Big Ideas and Small Steps

We need big ideas to have big results but it’s the small steps that we take that will determine how successful we actually are.

Getting Started Should Be Planned

We all know that without implementation all the great ideas and plans we have are meaningless.  This is where most originators fail.  They have the idea, they are ready and willing to do it but they don’t know where or how to start.

I’ve created a step by step way to implement any idea, process or new plan you have for your business. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, if you follow this roadmap you’ll be able to implement anything you want to do in your business regardless of size.

Step 1: Get started by clearly defining your end goal and your mission statement

Step 2: Create a list of things you need to accomplish to reach your end goal while staying inline with your mission statement.

Step 3: Creating step by step goals within each section that will allow you to finish each accomplishment 1 at a time.

Step 4: Identify the easiest thing you need to accomplish and get started on that.  Then go to the 2nd easiest and so on until you are working on the hardest thing then complete that.

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”Mark Twain

Step 1: Defining Your End Goal And Mission Statement

This the most important step in the process because this is what will keep you on track and avoid getting off topic as you work on implementing.  The more complex the thing you’re trying to accomplish the easier it is to get in the weeds and off task. This is a reminder to yourself why you started in the first place and you should take some time creating it.  Think of this as your north star.

End Goal:

This is where you ask yourself and then tell yourself “I am going to do this because it will result in me getting _______.”  Too many times I see originators do something that could work but they get nothing out of it because they don’t even have an end goal when they started.  Example:  I’m going to join my local NAHREP or speak at the local real estate board meeting and give a presentation.”  that’s great and you probably should do that but if you get anything from it that’s just luck when you approach it this way.  The right way to approach it would be; “I want to get 3 new great referral partners so I’m going to join my local NAHREP and speak at a real estate board event to meet potential referral partners then identify the 3 that would be great for me to work with.”  You now gave yourself a reason to do this, and a goal you can work towards.  Focus on the goal first, the tasks second.  Most originators do it the other way.  They focus so much on tasks that they lose sight of their goal or don’t even establish a goal.

Mission Statement:

This is where you define the rules by which you will play as well as where you will define the parameters or expectations you have of yourself when you are going after your goal.  Too many times originators cheat themselves or cheat on their goals.  They go into it wanting to add 3 new GREAT referral partners and half way through they end up taking any referral partner just so they can get the 3 they said they would get.  That doesn’t help, you’d be better re-establishing your goal to 1 new GREAT referral partner instead of taking the easy way out and adding 3 bad referral partners just so you can say you got 3 new ones.  Set your expectations/standards and hold yourself to those expectations / standards.

Creating A List Of Things To Accomplish

Now that we know our goal and in this example the goal is to get 5 new referral partners we need to figure out what we need to do to get these.  This is somewhat of a brainstorming exercise where we list out everything we need in order to get those partners.  DON’T GET LOST IN THE WEEDS HERE make sure you stay on track. It’s very easy to turn “getting new referral partners” into “marketing” or “networking” etc…

If I were doing this here are some of the things I would set up as items I need to accomplish.

  1. Figure out who I know that should be a referral partner but I haven’t closed loans from. (I.E. my current prospects)
  2. Figure out how I can get more prospects from people I know
  3. Create my “wanted” list of prospects for new referral partners. Essentially my target list
  4. How can I meet more prospects that I don’t know and that aren’t on my “wanted” list.

Step by Step Goals

This is where you build out your game plan and give yourself a clear direction for what you need to do and what you want to do.  This is your plan of attack, this is what will keep you on track, focused and also allow you to see results.  This is also what will show you later on if you are actually doing something or if you totally threw your goals to the side.  I’m sure we’ve all heard of the “shinny object” syndrome where people start doing something and then they get distracted by the next “shiny object” and totally quit doing what they were doing to chase the new shiny object.  Then they drop that shiny object for the next one and the cycle continues to repeat until they’ve spent 6 months starting things, never finishing them and they get nowhere. By doing this you’ll never fall into this trap and in turn you’ll actually get something from your action.


If we said our first thing to accomplish is define our current prospects.  I.E. people we know that could refer us business but haven’t yet.  Below is what I would build out to achieve that goal.

  1. Create a list of agents that I know but haven’t received a referral from and rank them in order of how well I know them.
  2. Create a list of other financial service professionals that I know who haven’t referred my business and rank them in order of how well I know them.
  3. Call all of the agents on the list to set up a coffee or lunch to go over what I offer clients and our referral partners and see if that is something that could help their business or if there is anything else I could do to help them in their business.
  4. Call all of the financial service professionals on the list to set up a coffee or lunch to go over what I offer clients and our referral partners and see if that is something that could help their business or if there is anything else I could do to help them in their business.
  5. Follow up calls every week to all of the prospects that I was able to have coffee and lunch with
  6. Follow up calls every week to all of the prospects that I haven’t set up a lunch or coffee with.

Implementing Starting With The Easiest Thing First

Now that you have built out your plan it’s time to act.  All of this planning is meaningless unless you act and if you’ve followed this process you will now have a clear path to achieve your end goal. As you’re doing this you need to keep the following in mind.

It is better to have 1 thing completely done, than to have 3 things started.

Start with the easiest things so you can mark them as “done” marking something as done will propel you into the next steps naturally and it gives you a sense of accomplishment while you’re working on what can seem like a daunting task.

Give yourself timelines and stick to them.  Hold yourself accountable with dates and commit to them.

As you complete the “items to accomplish” and when you have completed one of the “goals” take a minute to look back and make sure it has moved you forward to your end goal and make sure that the manner in which you have completed things aligns with your mission statement or standard of excellence that you set for yourself.

Once you’ve completed the entire plan, you should be able to say that you achieved your end goal.  If you fell short don’t freak out!  This is the perfect opportunity to look back at what you did and ask yourself “what part of this was most successful and what part got me the best results?”  Once you’ve identified that start doing more of that over and over until you reach your end goal.  Finishing the chart/game plan isn’t considered winning.  It’s not until you’ve reached your end goal that you have won.

End Goal

Add 5 new referral partners

Mission Statement

Establish 5 new referral relationships with high quality partners that share the same beliefs, goals and values that I do.
Goal 1:  Identify Current Prospects

Goal 1:  Identify Current Prospects

# Item to Accomplish Due Date Status


Create a list of all agents I’ve spoken to and know but haven’t received a referral from and rank them in order of how well I know them.


Create a list of all other financial services professionals I know but haven’t received a referral from and rank them in order of how well I know them.


Call all agents on the list that I created and set up a coffee or lunch


Call all financial services professionals I know and set up a coffee or lunch


Follow up calls on all coffee and lunch meetings until I get a referral from that partner


Follow up calls for all prospects that have not set up a coffee or lunch to set up a meeting.

Goal 2:  Identify new prospects from my current sphere of influence.


Item to Accomplish Due Date Status


Start with my best referral partner working my way down and call to ask if they have any realtors in their office that they think I should meet and that I could help




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