Ok, it seems to me that one of the main purposes of this forum is idea, in that spirit--

I run a three person real estate business--I am the rainmaker and I have a admin asst. and a buyer agent working for me. Currently I am looking at expanding in the middle of next year by hiring at least one more admin and 2-3 buyer agents.

Now, I tend to be of the opinion that pretty much every small business owner makes the same mistakes, over and over. We work too much and don't work on our businesses enough. We become consumed in the day to day operations of our business and lose site of the goal and the reason we started our own business in the first place.

In short, most of us have a job. We trade $$$ for hours. Obviously this is not the way to success.

So my first question in this:

When you started your business, how many hours a week did (or do) you put in?

How many hours do you work on average now?

What activities do you delegate? Why?

Long answers are appreciated. I'd really like to create some good discussions where those of us who own small businesses can learn from each don't be lazy and good insights get a cookie.

I am a residential real estate agent, but I am starting an investment company this year as well to purchase multifamily homes in the Providence RI area.

I have learned that people do strange things when lots of money is on the table, and that you will see someone's true self come out in these situations...the best and the worst of human nature.

As far as your RE business, I would strongly recommend that you read a book called "The E-Myth Revisted" by Michael Gerber before you do anything else. It is simply the best text around on organizing and structuring a business.



My last email to you just got bounced back, and I resent it, but don't know if you got it. Just wanted to say thanks again for the help with the RE information. A year from now when I have a successful business of my own I'll come back and answer your question. ;)


I notice you talk a lot about being able to leverage time, and create passive income in business. But I also get the idea that you're not a huge fan of MLM which seems to be one of the core concepts in that business model. What other businesses have you been able to apply that to and how?

I have 3 small businesses, each successful in their own right. I have learnt a great deal through trial and error as well as common sense. I approach every business with the idea of selling it. I generally don't sell my businesses but find this mentality works well in making them successful.

In order to sell a business you cannot be the business. By this I mean if you do everything for the business and without you it will fail you cannot sell the business. Furthermore, your business' potential is no greater than your own. What you need to do is create the business so that eventually you work yourself out of job. With no job you are free to pursue other ideas and focus on future developments.

To work yourself out of a job means employing, and trusting others. This is not easy but then you didn't begin working for yourself if you were looking for the easy option. You need to create a plan of succession whereby you groom someone to take over the day to day running of the business. This might include giving up a share of ownership in the business. For most business owners this is the toughest part but you have to question your goals. Do you want to be the god of your business and have it limited to your potential or share the business and have its potential increase with everyone who is involved?

With regards to delegation the easiest 'formula' is do only the things that only you can do, EVERYTHING else is to be delegated. This is done for 2 reasons:
a: It develops your staff and allows them greater responsibility and license to use their initiative.
and b: It frees up your time to do the things most important to you, ie building on nett worth.

These are just things I have found work for me and others I have helped build their businesses.

Formula99--I hope everything works out for you, let me know if you have any other questions.

My email is doing weird shit right now, so I've been getting like one out of ten emails.