Our Agency Development team spent some time recently discussing the differences in successful, rapidly growing agencies and those that languish and fail. As I participated with them in the discussions, it was interesting to hear the reasons agency owners themselves gave for their success or their failure.
I thought of listing a bunch of the things we have heard in this blog. But then I realized that would just be a waste of your time. You see every single reason for failure that we’ve heard in our business can be summarized by one word:
We repeatedly see agencies becoming wildly successful while others flounder and fail in the same community. Started at the same time. Handicapped with similar lack of capital. Headed by owners with similar inexperience. Representing the same “uncompetitive” insurance companies. And on and on.
The difference between successful agency owners in our experiences simply comes down to this: successful people don’t make excuses. Failures have all kinds of “reasons” for their lack of progress. Really “reasons” are just excuses.
The successful business owner in our experience (and we’ve helped in excess of 100 inexperienced business owners become successful agency owners) are different. When presented with an obstacle large or small, they find a way past it. They go over it, under it, around it, or through it. But they don’t let it defeat them. Failures just get stumped. Then they look for something or someone to blame.
Success or failure in life and business really is just that simple.
Some of you are thinking “what about the entrepreneur who goes broke while not making excuses? Sometimes things just don’t work out.” Yes, that sometimes happens. But in our experience those people just get back up and try again. They didn’t really ever lose because they never quit. The losers lost because they never really tried.
I realize this is pretty stark. But it’s the truth. If you aren’t succeeding the question is what are you doing about it? Are you continuing to experiment? Trying harder? Trying again? If you are, then you’ll get there eventually. My grandmother used to tell me when I was a boy “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”
In the struggle that is business, let me urge you to take my grandmother’s advice. No excuses!