“I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!” For 5 minutes, I kept saying it to myself. I was halfway across the world, sitting in front of my computer, paralyzed. I just had enough.
I found myself stuck in a situation that worked, actually—I was crushing it. I was working as a software engineer with one of the world’s biggest companies: IBM. The reality was that I knew I was lost, and something had to change. With this realization, I immediately embarked on a 3-year journey of self-discovery and preparing myself for my exit. I knew that I had to acquire new skills in leadership, personal development, management, and sales and marketing. Although I loved what I did, I always knew that I was meant to own and operate my own company. I was (and still am) the textbook definition of an entrepreneur.
This eventually led to me leaving my 15-year career at IBM and pursuing my life’s work and, more importantly, finding myself. Through all the training, the books I read, and the mentors that I worked with, one thing stood out above all others.
CORE4 ‘Before You Hit the Door’
CORE4 is a morning routine that jump starts your day with clarity and purpose. It’s a combination of 8 different tasks that are completed each morning before you leave for work. CORE4 was first introduced to me by my coach and mentor, Garrett J White. In my recent book, The Doorpreneur, I talk a lot about how this morning routine has helped shape me into the person I’ve become.
I share this with you today because I am a property manager. I deal with tough situations everyday involving my residents, my owners, my vendors, and my staff. My morning routine allows me to enter into each and every day with a state of clarity and focus.
In the span of a day, property managers deal with a lot of issues. This can wear on a person after some time, and before you know it, you can become cold and bitter towards the business. As an industry, we need to embrace techniques, systems, and habits that keep us at our best. Being productive and having clarity on all of your objectives is critical to our success.
I’m blessed that I was introduced to the concept of getting up early and working on myself before I started my day. Since implementing this routine, I go into my days with a coat of armour.
How to Implement a Morning Routine That Matters
The foundation of CORE4 is to put you in a place of power before you start your day. It’s an early appointment with yourself and nobody else. The beauty of CORE4 is that it is gamified so that you can feel the pressure to do it and witness your progress.
It’s very simple. You get 1 point for each of the 8 items that you need to complete. The goal is to hit a score of 28 before you leave the house each morning. The four quadrants of the system, which I’ll describe in detail below, are Body, Being, Balance, and Business. First, let’s start with the central element that we need to function: our health..
We have one vehicle in life, it’s our responsibility to properly take care of it. Fitness and nutrition are the number one items that you need to get control of each day.
1. Fitness (1 point)
Get your blood pumping, endorphins racing and energy up. Even just 10-15 minutes is enough to accomplish this.
Here a couple of practical options:
- Run, bike, swim (10 min.)
- Mobility, yoga (10 min.)
- Burpees (10 min.)
- Pushups, sit-ups, air squats or pull-ups
2. Nutrition (1 point)
Prepare your mind and stomach by getting greens and hydration into your body. I do this by drinking a green smoothie every morning. Here’s my go-to recipe:
- Powder form greens (Genuine Health Greens+)
- Vanilla vegan protein (Vega Propertin)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of vanilla almond milk
- Touch of cinnamon
Being is your spirituality or religious practices. Most entrepreneurs I know don’t spend enough time working on themselves—Not taking time for self-reflection or to just think things through.
One of the best investments you can make is in yourself—getting to know what triggers you, what makes you happy, what frustrates you, or what makes you sad—and asking yourself the big questions about your purpose in life. The ability to work through these types of dilemmas is very empowering. This practice helps you become crystal clear about you and that, in my opinion, is a superpower!
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There is no better moment to do some inner work than first thing in the morning! It will provide you with clarity and give you a sense of calmness that you need to be the best version of you.
3. Meditation (1 point)
It’s time to harness the energy from your body and bring it into your focus and control by using meditation. This next step is so crucial to the overall impact of CORE!
- Breathing exercise (10 min.)
- Guided meditation (can use meditation apps such as Headspace or Calm) (10 min.)
- 10 minutes of visualization (10 min.)
- Just slow down and be still (10 min.)
4. Journaling (1 point)
Coming out of your meditation, write about your experience.
Items to consider:
- Any idea that comes to you
- Feelings the day
- Strategic moves you want to make in your life/business/family
- Reflections about your life as a whole
Balance is all about relationships. Reaching out to those you love by expressing your love and gratitude for them. We often get wrapped up in our days and forget to tell our kids and loved ones how much they mean to us, and how grateful we are for them.
5. Partner (1 point)
Every morning, I send a text to my wife. The nature of this text is to show my love and appreciation for her. We call these, ‘daily deposits.’ The forms of daily deposits to your partner can vary. Texts for me have been working great, however, there are many other ways to show love and appreciation.
Some options could be:
- Words: Communicate a message through text or video
- Time: Spend a moment to connect
- Gifts: Sticky-notes, cards, a small token, or something fun/caring
- Touch: Use physical touch to show you care (#5 on top 5 Love Languages)
6. Posterity (1 point)
Show your kids or family members that you’re thinking of them.
Make this simple… all they want is LOVE and ATTENTION and can be done very simply:
- Surprise sticky notes showing you care
- Send them a message to their phone with some audio, a photo, or even a video
- Be creative here. Simple, fun, follow your intuition here
One of the key traits of a great businessperson is their ability to keep learning and then apply it. It’s key to always look for ways to improve your business and yourself.
7. Discover (1 point)
Whether you are an entrepreneur or intrapreneur, learn something relevant to your line of work by educating yourself. These days there is no excuse for not learning something that you want to use to expand your knowledge—since information is so easily accessible. :
- Books: Study greats books in Sales, Marketing and Leadership
- Podcasts: Listen to relevant podcasts around your current focus
- Audiobooks: One of the most popular choices (Audible)
- Articles and Blogs: Research note-worthy news in Property Management (Buildium Blog)
8. Share (1 point)
As you discover, teaching also becomes marketing for your own personal brand and business success. You can teach the concept, or create value, based on today’s discovery where it’s relevant:
- Teach employees, and management in your company
- Use it to fuel your email marketing, Facebook posts, and advertising to your target audience
- Share with relevant people so it invests value in your marketplace and business!
Always remember, you need to take care of YOU first or else you will never be able to fully take care of others. Success is not only quantified in how you measure it relative to your business—it starts with a clear picture of yourself that you can capture through a healthy rhythm of self-care.Read more on Property Manager Stories