Reillys life changed utterly the day he met Jack Daly one fateful September day in 1998.

The year to date had been one abysmal ‘annus horribilis’ for him. He’d lost much of his attitude; his confidence; his charisma and his sales results reflected that precisely. He was barely existing on the meagre income his sales were generating.

In Daly’s first day in the job as the new sales director, his first question to Reilly was what his key goals were for the rest of the year.

Reillys response betrayed a singular lack of both focus and direction. Moreover he had more excuses than goals and told Daly he was done with the sales game and was going to get a job in a factory.

Daly kindly handed him a cassette tape, and urged Reilly to listen to it, and apply its teachings for thirty days, before quitting on sales. 

Reilly listened to that grainy recording, not once, but hundreds of times over the following weeks and years. 

Following closely the instructions contained therein, he wrote down four letters and four numbers – MDRT 15:12 on an index card. He inserted it into the visor on the sunscreen of his car where he was reminded it of it several times a day.

On December 15th of that same year, Reilly qualified for Million Dollar Round Table – an award acknowledging the top 1% of insurance salespeople worldwide. Since then he has qualified on 9 separate occasions and in 2018 and 2019 he was admitted to Court of the Table. This acknowledges those elite salespeople who generate three times the requirement of MDRT.

Reillys transformation was immediate and enduring. 

LEARNINGS FROM THE STRANGEST SECRET.

  1. The recording Jack Daly gave to Reilly was called the ‘The Strangest Secret’ by Earl Nightingale. In 1950 Earl Nightingale was inspired by the words ‘we become what we think about’ in Napoleon Hill‘s book Think and Grow Rich around the same time he bought an insurance agency. He provided weekly motivational speeches to the agency’s sales staff. In 1956, he recorded a motivational speech to be played while he was on holidays. Nightingale’s employees spread word of the speech, and it went on to sell millions of copies.
  1. Define success for yourself; your business; and your organisation. Nightingale defines success as ‘the progressive realisation of worthy ideals.’ A success is the school teacher who is teaching because that’s what he or she wants to do. A success is the entrepreneur who start his own company because that was his dream that’s what he wanted to do. A success is the mother or father who has chosen to stay at home to raise their children in the way they feel is best.
  1. Write on a card what it is you want more that anything else. It may be more money. Perhaps you’d like to double your income or make a specific amount of money. It may be a beautiful home. It may be success at your job. It may be a particular position in life. It could be a more harmonious family. Write down on your card specifically what it is you want. Make sure it’s a single goal and clearly defined. You needn’t show it to anyone, but carry it with you so that you can look at it several times a day. Think about it in a cheerful, relaxed, positive way each morning when you get up, and immediately you have something to work for — something to get out of bed for, something to live for.
  1. We become what we think about all day long. The human mind is much like a farmer’s land. The land gives the farmer a choice. He may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn’t care what is planted. It will yield nutrition and poison in equal measure. What you sow is what you reap.
  1. Stop thinking about what it is you fear. Each time a fearful or negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a mental picture of your positive and worthwhile goal. It’s easier for a human being to think negatively than positively. That’s why only five percent are successful! You must begin now to place yourself in that group.
  1. Your success will always be measured by the quality and quantity of service you render. Most people will tell you that they want to make money, without understanding this law. The only people who make money work in a mint. The rest of us must earn money. This is what causes those who keep looking for something for nothing, or a free ride, to fail in life. Success is not the result of making money; earning money is the result of success — and success is in direct proportion to our service. Most people have this law backwards. It’s like the man who stands in front of the stove and says to it: ‘Give me heat and then I’ll add the wood.’ We’ve got to put the fuel in before we can expect heat. Likewise, we’ve got to be of service first before we can expect money. Don’t concern yourself with the money. Be of service … build … work … dream … create! Do this and you’ll find there is no limit to the prosperity and abundance that will come to you.
  1. Never forget that one person or idea can change your life.
  1. Sometimes, your greatest victories precede your greatest challenges. The trick is keep carrying on when there’s no hope in sight. That’s what’s called faith. 
  1. Listen to ‘The Strangest Secret’ on https://youtu.be/r_THIXwt1rU or read about it on https://www.nightingale.com/socialnews/fb/the-strangest-secret

QUOTE.

‘Success is the progressive realisation of worthy ideals.’

—Earl Nightingale.

‘Selling is the easiest job in the world if you work it hard – but the hardest job in the world if you try to work it easy.’

— Frank Bettger.

QUESTIONS.

  1. What are your worthy ideals?
  2. Where have you them written down to remind you of them?
  3. How often do you rehearse them?
  4. What are your most dominant thoughts? Optimistic or pessimistic?
  5. What’s your strategy for dealing with fear?
  6. How well are you serving others?
  7. Who are the people you are being influenced by?

(This story is inspired by Dennis Kelly, Regional Manager of Acorn Life in Cork. He first introduced me to ‘The Strangest Secret’ many moons ago on a memorable sales training day on Inchagoill Island, the largest and most beautiful island on the Corrib. Needless to say, Dennis is a nine times MDRT achiever and was admitted to the Court of the Table in 2018 and 2019.)