Financial Health Tip – Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

January 3, 2010 by Michael McCurdy · Comments Off
Filed under: Commentary, Health, Public Service, entreprenuer, financial health, financial success 

He was the worst client the company had. He was abusive, insulting, and arrogant. Two of our company’s salesmen refused to do business with him. An unsigned contract for his business was sitting on his desk for over a month. As the junior salesman, I was next in line to be assigned to his account. The president of the company called me into his office. He gave me advice that forever changed my outlook on life.(I was 26 years old and a bachelor)

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I was instructed to call “John Smith” and make an appointment with him. After doing so, I was to go to the president’s office for a pep talk.

“Mike” the president began, “Mr. Smith has been a client of this company for almost 5 years. He has always been a really nice guy until this past year, which tells me that he’s having personal problems. So, instead of talking your way into a sale, why not spend the time listening to him. Draw him out.”

From what I’ve heard about this guy, the thought was repulsive, and it showed.

“Mike, tell me something. How long do you think you will spend in Mr.Smith’s office?

I looked skyward and then replied “No more than a half-hour.”

The look on my face prompted another question from the president.

“Tell me Mike, how much commission will you earn for spending just one half-hour with him.”

I looked skyward again. When I realized how much was at stake, I sat straight up in my chair. “Three-thousand dollars!”

“Tell me Mike, what are you going to do with that money?”

An instant vision of a pretty girl I had wanted to date, but thought was out of my reach came into my mind. I saw myself taking her to an expensive French restaurant in my brand new “killer” suit. I had transformed into another person, totally focused, totally fearless. Yell at me all you want!

The president began to speak, but I held up my hand, “Sir,no need for another word. You just did me a big favor…a great lesson…thank you Sir.” I couldn’t wait for my appointment with Mr. Smith.

I now had a goal, mixed with incentive and passion to succeed.

When I walked into Mr.Smith’s office, he greeted me with “So, another new salesman to waste my time.”

As I sat down I gratefully acknowledged a family picture sitting on the window sill behind his desk. “You have a good looking family Mr. Smith.” It was a picture of him, his wife and three young girls. “Yeah, and they’re all a pain in the ass!”

“How’s that, what are they doing to you?” I said with a chuckle and a look of empathy. For the next twenty-minutes I listened to a man who was just seeking a little respect. One of his daughters was chronically ill, and his wife never greeted him with hugs and kisses, but rather taunts on why he wasn’t making more money. I found out that he was indeed a nice guy…if just someone would listen to him, for a change.

“Mike, thanks for listening,” he said with a big smile. “I guess you want me to sign this,” referring to the contract sitting on his desk.

As I was walking down the hall with the signed contract in my brief case, I kept thinking how easy that was. I didn’t say a single word that referred to sales, or the contract. I just listened…and kept that picture in my mind.

When the elevator reached the ground floor, I hit the street running. I rushed unannounced into the president’s office with a huge grin on my face and bowed before him, tossing the signed contract on his desk, “Oh Mighty One, When do I get my commission?” I don’t know who was happier.

So, how does this little story help you pay the mortgage, or the car payment, or get a better job?

Scan your mind for that ideal picture that makes you feel good about yourself. Stir in passion. When you smile…you’ll know you’ve got the right one. You will automatically start to focus on it’s accomplishment. Faith and Willpower are installed as a bonus!

On Dealing with Adversity: Try to find humor in every situation. Prior to going to college, I joined the Marine Corps to fulfill my military obligation. One day in boot camp, a Drill Instructor walked up to me as I stood at attention, and shouted in my face, “Private McCurdy, you’re not good enough to be a pimple on a dog’s ass!”

I bit down on my tongue as hard as I could to prevent myself from busting out laughing!

Here’s to Your Success in 2010!

Michael J. McCurdy, Founder/Publisher,