"Why isn't anything HAPPENING?..."
That was my exasperated woe-is-me refrain in the beginning. When I was first starting my property business, I was convinced that I was going to dozens of pre-qualified viewings, that I was spending hours on the phone with agents, and I was pounding the pavement all day long to get more property deals.
My days would end and I would be convinced that I had done all the right things, but I never felt any satisfaction or accomplishment. What the hell was happening?! Where was my deal?!
It felt like I was on a hamster wheel (and it wasn't as much fun as it looks above, either!). I'm not dumb, so if I was doing as much as I thought, why wasn't I seeing any results? I needed an independent way of checking up on myself (and I'm a bit of a data/numbers geek), so that's when I decided to Track mytats.
On an Excel spreadsheet, I broke down my working day into 15-minute increments, and put those times down column A. Then, for two weeks, I filled in what activities I was doing during those time slots ("0830-0845: financial analysis; 0845-0900: plan what to say when I call Agent X, 1200-1245: lunch" and so on for the whole day).
I quantified as much as I could (number of phone calls, number of viewings, etc), and at the end of 2 weeks reviewed what my days actually looked like.
My results made me want to vomit with disappointment.
The first problem was that I was working from home. And anyone who works from home knows how easy it is to slip into things like "Oh that pile of laundry is distracting me... I'll just start a load and then settle down at my desk"; "I am hungry, maybe I'll finally make that recipe that I've been wanting to try"; "I'm allowed to take coffee breaks, so I'll multi-task while doing so and call Virgin to get a quote for the broadband at home"; and on and on and on.
The second problem was that I didn't set targets for my days or weeks. Each day was a blank slate and I would sit down at my desk and then look for work to do instead of working off a plan. I'd make a few phone calls, do some research on Rightmove (then take a coffee break), make a few tweaks to our deal analysis spreadsheet, respond to some emails, go view a property or two, and do whatever else fell in my path that day. My days had no structure. I was reacting to events instead of taking control of them.
Tracking my Stats was hugely eye opening. And while it was disappointing to see how my time was being spent (not invested), it was also a huge relief because suddenly I could see that my lack of results wasn't because I was unlucky and working too hard; it was because I was working too obliquely and without a plan.
So I started creating a plan for the week, setting targets for my days, and working to those plans and targets. The other stuff (emails, laundry, etc) got done too, but now I was working every day on the right things that would create the results I wanted.
And literally within weeks of my changing how I approached my days, we got a deal. It was only because I took the time to be honest with myself and Track my Stats that I was able to course correct and save myself the stress and worry that came with wondering why nothing was happening. Tracking my Stats then became all about making sure I executed against my plan and targets and we started seeing more and more consistent results.
The lesson here is to save your precious time and avoid the mental anxiety that comes from not knowing. Track your Stats and get an honest picture of what you are -- or are NOT -- doing, so you can course correct if needed and start focusing on the activities that will lead to results.
Track your Stats and take the guesswork out of success.