To innovate is to, fundamentally, make change. I recently read a statement by author Marshall Goldsmith that outlines why most people don’t succeed at what they set out to do in life. He says:
“As much as we all claim to want happiness and meaning in our lives (very few people say that they want to live miserable, empty lives), there’s a paradoxical catch that thwarts us at every turn. I call it the Mojo Paradox and I want you to burn it into your memory:
Our default response in life is
not to experience happiness.
Our default response in life is
not to experience meaning.
Our default response in life
is to experience inertia.
In other words, our most common everyday process—the thing we do more often than anything else—is continue to do what we’re already doing.
If you’ve ever come to the end of a TV show and then passively continued watching the next show on the same channel, you know the power of inertia. You only have to press a button on the remote (an expenditure of less than one calorie of energy) to change the channel. Yet many of us cannot do that. Quite often, inertia is so powerful that we can’t even hit the remote to turn the TV off! We continue doing what we’re doing even when we no longer want to do it.
Inertia is the reason I can say the following with absolute certainty about your immediate future. The most reliable predictor of what you will be doing five minutes from now is what you are doing now. If you’re reading now, you’ll probably be reading five minutes from now. The same is true for almost any other daily activity. If you are drinking or exercising or shopping or surfing the internet now, you will probably be drinking or exercising or shopping or surfing the internet five minutes from now. Take a minute to let that sink in and weigh the statement against your own life.” –Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get it Back If You Lose It, pp. 34-35.
He continues: “Very few people achieve positive, lasting change without ongoing follow-up. Unless they know at the end of the day (or week or month) that someone is going to measure if they’re doing what they promised to do, most people fall prey to inertia. They continue doing what they were doing. They don’t change their behavior, and as a result, they don’t become more effective.”—Mojo, p. 36.
Many property managers fall prey to this trap of going with the flow (of doing things the way they’ve always been done) instead of looking for new ways to innovate and improve. Here are five ways you can avoid going with the flow:
Improve your associations.
Get around others who stretch your mind and help you see the possibilities. Join NARPM or look for other associations who can help you learn different ways to do things than how you’ve always done them. Look at converting your business to a franchise model with proven systems and better ways to scale. You may learn shortcuts and more efficient ways to get better results. Without improved association, you’ll stay confined within a self-made prison where there is only one way to do something (which may or may not be the best way to do it).
Have an accountability partner that follows up with you to ensure that you accomplished what you set out to do each week or month.
This will help you make lasting change because it will help you interrupt what you were doing to focus on what you should be doing.
Avoid the comfort zone like the plague.
The only way you’ll ever innovate, try new things and stop doing what you’ve been doing is to stretch yourself and stay out of the comfort zone. This is much easier said than done because when you choose to move out of your comfort zone, you experience resistance. If you resist change, you’re really resisting success. If you learn to be flexible, you’ll learn from your mistakes and get better, not bitter.
When you experience discouragement and defeat, choose to bounce rather than break.
Author Roger Crawford was born without seven fingers and one leg. How many in a similar situation would have broken with such a condition? He didn’t. He has bounced back from this setback to become a successful tennis player and is a highly sought-after motivational speaker. In his book How High Can You Bounce? he makes this statement: “Life’s problems are like small fires in a large building. If we can shut a door and confine the problem to one area, it is less likely to spread. But if all of the doors are open, the problems can feed on each other and build into one huge inferno of negativism and hopelessness. Which would you rather be, powerful or pitiful? Would you prefer to take charge and take off? Or just take it? To act or to react? Nothing can devastate us without our permission. We can choose to describe any situation in resilient language.”—How High Can You Bounce, p. 25.
If you choose to make a different decision with your business and you are paralyzed by fear shortly after you make the decision to the point where you stop or quit the progress you’re making, you’ve experienced this type of resistance. Work at being more resilient and open to doing new things. It will help you grow quicker and get to where you want to go much faster than sticking with the status quo.
Know where you are going.
The clearer you are about your own personal vision, the easier it will be to say no to competing demands for your time and efforts.
We can’t be like Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, who asks for directions in this way during her encounter with the Cheshire Cat:
“Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?” she asks.
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get,” the cat replies with a grin.
“I don’t care much where,” she answers.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” the cat responds.
If you are undecided about the direction of your property management business, you will merely drift along (and will likely not achieve the success you could if you would just focus in on what you need to do).
It takes a conscious choice to break free of your own inertia. Get around others who can help you. Reading this blog post may have sparked a way for you to learn new ways to innovate, grow and expand your business. If you would like to talk with someone who can help you explore converting your business into a proven franchise model, schedule a call by clicking here.
Making the choice to overcome your own resistance to implement new and better ways of promoting your business will make all of the difference to help you get to where you want to be.