I recently sat down with Aurora Purvis to pick her brain about managing success. She is a local Savannah, GA real estate agent with Keller Williams. I believe success principles are universal. As such, these interview are designed to help freelance writers glean insight from a variety of industry professionals.
I think you will be surprised to discover the success parallels between Aurora and top notch freelance writers. Her tips are helpful and can be used immediately. The questions are specific; the answers even more so. Three questions, great information. Let’s get to it.
Aurora Purvis: On Managing Success
Jason: Thanks for agreeing to be grilled Aurora. I promised you 3 short questions and here they are. We are going to focus on scheduling, goals and obstacles. Here is your first one.
1. As a freelance writer, I often struggle with scheduling. What are 3 specific things you do during the week to help you stay on task?
Aurora: Well, one thing I do is time-blocking. It is essentially scheduling on steroids. The concept is really simple though. All you do is plan your tasks according to specific blocks of time. I will set aside one or two hour blocks of time for specific tasks. Nothing else is addressed during those blocks of time except the task devoted to it. There are several apps you can use if you want to get snazzy. Plan PomoDone and Week Plan are a few. I just use Outlook and Google Calendar though. I enter the information, sync them up and stay on task.
Focus is also a huge thing for me when it comes to managing success. This is simply me doing ONE thing at a time. How that translates in the real world is not having several tabs open on my computer when I’m working. It’s too tempting to check social media for 30 minutes when a random notification pops up. Keeping my browser tabs to a minimum helps tremendously. I also try to watch where I’m going. Sometimes I am a bit less than graceful. I bump my head on hanging lights, trip up stairs in three inch heels; you know, typical realtor stuff!
Jason: That’s too funny. Any other thoughts regarding staying on task?
Aurora: Sure. Self motivation is huge for me. I guess a better way to say it would be personal development. I have specific time set aside to watch my favorite YouTube videos for motivation. My two favorites are the Be Inspired videos and sermon videos by T.D. Jakes. As a person of faith, I view spiritual development as a component of personal development. Taking time to invest in both keeps me focused and on task.
Jason: Those are fantastic answers. Thank you. For question two, let’s address selling. Freelance writers are always trying to land new clients or sell freelance writing course to individuals who could really benefit from them. To do that though, you have to make the sale. I will be interested to hear your thoughts on this.
2. How do you break down your sales goals?
Aurora: Great question. Generally, I work backwards. For example, let’s say I want to have 24 closing in one quarter. I have to break this goal into pieces so I know what specific actions are needed in order to meet the goal. This is what that looks like in my world.
Quarterly Goal: I want 24 closings
Monthly Goals: I need to have 11 buyer consultations. Of those consultations, I need to sign 8 Buyer Brokerage Agreements and have 4 buyers under contract by the end of the month.
Weekly Goals: I need to have 3 Buyer Consultations, 2 Buyer Brokerage Agreements and 1-2 buyers under contract.
Keep in mind, this is the bare minimum. If I’m short, then I have to step up my game. If I’m over, well I still shoot for the next weekly goal. In this business, you can never rest on your laurels. That’s a huge misstep.
Jason: Wow, who knew? Those are very specific. I love that. I think that’s one area freelance writers drop the ball often. We are always “looking for new work” or “trying to get new clients.” Without putting numbers behind them we never know where we are. Goals must be specific, measurable and time bound in order to be effective. Great response and insight. Thank you!
Finally, we are going to get a bit personal. I think there is real value in learning from failure. We all have things we come up against. It’s how we handle those experiences and what we learn from them that contributes to a more successful version of ourselves. With that said, here is question 3.
3. What is an obstacle or failure that almost caused you to quit, and how did you get through it?
Aurora: The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was mastering my schedule and setting boundaries with my clients. At first, I felt like a slave to my client’s needs and my overwhelming schedule. I became frustrated and emotionally involved. I overcame this by asking my team leaders for help and guidance, becoming less emotionally involved, controlling my schedule by time-blocking and setting boundaries clients up-front so expectations were clear.
Jason: I have to say, that answer is spot on. Managing success begins right there. Freelance writers really struggle with boundaries. It is so tempting to think you must respond immediately to new clients or address every concern when your email dings. Ultimately, this will spell disaster if you continue the practice long term. Boundaries and clear expectations are a must. Thanks for such a great interview!
Aurora: My pleasure. I was glad to participate and hope your readers can use what I had to offer!
Jason: I’m sure they will. Where can readers find out more about you?
Aurora: On social media they can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. For those interested in buying or selling property in Savannah, I am part of the Keller Williams team. I specialize in working with first time home buyers and military families, but also do my fair share of residential and commercial property. I can handle just about anything. Thanks again. I look forward to your readers response!
What a great interview! I’m sure you will be able to put a lot of this information to use right away. I’ve been looking at tie-blocking methods since I she answered the question. If something resonated with you in this interview, press in. Be a goal setting expert, a scheduling genius or a professional boundary setter. Take the information and put it to use!
If you are looking to buy or sell property in the Savannah, Georgia area, reach out to Aurora. If you need help with your freelance business, try my Pocket Guides.