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A Thing

One Putt Could Change Your Life Forever

By Coach Ron Tunick

On Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005, I intently watched my TV as the PGA Tour's Michelin Championship unfolded in Las Vegas. A golf pro named Wes Short Jr., who had never won the tournament, was about to win it, along with $720,000.

I thought, wow, this is amazing. One putt will change the course of his life forever. One minute later, the announcer said the same thing, and I immediately applied this principle to the bankcard industry. Could one putt, in other words, one merchant processing account, earn us this kind of money? My answer was a resounding yes!

I love the bankcard industry for many reasons, the biggest reason being the freedom of choice it offers. We choose our own path and write our own script for failure or success. We can choose to reap the financial rewards, or we can choose to complain that everyone else always gets the big breaks and makes the big money. Our determination leads the course to our success.

In many ways the bankcard industry is immune to the pitfalls and prejudices that other industries face. This industry doesn't care about the color of your skin or your faith or politics.

The industry marches on, relatively unaffected by interest rates, or who currently holds the office of President of the United States. It continues to grow, steadily, and gains strength each year.

You may be wondering, who makes all this money in the bankcard industry? The answer is surprisingly simple: hardworking people from all walks of life, with a defined purpose and a burning desire to succeed.

Did our PGA golfer simply get lucky, or did he fall into this category of concentrated hard work? I think we all know the answer. Short believed that he found the way to win in professional golf; he simply put his methods to the test until he succeeded. His desire to win overshadowed all obstacles. He had a defined purpose and a burning desire to succeed. I think almost every one of us can find a parallel in our own lives and business success.

The point is simple: Find a way to make that one putt or write that one merchant that could change the course of your life forever. Here's how to start the process:

By being in sales, you are already strategically positioned for success. All you need to do is to think like a winner; however, there's more to it than simple daydreaming. You'll also need to put some concrete pieces into place.

Begin by devising a solid business plan and focus your energy on that plan. Revise and expand the plan if necessary, but stick to it and use it as your focus each day. There is no quick fix or easy way to climb the financial mountain. Climbing any steep mountain requires skill, stamina, training and a consuming desire to get to the top.

Define Your Success Level and Create an Action Plan

Start by checking in with your desired success level. Is your desire to succeed less than 100%? If so, that's OK, but you will encounter problems, and bankcard might not be the business for you. If your desired success level is 100% or higher, begin training to make the putt that could change your life. Also, start with a solid action plan and put the following motivating approaches into practice each day:

Professional Tactics

  • Work harder and smarter than you ever expected to. Winners always outwork their competition.
  • Tell people how much you believe in the industry and that bankcard is your professional calling. People want to know that you're committed.
  • Study and read everything you can about the industry (industry publications, training manuals and relevant articles in larger news sources).
  • Focus on large merchants. Spend about 30% of your time talking to very large merchants in the community (merchants who process more than $1 million a month).
  • Focus on the right techniques to write large merchants. Larger merchants have different requirements, and you need to be prepared to satisfy them.

Personal Tactics

  • Read an inspirational book a little each day. A must!
  • Look to a mentor that has "made that putt." These people do exist. Find them.
  • Let your speech and body language reflect your winning attitude. Merchants know if you're not giving 100%.
  • Practice and practice making that putt under pressure. When was the last time you rehearsed your presentation?
  • Don't quit no matter how tough or slow things get. Your courage and stamina will be tested, and that's OK.

Doing all these things will not guarantee that you drop the life-changing putt. However, doing all these things will most definitely change your life, and they will at the very least position you to drop that putt.

Winning is a learned skill. Winning in business begins with realizing how you think and what to expect from that thinking process and then translating these into action.

I really believe that you, too, can make the winning putt that changes your financial life. The bankcard industry rewards the person who stays the course. Short was 41 before he won his first PGA tournament. He did not give up. He kept his desire alive until that putt dropped, and so can you.

Coach Ron Tunick is President and Chief Executive Officer of Nations Transaction Services in Newbury Park, Calif. E-mail him at or call 866-222-2112.

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