What in the hell happened to you, didn’t you used to be somebody?
But I thought I still was…
Signing your first big contract
Now I can put it on cruise control.
When you see athletes at the top of their game finally break through and sign the mega-deal only to have their performance dip afterwards, do you think it’s because they lost their edge?
Is a contract based on past performance more of a disincentive, or a justified reward for your previous results?
Is that how we should reward our leaders in business, for what they did or what they potentially are going to do? Potential…ha, now that’s a loaded word, right?
What is the right call? If it’s performance based only, what if you have a bad year, bad two years?
What I see in my industry
Yep, still insurance sales; two things I know all too well, me and/or my J O B…:).
Run for the hills if you must.
I have been doing this insurance gig for 30+ years. For the most part, nothing was given to me nor did I inherit anything so my survivability was solely based on somehow figuring this whole thing out. That is not to say I did not have mentors and/or help along the way, but at the end of the day I still had to make it happen.
Ooohhhh, aren’t you special….
My greatness is only surpassed by my humbleness.
In the beginning
I had the education (Risk Management/Insurance degree) and a fantastic mentor who helped create some opportunities for me.
And I was young, eager and hungry.
Over time and because insurance and the renewals that go along with it are sustainable income, I was able to build a book of business. Meaning, if I didn’t stink it up too bad some were actually going to hang around for several years and I would get paid every year they remained with me.
Also along the way, I was motivated enough to continue my education. I have several initials behind my name but the one I am most proud of is the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) designation which is a masters level course that at the time was 10 parts and I did it all self-study.
And I never stopped learning; so my accumulated knowledge is still very relevant in today’s insurance environment so that should be worth something, right?
And then I cracked the code
When I first started out I was paid a minimal salary that was just enough to allow me so survive, but also keep me hungry. I knew the real money was after you validated and were paid directly on what you
killed sold and brought in the door.
If I recall, I think it took me 3 years to validate and I haven’t looked back since.
Oh, there have been challenges as some years will be better than others and for some unknown reason people would fire me (even to this day) or sell out or just go out of business.
The nerve…who keeps moving my cheese?
So what’s the problem?
Over time it’s easy to get complacent and lose some of your focus; at some point you just want to build a fence around what you have and rise above the scrappers.
But as soon as you do that you start going backwards.
You can’t fire me, I am a CPCU…
Oh yes they can, and they will; especially if your price is too high.
What I am trying to say from the knowledge side I am as good as I ever was, if not better because now I have years upon years of accumulated wisdom; book smarts and street smarts. Some lessons learned were harder than others, but learn I did.
However, since I get paid on commission only and theoretically was able to sign my big deal, other than losing an account here or there and not having enough in your pipeline to replace it; how deep do you do you have to keep digging to stay sharp all the time?
Is this only applicable to a sales industry or is it prevalent across the board?
Why isn’t my phone ringing?
Energy and enthusiasm wins out
Maybe; is that why you see big corporations terminate highly paid upper management with all that accumulated wisdom and hire younger (and healthier) and cheaper replacements?
It was inevitable social commerce would grow with the way the social platforms were evolving, but how many of our compatriots have given this a try because they were forced to be an entrepreneur before they were ready?
The million dollar question is then, if energy and enthusiasm win out, how do you keep that light burning brightly so you remain the rainmaker you are capable of, always bringing above average value to the job; day in and day out regardless of the challenges you have to face?
If it was too easy I suppose everybody would be trying to do it, huh? At times, it seems like everybody is though.
What is your secret sauce?
If you are not independently wealthy and you kind of have to work because others are dependent on you; how do you keep it not only fun and interesting, but do it day after day, rain or shine?
I never stopped being good, but do you have to take the blue pill or the red pill to keep your game on so people remember your name?
Sounds a lot like the hamster wheel, huh?