‘Getting What You’ve Always Gotten’: Why You Should Dream Big And ‘Fail Up’

Failure is often given a bad rap in every circle but the entrepreneurial one. Well, guess what: successful insurance agents are entrepreneurs, so failure being a negative thing doesn’t really apply to them. This is a realization that occurred to me when reading a tip from Michael Markey, co-founder and owner at Legacy Financial Network in comments to PropertyCasualty360. First, the tip, in his words:


“At the core of every successful business is a passionate belief. It’s called the why. Figure out your why and the how becomes simple. Use your why to make goals. Have you ever heard of baseline goals or stretch goals? A baseline goal is something you expect to meet no matter what. The stretch goal is a something you hope to hit. How absolutely stupid! Baseline goals are nothing more than justification of your rationalizations to why you didn’t or too often couldn’t reach your stretch goal. Goals based on the why will lead you much farther and in directions you couldn’t anticipate.


“I don’t think we’ve ever hit one of our goals. Although we missed last year’s goal, this year’s was still bigger. Yet already we’ve almost surpassed last year’s numbers. Every new goal is set based on our why. When we focused on our why, we noticed most top producers have multiple offices, have a radio show, TV show or both, and have adequate office support staff. If you want bigger results, then observe and duplicate bigger producers. If they have three offices and you still work from home, then start with a small office. If they’ve got five support staff and you have none, then start by hiring one part-time person. If they’re on the radio and you’re not, then talk about this desire to anyone or everyone who will listen. It’s amazing how things will fall into place.


“Don’t mistake excuses for valid rationalizations. I have, and until you stop, those ‘rationalizations’ will ensure you keep doing what you’ve always done, which means you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.


“Lastly, be vocal about where you want to be. Some call it fate, luck, law of attraction, or divine intervention. I wish I could credit my masterful marketing brain (insert sarcasm) for everything we’ve accomplished, but I can’t. We’ve been very blessed, lucky, or fortunate … whichever term you wish to subscribe.”


In my own efforts, I’ve noticed that sometimes I just don’t dream big enough. I look at the possibility of failure as absolute and total failure rather than a fail upward. I think if I try this and it doesn’t work out, I will glean nothing of any value from it. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The only people who fail outright are the ones that allow themselves to subscribe to this line of thinking permanently.


While it’s easy to get sucked back in to those old ways of doing things, it’s also easy to recognize what you’re doing and reverse course. You just have to call yourself on your baloney.


In Summary

Failing is usually incremental. That means if you set goals that are too high, not quite reaching those goals will get you further than if you set your goals too low and succeeded at every one. Dare to dream big, and don’t settle for getting “what you’ve always gotten.”

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