Define Your Own Wins in the Business

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Pictured left to right: Dave Dettmann, Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA, and Karl Dettman at Central Regional.

Pictured left to right: Dave Dettmann, Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA, and Karl Dettman at Central Regional.

Agent’s Year is closing in, especially in the Central and Eastern Regions. Have you been thinking about your goals knowing that soon Regional Meeting will showcase many of your results?

At your Regional Meeting this winter the stage will be brightly lit as you enter the room filled with energy and the buzz of excitement. A large theater screen with booming upbeat music will fill the auditorium and you will be surrounded by well-dressed advisors wearing ribbons attached to their name badges. In some cases, advisors will have so many ribbons that they drag from the lanyard along the ground. Many of them will take the stage and be held up for amazing achievements.

While Regional and Annual Meetings represent the celebration of accomplishments, the sharing of ideas and a chance to re-energize the business for many financial advisors, there is another experience that is common: Ribbon Shame. The symptoms include: feelings of unworthiness, jealousy, compare and despair, fear, anxiety, a desire to avoid others and self-criticism.

Ribbon shame can be cured by putting the ribbons you did earn onto your name badge without apology and enjoying the event without apology. Ribbon shame vaporizes in the presence of others who are sharing the same experience and being open about it.

Whatever your results are shaping up to be, you can run your own race. If I could design ribbons, I would like to add a few:

-Bravely went upmarket

-Conquered my lizard

-Being myself all the time in my practice

-Running my practice true to who I am and how I need to do it -Doing right by others all the time -Sharing my time and talents

-Setting good boundaries

-Telling clients the truth in my recommendations even when they don’t want to hear it -I overcame rejection—it’s not about me!

-Quieted my inner critic with self-compassion

-No more excuses for not doing activity

-Spending time with my friends and family

-Taking better care of myself

While these ribbons aren’t recognized by Northwestern Mutual (yet), that doesn’t mean that you can’t give yourself some credit for all of the things you are crushing right now that are not measured.

Why bother? Because your experience matters! A sense that you are accomplishing something and being successful brings about more of the same. Small wins add up! Count all of them and keep chasing them—even if there is no ribbon (yet).

Coaching Tip Write your own ribbon! What will you accomplish in the Agent’s Year that you would like to recognize yourself for? Share it with your mentor, your team and people who care about you. “Award” other advisors “ribbons.” Tell another advisor what he or she is doing really well even if it would never show up on a spreadsheet. Tell them you appreciate their kindness. The donuts they brought in. The way they always encourage you. The fact that they are dialing every day now. Or the way they make everybody laugh. Ribbon shame is dead!