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No matter how good or bad the year 2016 was for your business, 2017 is going to be insanely profitable—but only if you have the five disciplines you need to seize those opportunities, says Tom Ferry, CEO of Ferry International and best-selling author of Life! By Design. The good news is, it’s not too late to develop or strengthen those disciplines.

Ferry, who has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today,, The Huffington Post, Agent Genius, and many more, is also a business coach and leads more than 200 motivational seminars reaching more than 75,000 people a year. There’s no secret to success, he says, but there are five disciplines you must have to succeed, beginning with how ambitious you are. Without ambition, none of the other disciplines matter.

“These five disciplines will be the cornerstone of your business if you want to succeed.”  – Tom Ferry

  1. Ambitious Goals: The first thing to look at is how satisfied you are with your current situation and life. If you’re not dissatisfied, you may not be very ambitious. And if you’re not ambitious, chances are you don’t have strong goals and you’re not going to succeed. “Dissatisfaction with their life is the No. 1 sign of an ambitious person,” Ferry says.

Determine what your clear, specific, and meaningful goals are for 2017, then figure out what motivates you to achieve those goals. For instance, how important is it for you to sell 35 homes, and why is that your goal? Will 35 home sales next year mean your family will be able to afford a dream vacation or build a nest egg for college, retirement, or unexpected disasters? Once you know what you want to accomplish and why in 2017, write down your goals where you can see them every day.

Three signs of an ambitious agent, according to Ferry:

  • Dissatisfaction: “If you’re dissatisfied with where your life is today, you’re ambitious. Dissatisfaction—the desire for more, the internal knowing you could do more—is a sign of an ambitious person. When you know you’re underperforming, you want more and so you go after it.”
  • Visual Dream List: “If I go to your house and I don’t see all of your goals and dreams about what would make your life amazing written down and displayed in a visual format, I assume you have no dreams.”
  • Routines: “Show me your routines and I’ll show you your future. Routines are the second sign of an ambitious person. Your routines always win out over your dreams. You can have dreams, but if your dreams aren’t aligned with your routines, you won’t achieve them.”
  1. Reverse Engineer Your Numbers: The secret to success is knowing and acting on your daily numbers. You need to take the big, sexy, wild, clear, specific goal and boil it down to what you need to do on a daily basis. “How many listings did you have? How many sold? Numbers, numbers, numbers,” Ferry says. Analytically, what did you do in 2016? Where did your referrals come from? How many referrals were there? Now, how many transactions do you want to do in 2017? Reverse engineer the numbers to understand what you need to do to achieve your goals. If you want to make 35 sales this year, you’ll need to know how many people you need to talk to every month, every week and every day to make those numbers happen.
  1. Scoreboard: Scoreboard everything. If it matters, you should measure it. That means having a visual scoreboard in your office. That scoreboard should measure everything from appointments you’ve made to marketing efforts, lead generation, the number of listings, appointments booked, and sales made.
  1. Celebrate: If you’re not celebrating, you’re not reinforcing the positive. Give yourself permission to celebrate the little things that stoke the fires of ambition and motivation. Celebrate the fact you got up and went to the gym or met your outgoing call goal. Reinforce the positive every chance you get; it’s how you stay motivated.
  1. Cadence of Accountability: The more often you hold yourself accountable, the more successful you’ll become. Find someone or some way to make yourself accountable on a daily basis. Cadence means rhythm. Too many agents are on a monthly or yearly accountability schedule. Find someone: your broker, a coach, a friend, a peer group or mastermind group who will hold you accountable.

“All business is innovation and marketing,” Ferry says. “The question is, what do you need to do to innovate or stand out? I encourage you to innovate around how well and how you serve your clients. The only purpose of marketing is to generate appointments. Innovation is not a new website. Innovation is how you drive traffic to that website and how many appointments you book from that traffic, so what is your strategy for making that happen?” That is a question only you can answer.

Staying organized and focused is key to a successful 2017. Check out the new 2017 Social Media and Business Planning checklists to help you expand your audience and stay up-to-date with fresh and innovative ideas in 2017. For even more ways to optimize your business, contact us at 888-510-8795 or by email at

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