By Tami Harris
Organization. You pretty much either love it or hate it. We all know that person, a friend, family member or coworker, or perhaps even ourselves, that is extremely organized and seems to always have it all together. On the contrary, we are also quite familiar with the one who struggles to stay organized, has a difficult time meeting deadlines or showing up on time, and is generally frazzled with what life has to throw at them. Surely there are benefits of being organized in our personal lives. We have seen those live and in living color. In business, like in life, being organized is of the utmost importance and can prove to be a critical part of success no matter what your professional field may be. If you struggle with staying organized in your business, you are certainly not alone. It is no surprise that many people find organizational skills foreign to them as this is not something that is often taught throughout our many years of education. Oftentimes as adults, we are left navigating these uncharted waters without an actual game plan; freestyling as we go, hoping to get it right, only to find ourselves falling short and suffering the many consequences that may arise as a result of a lack of organization.
So where do we go from here? How do we do it? What are the key areas in which to get organized in our business and how on earth do we maintain that level of organization once we get there? You're in luck, because today is all about teaching you how to get organized, how to stay organized, and to prepare you to reap the benefits of all of your hard work.
So check early and update often for the best chances for success!
Congratulations! You made it through the necessary steps. You’ve created all of the appropriate systems and gotten yourself and your business organized. Now what? What exactly do you have to look forward to as a result of your hard work and commitment to the process of getting organized? While the benefits are many, here are the top 5 ways in which you can expect to benefit from getting your business organized.
1) Expect an increase in productivity.
Because you’ll be spending less time searching for what you need, you’ll be able to devote more of your time to the important tasks presented to you on a daily basis. Your newfound organization can even lead to a more efficient workflow and better communication with members of your team as well.
2) Expect to experience less stress in the workplace.
Simply put, a lack of organization can lead to more stress on the job. Once you’re organized, you can say goodbye to the frustration that comes with misplaced files, rushing to that meeting you forgot about, or worse, explaining to your manager or client that you need an extension on that project due to a lack of proper planning on your part. Sure, work will still have its challenges. But organization no longer needs to be the source of your stress.
3) Expect to miss fewer deadlines.
This is a no-brainer really. You’ve got your system down, you’re checking and updating your calendar regularly and the natural result is simple. You are where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there. Your tasks get completed on time because you put in the work in the beginning.
4) Expect to be on-time more often (if not all the time).
With your calendar set and reminders in place, forgetting that 2 o’clock meeting is no longer an option. You’ve blocked that time out in your schedule already and because you check it regularly, you know what’s coming up the pipeline throughout your day with little to no surprises. And last but certainly not least...
5) Expect to feel more accomplished in the workplace.
Let’s face it. A job well done just feels good. Once you’re organized, less stressed, and more productive at the office the sense of accomplishment that’s to follow is just the icing on the cake.
So pat yourself on the back. You did it. Getting and staying organized is an ongoing process. But you’re well on your way!
By Deryck Richardson
One of my biggest secrets is to listen and then respond. Once you learn to control your reactions and outburst, using this technique, you end up getting pretty good at listening in general. When someone, who is good at what they do, says something impactful, listen and ponder.
Before I started my own business, I had a sales manager named Al. Al, had this concept to write a book called, “It’s Always Halftime.” The premise of the book is to talk about analyzing every segment of every decision or situation, as if it were halftime. At halftime, every good coach, analyzes what happened in the first half, makes adjustments, and comes out with a plan to win the game. If the game, we are talking about, is life, then living as if it’s always halftime, is brilliant. Think about it:
If this year has been a bad year, then treat right now as halftime. Look back at the goods and the bads. Where could you have changed things up? Where are the flaws in your plan? Now what will you do to make sure this year is better than last? What areas do you need to improve on? What are the steps you must take to make sure your plan works?
If this month has been a bad month, then treat right now as halftime. Look back at the goods and the bads. Where could you have changed things up? Where are the flaws in your plan? Now what will you do to make sure this month is better than last? What areas do you need to improve on? What are the steps you must take to make sure your plan works?
If this week has been a bad week, then treat right now as halftime. Look back at the goods and the bads. Where could you have changed things up? Where are the flaws in your plan? Now what will you do to make sure this week is better than last? What areas do you need to improve on? What are the steps you must take to make sure your plan works?
If this day has been a bad day, then treat right now as halftime. Look back at the goods and the bads. Where could you have changed things up? Where are the flaws in your plan? Now what will you do to make sure this day is better than last? What areas do you need to improve on? What are the steps you must take to make sure your plan works?
If this phone call..., if this relationship..., if this last 10 seconds..., if this business..., if this meal..., if this etc, etc, etc!
You must always make sure you are treating each moment as if it’s halftime. Live as if it’s always halftime. I loved the lesson when Al broke this down, in fact I loved it so much, I’m going to write about it. Each decision is so much more than a split reaction. Every decision that we make is important, because the pattern in our decision making shapes who we are. Just as our decision, on what to eat, shapes our physic, the decisions on who we surround ourselves with, shapes us as well. I’m a firm believer that some people are better at making decisions than others, but just like with anything, you get better the more you do something. So if you struggle to make decisions, practice. Play games that will help you improve that skill set. Go play chess! However you sharpen this skill, make sure you are acting as if it’s always halftime.
Take this advice and utilize it appropriately. We don’t want to be slow to act because we are going back and forth on contemplating if the decision is good or not. The point is to analyze your next decision based on the experience of your prior “half.” We must be sharp and crisp. We can improve our decision making skills, by actively and cognitively thinking about how to get better at making decisions in general.
I always take my business for example. We opened our office doors in August of 2016 as an insurance agency. We had some start up funds and we decided to invest in a cool office space that would attract employees. We knocked down walls, painted the office bright and vibrant colors, placed flat screen TV’s throughout the office, ping pong table, foosball table, an area with weights and workout equipment, and more. We even bought desks that went up and down with the push of a button, so the insurance agents could sit or stand while they work.
We hired several agents, but we couldn’t quite get going in terms of making steady income. We were bleeding through our start up funds, and it hadn’t even been 6 months yet. We had to pretend it was half time. Figure out what we did right and what we did wrong. We needed major adjustments and we needed to of made those adjustments months ago. It seemed to be a little late and we were looking at throwing in the towel and saying, “Welp! We are out of business, but it was fun!”
I knew I had experienced sales reps, who weren’t licensed to sell insurance, but could sell a product if we could create one. Utilizing my deep network of those who have worked for me, or with me, in the past, I was able to hire some amazing sales professionals. We sold the leads that we had purchased for our insurance agency, and marketed them as “Aged” or “Vintage” leads. We knew we could use the sponge, squeeze some water out, sell the sponge again, and the next insurance agent could potentially still squeeze some water out. It was a win win for our agency.
The leads that we needed desperately to keep our agents writing policies, would be the same leads that we would re-sell for profit. A big itemized expense for our agency, was also the product cost for a new business, that I didn’t have to have licensed agents working for. Not that I don’t love licensed agents, but there is a time hurdle of studying and obtaining the license. We didn’t have that much time to wait.
Richardson Marketing Group, now buys leads from vendors, specifically to re-sell to insurance agents and we work in multiple verticals. We've gone from paying employees via Paypal, to offering W2, benefits (including life insurance, 401k and more. We are a back to back "Best Places to Work" top 3 finisher including the #1 spot in 2019. Richardson Marketing Group is now the 6th fastest growing company in the Columbus, Ohio area and we do several million dollars per year in revenue. We’ve serviced over 5000 insurance agents. That slight adjustment, the willingness to put a plan together and hold ourselves accountable to working that plan, saved the business for us.
Our insurance agency is now striving as well. When you have multiple revenue generating businesses, it always helps. One business that literally was formed overnight, because we needed to make a halftime adjustment, really has become the more profitable of the two businesses that operate out of our office space. There is an answer, you just have to find it! You have to think of how you can solve the issue, not harp on the fact that there is an issue.
(The above is an excerpt from Deryck's book. Go Play: The Ultimate Road Map to Winning the Game of Life which can be found here).
By Tami Harris
You have protected them from the very beginning, freely giving of your time, attention and love to your family. What better way to look after your loved ones one last time, than with the ultimate and final gift of life insurance? Life insurance is often referred to as a final act of love and that could not be more true. Losing a family member is difficult enough itself but the financial burden that can arise as a result of that loss can be crippling for many families. This is precisely why purchasing a life insurance policy is an absolute necessity. Securing your family's future with a life insurance policy can not only provide for them financially, but it can give them the much needed time they will need to grieve their loss without concern for pressing financial matters.
It is often assumed that life insurance is all about leaving a windfall for families. While that can certainly be the case in some instances, more often than not, life insurance is more about practicality than some get-rich-quick lottery ticket for your loved ones. It is about providing your family with the ability to handle day-to-day expenses in your absence. It’s replacing your income (for a time) and giving your family the time they need to adjust to that loss of income. It is giving them the funds needed to pay off debts like the mortgage, student loans, credit card balances, unresolved medical bills, etc. By having all of these expenses and debts paid for with life insurance protection, other financial resources can be freed up for the actual support of your family when you are no longer around to support them yourself. You can rest assured that you did all that you could to ensure this transition is as smooth as possible for your loved ones. While you can’t spare them the personal loss, with life insurance you can spare them a financial one.
So, now that we know the importance of life insurance overall, how do you know the type of policy that is right for you? This is where working with an experienced, licensed Insurance Sales Professional comes into play. With so many types of policies and financial protection products to choose from, your Life Insurance Agent will help you navigate the product that is best. Your age, health, current earning potential, surviving family member dynamics and financial situation all play a vital role in choosing the appropriate life insurance products. Are you in good health? Do you have some pre-existing conditions? Would your policy need to provide for the needs of your young family or is it just you and your spouse? Are you single and want a simpler policy to unburden your adult children from paying your funeral, burial or cremation expenses? The answers to these questions and others like them are key factors in determining the size and type of policy that is best suited for your unique circumstances.
The process of purchasing life insurance doesn’t have to be an intimidating one like some people may think. A good Life Insurance Agent will walk you through the insurance buying process, making sure you feel comfortable not only with the monthly cost of your policy while you’re still living, but with the peace of mind that policy will one day provide for your loved ones as well. So what exactly should you look for in an insurance agent? Let’s take a look at some key things to consider:
Julia, a 30-something single mother with two school-aged children works 40 hours per week as an Office Manager and also has a part time job as a Server at a local restaurant to help make ends meet. Julia already has life insurance through her full time employer but knows that she can’t take this coverage with her should she ever change jobs. She wants to purchase an additional life insurance policy to continue to provide for her children financially if something should happen to her. Julia reaches out to an agent she was referred to by her neighbor. Her new agent, David arrived 30 minutes late to their initial appointment and seemed quite frazzled upon his arrival. Throughout the appointment David continually suggested the same low-cost final expense policy from a particular carrier despite Julia’s repeated request for more coverage to care for her children. David’s high-pressure and pushy sales approach ultimately left Julia with a policy that, while well below her limited budget, didn’t meet her family’s needs. She left the appointment feeling unsettled and ultimately canceled the policy only to have to begin the daunting task of finding an agent all over again. Julia’s agent came far from checking the boxes in what to look for in an Agent and her resulting situation was par for the course. Let’s take a look at another, more favorable case…
Anthony, a married, retired Forklift Operator has prepared well for retirement and is looking for a simple final expense policy to pay for the funeral costs for himself and his wife. He finds a qualified insurance sales agent after searching online and makes an appointment. Before even meeting, his new Agent John asks a series of questions to find out more about Anthony and what his specific needs might be. John shows up to appointment on-time complete with a variety of pre-planned Final Expense coverage options based on their previous conversation. John takes all the time needed to answer Anthony’s questions, leaving him feeling comfortable and informed with the options presented to him. Not quite ready to sign on the dotted line, John tells Anthony he’d like to take a few days to narrow down his decision and discuss the options with his wife, who wasn’t available for the appointment. After a few days, Anthony and John touch base once again and Anthony feels comfortable enough to move forward with his decision and eagerly calls his adult children to inform them that his final expenses were all taken care of. He can continue on, enjoying his retirement without the worry of burdening them and putting them in a tough spot financially.
It’s so easy to see which of the two scenarios is best for everyone involved.
Choosing the right agent and the right product at a price that is right for you is possible and can be the winning combination in handling this lasting and final gift for those you love the most. Spare your family any unnecessary grief by gifting them with a much-needed cushion to not only grieve their loss and provide for your final expenses, but to look positively toward the future knowing that you cared enough about providing for them, even to the very end. What a gift indeed!