What Are You Reading?

I just read an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal stating that Amazon said it sold more Kindle books than the “old-fashioned” hard cover books.  Read story

What’s your take on this?

Mine is two-fold…

1 – I hope we aren’t seeing the demise of the hard cover book. I’ve seen the Kindle and it’s pretty cool I must admit. However, there is still something special about having a hard cover book in your hands reading. I don’t think that will ever change for me.

2 – I hope this means more people are reading and that young people will keep reading after school. We as a society need to keep reading a variety of subjects in order to maintain and advance our knowledge and being considered “well-rounded.”

I encourage you to read often. My goal is one book a month minimum. Right now, I’m on two books.  One is religious in nature and the other is fiction. I have the next two picked out already – political science and self-development.

What are you reading?


© 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved

Google Alerts

If you’re not already doing so, it’s important that you have a process to alert you when your name, brand, or company is being mentioned on the Internet.  I use “Google Alerts.” It’s a free service where you use keywords to alert you when your name, brand, or company is being used online.  For instance, I am alerted daily on keywords “Dan Weedin” and “Toro Consulting.”   I also keyword my brand, “Insurance Go2Guy.”  Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You may have been mentioned in an interview and didn’t know it.
  2. Someone may be using your intellectual property – with or without permission!
  3. Someone may be saying something good or bad about you.
  4. Someone may be giving you attribution.

In addition, if you’ve got a name that might be commonly misspelled, alert yourself to that.  I was given this tip by my web designer, Jenn Putnam. Jenn’s advice paid off last week.  I was interviewed recently by a freelance journalist on renters insurance for business.  I never heard back until I noticed it on Google Alerts.  He had inadvertently misspelled my last name – Weeden.  Because I used “Dan Weeden” as a keyword it picked it up and I learned I was quoted in an article that appeared in the American Express OPEN Forum for Business Owners.  Read the Article Here

Bottom line – make sure you know where you show up on the Internet.


The Ultimate Insurance Pro category

I’ve started working with insurance professionals at all levels to help them improve their career through improved communication skills, presentation skills, leadership, team building, and entrepreneurship.  If you are an insurance pro, this is the place for you!

You can also follow me on Twitter – Click here to follow me.


Open Letter to Tiger Woods

Dear Tiger,

As an avid golfer for the past 31 years, a fan of your game and what you’ve done for the sport, and as a concerned human being, I’m sending you this open letter with unparalleled advice on how to get your “game” back on track. I know you pay the boys from New York big-time dough to help you, but I think they’ve done a crummy job with this recent transgression.  You see, I’m a consultant and I know a thing or two about branding, communications, and life balance.  It seems you like to use the Internet as your mouthpiece, so I figure this is the best way to reach you.  All that being said, let’s get started…

  1. Fix your family first.  If you are serious about what your statement said, then I applaud you.  Nothing is more important for you than your wife and children.  Looks like you’ve committed about 11 triple-bogeys in a row on the family game.  You’re going to need a few extra rounds to get back to even par.  This is job #1.
  2. Stop hiding behind your web site.  I know you want privacy, but you can’t be the Tiger Woods brand, rake in a billion dollars, and then want to be left alone.  You can’t have it both ways, dude.  Take a cue from A-Rod (I can’t believe I wrote that), Letterman, Clinton, Agassi, et al and get your face (battered as it might be) in front of the world and say the things you’re writing on your web site.  Sorry, it’s the only way.  Right now, it looks and feels like you’re hiding.  Chip out of the tall rough and take your medicine with your public.
  3. Get back on Tour soon.  You’re killing the PGA.  Just killing it.  Last year when you were out with injury, the ratings dropped 50%.  50%!  Your buddies on the tour are being forced to respond to questions about you.  Your lack of presence will hurt the league, the players, the purses, and everything else involved with the sport.  I don’t care if you have to hire some big dude to keep you honest off the course.  You owe it to the PGA to get back to doing the thing you do best.
  4. Get help.  You’ve had a dozen coaches help you with your game.  Now you need coaches to help you with your marriage, your children, your communications, how you interact with the media, etc.
  5. Offer to take a pay cut from your sponsors.  They can’t even run ads with your image now.  Nike, Gatorade, Gillette, Accenture and the rest are in crisis management.  As much as you’ve hurt the PGA, the ripple effect goes to them, too.  I think you’ve got enough to live on for a few years.  Give them a break because you didn’t hold up your end of the bargain.
  6. Stop being a victim.  One of your prior statements chastised the media for interrupting your life.  If you’re going to apologize, dump the “I’m sorry, but” language.  Your not the victim, man.  Whoever wrote that for you should be fired.
  7. When you do get back on the course, you need to stop swearing, throwing clubs, throwing tantrums, etc. Like it or not, you are a role model for all those kids learning the game and idolizing you.  They will still watch you.  Take an extra heaping of humility and be a good sport.
  8. Last one – Get a Life.  In order to be a well-rounded human, you need to be more than a one-trick pony.  You have the opportunity to influence more than anyone else in the sports world today.  Only Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jordan have “owned” the owned the stage as a sports star like you have.

I hope you get started on these right away.  Some may be painful, but the pain doesn’t last forever unless you let it.  My invoice is in the mail.  I took a little off because I love the sport and we need you.  Don’t let everyone down.


Dan Weedin

© 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved

December is always a great time to look back and reflect on the year.  It’s pretty easy to think about the successes, failures, challenges, and triumphs both personal and professional.  Bit how often do you consider what you put into your head?

Professional development should never stop.  The second you think you know it all, you begin to decline rapidly.  Real professional development is never cheap.  There is always a significant investment of time and/or money.  If you do it right, the ROI is always worth it.

In 2009, I spent well over $11,000 on workshops, colleges, resources, and travel expenses.  I traveled to Providence, RI, Newport, RI, and Las Vegas twice for professional development opportunities.  I purchased teleconferences, systems, books, and CD’s.  I gained knowledge from experts like Alan Weiss, Patricia Fripp, and Darren LaCroix.  I passed the third leg of a five part program to receive a designation in risk management.  And what was my return on investment?  It was huge from a standpoint of current and future income and growth.  My intellectual capital increased thus making it easier for my community to improve.  It’s a win-win-win!

What about you?  What did you accomplish in this area last year?  Where will you go in 2010?

Next stop for me…San Francisco for Alan Weiss’s Mentor Summit!


Q & A Basics #2 – Repeat and Confirm

How many times have you heard a speaker in a Q & A session NOT repeat the question from the audience?  Too many times for me.  The speaker normally has a microphone; the audience almost never does.  Do yourself (as a presenter) and most importantly your audience a favor.  Repeat questions from your audience so all can hear.

This will confirm the question, help the rest of the group, and give you time to pause and think of the right response.


Where Do You Want Go?

I enjoy watching a bit of television while I eat lunch and I often watch the Biography channel.  This afternoon, I watched a fascinating episode on the actor, Patrick Stewart of Star Trek and X-Men fame.  There was a segment that showed Stewart auto racing for charity.  He bumped into the wall twice and then he took the advise of the professionals.  They told him, “Look where you want to go, not where you are afraid of going.”

This advice works in auto racing, business, and life.

Are you ever so concerned about where you are afraid to go (i.e. out of business, out of money, divorce, addiction, failure) that you don’t keep your eyes focused on where you do want to go (health, happiness, success)?

What a great thought to end one year (and decade) and begin another.

In the words of one of Patrick Stewart’s most famous characters, “Make it so…”


Look where you want to go, not where you are afraid to go…

© 2009 Dan Weedin – All Rights Reserved