What exactly is success? Some people define success in terms of their family, health or happiness. However, for the purposes of this article, I am referring to business success/personal financial freedom.
My definition of financial freedom (or personal financial success) is the ability to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, with whom you want to do it and as often as you want to do it. In other words, if you want to do something, you can simply write a check. If you want to do something for your family, you can. You want to support your religious beliefs or local community? You can. If you want to help out others less fortunate than you, you can. The bottom line: You can afford it. It’s what you do with the money that matters.
Of the many ways that producers turn their backs on success, one of the most significant is how they use their time. Almost all producers sporadically do a great job. They will occasionally get a great result, get a great account or get a great referral. But they’re just not investing their time into turning their sporadic achievements into systematic results.
I recently watched a video about one of two brothers who founded Life is Good, a $100-milliona- year company that designs and manufactures t-shirts, hats and other items that promote happiness and the idea that—you guessed it—life is good. The company’s seeds for success were planted around the family dinner table when the boys were growing up. At meals, their mother would always ask them what made them happy that day. She made them acutely aware (a) of the many reasons they had to be happy and (b) that life can be good. In the video, one of the founder’s opening comments is that time is the most precious asset we have. That really hit home with me.
One of the main ways you can turn your back on success is by wasting time. When you think about it, time is your only diminishing asset. Once you lose it, it’s gone. Take sleep, for example. You lose an hour or two of sleep and then tell yourself you’ll make it up. Really? The truth is, you can’t.
Ultimately, all of the tools—the strategies, behaviors and techniques—don’t mean a thing if you’re not using them and if you’re not “in the game.” As I’ve said many times, you score points only when you are in the game. In other words, are you doing the things that allow you to create great results? (Remember, everything you do has a result, only far too often the result is sporadic at best.)
I’ve mentioned before that time management is almost impossible in the insurance business. The reality is that the concept of time management was developed for manufacturing. With mass production came the need for improved efficiency as products moved down the assembly line. The manufacturer’s bottom line depended on knowing how long the process should take and making sure that workers adhered to the allotted time.
So while time management may not apply practically to the insurance industry, situation management is very possible and productive. Basically, it directs you to put yourself in the right situation at the right times. For example, when is the best time to visit clients, prospects or centers of influence? “When they’re open” is the obvious answer, since it’s tough to visit clients when they are closed! However, situation management takes it a step further and helps producers determine the best times of day to get the best results. The key is to figure out when during the day you can earn pay and still complete your no-pay activities (research, meetings and other necessary functions that lead to pay). Once you figure that out, then you need to determine what you should be doing when you are actually in the game.
These are the activities that drive producer results:
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