Power of Habits (LA 1059)
Steven Butala: Steve and Jill here.
Jill DeWit: Good day.
Steven Butala: Welcome to the Land Academy show, entertaining land investment talk. I’m Steven Jack Butala.
Jill DeWit: And I am Jill DeWit, broadcasting from sunny Southern California.
Steven Butala: Today. Jill and I talk about the power of habits. So I’m going through the grocery store line last week, maybe a week before. By the time this airs, it’s the week before for sure. And the cover of either Life magazine or Time magazine, which I didn’t even open and didn’t really look any further into, was called The Power of Habits.
Jill DeWit: Really?
Steven Butala: And because I was forced to have a bunch of time to think about this standing in a line, I’m like, this could be a show.
Jill DeWit: What if it was Us magazine or what if it was like National Enquirer?
Steven Butala: It wasn’t.
Jill DeWit: Are you sure?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Are we sure.
Steven Butala: I’m sure it was Time or Life.
Jill DeWit: Come on. Come on. Steven, what were you really reading in line at a grocery store?
Steven Butala: You know, I don’t have any guilty pleasures like that? Do you?
Jill DeWit: No.
Steven Butala: Do you read any of those magazines?
Jill DeWit: I used to. Now I really don’t care. And you know, it’s not like I don’t care. Care. It’s like I don’t know them. It’s not as interesting. I don’t know. Is that fair to say?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: Okay.
Steven Butala: I don’t know why, since you brought it up, that when I read the printed word, not so much in books, but like in a newspaper specifically or a magazine, I just have this gut feeling that it’s exactly what the author wants me to hear. Especially if it’s like a local news. And it’s totally skewed and I could be, in the time that it takes me to read, let’s say one quarter or 25% of the article, I could have been on Google and I could have read-
Jill DeWit: Read the whole thing.
Steven Butala: 15 points of view very, very quickly. You know, and usually they’re smart about SEO, so I’m reading smart stuff and so I just stopped. I just don’t read. I feel too captivated and held in place by an author or a writer in a magazine or newspaper.
Jill DeWit: I understand. I would like to point out that I’m very proud to say the only time that I caught myself in the last six or 12 months reading about a Kardashian was because she’s one of the youngest, if not the youngest. I don’t even know the order. And she’s an incredible business woman. She’s killing it. Like her online presence has launched her into her own makeup company, and I don’t even know if I’m getting it all right, but it’s just phenomenal.
Steven Butala: She’s merchandising.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. So now I’m only reading up for that part. I’m like, all right, good for you. Go girl with your own business and being your own boss and that kind of thing.
Steven Butala: It’s almost impossible to have a conversation without that name coming up.
Jill DeWit: Isn’t it funny.
Steven Butala: Even with incredibly intelligent people. I always wondered what the hell they do. I mean, I don’t want this to become the topic about this. At least they’re like, there’s a reason.
Jill DeWit: Let’s not promote it anymore than we already have.
Steven Butala: Before we get into the topic, let’s take a question posted by one of our members on the landinvestors.com online community. It’s free.
Jill DeWit: Marilyn S. asks: Besides sending mail regularly and keeping consistent, what resource tour process did you add to your business that accelerated your land business and how did it change your business? Was it a particular automation process you added? Was it hiring a VA? Was it a CRM program? Was it a marketing technique implemented? What was your game changer? That’s a great question.
Steven Butala: There’s a lot of responses that are actually really good.
Jill DeWit: All right, I’m going to go and read. So yeah, it looks like a lot of our members have weighed in. So I’ll read some here. So Kevin wrote, Marilyn, the two biggest things for me. were getting the answering service and paying for more advertising. My paid advertising tends to bring in more calls and better quality buyers. This helps me sell the properties a bit faster and for more money. I don’t run a real high volume business, so I can’t comment on the advantage of automation or using VA as much as others might. Do what you are good at and then outsource the rest.
Jill DeWit: So then another member, Andy, wrote: One, hiring VA’s to post properties and remove after they are sold.
Steven Butala: Absolutely.
Jill DeWit: Two: Getting super organized with the CRM. I use our table.
Steven Butala: Same here.
Jill DeWit: Three: Subscription with lands.com and I list my properties on Luke’s site, which is another one of our members. So just getting the word out there more.
Steven Butala: More advertising.
Jill DeWit: Yep. Four: Simplifile. He put a lot in here. This is great.
Steven Butala: What is Simplifile?
Jill DeWit: We use that on our recording.
Steven Butala: Okay.
Jill DeWit: Yep.
Steven Butala: I thought it was called Zimplifile.
Jill DeWit: Nope. No, it’s actually Simple.
Steven Butala: Okay.
Jill DeWit: Yeah, yeah. We say it like that often and that’s where you were getting it from. You’re right. I jumped up to high gear at the beginning of 2018 and I have completed 309 deals since.
Steven Butala: That says it all right there.
Jill DeWit: Nice job. That’s a lot.
Steven Butala: That’s a bunch of dough.
Jill DeWit: That’s a lot. They say average is even like, I don’t know, 5 – $10,000 a deal. That’s pretty good. Probably higher.
Steven Butala: There’s two things that were absolutely earth shattering in decisions that I made. One decision was made for me, and one I made consciously, that shattered my world positively since I started this whole thing. Number one, I got my butt handed to me in around 2011 by the market because we had a single channel of marketing, which we’ve changed. At about that same time, which it’s just a weird chain of events, Jill and I met and started working together.
Jill DeWit: I was hoping one was me.
Steven Butala: That was overnight, probably quadrupled our revenue. And it wasn’t necessarily associated with the marketing. We just have different talents and how Jill talks on the phone and how she gets property purchased and then resold for the right financial amounts just rocked my world.
Jill DeWit: Thanks.
Steven Butala: So, you know, get yourself a partner. That’s my point. What’s that old saying, a hundred percent zero. You know, 50% of a lot is better than a hundred percent zero and I lived through that.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: Do you have any?
Jill DeWit: I can’t talk, but you just did. Thank you.
Steven Butala: Today’s topic, the power of habits. This is the meat of the show.
Jill DeWit: Don’t worry. I have a lot to say here.
Steven Butala: Okay. Good.
Jill DeWit: Do you want me to dive in?
Steven Butala: Yeah.
Jill DeWit: All right. So here’s what I was thinking about. Okay, I love how you found this topic too. I think it’s quite funny cause I obviously wasn’t there and/or paying any attention. That’s what’s so funny about us too.
Steven Butala: [inaudible 00:06:38] do the grocery shopping.
Jill DeWit: Not as much. And if I do, when I walk around, I think this is one of the things that you really enjoy about me, is I’m not as observant as most women. Like I’ll walk over something and not really realize what’s going on.
Steven Butala: I love that you’re not observant about anything.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: That’s why we’re together.
Jill DeWit: Yeah. I can’t smell, I don’t remember anything and I’m not observant. So there you go. That’s me.
Steven Butala: I win on all of those.
Jill DeWit: Exactly. Okay, so I was thinking about it and I kind of broke it up on like the power of habits. I kind of think of it as in three ways. One is you have your daily habits. Two, you have your personal and lifestyle habits, and three you have professional and business habits. So I thought I’d kind of give you like an example of each one and see what you think and see what do you have to say about it.
Steven Butala: It’s this a perfect example of what we were talking about on a question earlier. How you see this question and how you’re going to answer it is diametrically different than how I wrote it. And how I’m going to answer it after you, which is good. I think it’s great. You buy and sell dirt different than I do too.
Jill DeWit: Okay. All right. So here’s what I see. I see we have daily habits. That’s how much sleep you get and that’s how you start your day. Are you ready for the day? Do you work out? Do you have a routine or is every day a jumbled mess kind of thing? That says a lot about you and sets the tone really for how your day’s going to go in your business and then ultimately your life. So you really got to get a handle on that. I think it starts there. So then my second part is your personal and your lifestyle habits. And I think of it like is work first or is play first? You know, you have to really think about it. And I know how we are. We’re more, we used to be, I used to be a lot of play. I mean I used to have a set schedule where I’d work, work, work, work, work and then flip the switch and goof off.
Steven Butala: Before you were working for yourself.
Jill DeWit: Correct. Correct. Now that I work for myself … You know it’s funny, now that I work for myself, I kind of mix them together. Work always does come first at the end of the day because I’m responsible, we are responsible, for not only ourselves, but we have a pretty good staff and gosh, our Land Academy members. I’m not gonna let them down. So that all comes first. But when I can mix in fun and play, Oh heck yeah. But you’ve got to balance that. You’ve got to find the right balance. And you have to know when to stop and say, all right, reel it back in. No, you can’t go and live on an island for a month and just disappear. You can/however things might suffer. You got to do this, right? So that’s that part of it. And then the third aspect is the professional and the business habits.
Jill DeWit: And for me, this means how I run my business. What kind of boss I’m going to be. What kind of employee I’m going to be. How I interact with people. And then my core underlying thing, which this ties into a lot of stuff that’s going on this week in these shows, which is doing the right thing. You know how I run my business. And we talk about this often. We just had a situation the other day where, you the seller would take any price, but I wanted to be fair and good and say, look, I wanna I want to really feel good. And I talked to my team person about this at the time. And I said, look, is $500 going to make a difference to us at the end of the day? Heck no.
Steven Butala: Maybe close.
Jill DeWit: Right. But for her it means a lot. So I said, let’s offer her this because it’s just the right thing to do. So it’s stuff like that, doing the right thing. And that carries over into, I mean, it’s everything that we do. All of our Land Academy. Everything from Land Academy to talking to people, to our personal transactions, everything. And that’s a habit. Because you know what? You could get in the habit of not being a good person. Let’s just all go there for a minute. And then you don’t even realize you’re stepping on people and you’re hurting people and you’re doing the wrong thing if you get too comfortable there. Please don’t do that. Do the right thing. It’s a good habit.
Steven Butala: So I think that habits, there’s good habits and there’s bad habits. That’s two separate things. And then there’s a whole separate thing about not having habits at all. And Jill really alluded to it all the way through. She just separated it into her lifestyle. But this was really for me just about work habits and succeeding in hitting your financial goals. So it all starts with setting a goal. If you set a goal in Excel and you want to hit it within 12 months, then you’ve got to divide what you need to do by 12. And then further divide it per week. So a month by week, I think it ends up being 4.2. And so I need to send out X amount of mail per week or per month or however you break it up. And I need to have all the systems in place to generally hit my financial goals.
Steven Butala: So that is setting up a system and inadvertently, if you continue to do that, you’re going to form a habit. I think the definition of a habit is doing the same thing every other day for 30 days or something like that. So you know we get charged for making things too simple sometimes. So that sounds really simple, but you know, that’s great. I’ve got two kids and all kinds of other stuff. So the backend of that is you have to move other stuff around. Something’s got to give.
Jill DeWit: I should [inaudible 00:12:16].
Steven Butala: And what happens is, you know, if you don’t want to take it to that step and really move some stuff around, you just forget about it all together. And then you’re in that land where you don’t have any habits anymore and your life is controlling you and you’re not controlling your life. You’re not going to hit your goals. Number two, if you don’t have a compliant people around you, whether it’s your staff or your spouse or your business partner or whatever, or even your kids in a lot of cases, especially when they get older, they’re going to stop you from forming these habits. They’re going to push your buttons somehow or steal your time. So no matter what you do before you start any of this, you’ve got to make a habit. Before you make a financial commitment to, let’s say even Land Academy, you should be a person that’s already forming some habits or having some version of habits, or at least thinking about it. And that’s a lot more boring than Jill’s version, but it’s necessary.
Jill DeWit: I want to add a comment about that second one, what you just said. If you … You used the word compliance. I like to stay on the same page.
Steven Butala: Spousal compliance?
Jill DeWit: Yes, exactly. I’m not sure. For most men, or women even, well, let’s just say whoever it is, you set your significant other down and go, I need you to be compliant because this is what we’re doing. You know, it’s probably not going to go that way. But if you sit them down and say, Hey, I like to get on the same page with you, now you have their attention.
Steven Butala: Well said.
Jill DeWit: Thank you. But it goes to what you’re saying about the habits. If I watched you, let’s just say I watched you for a month researching, doing this, doing something, really listening like, Sweetie, I know you want to watch a movie, but I’m really working on a thing right now that I think is really going to get us ahead in life. You’ve got my attention by the way, that’s your new habit. I watch you not going out so much and I watch you being serious about our family, and our whatever, and extending those habits. You better believe when you sit me down and talk, I’ll probably be compliant. I had to get that in there.
Steven Butala: You know what I do every single day, this is a habit I have and it’s a real good habit I formed not that long ago in the scheme of my career. I have every single piece of information that comes in. I have Outlook on my phone and so if an email comes in through Outlook or if I’m in a meeting or Jill says some crazy stuff, you know, even way after hours I’m in there, and I have a whole system about when I’ll address it and it gets into my schedule.
Steven Butala: So I wake up the next day, the next week, the next month or the next year. Literally I’m scheduled out that far in a lot of this stuff and I don’t, for me this is so important, I don’t stress about what’s going to happen tomorrow cause I just wake up and look at what to do. It’s all in there in Outlook for me and it’s all attached to the files and the filing system. I don’t care if it’s something I really don’t want to do that day, I usually put it in the up in the morning just to get it done.
Steven Butala: But everything gets done. There’s nothing in my inbox, Jill. Every once in a while Jill is sitting with me and my inbox is on the screen and she’s like, what the heck? Like why are there three emails in your inbox? You know, those are the ones that I haven’t scheduled yet.
Jill DeWit: That’s a whole nother habit, which is good.
Steven Butala: I call it chasing zero. I want to get to the point where, you know it’s at zero. Like we don’t have any personal debt, so I won there. There’s a lot of ways to form habits that work for you and sing to you to get stuff done.
Jill DeWit: Thank you.
Steven Butala: Hey, we know your time’s valuable. Thanks for spending it with us today. Join us next time for an episode called Infill Lots And Title Insurance.
Jill DeWit: And we answer your questions posted on our online community found at landinvestors.com. It is free.
Steven Butala: You are not alone in your real estate ambition.
Jill DeWit: Compliance. Compliant. Do you have a compliant spouse? Well that’s the funniest thing. I’m going to use that.
Steven Butala: How often do I say stupid stuff like that?
Jill DeWit: Every day.
Steven Butala: And not catch myself?
Jill DeWit: Just kidding.
Steven Butala: And then they bite the inside of your tongue or something, or just tell me every single time?
Jill DeWit: I don’t. I really don’t.
Steven Butala: You should tell me.
Jill DeWit: I say silly stuff too. Don’t worry. You’re not alone. You’re not alone in your …
Steven Butala: In my silly stuff sayings.
Jill DeWit: Yes. Wherever you’re watching or wherever you are listening, please subscribe and rate there.
Steve and Jill: We are Steven and Jill.
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Jill DeWit: And inspiration.
Steven Butala: To buy undervalued property.
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