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Have you ever tried to apply reverse psychology to acquire clients in your chosen sales profession? I have. In 1979 when I entered the insurance business to earn my CLU designation and make a lifelong career at being a life insurance agent, I had my chance to apply those reverse principles that I had learned in college.

Knowing that money, in a commission only business, and prospecting would be my biggest problems, I decided to be conservative with finances. I traded for a 1966 gas saving, straight shift mustang and got my grandfather to help get it into good condition with a little mechanic work. Old mustangs were also thought to be a good sporty investment at the time.

Things went according to plan over the next few years except the necessary sales needed to buy a starter home and get my new family going on the right track.

It took years before I realized how major the “mustang decision” was in preventing success in what ended up being a 17-year multi-city stint as an insurance agent.

I was told over a cup of coffee one morning, by an old friend from my early days in the business, that my lack of success in town was likely due to a rumor getting around. People had said I had to go through the court system for fraudulent statements on all my credit applications, filed bankruptcy, and was driving the 13-year-old beater around town out of necessity. It then dawned on me that my career startup plan had backfired. Rather than being viewed as the honest, conservative, trustworthy insurance agent, most believed me to be a loser.

I think I’ll buy a cart and put it before the horse the next time that I have a chance to get a fresh start in the life insurance business.