There were three critical decisions I made throughout my career that helped me grow. They took me to MDRT, then Court of the Table and, ultimately, Top of the Table. (Read about qualifying for MDRT.)
Those decisions were attending the MDRT Annual Meeting, joining a study group and hiring a coach.
Attending the MDRT Annual Meeting
Coming to this meeting is both a game changer and a life changer. It will teach you more than you’re going to learn in any industry journal.
Furthermore, coming to the Annual Meeting gives you the confidence that you, too, can grow. It will help you break out of whatever self-imposed comfort zones you’re dealing with.
We’re products of our environment. Socioeconomically, the people we hung out with and the schools we attended dictated how we grew up.
We all know people who can’t break out of a comfort zone they’ve developed, which perhaps their family’s been caught in for many years. They don’t know that they can grow. They don’t know that they can get ahead.
The MDRT Annual Meeting teaches, shows and challenges you to be a better producer, better spouse, better parent, better community servant, better friend and better person — but you’ve got to be willing to listen. You’ve got to be in motion. You’ve got to talk to people in between sessions. You’ve got to develop relationships.
Remember, growing doesn’t always mean making more money; it means you get better.
As a result of coming to the Annual Meeting, I learned about study groups. I found out how they are groups of like-minded individuals in the same profession who are willing to share anything and everything to help each other grow and become better. What a concept!
I now belong to a study group, and we spend two to three days together twice a year. We share about our clients and how we run our business. We bring in guest speakers. We talk about our personal financial plans and critique each other. We hold each other accountable to the goals and aspirations that we have. We get in each other’s faces when we see something that we think is hindering the growth of one of our members.
We have incredible people in our group, including MDRT Past President Brian D. Heckert, CLU, ChFC, of Nashville, Illinois, USA. Brian comes from an itty-bitty town in southwestern Illinois. Yet, he has accomplished so many magnificent things, both personally and professionally.
I would encourage study groups for anyone who is interested in growth and collaboration. The study group has done nothing short of helping us all grow amazingly. (MDRT also has a Peer Mentoring Program.)
We’ve done the math on this, and when we all came together more than 20 years ago, collectively the group was generating about $800,000 a year in revenue. In 2018, we generated more than $13 million.
Professional business coaching
The third game changer for me was professional business coaching.
Here I am about 40 years in this profession, and I am as excited about the business today as I was in my first year. If you want to be a better professional, if you want to retain your excitement, if you want to still have growth at the forefront of your thinking, I think getting into some type of a business coaching program will make a world of difference.
In summary, participating in the MDRT Annual Meeting, being involved in a study group all these years and having external coaching have been the ingredients that have helped me grow over the years. Also, most importantly, it increased my mental and emotional capacity so that I could believe that I, too, could grow.
John Moshides, of Amherst, New York, USA, has been an MDRT member since 1984. He’s also a Top of the Table member. This was excerpted from his 2019 MDRT Annual Meeting presentation “Keys to never-ending growth,” which MDRT members can read and listen to.
For more about life-changing decisions:
- Read “The value of study groups,” part one of the study groups guide (MDRT members only)
- Watch “Using coaching to unleash your true potential” (MDRT members only)
- Listen to “Why you should hire a coach and how to find the right one”
- Read “MDRT’s extended network of achievers” to learn how two MDRT leaders benefited from going to the Annual Meeting