As entrepreneurs, our coaches tell us to work on our business, but work on ourselves more. That’s easier said than done when our days are spent juggling customer acquisition and retention, personnel, finance and the myriad other balls we struggle to keep aloft.
I believe there is a common energy that connects us all and that we attract people and things to us with similar intention, heart and focus. Therefore, in order to evolve and attract good people and opportunities into our life, we have to rise to their level. Our unlimited potential as human beings makes this possible. The more we concentrate our energy in this way, the closer we come to realizing our life’s purpose, or true north. We are all works in progress, and the more we work to improve ourselves, the more our entire life evolves.
Here are six steps to set you on your path:
The first step is to decide what it is you truly want, both personally and professionally. Do you want to attract good relationships into your life? Do you want to do philanthropy? Do you want to invent a product or provide a service that will impact people’s lives for the better? Do you want to help people who haven’t had the same exposure to opportunities as you? Dream big because that is the only way you will grow, and then decide.
2. Be deliberate.
Establish daily routines and rituals to help systemize your evolution. For instance, every morning, I work out, shower, meditate and read. Then I close my eyes and take 120 seconds to visualize how I want my day to turn out. This moment of mindfulness keeps me present and focused on positive outcomes. Then, at the end of each day, I close my eyes and spend another 120 seconds reflecting on what worked throughout the day. Before I go to bed, I write down effective questions (more on that below) and five things for which I am grateful. The act of writing them down releases them from my thoughts so I can go to sleep with a clear and positive frame of mind.
Individual success and achievement are primarily based on one’s sense of self-worth. The picture that you have of yourself on the inside determines how you act and react on the outside. If you see yourself as a 4 out of 10, you will act like a 4 out of 10. When your self-image is positively reinforced with deliberate intention by writing affirmations, the benefits are ingrained in your subconscious mind.
Affirmations are short, positive statements written in first person in the present tense. They describe qualities you aspire to, the abundance you wish to attract into your life and so on. An app like Prompter!™ can help to habitualize the writing of your daily affirmations. The app provides a list of 12 affirmations for you to write out every day. After 21 days, the app provides a new list. Prompter!™ users span all ages and walks of life. I have been affirming for more than 30 years and firmly believe that doing so has played a key role in my personal and professional success.
4. Ask effective questions.
Whatever you are worried about likely can’t be resolved between midnight and 5 a.m., but it keeps you awake just the same. One way to put your subconscious mind to work and help you get a restful night’s sleep is to write down effective questions before you go to bed. Effective questions are open-ended and solicit a positive, constructive response. For example:
- How can I help to resolve this situation so everybody wins?
- With whom should I be speaking?
- How can I make a positive difference?
- How can I put my skills to good use?
- What is the root cause of our gridlock?
- What other ways can I try?
- What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
- Are my motivations based in love or fear?
Often when I practice this, my subconscious mind works on the solution overnight, and when I awake, I recall the name of someone I should call or an action I could take that will help me grow.
5. Establish a group of advisers.
The origin of the quote, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” is murky, but it’s one of my favorites. A core group of individuals who you respect, admire and trust can be an invaluable source of feedback as you set off on your journey to evolve. Personal and/or professional mentors know you in ways you may not know yourself. Bring them into your confidence and share how you want to improve and ask for their advice.
In business, we need a 30,000-foot view of our industry so we can spot trends and seize opportunities. A way to draw on the expertise of others to help you get the perspective of that high-level view is to listen to podcasts. According to Edison Research, monthly podcast listening is increasing in every age demographic, and the typical podcast consumer is likely to earn more than $100,000 per year. There are thousands of podcasts available on virtually any topic. My favorites include those discussing meditation, self-improvement and mentorship.
6. Write a personal mission statement.
As I travel across the U.S. and Canada, more than ever people are telling me they are searching for meaning in their lives. It isn’t about the money; they want to be a difference-maker. They’re searching for a cause or a path that truly resonates with them. They want to add value and leave their mark.
What is the legacy that you want to leave? Your written, personal mission statement will become the touchstone for every decision you make. It takes into account your priorities, life goals and code of conduct. It can take weeks or months to write. The homework you do on yourself and the effective questions you ask can help to define your mission statement.
Now is the only time we have, yet in the bedlam of business, it can be a challenge to be mindful and stay present in the moment. Dreams are in the present tense. Affirmations are in the present tense. Meditation is in the present tense. Your personal mission statement should be written in the present tense. The more often you can stay present in the moment, the higher your personal energy level, the more goodness you will attract into your life and the more you will evolve as a person.
I am a big fan of the North Star. When I was a child, Jiminy Cricket promised that when I wished upon a star, my dreams would come true. I later learned about slaves who found their way to safety and freedom at night through the Underground Railroad, and their only guide—their GPS—was the North Star.
We all have a personal North Star—that feeling in our gut that tells us when we’re on the right track and when we’re not. Trust your internal GPS as you embark on your journey of personal evolution towards your true north.
By Tami Bonnell
EXIT Realty Corp. International’s CEO, Tami Bonnell, is an internationally renowned leader in the real estate industry and was instrumental in building three major brands. Among her many achievements, she was recognized by real estate trend-watcher, Stefan Swanepoel, as one of the 200 most powerful and influential people in residential real estate and among the top 10 women leaders.
Tami has been a featured speaker at the National Association of REALTORS’® convention to the Top 500 Power Brokers, The National Women’s Council of REALTORS®, Inman News Connect Conference and the RISMedia’s Leadership Conference. She was named to the Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem’s (NAWRB) Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council and was honored by STEMconnector® as one of its 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Tami is a 30-plus-year veteran of the real estate industry and joined EXIT Realty in 1999. She was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2012.
She is a wife, mother and grandmother. In her spare time, she is a martial artist, coach, judge and referee.