(TheNicheReport) -- This past week was a perfect time for me with my clients. After reviewing their week, asking questions about what sources were the best for them, asking them to continue to focus on target marketing, inquiring as to their next week’s calendar, pleading with them to be sure to connect with their past clients and referral sources, I knew that I had one more subject to broach.
A few of my clients and I have worked together for years. Every time they contact me, send me an inquiring email or agree tacitly to continue to work with me and allow me to coach them, I truly get a feeling of gratitude.
“It’s time to take stock,” I said to many of them. “It’s time to review what you did this past six months.” It was then that questions started to come from the depths of my inner being. An exaggeration? No! Not at all! I just started to ask questions that interest me, have previously interested me, and more than likely will continue to haunt me till the day I die.
Here are the questions and the form I sent to them all, exactly as I wrote them:
“These questions are designed to make you think about your business. They should be answered seriously and with more than just one word.
- Did you reach your six-month goals as you set them in January?
- If yes, why?
- If no, why?
- What do you think is holding you back from achieving your goals?
- Are you following your marketing plan?
- What marketing are you doing that works?
- What marketing are you doing that should be trimmed/cut/deleted?
- What separates you from the others who do what you do? How are you different?
- Do you have enough good referral sources?
- Do you have referral sources that you spend time cultivating/marketing to people that do not produce business for you?
- Do you continue to learn/study more about the business?
- Is there anything you wish you would have done to generate more business?
- Is there any class of buyers/borrowers that you would like to pursue?
- Are you setting new goals for the balance of the year? What are they? How will you accomplish them?”
Then I dropped the bomb, which came down to this. “What separates you,” I asked, “from those who produce $200,000,000 in volume a year?” I continued with, “What makes them more successful than you? How do they produce such great volume? Do they sell rates? Do they pay for the business? Do they have weekly meetings with referral sources? Is it because of their superior knowledge of the business? Do they cheat somehow?”
Ok, everybody relax, because I am sure they do have some combination of certain skills that do not include cheating in any way. “They” have too much to lose.
But if you took the time to think about it, most of you would explore the following: these superstars didn’t start out producing large volumes of business. They had to start somewhere, with something, probably something special. What was it? What did they think and then do that put them on a path to having an income of a million dollars a year or more?
Too many of us focus on and search for only one reason why people do the things they do. Mikhail Gorbachev, former General Secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union before it was broken into separate countries, wrote a book published in 1988 entitled Perestroika. The literal meaning of the word is restructuring or rebuilding. In this book – and I remember this very clearly – he chastised Americans for one of their failings. He wrote that the American psyche seems to most often seek one answer to why things happen, instead of realizing that there are always multiple reasons why things happen.
If you’ll think about recent conversations that you’ve had with friends and relatives, you will recall that most often we try to figure out why something happened. I wonder why Joe and his wife split, I wonder why the Joneses bought that car, I wonder why Amanda does so much business – and finally, what is the secret to success? I’ve often spoken of this really bad habit to many audiences, but it’s very difficult to change the perception that most of us have. We really think there is one reason why something happens. Well, there is no one reason “why” to almost anything. It’s not like, as parents we’ve told the kids, “cause I said so,” and that is the only reason.
People who do what they do have multiple reasons for their actions. But really successful people seem to have one very strong psychological part of their being that is different than most of the rest of us. They are driven to succeed. It is a very strong desire to be the best at what they do. And they sacrifice almost everything else in their lives to achieve their desired goal.
I laugh when I hear an Olympic champion, having just won the event that they have trained for the past 20 years to succeed at, say to a TV interviewer that they never believed they would win, all they wanted was to participate. If that were true, why did they spend the greater majority of their life training? They want to win, every one of them. It’s a burning desire they have. They sacrificed any semblance of a normal life. Are there exceptions? Sure, but the exceptions are negligible. Are some people born with the silver already in the bank? Sure – but not many in comparison. And then there are those who had the silver at birth and blew it.
But let’s concentrate on you. Let’s think about you becoming successful. Then let’s put it into perspective. What do YOU want? What will YOU do to achieve it? Have you listened to the Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale? If you believe it, it will be. If you want it badly enough, you’ll sacrifice almost everything to acquire it.
What do you want? How badly do you want it?
Read the questions above and write out your answers – not one-word answers, but sentences. You’ll learn a lot about yourself.
Ralph LoVuolo, Sr., is President of Mortgage Motivator, a consulting firm on the cutting edge of the mortgage business to help people achieve their true potential. He is one of the founding fathers and a two-term president of the New York Association of Mortgage Brokers. Additionally, he served as Parliamentarian for six years on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. LoVuolo, Sr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit him at http://www.mortgagemotivator.com