This post by Francine Viola, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty in Olympia, Wash., was originally published on ActiveRain.

Life happens. Problems and challenges are always popping up, but some are worse than others. Anything from a bad head cold to a more devastating catastrophe can throw you off your business track. Here are some of my ideas to help sustain your business while you recover from whatever is derailing you.

Have systems in place. At a time when you can’t be 100 percent focused on your business, this is the time when systems really come into play and can save your business from total financial disaster. If you haven’t done so already, make 2014 the year you have systems in place on how to deal with leads, prospecting, following up with existing clients, and transaction management. This will help you put things on autopilot for a while.

Ask for help. As Realtors, this is a tough one, at least me for me. But if you can ask a colleague to cover for you or to temporarily be your teammate, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. You owe it to your clients to provide excellent service. It’s worth it to split the commission and have a colleague step in.

Try to maintain a schedule for certain activities. You may have an eight-hour day planned out on your calendar, and that can be overwhelming. Try to keep a schedule of just a couple of your planned activities instead of trying to do everything. This isn’t an all-or-nothing business — even doing 20 percent of your schedule will help keep your business on track, and having a modified schedule can create some normalcy during this chaotic time.

Don’t beat yourself up. Life happens. We all have problems and challenges that come up in our lives. You aren’t alone, and you are human. Give yourself a break and the time needed to recover and build yourself back up.

Have financial reserves. This can take a lot of stress out the situation. Always be building up your financial base.

Don’t let yourself become an isolated island. Go out and talk with friends, colleagues, church members, etc. — but not clients. You need to take a break from putting on your “happy Realtor face.” I always find just going to the office and reconnecting with my colleagues and a change of scenery helps to lift my mood and put things into perspective.

I’m happy to say goodbye to 2013, as it was a personally difficult year; however, 2013 turned out to be a good year financially, partly because I was able to stay on track and not let my challenges completely destroy my business.

What ideas do you have or what have you done during tough times to keep your business on track? I look forward to hearing from you! Cheers to a wonderful 2014!

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