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The Elite Performer: Solidify Your Foundation

Andy W. Harris
May 30, 2012

Have you ever tried to balance a triangle upside-down? You’ll find that it’s not only difficult, but impossible because there is no foundation to support it. Many of us find ourselves trying to balance upside-down triangles in our business. Instead of always trying to temporarily make up for a weak foundation, we need to take time in our planning to slow down and realize that some things simply won’t work without a strong footing. How do we turn these “upside-down triangles” around? As a mortgage loan originator, you are rushed and pressured from all sides to get things done. It can range from delays in our highly-regulated lending climate, to a Realtor setting a closing date two weeks too short without seeking counsel. Either way, being rushed is never an excuse to treat your career as a game of Jenga. We need to carefully take the time to ensure that all sectors of our business start with a strong foundation so that the pieces don’t come crashing down. With a strong foundation built around effective systems, you will naturally become proactive rather than reactive. A foundation in business can be small or large. For example, on the smaller scale, if you don’t have written goals and objectives prioritized each day in writing, there is no foundation to build a productive day from. On a larger scale, you need a true vision and mission for your business to effectively develop the foundations which you plan to build from. Your business will be unable to grow and truly succeed if you do not take the time to focus on the most important part of the structure. You need this solid footing to keep the walls strong during the storms our industry tends to face. If you feel that you’re lost, start over. Develop your business plan and objectives, and determine what is most important to help meet these goals and objectives. This might include recreating entire operating systems already in place by making sure that each hole is filled and each crack is sealed. Or maybe some are working effectively, but you need to make some changes. Either way, without support, things tend to fall over. Don’t rely on temporary short-term “fixes” in business, and instead, focus on the long-term lowest supporting layers. Tip of the month … Smile. You’ll be surprised on how rewarding it can be to yourself and others around you. Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or e-mail [email protected] or visit AndyHarrisMortgage.com.  
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