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Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions

Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions

Trailblazer Tuesday: Avoiding Broken Resolutions | Holding Yourself Accountable

Did you know about 2-3 weeks into the New Year 48% of people give up on their New Year’s resolution.
80% of people give up on their resolution by the second week of February.
Leaving only about 8% of people who follow through with their resolution to the end of the year.

Today we are going to discuss a simple method to hold yourself accountable on your resolution(s)!

Trailblazer Tuesday – Time Management : Touch it Once

Trailblazer Tuesday – Time Management : Touch it Once

Did you know, each interruption on a task makes it take 15-20% longer! You are also 300% more likely to make an error if you have to “start” working on a task more than once!

Here are a few suggestions on how to avoid these interruptions:

  1. Work In “Spurts”.
    1. Schedule quiet time if possible.
    2. Have quiet places to go to work.
    3. Don’t interrupt others – they won’t interrupt you.
  2. Focus and finish.
    1. Be a little crazy about finishing what you start.
      1. Don’t “take a break”, and then start something else.
      2. Use “real” deadlines to force yourself to finish.
      3. Set enough time aside for a task before you start it.
  3. Do your worst task first.
    1. Your sense of accomplishment goes way up!
    2. You end your day with easier tasks – relaxing!


Trailblazer Tuesday – Time Management (Part 2) How To: Manage Your Energy

Trailblazer Tuesday – Time Management (Part 2) How To: Manage Your Energy

How To: Manage Your Energy

It’s go time! But what time is that exactly? Well, for everyone that time will vary. We all have a certain time of the day that we are more productive than other times in the day. For some, it maybe from 4 A.M. – 7 A.M. Others, it maybe 9 AM – 12 AM.

Not always, but most of us are able to be flexible on our ‘go times’. Be sure the important things are into the time you have the energy to do it.

Trailblazer Tuesday – What will you be remembered for?

Trailblazer Tuesday – What will you be remembered for?

What Will You Be Remembered For?

Today’s Trailblazer Tuesday we are going to have a bit of a history lesson.

If you were asked what Thomas Edison most remembered for, you would say the light bulb. But, what makes the light bulb so significant? It extended the length of our day.

What would come to mind if someone mentioned the name Walt Disney to you? Perhaps Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney World and imagination.

Why were the Wright Brothers so significant? They were aviation pioneers who were credited with inventing, building, and flying the first successful airplane. What was the impact of the airplane? It allowed us to travel, long distances in shorter periods of time.

Thomas Edison was around until about 1930, which was well after the age of the automobile. But could you name the type of car he drove? Walt Disney was a very avid collector, but could you name his biggest prized possession and what he collected? You may or may not be surprised to know he was an avid collector of trains. After the Wright brothers rose to fame, could you tell me the name of their tailor or even the brand of suspenders they wore?

The point is, you know these people are very famous and important people. Nobody knows anything about the cars they drove, clothes they wore and what they collected. But, you do remember the impact they left on others. Whether it’s Claire Martin, who was the founder of the Red Cross, or Mother Teresa for her missionary work.

People remember the impact you and others have made.  We all want to have a nice house and we all want to drive a nice car. What is more important, is the legacy we leave behind and the value we added to other’s lives.

Trailblazer Tuesday – Finding Your “Why” (Purpose) 12-12-17

Trailblazer Tuesday – Finding Your “Why” (Purpose) 12-12-17

How To: Finding Your “Why” (Purpose)

I know we talked about a couple “guides” to finding your why or purpose, so here are the links.

Simon Sinek’s website (highly recommended!)  Click Here.

Summary of Simon’s website just to give you an idea how it works – but I recommend Simon’s website.  Click Here

Alternate method – Finding Your Why Through Those You Admire – no partner needed.  Click Here

Trailblazer Tuesday – Workshop on Communication & F.B.I.’s

Trailblazer Tuesday – Workshop on Communication & F.B.I.’s

We’re going to introduce Trailblazer Tuesday and the Preferred Adventure Center. Now I know that takes some explanation for you guys and everybody out there in the Facebook world.

I’m sure we got millions of people watching us right now. We’re in a basement room at Preferred Insurance Center and if you want to think of it as the bat cave, that would be awesome, right?

But the reason I’m calling it – and I’m going to call the whole office the Preferred Adventure Center. It’s because I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and we do things a lot different. We have a lot more to offer than just insurance. I was thinking, “You know, life is never going to be a walk in the park. So don’t just go on a walk. Go on an adventure.” That’s what we intend to do and we intend to help you do the same thing.

Now what’s an adventure? It doesn’t matter if it’s you as an individual or your family or your business or your farm or whatever. We know where we’re at right now and hopefully, most of us have a dream about where we want to go. The distance between where you are and your dream, that’s your adventure.

Now most insurance agents, all they have to offer is insurance. So they’re going to come along, try to sell you as much insurance as you’re willing to buy, throw in your backpack and carry on that adventure. But that’s not us.

We want to help you buy the least amount of insurance you need to make sure your dreams don’t become a nightmare. Then we’re going to grab our backpack, which is probably going to be pink, fill it with all the stuff we do outside insurance and go on that adventure with you. So that’s why I’m calling it the Preferred Adventure Center.

What’s Trailblazer Tuesday? Well, we need to start getting together and talk about training for things and learn new techniques and stuff like that, which is what we’re going to do today. Then sometimes we’re going to talk about our failures because if you’re on an adventure, you’ve got plenty of failures, so that we can learn not to do them again.

Our successes, we’ve had a few. We want to repeat those and I thought about it and said, “How about every Tuesday at about 8:35am?” We invite anybody who’s interested to have a little peek at our adventures and come along a little bit with us. So that’s what we’re going to do.

Today we’re going to do a scene with the FBI. In real life, people do things. Whether they know it or not, they hurt somebody’s feelings or they don’t do their job right the way it should be or whatever it may be and we need to give them a little criticism. But most of us – and I included – have no idea how to deliver criticism in a way that inspires change.

Well, the problem with that is what happens is you have a criticism but you don’t deliver it. You decide, “You know what? I don’t know how to do this. I really don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings. So I sit on it,” and then you sit on it and you sit on it and either you tell somebody else. Now two of you are sitting on it or you have an eruption which is a really bad idea because you probably say things – everything wrong and if you keep the rumors going, you might even go complain to your boss and chances are your boss, he or she probably doesn’t know how to deliver criticism either because I was crappy at it and I probably will be for a while. But I’m going to try this. We’re going to do this and I think it’s going to work fantastic.

Now your boss is put in a position of either doing a crappy job of delivering criticism or looking like they don’t do anything and don’t care, both of which have really bad outcomes. OK? So to avoid all that, we’re introducing the F.B.I. (Feelings, Behavior and Impact.)

I read about this and every place I’ve heard of who have implemented it thinks it is a game-changer. It’s huge. Feelings, Behavior and Impact. So let’s say something happens and you decide you need to criticize somebody and I hate using that word because it sounds bad because you want them to improve. Let’s face it. That’s what teams do. It’s what you do with your kids, whatever. You want them to improve. You don’t want to just make them feel bad. For a while, maybe you do. But let’s be honest. We’re all human.

But generally, that’s the case. So if you can do these three things and tell them these three things in the right way, you will hopefully inspire change.

  1. So the first thing is FEELINGS. Something happens. You have to be able to describe how they feel.

Maybe I felt let down. I felt frustrated. I prefer not “I felt angry” because I am a strong believer that anger is an emotion you have, but you don’t want anyone else to feel. So try to take some time to step back and figure out why you’re angry.

I felt you let down the team or whatever it may be. If what happened doesn’t make you feel anything, it’s probably not important enough what you say. OK?

  1. BEHAVIOR. You got to talk about somebody’s behavior. It’s either what they did or what they said. You can’t say – criticize somebody because you think they feel a certain way. You can’t read people’s minds. So don’t try and behavior is probably the only thing we can all consistently change. This is why you need to deliver this as soon afterwards as possible.

We need to be able to say when the behavior happened and possibly can and describing really well for them. It gives them a chance to change. If you can’t name the behavior and you can’t figure out how to tell them, you probably better not deliver anything. OK? You need to put it on the back burner and forget about it.

  1. The last one is IMPACT. Whatever happened made you feel a certain way, their behavior was in such a thing. And now, what was the impact? If the behavior had no impact, why tell them? Nothing happened or nothing made you – if you think something could happen that would be worthwhile. But it has to have an impact and you need to tell that because everybody sitting in this room, 99 percent of people out there, if they know they made you feel a certain way by doing a certain thing and the impact was bad, they’re going to try not to do it again.

You’ve inspired change. That works for compliments too. If they know you felt a certain way because they did something really good and the impact was positive, they’re probably going to repeat. So this works both ways, right?

Now how do you deliver this? Ideally, obviously if it’s a compliment, it would be great if you said it in front of people. That’s awesome. If it’s not a compliment, you’re going to have to do everything in your power to be private about it.

If it’s on your mind, don’t ask somebody else to bring it up. You bring it up. Go up to the person and say, “Dan, I’m giving you an FBI.” When you do that, that’s going to sound weird the first 20 times you say it. But if we say it enough around here, it will become common. If you do that, that person knows you thought this out. It’s important enough. They better put down their cell phone, stop taking their messages and listen to you and they’re going to know that this is something they probably have the ability to change a little bit.

If it’s a compliment in front of everybody, everybody standing around is going to pick up their ears and say – they’re going to listen, right? So just say it. I’m giving you an FBI and then you go through – and you do it.

Now, I want to do a criticism but obviously we’re in front of quite a few people. So the only person I feel like I can criticize is me. So I’m going to do the two-sided man. All right. Here we go. This is an example.

Dan, I’m giving you an FBI.

I guess I better listen, huh?

Yeah. You know, yesterday, you made me feel frustrated. You made me feel desperate and overwhelmed because you made changes to the system over the weekend. You didn’t ask us about it. You didn’t warn us about it. We showed up on a Monday morning and our day blew up and Monday is a bad day anyway. Then you set the tone for the whole week. OK?

So that’s my feeling, behavior and the impact. It was devastating.

Wow, you know, I got to admit I didn’t know that. So in the future, I will try to ask ahead of time if I can. Sometimes I have to do stuff over the weekend because that’s the only time I have the time. But I will try to warn you that I’m going to do it and I’m going to get your opinion ahead of time. If it’s going to be really terrible, maybe I can break it into smaller pieces. Does that sound fair?

Fair enough.

That’s an FBI and don’t tell me that’s not going to make a difference. That’s going to work. It’s going to make somebody think. Now, I’m going to do a compliment.

Now this one, Andrea, you wrote something really nice about Gina on our weekly team commits, and she deserves to know that. So I’m going to play Andrea here.

“So Gina, I’m giving you an FBI. You know, it made me feel proud and inspired me and it showed me I trusted the right person because you were feeling rough for a few days. You missed some work. But when you showed up, you were game on. You tried to make up for lost time and you weren’t grumpy. You had a great attitude and the impact was I know that’s the way I’ve got to act the next time I’m feeling a little off my game. So thank you very much.”

Now that’s an FBI. That’s a compliment. All right? Now we can do this and I really want this to be the standard and there’s – if you have something to say to somebody, it’s not like you should say it. You have an obligation to say it. If you don’t deliver that FBI and that person does it again, you harmed everybody here. All right?

If somebody comes to you and they tell you about something somebody else did, you have an obligation to look at that person and say, “You need to deliver an FBI,” and one more thing. If you’re in a little bit of a leadership or a management role, the first time at least, if it’s at all possible, somebody comes to you and tells you something, say, “If at all possible, you need to give that FBI.” All right?

Thanks for joining us for Trailblazer Tuesday and remember, life here on earth is not going to be a walk in the park. So don’t just go for a walk. Go on an adventure.

Social Security Planning Tool

Social Security Planning Tool

Social Security Planning Tool

It may seem like a no brainer, but it isn’t. There are a lot of things to consider that can make a big difference to your long term finances. If you make a mistake, you have 12 months to “fix it”, but after that, you’re stuck with it for life. I think getting it right the first time is important.


1st Monday: Retirement and Social Security Planning - Click for more information

 [ Retirement & Social Security Planning ]

Retirement should be Secure so you can Socialize.

  • When: First Monday of every month, 5:30 - 6:30 PM 
  • Where: The Banquet Room at Preferred Insurance Center, 809 W Main St, Coldwater, OH 45828
  • What: There's a lot to think about.
    • How much do I really need to save for retirement?
    • When should you start to collect Social Security and how should you file?
    • Over 90% of Americans do NOT maximize their Social Security benefits.
    • You really could live to be 100, but will it kill you financially?
    • What about taxes on Social Security? Earning limits?
    • It’s a puzzle, but when it all comes together, it can be beautiful.
3rd Monday: Medicare, Med-Supp Planning - Click for more information

[ Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Prescription Drug Plans and Alphabet Soup ]

  • When: Third Monday of every month, 5:30 - 6:30 PM
  • Where: The Banquet Room at Preferred Insurance Center, 809 W Main St, Coldwater, OH 45828
  • What: There's a lot to think about.
    • You have Medicare parts A, B, C & D
    • Then you have Med Supp Plans A, B, C, D, F, K, L, M, N
    • Of course there’s prescription drug plans
    • And Medicare Select Plans
    • And despite all that confusion, we can make your decision relatively easy.
2nd Monday: Life Financial Roadtrip Planning - Click for more information

[ Life Financial Road Trip Planning ]

Dreams → Goals → Reality.

  • When: Second Monday of every month, 5:30 - 6:30 PM 
  • Where: The Banquet Room at Preferred Insurance Center, 809 W Main St, Coldwater, OH 45828
  • What: There's a lot to think about.
    • Some topics we will discuss:
      • Your Financial Goals
      • Life Insurance
      • Your Retirement Goals
    • It’s time to get organized! - Waiting is the most common reason for failing.
    • Think of life a little like planning a great road trip
      • Where are you now?
      • Where do you want to end up at?
      • What stops do you want to make along the way?
    • You know you’ll get lost, so be ready.  
4th Monday: Estate Planning & Long Term Care - Click for more information

[ Estate Planning ]

You can't take it with you,  but don't have to give it to Uncle Sam either!

  • When: Fourth Monday of every month, 5:30 - 6:30 PM 
  • Where: The Banquet Room at Preferred Insurance Center, 809 W Main St, Coldwater, OH 45828
  • What: There's a lot to think about.
    • Great, you have a Will. If that is all you have this is what will happen when you die
      • It will take about 14 months to settle your estate (Ohio average)
      • Your Probate cost will be from 3% - 8% of your estate (Ohio average approx. 5%)
      • Everything you own becomes public information.
    • A little planning can get your estate settled in under a month, at little or no cost, and completely private!
    • So which plan do you think your heirs would prefer?


Early Spring Landscaping To-Do List

Early Spring Landscaping To-Do List

Spring is getting an early jump start this year so get a head start on your “Early Spring Landscaping To-Do List” this year! Here are a few things to do to prepare for spring:

1. Dormant Prune any trees or shrubs
that are getting to big in your landscape. Structural prune young trees to encourage proper growth. March is the best time before the new leaves come out. Don’t take off no more than 1/3 of a plant at one time. Evergreens should be left alone.
2. Clean-Up your landscape beds and lawn from any leaves from last fall.
3. Apply Crabgrass preventer with fertilizer on your lawns. This will help jump start your grass and keep away unwanted weeds.
4. Spread weed preventer in your beds & gravel areas such as Preen. This helps reduce spraying for weeds in the future.
5. Prune Knock-Out Roses and Hydrangeas down to 12″-24″. Trim ornamental grasses down to 4″-6″. Trim down dead from perennials.
6. Uncover any plants that were mulched in last fall before winter. Such plants include roses, hydrangeas, and perennials.

Call to let us know if you any help with these projects! 419-953-1238.

We are also happy to announce that we are now proud to be a new member of the Coldwater Area Chamber of Commerce! We are now accepting chamber gift certificates!