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Today’s ‘Ask the Expert’ column features Glade Jones, CEO of Obeo, Inc.

Q: What are the most important steps to overcoming mediocrity and achieving success?

A: Being a road warrior, I jumped off the plane the other day, grabbed a rental car and was on my way to “making it happen.” As I started the car, a radio station was blaring something…really? I finally figured out how to turn the channel. We will want to do the same with life.

WE NEVER RISE ABOVE THE LEVEL OF OUR THINKING. What are we putting in our minds? Is it driving results or regrets? Are we focused more on getting—or creating—value, on money or on service, on ease or on creation?

The real estate profession leads the country out of recessions, not just through the economic impact of selling homes, but because we are a profession made up of “can-do” people. We earn money by making a difference in the lives of others.

We have superstars—the standard bearers—while others fall somewhere along a downward continuum. We cannot afford to be wedded to the Pareto Principle. Why should we accept the data that 20 percent do 80 percent of the business? Let’s kick this one in the tail.

I believe there are five steps that, if embraced, could help us all reach higher levels of success and satisfaction:

Stop being a slave to bad habits.
Og Mandino wrote, “I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits, and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path that threatens to imprison my future.” Bad habits are the enemy. Stop feeding them.

Be your own personal visionary.
Knowing what success looks and feels like is critical to achievement. What is your “Why?” And more importantly, will it ignite passion and drive action?

• Engage in life and stay in creation—avoid like the plague the desire for ease.
• Model the masters in your brokerage and others—most top producers are happy to let you mirror them.
• Be disciplined in your saw-sharpening daily activities—physical, mental and spiritual. Discipline magnifies vision.
• Shift the focus from self to others. Clarity will emerge.
• Drop to your knees and ask for a little inspiration. Inspiration will come.