Why Lowering Your Stress May Lead To Failure

“I’d love to go out cold calling today, but I really need to get organized.  I feel that I am too disorganized right now and it is stressing me out!”  I stopped dead in my tracks and asked the agent that had just finished speaking to repeat it.  I wasn’t sure I had heard their reasoning excuse correctly.  They assured me that my hearing was fine and they had indeed just said exactly what I thought they had said.

stress level

Much to their surprise, I wasn’t the least bit sympathetic to their plight.  “Great!” I said, “I’m glad you are stressed out!  It shows me you are actually moving in the right direction.  You see, if you weren’t stressed, that would tell me you aren’t spending enough time doing the things that will drive your business forward.”

At this point my agent looked at me like I had three eyes.

I went on to explain to them the lesson that my good friend and longtime mentor, Les Heinsen had taught me 15 years ago.  I don’t remember the context, or the location he taught me this lesson, but the lesson has stayed with me.  Les said, “Tim, everything you do in the course of your business day can be classified as either goal achieving or stress relieving.”  What Les was pointing out is that we are either doing things that get us closer to our goals or we are actively engaging in activities where we can’t fail.  (Things where people can’t possibly tell us no.) If stress relieving activities and goal achieving activities are polar opposites, as Les claims, then by definition goal achieving activities must cause us stress.

When we are out cold calling, we run the very real possibility that we may get our egos bruised relentlessly for several hours. That is the ugly, honest, truth.  But we still have to do it anyway.  Why?  Because each cold call gets us that much closer to achieving our goals.  It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it in the long run.

On the other hand, alphabetically sorting the business cards you have collected by industry type is easy and painless.  No one is going to tell you no, or treat you rudely, when you are creating an Excel spreadsheet to track all the followup calls you are going to make…..once the spreadsheet is done…..and formatted just the way you like it….and filled out…….and you eat lunch……and you remember that you have a couple more columns you’d like to add to your spreadsheet…..and you add a macro to your spreadsheet so that it automatically calculates how many calls you still need to make…..

I dare you to really track your time for the next two weeks.  Start today.  There is no need to wait until Monday.  Most unsuccessful agents spend less than 15 hours a week in goal achieving activities.  There is a huge paradox that you must get into your spirit today:  If you aren’t spending at least 30 hours a weeks in activities where you have a high probability of failure, then your overall chances of failure in this industry are extremely high.  (Tweet That!)

I concluded my impromptu coaching session with my agent with these words. “You have to make a choice.  Are you more concerned about being organized or being successful?  Because if you keep doing what you are doing, you are going to be the most organized person ever to appear in bankruptcy court.”

Conclusion: Are you getting ready to get ready, or are the activities you have in your calendar today going to advance you towards your goals.

Question: Please share with the SIV tribe some things you catch yourself doing during the day that don’t help drive your business.  You can click on the comment link above this article’s title. If you are reading this by email, just hit reply right now to let us know!

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

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