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Your Team Is the Most Important Asset of Your Business

There is nothing more critically important to your business than the team you share the workspace with every single day!

Your team is your greatest expense. It’s also your greatest opportunity for return on investment (ROI). No one makes more of a difference, or detriment, than your people. That’s why you must, while giving them their space, keep tabs on them to make sure they’re actually doing their jobs and helping your company be the best that it can possibly be.

Hiring a Potential Candidate

Use a hiring system that evaluates the prospect before you have to get involved. Only after the employee candidates qualify for the interview based on their actions should you invest any time at all. You should require a minimum of two interviews before you decide on any potential employee, plus some sort of aptitude test to see if they have an idea of what they’ll be doing should they be hired.

You should also introduce a “learning period” once they start. It’s usually 30-90 days, during which they will show if they are the one you’re looking for or not. You do not have to wait until the learning period is over; if they’re not a fit, they have to go! You’ll likely know if they’re the right fit in the first 30 days.

Evaluating Your Team

Each team member should complete their self-evaluation and follow the SKIM accountability. By having them complete their own self-evaluation, you are showing them that you entrust them with this big responsibility. SKIM accountability includes:

  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Integrity
  • Making it Happen

Your team should be exactly that: your team. It’s time to figure out how you can start earning more, working less, and enjoying life! Contact Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program to do just that!

Having a Higher Standard Will Only Improve You

The most successful people in the world, personally and professionally, seem always to be striving to reach the next level! You can too!

Focus always seems to be on the destination, meaning that you have to study your goals each and every day. By checking your goals every day, you force your brain to think of different ways to achieve that purpose. Jim Rohn said, “There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by [your goals]. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” You can help you improve yourself by having higher standards in life and always pushing yourself.

Winston Churchill famously said, “The war was not won with the plan, it was won with the planning.” Most stellar results, whether in business or in life, are 90 percent preparation and 10 percent execution. When you are in the middle of pursuing your goals, you’ll face tough times and opposition. You’re going to want to quit because once you quit it’ll be the end of your problems and you can get back to watching TV. Well, no one has ever succeeded by simply watching TV! If you don’t suffer during the process, you will not reach the end goal – and success.

A Greek sculptor in 500 B.C. was once hired to create the statues for the very front of a building in Athens. The sculptor went off to carve the marble and took longer than the city fathers would have liked. The reason was that he made sure the backs of the statues were as beautiful as their fronts. When told that no one would ever see the backs and asked why he had done this, he replied simply with, “The Gods can see it, and I know it’s there.”

In the end, building or creating something has less to do with your end product and more to do with the integrity of your input. Don’t stop pushing yourself to be better, and your life will be filled with the great results!

It’s time to figure out how you can start earning more, working less, and enjoying life! Contact Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program to do just that!

Create Stability While Growing Your Business

Starting your business can be a little shaky over here, and wobbly over there. Once you know what owning a business is actually like, it’s time for some stability! Follow these steps to help your business gain some stability as you continue growing.

  1. Regulation.

Staying with regulations are very important for the continued growth of your business. Join organizations and seminars to know the updates on any regulations your business should follow.

  1. Hiring the right people for the job.

Hiring the right person for the right position is the most valuable asset for your organization. When interviewing your candidates, make sure that you give them an opportunity to talk about their experience in the field, their training, and what lead them to apply for this position. While money may be the real answer for all your applicants, the clever ones will have researched your company and given you an answer that fits your company’s values.

  1. Trust & Trustworthiness

Employers want the ability to trust employees, customers, vendors and the others with which they conduct their business, and vice-versa. However, in order to gain trust one must be trustworthy. Being a good leader is the best way to gain the trust of your employees. Learn from your mistakes and communicate well with your clients. Leadership begins with the careful and purposeful integration of identity and performance, being and doing, essence and activity.

Stability is sought after by everyone. After you’ve worked so hard to get your business off the ground, achieve the stability your business deserves. It is time to figure out how you can start earning more, working less, and enjoying life! Contact Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program to do just that!

Changing Your Behavior for Success!

Some habits can be dangerous for your business. Do you have any of them?

No two snowflakes are alike: that’s something we learn from a very early age that holds scientific truth. This is because no two snowflakes fall in the same path—with even the smallest of temperature or pressure differences, they come out looking different. Similarly, your business likely had its own unique start and you alone can make people realize that that difference is worth their money.
Some habits you may have picked up on the path to uniqueness could actually be hurting your business. The following questions are ones you should answer, and try to transform any of these detrimental habits.

  1. Do you focus on results or reasons?

It’s said that when it comes to business there are two kinds of people: those who see results, or those who see reasons. The people who see reasons only see the reasons that their dream can’t be realized, while the others get the results that they want to see. You have to focus on goals that are possible for you! If you’re driven by results, you’ll see your dream come true faster.

  1. “Why not,” or “why bother?”

“Why bother” people easily throw their hands up in the air when they are presented with challenges seeing the time and effort as not being worth it. “Why not” people see the situation as an opportunity. If they fail, they’re no worse than they were before.

  1. Are (some) rules meant to be broken?

Rules are there for a reason: they keep order in our society filled with human beings. Some rules, however are better to be broken that kept sacred. In life, sometimes playing it safe can hold you back. People are admirers of those that take risks and break the rules that need to be broken.

Growing your business can only be done when you, yourself, grow as a person – a business owner – and as a leader. These can only come from within, and if you’re serious about your business, you’ll look into making these changes. it is time to figure out how you can start earning more, working less, and enjoying life! Contact Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program to do just that!

 

Maximize Your Time in 2014

Time is a precious commodity. As the New Year begins, reevaluate your schedule to employ strategies that can make a huge difference in your time management and efficiency. Here are some tips:

  • Set shorter goals.

This will help you focus and get to the finish line a lot quicker than putting all your concentration into long-term goals. It also gives you incentive to keep pushing!

  • Make a commitment.

Make a commitment to get things done and stick to it. Hold yourself accountable, with consequences if you don’t complete your tasks.

  • Create small blocks of time to get a lot done.

Give yourself 15 to 30 minute increments to get tasks done. Use a time schedule to increase your productivity.

  • Use less time for meetings.

Cut the humdrum, get to the point and end your meetings.

  • Create repetitive, daily tasks.

Get these done quickly and you’ll have more time to do the things that are more important.

These will help you get the most out of your time. For more information on time management, check out Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program.

Top 5 Apps to Organize your Busy Schedule

As an entrepreneur, being productive is a must. You need to have effective time management skills and the ability to get things done quickly. There are quite a few organizational apps on the market that can assist and increase productivity. Here are 5 apps to check out:

  • Evernote – this app allows you to sync everything from notes, to-do lists and reminders across multiple devices.
  • SignEasy – For entrepreneurs, this is key. This app allows you to conduct mobile transactions that need a signature right from your technology.
  • Dropbox – Effortlessly keep your documents in the cloud. This program allows you to share and carry your files with you wherever you go.
  • Shoeboxed – This helps you store and organize your receipts all in one place.
  • Outright – this app allows you to organize and keep track of multiple income streams, bank accounts and credit cards.

Using these apps, you will be well on your way to staying on top of your game. For more information, take a look at Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program.

How Time Management can Be Your Biggest Ally

For many business owners, time seems to be the one thing that you consistently run out of. There never seems to be enough. Between managing employees, garnering new business, seeking out investors, looking over the books and wearing so many other hats, you could feel as if you don’t even have a few minutes to sit down and recharge. This is where time management comes in.

You may be thinking you don’t even have time to manage your time, but you’re wrong. Understanding time management and how it could help you may be your saving grace and eventually increase your bottom line. Once you sit down and really scrutinize how you spend your time, it’s amazing to see how your time could be streamlined. In some instances, time is wasted doing things that could be delegated to someone else, or on processes that don’t even need to occur. When owning a business, especially in a brand new business, it’s easy to want to do everything, but you can’t. Take the time to assess and rethink.

For more information on better time management, take a look at Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program.

Freedom ROCKS and How to Get More of it!

One of the most frequent questions I get from other agents and entrepreneurs is how do you get so much freedom and don’t you worry about leaving the office for extended periods of time, whenever you want?  I used to, but not anymore.  You see, the agency that supports the life of my dreams has been carefully built and, consequently, I’ve taught the people that have earned the right to be part of our team to also create their individual opportunities daily to support the life of their dreams too.

I’m talking about the slowly hired team members that work in the Living Agency Laboratory. Yes marketing, operations and the rest is of paramount importance, but having the right team members strategically positioned in each facet of your money machine is the NUMBER ONE priority. One of the keys to maintaining our team is something that we just completed, which I affectionately call “Team Member Vision and Check-Up Day”.  For me, these days are some of the most important days of the year and before the day comes I plan, plan, plan and visualize in my mind exactly how it’s going to go.  This is what it looks like:  Every team member gets approximately one hour in my office, behind my closed door, to have a conversation with me and me only about their current situation, their future situation, and how they can contribute to our business going forward.

Additionally, we allow them some time to talk about personal things, if need be.  Before I go into this day, I always prepare a one-page script of very pointed questions, designed to elicit information, thoughts, visualizations and other matters of importance that need to be discussed.  Through these conversations, we are able to help the team members solidify their current goals, personally and professionally, start planning for their next set of goals for the coming year, and overall discuss how they can be a better team member, contributor to our agency and to the goals of our agency heading into the future.  Every time these meetings happen, it gets better and better.  This not only gives the team members a lift and gives them clarity in what they’re doing, it also helps me be a better leader and helps all of us collectively plan for the future and to set goals for the coming year.

After going through the process this year, I’ve now decided that I’m going to perform this twice a year at a minimum.  The nuggets have become so valuable and have helped create great clearness in where we’re going into the future.  In addition to that, it positions me as a team leader and agency owner to make changes in our personnel and the way we do things, our scripting, our operations, and much, much more.  By designing these conversations with specific questions, we are able to help the team members see exactly where they’re at.  If there are things that need to be fixed, it’s the perfect opportunity.  In the sessions that just ended, I planned one of the chairs in our agency, a very key chair, for many years to come(as long as she holds up her end of the bargain).  That lifts a potential burden off of my mind, allows me complete focus on the things that I need to continue to do so that our agency continues to churn money week after week, month after month, year after year.

Thought it would be helpful to list a few of the key scripted, pinpointing questions that I asked my team t behind closed doors:

1.            What thoughts do you have about your progress and our progress in 2012 so far?

2.            Why do you show up daily?

3.            Are team meetings of value to you? Why or why not? What can be done, in your opinion, to improve them?

4.            What are your expectations of this business to support your growth and advancement in the insurance agency business in the future?

5.            Discuss your expectations for yourself for 2013

Note: the most important part of facilitating these conversations is to STOP TALKING after you ask the questions. The answers and information you are looking for will come if you just listen for it.

Make a Difference, Be Unstoppable, Leave NO Regrets

Mike Stromsoe

 

Singles, Not Home Runs

With baseball season in full swing, this is the perfect time for us to discuss “singles, not home runs. I love, absolutely adore, helping people FULLY understand this concept.  After all, isn’t the final score really all that matters? Let’s tap our cleats with the end with the fat part of  the bat, step out of the batter’s box, take a deep breath, stare down our marketplace and get ready to take our best swings.

Who doesn’t want to score BIG and go home? What entrepreneur doesn’t feel that next great idea will be THE big idea that will turn the tables and create truckloads of cash that will provide mega freedom and financial security?  Maybe yes, maybe no. As marketers, we test. Secret tip, based on my own painful experience: home runs are few and far between. While you are swinging for the fence, don’t forget to hit lot of singles too. Singles might be other autopilot marketing programs that go on day after day, week after week, month after month and so on. Emails, voice broadcasts, phone calls, newsletters, direct mail pieces of all types, social media, videos, text messages and more. Last check, we have 27 different marketing activities going on every month. Remember, the singles when multiplied add up to runs and thou who has the most runs at the end of the game……wins!

What about you? Are you constantly rounding the base paths, making it home and scoring enough runs? If not, where should you start? Let’s make this real easy. There are 9 innings in a game, right? Get out a sheet of paper and write down the TOP 9 things that ARE working in your agency to drive new revenue, time after time, without question. Make sure that you consistently and continually do these 9 things, day after day, month after month as long as they remain profitable. Stop doing everything else. More results will come from your successes by simply performing the 9 successful programs that ARE producing results in your business.

Here’s why. This piece is being written on the heels of a successful trip, having spent two days with prosperous agents. One of the entrepreneurs, however, had a slight dilemma with a new partner in their business. She was being challenged with her mindset. We were on location and had the opportunity for immediate action. I made one suggestion and it made all of the difference. I STRONGLY encourage you to write this one down. This new partner said, after her successful appointment which culminated with her running into the room with a check in hand, “I am going to write these words on the inside of my forearm so I never forget them. They made ALL of the difference:

WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT

The newest success story went on to share how she was able to go on the appointment, have the needed discussion with her prospect, do the deal, get paid and, most importantly, learn life changing lessons. She shared that after she heard the suggestion the day before; she began to only think about how the appointment was going to be a success. WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT.

While continuing to do your math, while listening to your marketplace, while tweaking your message, while shifting your media packages (note the MMM’s-market, message, media), think about doubles, triples and home runs. Watch for the opportunities. They will surface, IF you focus on them ALL OF THE TIME.

In the last 12 years or so, our living agency laboratory has hit mostly singles. Those singles have added up to well over ultimate million dollar annual revenue, 5643 paying policyholders in our herd and thousands of prospects.

Singles, not home runs. And don’t forget, many base runners turn singles into doubles, just be paying attention to what is going on around them

Please……go implement, execute and take action NOW!

PS If you can’t create a list of 9 things, immediately get a hold of Andrea or I……we need to chat.

Call 800-770-9984 or email us at [email protected] today!

The Five Steps Of Learning And Retention – Part 2

The second step is Repetition.  My research of a university study revealed that an idea that was read or heard only one time was 66% forgotten within 24 hours. But if that same idea was read or heard repeatedly for 8 days, up to 90% of it could be retained at the end of the eight days.

So once you’ve read this manual all the way through, go back and read it again. But this time read with a highlighter, a pencil and notepad handy. Mark up the book. Write down the ideas you feel fit your personal business situation. This repetition will help you retain more of the information than if you had read it only once.

The third step in the learning and retention process is Utilization. This is the “doing” step. It is here that neuromuscular pathways(the study of this has been fascinating) are actually developed, creating a “mind‑muscle memory.” And according to the study quoted earlier, once you physically experience an action, it becomes twice as easy to recall as if you had heard it only.

Fourth, is Internalization. Actually making the idea a part of you. That may involve some customizing or tailoring of the idea to fit your situation or style, but it is vitally important for you to personalize the idea and make it “yours”.

The fifth step is Reinforcement. In order to maximize the effectiveness of an idea, you should continually be looking for ways to support and strengthen it. The more you can support the idea, the more you will believe it, the longer you will retain it, and the more effective it will become in helping you serve your customers’ needs.

Now, what does all this have to do with your business? Simply, this. In your daily business and personal activities, as well as throughout your experience with the information in this article, you are going to be overwhelmed with great number of ideas.

Some will be brand new, that is, you’ve never heard them before. Some will be ideas you have heard in the past, but have forgotten. And others will ideas you come up with on your own as a result of something that was triggered in your mind as you read. Understanding and applying these five steps in the learning and retention process can help you retain more of what you read and experience. These experiences can then be implemented and executed to put more cash in your pocket!