January 10, 2020

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Mike Navo has been honing his skills and making a name for himself in the commercial real estate industry for 15 years.

Since joining CBRE in 2005, he’s built a reputation as a savvy deal maker, racking up awards like CBRE Toronto West’s Top 10 Producer, DREAM’s Top 25 Producer and Cadillac Fairview’s Top Deal Maker.

Over that period, he has started a team, become one of CBRE Canada's top suburban office professionals and been retained by many of Canada's largest companies.

The secret to Mike’s success? A rigorous approach to scheduling his time, a balanced attitude towards work and life, and a keen eye on the evolving nature of motivation. Here’s how he gets his results.

On Morning Rituals:

“On Wednesdays and Fridays I start with a workout at 5:30 am. Fitness to me is extremely important, because it gives me the energy I need to get through the day.”

“I also like to listen to podcasts in the morning, to put me in the right mindset for the rest of the day. On Tuesday and Thursday I listen to the Jordan Harbinger Show, and on Wednesday I listen to the Harvard Business Review. I love being inspired by other people, and these podcasts are great for that.”

 “I’m a coffee person, and I used to be very particular, but lately my girlfriend has turned me on to this PC organic coffee and I’m really enjoying that.”

On Setting Schedules:

“Time is extremely important to me, so I plan mine very carefully. I like to say that I control my day with an iron fist.”

“On Monday we have a team meeting at 8:30 am, where we discuss what we need to do for our clients and what new business opportunities we are pursuing. Then I plan my week – I make a colour-coded printed to-do list, and I put blocks of time into my schedule for different activities.”

“For certain hours I’ll only do meetings, and for certain hours I’ll only do cold calls. I lay it all out so I can see what my week looks like at a glance.”

“I leave my lunches open, and I treat them as networking time. As my career has progressed, I’ve realized the importance of building relationships. Lunch is a great time to meet with a client, just to check in and see how they’re doing.”

On Taking Breaks:

“Right around 2:00 pm I find I hit a wall, so when I get that feeling, I head over to the quiet room we have in our office and use Elevate (a problem -solving app). It’s just a nice way to take a moment for myself and challenge my brain in a different way.”

On Finding Inspiration and Staying Motivated:

“I think your motivations have to evolve as you do. When I was first starting my career, I wanted to buy a house. Now that I’ve done that, I have to think about other things I can work towards.”

“A sense of responsibility to my team, wanting to see [my partner] Ruth do well – that’s what inspires me these days. When you’re all highly productive and motivated, you kind of get inspired by each other.”

On Advice to His Younger Self:

“I would tell a younger version of myself to focus on gratitude. Business can make you feel lousy, when you’re focused on competition and comparing yourself to others.”

“It’s better to be grateful for the things you have. Accept yourself and surround yourself with good people. Be a sponge and take in what others are telling you; learn from the people around you.”

On Work-Life Balance:

“The beauty of this job is you decide what you want to get out of it. At the beginning of my career I had no work-life balance, but now I have lots because I create it for myself.”

“You choose to work or you choose not to work, you choose to go the gym or you choose not to go to the gym.”

“You have to create a life you’re content with, whatever that looks like for you. It’s all a function of what you place value on.”

On Fulfilment:

“I love people and I get to deal with different personalities every day. I love the variety of my career – I can control my day completely with pure autonomy.”

“It’s a dynamic and fast-paced world, but I have so much control over how I structure my work. I choose how much I want to work, and that reflects the extent to which I’m rewarded.”

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