If You’re Grinding, You Might Be Doing It Wrong

I’ve got a short, simple, but very powerful message for you.

Early in my loan officer career, I found myself working like 50, 60, 70 hours a week. And here’s the funny thing. My coworkers encouraged me to work those kinds of hours. They patted me on the back and said things like, “Hey Carl, nobody works harder than you.”

It was like a badge of honor for me, until a dear friend of mine asked me a really simple question that was a slap in the face—but in a good way. 

He said, “Carl, you’re working long hours and weekends. Let me ask you something. How is that working out for your family? When you’re hanging out with your kids on a Saturday, but you’re on the phone the whole time, are they giving you high fives too?”

That question changed my entire life.

Is There Such a Thing as Work-Life Balance?

When he asked me about my kids high-fiving my workaholism, I laughed and told him that I didn’t believe there was such a thing as work-life balance.

And he looked me in the eye and said, “Carl, if you think there’s no such thing as a work-life balance, you’re doing it wrong.”

I went home that night and really pondered what he said. And I started questioning everything I was doing. I realized he was absolutely right. I was indeed doing it wrong.

I saw some top-producing loan officers who were working night and day like I was, but I also noticed that there were other top-producing loan officers who were working 32 hours a week or less. And most of these people were helping even more families than I was at the time. So I started interviewing and studying those loan officers who were having epic success but working 40 hours a week or less.

I talked to loan officers on the phone. I did video conferencing. Some of them I even flew out to see—I was that serious about my quest to learn how to close more loans working less hours. And I took copious notes. I was determined to become a top-producing loan officer without sacrificing my family to do it.

The Daily Success Plan

I compiled their top strategies and came up with what I’ve been using for the past 15 years. What I found was that there was a very simple set of activities that we now call the Daily Success Plan, or DSP. I didn’t come up with these. I swiped most of them (with permission) from the top-producing loan officers who shared them with me.

The DSP happens from the hours of 9-11am four days a week. Just short bursts of time each weekday morning. There’s a reason these top producers did these activities in the morning—because they wanted to make darn sure they got done. If you don’t purposefully block off those hours, you’re going to start your day with emails and putting out fires, and you look up and it’s lunch time and you’ve gotten nothing accomplished toward your goals. All that clutter—all those “urgent tasks”—just completely got in the way of your prospecting.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I love this saying: don’t get so busy building the farm that you forget to milk the cows. What I found is that, when we focus the first two hours of each day on our DSP, I can close 20, 40, 50 loans a month of personal production. I’ve achieved that elusive work-life balance, and I’m working less than 40 hours a week while experiencing epic success. 

Here’s what I discovered: I didn’t have to change everything. It was just some simple tweaks to what we were already doing. 

The Daily Success Plan Breakdown by Day

Monday 9-11am: calling our realtor referral partners. We get a list of agents that we know—or who have a mutual contact—and we call them up and start asking for business. It’s not by offering to do things for them. You’re not offering to become the realtor’s assistant—that’s not scalable. I did that in the past—which was a huge mistake—because I didn’t have the right script.

Tuesday 9-11am: Just Ask calls. We call the borrower, the co-borrower, the listing agent, the buying agent, the title company, and the closing attorney—and update them on the file. They love getting updates, but that’s not our primary reason for the call. At the end of each call, we ask each person if they have anyone they could refer to us. With the listing agents especially, this is a great way to show them how awesome you are and ask for more business from the very beginning, not just wait until the closing.

Wednesday 9-11am: calling our past database. This isn’t just refis. We’re asking our past database for their friends, family, and coworkers who might be looking to purchase a home. We snail mail, email, and call them. Don’t make the mistake of just emailing them. That’s the least effective method of all. 

Thursday 9-11am: calling our pre-approved and lookings. We call each person that’s been pre-approved and people who are looking for houses. We keep the fence-sitters excited about finding a house and use things like future-casting. We use our influence as long as it’s in their best interest to stay in the game making offers. We also get referrals from these people—friends and family looking for houses.

Once I implemented the DSP and began having the right conversations by design, I started having a lot more closings—all while working 40 hours a week or less. Now I work 32 hours a week or less. These simple activities produce massive results. They help me close more loans with less headaches and have more time for coolness in my life.

We’d love to walk through the Daily Success Plan with you. No gimmicks, no catches, no software to buy, just a simple set of activities. We’ll look at what you’re already doing and help you implement the DSP into your week. And the call is absolutely free. You might as well see what it’s all about, right? Click here to schedule your FREE strategy session TODAY.