Serendipity at its Finest – You Can’t Make this Up!

You must first believe that the story I’m about to recount is being told without any exaggeration. You seriously can’t make this stuff up.

The dogs have an appointment to have their nails trimmed at the vet. My daughter Mindy is joining me and has the dogs on the dual leash and is going to sit in the back of the car with them. I (like a nice guy) open the back door so they can all pour in (reminder that Captain Jack is the dreaded Jack Russell). In order to accomplish this”nice guy” feat, I put my wallet and iPhone on the top of the car (I’m wearing gym shorts).

To get to the vet, it’s about a 20-minute drive which begins going down Finn Hill; through the stoplight at Viking Way; followed by a sharp left on to Bond Road (one of the busiest roads in the county as it leads to Kingston and the ferry terminal). Once on Bond Road, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour and I’m living at the limit with cars all around me. Mindy is in the back with the window rolled halfway down so Jack can stick his head out the window.

All of a sudden, I hear a thump. Mindy says, “Dad, where’s your phone?”

Me: I say, “I don’t know..why”

Mindy: “Because your wallet just flew in the window and hit me in the face. I think you left your phone and wallet on the roof of the car!”

Me: #!*&^$#

I find the next best spot to turn into. As I maneuver around to go back, Mindy says, “Check and see if it’s still on the roof.” I know it’s not, but at this point I’m grasping for luck. I jump out and right behind me flies Captain Jack. Luckily, he was still leashed and I grabbed him and threw him back inside. Back to the scene of the mishap we fled.

As I’m driving back, I know that the results will be dire. I envision my iPhone of 4 months strewn about this busy country road. Mindy guides me to about the place she remembers being hit by my wallet. “Look,” she exclaims. “On the road!” There, in the same lane I had been driving minutes ago, was a small black object. iPhone down! Cars were screaming by it at 35 mph (and then some). I pulled over (making sure Jack was secure this time) and got out. I put my hands out to stop traffic, which initially had only mild success. One side stopped and as the opposite car went by, all I could think was, “This last one will probably get it.” It didn’t. I bent down and retrieved my iPhone. I turned it over and hit the little button. There was Jack and Bella’s photo!

As I walked back to the car, I saw a familiar car coming the other way. My other daughter, Kelli was driving back with the kids she was babysitting. She would later tell me she thought, “Who’s that idiot in the middle of the road about to be hit by a car? Hey, I recognize that guy.” She pulled over to help me out, not knowing why I was on the side of the road. I motioned her on and got back in the car. Amazingly, the iPhone had no cracks, no dings, and only a minor scrape to the skin. It was basically as good as it had been when it slid off the car.

Go figure…

  • How did the phone and wallet stay on top of the car as long as they did?
  • What are the odds that the wallet happens to fall straight down into a half-open window recently vacated by a dog’s head and into my daughter’s lap (after hitting her in the face)?
  • How is it possible that the cell phone manages to land squarely in the middle of the road, in one piece, so that all the cars driving by go right over the top of it?
  • How did Mindy’s eagle eyes spy that “itty bitty” phone on the road?
  • How did I NOT get hit by a car?


Other than thanking St. Jude (the patron saint of lost causes – I don’t think there’s one for iPhones yet), I’ll have to chalk this one up to serendipity.

Are you paying attention to serendipity in your professional and personal life? What unbelievable events happen to you and are you taking advantage of them?

This was a close call for me. My risk management “hat” will allow me to use this story in some speech or article at some point as a metaphor for close calls. I’m certain I will find other uses. You need to stay in your moment and find ways to leverage serendipity that happens in your life. Whether it’s a speech, an article, or just a change in your life, make sure you take full advantage.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


Upcoming Live Speaking Events for Consultants

I’ve got two events coming up soon that are geared specifically for consultants. Both come out of my training as an Alan Weiss Master Mentor. The events are basically free (one has a breakfast cost if you choose to partake), and will offer a tremendous return on your time investment.

Here are the details…

July 7th – Bellevue, WA 7:30 – 9:00 am   “Consultant’s Coffee”  Join Tom Broetje and myself for our topic on discovering your “secret sauce,” and how to monetize it through intellectual property. Tom will speak on finding and I will speak on the marketing through the use of several tools and strategies. There is a continental breakfast, but that’s your only cost. We will be meeting in the restaurant on the main level of the hotel. It’s a great opportunity to learn, meet new people, and network. If you’d like to join us, please RSVP to either Dave Shapiro or myself.

Dave Shapiro (206) 931-2032 or

July 8th – Mercer Island, WA 10:00 am-1:00pm Biz Enrich Meeting – I will be presenting on the Accelerant Curve. This is a powerful strategy developed by Million Dollar Consulting author, Alan Weiss and his community. By creating your own accelerant cure, you will certainly accelerate your business growth. This will be a highly interactive session where you will have a chance to meet other consultants and network, too. To RSVP for this free event, contact either Pete DiSantis or myself.

Pete DiSantis (425) 577-0082

Dan Weedin (for both) (360) 271-1592 or

I hope to see you at one or both of these events!

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

New Testimonial

Last week, I was a gust panelist for a Small Business Association sponsored class for new consultants. It was a terrific opportunity to give back a little bit. The moderator, John Martinka, was very kind to give me the following testimonial…

I have had numerous occasions to hear Dan Weedin present, moderate a group or be on a panel. He gets his ideas across in a clear and concise manner without losing the audience. Dan has the ability to take a complicated (or poorly worded) question and simplify it so the audience gets the benefit they need. I would recommend Dan for public speaking engagements, panel discussions or facilitation. In a world of speakers who say too much and therefore cause their audience to drift away, Dan is a a refreshing tonic of pithy and valuable insights.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Accountability


This one will probably anger a few of you. I’ll take the risk.

It used to be that letters to the editor needed to be signed in order to be printed. It may still be the case, however in our new world reality of online comments, the names have been changed to protect the obnoxious.

Everyone it seems prefers to use glitzy and fancy avatars to wax poetic, hurl insults, scrawl snide remarks, and make light of situations. Easy to do when you’re hiding behind some made up name. Unfortunately, there is no accountability. I’ve heard opponents to my thinking say they fear retribution or disparaging thoughts about them. Then they shouldn’t write. If you’re going to stand up for a position, be big enough to put your name behind it. What usually occurs is a more thoughtful and collegial statement. Something that you’d be happy to have your grandmother read.

Here’s my bottom line – if you’re going to express your opinion, then be accountable. Put your name where your opinions lie.

P.S. All negative comments and complaints can be sent to my avatar CaptainJack08.




This week’s quote – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Bad Swings Cost Big Strokes

I played golf with a couple of clients on Monday at beautiful White Horse Golf Course in Kingston, WA. I played really well – my swing felt great, my distance control was good, and my short game was on target. I shot a 92, which isn’t too bad for me on that course. The problem is, I really should have shot about an 85.

You see, for 14 of the holes, I was only 7-over par. For the other 4 holes, I was a whopping 13-over par thanks to three triple bogeys and a quadruple bogey! For those of you who don’t golf, those 4 holes just killed my final score. In retrospect, I can count one poor swing on each of those holes costing me all those strokes. They either led directly to penalty strokes or put me in a horrible situation. Certainly, in any round of golf, you can expect and plan for setbacks. These were colossal gaffes!

Business is a lot like golf. You can be going about doing your business well, but a couple of bad “swings” can really cost you “strokes” just like it did me. Here’s what I mean…

  • Bad swing – lack of safety training  Penalty Strokes – someone gets hurt on the job resulting in lost time, reduced efficiency, and potentially fines and penalties
  • Bad swing – Poor management of your insurance Penalty strokes – uncovered claims; paying too much for insurance; and lost time
  • Bad swing – Not practicing your disaster recovery Penalty strokes – Nobody knows what to do resulting in lost time, lost productivity, chaos, mayhem, and poor morale
  • Bad swing – Poor communication skills from the top Penalty strokes – team doesn’t know how to respond; inefficiency; lower morale, fear, disgruntled customers, clients, and staff

Just like in a round of golf, you can do everything right most of the time, but a couple of sloppy swings can sabotage your score. In my case, it’s not a big deal; it’s just a score. In your case, it could cost you valuable time, efficiency, loss of productivity, poor morale, and money.

You can’t be perfect. There will always be a few “bad swings.” However, if you do a good job of preparing, you can greatly reduce the chances and mitigate the effects. Here’s how you make sure you do…

  1. Understand your insurance policy. Know exactly what it does and does not cover. Make sure you have a good agent you trust; get second opinions; stay educated on your needs; and don’t let it get obsolete.
  2. Understand your vulnerabilities. Take some time to analyze where you can get most hurt. That’s just good business.
  3. Plan your response. If you know what can hurt you, but don’t know how to respond to it, then you’ve wasted your energies. You and your team must know the plan.
  4. Practice your plan. When I coached basketball, my team knew what to do because we practiced end of game situations. Hold corporate war games; perform safety drills; test yourself and your people. You’re fooling yourself if you think talk will get it done when crunch time happens.
  5. Practice continually. Doing it once never works. You must consistently work on this. I spent years getting trained in CPR and First Aid. One time I needed it. I was at my parents house having dinner with them when my mother started choking. I was able to give her the Heimlich Maneuver and it saved her life. The only reason this happened, and I mean the  ONLY reason, was because I had spent years practicing the technique. The same is true for your safety and disaster recovery practices. You and your team must at least annually prepare and practice for that one event.

You know your own golf course. You know the hazards and perils that await you. Being unprepared is simply bad business. It will cost you plenty of “strokes” if aren’t ready and that will put a big dent in your bottom line. By following my simple guidelines listed above, you will go a long way in bolstering your score.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


You’re the Inspiration

Twenty-five years ago today, on a beautiful first day of summer in Oak Harbor, WA, I married my best friend (in today’s lingo, my BFF).

As we sat at home watching television last night, we discussed how we never knew a quarter of a century later, that we’d have two daughters in college, be living in Poulsbo, and my mother would be living with us. The only thing that had come between us was our dogs (literally).

Relationships of any kind are fragile. People are motivated by different things, events change, feelings are hurt, and both joys and crises are shared. In today’s world, somewhere about half of marriages fail. One of the reasons I believe ours hasn’t is because we dated for so many years prior to get married (even though we married at 21 years old). She definitely saw me at my best and worst! Even though today marks 25 years of wedded bliss, this September we will have been together 29 years. There is something to be said for cultivating trusting relationships. They take time, perseverance, forgiveness, humility (still working on mine as she might attest), humor, understanding, and the ability to face crisis as a team. Take a look at your best relationships – both personal and professional – and I’m certain you will find those characteristics.

Today, I honor my BFF.  Thank you Barb for 25 years of marriage, for putting up with all of my “idiosyncrasies:” my wild hairs; my golf outings; my sports watching; my inability to cook but my willingness to eat; for holding my “stuff” while we sit at games; and for all those other things that get lost in translation during the course of 4,380 days. I love you.



















P.S. to Leo who I know reads this blog – she loved it! Thanks for your help…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved


Extra Points – On Overcoming Resistance

This week’s focus point –

Overcoming Resistance.

When we were on vacation in Washington D.C. six years ago, we were warned about the metro system. As you leave the train, all the “slow” people stay to the right, and the “fast” people play through on the left. Boy, were they right. Everyone who needed to get somewhere fast zipped past us like Dale Earnhardt Jr. The system worked because those on the go were not delayed and those who were tourists like us didn’t get trampled.

Getting off the ferry to go into Seattle last week, I recalled fondly that system. Unfortunately for me, there is NO system off the ferry. People walk with large bags, dawdle, stop mid-stride, and stroll in all areas of the walkway. They literally block all of those who are in a hurry to move and trying to gain speed and momentum. Guess which lane I want to occupy here!?

The same thing can happen to your speed and momentum in business. You will encounter resistance just like I did trying to get into the city. Instead of baby strollers and rolling luggage, you will run into people, systems, situations, competition, and plain bad luck all trying to derail you and impede your momentum. However, in my experience one of the biggest culprits of resistance comes from ourselves. We can be our own worst enemy and hinder our own progress. Lack of confidence, discouragement, stress, and impatience mask our own talent and cause us to quit before we should. “Resistance” can be an invidious condition and one that we need to recognize and hold fast against.

Today’s’ morale – make sure you’re playing in the fast lane and don’t let anything slow you down.

This week’s quote – “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
– Admiral David Farragut – a lifelong left-lane sprinter

Responding to “Crisis” in a Huge Way

Rory McIlroy self-imploded on the back side of Augusta with the lead at the Masters. He lost a 4-shot lead and at 21 years old could have easily gone in the tank. For a young man from Northern Ireland, this was a crisis in confidence.

Today, McIlroy came all the way back with a huge bounce and destroyed the field in the United States Open. He broke records and lapped the field.

Responding to crisis is what this young man did. After the Masters, he was humble and got back to working on his game, including calling past champions like Jack Nicklaus to get advice. His next opportunity was not wasted.

Responding to crisis often means simply bouncing back from adversity with grace and skill.

Just like Rory McIlroy…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Caring for Elderly a New Crisis for Adult Children

with my dad and brother

I just read a sensational article in the Wall Street Journal by Kelly Greene. (Click on the hyperlink to read)

My wife and I “resemble” much of this article. As my parents were older when I was born, I’m still playing in my mid-40’s!

It used to be that caring for children was something employers worried about providing for their employees. It used to be that this really hit working women who were most at risk as the primary parent dealing with raising the kids. As baby boomers age and the rate of caring for their parents increases (because other options may be too expensive or unavailable), this will become an increasing problem for both men and women. As the article states, these are the highest paying years with less time afforded for recouping that loss. This should be, and perhaps will be, a political issue as next year’s presidential race heats up.

This blogger will be adding a category on this subject to the blog titled “My Generation.” It’s a little takeoff on the famous Who song of the same title. More and more people of that generation won’t be dying before they get od and will need care. How that looks, how it’s paid for, and how it affects the caregivers that are you and your employees is critical. I hope you will find value…

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Social Un-Security: Social Media is all “trick” and no” tweet” for your business insurance

Social Media has captivated the globe and has changed how we communicate personally and professionally forever. And the scary thing is, it’s ever evolving and changing. The good news for you as a business is that you have more ways to spread your message, sell your products, and profess your opinions for free to the world. The bad news is, that your insurance may not have kept up with the times and is stuck in 1979.

Your Commercial General Liability policy has a coverage part called Personal & Advertising Injury. This coverage part has a sub-limit of liability that should be equal to your Occurrence limit. Personal & Advertising Injury is meant to protect you from among other things, libel, slander, defamation of character and other grisly things that you do that could hurt someone’s feelings. Seriously, it’s meant to protect you from negligently damaging someone’s reputation, or infringing on copyright or intellectual property. This is more of an issue today as technology blurs those lines, so it’s an important coverage.

The standard General Liability policy (ISO CG00 01 12 07) will exclude injury “arising out of an electronic chat room or bulletin board the insured hosts, owns, or over which the insured exercise control” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  As well as Personal and Advertising injury “arising out of the infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights” (ISO CG00 01 12 07).  This includes data privacy breaches and claims resulting from a data privacy breach.

In English, this means that your tweets, blog posts, Facebook notes, and other commentary on social media sites are not contemplated by outdated verbiage still being employed in General Liability policies. Certainly, you can fight it, however you know that means extra time, money, and anxiety. Bottom line, your tweets aren’t covered!

There are increasing numbers of case law and opinions surrounding this issue. My job today isn’t to bore you with a litany of these, but to alert you to your vulnerability.

So how can you get in trouble? Let’s face it; the most intriguing blogs and tweets are the ones that offer contrarian, thought provoking, and often outlandish commentary. In sending out your opinions over cyberspace channels, you may be critical of competitors, inadvertently offend another company or individual, and/or infringe on someone’s brand. If they sure you, you’re on your own.

So what do you do? Fortunately, the insurance companies have found a way to protect you. For consultants like me who own a professional liability insurance policy, the coverage is included there. For other businesses, there is a fairly recent policy that has been created called Cyber Technology insurance. It’s meant to protect your liability for issues related to technology like social media, data breach, and other nasty things like that.

You need to talk with an insurance professional – your broker, agent, or consultant. It’s crucial that you examine your company’s social media practices, including how your employees use it.

Tom Bell an attorney with Perkins Coie, in an article published in Computerworld states:

“Companies are entitled to free speech, but their commercial speech is less protected. The lower protection comes in the form of a higher standard of care for truth and accuracy. So, when company employees participate in social media on behalf of their employer, they subject the company to the same risks as a newspaper or individual, but with less protection.”

Employing a social media policy will help you assess your vulnerability, create policy that works for your operations, and set up a plan to transfer your unwanted risk to an insurance policy that adequately protects your liability and assets.

Your company probably should be active at some level in social media. If it’s not now, you’re probably falling behind the game at some level. Like any other risk you face in business, you need to make this part of a good risk management policy.

Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of a tweet. Go out and become “socially acceptable!”


© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved