I know what you are thinking…..come on Brent…Really? Is this a serious title? In the famous (or infamous) words of Sarah Palin, “You betcha.” I have no statistical evidence, sales charts, or customer satisfaction surveys to prove it, but I am convinced that insurance agents as well as any business professional are more productive when they take care of their bodies as much as they take care of their minds.
This doesn’t mean that there are not successful people who are out of shape and overweight. I can think of several off the top of my head, but I think those who are truly at the top of their game take nutrition and exercise seriously.
How do I know? For starters, personal experience and observation. When I started in my career in 2000, I was reasonably fit. At 22 years old it’s hard not to be in at least decent shape. From the age of 22-27, I decided that taking care of my body consisted of drinking light beer and only eating two cheeseburgers instead of three. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to go from 200 pounds to 235 pounds in five years. Looking on the bright side, that’s only seven pounds a year, but I could see where this was going.
In 2007, I decided to get back into shape. I started P90X (way before it become popular) and started losing some weight and get fit. Did my sales suddenly skyrocket after getting back in shape? Did clients start liking the new and improved healthy Brent? Probably not, but my attitude improved, my confidence was higher, and I generally felt better about myself. In many ways this is a no brainer, but I have also found that a majority of agents that are successful in this business seem to be in very good physical shape.
I think a big part of this stems from competitiveness. Many agents as well as anyone in the sales field come from a sports background and are naturally competitive. Competitiveness is a big reason why I decided to get back in to shape. Not to compete against anyone else, but to compete against my unhealthy lifestyle.
When I attend insurance seminars where insurance agents are in abundance, I can usually identify the really good ones by how they carry themselves. Again, that doesn’t mean that someone who is extremely out of shape may not be a top agent as well, but I have found that is usually the exception and not the rule.
At my first agency, the top three agents in the office were all still very active and competed in marathons, etc. well into their 40′s. This could just be a coincidence, but I saw the same competitiveness and determination at the workplace as well. They were successful because they understood that sales training, knowledge, and experience can only go so far. They had the last piece of the puzzle…self-confidence. I am convinced that a big part of that self-confidence came from taking care of their bodies.
What’s my advice? I am not a fitness expert and will not pretend to be one. That being said here are three things I think everyone can do regarding less of their current fitness level.
1. Challenge yourself. It doesn’t matter if that is a walk around the block or a marathon. Know your body’s limits and push them a little. I know after completing a morning workout I feel ready to take on anything else that may come my way that day.
2. Have fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be a dirty word. Find something you like to do and do it.
3. Get some sleep. I am very bad at this one, but know when I am getting at least seven hours of sleep I am more productive, energetic, and provide better value for my clients.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them.