The initial phone conversation starts the same way: “I’m doing O.K., but I know I could do much better. I just find it hard to change my habits to bring my business to the next level.”
Upon further questioning, I find out that the person I’m speaking to is not suffering from a dramatic lack of cash flow, prospects, or clients. So what are they suffering from? And make no mistake about it – they are suffering!
I tell them that they are in a Success Rut™. Sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? People in a Success Rut generally are doing O.K. Their business is providing an adequate level of income. In fact, they may even be hitting their company’s incentive requirements whether they are a producer or a manager. They no longer fear where their next dollar is coming from. They are no longer concerned about cash flow. They know that if they get behind, they can “get serious” about doing the things necessary to get their business back on track. They are no longer in survival mode. It’s actually worse than that; they are operating on autopilot and are just going through the motions.
Symptoms of a Success Rut
Some of the symptoms of being in a Success Rut include the following:
• Lack of enthusiasm
• Little or no achievement drive
• Inability to get motivated
• Lack of sustainable energy
• Loss of excitement for the career
• Lack of resilience
• The feeling of just going through the motions
People in a Success Rut often have lost their way. They forgot why they entered this great business to begin with. A career in financial services is interesting, diverse, exciting, and very rewarding. It is rewarding not only for what it can do for them, but also, what it can do for your prospects and clients. People in a Success Rut have forgotten what goals they were hoping to accomplish by being a success in their business. In these cases, they go through the motions necessary for success, but have lost sight as to why they are doing it.
I have found that people like to be a part of something bigger than themselves. What do I mean by this? Why did you get into the business to begin with? Was it to make cold calls and speak to strangers or was it to help others and to personally benefit from the rewards that delivering value to others brings? Have you achieved your early stage survival goals and failed to set your sights on what comes next? Have you stopped growing and developing personally and/or professionally?
Try these questions on for size
• Where do you want your career to be in 5-10 years from now?
• What legacy do you want to leave behind?
• How do you want people to remember you after you have retired or moved on to the great beyond?
• Do you have a magnificent obsession you would like to accomplish?
Granted, these are not easy questions to answer, yet how you answer them will make the difference between a ho-hum life and being excited to be alive and to live everyday with passion and enthusiasm, which in turn will have a very dramatic and beneficial impact on you, your business, and all of the people you come into contact with.
In addition to answering these questions, what else can you do to get out of a Success Rut?
Here are some suggestions
• Create new and exciting goals that you are passionate about achieving.
• If money and time were no object, what would you like your life to be like?
• What are your strengths and are you leveraging them every day?
• Create an “everything I want to accomplish in my life” list, then begin going after them.
• Define what your needs are and be sure that they are being met.
• Replace any negative self-talk with positive thoughts.
• Be good to yourself. Exercise regularly, eat right and get enough sleep.
• Do what you need to do to feel good.
• Take action, now! Just decide, and then act.
• Be open to expanding your belief boundaries. Stretch yourself.
• Surround yourself with positive, nutritious people who pull you forward.
• Stop tolerating whatever it is you are tolerating.
• Volunteer for causes that are meaningful for you.
Henry David Thoreau said it best, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours…If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; this is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them.”
Good luck on your journey to success.
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Robert A. Arzt, CLU, ChFC, LLIF, is Founder and President of Polaris One and InsuranceCoachu.com. He is a 30+ year NAIFA member and coaches professionals who want to achieve more. He is the author of the book, “What Every Great Salesperson Knows, A No Non-sense Guide to Sales Success,” the creator of the online course, “Time Management Boot Camp”, and has presented at the MDRT Annual Meeting, NAIFA Conferences, GAMA, and local NAIFA Chapters. Contact him at 510-671-6226, [email protected] or through his website at www.insurancecoachu.com. For a complimentary coaching session, mention this article.