Youíve read all the books, listened to the tapes, and attended the seminars. You most likely already know what steps you have to take to ensure your success. Knowing the right steps is a good beginning, but itís not enough. Sometimes, it just takes good old courage, to succeed. I once heard that courage is not the absence of fear, but instead, it is the conquest of fear. Do those things that others, who are less successful, just donít, wonít, or canít do. In W. Clement Stoneís book, The Success System That Never Fails, he used the phrase, ďLittle hinges swing big doorsĒ. I can close my eyes and picture it, canít you? Itís a powerful image, isnít it? In other words, it is the little things that can and absolutely do make a very big difference. What follows isnít anything new, but I hope that it will provide you with a B.G.O.-blinding glimpse of the obvious. Rate yourself on how youíre doing in area. Be critical, but not overly so. Then, write down one or two actions that you will take in each area to move closer to achieving the success you desire. Letís take a closer look at how C.O.U.R.A.G.E. can help you to succeed.
Commitment to yourself, your family, your organization, your spirituality, commitment to your goals, and to be the best that you can be. Commitment requires action and action requires both a written plan and a tracking system. Just keeping track of what you commit to in your head isnít enough. Write down your commitments. Verbalize them to those people you trust and respect and who will help to keep you on track. Check your progress regularly and make the necessary course corrections as required.
Be organized. Plan your work and work your plan. Remember that being organized is only half of the equation. Peter Drucker has the other half, he says that: ďEfficiency is doing things right, effectiveness is doing the right things right.Ē Why not plan on being effective? There are many tools on the market today to help keep you organized. I have my favorites and Iím sure you do too. Are you using those tools to obtain maximum results? I find that from time to time my use of the system deteriorates into nothing more that a glorified to-do list. A plain sheet of paper can do that! Once every month or two, check to see that whatever system you are using is keeping you focused on tying in your goals, values, and commitments to your daily actions.
Make it a daily habit of increasing your understanding of yourself, your clients, your family, and the people with whom you have daily contact. Books have been written about this subject. Sometimes itís easy to forget that behind every sale is a person. The topics and solutions you present to your prospects and clients may not be new to you, but may represent new thinking or revelations to them. A wise associate gave me some advice when I was in my first year in sales. He said that, ďPeople donít care how much you know, until they know how much you careĒ. Remember to listen with your ears, but hear with your heart.
You and only you are responsible for your own success. It can be easy to complain about not having the right tools or training or systems in place to help you to be successful, but the bottom-line is that only you have the control to do what is necessary to guarantee your own success. Become a student of your business and industry. Not just the nuts and bolts about the products you sell and the forms you need to fill out, but also, the business of running a business. Embrace the lifelong learning philosophy.
- Activity and Attitudeó
Itís been said that you control two things in your career; your attitude and your activity. Skill is rarely the element that distinguishes productivity. Fortunately, we have many commercial and company specific tools to help to keep us on track in these important areas. I heard Zig Ziegler speak at a conference several years ago; he asked the group two questions that Iíll never forget. They were, ďWhen was the last time you had a check-up from the neck-upĒ, and ďDo you suffer from hardening of the attitudes?Ē Two simple questions, yet they are very profound. Activity is the other key to productivity and success. Develop a bias for activity. Donít have too many good ideas and not enough prospects and clients to share them with. Talent without action ceases to exist. In addition, develop the capacity to relive your successes. Why do most people dwell on the few times something didnít work out and ignore the majority of times that goals were met and successes achieved?
Your goals need to be of your own creation and should be meaningful to you. Goals need to be written, have a time frame for completion, be broken down into bite sized pieces and should be reviewed and worked on everyday. Another important fact to remember about goals is that itís ok to change them. Some people become paralyzed when it comes to setting goals. They feel that they need to get it 100% correct before proceeding. Not true! Itís more important to begin the process and then make changes, as you go, then never have begun at all. Remember that achievement is related to the struggle; little struggle-little achievement, big struggle-big achievement.
Strive for excellence in everything you do, but remember that striving for your goals and the pursuit of excellence are important journeys and not destinations. Youíll never reach the end of the road and isnít that terrific! Become a student of your business to separate yourself from the pack and remember that school is never out for the professional.
Robert A. Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF, is CEO of Polaris One and InsuranceCoachu.com. He coaches professionals who want to achieve more. Contact him at 301-610-5624, or through his website at insurancecoachu.com. He is the author of What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No-nonsense Guide for Sales Success. For a complimentary coaching session, mention this Top 7 article.