A rubber band, you ask? What does a rubber band have to do with measuring success? Well, in my opinion, everything.
Take a moment to absorb this. Pick up a rubber band and stretch it out to its capacity, then (stand clear) let one end of the rubber band go and what happens? It snaps back to its original form and hopefully, you don’t knock your eye out! Don’t we tend to do the same? We have a goal in sight, set out on a plan, complete the actions to achieve success and then WHAM…something happens; a roadblock, a change, a temporary setback, and we let go of the rubber band and fall right back to where we started! So, what did we accomplish? Nothing!
We had a goal in sight, put a plan into motion and allowed the band to slip, taking us backward and away from success.
Here’s a thought: maybe we’re stretching the band too tight or not tight enough. Too much tension and it snaps back too easily; too little and it doesn’t move. So, what’s a person to do?
To begin, get the right size rubber band. Have you ever noticed that a small, thin rubber band may not hold a large package together or a large, thick rubber band won’t hold a small package? Could you be aiming too high or too low? To begin, maybe our strategy should be getting the correct size rubber band. Have the “ultimate” goal in sight, and break success into bite-size pieces. If you stretch the rubber band a little bit at a time and celebrate the small accomplishments along the way, you will gain momentum, allowing the rubber band to become flexible and lose enough elasticity to continue to stretch. So you’re thinking…well, that’s easier said than done. Not at all. Considering the following:
1. Set a realistic goal and “aim” to achieve it
If you are currently selling two vehicle warranties a month, and you wish to sell more, don’t tell yourself “I’m going to sell 50 warranties this month, even though I only close 40 auto loans.” WHAM! That’s not realistic!
2. Break it down to “bite-size” pieces
“Closing 40 auto loans gives me the opportunity to offer 40 warranties. If I increase my warranty sales by one a day, I will achieve success each day; and if I miss one today, I’ll continue with my one-a-day plan the next day.” Set small, realistic, daily goals and whether you meet them or not, don’t let go of the tension in the rubber band.
3. Celebrate each accomplishment
"I worked five days this week, closed 10 loans, offered 10 warranties and sold three….what a great week!” STRETCH! The rubber band is starting to become more flexible and give a little.
4. Regroup, re-evaluate, and adjust if necessary
When you were learning to ride a two-wheel bike, did you have training wheels? Of course. Without the training wheels, you most likely would have fallen over, given up, and never learned to ride a bike. Pick up the bike, adjust the training wheels and continue. “I will adjust my goal to four warranties each week; once I reach that, I will move on to five.” The rubber band did not snap back.
So, now you know why I use a rubber band to measure success. An important objective when using a rubber band to measure your success is to have the time of your life and stretch the rubber band a little more each day. Eventually, it will lose some of its elasticity and not snap back at you. You’ll save your eye and be on your way to measuring your own success--one rubber band at a time!