While I am not a religious person in a traditional sense, I do hope there is a higher calling for all of us. I really do believe in people and that there are many deeper ways we can interact. But of course, you don’t read this blog to understand my personal philosophies on life, so I‘ll talk about people and business interactions.
Perhaps you are aware of the Tim Tebow phenomenon that’s sweeping the nation. For those who don’t know, Tim Tebow was an incredible college football player who recently went pro. Supposedly his mechanics were not going to translate to professional football, despite how good he was in college…so Tebow sat on the bench. Six weeks into this season, his team was losing — and losing badly. Out of desperation, the coaches put him in. Since he started playing, his team has won 5 games and lost 1 – pretty impressive!
Now, Tebow is a deeply religious man. But I don’t think his higher calling really cares whether or not the Denver Broncos win or lose every Sunday.
So, why is this guy winning? It’s simple. He leads.
Tim Tebow inspires everyone on the team to play their best and this masks his flawed fundamentals enough to get victories. Before his first game, he gave a motivational speech and the one thing in particular that stood out to me was his statement: “Iron sharpens Iron.” That statement — at least as old as the King James Bible — really resonated with me about our industry today. You need to align yourself with iron if you are iron.
Our industry has a lot of dirt. It wasn’t always that way – but it is now. So how do we change that? So often I hear people in our industry using the term ‘necessary evil’. If you are working with a necessary evil are you sharpening iron? Are you making changes for the better? Are you helping the consumer? Are you a catalyst for removing the dirt from our industry? If enough of us hold ourselves accountable and quit taking the easy way out — we really can make a sustainable difference and start to get rid of the dirt.
This isn’t the easiest approach, and this may not be the most comfortable approach, but it is the right approach. It’s the approach that in the long run will make you significantly more money.
I will say that I am guilty of taking the ‘easier’ path myself, I did it when choosing technology partners. As a result, I treaded water for a year and a half and certainly didn’t sharpen my iron. We made money, but we didn’t do the industry any favors. We didn’t contribute. We weren’t able to execute on our big ideas that would truly instigate the paradigm shifts that we believe are necessary for the sustainability of our industry. So shame on me, and I offer my deepest apologies.
Those who know me know that I am not one to perpetuate my mistakes. Since recognizing the error of my ways, I have gotten back to focusing on sharpening iron. That said, the proof is in the pudding…
I am very excited for the next several months, and really, the foreseeable future. We are launching several initiatives that even if mildly successful, will start to provide far more value to customers, affiliates, and lead buyers.
We will take our industry back and restore it to the glory days of $35-$40 a lead.
We will get the “shit” traffic into the silo it belongs in.
We will get proactive feedback loops in place.
We will deliver the consumer an experience they actually want.
We will sell more policies.
We will set better expectation.
We will put the control back into the supply and demand side where it belongs.
Hopefully, these changes will put our industry on notice, and others will further the mission. I know there are several of you out there trying to do the right thing. Your day is coming, and soon.
Friends, I implore you… look around. If you are dealing with ‘necessary evils’ and not sharpening your iron, figure out how to get back to sharpening. You will enjoy your job more and ultimately make more money. Keep in mind that the opposite of sharpening your iron is becoming dull. Don’t fall into that category.