Young people’s eyes are afixed on the future: “Where am I headed?” they ask. “How will I get there?” “And what fun will I have along the way?” During their journeys, they learn how to identify the people, wisdom and money they need to fulfill their dreams.
But experienced advisors have less future ahead of them. So their focus shifts partly to the past, to the lessons they’ve learned, the people who guided them, and the good times they’ve had.
One of the main lessons I’ve learned? That having a mentor was invaluable. I would not have succeeded in the insurance business had it not been for Mike, my very first sales manager.
Here are just a few of the things Mike taught me:
Do the right thing even if it hurts. When you look in the mirror every day, you better like what you see. So when you do your daily mirror check, don’t just make sure your face is in order. Remind yourself that (a) the previous day was a moral and ethical success, and (b) today is a new day and you will conduct yourself honorably in all things.
Do more for others than they do for you. Be more than fair. This will help you weather the inevitable storms that test business relationships. But also recognize that sometimes roles will shift and your partner will pull the wagon. In business “even Steven” is never a permanent condition.
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”; and “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Mike used these familiar lines to emphasize the value of living each day with purpose. Strategic planning the day before ensures that you’ll hit the ground running the next day — with energy, confidence and the highest chance of success.