Gary Keller on mapping out the year and making a plan

Oct 13, 2011 10:26:00 AM


For most entrepreneurs and independent business owners, fourth quarter is a time of reflection on the past year's successes and an opportunity to put together a solid business plan for the next 12 months.

As you might imagine, Gary Keller, co-founder and chairman, Keller Williams Realty, Inc. goes through a rigorous planning process. Below is an email exchange between him and Todd Butzer, regional director, North Central on creating the "Master Plan."

-----Original Message-----
From: Todd Butzer
To: Gary Keller
Subject: planning question

Gary --

I am pretty sure you go through a specific planning ritual this time of year.

Wonder if you would mind sharing any part of it?


Todd Butzer

Regional Director

North Central Region

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary Keller
To: Todd Butzer
Subject: RE: planning question

hey !

i work from a simple concept:

1. i start with the end in mind: i envision my life at the end of it and ask myself what i want to have done. i then mock up a simple 5 year look (in

kind of a grid form with the years to the left and along the top the categories - like health, giving, john, mary, mom, business, writing,etc...) at what i should be doing to be on track and then i look at the first year.

that creates my goals for the year.

2. i then take each goal and ask one question: what is the one thing i can do that by doing it everything else that could also be done to accomplish this would either be easier or unnecessary?

3. last, i go to my calendar with that answer for each goal and i time block out the year to make sure those things get done. first, i time block all my time off – vacations, days off, short days, etc., so that i make sure they don’t get left out. if i intend to work hard then i’ll need this time to renew. next is, my meetings with the people who report to me. next, i make sure i have my time to plan out every week. (i've done this so long on a sunday night that i don't even block it anymore), usually an hour a week on a sunday. then it’s all about work. so, for example, if lead generation is your number one business action then you time block it for 5-6 days a week for 3 -4 hours a day before noon. for me it's writing so my goal is to just make sure that gets done - then i'm open to the possibilities of everything else.

my motto is “until my number one priority on my list is done each day all else

is a distraction”! ALL ELSE! as such, i guard my time when i'm on a priority task fiercely and without apologies. it's my life and i answer to no one as to my time. doesn't always make me highly visible or highly social, but that isn't the goal when i'm doing what i want my life to be about.

hope this helps. feel free to share.