Situational reading

I wrote, “Want to improve your world, start with reading this..” and I suppose I meant it in October 2012.  But, since then I’ve changed quite a bit and so has the world.

Coincidentally, I am in a bit of a reading lull.  My morning reading time is absorbed by writing and a larger project that needs to get done.  I also have several books and magazines backed up.  Fortunately, there is Audible and still a fair amount of driving happening so I am not completely without.

Although I vaguely remember that book, I do not follow either author anymore.  My needs and tastes have evolved.  That book is still likely solid but maybe not “right” for my situation.  What does that mean?

I mean there are a couple of go-to books I have for just about anyone who is new to working with me.

  • Think and Grow Rich
  • The Compound Effect
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People

Really tough to go wrong with any of these for ANYONE in an environment where they will be expected to perform and spend there time engaging with other people.  Beyond that, it can get very specific to what your needs are at the moment.

  • Harvey McKay wrote some excellent books
  • Franklin’s and Hamilton’s biographies are amazing
  • Richard Branson has led a heck of a life
  • Anything by Seth Godin

But, if you dive deeper, you can find some more history and several older books that are no longer published.  Why?  It took a while, but it finally dawned on me that there are all sorts of books and all sorts of “authors.”  That it makes sense to take recommendations from people you admire but it is also a good idea to read books referenced in other books you enjoy.

One of the traps I have fallen into is thinking that reading posts and articles is the same as reading a book.  They are not.  Although reading is important.  Reading for the sake of reading hasn’t done much for me.  If anything, it frustrates me a bit because I read an article, even if only for a few minutes, and then have the same sinking feeling as when I pass the fridge or snack drawer and eat something just because I passed by.

Just because it is there doesn’t mean it is worth reading….or eating.

But, back to reading.  Some basics;

  • Yes, my tastes will not be yours, even if there is some overlap.
  • It’s tough to filter the noise now but since publishing a book is part of a business plan instead of just a way to pass knowledge, be careful.
  • If you have no background in business or sales yet write about business or sales, it is tough to take you seriously
  • I appreciate all the professors hiding in academia that publish books based on research.  Seriously, I do.  Just not nearly as much as those of us in the arena doing the work.
  • Many of your “new” sales books are just repackaging of time-tested themes.  Try going to the source.  Find books pre-1970 or even from the 40’s or earlier.
  • Most of us don’t need another sales book, it is a procrastination crutch.  Might be better off getting slapped in the face by Steven Pressfield’s Do the Work
  • It’s a shame book as a business card was, maybe still is, a thing.  It’s mostly just more noise.
  • Careful!  Bestseller or Best Selling Author meant something very different ten years ago.

Happy reading.  Please consider making it part of your daily routine.

Act like it

Partially prompted by this October 2012 rant on coverage, sadly, my efforts have helped hundred but millions are still not benefiting.  Sadly, I am one of those negatively impacted by someone with not enough coverage and a large national company that allowed this to happen.

I’m done, actually never started, with the nonsense of “Hiring Producers,”  Human beings who have earned a license are LICENSED INSURANCE AGENTS.  Yes, the quality, like all professions, will vary.  BUT, What the F are they actually producing?  If you say revenue for the agency, the sound you hear is me vomiting.

Then, while I clean up, lean on your friend the Internet for some help with defining producer;

Here is your Wikipedia entry   and here is This is where you may say, but hey they produce economic value or a service.  Then I say, but do you?  Then I say, as someone with a good understanding of sales, do you think someone wants to work with a producer or a licensed Insurance Agent?  Truthfully, most won’t care, but those that do will be better for all of us.

Plenty of people do not help people get as much as they can out of their insurance budget.  And, as you may know, the world is imperfect. But you have to try.  You have to know how the system behind the insurance system works and how to make it work for people who are relying on you.  Here is what is likely an uncommon thought for you;

Stop discussing coverages with people you are working with.  Only answer the questions they have.  BUT, to do this you need to commit to writing a higher standard of coverage. Don’t worry, you’ll save people money AND time.  You’ll also be able to say something like ” we helped you improve your coverager and lower your rate…”  instead of  “great news, we saved you money…”

On the other hand, the concept of enlightened self-interestis real and it does present a conflict.  So although this feels that piece of my life, so does you continuing to keep your personal bar low and not even attempting to improve insurance for people.

4 updates in 1

Circa October 2010, none of these really need/deserve a full reboot and it looks like I made slight updates in May 2015

Post 1     Post 2   Post 3   Post 4

First, let us take a moment to thank Grammarly.  Like you, I’m busy and miss things.  Old posts had lots of silly, mostly lazy, mistakes.

Your updated disclaimer; I value time more than I did in October 2010 and, as my available time seems to diminish and priorities shift, even more than in May of 2015.  What does this mean?  Well, I am not sure that I held back then and the only stuff I hold back now is proprietary stuff.  Even that is shared with certain audiences.

So you have your “here we go” and a “disclaimer” but what about the “Why I write?”  Still for clarity.  Still to empty the brain that is even more full today than it was.  The ideas are better, The actions are more.  The industry is changing, slower than I thought but still in the right direction.  And, I intend to be at the center of change.

So the scary one for me, and here comes the enlightened self-interest post and the “good selfish” one as well, is post 4.  Yes, that one is still sadly true.  How is it possible that others are not catching up to what I have been doing and advocating for 8+ years?  What gets a bit worse is watching people, now all over social, use silly absolute type statements that cannot be true.

Seriously!!!  What the F is “right coverage”  or “properly insured” 


Consider starting high and with rare exception walking a little backward.

You better have some non-negotiable coverage in there as well.

Remember, NONE OF US can predict the future let alone a customers. Might as well buy a lotto ticket….but when it comes to insurance, fill as many logical holes as you can and accept that the companies do not care.

DO NOT spend someone else’s money for them.  Seriously, do you honestly think you know what is best for everyone you work with?  Are you seriusly still using some sort of antiquated ideas based on “assets”?

Do better.  Always.  Save your filters for Instagram

More than what you paid for

Really should have been a better title in 2012 but the concept is still there, the idea is just expanded on

An adjustment I made, likely starting in 2013 was to try and get as much as you reasonable can get out of the time you are using.  The key, as I learned, was to be reasonable.

I’ll 100% not get crazy over a few dollars or percentage difference in price if I save time.  Time is the most critical piece.  But, as time really tightens up it is even more critical to choose activities where I get more out of the transaction.

The easy and most frequent example is who I choose to work with.  I get it, you and many others are not in a position(or at least think you aren’t) to choose who to work with.  Ok.  But, you can choose to get more out of an experience.  You can choose to make engaging another human part of the process.  Do this enough times and you’ll see what I mean.  They’ll feel more like meeting cool humans who happened to give you money.  Some recent examples;

  • Choosing to buy a car with the friend of a co-worker.  All things being equal, it worked out fine with the purchase and I was able to help a friend.
  • Buying tickets to support a fundraiser, likely fairly common, but hadn’t planned on going.  But, I embraced it. Ended up meeting a friend there and had a nice time.  Good for the business to support a customer and I was able to learn something

Some quick keys;

  • It is not always the same outcome, sometimes you just need to buy
  • Don’t think to hard
  • Sometimes you find the other “layers” later and the purchase feels even better
  • Yes, I’ve taken less convenience in exchange for more layers