This past week on vacation and experiencing time off and relaxation has made me think of the journey as a dad, and in my marriage, and in business. The expression "The days are long but the years are short" is usually around raising children. Where do the years go? I can remember the first time we took my youngest son on a vacation, and now he is getting ready to be a teenager.
Similarly, I remember the first days starting out my real estate career. I put in hard work each day and eventually was able to close 71 deals by the end of my first year, and all I had was an administrator. Those days were painful. Those days were long. I was more than a full-time real estate agent, and then probably 30 hours a week I was a business builder. The thing that stuck with me the most was this question from e-myth: How would you think about your business differently if you had to replicate it 10,000 times?
Those days were really long. The journey was always about building a business that didn't rely on me. 2011 was the year I really pushed hard to systemize everything, and by January 2012, that was the last time I had anything to do with a transaction in my business.
To be able to raise your children, or to be able to grow a business, from what was essentially a thought to something that is full of life, and messy, really makes you think and look back on a journey.
The comfort I can give you is this: As long as you're committed, everything else falls into place. I had lots of good coaches, some not so great coaches, and I synthesized as much of it as I could. In 2012 I figured out sales and operations, and eventually in 5 years when the journey was fully underway, I was able to look back and see how far I'd come.
If you choose the path of traditional success, it'll have you working those long days and weekends forever. When you look back at it, you will see the same year after year with no progress and it'll be disheartening. There's no progression - that comes from mastering the "I do it" part of being a real estate agent. That comes from systems, and empowered people. That is what enables you to step out of your business.
When I stand next to my son, I can look back and think about those long days, but I can also see how far he's come since then.