mean, even entrepreneurs, they create businesses to solve a need, to solve a problem and then they work their businesses around their life. They don’t work their life around their business even during the growth.
I do not, I do not subscribe to the “#hustle” movement
You need to work, absolutely.
You need to give up things in order to get something better, absolutely, but I do not subscribe to the concept of “always busy, always hustle.” I think it is a flat-out lie.
I think it’s something we tell ourselves as an excuse to not have relationships, as an excuse to not actually live our life.
I really do. It’s an excuse.
You can call yourself a workaholic or whatever- that’s just means you don’t care about anybody, about yourself or what you’re doing.
Yeah, I went there, totally went there.
So, here’s the thing. We are working on that system and I’ll walk you through all the steps that I did.
So, August was all about starting that first big “push,” right? So live, every weekday in August. Now September.
September is about adding to that so I will keep going live everyday in September, getting this system set up.
And again, I’m going to walk you through the next couple of days, so the next four days will be literally how we prepped it, how we did it, the checklist I used, everything we did to make that system work.
And now in September, what I’m doing in September is I’m adding stories.
So Facebook and Instagram are now all about the video, all about the story so I’m like “okay, I’m going to add stories.”
So now, every single day, I am making sure to add a behind-the-scenes aspect to Instagram stories.
Something, it could be just random stuff. It could be personal stuff. I don’t worry about the content of that even though I’ve written some ideas down.
I don’t worry about the content of that. My goal is to add that personal relationship element to it so that you can see the behind the scenes because I know that when I follow different people on Instagram or I prefer, I pretty much don’t look at my feed on Instagram.
I just look at stories and apparently that’s what most of the users are doing. And so I’m looking at the stories because I like to see what people are doing, the funny thing their kids said or what they are doing in their lives.” I like to see what’s going on, how organized they are or how organized they’re not.
It’s like this comparison thing like “okay let me look at what they’re doing and what they are achieving. Am I doing that? Not what they are achieving but am I doing what I really need to do ?
Or “ Oh my gosh! They are totally missing out on this area and I’m not, thank goodness.” It’s about learning and relating and growing and moving beyond, right?
So September is all about adding Instagram stories. So how do you know what to add next when you are growing your business?
How do you know what steps you should be doing next?
How do you know that?
Well, you need to understand and have a plan.
So you need to plan your growth and then work and grow your plan. That’s exactly what I’m doing,and that’s what I’m going to show you throughout the month of September.
You need to know where you want to be.
Now, look at it from a domino perspective- what’s the first thing I can do that’s going to get me the biggest bang for my buck, the biggest growth?
So here’s where it all started for me- I was challenged by one of my Mastermind members back in May.
She was like “you need to do a podcast.” And I went “are you kidding me? I don’t have time for a podcast. I don’t have time!”
So she was like “you need to do a podcast and you also need to write a book.” And I was like “when am I going to do this?”
But then remember, everybody has the same amount of time- why are more people productive than others? Because they prioritize. They know how to prioritize their time.
So I was like “okay fine. If that’s what I need to do, what do my days, what does my time, what does what I’m doing need to look like to make that happen because I am not going to put more hours into it.
It’s not going to happen.” So I started revamping this. I was like “okay, if I’m doing this, I also need to grow my YouTube channel.
I need to do this so I was thinking about this and it took me about two months to really get going with this because I was looking at the leverage, looking at my team, looking at what I was doing and what I could outsource, etc. and getting all the pieces in place.
So I was looking at all that and, again, I’m going to walk you through and share all of that with you, everything so that you can go from being a one man show, one woman show, and you can add people on and how to add people on, etc.
I’m not going to be able to get through all of that over the next four days but we will get through it all in September.
So I’m looking at it all, going “so where are my gaps? Where is my process at?
What is creating a gap?
Where am I holding stuff up?”
And I figured out my steps.
So no, I do not have a podcast yet, however, this is what I was doing. I need to shape up my videos and my trainings with my family, with you so that they can easily be turned into a podcast, so that they can easily be turned into a YouTube video, so they can easily be turned into other content.
And so that was my goal moving into August and that’s way I started doing that. I was like “okay, that’s what needs to happen.”
This was the domino that needs to go.
So yeah, there is going to be podcast and that’s probably going to be coming starting in October or November.
This month is Instagram and Insta Stories, next month is YouTube so we have literally got this planned. We’re building our layers upon layers.
That’s how you do it.
You implement layers
Because what you are doing, everything you are doing when you are growing a business is about consistency and sustainability and what are you doing to do, how are you going to do it in a way that you can sustain it.
How are you going to do this in a way that you can keep using it and leveraging it to grow so all of these things, from the one thing and you know “what can I do right now so that it will make everything else easier or unnecessary?”
That is the defining question and the one thing so always be thinking that way.
So what happens is, as real estate agents, a lot of times what we do is “I need to do YouTube.” Or “I need to do LinkedIn.”
So we go do a couple of YouTube videos and we go over and do LinkedIn or we go over and do a couple of ads on Facebook or we go over and do something else and we have no consistency.
We have no momentum. And then we get busy like we have a horrid listing and what I mean by “horrid” is that it just sucks our time up or you know, we have these buyers who want us to see 50 billion of properties or whatever and we use that as an excuse to not be consistent but the truth is we use that as an excuse because we are overwhelmed by our inconsistency.
So we need to understand what are our steps, what are our progression, what’s one more thing that we are going to add without actually adding one more thing to our plate?
Well, that’s like existential, right?
It’s the exact same thing when you are losing weight or you are trying to get fit or you are trying to run a marathon- you have to build on each layer, right?
And you have to keep going. You have to have a vision for your overall plan and you need to not be overwhelmed by that vision.
And so you need to figure out what that’s going to look like for you and you need to move forward so that you can sustain and grow.
THAT IS THE KEY!
So again, over the next four days I will walk you through exactly what we did to gather the content, to batch the content, re-purpose the content and my ad strategy.
All four steps. Let’s see, yes, it’s four. The prep work, all the work before, the content creation, how to re-purpose the content and then the ad strategy that we are using for the content, alright?
And this everything related to what I would consider my “Lead Domino,”which is everyday at 10 am with you, teaching, guiding, mentoring, whatever it is that you need from what I’ve experienced, what I’ve I’ve lived through, what I’ve learned that I can help you with.
So that’s the next four days.
But here’s what I want you to do- today is to enjoy your Labor Day!
We are having a party this afternoon. I’m super excited.
It’s like our end of the year party. We had a Memorial Day party so that was our big beginning of the year party so now it’s time for the end of the year.
We have a pool so it’s kinda fun to do that. It’s not really our pool opening and our pool closing party because we opened it a month earlier and we are leaving it open a month longer, however, it’s kind of a beginning of the season, end of the season party. And it’s kind of fun to have everybody over and to do all that kind of stuff.
But here’s the thing, if you are working today and that’s fine, but do you have a life?
The gaps in your business might actually be the fact that you aren’t spending any time in your life or that you are feeling guilty for enjoying a party or doing something when other people are saying you should be doing open houses today or whatever.
You need to have a plan and a vision for where you want to go, what you want to be and what that looks like in your life. What your life looks like for you, what you want, not what someone else wants and you need to stick to that.
You need to be sure that nobody else is telling you “oh, you are taking the week of Christmas off? You shouldn’t be doing that because that’s going to slow you down for next year.”
Good night, that happened every single year in our business. We constantly heard people saying that, “well, real achievers are working,” and I’m like “hmm, really?
We did over four thousand transactions in twenty years, are you calling me not an achiever? Hello! I’ve done more than most agents can ever dream of doing in their entire lives.”
So it’s because their perspective was “always be working! Always be closing! Always be hustling!” It’s a lie! It is a lie.
But you need to design your life, design your business so that you don’t feel guilty. There should be no guilt.
There should be no guilt as to when you should take time off or when you enjoy it or when you don’t.
Seriously, that’s where the gaps can be found.
For me, I was like “okay, here’s what I’m going to do. I want to schedule work. I want to work Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays” because my husband is in the performing arts and his schedule is all over the place, right?
When he has shows, when they are rehearsing, when they are doing all kinds of stuff, I wanted to be available to spend time with him during the day. Well, I’m not going to work at night because I’m a morning person.
So I decided “okay, you know what, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, those are going to be my absolute “I’m in the office” days, and I schedule everything for that from 9-2. That’s like fifteen hours a week. That’s fifteen hours a week.
Now, I go live Monday and Friday, absolutely I go live so I work about two hours on Monday and about 2 hours on Friday so I work just under twenty hours a week now officially.
Now yesterday, we were driving out to take my son to college and I took my computer while my husband drove and I just did some work, got stuff done, easy stuff I could do, absolutely, so I pull it in every once in a while when it’s not interfering with our family time and not interfering with my sleep and not interfering with my routines, so yeah, I do put in a little bit more than twenty hours a week but I don’t put in forty hours a week.
I don’t. And I don’t feel guilty about it. I’m not. I don’t care what people say about hustle I don’t care about them.”
The entire reason…this is what I did in real estate. The entire reason that I was in real estate, the entire reason I am in this business is because I want time with my family so I’m designing my business around my life.
And here’s the thing about it- when you…do you know every single time you go on vacation, right, it’s amazing how productive you are right before you go on vacation, like totally, it is amazing how productive you are. You know you’re not going to be there and you know you have to get stuff done and you get stuff done.
Well why don’t you live every day like that?
Why don’t you live every week like that? When you tell yourself “I’ve got fifteen hours to get everything I need to get done this week” here’s what happens- you are like “I can’t get it all done!”
Yeah, well, if you are smart, you will go “Well what must be done?”
You will then start realizing “well that over there doesn’t actually need to be done especially by me” or “that over there, why am I even doing that? It’s not part of my must-be’s, it not part of my priorities.”
I cut mine in half. I cut mine in half because I was like “I’m getting down into my office and I’m actually wasting time.” I don’t want to waste time. I want to be 100% productive in the time I’m in my office.
So I planned around it- I said, “okay, I’m going to start at this time in the morning” and I’m not going to work more than this many hours because I’ve noticed then when I work than that many hours during in a given day I then start fooling around. Yeah, so that’s all apart of this.
So you need to figure out what you want out of your days, out of your life, out of everything.
You need to also look at the gaps in your business so we’re actually going to walk through that all of September with you because this is so important.
We are going into a slower season for most of us in real estate and we need to figure “what do we want?
Why are we caving to the guilt that the industry puts on us that’s fake guilt.
Why do we care what someone else thinks or does?”
We can build our business our way and that is my big passion is that you build your business your way.
We built our real estate business our way. We built it our way so much that we were able to take it and go travel for fifteen months on the road.
We bought an RV. We bought a motor home and we traveled for fifteen months with our four kids, our four cats and our dog.
And people were like “um, you can’t do that.” I can’t believe the number of people who told us that we couldn’t do that, while we were doing it, you know that phrase.
I can’t remember the exact quote it is but that people who say it can’t be done, step aside so that people who are actually doing it make way for the people who are actually getting it done. I don’t remember the exact phrase but you know what I mean?
Don’t let someone else tell you what can or cannot be done. You build your business your way, seriously, you build your business your way.
So we are going to walk through the next four days, a four step business growth system in a box, and yes, it involves a video because I chose, when I decided to build Leads and Leverage, I said that I did not want to be a speaker.
I am not afraid of being a speaker. I am comfortable on stage. I’m fine with it, not a big deal. Obviously everybody could always learn it better. I could become better but I did not want to be.
Do you know why?
Someone else’s time controlling my time, someone else’s topics controlling my topics, someone else’s schedule deciding how I travel, when I travel, where I stay, what it looks like. Not going to do it. I didn’t want to do it but I wanted to help you so now I built it, we’re going and now we’re going full head start and I wanted to make sure I get this message out there.
I’m going to be on video everywhere. I will be on podcasts
I will be doing everything because I need to get out there helping you.
Now, if you have a recommendation for me or if you want to hear me on one of your favorite podcasts, tell me which ones! And then let your podcast people know that you would love to have me come on.
Tell them it could be about whatever. I don’t care what it is, general stuff, all kinds of stuff and I’ve been on several podcasts before but now I’m like “boom, I’m going to do this more and more” because I want need to help you.
I need to get out there and I’m not afraid of the people saying it can’t be done.
I’m not afraid of the people saying that I shouldn’t do this. I’m not afraid of the people saying “don’t do it that way.” I’m not. I don’t care anymore. I just don’t care anymore because this is too important.
Call it my age, call it whatever but I see so many, especially so many women struggling with their families and struggling with the expectations of the industry and they’re false expectations but they’re struggling with the expectations of the industry.
This is a big, fat lie. It all is. It all is and no, you don’t have to always be closing and no, you don’t have to always be doing things the way they say to do them.
When you hear these “top-producers” and these “guru’s” up on stages, etc., I can tell you right now I have a hard time going and listening to most of these because I’ve done more than most of them.
And so, I listen to them I go to them and I’m like “you are saying what? Like first of all, what? Why would I do that? Second of all, you are saying everybody needs to do that?”
So here’s what happens. I’ll just tell you right now that every single top producing agent actually has a strength.
They have their own strength.
They are not all masters of open-houses.
They are not all masters of FSBO’s.
They are not all master of expireds.
They are not all masters of online lead generation.
They are not all masters of direct mail.
They are not all masters of email marketing.
They are not.
But they get up there and we treat them like they are masters and experts and all this stuff and we listen to what they have to say and they freaking suck on Facebook or they freaking suck in their email marketing or they suck in their direct mail because they were an open house person or because they were a door to door person or they were whatever.
See, that’s the problem that we get into. Instead of going “ what do I like, what should I do, what does my family look like, etc., what should I get to know and we forget about the changing elements that are going on in the world.
And I don’t mean political regimes, I mean social media, and online and what’s happening and what Facebook is pushing out and what Instagram is pushing out and what people are looking for- they are looking for connections. They are looking for real relationships.
And so what you are going to see over the next several months from me is number one, a shift, a shift in the brand. So a shift in Leads and Leverage- you are going to start seeing my name instead of Leads and Leverage, yeah, because it needs to be me. I need to get myself out there.
When I started Leads and Leverage, honestly I was ill, I was recovering at the time from being ill and I didn’t have a lot of energy so wanted a business where I didn’t have to give a lot of myself.
Well, that didn’t actually help you. I mean, yeah, I could give you the tools and then everyone else could come along and give you the same tools in different ways but what you actually need is you need empowerment.
And that word can be flippant but you do. You need empowerment, you need focus, you need encouragement, you need strength, you need to know that you can grow, you need to know that yeah, we are hot messes and we can still do this.
We have kids. We have four kids, four boys, and yes, we can still work from home. It’s all possible to do all this.
You also need to know that not all of your time has to be work. You need to know that there is a life out there and that is why you are working for time and money. That is why most of us get into real estate. Anyways, I could go on and on about this!
So you are going to see a shift in everything that is going on because it’s going to be about me trying to help you, me trying to share what I’ve learned and me learning from you.
Because when I see and I’m learning and I notice what someone else is doing, I go “oh! I’ve hadn’t thought of that. I could actually implement that into my life and that would work for me.”
You are going to see a shift in all of this, a shift in everything.
A lot of it is focused on Facebook lead generation. A lot of it is focused on online lead generation and lead generation in general.
But here’s the key- all lead generation for real estate, all of it, is more successful when it’s about you as a person helping them as a person. That’s the way it works.
You are way more successful when you are doing that. Instead of just trying to do “touches” or get your stuff out there or make noise, when you’re physically helping people, they want to help you. They want to be a part of you. It’s just amazing.
I was listening to Dan Lok the other day and he was talking about the difference between generalists, specialists, experts and celebrities.
He was talking about, it was kind of the wealth ladder and he was talking about these different things. And I’m like most real estate agents are generalists which is why they don’t stand out.
Even specialists…I specialize in you know move-up buyers, or I specialize in investment property, I specialize in that yeah, you make more money the higher upper up you go the more money you make.
"Experts….what are you an expert at? Where are you going?"
Right now I’m going from kind of a specialist to an expert realm. That’s where I think I am and I really want to just jump up to that celebrity realm and not because of the celebrity meaning but because I want to create a movement.
I want to change our industry. I want especially the women in our industry to know that we don’t have to choose one over the other.
We don’t have to choose our business over our lives. We don’t have to lose that time with our spouses or with our kids, that we can do it but it takes actually understanding how to budget your time.
It takes not giving into that “I have to be doing it all “ and I think women really feel like they have to be the housekeepers, they have to be the cooks and they have to be the grocery shoppers.
This has nothing to do with “men should kick it up.” It has absolutely nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with what women see themselves as.
We see ourselves as the good wife, the good mom which means that we think that, we think that means we have to do all the meals, we have to do all of this or all of that because that shows our caring.
And I just want to walk through this whole, as we are moving forward, I just want to walk through and show you that you can be you and that it’s okay if you are putting your family first. That is fine.
Your goal does not have to be to make $200,000 a year in real estate. It doesn’t. Maybe you just want $20,000. That’s okay too.
Again, it’s about you, your goals, your life and what you want to do. I’m going to show you the business growth system in a box over the next several days and I want you to take it and shape it for your business.
And then over the next month, for sure, hop over to my Instagram. It is www.instagram.com/ChristinaEthridge.
Hop over to my Instagram. Look at the behind the scenes that’s going on. Look at what my life looks like. It’s not perfect and it’s going to get messier meaning I’m going to share more of what real life is and what real feelings are and the real struggles that I deal with every single day.
I’ve noticed that the last couple of months I’d noticed myself kind of getting down into this quagmire of blah. We have had a lot happening and I’ve shared that my husband has had multiple mini-strokes, he’s okay, he’s functioning and all of that.
And I’ve shared that my brother-in-law is going through a kidney transplant or will be so my sister needs help. My parents are older. I’ve got kids going back and forth to college, just all kinds of things going on.
We’ve got the IRS wants us. I mean, they’re not chasing us down, they just want a lot of money from us so all of these things are going on so you know, life isn’t perfect, it’s a mess. How do you keep moving forward, how do you get through that?
I just want to share that because I realize you know what? Everybody thinks that, like I get comments all the time “man I wish I could get to where you are and I’m like I feel like I’m in the same place so much, so much, I could go on and on.
So today was more of a chit-chat about what’s going to happen because it’s Labor Day and I want you guys to go and have some fun today, seriously.
We are hosting a party but here’s the thing, here’s another trick I want to tell you. We are hosting a party and people are like “oh my gosh you are hosting a party?” Well, we have the pool, we have the BBQ, we have a hot tub, we have a fire pit.
We have a nice space here and oh that’s like so exhausting but I’m like you know here’s what my party hosting party skills consists of- I’ve got the pool and I have the hot dogs, the buns and the condiments. That is it.
Everyone else brings everything else- I don’t have to do it all. I don’t. Despite what I think I want to do, despite all of that, I’m like “no, no, no, I want this to be easy. I want to enjoy it. I do not want to be running around especially since Saturday was a birthday, a 21st birthday, Sunday was going back and forth to college, three and a half hours in each direction. Today is the party and tomorrow is another birthday and we will be going back and forth to college again, not tomorrow, but over the next couple of days.
So I have a lot going on but I don’t want to give up the party. I don’t want to give up my friends so how can we do this? We’re doing it this way and that’s how I’m actually hosting all the parties. Super easy because the point is, the people and it doesn’t have to be super fancy. And I’m not willing to cater stuff out right now because we are on kind of a gazelle thing to pay those taxes.
So I don’t want to stop living because of my time and I don’t want to stop living because I have a tight budget right now. Get it?
We feel guilty for not doing all these things and we’re going to walk through that because this is life and life continues on. There is no perfect moment. There is no perfect time.