Bill Sparkman, Sales and Marketing Trainer, Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Author

Playing to Win
By: Bill Sparkman, The Coach

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In the mortgage business, as well as in life, there is a fine line between winning and losing, success and failure, fulfillment and struggle. I've often wondered why it is that some people seem to achieve success in life almost effortlessly, while others seem to come up short in everything they try? What is the common denominator, the tie breaker if you will? Is it ability? Knowledge? Skill? Hard work? Luck? Are some people just natural born salespeople? I don't think so. I'm fairly certain that no doctor upon delivering a newborn held it up and said, "Look, you've had a salesperson." He could have said with every delivery though, "You've had a winner." We were all born to win. Here's what I've learned about winning, in the mortgage business and in life.

  • Winning is a mental state of mind, a choice, one that peak performers make everyday. They choose to be successful and will not settle for anything less. Winners make better choices and take full responsibility for their results. Winners know that the only barrier that exists between themselves and getting what they say they want are self imposed. They don't blame interest rates, underwriters, programs, "flaky" borrowers, or the weather on lack of performance. Their credo seems to be the 10 most powerful 2 letter words I know, "if it is to be it is up to me."

    Winners in the mortgage business, and life, love what they are doing. I recently saw a book in a bookstore that really sums it up for me. The title was "Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow." I didn't need to read the book, the title says it all. Why is it that so many people are willing to settle for less, in business, relationsips, or life itself? Few people are willing to make the necessary changes to create an outrageous and fulfilling life.

  • Winners transcend the words persistence and determination to another level. In a recent talk to a group of young athletes I spoke to them about "Punching Your Way To Success."
    Over the years I've learned that sometimes you just have to "punch" your way to the top. The word "punch" may be associated by some with the long practiced macho sport, testing ones strength and stamina over another. As I use it however, punch is neither violent, nor physical. It's something we "have" not something we "do."

    Punch is a state of mind. It's the recognition that barriers exist only if we allow them to stop us; that meeting resistance is a sign that we're making progress; that opposition means we are on the verge of a breakthrough.

    When we finally breakthrough, it's not so much because we've beaten the opposition as "outlasted it."

    The most important characteristic of "punch" is not raw power, it's persistence. Overcoming our addictions, our grief, and our personal flaws, rarely happens with a single swing, it's done over time - a fight during which we renew our determination every time we're knocked down, celebrate every moment we manage to stay on our feet, and continuously affirm the meaning it gives to our lives.

    "Punching your way through" is less about right hooks than the right attitude, less about hammering our opponents than forging our own character. Sometimes the sweetest victory is simply lasting until the final bell.

  • Winners play hard, and they play to win, what is distinctively different than playing not to lose. They are compelled to achieve what they say they want and are willing to pay the price, no matter what the cost.

  • Winners can enroll you with their enthusiasm. There is excitement in their eyes, confidence in their words, and passion in the way they play the game. People want to be around them because of their positive outlook and powerful presence, and yes, even that is a choice, they choose their attitude and only associate with others of like mind.

    Who do you currently hang out with? Who do you spend time with? Are your circle of friends positive, powerful, supportive, creative, happy, enthusiastic, and successful? Or are they negative, depressed, stuck, whining, complaining, non-supporting people who can always find fault with your ideas and plans?

    It may be time to upgrade the people you spend time with, friends as well as co-workers. It's simple; for better results and increased success surround yourself with high quality, high energy positive people. Why? Because that's what winners do. Start by getting rid of those negative people who are constantly trying to make you feel as miserable as they do.

  • Winners take risks. Winners know what they want and are continually working on the highest priorities to move them closer to reaching their goals and dreams.

  • Winners get what they want because they make more requests. They don't let rejection stop them. If you are not achieving success I would ask you when you stopped asking for what you wanted. When did you make it okay to not have what you want? Wayne Gretzky said, "I am absolutely guaranteed to miss 100% of the shots I don't take." Asking is the world's most powerful and neglected secret to success. A clever, imaginative request can open closed doors and closed minds.

  • Winners are self motivated and self directed. They are driven by clear goals and high purpose. There is a fire in their belly that is absent from low achievers. They seem to achieve more in less time by focusing their efforts on high priority tasks such as prospecting, networking, and following up. They spend less time getting ready and more time in action. You can't make cookies by reading the recipe. My definition of enlightenment is the ability to match insight with action over a sustained period of time.

  • Winners balance their personal life while aggressively pursuing their business goals. This can often seem challenging even for the most organized individuals. Let's face it, if you are successful and have no personal life then perhaps you need to redefine what success really is. You don't want to be the richest person in the intensive care unit.

  • Winners stop often to evaluate their results, what they are getting for what they are doing. It is one thing to have targets and another to stop long enough to see how you are doing and make the necessary adjustments to stay on course. Great loan agents have this same ability, they know when to call time out.

In summary, that fine line between winning and losing can often seem impossible to achieve. It takes commitment and true desire. It takes trust in your own ability and faith in the process. It takes guts, hard work, and a great sense of humor. You make your life and career an exciting adventure or a boring existence. The choice is yours. Get Bold!

In the difficult times just remember why winners win;

  1. Winners choose success. Winning is a state of mind and not an accident.
  2. Winners are determined to achieve. Their persistence knows no boundaries.
  3. Winners play to win. They are pro-active and are not tentative in their actions, they are focused.
  4. Winners are enthusiastic about life. They are truly excited about what they are doing and have a way to transfer that excitement to others.
  5. Winners take risks when others retreat.
  6. Winners make more requests. They get more because they ask for more.
  7. Winners are self motivated.
  8. Winners create balance in their lives.
  9. Winners evaluate their results often.
  10. Winners make adjustments to their strategy regularly.

Bill Sparkman, "The Coach"





Bill Sparkman, The Coach

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