And my fighting weight is….

You don't have to be perfect

Hey, who said I was a fighter? I know you think I’m probably an American Badass but Billy doesn’t do fisticuffs….I don’t want anybody messin’ up my grill.

Even though that could be a reasonable facsimile of me lounging on the beach, it’s kind of how I feel these days. Having a broken hand over the holiday season and still eating like each meal might be my last sure made my clothes shrink up. You know you are in trouble when you use a knife to punch one more hole in your belt instead of buying a new one.

Hey you old fart, nobody cares what you look like anymore; you’ve been invisible for sometime now. Ha, even though there is some truth to that, it’s a good thing I am fairly active and like doing athletic endeavors that allow me to indulge in tasty food.

But that’s not the point of this post, it’s actually about habits and routines and is it possible to get too comfortable? Change can be hard, but if you are not willing to get out of your comfort zone how can you possibly grow and thrive?

Look out below

When I crashed my bike, it was an accident in the truest sense; it happened so suddenly I had zero time to prepare. Subsequently, my hand took the brunt of the fall. Whereas I thought I’d be a fast healer and maybe down 6 weeks at the max, it is now 3 months and I still can’t grip a golf club (but can still grip a bike handle…:). Being right-handed, fortunately it was my left hand that was injured, but it still tilted my universe just enough to discombobulate me (how do you like that word Josh?) and I have felt off kilter the entire time my hand was in a cast.

In my working world, January 1 is a common renewal date for business insurance so December is always a very active time for me; add all the parties and social events, it can be a very busy end of the year indeed. Trying to get through it just felt like they were sending me into the fight with one hand tied behind my back.

I know, call the whaaaambulance like anybody cares, because my ills were incredibly minor in the big scheme of things. 

But on the other hand…

I have been feeling stale because it felt like my life was becoming too routine and wondering if it was holding my awesomeness back? Routine can make you lazy and predictable and not want to get out of your comfort zone; for some that’s ok and the more routine the better but then you end up sitting back on your heels waiting for something to happen and can only react instead of making something happen; and then you just have to take what you get, good or bad.

What is the happy balance; I don’t want to be that guy? But I also don’t want broken bones to shake my world up either.

Who cut moved my cheese?

Most know my chosen profession is commercial insurance sales. Yes, I said it, sales. If I don’t form a relationship where somebody is paying me, then mama don’t eat; and if mama don’t eat she’s not a happy camper and if she’s not a happy camper, then trust me, nobody is…:). 

Lanier Upshaw Inc has been and still is a somewhat tradtional and conservative insurance agency. We do a lot of things from a service platform that many of our local peers do not do which helps us stand out, but at the end of the day you won’t see us dancing in the streets with our party hats on.

Up until a year ago neckties were part of our dress code with a long sleeved dress shirt…in Florida no less. Allegedly, it can get pretty toasty and muggy in August in the F L A.

We do a pretty damn darn good job of taking care of our customers at Lanier Upshaw, Inc and we have some really talented people who routinely perform at a very high level. However, it seems like it’s a lot harder getting those new opportunities in the door and I’m definitely seeing a changing of the guard where my peer group is either retiring, or starting to think about it.

So, where do I fit in? I did lose the tie and now we call it professional casual but keep a sport coat handy because you never know when it’s going to be 98 degrees with 100% humidity, huh? Easier to dress down on the fly than to dress up I suppose.

I do see this as an excellent opportunity in a land where a lot of us insurance types are treated like vendors, to stand out and create an awesome brand and using a social platform to accomplish this. I’m still a big believer in the face to face networking, but is that becoming a thing of the past; is that too going the way of my necktie?

So who’s with me; who thinks this social platform is going have some legs and be around for awhile? Do you think this is a sound strategy, and if so, does anybody want to do this for me? I promise, I can show up with the best of them, and I can look really good when I just show up, right?

It’s kind of embarrassing to have been in social as long as I have and finally come to this conclusion, huh? I just didn’t think this stuff was going to stick and I certainly didn’t want to be a bandwagon type…:).

If I have to work too hard, I might change my mind but who knows, stranger things have happened I suppose.

Don’t worry, when I become Big Time I will still make eye contact and say hello.

Until next time…



18 thoughts on “And my fighting weight is….

  1. I’ll loan you a parka, mitts and toque:) It’s always great to see you Bill. This wild and wacky online world is in constant change, and you know I don’t believe in balance. I say: embrace the imbalance and hold on for dear life! Cheers! Snowshoes

    • I’m ok w/ change when it seems the effort will move me forward. Not a big fan when it knocks me 2 steps back for every 3 I’m taking; but sometimes you just don’t get to make that choice, huh?

      I really can’t complain however; I’ve got a pretty damn good and very appreciative of what I do have…including my friends, like you.

      Good to see you.

    • You are definitely on my bucket list; I want a two week wilderness adventure so deep in the woods we might find Lewis & Clark still trying to find their way out. Minimal supplies and you have to work for your supper. Can you make that happen?

      Yes, back in the saddle and have ridden the last two weekends; looking to make the new bike purchase now…:).

      Good to see you ma’am.

  2. First of all, I’m so sorry you are still in discomfort with your hand. I fell on the ice a few weeks ago and hurt my right elbow/arm (I’m right-handed) very badly, though fortunately it didn’t break. I just started PT and it is on the mend, but it is so discomfiting to not have it at 100%. So I know exactly how you feel… and in the grand scheme of things, am very grateful that in general I have full use of my limbs, etc.
    This post is interesting to me because I think you went through the whole “social is so wonderful” “shiny new” phase, as everyone does. Then there was the inevitable disillusionment.. BUT I think you saw how you can, indeed, form real relationships through social, which do lead to the F2F meetings you’re so good at. So if anyone is positioned to take Lanier Upshaw through this new landscape it’s you… and if you need help, you know any number of people will be ready to give it!

    • Bummer, sorry for your spill. Ice is not nice sometimes…good luck on the recovery.

      Yes, I went through the ‘cycle’ like many, but had the opportunity to read a soon to be published book from a friend of ours and it got me revved up again.

      The networking part I’m very comfortable with; now just to stay on task with the follow through. Thanks for your offer of assistance, I just might have to lean on you a little bit.

      Other than your boo-boo, hope all is well and I have the chance to bump into you again soon.

  3. Hi Bill

    Ah yes, takes us older folks a lot longer to heal. My wrist was broken in the first part of August. Today was the first time I could open the can with the hand can opener. I had been able to make a few turns but never able to finish the whole can. I suppose it takes about 15 turns to open the can. My thumb was about done when I finished, may have had 2 more turns in it. That is a long time and I still do not have the strength in my wrist as I used to have.

    Oh and the comment about eating. Probably because I couldn’t do much creative cooking for over 2 months and that is why the whole month of November and December I experimented with culinary delights. Yeah and the previous 6 months of progress went out the window and I am still trying to undo the damage.

    I am sure the social media will be around long after we are pushing up daisies. Of course there is never anything like face to face and for somethings it is the only way.


    • Hey now, whadda mean ‘older folks;’ I resemble that remark…:). It’s still not right, but I am riding again.

      I do have some ideas about personal branding and tying it into my business model, I just need to come up w/ a sustainable game plan and implement it. The challenge now is, I sure do like my ‘free’ time and I know what that hamster wheel looks like.

      We’ll see; thanks for dropping by Mary.

  4. Hey Bill, Sorry that it’s taking so long for your left hand to heal. Have you had some follow up appointments to make sure it’s healing properly? Any PT to help you speed things along?

    Yeah, social is all fun and games until, lo and behold, we realize there is value there too. Who knew that social could be not just games but a game changer as well?

    You’re right, nothing replaces face-to-face, but the connections you can make on social can be just as real and just as important. Don’t give up on it yet!

    • Just between me and you Carolyn, I cut the cast off myself and have not been back to the doctor. She wasn’t really doing anything for me and was going to cut me lose once the cast came off anyway so I saved that money for my new bike I hope to buy this month. However, I am going to the Lightning Hockey game tonight w/ a doctor (general practitioner) and after a beer or two I will solicit some ‘free’ advice. Personally, I think it’s healing ok, just not as fast as I would have liked.

      I’ve seen some ‘insurance’ guys who actually have don’t quite well with the social platform, I just need to develop the ‘right’ business model for me.

      Good to see you; maybe you guys will thaw out soon.

  5. I am glad that it is healing (even though it is slow..hopefully, it will be better soon :D).

    Routines are awesome, but they certainly can make life predictable (it’s one of those things I love and hate at the same time. I love that I can stick to my routines – I have certainty about when I will get things done).

    But, follow the same routine for a couple of weeks, and it becomes boring.

    I know what I am going to, there is less excitement (At the same time, I hate it when unexpected things come and mess up my schedule).

    Balance…ah, now there is a thing I try to make in my own life. My solution for routine vs boredom is to keep things changing. Modify my routine every now and then….change it up (but not too much).

    Wearing a suit in FL must be tough (I am still jealous though…when we had snow here in Atl, you guys enjoyed a cool 50s-60s :D).

    But, you guys also get a lot of heat (which can be tough..but I would take hot, any day over cold weather).

    • Sometimes the heat can be pretty hot, but being a native Floridian I know where to find the shade…:).

      Some routines are bad and I’m currently trying to excise a bad habit to make my ‘new’ routine not include it. It’s nothing bad, it’s just distracting so I need to make it go away.

      Part of the Mens Wearhouse challenge is a lot of the younger workforce are not buying suits. I still like to look good so I don’t want to get too casual; I’ll save that for the weekend and my time off.

      I’m also going to put some effort into branding myself better for business, so that will take me out of my comfort zone for awhile. So stay tuned…

      • Yeah, I also happen to have a few habits like that…it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help much, why keep it?).

        Ah, okay 😀

        You know when I imagine FL, I imagine everyone wearing casual clothes and going to offices (even though I know that’s not the case…I have been there a couple of times, and even lived there for about a month…then again, I didn’t do to any offices :D).

        Good luck!

  6. I blame the Canadians for your slow recovery. They injected something in our water so that they would beat us in the Olympics. Just couldn’t take the chance of losing at hockey.

    • And next thing you know, we’ll have to close our borders to them………….

      Nah, I like them down here in the F L A spending that money; even if it does look funny. It keeps us from having a state income tax.

      Hope all is well sir; good to see you.

  7. Hey Bill,

    Ah, you poor thing! I can’t imagine breaking anything and certainly not my hand. Dang, can you image me not typing? Yikes.

    I was talking to one of my neighbors yesterday and tomorrow is her 76th birthday. Bless her heart, she definitely doesn’t look that old and she’s as active as can be. She was complaining though that the older she gets the harder it is for her to heal. She hurt her shoulder last year and it still aches. I don’t want to get old if I have to deal with that crap.

    I know you were having fun with social because that’s really what it’s all about but it can definitely put you ahead of the other guys when it comes to your business. Even though you’re just in one specific area I’m sure it can help you get the word out. So Mr. Social Butterfly, get to it! You know how this is done! 😉

    Take care Bill and good luck on the new ride.


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