Winning can be intoxicating, but it can also put you in a comfortable place, complacent even. To avoid that win hangover and ensure your business grows year after year, follow these three steps from performance coach Chris Pollinger.

With the new year about to dawn, it’s time to level yourself up. We’ll close out the year with a monthlong focus on real estate coaches and the value of ongoing training. Expect advice from the top real estate coaches, deep evergreen training resources and more during Inman’s Coaching and Training Month.

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Winning is like a drug. It feels amazing.

But it also has a downside. It is temporary. Once the award ceremony is over, and the trophies have been handed out, it’s time to go back to work.

Why are winning dynasties so rare? Every titan has experienced a hangover from winning. It causes us to think we’ve arrived. That there is nothing left to learn. It’s also the biggest obstacle to winning again.

What makes those who keep winning different? Especially in an ever-changing industry? There are three lessons from those who created a winning legacy that are more applicable today than ever.

Lesson 1: Victory will defeat you

The best-ranked woman tennis player in 2010 was Serena Williams. In 2011, she sat out the first half due to injury, and her performance later wasn’t great. By 2012, she had lost to a low-ranked player at the French Open.

With a focused determination, Williams began making dramatic adjustments to her process. She acquired a new coach who helped her enforce new techniques. The result? Williams won all four Grand Slam titles in the 2015 season.

She’d unlearned how to be a tennis champion and relearned what success took. Her story teaches an integral concept of dynasty winners.

When Williams got back to playing in 2011, she was doing things the way she usually had. But the same actions did not get equal results. The only way to succeed was to change by unlearning.

Doing this requires courage, humility and getting out of your comfort zone. You must re-invent yourself.  Trying new techniques might feel risky, but it’s imperative in a fast-paced world.

What worked last year won’t work today. You must be hungry for new information and change to stay ahead.

Lesson 2: Let go of your trophies

Why is it so challenging to make lasting changes stick? Your mind defaults to past thinking patterns even when you’re in a different situation. In an ever-changing world, what worked before won’t do the trick anymore. You want to adapt to what’s going on right now. Not what took place 12 months ago. Our past trophies hold us back.

Have the humility to accept that you need to stop doing things just because you’ve “always done it this way.” Be willing to courageously get outside of your comfort zone, and try something new. Your brain will always try to pull you to the familiar. This is why change is uncomfortable.

Persist, and you’ll make brilliant breakthroughs.

Lesson 3: Break change into small steps

What would you say if I told you that you could go from never running to a marathon runner in just six months? There’s an app that has helped thousands of people do this successfully.

But how? The developers utilize the important truth that you can achieve massive goals by taking tiny steps each day. That’s why they start the training plan with a 10-minute walk.

You can take the same approach to enact real change in your business.

Start by making your goal measurable.

Then, make a plan to reach your objective. Break it down into small pieces, and start with the simplest ones. Write every idea you have for achieving your goal. Don’t censor any of them. Then filter them down to just one to start acting on.

Every action you take gives you important feedback about your process. Celebrate results even when they appear negative. Negative outcomes show you what doesn’t work. Adjust, refocus and execute to hit your goals.

Old tactics are tiring quickly and becoming stale. We must have the courage to understand our past victories can be our biggest liabilities. Our trophies won’t help us win in the future.  We need to break up the change that is necessary into small steps to enact real, lasting change.  Winning this next year is going to take nothing short of a re-invention.

Chris Pollinger, CEO of RE Luxe Leaders, is the profit whisperer to the leadership elite in the business of luxury real estate. He is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, driving profit, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting and culture building.

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