Extra Points – Awe and Wonder

May 18, 2015 Leave a comment

This week’s focus point…Awe and WonderCapt Jack and Dan
I’m writing this article while sitting in a very small American Airlines Eagle fight from O’ Hare airport in Chicago to Sioux Falls, SD. I am heading to Sioux Falls to give a training for a new client.

I was surfing through a magazine as we took off. Taking off is something I seem to be doing a lot of lately, so I took the experience pretty lightly. Then I looked up from the magazine…

It was a beautiful night over one of the iconic cities in America. Suddenly, I was overcome with awe and wonder of what was actually happening. I was in a “transport” that was shuttling me through air at a high rate of speed waiting to “slip the surly bonds of earth…”

This initially mundane experience became surreal when I realized how unimaginable this would be to people living 250 years ago. They couldn’t comprehend the thought of traveling through air and looking down on a city and then at the TOPS of clouds while feeling totally at ease (other than sitting in a very uncomfortable seat). Holy Flux Capacitor!

How often do you “look up” from your “mundane” and seek out something to be in awe and wonder of? I don’t do it enough and I bet many of you are in the same boat. Everything we do offers opportunity to learn, to grow, and to marvel at. We just have to be paying attention.

Be in the moment this week. Take a few extra seconds and marvel at what we have around us and what we can do. Like I’ve heard Alan Weiss say a million times, “You can always make another dollar but you can’t make another minute.”

Enjoy more minutes this week!
© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific. Please consider joining the discussion! LINK to join.

Errors of Commission Case Study: Wells Fargo CA Fiasco

May 13, 2015 2 comments
Last week, Wells Fargo made the news in an inglorious fashion. The State of California is suing the mega bank because a Bay Area location was found opening credit card accounts for clients without their knowledge or most certainly their approval.
Here’s the deal. Account managers (your basic bank sales person) were scared of not making monthly quotas. In fear of retribution, they did what came to mind in a dire predicament. They resorted to the age old lying, cheating, and stealing. They surreptitiously took client information and falsified credit card applications to hit their minimums. 
It’s really easy to lambaste these people and they should be held accountable. However, let’s find the proximate cause of the deceit. The pressure to make quotas and keep jobs has long been a reason for treacherous behavior. Heck, even police officers pull scads of people over and hand out tickets to meet their own quotas as we are led to believe. Yes, these geniuses are to blame for their actions; yet how much blame can we put in an outdated system that is more geared for corruption rather than success?
Most of you reading this article still pay producer compensation based on straight commission and monthly quotas. The history of insurance is replete with similar tactics based all on fear of failure. 
This is only one of the issues that rear its ugly head when assessing commission-based pay. Fear of not meeting quotas and not being able to pay the mortgage next month rarely fuel positive results. The many that choose not to cheat end up failing and leaving, or worse, languishing in mediocrity.
There is a better way. There are incentive based programs that align with a base salary that will motivate and reward rather than punish and set your agency up for errors and omissions claims.
Take a hard look at your system and ask yourself this question – “Is my method the best possible option corny producers success?”
Copyright 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All rights reserved 
Categories: Uncategorized

Extra Points – ROI of YOU

May 11, 2015 2 comments

This week’s focus point…R.O.I. of Y.O.U.Capt Jack and Dan
My colleague Betsy Jordyn and I recently held a live discussion and debate on branding for consultants and entrepreneurs. It was the topic of my Extra Points last week. However this week, I’d like to take a closer look at our actual concept which is how strong branding produces remarkable ROI (return on investment) in you. But not in the way you might think…

Brand is what people think of you when you’re not in the room. Apple, Google, and Starbucks have strong and valuable brands in the corporate world. Betsy and I posit that small businesses and professional service providers can accomplish the same brand ROI for themselves. One of the problems we see in our work is that too many people might believe in their business brand, yet don’t believe in their own personal one. They haven’t made the sale to themselves yet.

Here are a few red flags – you fear being “found out;” you fear what others might think of you and your ideas; you fear being rejected for those ideas or opinions; you don’t take bold risks; you avoid tough conversations around your decisions; and/or you procrastinate making any decisions at all when they relate to advancing your “personal” brand. What do people think of you when you’re not in the room? I bet often more than you might. In order to maximize your personal “brand” and truly “unleash” your potential, then you might want to start getting the biggest ROI on YOU as soon as possible.

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Always do what you are afraid to do.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific. Please consider joining the discussion! LINK to join.

Horrible Bosses

58842033-Dan+Weedin+%22Unleashed%22-21I was skimming through Facebook one recent Friday a few weeks ago and came across a very brief but telling comment by a person I know as an entrepreneur. It read, “Weekend? I’m self-employed. There’s no such thing.”

If you’re an agency owner or principal and you believe this to be true, then I have four words for you…

You’re a horrible boss! You’re doing something wrong. And, you need to change it if you ever want to maximize your talents, skills and value to others.

You started your agency because you wanted to control your own direction and outcomes in life. Why is it that you would treat yourself worse than anyone else that you might employ?

I don’t know what purpose the author of the statement on Facebook had for making it. Suffice it to say, that I’ve heard this proclamation many times and admit at times in the past have made it myself. What I’ve learned and implemented in my life has come from work with my own mentor to the betterment of my business and personal life. Allow me to share with you my thoughts on identifying and exterminating this dangerous myth.

How do you know you’re afflicted? Do any of these look familiar:

• You resign yourself to the fate of working late into the night or on weekends to stay “caught up.”

• Through your actions, you demonstrate that working “hard” is better than working “smart.”

• You hold up working long hours as some badge of honor. In fact, you love this badge so much that you post it on your social media that you’re working late hours and weekends!

• You don’t consider taking time off during the week just for yourself because of how it might look to others.

• You start losing the passion you once had for your craft because it now has become a “job,” rather than a vocation.

If any of these resemble or sound like you, you have Horrible Boss Syndrome. There are more telltale signs to this malady, but I don’t have enough room in this column to share them. Let’s use the rest of the space I have to offer you solutions. Here are my Top 7 Ways to purge Horrible Boss Syndrome:

1. Consider yourself a peer. That’s right; consider yourself a peer of yourself! Too often, Horrible Bosses think they are unskilled labor and perform tasks and activities below their talent level. This starts with a mindset of abundance, rather than one of scarcity.

2. Delegate. Once you’ve convinced yourself you’re a peer, now you have to unload those tasks and activities. That means delegate. Delegate work that is beneath your skill level, above your skill level (e.g. bookkeeping and web design), or that you just don’t like doing.

3. Uncover discretionary time. We all have time in our day to unburden our mind. Get away from your desk and take a walk, read a magazine, run to the café for a coffee, or hit the gym for a quick workout. If you don’t allow your mind to breathe, especially during the day, you will burn out. On days I’m in my office, I force myself to change my activity about every 90 minutes to do just this.

4. Just say NO. Politely decline requests from others to do things or join committees that you don’t have a passion for or simply don’t want to allocate your valuable time to. Stop feeling guilty or obligated. If it doesn’t make sense for you at this time in your life, just say no.

5. Say goodbye. If you’re currently involved in something that is mentioned above, be strong enough to leave. Being active in a role that requires your time and labor intensity and that has become a burden only makes your life more taxing. My guess is all of you have at least one of these. How much time can you free up?

6. Reward yourself. You undoubtedly reward your employees and your clients for work well done or for thanks. How about you? When was the last time you rewarded yourself for doing even small things?  Create a list of small rewards to pat yourself on the back when you do well. Horrible Bosses are demeaning in their language (check your own internal words) and Great Bosses offer rewards and kudos.

7. No Unsolicited Advice. Solicit advice from those people you trust and want advice from. Don’t allow others to give you their unsolicited opinions. It’s usually more for their benefit than yours. Unsolicited advice tends to lower your confidence, increase analysis paralysis, and increase your workload. Seek out those that have your best interest at heart and have the knowledge to help you improve, and discard all unwanted counseling.

Here’s a bonus thought for you to add to this list. Have fun. You put yourself in this position of being self-employed because you thought it would be fun. Whatever you’re doing should be a passion. It should provide you with joy and rewards. It should be FUN!

Take a few minutes after reading this to do an honest self-assessment. Are you exhibiting signs of Horrible Boss Syndrome? If you are, then resign from that wretched boss and find a new one that will encourage and reward you. The good news is that it’s the same person just with a different mindset, attitude, and charm.

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Extra Points – Do Your Best

This week’s focus point…Doing Your BestCapt Jack and Dan
Last week, my good friend and colleague Betsy Jordyn and I debuted our brand new interactive video program for consultants and entrepreneurs called, Betsy & Dan: Sound Off! The problem was, when it came to “game time,” the sound was literally off!

Without going into any of the technology troubles I created, suffice it to say that at one point nobody could see or hear Betsy or me, and then they could see and here me, but not her. Our program started about 15 minutes late, the 30 participants were happy, and Betsy and I were no worse for wear.

We’re not performing brain surgery (with pardon to any brain surgeons reading this memo). The work most of us do doesn’t involve life or death. Stuff happens. When I realized the only way to extricate ourselves from this technology mess was to start over, I simply informed everyone of what I was doing and we moved on. The lesson here is that when you simply do the best you can, be happy and accept it. Sometimes we win and sometimes the dragon does. That’s life.

Too many people get anxious, stressed out, and angry when things don’t go well. They blame others; they blame themselves; and often their self-infliction is detrimental to their health and their career. If you can accept that doing the very best you can with the information you have is good enough, then you’re going to be healthier and happier for it. There’s no need for perfectionism because it can’t be attained and you will make yourself miserable trying. Instead, strive to be the best you can be every day and accept both the failures and successes that come with it. That’s the quickest way to becoming “unleashed.” Just ask Captain Jack…

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Always do what you are afraid to do.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific. Please consider joining the discussion! LINK to join.

Betsy & Dan Sound Off Countdown

April 30, 2015 Leave a comment

2 hours to go before the debut of Betsy & Dan Sound Off. This unique live broadcast will help all consultants, speakers, coaches and entrepreneurs to maximize the power of their brand to boost business and and value to others. Insurance agents – as professional service providers and agency owners, you are both entrepreneurs and experts. Your brand is both your agency and your name. You need to be on this call, too. I’ve already got a few agents in…join them!

This is a free event and you get the recording, but you must register. We have about 30 people raring to go…are you going to be one of them?

Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to Million Dollar Consulting author and preeminent thought leader for consulting, Alan Weiss. Alan trained both if us to help you go farther in your career.

Join us today by registering right now. You don’t have to be there live because you will get the recording, but if you can, we want you there to interact with us. Your registration is for the entire 3-briadcast series. Register now. You will be glad you did.

Click to register

© 2015 Toro Consulting, Inc. and Accelera Consulting Group. All rights reserved

Extra Points – Good Old Days

April 27, 2015 Leave a comment

This week’s focus point…Good Old DaysCapt Jack and Dan

While attending a conference over the weekend, I was part of a conversation between a small number of people regarding the perspicacity of today’s “younger generation.” The culprit, according to a few, was the decay in our public education system, and the lack of desire of the average person. They used some of the “man on the street” skits on television where people are asked questions that we all “think” should be common knowledge, generally around history and politics.

Here’s the problem with that kind of thinking. We are all influenced by those things around us – where we were born, where we grew up, education level of parents, availability of parents, friends, and a thousand other things. Making generalities around being “informed” and pointing it at just a couple of factors is short-sighted and ignores the diversity of our world. To add to it, the thinking that the time we grew up in is infinitely better than today and that the world is going down the drain is also astigmatic. Billy Joel in “Keeping the Faith” sang that, “the good old days weren’t always that good, and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems…” If memory serves, the good old days were filled with segregation, bullying, discrimination, and wars (5 “declared” just in this country).

Here’s what you need to do to seek out both significance and success. Avoid living in the past and be ever present. Learn from experience and apply the best of what you do to your life – both professionally and personally. Don’t allow yourself to get caught in a myopic mindset that demands that your generation, your family, and your country are impeccable and everyone else should do it your way. Instead, acknowledge that we live in a world that is constantly in flux and changing, and that you have the ability to help that change be a positive one for you and many others.

© 2015 Toro Consulting Inc. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.”

~ Bertolt Brecht

Next Weedin Unleashed broadcast is today at 12 pm Pacific. Please consider joining the discussion! LINK to join.
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