Altig Orlovic Agencies with American Income Life
–Norman Vincent Peale
I currently write from just outside Dallas, Texas and “Secession Fever” has taken over the area. In a two-party election, one party generally wins and the other loses. Texas is a heavily Republican state so all those guys driving around with their 4 X 4 trucks and “Vote Mitt” bumper stickers are now out getting petitions signed to secede from the United States of America. I think it’s easier just to get out the glue-remover or cover it with another one. Most shops in Texas carry a sticker that says, “I love animals, they taste great.”
They’ve got 116,000 people signed up wanting to secede so far.You won’t find my name on the list. One guy in my town even changed his middle name to “Secede.”Is it ever going to happen? Never. In fact, during the Civil War, where 11 states tried to secede, 620,000 soldiers died to preserve the union. That’s about as many people as every other war the US has ever fought. Combined. For reference, about 25,000 total people died during the American Revolutionary War and 6,500 in both the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts together. In Canada, the Quebec Sovereignty movement and the Independence Party of Alberta have both threaten to go off on their own. Newfoundland and Labrador went so far as to remove all Canadian flags from government buildings, flying only provincial flags in their buildings in 2004.
So every now and then, some persons or groups wants to or threatens to secede. Are we better off together than apart? I believe so. Why? Let me give you just 4 good reasons:
1. Security. Together we are the most secure nations in the world. If I was stuck in a rogue nation or captured while in Africa or South America or wherever, and had one phone call. I would want it to be to the US or Canadian Embassy. I currently move about freely without restrictions or fear.
2. Diversity. Yes, being so big means that we have a lot of differences and we drive each other crazy, but the richness, the interest and culture we enjoy because of it makes us better.
3. History. We’ve been through wars, depressions, and crisis together. We’ve experienced incredible triumphs and accomplishments and share the common bond of those.
4. Opportunity. We can go anywhere and do anything and have larger markets, different markets and greater opportunities of finding exactly what we want than if we were small and limited.
And when I look back over those reasons, I see Altig as well. Every now and then, the grass looks greener, someone, some policy, or event drives us to want to secede. That’s it, I’ve had it. I’m leaving. But in reality, we are stronger together. We have more diversity and autonomy to add to that diversity. We share a rich history of being the largest and most successful company in our market, and we have unlimited opportunity to do and be whatever we want. The only person holding us back is ourselves. Don’t Secede, Succeed!
We’re continuing down the road of growing our self-confidence. Some people use the word self-esteem interchangeably, but they are not quite the same thing. Self-Esteem has more to do with whether you think you are worthy of respect (esteem) from others, versus Self-Confidence, which deals with whether you believe in yourself. One leads to the other so they are intertwined, but I’m working with the concept of Self-Confidence.
Question came up: Does your self-confidence change as you age? To an extent, “Yes.” If it didn’t, why work on it. And here’s what I see as the determining factor: How well you react to change and adversity. We all come out of high school or college, degree in hand and ready to take on the world. There are generally two mindsets. Some people come into the workforce thinking, “Man. That’s a big, scary, complex, confusing, unstructured world out there.” I’m not sure how I’ll fit in. I struggled a bit in high school/college; I don’t know if I can make it or how well I’ll do. Others approach it with a high degree of confidence: I’ve always succeeded. I did well in school, the basketball team, the band, at parties. I’m going to grab the tiger by the tail; look out world, here I come.
And here’s reality. 1. Success is easier and less complicated than most people think. Work hard, love and respect people, make good choices, surround yourself with talent and character, keep at it, and you’ll generally do well. All those who fretted will probably pleasantly surprise themselves. 2. Work (and life) also have a lot more gray area, twists and turns, sideswipes and knockdowns than you imagined. If you thought it would be a cakewalk, you’ll soon discover that it is a marathon (sorry if you sprinted). You’ll find yourself on the carpet and places you never expected more often than you thought. HOW YOU REACT to life will determine your self-confidence. Celebrate and build on your successes. Keep a portfolio of everything you were able to accomplish; it’ll impress yourself and provide a base for your next victory. If you get knocked down, get right back up. Charge harder than ever, use a defeat as motivation to prove what you are really made of.
So you can have an over-confident 20 year-old that hasn’t experienced their first major setback yet; and an under-confident 60 year-old that didn’t react well to adversity. And are bitter and cynical. Or you can meet an ultra-confident 60 year old that has been through the fire, and knows he or she can handle anything; that there’s really nothing that they haven’t seen before and worked through. Age is not the determining factor, but how well you react to adversity. Do you learn from it and use it to make you wiser and stronger? Or let it get you down. One response gives you self-confidence, the other beats you up. Good to think about but next week, we’ll be back on topic; I promise.
Top offices of the week. How do you get on the list? Recruit, Hire, Train. Repeat. Personally recruit, use interview bookers, have a solid process. You know all the things to do.We have Best Practices available. If you are not on the list, come to ABC end of next month and rub shoulders for three days and nights with those who are.
It was a holiday week. Some people might try make an excuse out of that but not Washington State. Here’s what the smart money knows: It might be slightly harder to set an appointment around holiday time but people are in the mood to buy and making sales is quite a bit easier. Over $27,000 out of their newly hired agents. They sold every type of lead. Overall, the state closed 33% or one out of 3 and almost $1000 a sale ($959 to be exact). So every third home they walked out of with an advance and bonus of $500. Present to three people, make $500. Why not see 18, 20, 22 people? Lynnwood led the state with $17,288 in total ALP. Nick Lorence and his Redmond team were a close second at $17,241.
#2. Less than $2,000 behind them. Alberta. They’ve long been a province of rock solid, long-term agents. Now they’ve added a new layer of incredible leaders. They’ve trained their new agents on POS and had 9 sales this week. I know some offices hesitate to give their old clients to new people, but it’s all just a matter of training. The Calgary office led that province with over $28,000 in Total ALP. Edmonton East shows some strength at over $3,000 per agent. They just need to spread the news to the rest of the city.
#3. Also over $20,000: Nevada. Their new agents are rocking the referrals. 14 sales out of 22 attempts. 64% or almost 2 out of three. Can you sell the vast majority of your leads? The way Nevada does their referrals you can. Don’t think that gives you confidence? Their new agents are saying, “Out of my way, let me place a few more policies before the week is over.” Las Vegas Central leads everybody in that state with almost $19,000 total ALP. They closed 33% at $929 a sale. And you thought I was kidding when I said everybody is in a buying mood during the holidays.
Going to mention Utah because of their OUTSTANDING week. They aren’t quite to $20,000 but growing quickly and turned in $18,600 this week, so they’re almost there. At $1,126 per sale, it doesn’t take a ton of sales to make a lot. Shout out to Ontario with 10 agents averaging over $3,250 apiece or $32,000 total. They are bouncing back stronger than ever.