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Planning and Uncertainty

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Mike Tyson

As we approach the end of 2021, I want to convince you to set goals and plan your actions for 2022. The new year is only a month away.

Despite the uncertainty you’ve experienced in 2020 and 2021, goal setting and planning are more important than ever.

You may be tempted to think, “Why bother? Plans go out the window when there is a snap lockdown“.

To a degree, this is true. Uncertainty has a way of messing with plans. But does this mean we should have no plans?

In an article by Mike Bernadino in The Sun Sentinel, Mike Tyson was quoted as saying, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit. Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze“.

Bernadino expanded, “What I like so much about the quote is that its application stretches far beyond boxing. It really has meaning in any area of life, whether the blow comes from a health issue, losing your job, making a bad investment, a traffic jam, whatever.”

“It’s how you react to that adversity that defines you, not the adversity itself.

He makes a good point. It’s how we react to adversity that defines us. Goals and plans help us deal with adversity and uncertainty.

Plans give us a roadmap to follow, but we must plan for uncertainty, for contingencies. While it’s okay to hope that lockdowns are behind us, we should plan for the possibility of more.

For example, listings are in short supply around the country. Every agent wants listings. I’m sure you understand the need to do everything you can to build your stock levels, and that includes prospecting for new business.

But what happens if a snap lockdown makes door knocking impossible? Are you building your database of clients? Do you have lists of potential sellers you can call? Your contingency plan directs you to make phone calls – lots of them.

Your targets do not change. Your actions do.

As Mike Bernadino said, “It’s how you react to that adversity that defines you”.

And why do you need goals when they are blocked by obstacles like short-notice health orders?

Goals give you focus.

Without them, you won’t react quickly to adversity and uncertainty. You will be slower to bounce back. You may even give up.

Why do you hear leaders complain that their salespeople treat lockdowns as a “COVID Holiday“?

It’s because their people do not have goals, they don’t have plans, and they can’t deal with uncertainty and adversity.

They’ve been punched in the face… and to quote Mike Tyson, “… like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.

Thank you for taking the time to read my articles this past year. All the best to you and your family, and happy new year.

Gary Pittard

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