Extra Points – Drum Beat

March 30, 2015 Leave a comment

This week’s focus point…Drum BeatsCapt Jack and Dan

This past Saturday I attended my monthly meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution. The program was fascinating. It was about the fife and drum corp during the Revolutionary War and how their music was part of the strategic plan for the army. I also learned that many colloquialisms emerged from that corp.

For instance, “marching to the beat of your own drum” comes originally from that time. You see, the drums would announce all movements and activities to the soldiers. They were told when to wake up, when to eat, when to march, when to go to bed, and everything in between based on the drum beat. When the drum “called,” they jumped into action! So when one marches to beat of their own drum, it implies someone that doesn’t fall into ranks and goes their own way. Basically, it’s your original outlier.

Many people march to the beat of someone else’s drum whether they recognize it or not – By acquiescing to conformity for fear of failure or rejection; by staying in a dead end job or career because it’s they don’t think they can’t do anything else; by doing the same activities every single day just out of rote repetition – these are all examples of marching to someone else’s drum without questioning why.

No matter what your career – entrepreneur, executive or employee – you get to beat your own drum. Succumbing to conventionality without considering your own talents, skills, and passions will relegate you to being mired in a trap that is difficult to get out of.

Maybe it’s a good thing for all of us to occasionally check and see to whose drum we are listening to, and if it’s time to turn the beat around.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote -

~ Ernest Hemingway

No Weedin Unleashed today. I have business in Seattle and have opted to take my lovely and talented wife out to lunch. We will return to the airwaves next Monday. Thanks for your understanding!

March Madness Journal #3

March 27, 2015 Leave a comment

You can’t coach “tall.”Capt Jack and Dan

I was watching the Kentucky-West Virginia Sweet 16 game last night on TV. Even on the television, it was excessively apparent that Kentucky’s team was just literally head and shoulders better. Any 50-50 ball that was up in the air (including rebounds) was there ball to have. While West Virginia is talented, you can’t change how tall you are. When I coached basketball in high school, I recall we coaches would always joke around and say, “You can’t coach height or speed.” Kentucky is undefeated this year and their ability to bump into the sky while running down the court is one BIG factor.

As an insurance agent, you can learn all the same methodology as your competitor – coverages, exclusions, conditions, endorsements, etc. But you always have one thing that is different and can’t be duplicated. You. Too many insurance agents fail to utilize the one thing that can’t be “taught.” You have experiences and gifts that are unique to you. They are manifested in how you influence others and can improve their condition.

Example – in my line of work in risk management, I can tell stories and draw comparisons based on my experiences as a volunteer fire fighter, a high school basketball coach and a public school board member. My ability to transfer these experiences into something useful is a skill that can be learned (dribbling a ball), yet the fact that I own those experiences are unique to me.

Bottom line – instead of trying to impress a prospect or a client with your insurance knowledge or the number of acronyms after your name, try using what is exclusive to you.

You can’t coach “tall.” So go stand tall.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

March Madness Journal #2

March 26, 2015 Leave a comment

Why is it that so many lower seeded teams in the NCAA March Madness bracket upset the favored team?2004 Alaska - girls bench

These are all factors…

3. Lower seeded teams tend to be more “mature.” They have juniors and seniors, whereas many of the “better” teams are younger due to the “one and done” players. This ultimately means better decision-making.

2. In basketball, often you just need one really good player to carry you. Many teams can ride the shoulders of the “hot” player and overcome more talented teams.

And the most important in my mind…

1. Confidence. When teams that aren’t “supposed” to win get to hang around for the entire game, they get to a point where they believe they can and will win.

Confidence for leaders helps you win your own “championship games.” Confidence allows you to say both YES and NO when each are appropriate (and you will know the difference). Confidence allows you to ask tough questions, make bold moves, take risks, and meet people you might ordinarily be fearful of reaching out to.

Confidence wins in March Madness. It wins in leadership, too. It allows you to be “unleashed.”

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Weedin Unleashed Recording

March 24, 2015 Leave a comment

Are You Ready?

13 minutes, 54 seconds

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

Extra Points – Are You Easy?

March 23, 2015 Leave a comment

This week’s focus point…Are You Easy?Capt Jack and Dan

I just attended a very fun spirits tasting with by brother-in-law on Saturday. There were 30 spirits vendors at this event that was split up over 2 three-hour sessions, one in the afternoon and one in  the evening. We went in the afternoon and the place was packed with people tasting samples of craft spirits from around the region. Matt and I had a terrific time and walked away spending a lot of money!

That being said, I was surprised by some of the lack of business and marketing perspicacity by many of the distillers. Out of the 30 vendors, there were only 2 that had a list out to join their newsletter. When I asked the others, they said that we could access it by going to their web site. All it took was simply having a piece of paper and a pen out and they would have had us at hello! One other distiller had a spectacular blood orange vodka, which both Matt and I wanted to purchase. Unfortunately, they only brought 12 bottles…for the day!

Here’s the deal, if you’re in business, you need to make yourself easy to do business with. That means don’t make your prospect do the extra work, give them the tools right there and then. Have an immediate place to sign up for a newsletter; accept credit cards (don’t talk to me about fees – it’s a cost of doing business); bring enough product and business cards; ask how you can help; and keep your web site and digital products current.

Business is hard enough as it is…don’t make buying your products and services an impediment to purchasing and/or becoming an advocate.

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote -

~ Anthony Burgess

Want to discuss this topic? Join the conversation! The next free Weedin Unleashed broadcast is TODAY at 12 pm Pacific. It’s free, fun, and good for your business.  Click here to watch and participate…

Within Decay, There is Rebirth

March 20, 2015 Leave a comment

JackI’m thrilled and honored to be today’s guest columnist on Alan Weiss’s blog, Alan’s Blog. The blog is geared to consultants, speakers, authors, and entrepreneurs. I still think the message will resonate for you as insurance pros.

Today’s blog article is about how in your own business and career (just like in nature) that within decay, there is rebirth.

Please read and share your comments here on my blog…or on his!

Read Article on Alan’s Blog

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Madness. Edition #1

March 19, 2015 Leave a comment

2004 Alaska - girls benchI love March Madness. I think it’s the best post-season tournament in all sports – college or professional. What makes it so fun is the unpredictability of the outcomes of the games. Every year, some “Cinderella Team” emerges to knock off heavy favorites and bust the brackets of many millions of fans around the country. The tournament is filled with talented players making incredible plays, the highest level of competition, and dramatically dizzying finishes of games. Even the most pedestrian sports fans are drawn to it and often fill out their own office pool bracket.

How do you bring that same magic, that same “madness,” to your agency?

While you aren’t a high profile basketball tournament, you should be high profile in what you do. The same elements that make up a wildly popular sporting event are present in your own potential popularity. For instance:

  1. The tournament is different than the others based on the number of entries and the time span. How are you different than your competition? Insurance is viewed as a somewhat boring and vanilla industry. How are you different?
  2. This tournament is defined by its drama. Are you an object of interest to your prospective clients? Do you make them lean forward when discussing your program?
  3. The value for the viewer is sheer fun. What do you bring to the table? Is it dull or dynamic?
  4. The tournament is ubiquitous for the next 3 weeks. Are you as visible to your target class of business? How deep is your intellectual property empire?
  5. The tournament is the ultimate water cooler discussion. Are people quoting you? Are they seeking you out as an interview? How strong is your cache?

Here’s the deal…

You don’t have to be popular to college basketball fans, but you do to your audience. During last night’s game between Robert Morris University and North Florida, the North Florida coach was being interviewed and said he challenged his players by telling them to be “ballers” (hoops vernacular to a dynamic performer). He said “dudes are just dudes…you need to be ballers.” In other words, anyone can go out on the court and be regular. They needed to be special.

Are you just a “dude” or are you a “baller?” Take a cue from the very best of the madness and go be special; be unique; and be a “baller.”

© 2015 Dan Weedin. All rights reserved

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