Commercial Magazine

Compete To Be Your Best

A simple strategy of daily self-improvement can help mortgage professionals find success

By Ken Grant

What are you willing to do to be considered the top commercial mortgage originator in your community? Would you be willing to commit to working on your skills and knowledge for just a few minutes a day to help reach such a goal?

The truth is that to be the best in your field, the competition is not your colleagues or other companies. You are your own competition. If originators focus on bettering themselves rather than comparing themselves to others, they will already be far ahead of others in their field of expertise.

“If commercial mortgage brokers strive to become 1% better each day for an entire year, the cumulative effect of their daily improvements can be remarkable.”

By viewing themselves as their own competition, mortgage originators embrace a mindset of continuous growth and development. They recognize that their progress is not measured by how they stack up against others but by how much they now compare to their past selves.

A process known as the “1% better strategy” is a simple yet effective way for anyone to build knowledge and abilities. All the program entails is for participants to spend 14 minutes per day — about 1% of each 24-hour period — focusing on improving their skills and know-how. If participants can commit to staying with the process, they will see results.

Daily process

Each day, people can implement this strategy to make incremental progress and become a little better than they were the day before. Ultimately, adopting the belief that “you are your own competition” allows them to focus on their own progress, development and happiness. It frees them from the constraints of comparison, and it empowers them to create a fulfilling and meaningful life based on their own unique aspirations and values.

By spending just 14 minutes per day to improve themselves, those who implement the 1% better strategy can experience numerous benefits. The following list of benefits are just some of the advantages that people who use the program experience.

One of the main benefits is continuous growth. Consistently investing time to improve yourself, even in small increments, can lead to significant long-term growth. By aiming to be 1% better each day, participants accumulate progress over time and develop a habit of continuous improvement.

The process works well with incremental achievements. Focusing on small, achievable goals helps participants build momentum and maintain motivation. The 1% improvement approach allows you to set realistic targets and experience a sense of accomplishment as you reach them.

It also helps in skill development. Devoting regular time to enhance your skills or learn something new can have a profound impact on one’s personal and professional life. Whether it’s learning a new language, developing a talent or acquiring new knowledge, 14 minutes a day adds up to considerable progress over weeks, months and years.

Personal improvement

As those working the program witness progress, they will experience many pleasant surprises. This may include the growth of their self-confidence and self-belief. Knowing that they are consistently working on self-improvement can positively impact their mindset and overall sense of well-being.

Spending time each day to learn and grow expands one’s knowledge and broadens perspectives. It allows you to stay curious, adapt to new challenges and be open to fresh ideas. Taking deliberate steps to better oneself can lead to a greater sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction. This self-improvement journey, no matter how small, can bring a sense of purpose and meaning to one’s life.

The program can lead to long-term successes. Continuous self-improvement, even in small increments, can have a compounding effect over time. The accumulation of marginal gains can lead to significant advancements in various areas of your life, including career, relationships, health and personal development.

By dedicating a specific amount of time each day to self-improvement, people often become more focused and efficient in utilizing their time, making a positive impact on their overall performance. This increased productivity can spill over into other aspects of their life and make them happier people.

Impact over time

The 1% better approach is not just about the time you spend actively improving yourself but also about the mindset it cultivates. If commercial mortgage brokers strive to become 1% better each day for an entire year, the cumulative effect of their daily improvements can be remarkable.

By consistently becoming 1% better each day, they would reach a theoretical growth level many times greater than where they began. This represents substantial improvement over the course of a year.

It’s important to note that this process doesn’t assume a linear progression of improvement. There will be many potential fluctuations and plateaus. The process by which humans learn and develop skills can be complex and not always easily understood. Nonetheless, this process demonstrates the significant impact that small daily improvements can have when compounded over time.

Getting started

It may seem as if 14 minutes is being described as a “magic” amount of time. That is because 14 minutes represents about 1% of your day. And utilizing just 1% of your day for these self-improvement tasks can lead to a major increase in your abilities in only one year. One way to get started is to use this time in the morning to plan your day. This can be an effective time management strategy that offers several benefits.

First, it helps lead to an efficient use of time. Dedicating a period of time to plan the day allows people to make the most of their time. It’s a relatively short period that provides enough space to outline a person’s priorities and tasks without being overly time-consuming. By investing this small amount of time upfront, anyone can increase their productivity throughout the day.

Second, planning the day helps bring clarity to one’s goals and priorities. By spending a few minutes to reflect on what needs to be accomplished, you can identify the most important tasks, then allocate time and resources accordingly. This clarity enables people to focus on what truly matters, minimizing distractions and increasing their efficiency.

Third, planning allows for prioritization of tasks based on importance and urgency. By allocating time to critical activities, people can ensure that they address the most significant responsibilities first. This approach helps prevent procrastination and ensures that essential tasks are not overlooked.

Planning the day in advance can reduce stress levels. By having a clear road map and knowing what to expect, one is less likely to feel overwhelmed or caught off guard by unexpected events. The act of planning in and of itself can provide a sense of control and calmness, allowing one to approach the day with a more composed mindset.

Effective management

Allocating specific time slots for tasks during a planning session helps to manage time effectively. By estimating how much time each activity requires, people can distribute their available time more efficiently and avoid overcommitting themselves. This approach fosters a sense of discipline and helps participants stay on track throughout the day.

While planning the day, one can anticipate potential challenges or conflicts that may arise. This foresight enables more adaptable and proactive strategies for handling unforeseen circumstances. If unexpected tasks or disruptions occur, having a plan in place allows for adjustments to schedules and the ability to make informed decisions more easily.

A study by the University of California at Irvine found that it takes more than 23 minutes to return to an original task after being disturbed or interrupted. Having a plan gets you back on track in a lot less time.

Spending these 14 minutes to plan your day also ensures that your daily actions align with your larger goals and objectives. It helps you stay focused on the bigger picture and ensures that your daily activities contribute to your long-term aspirations. This alignment enhances your sense of purpose and keeps you motivated.

Remember, the specific time duration for planning can vary based on individual preferences and needs. The key is to find a dedicated period that works for you. It should allow you to efficiently organize your tasks, prioritize effectively, and start each day with clarity and intention.

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There is an old saying that “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second-best time to plant a tree is today.” There is no time like the present for commercial mortgage professionals to start reaching toward their life and career goals by committing to a 1% improvement in whatever area they choose. Beginning today will start them on the road to winning the competition to be their best selves. ●


  • Ken Grant

    Ken Grant is the founder of Rubicon Coaching LLC. He has nearly three decades of experience in the mortgage industry and has helped numerous mortgage professionals become the best they can be. “Crossing the Rubicon” is a metaphor for taking a decisive and irrevocable step that leads to significant results. Grant uses his knowledge and skills as a coach to help his clients get to where they most desire to be.

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