Have you ever been knocked down and discouraged? If you haven’t, you must not be trying very hard to be a success.

The effort of attempting great things requires failure. The greater the goal, the greater and more often the failures. You’ve heard it said frequently of athletes, but let’s apply it to the world of insurance.

You should be learning your craft, constantly. You have products to learn about. You must know how to apply those products strategically for people. Once you have determined the right products for the right people, then you must find the people to sell. That’s quite a tall order for non-achievers. A non-achiever will become discouraged with education. They will be discouraged with locating prospects. Then they will be discouraged with rejection.

I like the line in “Dumb and Dumber” when Jim Carrey asked the girl what kind of chance he had with her she said, “one in a million.” His response was, “so you’re saying there’s a chance.” If you know there is a chance, why not try, again and again. With more education, increased awareness, and the continuous study of communications and people, you will improve. You’ll make one sale, then another, then failure, then failure again, then another sale. So on it goes.

Be careful to understand that there are plenty of people with the need for what you offer. They’re just not aware of it yet, and they’re not aware of the fact that you can provide what they need.

I was amused many years ago when someone told me he couldn’t sell because he didn’t know anyone. Agencies teach “greenies” to make a list of people they know. He didn’t know anyone. I bet him lunch that within one hour, I could meet and get the phone numbers of 10 people. He told me it was impossible and shook on the bet. We drove to the local mall. I waited for 50 minutes so that he could brag about how right he was. I just walked around the mall. I looked in some stores and waited. With just 10 minutes left, I said “pay attention!” In 10 minutes I got the 10 phone numbers. I actually introduced myself to about 30 people but only 10 responded well.

Here’s how I did it: I stopped people as they walked past. I held out my right hand and said “Hello, my name is Kim Magdalein.” If they responded with “Hi, I’m John Smith,” I proceeded. I told each of them that I was trying to prove to my friend that I could meet 10 people in 10 minutes and get their phone number so I can call them about life insurance. Ten of them gave me their numbers and names. I then asked, “Would you be angry with me if I called to save you some money and help your family avoid financial heartache?” Ten people said, “No, I wouldn’t be angry with you.”

The follow-up netted a couple of clients, so it was a good exercise. You may be thinking that I am an extrovert and meeting people is easy for me. Not so, I’m an extreme introvert. I’m very uncomfortable in social settings and small talk. When I have purpose and a challenge, I can deliver and so can you. While you continue to fail and succeed, other distractions will take place that may be major problems.

When one of my children died, it really knocked me down. I had to work through it daily to stay functional. You can’t avoid major events; they will happen. What you can do is eliminate minor events. Major events like divorce, death of a loved one, wayward kids, financial setbacks or crazy family members will come along and steal time and money, and are most times un-avoidable. It’s the small frequent events that will kill your momentum and motivation and steal time.

We let small distractions slow us down and even stop us. They are controllable, so control them. That way you can just handle the big stuff without being overwhelmed.