This rule was created by legendary Author and Speaker John C. Maxwell. If followed, it will yield massive results. 

John Maxwell states that if you have a tree in your backyard that you want to cut down, first you need an ax, and to pick up the ax daily, sharpen the ax daily and swing and strike the ax daily at least five times and the tree will inevitably fall.  

It’s never a question of if the tree will fall, but when if these rules are obeyed.  

Let me personalize this analogy even more: 

  • Your ax: industry resources
  • Picking up your ax: showing up
  • Sharpening your ax: preparation   
  • Striking your ax: prospecting (5x people minimum daily)

 Let me specify this analogy even more so:

  • Your ax: resources that will catapult you into becoming a trusted expert (read, mastermind, etc.)
  • Picking up the ax: time blocking 30 minutes daily for learning and improving
  • Sharpening the ax: investing the actual time daily in learning, improving, and preparing
  • Striking the ax: contacting 5+ current and/or new prospects daily

 Consistent time invested in knowledge building and the actual experience of executing will create confidence and opportunity (read that sentence again).

Then you learn to delegate and hire more people to “cut down more trees” with you (more trees, more prospects…).

So how do you sharpen and strike your ax every day?

Think of it like this: if you hire a Physician or a Therapist or a Personal Trainer, you expect him or her to be up to date on relevant topics and to invest in the required knowledge to serve you better, right?

Well, let’s “step on the scale” for a second (moment of truth): are you doing the same as a professional Realtor? Are you investing time daily, if not weekly at a minimum, learning how to improve your craft to become better for others in need of your services?

  • Are you well versed in your local market statistics?
  • Do you have a tight buyer and listing presentation?
  • Do you have a tight past client follow-up system?

That is sharpening the ax before swinging and striking the ax…

 …which consists of the following:

  • Visit (in person or by phone) one person in your COI (Circle of Influence) daily, with providing something of value, that’s 240 people, minimum, yearly (remember: your value add is what you just invested time learning)
  • “Value add” five past clients daily through social media (which I personally call “Business Media”), Phone Calls, Email, or Video Text something specific (new comparable listings, newly contracted comparable properties, and/or closed comparable properties as an example of a value add).
  • “Value add” five prospects daily by calling with information on newly listed homes that might be of interest, inquiring to see if they have seen any attractive properties online, or even sending an unsolicited video walk-through of a new listing that meets that respective buyer’s criteria.

Now that you are “swinging and striking” the trees in your “own backyard”, it’s time to get more trees (prospects).

Every day, it’s imperative to also add 5 new people into your database and to stay in flow with them:

  • Online lead generation (Zillow,, Redfin Partner Agent, etc.)
  • Open houses
  • Circle prospecting
  • Door knocking
  • Gateway partners (Divorce Attorneys, Financial Advisors, Mortgage Lenders)

 In sum, 5 swings a day to 5 new and active prospects daily in a measured and calculated method will make even Mr. T and George Washington jealous 😉

 xo – WP

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