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Ask Brian: Are you now mentally “melted down?”

Sep 24, 2009

Dear Brian: I don’t mean to sound too sad here, but I am struggling. For years, I did really well, and then, like everyone else, my business just sort of disappeared. It has taken me many months just to try keeping my head above water. But I have to confess … my heart and mind are really off somewhere else most of the time. I am not sure if this is the right place to ask you, but how do you stay positive even during a meltdown? Thanks.--Anonymous, Maine Dear Anonymous: I would suggest carefully reading this article. In fact, you probably should read it several times and maybe share it with your office and staff. The big difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful one is how they deal with failure and defeat. I have told you many times that one of my strongest attributes is that I am persistent. See, I don't ever feel defeated. Sure, I fail and not everything goes as planned all the time. Sure, I will work hours, days and weeks, on a campaign and not get the results I expected. That’s a terrible feeling. By the way, Thomas Edison tried hundreds of experiments and he said the only reason he succeeded was because he ran out of things that didn’t work! But, what you do next is the critical thing! Do you say, “Boy, that was a lot of work and I spent a lot of money with no result. Let's never try that again.” Or, do you say, “That didn’t work, but yet I know others succeed with that strategy, so let me go back and dissect this to see what went wrong and try again.” The questions you ask yourself and the responses you give back are critically important. I personally have spent 15 years doing poorly to average and only the last eight years earning high six to seven figures each year. Sure, it is much easier to give up, but that is not where the money is. The real money and success can be found by going deeper and realizing that every failure, when properly reviewed, is just another bump on the road to success and what you want to accomplish. Let me make it even more basic. Have you ever gone for a bike ride? Well that is a prime example of what I am trying to tell you here! If everyone who fell off their bike when they first started riding quit riding bikes, then we would have zero bike riders! But, there is one more big lesson here … It is the idea of limited thinking … the idea of focusing on all of the negative aspects of this meltdown …the idea of thinking too much about your competition. Of dwelling on all of the unethical things they may be doing to take away “your business,” as if there is such a thing as “your business.” It reminds me of the Insiders Seminar II we hosted a few years ago in Chicago. One of my fellow “gurus” who is a great marketer decided to come to my seminar to learn. Again … another lesson. Although he is a very successful marketing guru, he is still learning and from a competitor for that matter. Or, am I really a “competitor?” I don't see us as “competitors” and there is certainly more than one way to succeed in any field. But the feedback I got when he left hurt and depressed me. It seemed that everyone in attendance, almost without exception, were upset that he showed up. The problem … limited thinking. I was personally thrilled that he came and wanted to learn, as it seemed like a great compliment to me. But, everyone in the audience felt that it was a threat. Here is what I was thinking, and he probably was too. I am not right for everyone … there are 150,000-plus originators out there and I can only handle 5,000 of them successfully. That is considered “abundant thinking.” It’s the mentality when one thinks: “I have no competition.” It reminds me of the question I am continually asked by originators who are looking into becoming a member of our systems at Their question is usually, “How many others in my area have your system?” My answer is always: “Who cares?” Let's suppose there are 500 transactions that occur in your market each month. How many could you possibly handle? Maybe 10, maybe 20, maybe even 30? That leaves more than 470 for your competition. So stop the idea of “limited thinking” and never give up! Newsflash … There is business being done right now in your town … now go ahead and get your share of it! Dedicated to having buyers chasing you … Brian Sacks is CEO of He has been an industry expert for more than 25 years, closing 6,000-plus loans totaling $1 billion. You can read Brian’s 32-page special report entitled “The Death of Mortgage Origination as We Know It” and “The 10 Things You Must Do Now to Survive and Thrive” at This report sells for $97 and has been downloaded by more than 9,200 originators and company owners, but is free for a limited time for readers of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. If you have a question you would like Brian to answer in this column, please send an e-mail with “Ask Brian Question” in the subject line to [email protected].
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