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But during the match, I made no mistakes. My volleys were crisp and my serves were so solid, I thought I could burn a hole through a concrete wall. I eventually lost by a narrow margin in the last set, but I also played the best game of my life. If I had not been challenged to such an extent, I also wouldn’t have stretched my game. Make sure your objectives are big and will bring out the best in you. Lastly, get photos of your objectives and tack them on your walls, fold them in your wallet or anywhere else you are sure to see and be reminded of them. Some of the greatest salespeople and achievers I have met were so single-minded and focused, they never took their attention off what they wanted. It’s easier to reach goals than it is to set them. Take some time and discuss with your spouse exactly what

you want and when you want it. If you start to achieve your objectives using the techniques I’ve discussed, you’ll be more successful without working any harder in the long run. No great achiever has ever succeeded without goals. They help us become profitable, productive and build selfesteem. If you take these steps and use them, you’ll plan to succeed instead of planning to fail. Dr. Kerry Johnson is a frequent speaker at mortgage industry conferences. He is the author of six books, including Mastering the Game: The Human Edge in Sales and Marketing, WILLPOWER: The Secrets of SelfDiscipline and his newest book, Why Smart People Make Dumb Mistakes With Their Money. He may be reached by phone at (714) 368-3650 or e-mail

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n National Mortgage Professional Magazine n DECEMBER 2015

go to lunch today. You may want to write the letter you will send out this week by the end of work today. The bottom line is, those who are best at setting objectives work to achieve their goals by the day and often by the hour. The do this or they don’t allow themselves to go home. They are committed and focused to achieving the goals by the date they want them. To show the importance of focusing on days and even hours to achieve goals, consider the originator who wants to be one of the top 10 firms in his market by certain date. He would need to establish a goal over a threeto five-year period. He would then set a one-year schedule of milestones to reach; which might include increasing his own production, hiring superstar loan officers and develop a strong relationship with 10 investors. Lastly, to acquire a net income of $2 million in the fifth year. Next, he would need to determine the amount of business needed by year/month, etc. He would need to know the weaknesses and strengths of his competitors. How many salespeople did they have? Which real estate agents gave them the most amount of business? Working backwards to short-term goals, he would then know what he had to do today and this week. He might have to set up a list of the top 100 real estate agents in the area. He may have to also set up a file on the loan officers who command the most business right now. By doing all this, anyone can achieve exactly the objectives they want at the time they want it. J.C. Penney once passionately said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.” The bigger the goal, the better. But can goals be unattainable? There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames. Big goals bring out the best in yourself. You will perform best when you stretch a little. In St. Moritz, Switzerland, I played in a Grand Prix tennis match against the German national champion. Nobody believed I could win against such a strong player. He was ranked 69th worldwide while I was rated in the 90s for two weeks until the ranking system on the ATP computer was fixed when I dropped down to 10,037.

asked one originator for a goal that would motivate him. He said to be happy. I asked him how he would know when he achieved it. He just shrugged his shoulders. Varying degrees of happiness fade in and out daily. Nebulous goals like happiness only serve to frustrate us. I told him to write down three specific achievements that would make a contribution to his sense of happiness. He said a 560 SEL Mercedes, $100,000 in liquid investments, and to be home at 5:00 p.m. daily so he could play with his kids. Now we’re cooking. He got specific. I then asked him to set dates when he would like to acquire these objectives. When he set dates, the goals became real. I played tennis on a basketball court once when I was a kid. The court had lines but no net. I couldn’t tell if my stroke was a winner or a dog. People who fail to be specific and set dates are playing tennis without a net and possibly without balls. H.L. Hunt, the late great Texas oil tycoon, once said, “If you set goals, you first must decide what you’ll sacrifice to get them.” This is a strong statement coming from a tycoon who won his first Oklahoma oil well in a poker game of five-card stud. But it is profoundly accurate. You cannot set a goal without a change in some part of your business and personal life in an effort to get it. When you set goals you can achieve, first make them long-term and big. A long-term objective is one that exists one to five years out. These are specific and tangible dreams. A long-term objective is one that exists one to five years out, for example, adding three new offices, or expanding your business to numerous states or cities. Next, work backwards and set a medium-term goal that can be achieved between one month to one year. This might be doubling your real estate agent referrals or starting a new telephone follow up on the direct mailings you used to prospect for new business. This mid-term goal objective should really be a stepping stone to hitting the long-term dream. Next, work backwards again from the medium term goal and set short-term objectives. Short-term means setting goals you want to accomplish today or this week. For example, you may want to see three real estate agents before you

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National Mortgage Professional Magazine December 2015  

National Mortgage Professional Magazine December 2015  

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