“If it were easy, everyone would do it”
What do Michael Jordan, Jay Leno and Barack Obama have in common? One’s a sports star, one’s a comedian and the other is president. All three of them reached the top of their field in spite of setback.
Michael Jordan did not even earn a spot on his 8th grade basketball team. That set back, however, did not deter him from reaching his goals. Thanks to a spot of luck with a growth spurt during 8th grade and a lot of practice to improve his basketball skills he made his high school team and the rest is history.
After high school he went on to play on the NCAA national champion University of North Carolina and then won 6 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls. It took a little bit of luck, good support around him and a lot of practice to hone his skills.
Born in 1950, Jay Leno suffered from dyslexia. His 5th grade teacher wrote on his report card, “If Jay spent as much time studying as he does trying to be a comedian, he’ be a big star.”
After several years doing standup comedy 300 + nights a year in 1992 Leno finally got the break he needed. NBC picked him over David Letterman to replace legendary Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show. Today, his net worth is estimated to be over $ 150,000,000.
Whether or not one agrees with his politics one cannot deny that the road to the highest elected position in the world was not an easy one for him. Barack’s mother was a white woman and his father was a black man. They met and created Barack while in college at the University of Hawaii. The father left them in Hawaii to study at Harvard. After school he went back to Kenya to work for that government. His mother remarried and moved to Indonesia where Barack was not happy. At the age of 6 he went to live with his grandparents in Hawaii.
Unlike his White House predecessor, he was not born into a wealthy family. With hard work and some luck on his side he earned his law degree from Harvard, taught law at the University of Chicago and entered politics. In 2004 he was elected as senator for his adopted home state of Illinois. In 2008 he was able to parlay that election into a presidential election victory.
All three of these men, along with hundreds more, had their own personal struggles. They could very easily have given up. Rather, they chose to persevere through the challenges to reach the very top of their chosen professions.
Insurance agents are not any different. Very well, I remember, the frustrations I had during my first year. In school I had always been in the top 10% of my peers. Insurance sales, however, was a different game. In school, if I did something wrong I could redo it. I learned that is not the case when dealing with a prospect. If I screwed up there was no redo. I either would learn from my mistakes or continue to mediocre.
If you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that you too find times when you feel frustrated. There is no dishonor in admitting that you made a bad career decision. Commission sales are not for everybody. If you can do anything else and be happy, do it. If, however, you are determined to be successful as an insurance agent, make up your mind to do it and do it.
It will not always be easy. You may never qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table. Remember, you do not have to. While they are in the top 2% of insurance agents in the nation, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being in the top 25%. If it were easy to get a seat at the Table, every insurance agent would be there.
I realize how hard insurance sales can be. As agents we have to deal with public distrust, office politics and government interference. Even when all the stars align just right and outside interference is not present, our own stupidity can prevent us from achieving the levels of success we want. It often takes some hard work and a little luck.
The goal of this blog is to help licensed life & health insurance agents. Coming posts will be motivational as well as practical. These tips are designed to help agents through their frustrations.
Obviously, these will be my own ideas and opinions. Fortunately, in the last 23 years I have realized that I can learn many things from many people. This blog has a comments section. Please use it to share techniques that you have benefitted from.