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Jack Roush is a multi-millionaire and renowned race car engine builder. He is most famous for building NASCAR engines for his race team. He’s so well-known for building the best engines that Jack’s competitors buy them to race against him. They walk into his store, buy his engines, and then use their cars to race him — he’s that good! I was listening to an interview when the interviewer asked, “Jack, what is it that makes you so great? What makes you a world-class engine builder?

It’s really quite simple,” he said. “Here’s what we do: we get an engine and put it on the engine block in the shop. We start up the engine, let it warm up until we can get it to full throttle — like putting a brick on the gas pedal — and then my team and I go get a cup of coffee. We don’t come back until that engine has blown up. Then we tear it apart and see what broke. Let’s say it’s a piston ring. I will build a better, stronger, and faster piston ring.” Jack and his team then put the engine back together again and repeat the whole process. “While all my competitors are afraid of breaking, here at Roush Industries, we embrace breakage. We encourage it because I’ll build a better, faster, and stronger machine.

How does this relate to you? Well, I know you’re afraid sometimes to turn things over to your team. What if something goes wrong? What if it breaks? Well, it’s got to do that. Until you know what breaks, you don’t know what or where the weak link is in your system.

When something fragments, you naturally build a better, faster, stronger system, or hire a better, faster, stronger person to take on that role. The key to taking that action is you’ve got to let your current system fail – you’ve got to run your engine hard to see what happens.

Quite often, you will discover that your engine does not break; in fact, it might run just fine. That’s ok. You’re testing the edges so you can fine-tune as you go. And when it does break, celebrate because now you can make your system even better.

So what could break in your mortgage business system? It might be your call-back process, a team member who isn’t trained to recognize the signs of a deal going sideways, a referral partner who changes lanes on you. Whatever breaks, and whenever it breaks, of course it doesn’t feel good. You may lose a deal or a referral partner. That’s going to happen. You certainly don’t want it to happen… but, really, you do.

By losing that one deal or referral partner, you will gain the next 20 by figuring out what broke. You have to be okay with breaking your engine, or at least testing it to see if it will break, and when it does, find out where it broke so you can build a better, faster, stronger system for that particular piece or situation in your loan advising process.

In fact, just for fun, humor me and do a mental exercise right now. Imagine your business is 10X what it is now – meaning, everything is ten times more than it was yesterday. You have 10 times the pre-quals, the referral partners, the leads, the calls to make, the meetings to have, the networking to do. You have 10 times the marketing initiatives, the number of team members, the number of mortgages you and your team are processing. Literally take one process from start to end – then imagine that ten times all at once. Blow the doors off your business in your mind.

After the beads of sweat have dried from your palms, think about what happened in that mental picture. If it caused your heart to race in a not-good way, great! Stress-testing your engine mentally is a lot better than doing it in the real world. What happened? What did you see break in your mind’s eye? Do you need to document processes? Do you need to train your team members better? Do you need to hire new team members? Is it time to invest in better technology to streamline the process? Do you need to start taking more apps online? Do you need different office space? Do you need to become a better delegator? How did your leadership skills handle the 10X version of your business?

If you can find something to make better, faster, smoother, stronger in your mortgage business as a result of that mental exercise, great! Fix what you found. Then do it again – this time with your team members. Everybody needs to do that same exercise in a group, where you can write down what everyone sees as a potential problem. This is about team-building as much as it is about business-building. Whatever comes up, take those things on to make them better before they impact your business.

Now you’re ready for the real-world engine test. Amp up your activity to see how your business system works. Hopefully you won’t see any breakage but, when you do, give thanks because that situation will help you grow your business faster than just about anything else you could do.

When’s the last time you tested your business engine? What did you fix?

Carl White, Chief Officer of Coolness
Article Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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