Rich strangers are better for you than your broke ass friends.
It was early 2014 and I was a desperate and broke ass shitshow. I guess you could say I needed to meet some rich strangers.
My cousin hipped me to an opportunity to become a salesman at a life insurance agency and said I’d make at least $1,000 per week.
Six annoying and grueling months later, I went from not having a pot to piss in to having trouble closing my damn wallet because of all the cash in it.
Quick details about the company:
- It was all about building sales teams and reaping the benefits.
- Taught me about residual income.
- The company was making money hand over fist and its most successful managers were the ring leaders.
- The culture was unbelievable. A huge majority of the managers were either bodybuilders or had a fitness mindset.
- I was a fucking fish out of water. Being the size of a small airport, I was always on the outside looking in.
But I also learned a ton from being around these multi-millionaires and fitness experts for three years. Here are the highlights:
1. Being Rich is Great. How The Money is Made is More Important
I was definitely fascinated by the staggering income that many of these people were making. But I soon realized that I could only tolerate selling life insurance for a short time before I would fall apart from doing it.
I was successful initially, but even the financial rewards that I received couldn’t convince me that this was a sustainable strategy for me. For as much time and effort as this undertaking required, it simply wasn’t worth the sacrifice.
If I wouldn’t have done all of that shit for free, then investing tons of time to be rich but unfulfilled is simply not worth it. Some can do it, I am not one of them.
2. Fitness Buffs Eat For Fuel, Not Taste
In all my years, it was an unwritten rule that food is supposed to taste good if we’re going to eat it. As it turns out, that’s not always the case. One day, a very muscled hulk of a man let me in on an interesting tidbit. First off, he had been obsessed with bodybuilding for most of his life. Lifting weights was probably more common than taking a shower to him!
I asked him how he was able to deal with the incredibly bland tasting food that I saw him eat all the time. He told me that he didn’t eat for taste; he ate for fuel. That was such a counterintuitive mindset that was so unfamiliar to me. That’s when it became obvious that for people like him, the end result of his unreal eating habits made the details to get there irrelevant.
3. Flashy Cars are Awesome — For About 5 Minutes
Almost everyone who visited the agency were mesmerized by the cars in the parking lot. The place was practically a showroom for BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi. But the heavy hitters were the main attraction. There was the Rolls Royce, the Ferrari, the Bentley, the Aston Martin, the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Maserati.
These were the exclusive cars that you’d typically see in the possession of pro athletes and celebrities. But the managers were the ones pushing these vehicles at this insurance agency. I learned fairly quickly that those cars were nice to look at and even fawn over a few times, but they were still just a damn car.
I definitely understood the extreme flashiness for recruiting purposes, but still. Anyone who had whatever type of car achieved the same result as someone with one of those expensive ones. They got to their destination!
4. Great Daily Habits And a Growth Mindset Are More Impressive Than Material Things
From the nice houses with indoor basketball courts, enormous sneaker collections and exotic cars in the driveway, to the $50,000 watches and $2,000 sunglasses were all amazing and awe-inspiring. But what I soon learned is that those things paled in comparison to the daily habits and mindsets of those rich people.
One moment stands out: I was at the incredible mansion of the agency’s co-owner and despite all the material trappings of money that I saw, his bathroom mirror represented the single most fascinating thing in the whole place. It was a handwritten message to himself in which he reminded himself to be humble and spend wisely so that the future would be much more substantial.
There was another instance with a different manager that was a very accomplished figure in the company. He actually had a celebrity vibe to him. I was interviewing him for a show that I had at the time and as always, I was impressed with the mindset of these guys.
When I walked into his house, there was a book on his kitchen table that was entitled, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. I had never heard of that book previously, but I ordered a copy as soon as I left. The presence of the book in his possession illustrated his willingness to seek out mental training to improve himself, even though he was already sitting on an eight-figure net worth.
By that point, I had been around these guys for over 3 years. That was plenty of time to remove the awe factor of their expensive toys. When I pulled up, it was lightly raining and he was puffing on a Cuban cigar while sitting in his drop top black on black Bentley.
His house was sizeable with tons of amenities, perfectly landscaped and stocked with many guilty pleasures such as a full sized bar and large in-ground pool. But his words and his mental conditioning is what I continued thinking and talking about after I left; they left a sizable impression that material excess couldn’t touch.
5. Working Out is a Daily Commitment
The company holds an annual event at sunny locales simply called, “Convention.” It’s best described as an Academy Awards type three-day long event for the company. I qualified my first year due to my sales production, and that afforded me a trip to San Diego.
My two managers, very well built and heavily muscled men made it a point to track down the closest gym as soon as they arrived in town. Personally, I had never witnessed anything even remotely close to that in my entire existence.
The way I saw it, we were all on vacation, why would they exercise on vacation? What I understand very well now that I was clueless to then is that a commitment is a commitment no matter where you are. That level of dedication and discipline is exactly why they have such impressive physiques.
6. Rich Folks Are Very Competitive
I understood that I was working for a sales organization, but the competition factor was more than I expected. Each manager instilled in his agents to be highly competitive about writing business in the field, and even recruiting. Naturally, this would earn the agent more money and the manager even bigger money.
But most of the most successful managers seemed to care more about beating other offices within the agency network. They treated it like a pro sports competition, which is a big reason why they recruited guys who had already played some type of sports or were dedicated bodybuilders.
7. Reading is Essential to Becoming Better Leaders
The top managers were all loyal and dedicated readers. This included the Bible as well as some of the most acclaimed business books in history. As a result of being in that ecosystem for three years, I copped a few books that have helped me a ton. Two such books are the Darren Hardy classic, The Compound Effect as well as Grant Cardone’s The 10X Rule. I noticed that the best managers were much better leaders as a result of the knowledge which they gained from reading.
It’s been more than 3 years since I last worked with the agency, but the lessons endure. All of that priceless value and experience that I gleaned from the ways of the healthy, wealthy and wise are simple: money is nice but not at the expense of personal fulfillment, but as they say, “to each, his own.” Also, positive mindset and disciplined habits are far more valuable than all the material success in the world!