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Facing a challenge? Be an action hero

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“I just lost my biggest client!” Edwin, a management consultant I had coached some years ago, blurted out on the phone. “What am I going to do now?” Edwin’s client had been providing him with half his six-figure income. The loss had come, he said, through no fault of his own and at the “worst possible time.

He spent the next few minutes woefully lamenting that he would no longer be able to pay his bills and saying how difficult it would be in the current economy to replace his client. Finally, he asked me for coaching.

Edwin viewed the loss of his largest client as cause for panic. It showed foresight that just a month earlier he had retained me to help him grow the other half of his business, telling me that he had become “too comfortable.” It may have been that he’d sensed his relationship with his big client was coming to an end. But now that it had actually happened, he was bemoaning losing that income.

“It may be true that you have no way to immediately replace it,” I said, “but do you believe that you’ll eventually replace it?” He agreed. Then I asked, “What has to happen for that income to be replaced?”

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“Obviously, I have to get out and get more clients,” he replied and began talking about all the things we’d already put in place as well as some new ideas to get his practice growing. By the end of the year, he was very close to matching his previous income.

Events often turn out differently than you’d hoped. And when they do, you have a choice. You can take on the role of victim and rant against the cruel powers that brought you to this terrible place. Or you can choose to be an “action” hero and create ways to solve the puzzle you’ve been presented with.

Edwin began that phone call a victim but ended it a hero.

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Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients.