Todd Duncan is founder of The Duncan Group. He is a sales
entrepreneur, game-changing speaker and the author
of 16 books, including the New York Times bestseller, Time
Traps: Proven Strategies for Swamped Sales People. Duncan’s
newest book is The $6,000 Egg: The 10 New Golden Rules of
Customer Service, available at theduncangroup.com. He is
the force behind the Sales Mastery Event that has impacted
over 45,000 loan o;cers and agents. Reach Duncan at
Break Free From Your Cage
Negativity, doubt and self-imposed limitations are
barriers to becoming a top producer
By Todd Duncan
Do you know who can give you everything you have ever wanted in your life? The answer is simple: You can. In his book, Relentless: From Good to
Great to Unstoppable, renowned athletic trainer Tim S.
Grover discusses the lion. When put in a zoo, Grover
writes, a lion maintains its killer instinct but is
unable to act on it. If released, that instinct is
unleashed and the lion quickly reclaims its
Grover explains that many humans ;nd themselves
trapped in cages of their own making — because of
“bad advice, low self-esteem” and “tortured thinking”
over what can or can’t be accomplished. The bars of
the cage, he explains, can strengthen over a lifetime
as paranoia over potential bad outcomes leads to perseveration and inaction.
By breaking free of that cage, Grover concludes,
humans can regain their “killer instinct.” So, what’s
As a mortgage loan originator, can you be reasonably successful by just following directions and staying
within the lines? Sure. That’s what most people do. But
if you’re talking about becoming a top producer, if you
want to be unstoppable, you have to learn to put aside
everything you’ve been taught — all the restrictions,
limitations, negativity and doubt.
The most important work you will ever do is the
work you do on you.
Look at your re;ection
To begin, ask what you see when looking in the mirror.
For many people, the mirror is their cage. There is great
power when you realize you are the problem — and
greater power when you realize you are the solution.
To change the person you see in the mirror and
to get out of your cage, you must go through three
; Awareness. This is your current reality. It’s doesn’t
matter how you got here, but you are here, and that
is the truth.
; Acceptance. You may not, and probably will
not, like it. Before any change can occur, however,
you must own it.
; Action. The catalyst for change is taking new,
di;erent and improved action. This step unlocks the
cage and gives you access to a new-and-improved
In a quest for success, in and out of the mortgage
game, there is no ;nish line. It doesn’t matter where
you used to be. What matters is where you are, and
where you want to be. Several steps can be taken to
ignite the ;re inside of you to get everything you want
out of business and life.
Increase curiosity, and sacri;ce
There is no such thing as impossible. There is only
;guring it out.
Many mortgage originators wonder why it is that
some agents and borrowers say “yes,” and others say
“no.” The reason is related to the connection that is
made. By connecting with people at a deeper level,
the odds of getting a positive response increase. Those
connections can only come through curiosity, which is
the gateway to growth.
You also need to be willing to give up to go up.
Are you willing to pay the price to go from where
you are to where you want to be? It’s hard to be bet-
ter. A person who loses 60 pounds had to give up
something. Similarly, originators who want to double
their business have to give up something.
Whatever you want in your life, there is a price.
Originators have to work harder than their competition. Maybe that means losing high-maintenance,
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