#022: Tim Martin Transcript – 8 Signs You Have Turned Pro


Tim Martin

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Host: Tim Martin

Episode 22: Eight Signs You Have Turned Professional in Sales

July 19, 2014

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Welcome to Success is Voluntary, a podcast devoted to helping you become the salesperson you were always meant to be, where it’s all about helping you learn the techniques and tools that will enable you to win in the increasingly competitive world of voluntary benefits. Welcome your host, a guy who has hired and trained over 2,000 voluntary benefit salespeople in his career, Tim Martin. Success is Voluntary, selling voluntary benefits.


Tim Martin: Yes, my name is Tim Martin, and you’re listening to episode number 22 of Success is Voluntary. I have been under the spell of Steven Pressfield for the last several months. Pressfield wrote one of my favorite golf movies of all time, The Legend of Bagger Vance. If you know of Pressfield for his fiction, you may not know that he also has nonfiction books. Most of his nonfiction writing is geared more to artists and writers than it is to salespeople.


Having said that, if you don’t read his books, The War of Art and also Turning Pro, I will worry about you. They are both that important. Just about everyone from every walk of life can benefit from these two books, those that are artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and salespeople will be profoundly changed. A couple of weeks ago, I gave a keynote speech to a large organization where I borrowed heavily from Pressfield. Pressfield identifies at least 26 signs one can use to know if they have turned pro at what they do for a living. I spoke on just eight.


Today’s podcast is the audio from that speech. I’m so glad you’ve tuned in. I received outstanding feedback from dozens of people in attendance that day, and the emails continue to pour in. Many people have told me that I really opened their eyes. One agent even told me, “I now realize that I have been playing at my voluntary benefits career. It’s no wonder I make amateur-type money. I’m operating as an amateur.”


My hope for you is that this presentation will profoundly change the way you look at your business. It will challenge your attitudes and make you question your competencies. Hey, please stick around until the end of today’s podcast as I have an exciting announcement and a favor to ask you, so without further ado, here we go.






Todd: Well, without further ado, an awesome mentor, a friend, a consummate friend, a friend of Colonial, Tim Martin.Aka “T Money.”


Tim: Okay. When Todd asked me to come speak, I was blown away. I have to tell you; any time I get a chance to share, I’m a happy guy. Any time I get a chance to stand in front of people and tell them a little bit about my journey, I’m a happy guy, not because of me, but because I have had some great mentors, some great people who have stood beside me and lifted me over the years. Let me tell you a little bit about why I started my website. To me, it’s kind of an interesting phenomenon.


Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds and hundreds of people. In fact, I’ve recruited and trained over 2,000 agents in the insurance industry in my career. I’ve been very, very blessed that I actually could talk some of them into moving from state to state to state.


Todd talked about my family. I have two beautiful daughters. This is about half the crew that went with us in December to celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary out in Culebra, Puerto Rico. If you’ve ever had a chance to go to Culebra, it has the fifth prettiest beach in the world according to Travelocity, a bunch of places, Yelp. All those guys say it’s the fifth prettiest beach in the world. I’d like to see the other four because it’s staggeringly beautiful.


We were at this massive house, and we had a blast. Well, one night, wine may have been involved. I’m not going to lie. Some of the people who came with me, like this guy right here in the front, Andre Laflamme and Kim Parks and a couple of other people…the pastor is in the back, Derek…he asked them, “Why would you follow this guy from state to state? What would possess you to do that?”


They started talking, and I got very emotional because I look at the people who have had impact in my life and how much they mean to me, people who had absolutely zero interest in my success, really, other than they cared about me. It wasn’t like they were getting an override on me. It wasn’t like they were getting paid from my stuff, but they still took an interest in my life.


As these guys started to talk about it, they said, “Tim, you have to help other people. You have to expand your influence,” and so I started this. I just was going to do a simple, little podcast. I was thrilled when we broke…100 people downloaded it in 1 week. I was thrilled with that. I couldn’t believe 100 people would listen to me talk in a week.


Then I went to 200 and then 400. We hit 2,500 downloads the last 4 weeks in a row. I have people listening from Brazil. It’s crazy that people are jumping on this website, so we’ll talk about the SuccessIsVoluntary.com website a little bit more here in a minute.


Before I get started, I have really four ground rules. It says, “Two x Two,” so two times two is four. A lot of you guys work in schools. Right? You guys all can do that math, two times two? Okay. That’s four. Two things that will help: You have to have fun and be excited. Hey, listen. Nobody made you come here today, so we might as well have some fun.


Oh, one more thing before I really get started. Todd told me that the meeting started at 9:00, and I was going on about 9:30-ish. As a speaker, when you do that, you kind of want to get pumped up, so I started drinking coffee about 8:00-8:15. I was wired at 9:30. I am like over the top now, so I’m going to crash here in about ten minutes, and it’s going to be ugly, but I just want to point that out.


All right, so have fun and be excited. No GOMOs. Anybody know what GOMO stands for? Going through the motions. No GOMOs today. We’re going to all participate. I’m going to ask a bunch of questions. I want to get you guys involved, and we’re going to have a lot of fun.


Two things that will hurt you: “I knew that.” If you ever catch yourself saying, “I knew that,” today, you’re not listening because there are probably some subtleties. There are some layers. There are some things to the stuff I’m going to say today that I think if you’ll keep an open mind (even though you know it)… Todd mentioned John Maxwell a minute ago. John Maxwell says, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts,” so no “I knew that.” You can’t do that.


The other one is, “That won’t work.” We tried that once. That’s not the Colonial way. That’s not the way I came into this organization. “That won’t work.” Everybody, can we agree to those ground rules? Can we keep an open mind? Let’s go! We’re going to have fun here today. All right.


The first thing you may have noticed is the title of my speech “Turning Pro.” There are a lot of people in this room who are professionals. I get it, and what I’m going to talk about today is going to really resonate with you because you do these things. I have 26 signs that you’ve turned professional. Don’t worry. I’m not going to cover all 26. I’m going to cover eight today, eight things that show you’ve turned professional in your career. Whether you’re selling insurance or you’re mowing lawns. It doesn’t matter. They’re indisputable evidence that you’ve turned professional.


Some of you, you’re going to go, “Man, I get that. That makes a lot of sense. That’s exciting. I am a professional.” Some of you are going to look at it, and you’re going to go, “Ooh, maybe I’m not quite as professional as I think I am.” Some of you who are aspiring to turn pro, to really be good at this thing… Because here is what I know about this, you have an opportunity to make a huge impact in people’s lives. Who here has seen what we do change people’s lives?


I lost my mom to cancer in 1998, and I saw the devastation that created, as far as financially, in my family. If they had had our Colonial policies, easily, just on the cancer plan, we would have paid them, my folks, over $75,000. Is that being significant in somebody’s life?


Tim: Absolutely, but here’s the deal: To really be significant, you have to get good at this thing. You have to be a professional, so I hope that’s what you aspire to be. You want to be a professional, so the first one, the first sign of being a professional is…


1. A professional shows up every day. Not like that. How many of you, other than me, this has been the start of your day before? Come on. Let’s be honest. What does that mean? What does it mean to show up every day? Other than physically showing up, what else does that mean?


Female: Being prepared?


Tim: Being prepared. Absolutely. What else?


Audience: Being engaged.


Tim: Being engaged. What else?


Male: On time.


Tim: On time. Ooh, that’s my pet peeve in the whole wide world, by the way. It means being ready to go, having a plan the night before. Did you know if you don’t have a plan when you wake up, you’re unemployed? Anybody here want to be unemployed? No, we don’t want to be unemployed. Maybe you know the story of The Lion and the Gazelle.






Male: Every morning.


Male: Every morning.


Male: Every morning a gazelle wakes up knowing…


Male: Knowing.


Male: …knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion.


Male: The fastest lion.


Male: …the fastest lion or else it will be eaten.


Male: And every morning…


Male: And every morning…


Male: Every morning.


Male: …a lion wakes up knowing that it must outrun the slowest gazelle.


Male: The slowest gazelle.


Male: The slowest gazelle.


Male: Or it will starve. So it doesn’t matter…


Male: It doesn’t matter…


Male: It doesn’t matter…


Male: …whether you’re a lion…


Male: …or a gazelle. When the morning comes…


  1. When the morning comes…


Male: …you better be…


Male: …you better be…


Male: …you better be running.



[End of video]



Tim: Now I’m not a runner, as you can probably tell from my incredibly chiseled physique, but I know that in the morning, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle, you better be running. You have to start. You have to get out there every day.


2. They stay all day. They go to work. They get there, and they work all day. How many sales leaders do we have in the room, managers, you lead a team? Guys and gals, here’s the reality: When you bring on a new rep, you’re busy. I know that you guys all work, but if you start a new rep, and you meet them at the office or whatever, Starbucks for a cup of coffee, at 9:30. You go out. You work with them a little bit. You take your lunch break. You work with them a little bit longer, and you kick them loose at 3:00 because you have other stuff to do.


It doesn’t matter that you started at 6:00, and you may end at 6:00. They saw you work from 9:30 to 3:00. That’s what they think you work. That’s what they think is what makes you successful, and maybe if you’re a veteran of this organization, you can be successful working from 9:30 to 3:00. Maybe that’s perfect for you, but I’m pretty sure you didn’t get to your level of success by doing that. Is that correct?


It’s like taking off that jumbo jet. Todd and I were on the same plane. I didn’t know they made planes that small flying into Long Beach. It’s like two seats on one side and one seat on the other side. I didn’t know that they made jets that small. Let’s put it that way. When we were taking off, can he take off that plane, or she take off that plane, at a third throttle? Can they pilot take it off at a third throttle? No. What do they have to do?


Tim: Yeah, they bury that sucker. They go as hard as they can. Then, once they get up to 35,000 feet, they can cruise along 500-600 miles an hour at a third throttle. If they try to take it off at a third throttle, how long would that runway have to be? You need to work all day. Stay on the job all day.


A saying I’m pretty famous for in my circle is, “The freedom god will eat you alive.” How many of you (other than me, again) went into this type of a career because of the freedom and flexibility that it would provide you? We want to make money. There are a lot of other things. You want to make an impact in people’s lives.


I get all that, but for a lot of us, especially in leadership, we sell that dream to the new recruit. We tell them, “You’re in charge of your own schedule. The good news is you’re going to get paid what you’re worth.” We do that. Then when they don’t work full time, we’re mad at them. It’s like, “What?” We just sold them that that was their opportunity, and then when they want to work four hours a day or five hours a day, we’re surprised that they do that.


Well, here’s the reality: The freedom that this type of career provides you isn’t for everybody. There are a lot of people who can’t handle that freedom. A lot of the people we hire, over the course of the years, they’re used to going to someplace where they tell them when to start and when to finish and when to take their lunch break and what to do during the day and all that.


Did you know that 84 percent of America needs to be told what to do, when to do, and how to do it? Eighty-four percent. Fourteen percent need at least structure. They don’t need to be told when to start and when to finish and all that, but they need the structure. Like two percent of people are self-driven and self-starting and can figure it out, so the “freedom god” will eat you alive.


I am excited. I came from the food service industry. I used to run Domino’s Pizza restaurants, and then I owned them. By the way, if you ever get the opportunity, you’re thinking that the food service is a romantic thing, you want to start your own restaurant, don’t do it. I was used to working 100 hours a week, so when I came to this industry, 50 hours a week was vacation for me.


I tell new reps all the time, “The best part about this is because you get to pick your own schedule, you get to pick to work 12 hours a day if you want, not 4 four hours a day.” I said, “You can work half days, whichever 12 hours you want, 6:00 to 6:00, 7:00 to 7:00. I don’t care. You’re going to work half days. Pick it because, otherwise, it will eat you alive.”


“Oh, I’m independent. You can’t tell me what to…” No. You know what, the reason that my Success is Voluntary website is called Success is Voluntary, because everything you do in this business is voluntary. Coming to this meeting was voluntary. Getting up, putting on your tie, and getting out the door, gentlemen, is voluntary, but so is success. So is success. That “freedom god” will absolutely eat you alive.


Here’s something that a lot of people don’t know about me: I am a naturally lazy person. If I don’t have anything else to do, my feet are on the couch, and there’s a ballgame on. If I can get a kid to bring me a beer, and I don’t have to get up and go get it myself, that’s even better. I’m naturally lazy. So how does somebody like me overcome that? How can you possibly overcome natural laziness?


Female: Being prepared and organized.


Tim: Being prepared and organized, that’s the first thing. I am in the middle of losing weight, but again, you may not be able to tell. If you had seen me a few months ago, you would be able. This is the first time I’ve had this jacket in a long time. It doesn’t quite fit, but it’s almost there, so I’m excited about that.


Getting to the gym, I have to lay out my clothes. I have to be ready, everything ready to go first thing in the morning so when the alarm goes off, I don’t have any excuses. There are no obstacles. There are no challenges. I roll out of bed. I throw on the clothes, and I’m gone. Everything for the day is laid out. It’s already in my car. I’m ready to go. So first thing is be organized. What else?


Male: Incentives.


Tim: Incentives. Give yourself an incentive. Absolutely. I love that. I buy myself little gifts for hitting goals. Absolutely. Celebrate those successes. There is nothing wrong with that. What else can you do?


Female: Set goals and accomplish them.


Tim: Set goals and accomplish them. You bet. My biggest friend, honestly, is the calendar.If it doesn’t get calendared, it doesn’t get done. For instance, Todd was asking me, “Where do you find the time to write all these blog articles? You’re running an organization. You have a family.” By the way, I’m in college at the moment, taking four classes. Well, not right this second, but I have for the last couple of years. My biggest regret is I didn’t finish my college education. I’m two semesters away. Thank you. Thank you.


The reality is I did it for my mom, honestly. I lost my mom, like I said, in ’98, and I promised her I would. Now I’m honoring that commitment, but I’m learning a ton. I kind of always pooh-poohed college because I had gone for a few years, and then I had great success in food service, great success in sales, made a lot of money.


I might have been able to keep some of that money if I had finished college in the first place. What a concept. Man, that’s interesting. But somebody asked me, “Where do you find time?” I put it in my calendar, and then don’t cheat your calendar. If it doesn’t get calendared, it doesn’t get done, and then don’t cheat your calendar. Get those things in your calendar. Make your calendar your friend. It’s the best way that you can avoid the “freedom god.”


3. The professional acts in the face of fear.Don’t be scared, right? Are you really afraid of her?


Male: Nope.


Tim: Well, how many times do you walk through the door and face her a day?


Male: Every day.


Tim: Every day. Good for you. I wrote a blog article about the key to successful business-to-business sales is getting to the gatekeeper. A lot of people think that the success is getting around the gatekeeper to the decision maker. I mean that’s what we have to do. If we’re going to open accounts, we have to get past that gatekeeper to the decision maker. Well, I believe, honestly, this key to success for opening accounts in this business is just getting to the gatekeeper.


In the blog article I mentioned, I said, “More than once I pulled into a parking lot, turned off my ignition, sat in the car for several minutes, chickened out, restarted my car, and then pulled out of the parking lot.” That’s just me. Maybe you’ve never faced call reluctance. Maybe that’s not you.


I’ll tell you this: I do a lot of coaching. I offer a free coaching session, 30-minute free coaching session. About 80 percent of those people end up going on and hiring me as a coach, and every single one on that initial call, every single person (I have three or four new calls a week), not a single person has that not been an issue for them. Every person I talk to they have a call-reluctance issue. Every single person.


You want to learn how to overcome that, I don’t have time today because it’s about a 30-minute coaching session, and it’s free. So feel free to call, set it up. I’ll show you how to do that later. I’ll show you what to do, but I can show you how to overcome call reluctance. There are some really good tricks on that, but everybody struggles with that. I say there are two kinds of salespeople in this world: those who struggle with call reluctance and those who lie about it. It’s absolutely true.


4. No excuses. “Well, see I was going to go out cold calling today, but see, I got up, and I spilled a little coffee, so I had to change my change my shirt. Then I went outside, and, well, you know, my car was almost empty on gas, so I went and got gas. Well, I ran into somebody, and I talked to them for about 20 minutes. Then, oh my gosh, I noticed, then, the left, front tire was a little low. You can’t go out cold calling if your left, front tire is a little low, so I went over to Discount Tire.


Discount Tire told me, ‘You know, you might want to get your tires rotated. You just need air, but if you don’t get your tires rotated, it could be bad on them.’ Then it’s lunch time, and so lunch, I mean, well, I was a little hungry, so I ate a little earlier. I get done about 12:00, and you can’t go cold calling at 12:00 because the business owners aren’t in, so I went home to just drop off some stuff, and Oprah was on.” Oh, well, she’s not on anymore and… Right? Anybody?


Female: Ouch.


Tim: Ouch. No excuses. Hey, leaders, I have to say something. You’re not going to like it. I don’t care because I told I Todd I could say stuff, and he said, “Okay.” Isn’t that nice? If you’re having a meeting and people aren’t showing up, and they’re not enthused, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. Your meetings suck. No excuses.


Did you know here at The Westin (this is awesome)… I did workout this morning, by the way. No excuses. I was up late. A couple of people may have bought more than one beer. It was a late night. The alarm went off this morning, and I’m like, “Hey, I have to be ready. I can’t get worn out in the gym. I have to be ready to speak today. This is important to me. Oh my god.” I got up anyway.


Do you know here at The Westin that if you forget your workout clothes, for $5, they’ll send up New Balance shoes and shorts and a tee shirt and, ladies, even a sports bra? Talk about eliminating excuses. I actually brought my stuff, but I won’t anymore because for $5, I don’t have to pack all that crap. Then it doesn’t stink up my bag on the way home either, so absolutely no excuses.


5. The professional plays it as it lays. What does that mean?No mulligans. You don’t get mulligans. This is the real world. What does it mean to play it as it lays in our industry? What do you think I mean by that?


Male: Take it as it comes.


Tim: Take it as it comes. You can’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You have to play it today. Today matters. All you have is today. I love this expression: “Worry is interest paid on a debt that never comes due.” Play it as it lays. All you can control is today.


I am a man of faith, and I’m not going to get into religion or anything like that, but I have a couple of things that I will say from time to time. They do come from the Bible. If that offends you, I really apologize. I have some stuff that comes from other things as well, but I just haven’t read a lot of those other things. Yes?


Male: Just add one little comment, play it as lays, you can only control what you control…


Tim: That’s right.


Male: …in the sense of the calls or the same, I’m sure, that you did when you drive up, and you stop the car, and you don’t leave. Then you leave. You can only control that moment.


Tim: That’s exactly right.


Male: The rest of it, what happens, on the other side, when you walk in that door, until you walk through, you don’t know.


Tim: That’s absolutely right. That’s absolutely right. You show up. You’re supposed to have good access and control of these employees, and nobody shows up to the meeting, you still can play that. You can still make an impact on that. That’s what professionals do. Professionals don’t go, “Oh, well, that stinks. I guess I’m going to lose this round.” They figure out a way to make the best out of situation as well. The Bible says that tomorrow is not promised to us. We have today, and today matters. This one is my favorite:


6. A professional does not take failure or success personally. They don’t take failure or success personally. Now we’re going to talk about both of those because I think the failure part of it is a little easier to understand for most people because we fail all the time. If you’ve been a professional, you’ve been selling for a while, you get that. You understand that’s just the way life is when you sell something.


Early on in my career, I had never sold anything other than, “Would you like breadsticks with that pizza?” I realized that I had to get good. I had to understand how to sell, and so I had an opportunity to go to Tommy Hopkins’ “Building Sales Champions” boot camp. I was living up in Washington State. It was in Scottsdale, Arizona. My folks lived there, and so I went and stayed with them. That helped with the cost. I didn’t have to buy a hotel room, but I was so broke that when I put that $600 for that seminar on my credit card, I was praying…praying…that it would through.


See, I don’t know if any of you started in this business broke. I would’ve liked to have started broke. I would’ve loved to have started broke, honestly, because my Domino’s Pizza days did not end well. If you ever get the opportunity to make the IRS one of your major creditors, I suggest you pass on that. They forced me into business bankruptcy. We had to liquidate the stores. When the sheriff comes out and changes the lock on your stores, it’s time to go get a new job.


Because I had personally guaranteed some of the leases and equipment loans and things like that, even though we went through a business bankruptcy, we got 5 lawsuits in 11 weeks. That will make you nervous to answer your front door when you get 5 process servers in 11 weeks coming to your house. I was broke, so not only was I praying that $600 would clear the credit card, I was praying even more that my wife wouldn’t kill me for spending $600.


I went there, and I learned a ton, but the thing that really stuck with me more than anything else were these daily affirmations on failure. We’re going to say these out loud. It’s the goofiest thing you’re probably going to do today. I promise. We’re going to see them out loud because it’s important. We’re going to say these loud and proud and let’s just do it.


Number one, I never see failure as failure but only as a learning experience.


Number two, I never see failure as failure but only as the negative feedback I need to change course in my direction.


Number three, I never see failure as failure but only as the opportunity to develop my sense of humor.


Number four, I never see failure as failure but only as an opportunity to practice my techniques and perfect my performance.


Then lastly, I never see failure as failure but only as the game I must play to win.


I still say those every day. I’ve been doing that for nearly 17 years. I don’t need the sheet anymore. I’m not brightest crayon in the box, but if you say the same thing every day for 17 years, you can pretty much memorize it pretty quick. In fact, we had to memorize it and get up in front of the group and say it at the boot camp. It was three-day boot camp, and that was one of the final exercises. We had to repeat these out loud. I will send this slide to Todd, and you guys can get it out. I never see failure as failure.


Favorite quote of all time:


“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.”


You’re going to fail. It’s inevitable. You’re going to have setbacks. You can’t take it personally. Could I tell you something that’s even worse? You’re going to have success. How is that worse? Because you will take it personally. You will go, “Look at what I did?”


I’m not saying don’t be proud. In fact, one of things we’re going to talk about is you have to self-affirm. You have to give yourself self-affirmation, but when somebody tells you “yes,” they said “yes” to the product, the opportunity, that you put in front of them. They didn’t say “yes” to you. So if you believe they didn’t say “no” to you, you also have to believe they didn’t say “yes” to you.


Now maybe you have better skill sets. Maybe you’re growing. You’re getting better at how you present it, but at the end of the day, if you’re taking all the credit for your success, then you have to take all the credit for your failure. I see this with leaders, managers all the time. Somebody comes on their team, and they skyrocket. They get off to a great start. The manager is beating their chest, “Look at my guy. Look at what I did. Look how awesome they are. I really helped that person be successful.” That’s a poor leader.


“Well, what happened to that other guy?” “Oh, he was lazy.” The failures are that person’s fault. The successes were because I helped that person. True professionals don’t take failure or success personally. That’s important. It’s an important distinction.


7. The professional self-validates. I just said you can’t take success personally. Am I kind of speaking out of both sides of my mouth when I say they have to self-validate? No. What does self-validation mean?You have a high opinion of yourself. You feel good about yourself. You know that you’re growing. You know that you’re getting better. The success or failure is just a metric. You know whether or not you’re giving your best effort. You have to validate yourself. You can’t compare yourself to others. That’s another thing that means. Self-validation.


I got caught up with this early on in my career. Todd knows. We went through some leadership training together, and I am in the ninety-ninth percentile for competitive. That means out of 100 people, 99 of them are less competitive than I am. I am the one percent in that, and I’m proud of that. That’s wrong, isn’t it? Probably because I’m so competitive. Right?


So early on in my career, I really got caught up in trying to compare myself to others. I won’t give you the exact words my leader said, but it really rung true to me then, and it rings true to me now. He said, “If you compare yourself to poo-poo, you’re still poo-poo.” That’s not exactly what he said, but he said something like that.


He said, “You know, it’s one thing if you’re comparing yourself against the local pool of talent, but if you start looking at national talent or other companies,” he said, “listen, the problem is, Tim, there’s always going to be somebody better than you. They might not be in this company, but somewhere on this planet, there is somebody who does a better a job than you do at what you do, and there are always going to be people worse than you.”


If you’re counting on a curve, then you’re not in this self-validation point. You’re expecting other people or where you compare to other people to drive you forward in success, and that’s very fleeting. It’s very fleeting. Anybody remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?You guys seen this before?


Maslow basically said that people aspire to move their way up on this chart, and you can’t go to this next level until the level below it has been accomplished. So the very first one physiological needs, that means being able to eat today. That doesn’t mean having a house. That means no bear is going to eat you today…right now, your physiological needs. You’re going to have enough food, enough water. No bears are going to eat you. You’re going to survive today.


Then safety and security. That’s actually being able to live tomorrow. You have a little bit of food hidden under that rock when we were back living in caves. You know that you’re going to be okay tomorrow, that you have some security there.


Love and belonging. The next thing is you want people to love you, and you belong to the tribe, and why all that is important.


Then finally, self-esteem. So here’s the thing about professionals: If they really are self-validating, what does that imply? If they already have self-esteem, what does that imply? They already have these things taken care of. It’s awful hard for a hungry cat to mouse. Have you ever heard that expression? You can’t teach a hungry cat how to mouse.


If your needs are not taken care of and you don’t feel like you have love and belonging in your life, you have no self-esteem. You can’t get to self-esteem until those other things are taken care of, so you self-validate. The only way to self-validate is you have to have those other things taken care of first.


8. Leaders help others. True professionals, if you’ve turned pro, you know that because you help other people. Here’s a real quick test for you: If you found something that was absolutely killing it. You came up with the closing line of all closing lines, or you found a niche in the market that you walk in, and they just throw money at you, would you share it?


If you would, you’re a professional. If you go, “Oh, no, wait a minute. That’s mine,” then you’re not a professional because a professional knows there’s more out there. A professional understands that we don’t live in a world of scarcity; we live in a world of abundance. True professionals know that they need to help.


Todd mentioned that we share a couple of mentors in common, and one of them is a guy here in Los Angeles, Joe Buzzello. Some of you have met him. Some of you haven’t. Several years ago, I had hit the Law of the Lid. My leader, I was a stronger leader than he was. I mean I’m not saying that to brag. It’s just the truth. I was a stronger leader than he was, and I wasn’t growing anymore.


I called up Joe B., and I said, “Hey, Joe, would it be okay if, once a month, I sent you a list of questions by email, and you spent 20 to 30 minutes, and we cover those? Would you kind of mentor me long distance? Joe, you don’t get an override on me. Joe, I can’t pay you.” Well, I don’t want to pay you. “Joe, there’s really nothing in it for you.”


That sounds like a great plan for me, not necessarily for Joe, but Joe was very gracious, and he agreed to do it. I want to play you a little clip because when I left Aflac to come to Colonial Life, it was crickets on my phone. My phone did not blow up. I was expecting a lot of people to call me and go, “What are you doing? What is going on?”


My phone went dead silent, and that hurt my feelings honestly, hurt my feelings, because I thought I had better relationships. I mean some of my closest friends called me, but a lot of people who I would’ve expected to call me didn’t, but I got this call:






Joe Buzzello: Hey, Tim Martin, this is Joe B. calling at 1:30 on Saturday. Hey, I just heard the good news that you accepted a position with Colonial. I think a TSM position over a few states out there in the Arizona and a couple of surrounding states, I think, and I just wanted to congratulate you and tell you I was so happy for you to get that opportunity and…



[End of call]



Tim: It’s still on my voicemail on my phone. I’ll never get rid of it because Joe took an interest in my life. He made a huge impact on my family, made a huge impact on me. True leaders do that. True professionals do that. They reach out, and they help that next person up. So let’s see if you guys can remember them all. Here we go. First one, what’s that? A true professional does what?


Audience: Shows up.


Tim: Shows up every day. Secondly?


Audience: Stays working all day.


Tim: Stays working all day, right?


Female: Yes.


Audience: Acts in the face of fear.


Tim: Looks fear in face. Doesn’t hide away from fear.


Audience: No excuses.


Tim: No excuses.


Audience: Play it as it lays.


Tim: Plays it as it lays.


Audience: Does not take success or failure personally.


Tim: Yeah. Absolutely. Does not take success or failure personally.


Audience: Self-validates.


Tim: Self-validates and…


Audience: Helps others.


Tim: Helps others. Awesome. You guys all did great. Give yourselves a hand. That’s awesome.



[End of audio]



Remember everything is voluntary, including success. Take it in your hands now. Head over to www.successisvoluntary.com, and stay up to date with all the latest tips, news, and techniques in the world of selling voluntary benefits.


Tim: Thanks so much for tuning in to this podcast. I really hope you enjoyed those eight signs that you’ve turned pro. I said I had an exciting announcement. Tom Hopkins is coming on the podcast. You have to be careful what you wish for. When I first started this podcast, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could get somebody like Tom Hopkins or John Maxwell, somebody like that, one of my heroes to come on?”


Much to my delight, Tom Hopkins is the first huge guest we’re going to be having, but my delight quickly turned to angst. Tom Hopkins is one of my heroes, and I’m somewhat intimidated to have him on. I want to make sure that I get the most out of this interview for you, the faithful listener, and I also don’t want to waste this time.


That’s where you come in. The interview is in less than two weeks, and I’m starting to stress out. Could you do me a huge favor? Could you please help me to develop some questions to ask Tom? If you’re willing to help me, you have three options.


You can leave your question as a comment by clicking on the Comment button in the top, left corner of this article, assuming, of course, that you’re listening to the podcast through the SIV website. The second choice is you can leave a question by voicemail, again, on the Success is Voluntary website. On the right-hand side, you’ll see a little blue button that says, “Send Voicemail.” Your third option is just hit the Reply button to the email program right now, assuming that you are listening to this through an email you got.


If I use your question, I’ll give you credit for it in the podcast, and I’ll also send you the audio version of my latest book Disturbing Questions: Making The Decision Maker Uncomfortable. Hey, thanks so much for listening. I really appreciate you subscribing and being a valued member of this community. I look forward to hearing from you. I’ll see you next week.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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