There’s plenty of money to be made in the channel. But is there happiness to be found after making money in the channel? For many agents I know, the answer seems to be a resounding "NO". Others give a quick and unapologetic, "Yes". What’s the difference between the two agents.
And how can you be the "yes" group? The answer may surprise you in its simplicity.
I attended a conference last weekend for entrepreneurs and other successful business professionals. It was an amazing event – great networking, great content, and most importantly, great food!
All the speakers were fantastic, but the one that stood out the most to me was Dan Sullivan, who is a strategic coach for entrepreneurs. If you’ve ever had that experience where you feel like a speaker knows you intimately and is talking specifically to you, you’ll have an idea of what I was feeling.
He shared his thoughts on happiness, and a very simple formula on how to achieve it. And when I heard it, it was like flipping a switch. I knew I had to share it with you, our community of telecom agent, since many of you could benefit from this as well.
You see, Dan explained there are two kinds of successful entrepreneurs: those who are exquisitely happy and those who are wildly miserable. Surprisingly, both groups are very high achievers. The miserable group suffers from low confidence, frustration, and even depression, and many of them feel this is all part of the "price they pay" for being an entrepreneur or business owner.
Not necessary, says Dan. Over the years he’s worked with thousands of people, and he’s discovered the key to happiness is in one simple thought pattern. The main problem with the miserable group is that they are constantly comparing themselves to an "ideal" in their mind. Their unhappiness is caused by the never-ending distance between where they are now, and where their ideal goal is. He refers to this distance as, "The GAP".
The Gap is never ending and can never be closed upon. It’s like going on a hiking excursion to reach the horizon (where land meets the sky), only to find out that the further you get, the further it moves away. It can’t be reached. The "Ideal" is the time dimension’s equivalent to the space dimension’s Horizon. An entrepreneur’s attempts at reaching his ideal will leave him constantly frustrated, unhappy, and with lowered confidence and energy.
Because of this, nothing is ever good enough, and just as the horizon continues to move as we move forward, so does the image of the ideal life or business or whatever.
Sound familiar? Now, ideals ARE important in order to set goals. They keep us motivated and moving in the right direction. But using the ideal as our daily measuring stick only leads to the road of unhappiness.
The happy group, on the other hand, looks backwards and says, "Look how far we’ve come." They celebrate every victory, large or small. And they take the time to recognize all the things that are going right.
Sounds simple, I know, but it’s also profound. When I heard this info, I instantly thought of all the times I have been complimented with something, only to reply with, "Yes, well I could have done much better." Constantly comparing myself to an ideal? Yes, guilty as charged!
Here are some simple tips Dan shared for living a happy and more fulfilled life as an entrepreneur:
- Focus on the aspects of your business that give you the most joy and delegate the rest if you can
- Each morning, choose the THREE most important things that deserve your time that day. When you are done with those three things, you are done working! Anything additional you do is gravy. This requires you to be thoughtful about those three things, and also prevents you from guilt over not completing your long list of tasks.
- Whatever you’re doing at the moment, give it your full time, attention and passion.
- At the end of each day, take a few minutes to think about the great things you did during the day. Congratulate yourself and think about how you can further your efforts tomorrow. You’ll wake up feeling confident and ready to take on the world!
I’ve already begun to apply these principles, and they are making a big difference! Do you have any tips you’d like to share? How do you maintain your sanity and happiness amid your chaotic schedule?