Do this one thing and you WILL improve

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[2-minute read]

“Improve yourself and may be able to teach someone a thing or two.” 

Thirteen years ago I met Todd who later became a close friend. You see Todd was my tennis coach and instructor. He was fun and energetic yet he could employ his drill instructor voice at will. “More top-spin Hicks!” he would occasionally yell as I practiced my forehand. Ten years later we ended up in the same band. His drive for perfection and improvement has carried over from the court- one reason we teasingly call him ‘coach’. Todd is the kinda guy who makes you want to improve.

Likewise, progressing as a reverse mortgage professional is found in our associations. Our associations with other reverse mortgage professionals, financial planners, realtors, developers, and countless others. Whether you are the teacher, the student, or merely an observer, depending upon who you’ve chosen to surround yourself with you can sponge up some very useful information.

Seneca wrote:

“Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as much as they teach.”

Who are those you should be learning from and surrounding yourself with? What individual would welcome and benefit from your experience, insight, and business methodology?

Stop right now and grab your notepad and pen. Reflect upon your personal or professional goals. Write your goals in one column. Now in the other column note what person, group, or association would have the expertise and experience you seek.

These are the individuals you want to make a personal connection with.

Thanks to the pandemic, many may prefer to meet over the phone. If that’s the case try to ditch the phone altogether and instead connect over Zoom videoconferencing. Others may feel comfortable sitting down for a cup of coffee or meet at your office. Either way, your goal is two-fold: to give and to receive. Often your best potential associates are going to be your friends. However, reach out to friends of friends (yes, like Facebook but much more rewarding) and explain to them what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Even better have your friend introduce you. You’d be surprised how many individuals you’ve never met are willing to share their knowledge.

The bottom line is this: cultivate real authentic relationships with those who have already achieved the goals you haven’t reached. In other words, ‘play-up’. Don’t worry, you won’t be just a taker as you have much to offer in return.

If you’re still stumped about who to surround yourself with look for those with these qualities:

  • A positive attitude
  • The strategist
  • The winner
  • The dreamer
  • Those who inspire
  • Those who expect more
  • The organizer
  • The brilliant ones
  • The grateful

5 comments

Tom O’Donoghue February 2, 2021 at 8:35 am

You nailed it Shannon!

Reply
Shannon Hicks February 2, 2021 at 8:56 am

Thank you Tom!

Reply
Christian Mills February 2, 2021 at 12:30 pm

The Stoics – still relevant all these centuries later. I once read we are made up of the five people we send the most time with – so choose wisely. Great article on Groundhog Day, Shannon.

Reply
Shannon Hicks February 2, 2021 at 2:04 pm

Well said, Christian. I’m a big fan of the stoic philosophy. Happy Groundhog Day to you.

Reply
James E. Veale, CPA, MBT February 6, 2021 at 7:57 pm

Life is full of opportunities to improve.

Improve or not improve, the choice is ours.

Great blog!!! It applies in many areas.

Reply

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