The Secrets to SuccessThe Internet is littered with articles and speeches about how to be successful. And who are their authors? Most often they are people with a desire to be successful but not a track record of success.

This report aims to be the exact opposite. Who better to learn the secrets of success from than people who are wildly successful? In this report, you’ll read how Mozart, Kobe Bryant, Mark Cuban and Ted Nugent climbed the ranks in their respective fields.

Finally, you’ll learn some invaluable tips from someone you’ve probably never heard of but is a legend in the insurance sales industry.

The Deliberation and Dedication of Mozart and Kobe Bryant

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Kobe Bryant are rarely mentioned in the same sentence, but they share three things in common that bridge the 200 years between their lives.

The first is their fame. Among classical music composers and professional basketball players, Mozart and Bryant are considered among the most popular. Their fame is a direct result of their…

Talent, the second shared trait between Mozart and Bryant. Both are on the short list of the most talented among their peers. But this talent is the result of the third and most important thing they have in common: effort.

John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has investigated the role effort has played among world-renowned performers of a variety of trades. He discovered that for 10 years, Mozart wrote dozens upon dozens of classical pieces that fell flat on the ears of the public. But he kept writing, each new composition richer than the previous. Hayes dubbed this quiet but persistent effort Mozart’s “10 years of silence.”

Bryant took this a step further – practicing what Hayes calls “deliberate practice.” James Clear writes that Bryant practiced with a specific purpose. While practicing for Team USA for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bryant made it a point to sink 800 jump shots per day. It didn’t matter if it took him 2,000 attempts or 4 hours. Only after accomplishing his set goal did he allow himself to rest.

Well, he didn’t actually call it a day after sinking 800 shots. His 800-makes drill came after starting his conditioning work at 4:30 a.m., running until 6 a.m., and lifting weights until 7 a.m. Then after hitting his 800th shot, he joined Team USA in their daily practice at 11 a.m.

Take a minute to let this sink in. Before you think that having this kind of dedication to your trade is impossible, think again.

The underlying message of Mozart’s “10 years of silence” and Kobe Bryant’s “deliberate practice” is not that you have to spend every waking moment of your life shoving your nose into the grindstone before getting a whiff of success. It is that you have to be patient and smart. Let’s break these down individually.

Patience is necessary in the early years of your business because success will not happen overnight. In Mozart’s case, he did not abandon his determination when composition after composition did not please the listening public.

But like Bryant, you have to be smart with your patience. When practicing for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bryant did not waste a single second of his day. He knew what areas he needed to improve on and achieved a host of daily goals. He also knew that he was going to compete against the world’s best basketball players – people who’d readily exploit the weaknesses to their opponents on the biggest stage in the world.

Only by being patient and smart will you operate on the same level of the most successful people – in business, in sports, in music, etc.

Ask yourself:

Have I given myself and my business a fair timeframe to be successful?

  • Have I been patient during hard times?
  • Have I made improvements to my business and the way I run it? What are some examples?
  • What are 3 areas of my business that could use some “deliberate practice” to improve my everyday performance?

Mark Cuban on Effort and Control

Mark Cuban’s formula for success is similar, but simpler and more forceful. And it’s the underlying thesis of his book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.”

This passage sums up his mantra succinctly…

“In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.

Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results.

What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this segment of business? What did I need to do to understand this technology or that business better than anyone? What did I need to do to find an edge? Where does that edge come from, and how was I going to get there?

The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort. Either you make the commitment to get results or you don’t.”

His writing has an unmistakable voice. When reading over that passage, it’s not hard to imagine him barking those words to fire up a room full of underperforming employees. But what’s best about the passage is that it speaks to tendency to blame outside factors if a goal isn’t met.

Think about it: When does anyone ever operate free of outside factors? Can you personally control the weather? Can you personally revive a stagnate economy? Nobody can. But everyone has the capacity to work their butts off. And just as importantly, everyone can identify things they can’t control and develop strategies around them instead of against them.

Mark Cuban knows he and his coach have no control over the other five players on the court who aren’t wearing Mavericks jerseys (He probably also knows he can’t control the referees but he sure tries!). But he and his coach can control the five players wearing Mavericks uniforms. And by focusing on what they can do to win – how they execute offenses, what they play defenses, how they utilize time outs – he increases their chances of winning.

So when you feel overwhelmed and start blaming people or outside forces, picture Mark Cuban asking you: What are things you can’t control that impact your business? How much time do you spend trying to control them?

The answer to that second question should be “none.”

Recognize what is out of your control then quickly abandon attempts to control them. All you are doing is setting yourself up for a big, dumbfounding excuse for failing to meet your goals. Instead, focus your time and energy focusing on the one thing you can control – your effort.

Ted Nugent on How Successful People Really Earn Their Riches

Ted Nugent is a man who doesn’t mince his words. He lays his views out there in plain sight and then shines a spotlight on them for good measure. Then he stands by them, ready to defend. He doesn’t apologize for them or himself.

As a result, the Motor City Madman has garnered a fair share of critics, but he’s never backed down or changed his tune in the face of adversity. Not that you would expect a man who wrote books titled “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns and Rock N Roll” to be soft tongued.

However, he recently sharpened and honed his message to a different crowd – academia  A couple years ago, Nugent wrote a column that was published in the Detroit News that addressed a graduating college class. In the piece, Nugent laid out six rules of life that have helped him succeed.

Particularly memorable is Nugent’s rule number 1.

“Success has nothing to do with money. Nothing. Success is the unrelenting, dogged persistence to be the absolute best you can be at your chosen profession. Good is never good enough. Money always comes looking for the very best. Burn that into your psyche.”

Let’s dissect this rule further…

“Money always comes looking for the very best.” That’s a great line. Think about Nugent’s first big record contract or a NFL free agent’s big payday. Heck, think about your favorite restaurant. Money doesn’t land in the lap of people who are successful. It’s given to them by people who want a piece of what they are so successful at – whether it’s a chart-topping song, a 1,000-yard rushing season, or the best homemade pasta this side of Italy.

Financial planning and insurance sales are fields where you’ll always have competition. Always. Concentrate on closing more sales than your competition. Concentrate on providing better customer service than your competition. Do everything better than your competition. Only when you stand out from the pack, you’ll reap the financial reward.

One final life rule from The Nuge: “Scaling the mountain of success will exact a heavy toll on you, just as it should. If becoming the best was easy, everyone would do it. Instead, only a few become the very best.”

If you want to be one of the few that become the very best, it’ll take a dedicated and lifelong effort. It’s a philosophy you have to live and believe every day, especially on the days when it’s not easy.

A Life Insurance Legend on Sustaining Long-Term Success

Mehdi Fakharzadeh is a legend in the life insurance business. He’s 92 years old. He’s been working in this business for six decades. And he’s still working!

He’s still setting the standard of excellence for all those in this business who have aspirations of success – not just for themselves but for their clients. He recently sat down for an interview in which he shared his six biggest keys to long-term success as a life insurance agent.

Here are two that stand out (emphasis added).

3. Give them what they want. Be prepared to give prospects what they ask for, but always show them what you believe they should have. Fakharzadeh increases the size of his sales – and helps clients at the same time – by presenting insurance policies for greater amounts at signing.

“They always try to buy less than they should,” he said. “I present to them what
they really should have, and often they agree when they see it.”

4. Make them clients first.What do you do when a client doesn’t want what you believe is right for him?” a workshop attendee asked. “I give him what he does want, of course,” said Fakharzadeh. But he continued. “I wait two or three years [until we have a good relationship and my client trusts me] and then I show him a chart that has on the left side what he bought and on the right side what I believed was right for him. I ask him which plan looks better now… and he always points to the one on the right.”

None of this can happen, Fakharzadeh told his audience, unless the person in question becomes a client first.

Here’s another link back to an article that Fakharzadeh wrote in 2002. It may be 12 years old, but the advice he gives is timeless.

For example, Fakharzadeh writes that when meeting with a prospect, he asks them to write down all the assets they own and total their value. Then he asks them to total their debt. He then subtracts the debts from assets, and uses that figure to advise them what to do.

“By doing this I have helped by offering a solution with an issue that plagues many of us – procrastination,” he wrote. “I am building a relationship by presenting a casual but direct approach to gathering the data necessary to move forward. I am working one-on-one with the prospect and avoiding premature intervention by his lawyer and/or accountant.”

This isn’t rocket science. Most agents do this already. If you don’t, start today. Because by doing this, two very important things are happening.

First, the prospect is creating their own need for the appropriate amount of life insurance. And second, you are offering a solution in a non-confrontation way because that solution was presented after the need was created by the prospect.

That last part is crucial. If you attempt to deliver the solution before the need is established, then the capacity that prospects will trust you has greatly diminished. Or, in simpler terms, you blew it.

Fakharzadeh has been so successful because he has kept his technique simple and his approach client-centered.