The Standard is Excellence

Excellence is a habit not a result. The standards you set for yourself will determine the results that you get.

What I’ve Learned So Far

I’ve been reminded lately that human nature is to equate excellence with the result.  In reality excellence is just as important in the beginning as it is in the result.  99% of the time the result is based on how excellent you were in the beginning.  A touchdown in the first quarter counts just as much as a touchdown in the 4th quarter.  It might actually mean more because that cushion can give you more opportunities later in the game to do things you couldn’t do if you were behind.

I’ve been through the Tim Braheem coaching for 2 weeks and I’ve already had 4 lightbulb moments.  I don’t think these are directly reflective of me because I think we will all have these in common.

  1. I do too much
  2. I don’t sell enough
  3. I don’t trust my people (not that I in my heart don’t trust them my actions don’t trust them)
  4. I have not given them a clear enough game plan to let them be at their best.  I’ve held them back from reaching their true potential at that expense of my own instinct to be in charge.

I Do Too Much


I do too many things on each loan.  I am paid to find the client, find the referral partner and sell the loan and that’s it.  The highest amount of return I can get on my time is when I do these things.  Anything else is a waste of my time and I am losing money every time I do something other than this.

Why we do it: 

We want things done right, when someone refers a client to use we feel responsibility to perform, we want to ensure the loan closes so we get paid, our instinct is to do what is in front of us because we get comfort in knowing it is done.


We want things done right: we need to let people we pay actual do it, we need to clearly define what we consider as “being done right,” we need to get rid of anyone who can’t “do it right”

We feel responsibility:  we are responsible, but so are our people.  It is better to fire someone that is not responsible and gives us the feeling of trust than to cover up for their lack of ability or drive.

Ensure a loan closes:  when everyone knows “their job” and everyone does “their job” the loan will close

What is in front of us: from experience the reason we do what is in front of us is because we don’t trust what we have put in place.  We can say we do, but we really don’t.  Until you have the confidence to delete an email, not call someone back because you know your team/process will take care of it then you don’t truly trust what you’ve built.

I Don’t Sell Enough


We don’t spend 8 hours a day selling, we do other things.

Why we do it:

We are too caught up in doing too many things and get distracted by what is in front of us, the shiny object pops up that doesn’t have to do with sales, and we don’t trust what we’ve built.


Look in the mirror and start from scratch. Don’t just say I feel good about what we are doing because the results look good or better than before.  Have an honest assessment of how you feel about your process, your team and how you spend your time.  Ask yourself if you are feeling good because you have x amount in the pipe or because you don’t have any stress and trust the entire machine.  When you trust the machine with your entire heart you will spend more of your time selling.  It is possible for a single lo with a 3 person team to close 290 units in 1 year of 88% purchase business and work 35 hours a week.  Not a team, not multiple lo’s just 1 guy and his staff.

I Don’t Trust My People


We think we trust our team but we don’t. if you have answered an email this week about a question on a document then you don’t trust your team.  If you have taken a client/realtors call about the appraisal or timing then you don’t trust your team.

Why we do it:

Because we hired them and we’re never wrong.  If we hired them, and we know we are always right then we could have never made a mistake so we give them false trust out of our ego.


Take a step back look at your last month.  Did you ever need a rush request, did you ever get behind on a file, did something every fall through the cracks?  I’m sure it did because it happens to all of us.  You need to go back to each of those incidents, see where things broke down and then point the finger at a person and a stage in your process.  Our instinct is to take that personally and get defensive because “we are responsible” right?

Hell no, we are responsible for the process we create, we are responsible for who we hire and our people are responsible for the result not us.  If we have a client that is willing to sign loan documents with us that is where our responsibility ends.  Yes we have to do our upfront due diligence and yes we need to ensure we put good loans into processing but everything else is our teams responsibility.

I Haven’t Given a Clear Game Plan and I Have Not Allowed Them to Get Better


We all have a plan, we all believe in our plan but 99% of the time we use general terms and general sayings.  “submit to underwriting” that doesn’t mean send it in, there are about 40 things that should be done before you submit to underwriting.  We should say “complete all 40 things, double check those 40 things, then submit to underwriting.”

Why we do it:

Subconsciously we want to get brought back in because of our need for control.  If we have a system where 80% of the stuff can be done without us we feel like we have  dialed in system.  But in reality we want to know about the other 20% so we can still be in charge. We want to feel like we are the best at everything.


Take joy in having someone on your team that is better than you at things.  It’s hard to do but when you tell someone “hey you are better at this than I am, can you promise to be responsible for this on every loan?”  the look in their eyes will give you the comfort you need to let go.  If you don’t get that look then they are not the right person.

Don’t be afraid about not being the best.  If you are good like we are all we wan to be alpha’s and alpha’s never back down and never lose.  Remember your staff is not alpha’s.  Just because they are better at tax returns or disclosures than you are doesn’t mean they are going to challenge the thrown.  What you do (sales) scares them so don’t be afraid to let them do what they are good at.

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