5 things I learned using a standing 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.

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? 



Meet my friend, Jim Shorts

Huh? Really?

I try to be a give back kind of guy. I actually seek out opportunities where I can give back to my community. Yes, this volunteerism has certainly helped my business but I am serving because I feel it’s the right thing to do. If all you are going to do is be a taker, what fun is that?

I was a long time member of the local Rotary Club, even a Paul Harris Fellow at that. It was a very worthwhile service club and provided ample opportunity to not only give back to the community but meet like-minded business leaders as well.

Sounds like a win-win to me.

Sounds pretty professional too.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

There happens to be 4 Rotary Clubs in my hometown, and each one has it’s own distinct personality. I was a charter member in one but eventually affiliated with another because it better fit my schedule. Of course when I changed clubs, I picked this particular one because it was known as the fun club.

I knew it was going to fit right into my juvenile mindset when during the announcements of visiting guests and Rotarians, Jim Shorts was in attendance.

See, the trick is to pick the newer members who have to get up in front of a crowd of 50-70 people and are probably apprehensive about public speaking anyway, to make the announcements and recognize the visitors. I mean, they are literally handing you the sign-in sheet of names as you walk to the podium. Hence the opportunity to get someone to say a name without knowing the joke will be on them.

Have you seen Sir Charles Barkley’s “I’m a dumbass” clip? This is what happens when you are concentrating so hard to enunciate correctly and say the right thing.

Didn’t they catch on?

Oh yeah, because Jim Shorts was always in attendance so it created a tendency to let your guard down once you got past Jim’s name. Public speaking shuts your brain down sometimes…:).

But do you think we would let it stop there? Not when you have the mind of a twelve year old.

But I thought these were professional business people?

Oh they are, and I can’t speak for the ladies but I know the crowd I run with are just about the biggest goofball’s you’ll meet. We can dress up well, but when you peel the onion back we are still those kids with water balloons and flour bombs on Halloween.

BTW – My wife said she didn’t sign up for this and is still waiting for me to grow-up. Hmmmm, I think you grow old when you grow up so I’ll pass for now.

Who else went to these meetings?

Well, Ben Dover was certainly there and sometimes his friend Jack Strapp came along as well. It was always good to see Stu Pudidiot enjoying the fellowship too.

Because it was a mixed crowd and typically clergy in attendance, most of the names were G-rated. But during my time in the club I do remember Bud Weiser, Cole Dusak, Neil Down, Arthur Itis, Jim Nastic and Justin Time making an appearance.

I guess it’s funny how we never got any of those people to join, huh?

What do you think, does humor have it’s place and should only be used appropriately, or should we always look for humor in just what goes on in our everyday life?

But that wasn’t funny…

I know, not really. But it doesn’t take much to make me smile or laugh and there is more that I keep to myself because sometime it’s just too silly.

So, if you see Jim Shorts, tell him I said hello and I’m looking forward to catching up with him again.


Swing away Merrill…

What in the hell happened to you, didn’t you used to be somebody?

Please pardon my French….do you think this is why the French are always ticked off at American’s because any time we cuss we call it French? Oui? Oh, I’m sure that is just the tip of the iceberg with Frenchie, but we try harder, right? Did you know without the French, there is a good chance the U.S. would not have won the American Revolutionary War and gained our independence. Put that in your pipe and smoke it for awhile…Of course, the debt the French incurred in this endeavor was instrumental in causing the French Revolution but that was their gig, not ours. Maybe that’s what started all this hate, huh?

Enough with the history lesson pal, I hope you are going somewhere with this.

I am, but probably not too far as I’m really not that deep.

You are a mere shell of the man you used to be

Ain’t that the truth, but I really was somebody for awhile; I was hob-nobbing with all the goober smoochers of social and could list quite a few of the peeps that really knew my name.

The good thing about social is you can have and maintain a certain level on notoriety for free*. Of course when I say free I am only talking real dollars and not soft-lost cost opportunity dollars from wasting your time. As we all know, time = money and social do take up a lot of time so obviously there is no free lunch. Or, is that ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too?’ One of those…

But we also know Billy is all about free because my wife CFO will not allow me to spend a dime in here unless I can quantify the return on investment.

So where does that leave you?

When I was in the Army there was a term commonly used called ‘short-timer.’ As your tour of duty was winding down, the shorter you became. Once you were down to 99 days or less, you would joke about being so short nobody could see you.

Billy is short right now.

Not that I’m going anywhere per se, but as long as I am content to keep operating under a free platform I know I can only carry this so far, and it appears I have already crested that hill. If I were to pin it down to a day, I believe December 6, 2012 is as good as any. It was a very similar post talking about how I had shot my wad…ok you pervs, what I meant was “I’m done, that’s all I have the energy/money,willingness/desire for, there is no more I have to say/add/do.”

Where does that leave you?

Where I always was.

I came, I saw, I conquered…in my own way. I ramped up as much as I could given the tools I chose to work with. Actually, for a knucklehead I was kind of impressed I made it as far as I did.

Maybe it’s because I grew up before gadgetry and could make do with a stick and a box, or I am more of a people person than a thing person, but I am not really all that curious about the latest and greatest toys. Never say never, but you will never see me camping out overnight for any new gadget that is being introduced. I will let all the gadget heads work it over and then if I see it’s gaining some traction I might jump in.

That’s why I could do the just show up part so well, but when it took a certain level of geekiness to move the needle I became exposed. Not in a full frontal nudity kind of way, but nobody was hitching up to my wagon for me to take them to the promised land either.

Well, if you set the bar low enough…

There was a time I would need a little cheese with my whine, but I am good to go these days…totally. Even trying to exist in this realm with little or no expectations, somehow someway it actually hasn’t been a bad ride.

And, I wouldn’t trade my last two years for anything and feel I have grown from this experience.

Here’s what my two-year social degree got me:

  • I have a much better global perspective due to my diverse acquaintances.
  • My expanded social knowledge has positioned me to be able to ask better questions.
  • Social will turn your brain to mush if you try to chase every rabbit.
  • Online friendships are just as real as face to face friendships.
  • I know just enough about social to be dangerous now.

If I let anybody down because you see wasted potential, get in line. I did just good enough and for this, that was good enough for me.

At this point in my life, fun is a huge driver for me; fortunately I’m in a position I can make those choices. As long as I am having fun there will be no regrets.

Did I make the cut?

I made my cut I suppose, I’m somebody enough and I still have great hair, so that should be worth something, right?

Activity is down on both sides of the wall and I can tell the air is leaking out of the tire and the tank is running low; there is a good chance I’ll just park the car instead of filling it back up.

Such is life.

Swing away Merrill…

Three reasons your Avatar has a shelf life

First and foremost, if we ever do meet in real life, I might not recognize you because that glamour shot you insist on using already has some miles on it. Plus, this isn’t a dating or casting site, so put it in play somewhere else.

But it was the best photo I had.

I hear ya; once I found one half-way presentable pic of myself it’s been all downhill from there. I’ve tried to come up with a newer, better version of me, but when you only have so much to work with you better run with what you got, right?

Your Avatar tells a story

Because the majority of the people we interact with online and don’t know in real life, we have to pick up on the subtle nuances going on with them online to try and judge their personality.

Avatar’s are a good starting point.

Some use their picture, some do not. When you have a mug like mine maybe I should think twice about what I’m trying to project, huh?

What does that tell you about the people who don’t post their own picture? To me, it screams witness protection program or bad divorce, but either way that is the spice and flavor of this online world; we would like to assume there is much more intrigue and glamour than is reality, right?

What about the ones who have never changed their Avatar? To me it screams lazy as hell, I know, because I am that guy. The reality is, I don’t go out seeking someone to take my picture just so I can change my Avatar. Plus, I am much better looking in real life, right Adam?

What about the ones that change it weekly? Restless souls? I don’t know; sounds like work to me so just refer to the above paragraph to see how I feel about work.

What are your thoughts on the three different scenarios; where are you in the mix?

Have you ever?

Followed or not followed someone back based on their Avatar?

I have used it as a deciding factor; maybe not 100% based on the Avatar, but if they had a cheesy about me to go along with it and I didn’t know them, they might not have made the cut.

The flip side of that is, most definitely I have used it to decide. I have followed back some just because of their Avatar; isn’t that right, ladies?

If you still have some type of follow back policy on twitter, how much does the Avatar come into play?

For the record? It’s a good thing I got to know some of you clowns first, or you might not have made the cut. What? It goes for me too? Well I never….

Have you ever two?

Been surprised at how much different a person looked in real life compared to their Avatar? Of course, in real life you get the whole package, with an Avatar it’s typically just the head shot.

I have, but not in a bad way; it’s just in real life it was much more current. Of course, I shouldn’t talk, everybody probably thinks I’m this relatively young, hip dude and when they see my big ol’ tired ass head, go whoa, what the hell happened to you.

I’m not that shallow thankfully; I look for the essence of someone and can say for most part everybody I have met in real life matched up pretty well.

But I am visual in that every time I correspond with you it’s the image of your Avatar that pops into my head.

So what does that say?

Well, since this is my educational series I would say this:

  1. Your Avatar is the face of you online, so what story does it tell? Do you care?
  2. Your Avatar can make or break a deal; even if that is a very shallow statement, it’s true.
  3. Every once in awhile, your house needs a coat of paint; so does your Avatar.

I guess it says maybe we are all shallow to a certain degree…hey, I’m not going at this alone, I’m dragging you with me, so when I say we I mean all of us.

Am I right or wrong, what do you think? I haven’t changed mine in two years, would you rather see the real me or reasonable facsimile from two years ago?

When we have fertilizer plants blowing up and terrorist bombers at the Boston Marathon, how important is all this stuff anyway, huh?

Have a great day.

3 reasons insurance is a brilliant career choice

Wha? You kidding me; insurance? Tell somebody you are in insurance and that will certainly clear a room; what’s that smell, did somebody just fart? Will you check your shoes please?

Trust me, I’m a doctor; I wouldn’t pull your leg…or your finger.

Just hear me out, and then decide if I’m full of it.

Top 3 reasons why insurance rocks as a career

  • Everybody, let me repeat that, everybody is going to buy insurance. You might not like it, and you aren’t going to be showing it off at the cocktail party, but you will buy it.

Most don’t actively think about the role of insurance in our society unless you are working in it every day. But life as we know it would come to a standstill without it. No money would be lent, no construction projects started, no workers employed, no homes, boats, cars or factories built or purchased. No development of new life saving drugs. Nothing. Zilch. Nil. Nada.

See, there is an economic benefit so you better be nice to it. Did I mention everybody will buy it?

I buy my insurance from the gecko, doesn’t Warren Buffet own that company…or was that Jimmy?

The gecko and it’s ilk is just the very tip of the iceberg, here is a sample list of insurances available that will be purchased by someone: life, health, auto, house, boat, aircraft, property, glass & sign, flood, EDP, accounts receivable, valuable papers, crime, equipment, cyber, workers compensation, excess liability, professional, accident, truckers, dealers, cargo, and garage just to name a few.

Regardless of what the economy is doing, people and businesses will still be buying insurance and that totals up to a lot of policies and a lot of service required. The industry is huge and somebody has to work in it, right?

Somebody is saying cha-ching.

  • Insurance companies and agencies are a business. And guess what, they need people to work in this industry just like Ford, Google and Exxon. And not just any people, but the sharpest and brightest. Between technology and ever changing exposures and appetites for risk, the industry needs the best of the best, the youngest and the brightest.

The industry has done a very poor job of attracting talent; the majority of people getting into insurance do it by happenstance rather than seeking it out. The industry does a very poor job on the agency side too of not only attracting talent, but having the proper platform in-place to train them once they walk through the doors.

But I hate insurance, and I don’t want people to hate me. Yeah, they hate it until they need it, and then they can’t have enough of it. Can you say tough-love?

My point is, the industry is wide-open and it’s huge. And even though everything revolves around the insurance product, there are many, many more career fields that are applicable in this industry as well. Did you know…in addition to sales, the other career fields you will find are HR, management, marketing, IT, service, PR, social media, risk management, claims, claims management, actuarial, legal, and accounting to just name a few.

Well, why didn’t you say so…

Did I mention everybody will buy insurance?

  • It’s so confusing, how could I even think about learning every product? Because the industry is regulated, most in the industry has to have some kind of license or another. And because of this, there is more than ample opportunities to continue your education in addition to the on the job training always available. Most settle into a certain specialty as opposed to being a generalist.

Because the general public is loath to actually read a policy, what a great opportunity for someone to take the time and become proficient in their niche and be able to provide credible, clear and concise advice. The person who can do that is worth their weight in gold.

And did I mention all the other career fields you will find in this industry. Become proficient in that and know insurance… priceless

I hear you, so now convince me

If you are an extrovert and like people, do we have a spot for you. If you are an introvert and prefer being behind the scenes, do we have a spot for you. Bottom line, there is a place and job for everybody and every personality type. If you like numbers, technology, creativity, networking, any and all and some of the above, sign on the dotted line.

What is the next step

Preach it, if you know people who are struggling in the current job market, seek out the insurance companies and agencies with your skill set and see what is available.

Have patience, but it’s an industry the cream will truly rise to the top faster than most industries. And if you can show how your skill set will help their bottom line, the sky is the limit.

Not only do I have a marketing degree, but also a degree in risk management-insurance. Did you know my school of risk management-insurance had a 98% placement rate when I graduated? Well, now you do…

Most young adults probably don’t think it’s a cool profession, but once you get in you will see how much technology is involved and I can personally attest it can be a fun profession too.

Do you believe?

If you don’t, you should, the door is wide open and the water feels just right.

Did I happen to mention, everybody will buy insurance.

Bow wow, you really can teach an old dog new tricks

Hey, who are you calling an old dog?

If the shoe fits….

I used to be the young guy around my office, what the heck happened; did somebody fast forward the clock?

With age comes wisdom

In exactly 61 days from this post, I will be celebrating 30 years of employment with the same firm. Is that old-school or what? It must run in the family; my dad was with Minute Maid/Coca Cola for 40 years.

Doesn’t sound like I took too many risks along the way, does it? I didn’t get married until I was 27 but started on a family shortly thereafter. I am somewhat conservative by nature but being responsible for others, my family specifically, probably made me even more so.

Would your outlook change about work if you didn’t have a guaranteed paycheck? Out of approximately 70 employees in our corporation, there are currently 7 of us who have no income other than what our book of business produces. No guarantees. That is called 100% commission and it means for the last 25 years I have never, ever had two paychecks that were the same.

That sounds pretty risky for a conservative guy, doesn’t it?

That is why I have to laugh at times when I see certain guru’s online, these young whippersnappers who are so-called experts, telling me how to do it. Their motto really should be do as I say, not as I do.

Oh, they might have had some limited success along the way, but was it sustainable? If they were so successful, then why aren’t they doing it anymore? Do as I say, not as I do…

30 years, same job, commission only; I must be doing something right, you suppose? Or just too dumb to know any better.

However….comma….that is not to say I am too old and set in my ways that I can not still learn. In fact, I like to think I am more of a sponge and can still learn from each and every person I encounter. Some good, some bad, but it all can be processed to make me smarter.

There is usually good information in there somewhere, but sometimes you just have to take it with a grain of salt…whatever that means…

Something else I know

Sales is all about production; what have you done for me lately? You might have had a walk-off home run along the way, but if it wasn’t enough to walk away, then you have to get right back in the grind. Ideally you can parlay that shot into other opportunities, but as soon as you start to coast you are losing ground.

That sounds like hard work, you would think after 30 years at least you could slow down.

No rest for the weary and there are young bucks coming in every day taking shots at my accounts.

But that is what keeps me in the game, eager and willing to learn and know if I don’t at least get up to bat, I will never get a hit.

Age is just a number…

That’s what all the old people say…

I can assure you, the texture might look a little weathered, but Billy the Kid is who you will find inside.

For what it’s worth, my 9-point guide to new tricks

  • Be all in; if you are going to commit to something, give it all you have. Do what you said you would do.
  • Be persistent; not annoying, but stick with it.
  • The grass is usually not greener on the other side.
  • Be marketable; always continue to grow and learn to increase your worth to the organization and to yourself.
  • Make the ask; otherwise, don’t complain if you don’t get what you want.
  • People really do remember how you made them feel; work on making it a positive experience.
  • Don’t assume I know what you do; own it and tell me who would benefit from it. How can I help you?
  • Say please and thank you; that will never get old.
  • Finally, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room; just smart enough.

Almost as good as my eat less, exercise more wisdom, huh? It never is rocket science, it just seems everybody wants to put a new or different twist to it.

My lap around the track

My first quarter was very solid; but that was only one lap around the track. If I’m going to break Bannister’s mile record I will need to keep this pace for the next 3 laps as well. That means keeping my eye on the ball (hey wait a minute, I thought you were talking about track…). That also means my social activities online will be intermittent. But it’s ok because I am in a good place online and off, so it’s still good to be me.

How is your year shaping up; are you still keeping your eye on the ball?

You will probably notice I use quite a few sports analogies in my writings; since I was never going to be a pro athlete, maybe writing about it would have been a good avenue for me. Nah….I’m where I’m supposed to be; I have the greatest job in the world…really.

Unarmed but dangerous, leave your clothes in the car

Have you ever walked into an appointment naked? Would you be surprised if I told you I have? Be different, stand out, right?

A little history

In my world of commercial insurance, you (our agency) have to be appointed by the insurance company before you can represent them and sell their products. Whereas Lanier Upshaw, Inc represents most of the major players, there are one or two we don’t have access to. Which is par for the course, because if you represent a carrier they are going to want a certain amount of business and with so many mouths to feed you have to draw the line somewhere.

Because of this, you might do all the leg work and have the opportunity to work on a really great account only to find out they are already with the carrier you represent and their business is so specialized there is only one other viable market out there and guess what? You don’t represent them…….

Well, that sucks.

When I say viable, I mean not only do we have to be able to put all the proper coverages in place, it has to be somewhat affordable as well. I can find coverage for just about anything, but it might come with a scary price tag if I don’t have the right market for it.

What can be that specialized?

Actually, quite a few risks, but this one in particular builds launch towers at Cape Canaveral as one part of their scope of operations.

Two words that will send traditional underwriters running for the hills are NASA and nuclear. If your prospect does anything with either, then your market selection just became very, very narrow.

Why did you chase this account then?

One of my customers does some steel work for them so I could at least use their name to get me in the door. It was then I found out the extent of their operations and the very limited market availability.

But by then, we already had a couple of meetings and they had supplied quite a bit of information for me. And oh yeah, they are located an hour and a half away from my office.

And guess what? They had been with the market we don’t represent but recently switched to the one we did. Therefore, I did not have a single viable option for them in terms of comparison.

It would have been very easy to call them and say “sorry for wasting your time, but we don’t have anything.”

Business owners hate that. The whole insurance process is already distasteful and the fact they let you in the door they are expecting you to come up with something.

What did you do?

I left my clothes in the car. I had absolutely nothing to offer other than myself so they might as well see my fat white ass in all its glory, huh? It sure is cold in here…

Actually, I knew they had a long term relationship with their broker and it would be tough to break this relationship but I essentially had nothing to lose. I made the appointment and went over with nothing a proposal that was a duplicate of what they already had with the company we represent and advised them if they want to do business with me, they would have to fire their guy and give me the keys to the car before I walk out the door.

Pretty bold, huh?

Well, it didn’t go down exactly like that, but pretty close. They were somewhat shocked when they opened the proposal and it had no pricing, and then I commenced to tell them my plan. We had some good give and take and some good questions were asked and it turned out to be a very informative meeting.

Sounds like a waste of time, what did you learn?

First of all, my ploy did not work; they had no reason to fire their guy and me coming in bare did not help, regardless of what I had to say.

But here is what I did learn:

  • Respect people’s time; if nothing else, by me showing up it showed I did appreciate the opportunity regardless of the results.
  • It left the door open for future opportunities and insurance is fickle enough it can create opportunities just because
  • Don’t be afraid to make the ask. This time it was no, but I made them tell me to my face.
  • E-mails and texts make it too easy at times; don’t be afraid to get that face to face meeting regardless of how uncomfortable it might be. It’s usually never as bad as you think it’s going to be…unless it’s your dentist…
  • Don’t be afraid to keep swinging; you will never get a hit if you don’t at least get up to bat.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to ask “if you were in my shoes, what would you do?” You’d be surprised the dialogue you can get from this question.

Were you really naked?

Kind of as I did not have one thing to offer other than myself. But one thing I have been taught to do is when it looks like your sales call is going absolutely nowhere and you have nothing to lose, just drop your drawers…kidding of course. What I enjoy is going into low risk practicing and I might ask the darnedest thing that has nothing to do with our meeting. This too will get some interesting dialogue; try it sometime, what do you have to lose at that point, right?

We’re going streaking; everyone is doing it…

If you could turn back the clock…

No, I’m not talking about going all the way back to 6th grade so you can change the outcome when you totally dorked it up as you attempted your first real kiss opportunity. I’m talking about your blog; I know some of you elder statesmen are a little longer in tooth in blog years, but most of us have only been in this arena for a few years at best….and it still feels like a lifetime….

I’m going to let you in on a little secret as I rapidly approach my 2 year anniversary as a blogger; even though it might not appear so, I have learned plenty during my time in here and can say I know how the game is played. But I also know how the game of golf and baseball are played too, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to find me inside the ropes playing with the pros however.

I thought a blog was your ticket to the dance, so I got one. And I actually danced; it might have been the jitterbug, but I was dancing.

But you still have the same haircut and clothes you did from two years ago. They should come back in style eventually, huh? As long as I can still get in the door I should be ok, right? I just hate it when these A-listers keep asking me to park their car.

If nothing else, I have been consistent. Is that worth anything in social currency?

You are only pretty as you feel

There are many things I could have been smarter about and have had plenty of encouragement and suggestions to make this journey easier and more successful. But if I could turn back the clock would I do anything differently?

Knowing what I know now….probably not. The whole process and the people I met along the way are something I wouldn’t change at all.

When I started in Twitter three years ago the economy was scraping bottom and a lot of people thought social would be the ticket to be their own boss and make some crazy money. I mean, it’s the internet after all, right; what is Facebook worth?

With the crowd I initially jumped in with, it appeared every one was successful and just having a grand ol’ time. The reality was almost every one was working their asses off and weren’t making enough money to buy a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I was somewhat disillusioned with this discovery, but also naive thinking social was an either or proposition.

Social is just a tool, that has many, many applications. It does not have to be the be all end all. Some are successful with the be all end all premise, but percentage-wise it is a very small number indeed. The others who are using the social platforms as a supplement seem to at least have options and can use it as much or as little as need be.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in, hence the continued but somewhat sporadic presence of the Invisible one.

Do you like analogies?

Ok, I was intrigued when I first jumped in because it did appear to be a relatively easy and fun way to maybe at least supplement your income. And it still can be…..but easy is somewhat of a misnomer.

I have been very fortunate to have a paying gig career that suits my personality very well, but to be successful, it too requires hard work and paying attention to detail. If I start chasing rabbits down the social hole, is it diverting attention away from my bread and butter?

Have you heard the expression time suck, yet?

I’m really a simple guy, it does not take much to amuse me; I do a good job of being comfortable in my own skin and satisfied with what I have in my life. So here’s my analogy; I like to network and social provided a global platform for me to do so. I also like to golf, but have no aspirations of becoming a professional. I also like to write which blogging allows me to do so AND interact with others.

Can’t that be good enough?

People ask why am I doing this if I have no end game in mind; like, what’s the point? I suppose the same reason I play golf, I enjoy it.

If I get too serious about this social stuff, then I have to pay attention, commit, show up for work everyday and I’m already doing that in my day job; which I like BTW. That doesn’t make me the The Biggest Loser, does it?

I’m sorry Gini as it appears you missed the mark in your assessment of me and I will not become the next A-lister, but I am a survivor. I do appreciate you letting me have the first dance however.

And even though I will never be invited to speak at Social Slam, I know most of the people there and suppose if that was my end game I could make it happen.

What’s the point?

I have my ticket and it doesn’t expire; I might not be down on the field playing, but social is still enough of a fan-friendly sport it provides the opportunity to get to know all of the players. And by being in the arena it gives me the opportunity to see what is working for others. Just like golf, I can emulate what I want and still enjoy the game.

So, for now I will be retaining my amateur status in social while keeping my ‘pro’ card with my day job. That doesn’t mean I won’t grow from here, but it’s definitely going to be on my terms and I’m ok with that.

If you could turn back the clock on your blogging and social journey, would you do anything different?

When to walk away…

GatorUhhh, maybe now would be a good time……just walk away Renee…..

Only in the F L A I know can I take you to places you can play with the alligators every time; ok, maybe not actually play with them, they don’t seem to have the best disposition regardless of how cute and cuddly they might appear.

Do you know Florida did not really become popular until air conditioning became affordable and available to all? Ya think….and I knew that other Florida; we didn’t have air in our house or car until I was 15 yrs old. That would be called child abuse these days I believe….:).

I knew Florida before Disney; where did all these people come from?

I’m a fourth generation Floridian; it’s a good thing I wasn’t the first. I might not have stuck around long enough to create any kind of legacy. Because being in a semi-tropical climate, yes we have lots of inland water which grows bugs and other things that bite, and heat & humidity; I probably would have bailed out early and been a damn funny talkin’ Yankee.

Hey Cleetus, who are you saying talks funny; that’s like the pot calling the kettle black, huh?

Have you ever seen a country mosquito? Big…..

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten…….

Do you know why we call roaches palmetto bugs? Marketing 101; who wants to move to a place that has roaches? You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig, right?

Somehow this became a Florida post; this was supposed to be about social. Really.

Well, once I put my original photo in, it kind of took a life of it’s own. That gator really was a beast, if you look closely, you can see it has some serious girth to it.

I’m proud of my southern heritage; it’s the only heritage I know. And I can trace from Mitchell Dorman who died on December 11, 1784 in North Carolina, that my direct Dorman line just kept migrating south. And no, I’m not racist and never have been, my parents taught us to accept all, regardless of the color of their skin or religion.

I guess when you grow up only two missed paychecks from being poor white trash it’s easy to be humble and inclusive…:).

Are you proud of your heritage; regardless of the baggage that might go along with it?

Sorry I took you along with me down my memory lane.

Dorman, it’s time for you to walk away….from this post at least….

Wow, did this go in an entirely different direction than I expected. I was going to talk about the people I see taking my path and moving to the passenger seat in here while letting others drive the social train. However, it still let me talk about me which is always a good thing, right? Wha?

I’ll humanely put this post down with some suthen’ terminology in case you want to fit in around these parts…..actually, because we have so many snow birds who relocate to this great state you don’t get the true southern flavor as you would in Mississippi or Alabama. But if you venture into some of the smaller towns where time has stood still you can easily detect a true Florida Cracker accent from the locals.

Here we go:

Coke – every soft drink is a coke; not pop, not soda, but Coke. Ask for a Coke and a true southerner will ask what kind would you like.

Fixin’ to – I’m fixin’ to go to the store, can I pick you up anything? I guess we aren’t really fixing anything, huh?

Might could – I might could pick you up some food while I’m out at the store.

Pocket book – not purse, but pocket book.

Bless your heart – Well, bless your heart, I’m sorry you are feeling so bad today.

Feel free to drop those in anytime and you’ll fit right in.

Y’all come back now, ya heah………..and maybe we’ll have some grits with that fried catfish, ok?

3 reasons why I love Monday’s

Yikes, another post where I’m trying to make the content match my title. I have heard posts with numbers and actionable items are more popular; is this considered link bait?

Monday, Monday; every other day, every other day, every other day of the week is fine, yeah; but whenever Monday comes, but whenever monday comes you can find me cryin all of the time…

Monday sets the tone

It’s all about attitude; so what if you had too much fun over the weekend and stayed up too late on Sunday because you didn’t want it to end. Monday kick starts another week of opportunity and possibilities. If you scruffed around the week before it gives you the chance to redeem yourself and make something good happen.

If fitness and routine are important to you it allows you to get back on track so you don’t feel like a total slug.

Most who visit know I’m in commercial insurance sales. To me, everyday presents a new opportunity, Monday just happens to be the first day of the week to make this happen. How can that be a bad thing?

Monday is a fresh start

The dawn of the week should always be positive, nothing bad has had a chance to happen yet. If you think of it that way, in positive terms, then it’s almost like New Year’s Day every Monday; Mondays are like having New Year’s every single week in terms of mindset to make things better.

Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me

Ok, ok; I could only come up with two reasons, but I also heard 3 was a better number than 2 in the title of a post so don’t feel like you have been duped; just please watch out for all my traffic. You might think you are in an Apple store on the morning of the iPhone 5 sale.

You really want to know the best Monday’s?

  • When it is the start of your vacation.
  • When it’s day 3 or 4 of a  4-day weekend.
  • It’s your birthday.

I know the wife loves it, because she gets her house back.

Do you have a reason to like Monday’s?

Monday does take the abuse; it’s just hard to dress it up and make it look pretty unless if falls under my best reasons.

Do you have reasons to like Monday’s you would care to share?

Boomtown Rats have their thoughts on Monday’s; hit it Bob Geldof. If you take the time to look at the vid, how would you like to walk out on stage to a crowd like that? How do you top that? Looks like a walk-off home run to me…

Happy Monday.