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I don’t know how many people would openly admit this, but many feel they are just not exactly where they want to be yet in life. Some are close or on the right track, while others are nowhere near where they thought they would be. One thing that I have learned as a speaker and a trainer is that as much as I would like to believe that achieving goals is very complex, the truth is, most people miss the mark because they don’t realize how to simplify their strategies.

A man came up to me at a recent event to talk about his dreams, what he wanted to do with his life, and why, after all this time, he still felt like he wasn’t any closer than he was 10 years ago. As we were talking, I realized that, like most people, he had been talking about what he wanted for a long time, but really hadn’t been following a specific plan. It reminded me of a video I had watched some time ago that talked about four steps to follow in any business, which really helped me take my real estate business to new heights. The four steps were: potential, action, results and beliefs.

Think about it this way: If you were only two miles from my house and I asked you to come over, but didn’t give you directions, no matter how much you wanted to, you’d never get there. If you didn’t know which roads to take and where to turn, you’d probably never make it. Or in the best-case scenario, it would take you significantly longer to arrive than if you’d had the directions in the first place.

This is comparable to how most people run their businesses. They pretty much know where they want to go and just try to stay busy enough to get there. Yet they never arrive. Sound familiar? Let’s take a closer look at the road map for finally getting what you want out of your business.

There are two types of potential you have to consider. First, is your personal potential, and second, is the market potential. In other words, how many people want what you are selling? What very successful people are able to do is make this “potential” stage so real that they create the results in their head and actually feel like it has already happened. To these people, they are not “trying out real estate” or “giving it a shot.” In their minds, they have already reached their potential and now it is time to live it out.

I can relate to this. I was never trying to be a top REALTOR®, speaker or author. I have always felt a responsibility to do whatever it takes to reach the next level because it was supposed to happen. That is how real it is in my head and how real it has to be in yours as well. Remember that perception is reality. Whatever you believe to be truth is your reality so you might as well think good things about yourself.

Keep in mind that everyone’s potential is different. Don’t judge yourself according to someone else’s potential. I can play basketball all day and night and I will still never be as good as Kobe Bryant or Lebron James.

If you have handled the potential stage correctly then your potential will motivate you to take action. Haven’t you ever been so motivated about something that you were willing to do whatever it takes to see it through to completion? That is how you should feel transitioning into the action stage. If you find that you don’t have this kind of a feeling and are not motivated to take the kind of action needed to realize yours and your market’s potential, then you haven’t spent enough time in stage one. If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing for a living, the potential stage should leave you excited enough to want to take action.

If you have taken the right action then you will get the results that you want. I teach people all the time about the power of patterns, but following patterns is not enough. If you follow bad patterns you won’t get the results you want. If you are not sure what action to take, one of the greatest things you can do is model the actions of someone who is getting the kind of results you want to have in your business.

If you spent the proper amount of time in stage one considering your potential then you should also have an unshakeable belief that you are going to be successful. The interesting thing is that your belief could have come from the potential stage or, in many cases, it actually comes from your life experiences. Many times our belief actually stems from desperation—we have no choice but to believe that we are going to get the results we need to get. When I first started in real estate, I had to do well. I didn’t have any other option.

Your beliefs, which are reinforced by your results, can also help to build your potential. While you can’t really change or grow your potential, it is quite possible that you underestimated yourself. Once you start seeing your results, you start to realize what is truly possible for yourself.

Granted, this four-stage cycle is not rocket science. But just like you would need exact directions to get to my house, you also need to know the exact stages to get you where you want to be in life. If you skip one left turn on the way to my house, you won’t get there. Similarly, if you don’t give each of these four stages the attention they deserve, you won’t get the results you want.

Here is one final thought to consider: Whenever someone makes major changes in their life or business, they will usually tell you how it involved a process that took years. I couldn’t disagree more. Your life and your business are not changed over time. They are changed in the instant you make the decision to do something drastic.

Jared James is the CEO and Founder of Jared James Enterprises, an internationally sought-after speaker and trainer.  James built one of the fastest-growing real estate teams in the country, was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for one of the world’s largest real estate companies and wrote a best-selling book—all before the age of 28. As an acclaimed speaker, James keynotes events for major real estate organizations and conducts regular webinars and training for nationally known organizations like NAR, CRS, Yahoo Real Estate,Trulia and Zillow Academy and blogs regularly for RISMedia.

To stay in touch with Jared James, visit and or visit his website at