There’s always something to howl about

A kinder, gentler Jeff Brown challenge: Catch yourself doing something worthwhile — for every day in September.

It’s hard not to love Jeff Brown’s prospecting challenge. But it’s kind of easy to note that most of us have not raised our hands to submit ourselves to its arduous benefits. It goes for me, too: If I have six hours to spare on any given day, I’m going to throw it at marketing — specifically software — not prospecting. Mainly, though, because our marketing is producing healthy results, I don’t have a lot of time to spare in any case.

Take note: I am not absolving you of anything. If you don’t have enough money work, and if you don’t have any money, prospecting will solve those two problems in very short order.

But whether or not you are running Jeff’s gauntlet, the kind of goal-achieving behavior we have been talking about is hugely beneficial — to your health, to your wealth and to your happiness.

So: Let’s set ourselves a challenge. Declare a worthwhile goal — prospecting, exercise, learning a new skill, etc. — and then jump in and actually do it for every day in September. You can use the don’t break the chain strategy I talked about yesterday. Here is a printer-ready September calendar.

Goal-setting is easy. It’s actually accomplishing your goals that is so hard. Between public declarations here, in the comments below, and that growing chain of red X’s, the month of September 2010 could mark a turning point in all of our lives.


18 Comments so far

  1. Greg Swann August 31st, 2010 6:17 pm

    I ain’t scared: I’ll go first. I’m already working out every day, and I pledge to continue that. But I also declare my resolve to devote a minimum of 30 minutes each day to improving’s web presence: Editing pages, goosing the SEO, adding content, etc.

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  3. Scott Cowan August 31st, 2010 8:50 pm

    Great idea Greg,

    I had already committed myself to taking the full challenge from September 1st to December 31st. I am going to do 6 hours of prospecting 5 days a week and I will be posting my results on my blog site for anyone that is interested in seeing my results.

    I will also be using the chain idea to help build the commitment to the success of my efforts.

    Since tomorrow is the start date and I have already committed myself to a meeting from 10am until 5pm I am starting off by stumbling out of the gate. I know before 10am I can get a couple of hours in and afterwards I can get a couple more in so it will not be a complete loss of a day as far as prospecting goes.

    Here’s to taking off the training wheels and heading out on to the road under my own power. I’m scared to death and strangely excited at the same time. No matter what the final results are I know I will be a better person and agent because of my decision to go for it.

  4. Greg Swann August 31st, 2010 9:13 pm

    > Here’s to taking off the training wheels and heading out on to the road under my own power.

    Good on ya, Scott. I can’t wait to see how high you soar.

  5. Teri Lussier September 1st, 2010 4:43 am

    This is such perfect timing- Jeff, Chris, Greg- y’all have no idea. Or, you probably do. 🙂

    I too, have signed on for Jeff’s challenge, but I was thinking of the 1st 30 days and how crucial it is to do something for 30 days to develop a habit, the string of red x’s is great for that.

    I’ll add two commitments here in front of God and everybody: Exercise- which to me also includes deep house cleaning, yard work, etc, all stuff that I need to finish and will take at least an hour of my time, works up a sweat and uses muscles in ways they don’t typically get used. The second one is more internal. Focus and time management are aspects of my life I am working hard to improve. I mentioned on Chris Johnson’s post that I started an Accountability Calendar in GCal and copied my husband on it. I’m committing to keeping an accurate and honest accounting of how I spend my time everyday for a month. A brutally honest record should be eye-opening, but more importantly it should be productive, allowing me an unflinching look into SWOT.

    Here’s to the truth, to the next 30 days, and to a kickass October!

  6. Greg Swann September 1st, 2010 8:05 am

    Accountability and spouses: Both Otis and Desdemona expired when their muscles gave out on them. Couldn’t get on their feet any more, lost the will to eat, dead almost immediately. Cathleen is convinced that exercise will extend life for our other dogs, especially Odysseus, so she’s been on me to go with her to walk the dogs every day. Easy to resist in summer, but the weather has broken. Meanwhile, here’s Greg pontificating about goal-achievment…

    So: Now Odysseus and I are committed to a quotidian 30 minute walk on the canal with all of the gorgeous women in our lives. I can’t guarantee I will be home at any normal hour of the day, so it’s 7 am for everyone, like it or don’t. I get up at 6, anyway, so I can put out all of my overnight fires before we go — and I can foresee one or both of us taking Back-East phone calls while we are enleashed — but this is doable. Eminently so. We finished half an hour ago, and I feel great — so far. Talk to me after I do the weights, too. 😉

    > Here’s to the truth, to the next 30 days, and to a kickass October!

    Indeed. If this works, let’s set up new challenges next month. I vote for a day of total indulgence for Halloween.

  7. scott cowan September 1st, 2010 7:30 am

    Another thing I am committing to and this might harder for me to build a chain of x’s with is that I will not eat food from a window for the month of September. I have a weakness for the Golden Arches and due to that weakness I have the extra weight to show for it. I have printed out the calendar that Greg shared and I will with great joy put a x through each and every day that I do not eat food through a window. Since I will not actually step foot inside of a fast food place by eliminating the drive through option I should see the pounds roll off.

  8. Greg Swann September 1st, 2010 8:27 am

    > I will with great joy put a x through each and every day that I do not eat food through a window.

    I’m with you. Since the salmonella thing, I have lost my love for Egg McMuffins — formerly my breakfast on the road for morning appointments. I’m trying to eat better, anyway, and this is a good solution.

    So that makes four goals for me in September. It’s easy for me to bite off more than I can chew, but with four goals, I can use the four corners of each square on the calendar to note my success. That’s visually chaotic, but, if I leave a hole, I can circle it in black so I don’t get away with anything.

    Here’s a quick health tip, something I understood perfectly fifteen years ago: When you eat, eat half as much. Even if you eat twice as often (you won’t), you’ll still do a better job of burning off the pounds. And you’ll be surprised how full you’ll feel after one hamburger, or whatever, when you thought you wanted two.

    So I’m publicly committed to four goals for each day in September, with the mark I will use on the calendar:

    * 30 minutes walking with Odysseus and the ladies — W.

    * 30 minutes of weights/rowing/crunches/etc. — X.

    * 30 minutes of web-site improvements — S.

    * No food from drive-throughs — F.

    Three of my four are health and fitness related, and only one of them business-focused. But if I can make my body feel better, I can get more work done — and devoting time to work is never a problem for me. 😉

    I think this — all off this, all of us, all that we are doing — is very cool. It’s always too easy to focus on what’s wrong, but concentrating on what we’re getting right — and getting better at it — will make everything better in the long run.

    And in the short run: Red letters on the calendar as a celebration of fulfilled commitments and as a salute to the benefits to come.

  9. scott cowan September 1st, 2010 9:08 am

    Fantastic Greg! I look forward to seeing how you progress through the month. I put the calendar on the fridge so my kids would see it. The fridge is the only place I KNOW they will see things! I put my starting weight as of this morning (ugh 290) and I will put my ending weight on it come the end of the month. I know that will motivate me to continue!

    As far as eating half as much I agree that is a great plan. Lately I have been eating twice as much! so if I can get the scale to move in a downward direction I know I will feel better and all of my other goals will be a bit easier to obtain because I will not be as tired and will have more stamina!

  10. Greg Swann September 1st, 2010 10:18 am

    I just recorded my weight as of today — 238 lbs. — on the top left corner of the calendar. I’ll note it again at the end of the month.

    Note well: For men, the issue is waist, not weight. If you increase your muscle density, you may not lose weight, but you should lose a lot of waistline — and that’s where the heart attacks live.

    Here is my web-site work for today: Practical examples of how we cherry-pick profitable rental home investments in the near-suburbs of Phoenix. I won’t bore y’all with this stuff every day, but that’s a nice example of the kind of weblog post that consistently makes us money. I may turn it into an auto-response follow-up letter for investors who make contact with us.

    Gotta bounce: Showing condos in Scottsdale.

  11. Jeff Brown September 1st, 2010 9:13 am

    Gotta think Dad’s smilin’ about now.

  12. Bob Hunter September 1st, 2010 9:33 am

    Prospecting 6 hours a day?!!!!!

    My goal, if I (and I WILL) acheive it, will be fantastic; to actually prospect EVERY day.
    For me just getting the x’s to line up will be the appetizer, increasing the time alloted will be the meat/potatoes, better bottom line will be dessert.

    As Greg says, goals are easy to set. I have been searching for friends to help with goal acheivement and accountability, but they seem to fall off the wagon when it comes to following through.

    What a timely challenge for me, thanks to the BHB gang.

    Scott, I know you can break the mickey d attraction. Being an ice cream addict I once gave it up for an entire year just to prove my willpower. You can do it too!

  13. Teri Lussier September 1st, 2010 12:49 pm

    >Here is my web-site work for today

    That’s plain amazing. I’m stealing it, thanks!

    >I won’t bore y’all with this stuff every day

    Funny. 😉

  14. Greg Swann September 1st, 2010 6:15 pm

    I’m adding an A for “appointment” to my calendar. I can’t guarantee that I’ll have at least one listing or showing appointment every day, but that’s a rich target to aim for, as it were.

    A good idea, for achieving goals, is to be able to visualize success. This is what I’m shooting for:

    That’s the eastern end of Camelback Mountain, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, as seen from my car earlier today. Two-time Unchained alumnus Scott Gaertner told us more than a year ago that we should be working there. (We were too clueless to figure this out for ourselves.) We’re in there more and more, but not as much as we want to be. But inch by inch, day by day, we’re closing in on the joint. I was privileged to show this house there last Saturday, a singular delight. I’m happy to work anywhere, at any price point, but this is the kind of work I’m working toward.

  15. Keith Meredith September 1st, 2010 7:27 pm

    I’m in the same boat with SEO, but I need to get into the gym, that and I need to set aside time everyday for marketing projects that take time to come to fruition but will produce greater results.

  16. Greg Swann September 3rd, 2010 11:31 am

    And then… Silence…

    I’d love to hear how folks are doing. And it’s not too late to get started. You don’t need to work about the first of the month. That’s gone. What matters is the rest of the month — and the rest of your life.

    No appointment for me yesterday and none today, boo hoo, but five so far over the weekend. To show is to sell, as the old timers used to say. Here’s to the hard-working dogs laboring away for Labor Day!

  17. Scott Cowan September 8th, 2010 6:31 am

    Showed on Sunday, Showed on Tuesday and wrote an offer. 7 days in a row without food through a window….2 listing appointments scheduled. Lots of leads to chase down that might lead somewhere but have not lead to a first date yet.

  18. Greg Swann September 8th, 2010 6:52 am

    Bravo! And you’re just getting started…