We once had a new agent on our team who landed a huge group justtwo doors down from the regional sales office. The veteran agentswere shocked and peeved. They demanded to know how she had landedthis big account when everyone knew it was a waste of time to callon them because the HR lady had been saying no for years.

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“Oh. I didn't know that,” shrugged the new agent. “The HR ladysaid she had been thinking about doing business with us for awhile,but no one ever came by and asked.”

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See, the HR director hadn't been saying no all those years. Shesaid no once, all those years ago.

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That's the beauty of thinking like a rookie. Rookies call ongroups they're not supposed to call on, mainly because they haveto. They don't know how it's always been because they've never beenthere before. They enter an industry with new ideas and capture themarket because they're not prisoners of the moment.

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The rookie has two basic mottos: “Never say never” and “Fake it'til you make it.” Why? Because they have nothing else. Noexperience. No client list. No income. Just a list of unqualifiedprospects and “carpe diem” scrawled on an index card and taped totheir bathroom mirror.

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As you're reading this, we're running head first into the“Exchange Era.” In this era, we're all rookies, but not just anyrookies. And that's the cool part.

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Imagine if we took all our experience and rolled it into arookie mindset. Imagine if we saw opportunities instead ofobstacles. Imagine if we quit worrying about having all the answersand looking stupid. Imagine if we did all this because, well, wehave to.

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If the last three years have taught me anything, it's tonever—ever—say never. And since this is new to all of us, we allhave to pretty much fake it 'til we make it.

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I'm not suggesting that you make sure your E&O is paid up soyou can do a Thelma & Louise with your career. I'm simplysuggesting that you get comfortable with the idea that you don'thave all the answers yet. And you've been there before, and youbeat it. You eventually progressed to a point where you didn't needto consult with anyone, or Google it. You eventually could answerquestions, get creative and find solutions for your clients.

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That's how you built a business over the last 20 years, andthat's how you'll build it for another 20.

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