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7 Myths & Monsters That EVERYONE Should Avoid…

April 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This is an article that appeared recently in an insurance blog website called Insurance Splash. The target audience as you will see is insurance agents. However, if you look more closely (and you should), these concepts are valid for ALL professional services businesses regardless of size.

My new article posted on Insurance Splash blog site. Sharing with you!check mark

Thanks to Insurance Splash for publishing it!

I’ve been working closely with insurance agents as a coach and mentor for the past 8 ½ years and one thing is clear to me.

Agents and brokers are leaving money and clients on the table because they fall victim to 7 insidious myths and monsters that lurk in the bushes.

These monsters have always been hanging around (even when I was selling insurance), yet like zombies, they can change and morph with time and technology (zombies do that, right?).

While there are many snares and traps waiting to upend agents, I’ve got my Top 7 Myths and Monsters that need to be avoided to attain your maximum success. Let’s be candid, however. Really good agents are often tripped up by these monsters. Successful agents with bountiful books of business get blindsided. No one is immune. The problem with veteran agents making a nice living is that they can fall into the “success trap.” That is worse than all these monsters combined. The success trap keeps agents comfortable and thinking they don’t need to grow, learn, or change. When you’re in the success trap, you are more likely to buy in and live in these myths forever, and that’s where you waste talent and lose opportunity.

- See more at: http://www.insurancesplash.com/blog/insurance-sales-myths-monsters/#sthash.mIzxbcD5.dpuf

I’ve been working closely with insurance agents as a coach and mentor for the past 8 ½ years and one thing is clear to me. Agents and brokers are leaving money and clients on the table because they fall victim to 7 insidious myths and monsters that lurk in the bushes. These monsters have always been hanging around (even when I was selling insurance), yet like zombies, they can change and morph with time and technology (zombies do that, right?).

While there are many snares and traps waiting to upend agents, I’ve got my Top 7 Myths and Monsters that need to be avoided to attain your maximum success. Let’s be candid, however. Really good agents are often tripped up by these monsters. Successful agents with bountiful books of business get blindsided. No one is immune. The problem with veteran agents making a nice living is that they can fall into the “success trap.” That is worse than all these monsters combined. The success trap keeps agents comfortable and thinking they don’t need to grow, learn, or change. When you’re in the success trap, you are more likely to buy in and live in these myths forever, and that’s where you waste talent and lose opportunity. Identifying these myths and monsters will help you stay out of the success trap and on the road to boundless success. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

I’ve been working closely with insurance agents as a coach and mentor for the past 8 ½ years and one thing is clear to me.

Agents and brokers are leaving money and clients on the table because they fall victim to 7 insidious myths and monsters that lurk in the bushes.

These monsters have always been hanging around (even when I was selling insurance), yet like zombies, they can change and morph with time and technology (zombies do that, right?).

While there are many snares and traps waiting to upend agents, I’ve got my Top 7 Myths and Monsters that need to be avoided to attain your maximum success. Let’s be candid, however. Really good agents are often tripped up by these monsters. Successful agents with bountiful books of business get blindsided. No one is immune. The problem with veteran agents making a nice living is that they can fall into the “success trap.” That is worse than all these monsters combined. The success trap keeps agents comfortable and thinking they don’t need to grow, learn, or change. When you’re in the success trap, you are more likely to buy in and live in these myths forever, and that’s where you waste talent and lose opportunity.

- See more at: http://www.insurancesplash.com/blog/insurance-sales-myths-monsters/#sthash.mIzxbcD5.dpuf

I’ve been working closely with insurance agents as a coach and mentor for the past 8 ½ years and one thing is clear to me.

Agents and brokers are leaving money and clients on the table because they fall victim to 7 insidious myths and monsters that lurk in the bushes.

These monsters have always been hanging around (even when I was selling insurance), yet like zombies, they can change and morph with time and technology (zombies do that, right?).

While there are many snares and traps waiting to upend agents, I’ve got my Top 7 Myths and Monsters that need to be avoided to attain your maximum success. Let’s be candid, however. Really good agents are often tripped up by these monsters. Successful agents with bountiful books of business get blindsided. No one is immune. The problem with veteran agents making a nice living is that they can fall into the “success trap.” That is worse than all these monsters combined. The success trap keeps agents comfortable and thinking they don’t need to grow, learn, or change. When you’re in the success trap, you are more likely to buy in and live in these myths forever, and that’s where you waste talent and lose opportunity.

- See more at: http://www.insurancesplash.com/blog/insurance-sales-myths-monsters/#sthash.mIzxbcD5.dpuf

Read entire article on Insurance Splash web site

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Sometimes You Just Need a Paperclip

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

So I’m in Bogotá, Colombia to speak at the 2014 Latin American Distribution seminar. As is my custom when traveling, I bring one black suit with multiple shirts. That is always good enough for a 2-day conference. As I’m preparing to go to breakfast, a terrible thing happens. I realize my zipper tag is missing. Gone. These slacks are fresh from the dry cleaners so I’m figuring it’s lying on their floor somewhere. Does me no good now.

I’m an expert in crisis planning and I think I’m in good shape. I find the sewing kit nice hotels always have and grab the safety pin. Too small. It wouldn’t stay affixed moving it up and down. Now I panic.

Good thing I have my own expert. I text my lovely and talented wife, Barb. (Actually to be candid, we already had been talking…the safety pin was her idea. You think I knew this myself?) She says go to front desk and get a paper clip. I went and got three of them (insurance in case I mutilated one or two in the process). It worked on the first try! I was very proud of myself and this newfound skill. The part that keeps me humble is that I would have never gotten their without Barb’s help. As she texted me back, we make a great team.

Where or who is your crisis expert? Where do you turn when your business has an unexpected “zipper malfunction?” Let’s face it, crisis happens all the time and it rarely sends a warning. You need both internal and external experts to keep you calm, give you guidance, and help you respond well. And, you need them in place BEFORE the crisis. Otherwise, the chaos increases. My personal crisis expert is a continent away as we speak, yet I was able to access her. Can you say the same?

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Your Achilles Heel…

March 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Last week, I did an inordinate amount of walking hills. My Achilles heel had been feeling better since it flared up last summer, but the hill walking must have aggravated that bad boy and I got more inflammation. The bottom line is it hurts!

As I was walking up the hill grimacing with every step, I realized that this small part of my otherwise healthy and able body was causing chaos. It was slowing my progress, making me divert to routes less hilly, causing pain, and generally being a nuisance and distraction. Those of you who have dealt with this injury know what I’m talking about.

The same holds true in your business or career.

What’s the Achilles heel in your life? In other words, what’s causing you pain, distraction, and forcing you to divert your route?The bottom line here is that it hurts you. You may not feel as symptomatic, but it’s there and if not dealt with can cause a rupture to your plans. Don’t let that Achilles heel in your business or career slow you down. Fix it now.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Human Redundancy

March 14, 2014 Leave a comment

This past weekend’s tragedy and deepening with the Malaysian Airlines plane that simply vanished is remarkably sad. Over 225 people on that plane and scores of loved ones and friends left without any closure. In today’s technologically sophisticated world, it seems unimaginable that we don’t know exactly what happened or where the plane is. My thoughts and prayers go to all that have been impacted.

On reading some of the stories coming out of this calamity, I saw that one American company lost 20 employees in the accident. While the company was global, it doesn’t matter the size…20 people is a lot. The loss of life can’t be diminished. Yet, the harsh reality of human redundancy must be mentioned. In business travel today (with autos being the most dangerous), the chance for multiple people from any one company either perishing or being injured is real. A global company, while hurt, can recover more quickly due to greater resources. What about a small business? What if you lost 10% of your employees in one event? What are your contingency plans?

Tragic events hurt from a human perspective. From a business perspective, they can be insurmountable unless you have a plan.

Bottom line – get a plan.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Unleashed Case Study #3 – Can You Make the Chair Turn?

March 5, 2014 2 comments
Shakira

Shakira

I enjoy watching NBC’s The Voice on television. I like it better than American Idol for several reasons (including that they boast my Colombian paisana, Shakira as a judge, but I digress)….

The four judges (also including Adam Levine, Usher, and Blake Shelton) listen to just the voice of the singer in the blind trials. That singer can only impress with their voice. Their looks, their dress, their dance skills, won’t help them. Just their voice. The judges that want to coach them then turn their chairs around within the 90 seconds allotted. If there is more than one, they “fight” to influence the singer to choose them as a coach.

Two important things that you need to know based on this show becasue it can make you better in whatever profession you are in…

1. These singers get 90 seconds to make a BIG impression. That’s it, that’s all. They need to be supremely influential and an object of interest with their most powerful gift (or “value”). Think about your business. You also need to be influential and become an object of interest to your audience quickly. While you may have more than 90 seconds, you don’t have long to engage and capture their attention. Whether you’re speaking publicly to a large group or having a first meeting with a prospective client, your “voice” needs to be more than just heard in those first few minutes. You need to turn a chair.

2. Coaches often duke it out in trying to influence a young artist to choose them as the coach. Even though much of it is based in good humor, there is always a strong plea based on the talents and how they align with a coach. If I was an aspiring country artist, why wouldn’t I choose Blake Shelton? If I was a young R&B artist, Usher would make the most sense. Shakira is skilled in not only music, but choreography and building a global base. Adam Levine would attract the eclectic and rock side. From whom do you seek advice from? Is it from people that are where you currently are (peers), or is it from people that have achieved what you want to achieve and can quickly guide you there? Mastermind groups are fine for what they are – accountability and support. Everyone needs a “coach” that will take them to their desired state rapidly. That’s what these young artists on The Voice want, and that’s what these judges deliver.

Look, if you want to accelerate your ability to be influential and grow your business, you’d better get really good at the first 90 seconds. The best way to do that is to get coaching from someone that can help you maximize your talent.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Wht Do You Need a Crisis Plan?

February 20, 2014 Leave a comment

umbrella_riskIt never ceases to amaze me when executives and business owners delay or simply refuse to put a strategic crisis plan in place for their business. I see it over and over again with small businesses. Quite honestly, it’s negligent on their part. They risk their profit, their revenue, their employee’s future, their reputation, and the impact to their supply chain. Other than that, it’s not a big deal.

Later today, I am hosting a webinar for executives in the assisted living and elder care community on the topic. These are some quick bullet points on the reasons to invest time and resources towards a plan. If you are in a position where you’re ultimately responsible for the sustainability and resiliency of an organization, you should all me. Or, allow me to put it this way – If you want to assure that no crisis is fatal to your business, you should call me. You will get a plan that meets these objectives:

  • To maximize the prevention of crisis or disaster situations from ever occurring.
  • To minimize the likelihood of any suspension of operations.
  • To minimize interruptions to the normal operations.
  • To limit the extent of disruption and damage.
  • To minimize the economic impact of the interruption.
  • To establish alternative means of operation in advance.
  • To train personnel with emergency procedures.
  • To provide for smooth and rapid restoration of service.
  • To assure that no crisis is fatal to the organization.
  • To set up a communication procedure for employees, supply chain, media, and community.
© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The Time Ruse

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death..”

~Pink Floyd – “Time”

Let’s be clear. Time is not a resource issue. It’s a priority issue. We all get 24 hours a day of time. Donald Trump can’t even buy any more of the valuable commodity. We all treat time as something to save; something to manage; something to find; and something to look forward to. The ruse is that if we give in to this thinking, we are just kidding ourselves.

It never ceases to amaze me when someone says, “When I have more time, that’s when I’ll do X!” OR ~ “My time is so busy now because it’s our busiest time of year. When this is over, I will have more time and will do X.” Or ~ When I tell my wife, “I didn’t have time to unload the dishwasher. Oops.”

Memo – X (whatever X is) is simply not that important to you. X might be writing a book, going back to college, investing in yourself through coaching, or dealing with an important yet not urgent item. (X might be that I simply didn’t want to empty the dishwasher and that soon became an urgent item for me!) The bad news is that non-urgent item normally becomes urgent at the worst possible time! I often tell my clients that crisis doesn’t schedule it’s events on a calender. It comes when it wants to and doesn’t send an announcement.

There is never a good time to do anything. Our lives are busy and we do a pretty good job of filling them beyond capacity. We complain when sitting in a doctor’s office when they overbook on purpose expecting cancellations. We complain when an airline books more passengers than the plane can hold. Yet when we can’t control our own time, aren’t we just as much to blame?

Do yourself a favor and be honest with you. When you really don’t want to do something, don’t use time as an excuse. Say it’s not a priority. This works in your personal life as much as your professional life (actually we only have one life, which makes this conversation even more important). The result should be that you take a harder look at your priorities and start considering upsides and downsides to your decisions. It only takes a second…you are all smart. If you refuse to use time as your excuse and candidly admit you’re constantly making priorities, you might just find that the things that need to get done, get done and on time.

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Have you been putting off buying Unleashed? Now better TIME than now!

Click here to purchase

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Weather Woes

February 13, 2014 2 comments

Atlanta snowCrisis management is an executive function and should never be relegated down the chain of command. A good case study is what is happening on the East Coast today.

In case you missed it, the Eastern seaboard is getting pummeled by snow. New York City is expecting up to 15 inches. The storm is affecting states along the coast all the way down to Atlanta. I watched the pictures on CNN this morning on my treadmill walk. What resonated with me is the amount of chaos happening with transportation. Many roads are simply inaccessible. People are abandoning their cars and walking. Airlines all over the country are being affected.

CEOs of a companies based out of the East Coast that haven’t made contingency plans for this, are simply negligent. Everyone who lives over there knows from empirical evidence through the years that these storms occur and what the impact is. Plans to combat these storms and mitigate damage to ongoing operations, employee safety, communications, and potential structural damage should have already been written, practiced, and  repeated frequently over the course of the year that isn’t affected. If transportation is critical to the business, what plans are in place to deal with that?

CEOs that delegate this strategic thinking get caught in the storm. The implementation and manifestation of the plan is always done by others. However, the strategy, communication, and accountability rests with the boss.

If you’re not in the midst of the latest weather debacle back East. consider yourself fortunate. Also consider acting on your OWN crisis strategy plan because you might be next. We are offered these lessons all the time. The really savvy CEOs and Presidents act on them. The ones that don’t end up blaming someone else for inefficiency. My suggestion is that you be the former and conquer crisis before it conquers you.

P.S. To all my friends, colleagues, and clients back on the East Coast…be safe, stay warm and dry, and best wishes to a quick return to “normalcy!”

© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Kicking Ass Doesn’t Entail Yours Getting Kicked!

February 12, 2014 2 comments

I had a recent conversation with a client of mine. I have tremendous respect and admiration for her as a person and business owner. That being said, she provided a teachable moment…

I owe her an hour of coaching and asked her about scheduling some time to do it. Her response was that she would love to except she is working incredibly long and brutal hours to assure that she has a strong year. In other words, her mindset was that in order to kick ass, it meant getting hers kicked! She never said that, but it’s what she’s doing. There seems to often be this prevailing thought among hard workers that hours grinding the stone is the best way to be successful. No, it’s the best way to die too early.

Think about this… If you’re too overwhelmed with work that you can’t invest ONE HOUR on improving yourself, this is the brightest red danger flag. Your problems start with poor planning, improper setting of priorities, time management mishaps, and inability to delegate. It also most often involves you thinking that the only way to get ahead and stay ahead is to be constantly working. If you ever say “I don’t have time for help,” that’s your first clue that you actually need it!

Life balance is one of the top 3 things I’m asked to speak on. As technology escalates, so does the pressure to be “virtual” and “just in time” for everyone. The problem is that your clients don’t expect that. You do.

If you’re pushing yourself to work more than 8 hours a day, you’re doing something wrong. The solution may be dropping baggage that you’ve been unwilling to discard. It might mean saying no to others. It might also mean training others to do the work that you are currently doing and are overqualified for. Take a cue from our financial planner friends. Pay yourself first…in this case not with money but with something more valuable. An investment in your personal development, growth, and skills will more quickly earn you more income and provide you with more discretionary time.

Now doesn’t that sound like more fun?

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

How’s Your Portfolio Performing?

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment

I read this on Twitter this morning from Alan Weiss…

“If you hesitate to invest in yourself, you don’t need an investment advisor, you need a shrink.”

Too many business professionals have a poor investment portfolio when it comes to themselves. They either demand that their company pay for it or they don’t think they need it. Way too many entrepreneurs and executives don’t ask for help for fear if looking weak. The reality is that the very best always make investing in themselves a priority.

Apathy, complacency, and arrogance are hard too overcome because these are individual disorders. Hesitancy is a lack of confidence that just needs a push through that open gate to opportunity.

Copyright 2014 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

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