You've heard that haters gon' hate, right? It's actually beenscientifically proven. The idea is that people are who they are; aleopard can't change its spots and all that.

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I recently heard another axiom that was coined several thousandyears ago, “Oxen gon' be oxen.” Actually, King Solomon said it, andhe's known as the wisest man who ever lived — remember the thingwith the baby and the sword?—so he didn't say it quite that way. Hesaid it more like: “You want a great harvest, but you don't likeyour stables to get dirty. Problem is, you need oxen to work thefield, and oxen make a mess in the stable because, well, oxen gon'be oxen.”

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Zig Ziglar used to talk about “a blinding glimpse of theobvious.” Did you get that same blinding glimpse I did when youread Solomon's wisdom? Have you known agents who wanted to seetheir name beside the “No. 1” on the production report, but theydidn't want to deal with messiness that comes with it?

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How many times do we say we want that big group, but when thetime comes to land it, we back off? Maybe we'll have to getlicensed in other states. Maybe we'll have to use an onlineenrollment platform. Maybe they won't payroll deduct so we'll haveto learn an alternative method. In short, it's going to get messyand we just don't think we're up for that. So we settle for… what?Don't you want to qualify for that convention trip just once inyour life? Don't you want to feel what it's like to be No. 1 — justonce?

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I've gained so many life lessons from this career in benefitsselling, but one of the most enduring has been this idea that ifyou want the meed (or reward) you have to take the mess. It's afact of life, and the sooner we accept it, the fuller ourcareers—and lives—will be.

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Have you ever avoided a relationship because you were afraid ofthe inevitable mess that came with it? And I don't mean the onewhere they drank too much or had a bad temper. I'm talking about“The One.” But still you knew things would eventually get messybecause they always do. There's not enough room here to list allthe messes that come with engaging with others. And yet, you didn'tdeprive yourself of the rewards, did you? Or if you did, you carrya bit of regret to this day.

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The same is true for enterprise. Each time we engage with aprospect, we're inviting a disheveled stable. Each time we hire anew agent, we're inviting a messy feed trough. King Solomon'simagery was pretty vivid, wasn't it?

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And here's another one: When you turn your oxen loose, thehaters will, indeed, hate. But that's a column for next month.

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