Does anyone else get to June and suddenly that warm sunshine has you feeling lazy and unmotivated?
Seeing everyone’s beach pictures plastered on Instagram with #beachlife definitely doesn’t help…
“Sorry, Stephanie, that margarita looks watery and Cabo looks disgusting this time of year…” Said no one.
Every year I get to this point and I’m just tired.
Has anyone else ever heard someone say, “insurance isn’t a 5K, it’s a marathon profession.?”
What does that even mean?
Does it mean I’m going to constantly have to pee at inopportune times and break my leg a mile from the finish line?
Considering the only time I run is if there’s food or I’m being chased, this analogy probably isn’t for me.
While I hate running, there are so many important lessons you can learn from a marathon- my favorite being the dreaded wall concept.
Don’t Hit The Wall
The concept is simple, somewhere in this never-ending, body killing race, most runners will hit a wall.
The Wall is the point where a runner’s body decides it’s had enough and there’s absolutely nothing left to give.
Same goes with our jobs… Most of us at some point will hit a wall; even Jon Snow had wall to deal with (get it 😉 ).
These summer spurts of lack of motivation are not the same thing…
Walls show up when you literally have nothing left to give.
Looking back on my career, my very first year in the industry was a breeze.
I had some minor set backs, which at the time I thought were small walls.
Walls are meant to be broken, I probably verbally chanted to myself like a complete moron.
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Year two and three, same story.
Then there was year four
Year four, I don’t miss you.
Things that were once easy suddenly became draining.
The nitty-gritty that typically just fell off my shoulders suddenly became burdensome.
The cherry on top was a large increase in the amount of failure and rejection that made me question if I had what it takes.
I was headed towards a dangerous road called burnout faster than I could control.
I Was Broken
In a last ditch attempt to right myself I began seeking out how others deal with this and asking the question, ‘what do you do when you feel too tired to do it anymore? (Asking for a friend, of course)
But that was apparently the wrong question.
Walls can get built for so many reasons in the insurance industry.
- Hierarchy problems
- Sales woes
- Agency buyouts gone wrong
- Employee expectations
- Keeping up in the digital age
That doesn’t count the constant battle we fight of the negative view consumers have of the thing we devote so much of our life to…
It can be is exhausting. What’s more exhausting is trying to figure out how to get over one or all of those things and tear down your wall.
In an attempt to do just that I tried everything the experts said.
The yoga teacher knew me by name, I paid a yearly subscription for a meditation app, I booked a two week vacation and didn’t check email once…
All these things helped, but I still wasn’t fully back.
The One Thing That Worked
For me, I had to be taken down a notch to figure something out.
All of my walls, large and small, came when there was fear, apathy, and ego involved.
Fear of rejection and failure and that maybe I lacked ability.
Apathy for the customer that had gotten me to where I was and my naïve ego that I had it all figured out until I didn’t.
What’s Your Why?
This is my favorite question to ask my insureds, my husband and most importanly myself.
We find out so much standing in front of that wall.
For me, I realized I had lost focus of my why and that was letting fear, apathy, and ego run my show.
I read an article in the midst of that year that said the last thing you should do before giving up was to write down your why.
The only quit is when I’m running, so I gave it a shot and wrote something down.
By asking myself why, I remembered that there’s a reason I get out of bed.
I remembered the passion I had for my job and why I loved what I did.
More so, I had to be brutally honest with myself.
By allowing fear, apathy, and ego to control any aspect of my life, both professional and/or personal, I had chosen not to work or live intentionally.
It was humbling to realize that I was working with some mild success, but it was accidental.
Seriously, What’s Your Why?
The concept seems so simple, but how easy is it to completely loose sight of the bigger picture?
It seems so simple that I remember a buddy laughing at me when I told him what got me back on track.
‘That’s a bunch of millennial kumbaya,” he said to me one day.
But here’s the deal, most of us focus on what we can do, what strategies we can do to perpetuate revenue, what topics we can write about, what can be our next big thing…?
But without knowing WHY those things become unmotivated. They don’t tell anyone why they should care and you end up living only half way.
The same goes for our clients, we’re so busy telling them what we do and how to do it, we forget to ask them why they stick with us in the first place!
Climb That Wall
You may be staring at yours right now.
Or maybe you’re a super human that never loses focus (yes, it’s a little annoying and most of us secretly hate you for it).
Whichever the case, don’t forget why you started.
Any person or organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it, but very few can clearly articulate why.
Simon Sinek said it best- “Most of us live our lives by accident – we live it as it happens. Fulfillment comes when we live our lives on purpose.”
Purpose comes with why.