The Maladaptive, Irrational Super Sales Producer

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Matt is a $1.5 million producer. He has a new Porsche 911, Maserati and a 5,000 square foot house overlooking a valley. He has two beautiful kids, a gorgeous wife and no debt. He has it made.

Except for the happiness part.

He is frustrated about paperwork, staff, compliance regulations and parent company edicts. But many top producers are frustrated. The difference is that Matt isn’t happy. He likes his career and freedom. He loves his income. Why can’t he just count his blessings?

Over a third of Americans have mental problems. Some are more severe than others. In graduate school, a professor jokingly told me the difference between neurotics and psychotics, was that neurotics build sand castles in the sky, psychotics move into them and psychologists collect the rent.

I have always thought about the differences more concretely. If you ask a psychotic what 2+2 equals, the psychotic will say 36, 98, 112 with no sense of reality. But if you ask a neurotic the same question, they will always say four, but follow up with, “Why does it always have to be four? It makes me nuts it can’t be five once in a while.”

The drive that causes one to be super successful can also be the psychological catalyst that causes dissatisfaction. A postal worker does an 8-5 day with no pressure. They know their job, show up for work and get paid. They rarely get fired, sometimes get promoted, but have no motivation to work hard and make more money. The super sales producer is unemployed until his next sale, and always under stress. When I was 26 and a new stock broker, my manager encouraged me to buy a new BMW 535. His attitude was a producer with financial stress was a harder worker than a financially comfortable one.

But the stress super producers feel is self-inflicted. Why?

There is a hole in their ego constantly in need of filling. They are super competitive and struggle to reach the next level. Managers love these producers but also find them challenging. These super producers complain constantly, sometimes think things are unfair and are generally headaches to those who work with or supervise them.