You Can't Catch With Your Eyes Closed
My 6-year-old daughter played her first season of tee-ball this past spring, and let me tell you, she LOVED it. My wife grew up dancing, and when it comes to ball sports or anything that requires hand-eye-coordination she is about as lost as they come. We routinely are invited to slow-pitch softball tournaments being in the town that I grew up playing baseball in, and people don't believe us when we tell them how bad it is until she goes to throw a ball... Then they never ask again.
My daughter, on the other hand, was a different story entirely! This girl is an absolute natural! She was on a team of all boys and was definitely one of the top 3 coordinated kids on the team. She was able to follow the mechanics of the coach and control her body enough to run with form, hit with form, and really just looked like an athletic kid out there.
Then came the throwing... This girl has what they call in the baseball world, an absolute CANNON. There was one kid on the team who could throw further than her and number 1 he looked like he needed his birth certificate checked (t-ball was supposed to be under 7 but this kid looked like he was at least 9), and number 2, my little girl definitely was more accurate with her throws.
Anyways, the best part about all of this is that she LOVED it. So now we practice all of the time! It's such an amazing experience, playing catch with your kids, and I cherish every moment of it.
If you've ever played catch with a 6-year-old though, even one that's fairly coordinated, there's one part that pretty much all of them struggle with until they get a little older: catching. For whatever reason, on the curve of hand-eye-coordination over your lifetime, most kids just don't reach a point where catching comes naturally until a little bit older. So you've got this girl who can field a grounder, throw better than a lot of adults I know, hit the ball with solid contact off a tee both right and left-handed, but couldn't catch the ball to save her life... until recently.
What changed? Well, to be honest, I didn't really change anything. The kid has been closing her eyes every time the ball comes to her from day 1, along with most of the other kids she's been playing with. You can bet that I've been telling her religiously, since day 1, "You Can't Catch With Your Eyes Closed!" I guess it just started to click recently, and we're making some progress.
So I was thinking about this the other night as we were practicing her catching skills and I was reminding her, "you can't catch with your eyes closed sweetie."
How many people are so wrapped up their routine and making sure everything in their business falls into place the way they're expecting it to, that they fail to see the ball being passed to them that they've been waiting for all along?
This is extremely common. And forgive me if this whole post is a shitty metaphor, but let's focus on the point for a minute. First off, most people don't set goals at all. This applies to most people in society, but I'm hoping that's not the case for loan officers. So let's assume that most loan officers DO set goals. Okay, what do you do after you set a goal? You create a plan for achieving it, naturally.
Our goals should be something that stretch us beyond our current abilities, but most people choose goals that they feel like they know how to reach with the knowledge they currently possess. So they set about creating a plan for how to achieve those goals and do 1 of 2 things. They either follow through with the plan or they don't.
We'll assume the people that don't are just off in their own little world, and obviously those guys are going to have their eyes closed when opportunity comes knocking because most of these people are going to be in denial and have excuses for why they didn't achieve their goal or even chase it in the first place.
But the other group of people will put their head down towards their goals and go to work. They know EXACTLY how to get where they want to go, and any deviation from that in their mind constitutes giving up or failing. Maybe they've failed to follow through in the past with other parts of their lives, or maybe they just don't want to risk wasting time in pursuit of their goals, but whatever the reason, they've got their head down and are not picking it up.
Here's the problem with that though: "You Can't Catch With Your Eyes Closed."
I get it, there are times when you've gotta have your head down away from outside influence and just grind. Trust me, of all people I get that. In fact, I've struggled with this same concept in the past. When I was at the large bank I originated for, I had people telling me constantly that I'd do better in a self-source environment. The problem is, I had an income goal and a map for reaching it where I was at, and any deviation from that plan was going to feel like a failure or an opportunity for an excuse.
What's the solution then?
There's got to be a balance. To tie it back into the metaphor, you can't throw the ball and catch a ball at the same time. There are going to be times where all you should be doing is throwing, I'm not denying that. But if all you do is throw, and you never pick up your head and open your eyes to catch and receive information for a little bit, eventually you're going to run out of shit to throw. Okay, that was the end of the metaphor references I promise...
The best way I've found to combat my tendency to block out the world in pursuit of my goals is to set my goals so high that I have no idea how to reach them. I wrote about this previously in my post here. It's the concept of the 10x rule. By doing this, I am FORCED to seek opportunities with my eyes, ears, and mind wide open, and be prepared to learn better ways to do things. Because although I'm busting my ass down one path, I know that I'm chasing something big enough that I don't necessarily know the best path. So if someone is going to come along and point out that my path may not be the best, and show me an opportunity that makes sense that brings me closer to my goals, I've got to be ready.
I'm sure there are other ways through mindfulness meditation, mastermind groups, etc. that can help you accomplish this, but that's the way that I've found success at maintaining an open mind, and it also forces me to be discriminate in who I take advice from. Anymore, I only take career advice from people who have what I want to have, or have done what I want to do.
What goal do you have your blinders on for?
Is it the right time for those blinders? Have you picked your head up in a while to see if there's a better way? If you're not incorporating a balanced short/long term online lead generation strategy then you may want to reflect deeper on that question. Online mortgage lead generation is a huge opportunity, and it's the only way companies and individuals will stay relevant through the coming changes in our market. If you've had your head down on your goals long enough to be ignoring that, maybe it's time you open your eyes and stop throwing for a minute so you can catch the right opportunity.
If you'd like to learn more about partnering with Empower Funnels for your online mortgage lead generation, please click here to schedule a call with me.
As always, thanks for reading, and I'll see you at the top!