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By Catherine Mesick for REALTOR® Magazine

For Philip Jalufka, success was no accident. It was a plan.

A graduate of West Point, Jalufka built a successful career in the U.S. Army, serving as a commissioned special operations aviation officer and Chinook helicopter pilot. In 2001, Jalufka retired from the military and set his sights on a career in real estate. By 2007, he had founded Legacy International, an international residential and resort sales and marketing firm headquartered in Austin, Texas, that specializes in planned communities and now generates more than $2 billion in sales annually for a select group of homebuilder and developer clients.

Along the way, Jalufka developed his “life equation”—a formula that shaped both his military and his civilian careers and continues to drive his life choices. In his new book, Leading With Your Life Equation: How to Be Indestructible, Indispensable & Unstoppable, Jalufka offers a guide for others looking to find personal and professional success.

“The purpose of the book is to help every person who reads it make the most of their most precious commodity,” says Jalufka. “And that commodity is time.”

The book offers a step-by-step plan for developing your own life equation, offering the lessons that Jalufka learned himself as he made his journey in life from star high school football player to successful entrepreneur, husband, and father. In addition, the book includes life lessons from Jalufka’s own personal heroes, including his grandmother, Army and business colleagues, and mentors. Baseball great Roger Clemens, University of Texas golf coach John Fields, and billionaire philanthropist Red McCombs also share insight into the paths that led them to the top of their respective fields.

“I wanted this to be an assimilation of a lot of stories,” says Jalufka. “Wins and losses. Practical experience. I wanted to help people create the plan that would help them each and every day.”

One of the key components in developing a life equation is homing in on what motivates you—the purpose that gets you up in the morning. For Jalufka, working with a well-trained, passionate team is a critical source of motivation that helps to keep him going when times are difficult. “Real estate agents often work in teams,” he says. “And they do that for a reason. You can use your team as a resource and learn from them.”

Another important factor in your life equation is developing an action plan to overcome life and career obstacles. In the book, Jalufka details the terrifying car accident that nearly derailed his entry into West Point and how he worked his way back to his goal. He faced challenges early in his real estate career and struggled to close sales. To change his struggles into wins, Jalufka says, he turned to two strategies that had served him well in the military—educating himself and seeking out guidance from those who were already successful in the field. “Most people will stumble at some point,” he says. “Read books, get a mentor, and make sure that you are part of a team—whether that’s a peer or friends or a spouse.”

Another important part of the equation is accountability. The importance of full accountability—being responsible for your own behavior as well as those on your team—is something that was instilled into Jalufka during his Army career. Once again, Jalufka advises having at least one partner who helps you stay on your goals and deliver them. “Have a plan, share it, and document it,” he says. “After you execute your plan talk about it. Ask ‘How did we do? How can we do better?’ ”

And while the underlying principles and process for developing a life equation are similar for everyone, the equation itself will be different for each person. Finding your “why”—your true passion in life and what you want to do with your time—is part of a personal journey. “Everyone is wired differently,” says Jalufka. “Your equation needs to be in alignment with your personality. What works for me may not work for you.”

A major part of Jalufka’s “why” is giving back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each copy of Leading With Your Life Equation will go to Heroes for Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans and first responders. In addition, Jalufka has written the book with the goal of helping young people, veterans, real estate professionals, and business leaders. But he believes that anyone can benefit from working on their own life equation. “We can all be more purposeful,” he says. “Find your plan, find your passion, and go out there, and make it happen.”