We’re just a little over 50 days into 2012, and I’ve already forgotten my New Year’s resolutions. I wrote them down, but that scrap of paper is now buried somewhere in a giant pile in my home office. “Get organized” is likely scrawled on it — or at least should have been.
I doubt I’m alone. Most experts say this is typically the time of year when people stop going to the gym, ditch the Nicotrol and start letting the mail pile up again. The trail by my house was packed with newly minted runners on New Year’s Day; when I was on it this weekend, I saw approximately two people.
The problem, according to goal-setting pros, is that most people need to set mini challenges throughout the year in order to achieve real improvement. But instead, we spend one day making grandiose plans that we forget about by the time those Jenny Craig ads are replaced by Super Bowl pizza deal commercials.
It’s a concept that applies to the life insurance business, isn’t it? Some businesses, a restaurant in a hot area, say, or a doctor’s office, are lucky enough to simply hang out an open sign and watch customers stream in. But rare is the new agent who can simply say, “I sell insurance,” and automatically sign up hundreds of clients.
This is a business based on incremental improvement, with each victory building to another. You serviced 10 clients this month and did a good job, so now you’ve garnered 12 referrals for the next. Keep at it, and eventually you’ll have a pretty great business. But succumb to instant gratification-itis, and you’ll go nowhere.