Extra Points – The Flip Side

The Flip Side                            Dan at EMP

I turn 48 years old today. I can’t believe I’m saying that. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I believed that anyone over 40 was old and 50 was ancient. Of course, that was before cell phones, Internet, and digital music. I think I was still spinning KISS on my record player, listening to Beth and Detroit Rock City on the flip side.

It dawned on me that what I believe is “old” today will soon be me in just a few years. So it goes as you continue to age. Based on where I am today, I think it’s fair to say I am now on the “flip side” of my life. That’s okay. I really liked Detroit Rock City, too.

Marshall Goldsmith exhorts a concept called “Feed Forward.” What this technique does is put an emphasis on looking to what you will do to change behaviors, rather than where you failed in the past (feedback). I think it’s good to look at our “flip side” that way. Instead of looking at my past successes, failures, and all the things in between those two words, I will plan on looking forward to what I plan on accomplishing in the future. Examples include running a minimum of a mile every day (minimum of 10 miles/week) for 800 days starting today (luckily I have an accountability partner joining me); traveling to Bogota, Colombia again and this time taking my family with me; getting my book published; and helping improve the lives and condition of countless people and organizations.

What do you want to do in 2013 and beyond? After you answer that question, the next step is the hardest. What are you going to do every day to move towards doing them? New Year’s Resolutions often fail not because the goal was unworthy or the desire disingenuous. They fail because there was no real plan on succeeding. My challenge to you for next year is to set BIG goals and take that next step and plan BIG on how to reach them. As Seahawks rookie QB sensation Russell Wilson recently proclaimed, “The preparation determines the separation.” In non-football speak, the preparation will lead to success. Prepare to succeed not only this year, but on the flip side of your career and your life as well.

Thank you for your continued interest in my work. I always enjoy hearing from you. Here’s hoping you slide in ahead of the tag in 2013! Happy New Year!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
 ~Satchel Paige

New Rave Review

I just received a very nice testimonial from one of my excellent clients. I like to share these because you never know when the value received by someone else sparks something. Is there a project or initiative that has stalled in your organization that needs to get a boost, a push, or even a big, old kick in the pants?

If so, we should talk. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to my client, Ryan Fournier (President, Fournier Insurance Solutions). Thanks, Ryan!

“The value we received from working with Dan can be summed up in one word…..Focus!  Everyone knows how easy it is to get distracted in business.  With Dan’s help we moved a major project forward in a matter of 60 days that we had been discussing as a management team for the last 3 years.  In hindsight it is easy to see the return on investment of engaging with Dan.  Hard work is never easy, but Dan helped us channel our focus and determination to implement the change we needed to become a better organization going forward.”

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Announcing Alan Weiss Visit to the Pacific Northwest!

My professional mentor, Alan Weiss, will be conducting one of his Almost Free events here in Seattle on May 2nd. Registration is now online and ready to roll! Register by clicking here

Alan is the author of well over 40 books related to solo practitioner consulting, most notably Million Dollar Consulting. His events are full of tremendous value for consultants. Here is a sneak peak of what you will walk away from this “almost fee” event with…

Whether you are beginning in the profession or a veteran needing a boost, you’ll find a fast-paced, entertaining, and pragmatic session that will include:

  • Finding buyers in times of volatility.
  • Framing buyers’ issues quickly.
  • Isolating your highest potential constituency and achieving high penetration.
  • Creating a fast track to your highest fees for clients.
  • Improving self-esteem.
  • Improving use of time.
  • Overcoming the four primary objections.
  • Improving the “language of the sale.”
  • Creating “bullet proof” proposals, based on my new book Million Dollar Proposals.

To register and reserve your spot, click here. The events I’ve gone to in Boston and Los Angeles have sold out. Space is limited, so don’t delay. Your investment of $125 will be returned to you exponentially. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points – Christmas Edition

This week’s focus point…  wonderful life

Wonderful Life        

One of my family’s Christmas traditions is watching It’s a Wonderful Life somewhere in the date window of December 22nd to Christmas. I’m a little anal about this…go figure. This year, we are doing it today. One daughter is home and the other is in the East Coast, but we have figured out a way to watch the movie simultaneously. It’s a fun way to keep tradition alive!

It’s a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie for many reasons. James Stewart was brilliant in his portrayal of George Bailey. He finds a way to connect with all of us. The biggest message this movie provides is that we are all important. No matter our current situation; the challenges we face; the success we have had; or the uncertainty in our lives, we are all valuable and are important to someone.

If you are reading this memo, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are probably pretty blessed. None of the demands you face are insurmountable when you have friends, and when you value who you are and what you can offer the world. This memo isn’t meant to be sappy. It’s really the truth. As my favorite NFL coach Pete Carroll says, “Every day is an opportunity.” What’s your opportunity to improve the life of someone else and your own today? I hope you look for it…

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
~Clarence Oddbody – Guardian Angel

Professional Growth Opportunities in 2013…the Clock is ticking!

This is your friendly reminder about a ton of great opportunities for you to jump into 2013 at full speed. There are multiple opportunities for you to increase your income, reduce your labor intensity, and enrich your life.  How can you pass that up?

Here is the list, and I’ve checked it twice! All nice – no naughties!

FREE Teleconference – 50 Ways to Call Your Mentor

Join Fellow Master Mentor Robbie Baxter and me as we help you learn how to maximize the value of being coached or mentored. You’ve invested your time and money; you might as well get all you can out of your relationship with your mentor. Find out how in this 60-minute teleconference.


FREE Teleconference – Thought Leadership Strategies with Alan Weiss

Join me as I interview Million Dollar Consulting™ author, Alan Weiss. He will offer you strategies and techniques to move you to being the thought leader in your industry. This is a “can’t miss” opportunity to hear THE thought leader in solo consulting, speaking, and mentoring.


The Experience Weedin Project

Drive your business into warp speed to start 2013! You will get four unique webinars on crucial issues related with growing your business. The one-hour webinars will focus on helping you dramatically improve your speaking, writing, language, and intellectual property creation. Discounts before the end of the year apply.


Insuring Success Video Series

For the savvy insurance professionals! Get this 50-episode video series that begins on January 18th. These are 5-minute, hard-hitting, value laden videos to help you grow your book of business; work more efficiently and enjoy life more. $200 for the entire series prior to the end of the year. The ROI on this is HUGE!


Libby & Dan 2013

We are back! Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Famers Libby Wagner and Dan Weedin combine to give you double the value in an almost free event. This was a popular event (twice) in 2012. We are back with new strategies and techniques to boost your business. Space is limited for this dynamic event. We even buy you lunch! Register today!


Note – Libby and I are working on bringing Alan to Seattle. We will be breaking that news soon. Stay tuned!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Aftermath of a Tragedy

The public outcry from the devastation and unthinkable events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut continues on 24 hours later, and undoubtedly will stay alive for another week or so. That is the length of attention we as a culture roll with these days. The shooting in a Portland, OR mall just days earlier is all but forgotten, overshadowed by the loss of life of 20 young children and (let us not forget) 6 adults who were trying to protect them.

Our virtual town criers are Facebook and Twitter, and the raw emotions of anger, sadness, and pain are filling cyberspace. Calls and online petitions for gun control are burning like a forest fire in 101 degree heat. Pleas from everyone to hug your kids abound, as if we should be reminded to do this daily anyway.

I have a few thoughts about all of this. Some of you may agree; some of you may get annoyed or angry. I hope it at least it may be cause for civilized and thoughtful debate. Something that the platforms on Facebook and Twitter don’t always lend themselves to.

This has been a sickening tragedy. As a school board president, I can’t help but superimpose the events with one of the elementary schools in my charge and wonder how that pain must feel. As a parent, I can’t imagine what those who lost children are going through. AND don’t forget that the 6 adults lost were someone else’s child. They are also suffering the same anguish. I hope that in the focus of the young that we don’t overlook the other lives lost and affected. The people involved – including the police, the community, the state, and all of you will have this indelibly inked in your memory. My prayers go out to all those who have been affected and touched by this tragedy.

I am not a gun owner. Never have and don’t plan on ever being. I don’t have any issues with people that own guns as sportsmen and hobbyists. The sonorous roar for gun control has been precipitated due to the loss of young lives in a school. Unfortunately, guns are not the proximate cause of all these catastrophes (remember Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, and two weeks ago in Kansas City with the NFL player). Connecticut has some of the stingiest gun control laws in the country. The guns in this situation were legally owned and registered by the mother. Guns end up doing the fatal damage.  So do the cars on the road that have killed over 100,000 people on the last three years in the United States. Yet, nobody is calling for a prohibition or control of vehicles. The problem with cars is impaired and distracted driving by people who should know better. This gun control problem runs deeper than guns. You want to have stricter enforcement and tougher laws to control guns…fine. But these issues will not end until the root causes are fixed. In my opinion, here they are in no particular order…

  • Our country does a poor job of identifying and dealing with mental health issues in our society. This is not to be disrespectful to those working in the profession. They are doing the best they can. It’s time that we as a society had an outcry for improved education, identification, and solutions to help treat the mentally ill. All these people perpetrating these awful crimes are mentally ill and in each case, information arises that shows there were signs along the way that were missed. We need to get better fast at fixing our sign watching.
  • Sorry to some of you video game fanatics but here’s my deal. Video games have become intrinsically violent and I fear this has de sensitized  young people from the horror of violence. Games like Mortal Kombat, Thrill Kill, and Postal have a detrimental affect on the minds of young people. Check out who is doing all these killings. They are all under the age of 25. Where is the public outcry to ban games like this? What about pointing the finger at the parents who allow these games. But, that’s just me.
  • Our movies have glorified gun violence with increasing special effects and brutal story lines. Don’t get me wrong. I watch a lot of them. You can go back in time to movies like The Godfather and see violence. However, I think we can all agree that the intensity level and graphic nature has raised dramatically over the past decade in a competitive movie environment and younger and younger kids are being exposed to it. The horse head in The Godfather wouldn’t even faze anyone anymore!
  • Prohibition doesn’t work. It only makes things worse, Go back and review your history of 1930s prohibition of alcohol. Black markets and organized crime grew their strongest roots in that time. So did NASCAR, but that’s another story! Some of my dear friends are calling for prohibition of guns. I get your anger, but be realistic. That will never happen in this country where there are millions of sportsmen who go hunting all over the country every year. They are not the problem and should never have their rights removed. Prohibition and over-strict laws will lead to more underground crime and new ways to spark mayhem.

Safety is the last issue I will cover here. Let’s start in public areas…

When I was in Bogota, Colombia in 2011, I never felt unsafe. Huge cities like Bogota, New York, and Los Angeles all have their bad spots. Even small cities have those places you shouldn’t be walking around at night. But, while I was there, I never, and I mean never, was in a public place that did not have a show of police force. At the malls, police were perched above parking lots, and they checked the trunk of your car before parking. On the streets, they were ubiquitous. Armed and ready to respond. And, frankly the same is true in New York City. Barb and I were there during one of the Occupy Movement “events.” I guarantee you that my safety was never in question!

We need to figure out that we don’t live in Pleasantville any more. Instead of cutting security and police, we should be adding. The best way to avoid criminal acts is to have a visible presence of protection.

The same goes for schools…

In my own personal opinion, police need to have a more visible presence in schools, and it should not be another unfunded mandate.  It should be considered part of total school funding.  When there is a police force visible in schools,  bad things decrease – vandalism, drugs, violence, bullying, etc. If our number one goal in schools is safety (and YES this comes before educating for me), then we as a society need to get serious about showing a force of protection.

Now it’s time to come together and care for each other…

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Crisis Case Study continues…

A horrific day today in Connecticut as Sandy Hook Elementary has had a violent and fatal shooting on its campus. Thoughts and prayers are with the families, teachers, administrators and city.

This event is even more impactful for me as a school board member in my own district. I know the love, care, and compassion in elementary schools and I can’t even fathom what they are all going through.

Crisis Case Study #2

umbrella_riskJust yesterday, a shooter in a Portland, OR shopping mall opened fire with a gun and randomly killed two people and injured another. This type of shooting spree has become all too familiar in this country and around the world. The devastation, carnage, and terror are unimaginable.

As a case study for business, it brings up the need to know how to respond for your employees and your customers. This is a crisis that gets overlooked often when strategizing about insurance or risk management. Why? Because it is virtually unthinkable for most people. You would never think it would happen to you. I’m certain that this shopping mall and the businesses in it never expected it to happen. This is a small suburb of Portland…not even in the city. How do they deal with it?

Here are lessons to take away for you as a business owner. These lessons are more global than just a crazed shooter. These can apply to anything that is immediately dangerous be it a chemical spill, a workplace violence incident, a fire, or any other type of crisis…

1. Know what to do in real-time to keep your customers and employees safe. This should be known in advance, be communicated to all employees, and be practiced. You can’t expect people to know what to do if you’ve never told them or had them practice. This first “lesson” is the most important and the most missed.

2. Have an escape route. Know ways to escape and where to meet up.

3. Use technology to your advantage. Text messages, email, and instant messaging may save someone’s life or keep them away from danger.

4. Make sure all your employees are trained in CPR/First Aid. You read that correctly…ALL. Have an automatic defibrillator on site just in case.

5. Have a plan to make sure everyone is accounted for after the crisis is over.

6. Have a plan to inform families of how their loved ones are. This isn’t easy. Hopefully, the calls are that everyone is safe. Sometimes they are not. Who is making that call?

7. Have someone available to deal with the media. They should be well spoken, empathetic, and practiced in the art of dealing with difficult messages. This is another area most small businesses fall woefully short. The damage from a bad interview or being misquoted can have devastating effects on your reputation.

8. Train your employees on what not to say in the event of a crisis. There should only be one voice and that is the person I listed above. This makes it easier to avoid misinformation. Be careful with social media. Warn your employees not to get involved with the nose and chatter because it could come back to haunt you.

Bottom line – Nobody wants a crisis like what happened at the Clackamas Mall last night. As I said before, it’s virtually unthinkable. Yet here we are, whether in Portland or Aurora, CO. These incidents are horrible and they devastate lives and families. You as a business owner have a duty and obligation to take care of your “family.” Make sure you do the pre-work that is needed to minimize the damage if it does happen. It will be time well invested.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved



Extra Points – You Never Know Where…

You Never Know Where…

Captain Jack
Captain Jack

I spent the latter part of last week doing an update for two insurance-related designations. It was three days in Portland and the topic was one I was dreading. It was all about life and health concepts. I don’t deal much with either in my consulting and I saw BORING written all over the 20 hours I was going to be in the classroom.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First, the three speakers were outstanding. They exemplified professional speakers with excellent content, terrific use of humor, and powerful personal stories. Second, I learned a ton about how to improve my own personal estate; strategies about dealing with long-term care (which Barb and I do with my mom); and two pages full of notes that I will pass on to my clients on how t help them improve. I couldn’t have spent three better days out of my office.

Bottom line – I was guilty of pre-judging something. It’s not the first time, and I will try to make it the last. How often do we approach a meeting, a training, an event, or even just a day, with trepidation, apathy, or disdain? You never know what sits behind that door. Make sure you give it every opportunity to make you better, because the odds are that it will.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“In three words, I can sum up everything I know about life – It goes on…”
~Robert Frost

Stay tuned for Extra Points: The Video Series premiering in January of 2013! More details to come…

Leap of Faith – Trusting Sofia

I’m here in Portland for a few days to update my designations. Last night, I went out to meet a couple of my fine colleagues who live in the Rose City. The Sheraton I’m staying at is right by the airport and they suggested a nice restaurant on the other side of the city. No problem…I have a car and I like good food.

As I left the Sheraton parking lot on a dark, cold December evening, I realized I had no idea where I was going, or really where I was. I didn’t know if I was traveling north, south, east, or west. What I did know is that I had Sofia next to me. All I did was listen to her. She told me when to turn right, when to merge left, what sign to look for, and how far away I was. Luckily, she doesn’t tell me what I can or can’t eat!

Without Sofia I may have ended up in Eugene, which for a Husky is bad news. I put my faith and trust in her…the GPS in my iPhone.

I really had no idea how I was getting to where I was going. In the old days, it would have been a debacle. I had no problem taking a leap of faith with Sofia and I ended up successfully reaching my destination.

What about you? When was the last time you took a leap of faith in your business? When did you last make that investment in yourself, create a new product, step outside your comfort zone, or take a wild hair, yet calculated risk?

Standing still is death in business. Sometimes you even get lost or don’t know in which direction you’re heading. You need your own Sofia. You need someone to guide you, inspire you, tell you when you are wrong and when you are right, and get you to your destination successfully. Good coaches and mentors do that in business, just like Sofia does that on the road. Heading into 2013, is your direction in need of a little guidance?

Copyright 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved