Lessons in business brought to you by death

**Going off topic, will be going a bit personal and not talking much insurance**

So it has been the worst four week stretch in my life.  Started with the sudden death of my older brother followed by four weeks of floundering about.   I am finding that the floundering about, trying to get back to full speed part to be especially annoying and difficult.   Normally there is an article, book or mindset I can apply but none of what I know seems to be working.  Either way, you must keep moving forward.

Since I would prefer you never have to learn or have the experiences that death created for me let me share some with you.

1. Totally think that when at a wake some solid eye contact and a hug/handshake/pat on the shoulder is way better than saying “So sorry…” or “How are you..”  Just like when doing business or closing a sale sometimes saying nothing is best.

2. Despite how many people contact you, write about you, show up to pay their respects, etc there are always more people out there that have no idea who you are.    This is a big world, it is great when the world shrinks for a moment but remember it is a big world, make the most of your little piece of it.

3. It is absolutely true that in times of adversity you will see true character emerge.  Scary to think how many people just float about life completely self absorbed.  Never forget that more times than not you have no idea what is going on in another persons life.  Sometimes by design sometimes because there is no reason to know but that does not excuse you from acting like a decent human being.  ** Thinking of Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi’s conversation in Billy Madison**

4. Why wait till tomorrow? I have no idea.  There have been some very deep things written towards me and I have also been involved in some very personal conversations.  Despite how positive the messages are they all hurt.  The ones that hurt especially bad are the ones filled with regret of not saying something or meeting him or clearing up some bad feelings.  That sticks with you.  Stop waiting.

5. Having a to do list, goals, a written plan, etc.  was about the only thing that kept working.  When your brain is working or when it is mush a written plan is a huge help.

6. As amazing as it is to see a network/tribe/group of people pay homage to one of their own post-mortem it presents a new challenge.  How can you maximize your network when death or sickness is not involved?  Not sure but I will actively be trying to figure this out.  In the meantime, it means a lot to have good wishes, e-mails, contributions to a memorial, flowers, etc. sent to a family. Actually beyond words at this point BUT I cannot help but wonder how many people said these things to him before he died.  I suppose the other challenge is really appreciating everything while you have it.

7. Yet to find anyone that talked about all my brother owned instead everything is about what he did.  Quite honestly it isn’t much but boy did he have a ton of experiences.  Best I can tell is he plowed whatever he had into living life.  Memories are the best souvenirs.

8. Do whatever you can to fill your “good will” account as much as your bank account.  You have no idea how helpful it has been to have built up  my personal good will account.  I did not do it to be repaid but since I have made many withdrawals in the last month I gotta tell you how glad I am to have a pretty hefty balance available.

Well I suppose I can keep writing but this will do for now.  I would expect to get back to talking insurance soon.  I suppose tip nine is;

A good brain dump feels good.

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