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KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARecently, I watched a demonstration of a potter turning clay, and I was fascinated as he molded the clay into perfect bowls, vases and plates. With each new blob of clay, this artist took the clay and shaped it into an amazing work of art. Once the clay was shaped, he used tools, color or glazes to add elements of design. The interesting part of this demonstration was when the potter asked people from the audience if they wanted to give it a try. Several sat at the wheel, set their clay down and then worked to mold the clay. It was hilarious to watch as the clay spun off the wheel in all directions, and when the tools were applied, they would cut the vase or mug in half or make a bizarre design. It was clearly much more difficult than they had expected.

After allowing a few puzzled participants to fail, the potter taught a very important lesson about turning clay. He said, “It doesn’t matter how fast you go, or what tools you use—if the clay is not centered perfectly on the wheel, your project will fail.”

This principle of having a “perfect center” applies to so many areas of our lives and businesses. If we are not centered, it doesn’t matter the tools we apply, the technology we buy or even the calls we make. Our business will not succeed if we are not centered and our core is out of balance.

Here are a few core fundamentals that apply to every real estate business whether you’re an individual or a team:

• Establish your mission, vision and core values. These are the motivating principles that will drive your actions and set the tone for your success.

• Understand the value of your relationships and manage them accordingly. Your contact manager is just the beginning; you must increase the quality and quantity of touches you have with your most valuable asset—your relationships.

• Track the important things in your business. I’m talking about tracking the activities that lead to transactions. This includes activities such as prospecting, Internet lead generation, conversion percentages and appointments set. If you measure the right things, you can create a predictable outcome and grow your business to any level you choose.

• Embrace change. At the center of your business is YOU. If your business is to change and grow, you must recognize where the buck stops, be accountable and be willing to make the changes needed to improve. Your success and/or failure is not related to the market as much as it’s related to your behavior.

• Invest in education and coaching. This is a lifelong pursuit. Your formal schooling may have taught you how to get a job, but the education you pursue today will teach you how to succeed in life and in business. Read, listen and learn from those who have success in areas where you need to improve and your core will be strengthened and your ability to grow will increase.

Once your center is in place, apply the tools, technology, systems and skills you’ve learned, and like the clay that’s formed into beautiful works of art, your life and your business will become the same. You’re the potter. What would you like to build?

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams.

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