As we move into the fourth quarter of the year, take a close look at where you are right now in your loan production results. Answer these three questions: 1) How much have you originated so far in 2014? 2) Do you feel you have the talent and potential to produce more than that? 3) If so, what is standing in your way?
Contrary to what you might think, the answer may not be a lack of loan products to sell or that your rates aren’t competitive. It may not be that your company doesn’t do enough marketing or that your loan processing and underwriting fulfillment system can’t deliver smooth and timely closings.
And the barrier standing between where you are now and where you should be is likely not due to a lack of available inventory in the real estate market or that too many buyers today can’t qualify for a mortgage. It’s possible that the real reason is closer to you than all of that.
The biggest barrier you face is fear.
Jack Canfield, author of the famous “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series of books, teaches that just about everything we want out of life is hiding on the other side of our fears.
That is powerfully true. So much of what you need to grow your loan origination business is out there and available to you, as long as you aren’t afraid to go after it. Consider that:
• Some originators won’t reach out to the top-producing real estate agents in their markets. They fear those agents are “above” them and won’t be interested in what they have to offer.
• Some originators will set only easy-to-achieve goals for themselves. They fear that if they stretch themselves too far they might fall short.
• Some originators are afraid to ask their friends and family for their business and referrals. They think it makes them look desperate or needy.
Fear is your greatest competitor. Fear holds you back from doing the things you should be doing to create, protect and grow your business.
More so, fear paralyzes your chances for greater success. And that is why:  
• Some originators are hesitant to establish a unique “brand” or image for themselves for fear their peers might make fun of them.
• Some originators are afraid to ask their borrowers for referrals, thinking it isn’t necessary or that the borrower may not want to recommend them.
• Some originators, although struggling, will not ask others for help. They are afraid it makes them look weak.
By definition, fear is projecting yourself into a future situation and anticipating a negative outcome. Why do some people have a fear of flying? It’s because they think they’ll get on an airplane and it will crash. Is it going to crash? Most likely not, but their fear tells them it will.
What are your fears telling you? Do they tell you not to call on that top-producing real estate agent, not to ask for referrals, not to try something new or not to set goals that are too challenging? If so, why do you listen to them? Are your fears controlling you?
What if you had no fear? What if there was a 100% chance that anything you try or do would work perfectly every time? How would that change how you think and act every day?
I’ve had the unique opportunity over the last 30 years to meet, manage, train and coach thousands of mortgage loan originators. I can tell you with definitive authority that the No. 1 thing that keeps so many people in this business from enjoying a long and successful career is fear.
I can show any loan originator how to find more customers, close more loans and make more money — precisely what to do and how to do it. But as we all know, most originators will not implement what they learn. Is it because they’re lazy? No. Are they just stupid? No. It is because they are afraid.
Yes, it could very well be that everything you want in your career is hiding right behind your fears. Don’t let these fears hold you back!
Pick up the phone and call that top-producing agent. Ask every borrower you work with for his or her referrals. Remind your family and friends that they have a direct connection to the mortgage industry and that you are ready and willing to help them in any way you can.
Build a brand that distinguishes you from everyone else. If you are lost in your career or having problems finding more opportunities, ask your boss or your peers for their help, advice and direction. Set goals that will push you, challenge you, and stretch you to new levels of success. When you do what you fear, your fear disappears.
Henry Ford stated, “One of the greatest discoveries a man can make in his lifetime is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”
It’s time to push your fears aside and discover what you can do. ?

Doug Smith is a nationally known industry speaker, author and sales trainer. For more information, please visit www.DougSmithOnline.com or call Douglas Smith & Associates at 877-430-2329.