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.
It’s often said of a lackluster performance by an artist that they shouldn’t quit their day job. I’m reminded of a favorite piece of art purchased by my first wife that hung frameless on our living room wall. At first glance, it appeared to be a building or structure in the middle of a green field. After looking intently at the artwork for a while, it occurred to me that the artist was conveying his feelings of not being a success and of being in a state of hunger. That, the building was meant to be a piece of chocolate cake in the middle of a field.
Later, when I asked where she had bought the curious piece of art, beaming with pride from what a great deal she had gotten on the painting, she told me that it came from the local hungry artist sale. I knew then that painting for a living was out of the question as a home-based job to supplement my income. And, I wonder to this day what fate befell my ex-wife and the piece of chocolate cake.
Have you ever thought about what it takes to be in first class. If you’re a letter you only make the cut if someone is willing to give you a stamp of approval. Passengers who fly first class probably set themselves apart from others because they want to reach the birthday party before the card they sent to a rich uncle arrives.
I’ve only been in first class once. That was in junior high school when I was a weekly champion in Miss Castleberry’s 7th grade class. I think I’ll pray for some first class time today to go with the memory of my mother’s cooking.
Thinking about the cause and effect dynamics of the younger generation’s smiles while they seek maturity results in a closing gap between this elder’s mature taste buds and a bag of snickers candy bars.
If asked whether I like to get involved in politics, the answer is no, because I know how to enjoy the worthy pursuit of relaxing in a pair of jeans that fit. Politicians sit still too long to figure out which wranglers fit. When deciding to move, and they realize their britches are the wrong size, they wonder why they got relegated to use their experience at home sitting in a bathroom. Then they spend the rest of their lives in denial about their contributions to cause the reduction or elimination of such precious things as newsprint, and large catalogs.