What Does It Mean to Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable?
If you are an insurance agent with an entrepreneurial spirit, then you know the words “cushy job” are quite mythological when used together. The drive to succeed means that no job is ever “cushy.” It means that you are always striving to yield better results, and it also means that the bigger you get, the larger your competition becomes. It’s time to get comfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.
Why Would Anyone Want to Be Uncomfortable?
A high school coach once said that if you’re not getting better, you’re falling behind. In reality, lots of people have said that, but they’ve said it for a reason. It’s true. We use the high school coach example here because it fits. If you benchpress 90 pounds and run a 40-yard sprint in 5.9 seconds in the seventh grade, you might be competitive with your teammates and opponents. If you bench and run those same amounts three years later, however, you’ll get crushed by the competition. Technically, you haven’t gotten any worse. You still bench 90 pounds and run that sprint in less than 6 seconds. But in terms of real-world results, you’ve gotten much worse. That’s because your fellow peers are now benching anywhere from two to four times that weight and running the same distance a whole second faster. The only way you’ll ever keep pace or surpass them is if you push yourself beyond your current limits. That takes a lot of discomfort over an extended period of time, but the results mean you play on game day and maybe even win a championship or two.
How Do You Make Peace with Uncertainty?
Discomfort often comes from uncertainty. You wonder how you’re going to pay for the car or house, and it motivates you to set appointments and close sales. When you’re up against a challenge like life, you have to bring your best or else you will be out in the cold. It may not be life and death, but it’s awfully close to it. How do you make peace with that? You start by developing a plan for success. You don’t just sit there and wait for business to come to you. You find it, have coffee with it, and try to save it money while maximizing its protections. Refusing to sit idly by will allow you to make peace with the chaos.
What Are Your Contingency Plans for Failure?
If you commit to being active against the challenges you face — see No. 2 — you won’t feel lost when things don’t go your way. Instead you’ll be able to pivot and adjust your game plan to find a new course for success. Losing clients quickly? Maybe develop better outreach and nurturing programs to learn what clients are looking for beyond price. Find their lapses in confidence, and address each one before it separates them too far from your company.
What Are the Healthy Alternatives to Your Current Approach?
Frustrated that you’re not bringing in enough business? What are you doing to find leads? Are your marketing dollars being spent in the best possible way? Is there something in your approach that’s turning off insurance leads, who’ve agreed to meet with you? Learn as much about what you’re doing as possible. Test new things. Note the results. Be analytical with your business, and you’ll never want for new ideas for how to attract and close on new business. Of course, it may take a few tries before you find what “works,” but it’s better than blindly going through the motions without learning anything about your performance.
Being comfortable with your discomfort will push you to be the best — not just in the insurance business but in every facet of life. There is nothing wrong with sitting back and admiring your accomplishments from time to time, but try to remember that you’re in a rapidly changing world with no signs of slowing down, and competition is fiercer than ever. You can’t afford to do business day-in, day-out, the exact same way for the next 40 years. Don’t assume what works today will work tomorrow. Make peace with the uncertainty, and work to get the jump on it before it gets the jump on you.