You did it-and you know you did it. You not only let yourself down-you let your family and friends down. Just think of how much you’ve let down all of the people who love you, trust you, and rely on you. You denied any wrongdoing to anyone who would listen until the cries of innocence became silenced. It took only seconds to be singled out in the lineup-the fortunate others in the room are a little less guilty than you this day. Immediately you are processed, booked and brought to your cell. Stripped of self-esteem and shackled to your doubts, you are escorted to your cell-a cell you are all too familiar with. As you stand before the jury, the foreman reads the verdict, “Guilty, by reason of insanity.”
You promised your spouse that although the hours were long, your lives would change…they did-for the worse. Sixty hour weeks, barely making your draw, the only thing that is different is your absence. As you got knocked down with rejection day after day, you elected to hide with your fears instead of getting back up and fight by faith. As you borrowed money from loved ones to cover your bills, you bemoaned that you were doing all you could do, yet your best just didn’t seem good enough. Your sales manager had it out for you; F&I couldn’t get your deals hung; the dealership had the wrong inventory-every customer was buried and broke-everything and everyone was the problem except YOU. So here you stand, the 12th and final chapter has been written, another volume annualizing your life is shelved- what do you have to show for it? You were picked out of a lineup of the average, convicted and sentenced by a jury of 6. Six car sales a month sentenced you to your cell of mediocrity, “Guilty by reason of insanity.”
Every month brings a New Year’s resolution; with foreclosure and repossession nipping at our heals, we miraculously pull out another month. With conviction and determination, we literally will car deals into existence. As the sun sets on the close of another month, we resolve to never put ourselves in such a precarious position again, only to find ourselves 20 days later insanely faced with the same situation. You’ll always get what you’ve always gotten as long as you are willing to give what you’ve always been giving. Elevators don’t guess where you are heading. In your life, you’ll never reach new heights by pushing lower buttons. Quit getting off on the same floor.
- Potters can’t use old pots. Once it has baked in an 1800 degree kiln, clay can no longer be shaped and molded, only chipped and broken. Don’t allow the fiery furnaces of rejection, negativity, and cynicism to harden your optimism. Solidify your experience by learning from each encounter. Whether good or bad, triumph or tragedy, allow the potter’s hand of experience to mold and shape you into becoming the professional you wish to become. The French sculptor Auguste Rodin remarked, “Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.”
- What’s in your glass? There are plenty of reasons to give justification of where you are today; ultimately, your perspective determines your production. Proverbially, when you focus within, you’ll never be without. In one form or another, we’ve all contended with busts, bubbles, recessions, contractions, disasters, and catastrophes; those who succeed maintain the right perspective-drawing advantages out of life’s adversities. Whatever it is you are looking for, chances are you’ll find it. Instead of becoming fixated on things beyond your control, focus daily on your effort and let the results of your week, month, and year speak for itself. Control the controllable. Heed Newton’s Law which states that whatever is in motion tends to stay in motion unless an equal or greater force opposes it. Be so actively consumed with Ups, leads, referrals, and networking that nothing or no one can impede in your forward progress. Those who act do; those who watch don’t.
- Busted or inducted? Discipline will get you inducted; talent deficient of discipline will get you busted. We’ve witnessed professional athletes guaranteed millions of dollars only to watch them become a league bust- living on yesterday’s accomplishments, unprepared for the future. Sadly, we watch their lives spiral down, becoming benched, traded, and eventually evicted from the ranks of professional. The reason why you’ve achieved mediocre accomplishments is because you've been giving second-rate effort. Grown comfortable and complacent, you’ve allowed yourself to become unconditioned and out of shape. Initially, you challenged yourself to stretch and strive for market domination thinking,"How much more?" Today, you've limited your success to, "More? How much!?" The talent pool in our industry is very shallow-it doesn't take much more effort to be the best of your profession. The margins between good and great are marginal, after all, only 1.9 strokes separate the No.1 golfer from the No. 10 golfer-by the way, those 2 strokes equate to an $8 million raise. (Compound Effect, Darren Hardy) Pros do what others are unwilling to do and achieve what others only wish for. It takes disciplined effort to rise above the fold; reading while others are sleeping; mechanically rehearsing walk-arounds while the others stand around; grabbing one more lead, phone call, or up before leaving for the evening-when your mind tells you to stop, take one more shot. Excellence is a habit, average is an excuse.
There’s a story of an old man who encounters an elderly couple sitting on the porch-their dog lying beneath them groaning. When the man asks why the dog is whimpering, they tell him, “It’s because he’s lying on a nail.” When asked why the dog won't get off of the nail, they reason, "Because it doesn’t hurt enough." If it hurts enough, get off of the nail and fetch your new year.
I’ll see you next time on the blacktop.