The Daily Question ™

by Jim Cathcart
copyright 2008

\"How would the person I\'d like to be do the things I\'m about to do?\"

At the Tulsa agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in the late 1970s the general agent was Joe D. Willard. In a matter of just a few years he turned this agency around from near failure to winning the President’s Trophy twice in a five year period as one of the best out of 120+ agencies. I had the privilege of being “in on” that achievement.

Joe had hired me to conduct a seminar on goal setting for his agents in 1976 and he asked me to join his team in 1977 as an adviser and sales coach. Though my chosen path was professional speaking and consulting, he offered me an office and a monthly retainer to be his agency’s in-house sales coach and his personal confidant. What I learned in my six years with this account was invaluable.

One particular story stands out. Joe Willard had been a company leader for Mass Mutual in group insurance sales before taking over the Tulsa life Agency. So I asked him, “what do you do?” His reply was immediate, he said, “Do you remember the book PsychoCybernetics?”
I said, “Yes, it was written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz and it focused on ‘Self-Image’.” “That’s right,” Joe said. “In the book he said you should think like the person you want to become. So I did that and asked myself each day, ‘How would the sales leader do this work?’ It gave me the point of view and the motivation I needed, so I made more sales. Now I do the same thing as the General Agent and ask how the company’s leading agency would do what we are about to do.”

I was very impressed. Here was a man using a simple principle in the form of a question and with it he had lifted himself to excellence in sales and subsequently his agency to the top of the industry. I started talking about that in my speeches and as others adopted the practice they too were getting impressive results. One notable example, about whom I’ve written in my other books, is Tim Seward whose use of this daily question transformed his one-man auto-detailing business and his career into multi-millionaire status.

Now I offer it to you. Here is my suggestion: capture the graphic at the top of this article and look at it every day. Think about the goals you wish to achieve and then ask yourself several times a day, “How would the person (who had achieved these goals) I’d like to be do the things I’m about to do?”
The question will change your mindset from the present to the future YOU. Then you will be behaving as the person you wish to become instead of merely the person you are right now.
This simple mind shift has the potential to transform your life much as it has Joe Willard’s, Tim Seward’s and my own.

For more information on this check out my book or audio album “The Acorn Principle” at www.cathcart.com.

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Filed under Behavioral Economics, Books by Jim Cathcart, Leadership, Relationship Intelligence Training, relationship selling, The Daily Question

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