by Julie Escobar
A funny thing happened on the way to writing this article: There was a raffle at my daughter’s school-the kind where you pay a dollar to win a prize, and someone hands you a ticket and says, “Must be present to win!” Well, that phrase stuck with me as I was talking with agents and managers this month, taking the market “pulse” for this newsletter. So many are living outside of the “now”-caught up in past successes, lugging a full set of “baggage” around or so fearful of the future that they are missing the moments.
The right now. Think about your daily conversations with colleagues, friends and neighbors. How many of those talks revolve around the glory days when the market and economy were both booming or the future “what-ifs” that have so many people paralyzed with fear? While we’re ALL guilty of occasionally having a foot in both of those camps, it’s important to note that life and success are often much like a raffle: You must be PRESENT to win!What we lose. When we live in the future or the past, we rob ourselves of the joy and opportunities of what’s happening right now and our friends and family of sharing today’s experience with us. Many get lost in one or the other and find themselves in a “state of quit,” which quickly translates into not being present in the lives of either their customers or their prospecting base. That, of course, translates into missed business opportunities and referrals, which means less sales, which leads to less commissions, which keeps us locked in the fear of failure. Since none of these options sound like a win-win for anyone, why not join me this month in discovering ways we can be more “present?”
- Get personal. You got it-get one-on-one with yourself. There are a million self-help books out there that focus on living in the now, and if it were so easy, I guess we’d all be gurus-masters of our own fate. Where do you start without feeling like you need to sink knee deep into the metaphysical? Not that a little enlightenment is a bad thing-it’s just a scary leap for most people. So for those of you wanting to take “baby steps” and begin living in the present, affirmations are a great place to start. Being grateful for the here and now-and everything and everyone in it-is key. When you find yourself slipping into the past or projecting into the future, it’s always good to be thankful for what you DO have right now. Write and say the daily affirmations that fuel your thoughts, words and actions. Write them in the present tense, and use them as a trigger for staying in the here and now. Examples include, “I’m grateful for my children, their love and their laughter.” “I’m grateful for today’s opportunity to start over, change people’s lives and learn something new.” “I appreciate the loyalty of my customers and the career longevity that they allow me to have.” It’s very difficult to be stressed and grateful at the same time. Focus on your blessings right now, and discover the joys around you that you’ve been too “busy” to see.
- Practice acceptance. The Serenity Prayer is a powerful tool with life-changing applications. This “foundation” for millions of people worldwide should be a staple for everyone struggling to get through the daily barrage of changes and challenges before them. Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference. Whatever your belief system, there is a reason why this verse has survived generations, has been reprinted in almost every language and is a cornerstone for individuals and groups around the globe. When we truly accept things, we can let them go and move on. Not a bad thing for those of you lugging around steamer trunks full of baggage! Imagine how much more you could accomplish and how much more joy you could experience without all of that weighing you down!Experience it. This is a good one. How many times do you put something off for another hour, another day, another year? Does that make it go away? Of course not; it just adds it to the burgeoning to-do list that sits on your shoulders and keeps you from enjoying the moment. When a problem arises, fix it, deal with it and accept it.
- Get it over with. Procrastination only puts MORE in the future-and we’re trying to live in the present here, remember? It’s a little like eating the Brussels sprouts first. The rest of the meal is a cake walk!
- Do unto others. The law of attraction has received a lot of press lately, and with good reason. People are seeking solutions, trying new ideas on for size and hoping to trade in their high-octane stress levels for a better way. Make it a goal today to do something for someone else; we really do get by giving. The more positive you put into the world, the more it returns positive back to you. Why it works, how it works and when it works is a mystery to most. The bottom line, though, is that it DOES work. So give a smile, lend a hand, create an opportunity for someone, teach a lesson, make someone’s day. You might be surprised at how many smiles, hands, opportunities, lessons and great days come back to you in return.
- Stop, look and listen. What if you took the childhood rule for crossing the street and applied it to your life today? Stop what you’re doing when your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or customers talk to you. Look at them-not just with a glance, but in a way that lets them know that you are truly paying attention. Then really listen to what they have to say. Imagine the impact that small act could have. It could be an opportunity to hear the accomplishment, question or laugh of your child, the affection of your spouse, the advice of a colleague or the referral of a customer. Now picture the impact on any or all of them. Your attention tells them, “I’m important, I’m cared about, and I’m heard.” Those are no small things on the Richter Scale of relationships.
- Show up. Not just once, but over and over again. Relationships require attention. You can’t bank on what you’ve done in the past or just have faith that they’ll be there in the future. With family and friends, show up daily. Live in the now, and let them know that this day, this hour you are there for them. You might be surprised at how very much is returned to you in terms of joy, passion and energy- all three of which are necessary to accomplish your goals and dreams.
- Show up for your customers every month, too. They need to see your face, hear your voice, feel your attention at a time when so many of your competitors are focused on “surviving” or finding another job. Yours will be the number they call when they need help or have a referral.
The “send-call-see” system of BusinessBASE can help you consistently show up and build a book of business that takes you through your career, avoiding the up and down roller coaster felt by so many. It’s already working for thousands!
Winning the raffle. The great news about living in the now is that you truly do have the ability to create your own “luck.” By applying some of these principals, you increase your odds of success in business, build better relationships and, most important, enjoy a fuller, richer life. So come on, start this month! Be “present” and win!
To download a FREE copy of our time-tested system for staying in touch with the VIPs in your customer base, visit www.prospectsplus.com, and click on BusinessBASETM. While you’re there, be sure to register for a free demonstration of our new 3-7-27 Agent Branding System for buyers. Smart marketing never looked so easy!