5 things I learned using a standing desk

Desk

I mean standing at work as in a standing desk, no chairs allowed.

One truism in my world of commercial insurance sales is that I don’t make any money sitting in my office at my desk; I need to be out and about among the masses to make it happen. Once, we had a sales manager who threatened to remove the chairs from our office so his troops would feel compelled to get out of the office.

Of course, when you are not in the office then they wonder where you are.
Sheesh……

Ha; if he could only see me now.

For over a year now I have been imitating a preacher and working from a platform that allows me to stand at my desk and not sit. It has been an interesting transition and there were some adjustments to make, but it appears it is no longer an experiment and I am in it for the long haul.

The primary reason I made the change was from a wellness standpoint; allegedly, sitting is the new smoking in terms of lifestyle choices that adversely affect your health. And I actually found this on the internet so therefore, it has to be true.

So what have your results been?

5 things I have learned being a walker preacher stander

1. At the end of the day, damn I’m tired; it feels like I have been on my feet all day. I say that facetiously, but sometimes it’s tru dat and I’m just tired.

2. You have to adjust your writing style. I went on the cheap and made my own platform (because I’m handy like that) but unfortunately, it’s one size fits all. If I’m writing something down or signing a letter it can be a little awkward in a subtle kind of way. If I need to sit I have to remove the box to still access my laptop. But, if this insurance gig doesn’t work out for some reason I suppose I can always try my hand at stand-up desk box building, right?

3. Be prepared to buy new clothes because you will lose massive amounts of weight. Ok, that’s pretty much a lie; I have lost 10 lbs but that’s from the sauna heat in Florida and my new hobby of mountain bike riding. If anything, it seemed to make me want to eat more, but it doesn’t take much for me to want to do that anyway so thank goodness I lead an active lifestyle or I would be buying new clothes.

4. Your co-workers will think you are a little off. Of course they already thought this, but if there was any doubt before, this was confirmation. My wife was concerned I would get fired over it. You become a zoo animal and people want to stop by to observe you working at your desk. Since I went out on a limb and started this trend, we have had one other convert in the office and probably 3-4 more ready to go if the corporation would set it up for them.

5. It helps your focus. For me at least, since I have to be somewhat organized to work from a platform it seems to have helped me stay on task when I am working on a particular project. It seems there is less time to get lost in the time-suck rabbit hole of the online world.

Has it been worth it?

For the most part, yes. I can’t say I have seen any measurable differences in my health, flexibility or fitness level since I started standing.

So maybe it’s not so much whether you sit or stand, it’s more about the activity.

My guess is, intense exercise can be good for your health, but I am of the opinion you can exercise in non-traditional ways too as long as you’re active. I also think if you have a network of people you can lean on this helps your mental/emotional well being which can be just as important.

Do I want to live to 100? Depends as I don’t have any set number in mind; my grandmother made it to 102 and she was relatively active up until the very end. I think your health is the key component and whatever age that might be when yo time is up, the healthier and more self-sufficient you can be the more you can enjoy the ride.

So who’s on board; we’re going streaking, who’s with me? 

 

Is your cheese still being moved?

Is it ever, make it stop; this is an edited version of my original post from February 6, 2012; back when I used to be somebody…

If you are familiar with the bestselling book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese‘ you know it deals with change and how to deal with it in work and life. Sometimes too much change and turmoil makes me want to cut some cheese, that’s for sure. One thing I have come to expect, and that is don’t get too comfortable, whether it is life or business these days because change is just around the corner.

Most know my day job is commercial insurance sales; this is an old-school traditional job if there ever was one. The original model was you work extremely hard your first 3-5 years, ‘grow’ a book of business and put it on cruise control from there.

If you plan on that being your model today I would advise to not even bother because you might have a better chance of taking care of your career by picking a winning lottery number.

Change can be good

Change, because it has an element of the ‘unknown’ typically brings about a certain level of stress. And whereas too much stress might not be a good thing, it can actually work for you.

Although relaxation ought to be, um, relaxing, stress management has somehow become yet another pressing item on our to-do lists. We’re made to feel like failures if we can’t live in a state of balance. But some stress is good; great, even. The discomfort of stress is a sign that you are tackling life’s problems head-on. Stress also improves productivity and performance – at work, the gym – and your body will be stronger if you alternate periods of calm and heart-pounding excitement.

Some know of my trail bike riding exploits these days and you certainly have enough oh-shit, heart-pounding excitement moments just about every ride.

How it has worked for me

Some of you might also know I have been doing this ‘insurance gig’ for 30+ years……….all at the same place. Talk about a breeding ground for complacency. The good news is we have forward thinking management and try to be pro-active and relevant in a fast-paced information overload society. This means don’t get too comfortable in your chair, because you might have to move soon if they even let you keep your chair.

I certainly don’t want to be the ‘that’s the way we always did it‘ guy but try to set the example and lead the charge if I truly think it will benefit the corporation. We are an ESOP (employee owned – employee stock option plan) corporation so everybody’s performance impacts not only our success, but our ‘retirement’ account as well. If everybody has some skin in the game it’s a lot easier to hold everyone accountable.

Has all this change made me uncomfortable at times? Absolutely, but it has also kept it interesting, challenging and fresh. I feel my eagerness to learn and adapt also keeps me young at heart and always growing.

Other changes I see

There are quite a few of us in my community who entered the ‘social’ journey at about the same time. When we jumped on the hamster wheel we were led to believe more followers and more comments are how you succeed. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but you do have a tendency to ‘chase’ under that model; and it’s circular.

Just about everybody I know has varied from that model now they are deeper into their journey, and some have just given up. We are all smart enough to copy and emulate what we perceive as ‘success’ in here, but I feel we have come to the realization there really is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’; it’s ultimately only ‘our way’.

Just like life, if you are going to be a survivor in here don’t get too comfortable in your seat. What is working for you today could be totally different in 30 days…or less; that is how fluid social is.

This is what keeps me going

Numero uno – it has to be fun; fun is a great motivator for me. I work plenty hard in my day job. In my ‘spare time‘ I’m a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and sit on several boards; all non-paying positions. Therefore, it’s important to find a fun factor in all, even if there is hard work involved.

The jury is still out for me if I have the motivation to take any of this social stuff any further than I already have. Not that I made any lists in the first place, but I don’t expect to make many in the future as well unless somebody is doing a ‘whatever happened to‘ list.

What about you?

Has traditional blogging run it’s course? Do you feel there are greater opportunities to be successful with a social platform now or has the newness worn off and most are on the other side of the curve right now?

Is the continual moving of cheese the new norm, or will we ever get back to being able to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor before running off to the next big thing?

At the end of the day, what is important to you?

What do you bring to the table?

Food I hope, ’cause fat boy gotta eat.

Oh wait, this isn’t a post about food, is it?

Ok, how about this, what defines you; what is it about you that makes people trust you and want to do business with you?

Don’t paint yourself in a box

How many people have you known for any length of time have truly changed the essence of who they are? Or, once you know somebody, do they pretty much stay the course and what you see is what you get regardless if it was 20 years ago or today?

True story for me; my family moved away from the small town I grew up in between my 9th and 10th grade year in school. The town I left was a small enough town where seemingly you knew everybody. In my minds-eye whenever I would think of most of those people I only knew them as kids.

When I heard my old school was having their 30-yr reunion (yes, I am that old) I jumped on the chance to go. Upon arriving, of course my first impression was where did all these old people come from anyway; good thing I moved away or I might have looked like them too…:). The amazing thing, once I re-introduced myself to everybody, I was amazed how most were just like I remembered them; same personalities, same traits.

How can that be, none of us stay the same. Was it just because I wanted them to still be the same?

What makes you special?

Yes, we are all special in our own unique ways.

Most by now know I am in insurance sales. As the norm for most sales positions when I was initially looking for a job and interviewing there were usually some type of personality tests involved. These are not pass/fail type tests, but more to see if your personality and abilities align with the job being offered.

I came across one of those old exams and results recently and it was interesting to see how it described me then versus how I would describe me now.

My strengths were positivity – generous with praise & quick to smile; relator – thrill of turning strangers into friends; harmony – look for areas of agreement; communication – like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public and to write; woo – enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you.

Would you hire me? I’ve got woo, do you?

I guess if those traits were important for the task at hand, then maybe I’m your guy, right?

If you were to describe yourself in 5 words do you think they have held true over the test of time?

That sounds good, but what do you stink at? 

Yes, I am asking you because obviously I am Mr Wonderful and surely we aren’t talking about me.

Ha, your game has more holes than swiss cheese. 

I procrastinate at times; not always having a sense of urgency, which is not a good thing in the land of insurance with drop dead don’t pass go deadline renewal dates. Fortunately I have a great team that keeps me on task.

I am not competitive enough at times; I am competitive with myself, but I have probably left some deals on the table because I wasn’t willing to scrap enough to get the deal done.

I’ve done alright in this gig and don’t really want for much. Considering where I came from I think I have far out-kicked my punt coverage, and even though I could still do so much more, it’s not too bad to be where I am right now.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing; would you hire me now?

What you see is what you get

I guess it is what it is. The key for me is to play to my strengths and surround myself with the right people and try to avoid the potholes that will flatten my tires.

We all see and know people we admire and think we want to be like them when we grow up. However, the sooner you can be comfortable in your own skin and be more appreciative of what you do have the happier, more fulfilled you will become.

I guess the moral of this story is, don’t try to be perfect just try to be good, and happy, and everything else will take care of itself.

And that’s the truth…don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Until next time…

 

My wife barely tolerates my girl friend

Bike

You thought I was going to go Donald Sterling on you and talk about how I flaunt my girlfriend in public in front of my wife, didn’t you? I will go one better, my girlfriend lives with me; albeit she has to stay in the garage.

I don’t even know her name, but I think I am in love.

Because I became semi-obsessed with her, it was my wife who dubbed her my girlfriend.

Yes, I am talking about my new trail bike.

It hasn’t been a perfect relationship however

But how many relationships are; just like any relationship worth having it takes a lot of understanding, patience and communication.

Then why did she throw you off 3 times already?

The good news is that I have been on the deck 3 times now after the broken hand incident but still back in the saddle riding; all were really rider error so I will have to shoulder most of the blame. There is a fine line in trail riding between too aggressive and not aggressive enough. In my unprofessional opinion, more wrecks occur being tentative than from being too aggressive. I mean everybody can ride a bike, right? You just have to channel your 8-years old instincts…..

Why are your shins so dinged up; it must not be all smooth sailing

Tru dat.

Apparently there are some adjustments to be made on a new bike after you have broken it in and even though I thought we were still in the honeymoon phase, my chain has slipped at the most inopportune time causing me to bang a shin and/or a knee. I have taken her to the shop twice for adjustments and even though the situation isn’t totally resolved if I keep my fat ass on the seat so the chain isn’t bouncing around as much when I hit terrain it is less likely to happen.

So why doesn’t your wife approve?

She said if I ever brought anybody home they damn sure better be able to cook and clean. Well not only does my girlfriend not cook and/or clean she is obviously getting all of the attention right now.

As I was trying to convince my wife a trail bike was a good investment for me because my window of opportunity for trail riding had a shelf life, she was quick to remind me she felt my window of opportunity for this has already come and gone.

Well I never….

Since I am the sole breadwinner in our family, it’s all or nothing. Since I am worth about 3 times as much dead as I am alive my wife doesn’t want any in between. Either I am upright and answering the bell everyday or I better be pushing up daisies…:).

Nah, I’m sure she’s just teasing; how can she not want to live with Mr Wonderful.

For better or for worse…

What is this post about?

I guess you are looking for some kind of positive take-away, huh?

Me too, so get in line.

I will close by saying if you find something you really like whether it be business or personal related; then what’s the problem with being all in, because that is where I am with my trail riding right now.

Sounds like an obsession…

Close, and I imagine there is a fine line between hobby and obsession. However, I have been all in with softball, running, weight lifting, rec basketball, reading, golf, tennis and online social at one time or the other throughout my adult life so there does appear to be a pattern.

For the athletic ones, usually injuries got me moving on to try something else, but at least it made me try other things.

This is what happens when you never grow up; maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not, but what are you going to do when your wife barely tolerates your girlfriend?

 

 

No selling please, I’m just looking

Dorman office - Ryan

I’m just looking thank you, I don’t need want your help.

People like to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to.

Except for insurance and then they just want to run….away….fast….

Whoa, that could be bad news for me because that is how I put food on my table…

Bummer.

I would rather just buy it online

Yeah, at least online I can put the brakes on in case somebody tries to sell me something extra.

I get it, I am an insurance consumer too and sometimes it’s tough writing that check for a promise to pay for a future event that might or might not occur. However, I have been in this gig long enough where I see people trying to get by on the cheap or because of incomplete information, and when it’s needed they were highly disappointed in the outcome and of course blamed the insurance company and/or the agent.

But I am a gambler risk taker, nothing bad is going to happen to me; stuff like this happens only to other people.

Guess what; this is what the other guy is saying about you.

The government will take care of me then

There ain’t no free lunch and there is also something to be said for social responsibility as well. Unfortunately, too many people already have their hand out because insurance wasn’t in their budget.

It’s not perfect, and sometimes it is expensive, but it sure is nice when someone shows up with a check because you took the time to provide the appropriate information to ensure the proper amount of coverage was available; no more, no less.

I’m here to provide you with money when you need it most.

Stop it; insurance still sucks

If you put lipstick on a pig….

I am not trying to glamorize it, but if you are going to buy it (and yes, most of you will) then you might as well do it right; get what you think you are getting and make sure the expectations are established up front to minimize any chance of disappointment if and when the time comes you will need to use it.

My arena is the business world so there is less resistance here because most consider it the cost of doing business; still, most don’t relish stroking that check every month, or every year.

Well then, what good are you

Plenty good; if you want to treat us like a vendor and think the whole lot of us are interchangeable regardless of years of service or credentials or capabilities, then have at it but we probably won’t be doing business together.

I’m only interested in making your business more profitable and driving dollars to the bottom line, not having you pay the insurance company too much. We do this by helping you be as safe as possible, assist you in having sound hiring and training practices, and guiding you efficiently through the claims process if and when that calamity occurs; we make sure the risk management program you have is the program you need, not some off the shelf product that might or might not be a good fit.

My main objective is to make the business owner look good; the best of the best. This allows him/her to attract the best talent and always have a competitive advantage over the owner who thinks shopping each and every year serves them best and never takes into account the soft costs and dollars they are losing out the back door.

Why doesn’t everybody do this?

Beats the heck out of me; I guess that’s why one size doesn’t fit all and it behooves us to only work with customers who are savvy enough to understand this and walk away from those we won’t be able to help anyway.

As an industry, we have trained business owners to think shopping their insurance serves them best which ultimately turns us into only a vendor. But if your employee turnover is 2 1/2 times your competitor because your wages and training suck and you have to build at least 5 more widgets just to break even every time you have to replace an employee; if you don’t see that as a true cost then maybe you just need to keep shopping your insurance anyway.

Seriously, did you just do a whole post on insurance? 

Apparently so, huh?

Our biggest challenge is getting in front of enough people to tell our story and be able to show them why we are different. If we can get that first meeting, we establish quickly if it’s going to be a good fit or not. Sometimes however, if you are patient you can convert the shoppers and eventually turn the renewal into a continuation process and greatly reduce the stress, time and money surrounding just this event alone.

The second biggest challenge is getting the business owner to fire who they currently have so we can come in and work for them. Business owners have egos and most can talk a good game, but when it comes time to pick up the phone and tell somebody you have been working with a long time you have decided to go in a different direction; that can be a tough call to make.

Yep, there are a lot of us insurance guys and gals out there and some think this is an easy business because of all the fun that goes along with being in sales; it is what it is, probably no harder or no easier than most businesses, it just happened to be a good fit for me.

I will close by saying there is good and bad in any industry and like to think we are the good guys at Lanier Upshaw, Inc. We are not perfect and as shocking as this might sound, I too have taken that phone call where my services were no longer needed. But we are always trying to get better and we always want to do what’s best for our customer, not our pocket book; because when we do this, everything else will take care of itself.

So when can I see you; next Tuesday at 10:00 am or Thursday at 3:00 pm, I won’t waste your time…:)?

 

 

4 ways mountain biking mimics your day job

Take one guess what my newest hobby is; and it’s not bowling?

I have been interested in mountain biking for quite sometime. Even though Florida has no mountains they do have some interesting terrain where phosphate mining occurred at one time. However, it wasn’t until a friend loaned me his old trail bike after he purchased a new one that got me hooked.

And yes, you can roll out there with an off the shelf bike from Walmart for about $300 but I will attest, having the proper equipment makes a big difference. Therefore, it took a lot of research until I found the right deal and the right bike for me, but very happy with my new rig.

Yes, I have already crashed and burned once causing a broken hand but that was on the loaner; the silver lining, it also gave me plenty of down-time to properly search for the right bike however.

And that leads me to the topic of this post; how many times have you crashed and burned in your business life, what did you learn from it, and did the experience help you grow?

You have to walk before you roll

Trees, roots, rocks, sand, mud, hills, turns and sometimes critters are all objects you will encounter on the trail. Some of it is pretty benign and some of it is oh crap

How often in life, particularly in business do you have to deal with real obstacles and how do you handle them?

Since I have taken a hard fall once I am still somewhat cautious, especially on new, unfamiliar terrain; but at some point you just have to throw caution to the wind and let ‘er rip. That is where practice and training comes in because it will give you the confidence to take on more technical trails along the way.

How many of you practice for your job? Professional athletes train and practice all the time, they don’t just show up and play. How about you, are you really practicing and growing, or are you just showing up to play?

If someone is paying you to play (even if it’s yourself), don’t you think you should do all you can to be the best player on the team?

But it’s just a job…

4 lessons from trail riding you can use in business as well 

1. Confidence – the more I ride the more confidant I become. Each time pushing myself a little bit more, I find that confidence breeds confidence. The training and practice makes me better each and every time.

2. Perseverance – Yes, there are times I fall down, bang a tree, slip a chain; but each and every time I get back up and keep moving forward. If I decided to quit because of one setback what kind of message am I sending to myself? How many times are you willing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on going?

3. Growing – It gets me out of my comfort zone; when you crest a hill and see the path go straight down with roots and rocks along the way, it’s your moment of truth because once you commit to it that back brake becomes virtually useless. Yes, it takes my breath away at times but it is a good kind of scary. Sometimes you need that good kind of scary, a feeling of accomplishment when you step out of your comfort zone, to grow and succeed in your business life. At times, it feels like you are jumping off a cliff as you try to build your wings on the way down.

4. Handling adversity – you fall down and break your hand, skin a knee, break a pedal, snap a chain, run out of water, get eaten by a gator, get stung by a bee; and a good chance most of those will happen at one time or another, just hopefully not on the same day. Your attitude and how you handle adversity in dealing with these minor situations could go a long way for preparing you when similar calamities occur in your daily life. Tough lessons at times, but hopefully a learning lesson if nothing else.

We’re talking about a bicycle here, right?

Yep, just a bike; probably your primary source of transportation at one time in your life. As I told my wife (while I was trying to convince her it made sense for a 70 yr-old guy to invest in a new trail bike at that age) I could have picked a much worse hobby like dirt bike racing or professional hot dog eating or something like that; at least it is mostly healthy and gets me outdoors.

There are many activities where parallel life lessons can be learned and I chose this topic as my case study because I did crash and burn and it would have been very easy to take up couch potatoing at that point. But as Andy Dufresne so eloquently said in Shawshank Redemption, Get busy living, or get busy dying; I think I’ll choose living, especially if it involves fun too.

What do you think; what activities outside of work are you involved in that parallels every day living you can draw lessons from?

Until next time…

You can’t listen yourself out of a deal

Who likes to talk?

I do and when I get on a subject I am passionate about I get animated too. I’m in sales, insurance sales to be exact so you might think this would be a good trait to have. Not so much so…

It’s annoying when it is obvious someone is not listening and I know I am that guy at times; just ask my wife. So make it stop….

However, if you ask the right questions and take the time to listen, really listen you will be surprised how much you can learn about someone or what makes them tick. It makes the person you are talking to feel like what they have to say is important. Sometimes paying attention to the little things first have the biggest impact on a potential relationship.

Personally, it’s not always easy for me to laser focus in on a conversation and what makes it even worse, I try to be Mr Funny guy so my mind is always ready to pounce on the opportunity to take something serious and funny it up. Ask my wife how funny she thinks I am, “not very” would probably be her reply and I can’t seem to help myself; fortunately I don’t verbalize every funny thing I am thinking.

In other words, I am letting myself be distracted when I should be listening.

The annoying non-listener, don’t be one of these

There are always distractions to contend with, but these types take non-listening to a higher level:

1. The daydreamer – they pay very little attention to the conversation, usually drifting in and out and obviously distracted.

2. The aggressive – they wait (sometimes) for you to take a breath and then jump in with whatever they want to say. If you ask them a question, you will get an answer but it might not be the answer to your question.

3. The lack of eye contact – especially in a room full of people; their eyes are everywhere  but on you and they are constantly acknowledging others as they pass by.

4. The impatient – continually interrupts to ask a question, express an opinion, or interject something witty (hey, don’t look at me).

But you really aren’t that interesting

Yeah, and you aren’t that clever either…

First of all I will confess I am an ok listener at best; kind of like school, just an ok student. But that’s not to say we all can’t improve, right?

Just as there are classes for speaking, I do believe there are resources to make us better listeners as well. My north of the border friend Ralph Dopping referenced it in one of his posts and maybe now I will get the book. I tried to recall which post it was before I had to search for it, but I must not have been listening real well when he tried to tell me the first time.

The count of two…

Most salespeople get uncomfortable with dead air; going as far to ask the question but when the response isn’t immediately forthcoming, blabbering some more.

One of the methods I try to employ in these situations is to take two slow deep breaths, but you can basically use anything to squelch the urge to jump in before it’s time. It’s amazing what you can find out if keep your yap shut and give the other person the opportunity to talk.

But you still have to ask for the order

Somebody once shadowed me at a networking event. We probably met 7-10 new people while we were there. As we mingled throughout the room, we introduced ourselves and made light conversation. At the end of the evening, they remarked to me they thought I asked really good questions.

I had not really thought about it, because I don’t think I intentionally set out to do that, but to me that was one of the highest compliments someone could pay me.

If you are asking the right questions and truly listening to the answers, more times than not the deal will close itself. The only ask you have to make is for the opportunity to meet with them.

But you still aren’t that smart

But I am well read and that opens the door for me to ask those really good questions. You can certainly make yourself smarter just by hanging around the right people and asking those questions.

So, if you can connect the really good questions with superior listening skills you will be rich beyond your wildest dreams; or not, but it will give you a better opportunity because I truly believe you can’t listen yourself out of a deal.

Can you hear me now?

 

Spin Sucks – the book; fighting the good fight

It’s not often you will see me use this platform to promote and/or review a book. After all, I am still a pretty big deal around here and my time is valuable so I just can’t share the spotlight with anybody and everybody, right?

What? Whadda mean this is the first time anybody asked me to share anything…

Well I never…

Will the real Spin Sucks please stand up?

For anybody who has met me through my social platform probably knows two things about me at this point; 1) Most of the time I am not to be taken too seriously, and 2) Gini Dietrich from Arment Dietrich gave me the key that opened up the door to this world for me.

Yes, she will have to bear that burden for the rest of her life.

All kidding aside, I do want to be serious about the Spin Sucks book review and as much as she (and others) have tried to coach my online social efforts, up to this point I’m lagging behind more out of laziness than anything else. At three years in you would think I should have a well-tuned machine by now, but oh no, it’s still the 1970 AMC Hornet model I came in with…yes, I actually drove that rig…

But that hasn’t stopped me from being observant and hanging around the fringes and sometimes it might appear I don’t know much, but I do know some things and one thing I do know, Gini knows this social game as well as anybody.

What does that have to do with Spin Sucks

The book, my review; reading it changed my life. Ok, that might be a bit of a stretch, but it did reinforce to me the right way social can be used to build your brand and make it work to your advantage.

We all know people who jumped in and thought this would be easy or by gaming the system would make them a guru and rich, but one thing stressed throughout the book is to treat this process like a marathon with proper training instead of approaching it like a sprint.

Yes, everything is fast-paced and ever-changing in the world of online social but if you took the time to do it the right way, the better chance you have of not only surviving, but succeeding as well. Spin Sucks the book provides the framework to do just that.

Clear and concise it explains how to take advantage of the opportunity to build trust through communications and using the technology currently available to deliver it; and we all know how much the digitable web has changed the way we communicate.

This is just one small actionable item however as it also addresses how to humanize and effectively tell your story and what it takes to put you in the right mindset to think like a writer, which makes the story telling much more effective. Another key point is the convergence of all media, what you own and don’t own and how that can impact your efforts and how you need to protect what you own and can control.

I was impressed enough with the book that I’m using it as my personal call to action and will be buying several copies to share as gifts with a few entrepreneurs and business owners I know. Spin Sucks and it’s message would fit very well with any current business plan today.

I am at the age where a lot of my peer group doesn’t want to embrace online social, but unless you are ready to retire tomorrow, it is never too late to be a learner.

Times aren’t changing, they have changed my friend and Spin Sucks can provide the framework of staying relevant in today’s environment and having your competition wondering what your secret sauce is.

But who are you to pontificate on this subject?

Just a mosquito on an elephant’s butt; not big enough to make too much noise, but persistent enough to be noticed…

Actually, I think Gini allowed me to be part of this process because she knows how much of a whiner I am if I don’t get to play. Plus, she probably thought my obscure little blog that doesn’t register on anybody’s radar can’t do her much harm, right?

So for what it is worth, if you think this online social thing is here to stay and you need help seeing how it can benefit you, I highly recommend you purchase this book; today. If you don’t find at least 2-3 actionable items that will help your social efforts I will personally give you your money back.

And that’s a guarantee.

Pull the trigger; buy (not steal) Spin Sucks the book now

Here’s the link; hit me with your best shot: http://ow.ly/uZVvP

Throw this dog a bone…

Bow wow yippie yo yippie yay…

Dude, you already walk around with your hand out every where you go; what do you want now?

Show me some twitter love

I have never actively tried to grow my twitter base. My efforts have been very passive indeed and pretty much only pulling the trigger after somebody shows up and then decide from there. Essentially, if you look human, have a reasonable amount of tweets I’ll probably let you in the house.

As a result of those efforts, after hanging around this joint for approximately 3-years I only have 2,990 followers. However, that is only 10 from 3,000. Therefore, I’m giving out a $100 billy dollar each to my next 9 followers and will send 5 $100 billy dollars and a DM for a great business opportunity for number 3,000.

How can you resist?

The reality is…

Unless someone is hanging on my every word in twitterville it doesn’t really matter. I still don’t do a good job of following streams, so even as twitter has become more mainstream I still mainly just broadcast blogs of others on my tweets.

The other thing about those 2,990 followers, I only really know about 150 of them. So I suppose it could be 3,000 or 300,000 for the way I use it. Somebody might look at that and think at 3,000 you are not much of an influencer so I don’t get the free stuff like some others, but even at 300,000 or 3,000,000 if nobody is really looking at your stuff, does it really matter?

However, my tweets are certainly worthy because I am sharing the works of some really talented people and if you were to take the time to see what is linked to my tweets, it might give you a ‘wow’ moment or two.

Twitter’s days are numbered

Mark my words; after twitter and other platforms (FB) become too mainstream and manipulative something new, shiny and different will come along and everybody will jump the ship.

And that begs the question, how much stock do you put into building a network on a particular platform knowing you don’t own it and it’s not going to be permanent? I guess that means if you want people to find you, you better have your own house in order with a welcome mat out front, and just rent your ride to get there, right? It doesn’t really matter how they get there, as long as they show up.

That’s what I’m going to do

For what it’s worth, if someone were to tell me they were thinking of getting in sales, I would recommend they look into insurance as a career. At least in my world it’s not a one and done, but building relationships and a book of business that pays you year after year. This might not sound too glamorous, but I can assure you the pay’s not bad and EVERYONE will buy insurance.

The downside of this model is after a while you get tired of scrumming and just want to hold onto and protect what you have. However, you do have competition, relationships change, businesses are sold and as soon as you put it in neutral you will be going backwards; you lose an account here, lose one there and then it’s hard to get the machine all cranked up again with an overflowing pipeline.

But what if your customers are your best advocates?

If I had to do it over again

I would have been more niche focused, picked a specialty type of coverage or a specific industry class and rode that horse until it had no life left whatsoever in them. It’s not a bad thing to be known as the expert in an industry.

Putting all your eggs in one basket can be dangerous, but can also be very lucrative; you just have to maintain flexibility and know when to fold them if necessary.

With a niche I think it’s much easier to communicate a social branding message in the world we live in today, and if you become known as the guy it sure makes it easier to open those doors; and standing out certainly helps.

Look at me, look at me; it’s not bragging if it’s true, right?

What do you think?

Are you better served trying to be all things for everybody, or just identifying your ideal customer/prospect and being the best you can be in that arena? I think we know the answer and if you become the best, then your customers will sell for you. How cool is that?

It might require you to get out of your comfort zone and actually have to walk away from opportunities, but at the end of the day you will be much better off.

That’s my story for now; until next time…

3 lessons Richard Kimble taught me about blogging

The hand

You know, The Fugitive, right?

Yeah, it pretty much sucks being the one-armed man. I took a spill on my trail bike so now I’m walking around like Clubber Lang. One important lesson I did learn however; that would have been my head if I hadn’t been wearing a helmet.

Lesson # 1

It is really hard to type anything of length with one finger. I have all these great and witty ideas rolling around in my helmeted noggin, but about half way through actually getting them down on the screen my A D D kicks in and I give up on it. This is much less efficient than the hunt and peck method.

Lesson # 2

Because buttons and shoelaces are a real pain, I have become very efficient at dressing myself. My shoe of choice for the next 2 months will be loafers, and I will button as much as possible before slipping them on; including pants.

Lesson # 3

For a power eater like myself, it’s hard to load a plate and go sit down; especially during the holiday season when you are at the trough trying to socialize too. The good news is, most of it has become finger food anyway so now I can graze and just forget about the damn plate. It’s already dicey enough that I have to put my drink down to dig in, but sometimes sacrifices need to be made, right?

The moral of the story

Don’t wreck your damn bike and get injured while trying to convince the wife now would be a good time to invest in a new decent trail bike.

The real moral is it could have been much, much worse as I had a friend recently succumb to injuries sustained in a bike accident.

Be careful out there, but life is way too short; live it like there is no tomorrow.

Yes, I’m still a big kid even at 107 years old and I will definitely saddle up again; giddy up.

I hope all who are celebrating holidays this time of year, are doing so with gusto.

There you go, 350 words more or less, typed with one finger.