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Phil’s Memo 3/27/2013

Phil_bio_pageFrom a talent standpoint, this isn’t even one of my Top 5 teams, but they work harder than any team I have ever coached.  Intensity. Execution. A Will to Win.  It’s all there.

~ Rick Pitino, Coach of the Louisville Cardinals, my favorite to win it all this year

We’re wrapping up Lent.   There are different observances of the season by different groups, but most participants start right after Fat Tuesday, on Ash Wednesday.   And lent usually ends this Thursday, known as Maunday Thursday.  The general idea of lent is to deny yourself of something.  The purpose behind it also differs according to tradition.  Some see it as a penance, to come to grips with character issues that need to be worked on.  Others use it as a way of focusing on something outside or greater than themselves. To rise above the day-to-day pleasures, habits, and constant self-gratification; to give one thing up to achieve something greater or more significant.

Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Anglicans all participate.  I recently asked a friend of mine that belonged to one of those faith traditions what he was giving up.    I was expecting the usual, “Meat”, “Food for a day” or cigarettes or whatever.   He said, “Media and Electronics.”   He had come to realize in his life, that Facebook, Twitter, the internet, games, had so started to consume his life that it was doing several things, all negative.  One is that it was distracting.  He noticed that he couldn’t go 2 hours without checking his FB account, ESPN.com, TMZ, CNN, or Twitter.  And nothing of long-term significance ever occurred there.  It just took him away from what he was trying to achieve in his life.

The second thing he noticed was that it acted like an addiction where one thing led to the next to the next.  Soon he was spending vast amounts of time on electronics.   He needed more graphic war games, and more news feeds.  It’s becoming increasingly common to go into a social event and few people are talking to each other, but the majority are glued to their I-phone.   The new generation just now entering our workforce is particularly stuck in smart-phone mode.   The last time I flew, the flight attendant had to wait a couple minutes to release the cabin for the pilot to take off because there was an 18-year-old in aisle 22 that wouldn’t turn off his phone.    We have lost control of our lives to a 3 inch screen.   And we were worried about communists and foreign dictators.

I think my friend is right.   Are we not being as effective and efficient as we could be because we have lost all focus and are spending oodles of time every day numbing our minds on things that really don’t improve our lives at all?   It’s taking away time from developing ourselves physically, spiritually, relationally, vocationally.  Here’s my commitment and I’m going to invite you to join in on it.   For the next 7 days, I’m going to forego all media and electronics that are not related to my work.  No games, endless news streams, and social media other than what directly relates to my career or family.  And if I’m using electronic devices for work; to segregate a block of time and get out as soon as I’m done.   And then see what a difference it makes on my life.   Do I have more time, more focus and more importantly, did I really miss anything?   If you noticed any differences, drop me a line.  Could be an interesting little test.

So I am getting calls for analysis on the Big Dance, the NCAA Basketball tournament.

And there was plenty of drama.   First of all, Kentucky.  They won the whole enchilada last year and didn’t even make the tournament this year.  That’s not exactly true, they were actually invited to the NIT (the Not Invited Tournament) this year where they LOST in the first round against Robert Morris.  Robert Morris?  Isn’t that a cigarette maker?  No, that’s Phillip Morris, but I can see how you missed them.  There are actually two, unrelated Robert Morris Universities in the United States.   This is the smaller one; it only has 4,000 students.  My high school gym was bigger.   Kentucky has 30,000 students and recruits the best basketball players from across the nation.

What happened?  Coach Calipari says, “They haven’t had any discipline all year.”   They?  Come on, coach, you are their leader.   You have to take some responsibility.  And they lost their best player mid-season.    Moral of the story?    Always have back up.  Have backup in case someone doesn’t play disciplined.   Have backup in case you lose your #1 guy.  And having the team with the most talented people often loses to the team that develops and motivates their people the best.   And you can lose momentum anytime if you aren’t diligent.

And the other story.  FGCU.   At first I thought that was a Twitter acronym on their Jersey.   The first and last letters made it particularly suspicious.  Florida Gulf Coast University.  This is a brand new university.  In fact, this is only the second year they are even eligible to qualify.  They are a FUN team to watch.  They love each other, they trust each other.  They play like a TEAM.  They are the first 15 seed to ever make the Sweet 16.  They are too naive to realize how impossible it is to do what they just did.   Are you too “smart”, too “informed” for your own good?   You believe that only the few exceptional people achieve greatness.   You’ve grown cynical or count only probabilities.  Time to put yourself back into the game.   You have everything you need to be a winner.

And finally Ben Howland, coach of the UCLA Bruins gets fired this week.   He won twice as many games as he lost in his 10 years as their coach.   He was Big Sky Coach of the Year, Big East Coach of the Year, AND Pac-12 Coach of the year in his career.   He took UCLA to three Final Four appearances.    They won the conference championship this year and he had the #2 recruiting class in the country.  And for that he gets fired. Make sure you control your own destiny.  When it is in someone else’s hands, anything can happen.

What a week!   Over $750,000 of life premium, heading for $1M.   Lots of great performances.

Let’s start off with #1.   We always do.   Hawaii.  $48,243 in first-six-month agent production.  Ilija, James and the gang flew into that office and with a couple tweaks, they are up over double from where they were just 4 weeks ago.   What did they tweak?   I’ll hit that in next week’s Memo.  Jon Emura and Black Higuchi are the big story here.   Maui turned in $33,000 in New Agent production.   30% closing, over $1,000 a sale.  If you are seeing that level of success, you don’t need to do much different, you just need to do more of what you’re doing.  Overall, $2,700 ALP per Agent.   No complaints here.

#2. Virginia.   $33,290 in new agent production.  Both their new agents and tenured ones closed better than one out of three on their referral presentations.  30% overall closing, so Virginia is training well.   The average agent wrote $2,350, so that’s good enough to put over $1,000 a week in the average agent’s pocket, as long as they are bonusing.  Heard a shout out to Ryan Tucker this week, and his agency topped $33,000 so that is well-deserved.

#3.  Washington.  $29,976.   Couple ticks from $30,000.  While $20,000 is the standard, the minimum; $30,000 is rocking the house.   Their Total ALP is way over $100,000.  Over $1,000 ALP per sale here, with an average of $2,600 ALP per agent.  Nick Lorence has Redmond flying with over $53,000 in Total ALP just out of his agency.

#4.  Utah.  $26,344.   New agents in Utah start off their career selling $1,000+ deals so they don’t have to learn that later; no unlearning small thinking and small expectations.   The average agent turned in $2,600 and had great activity.   High ALP per agent has been key for all these states.  Salt Lake City beat Salt Lake City North by less than $500, so those two are still jostling for supremacy in that state.

#5.   Nevada.  $22,337 in First-Six-Month agent production.   I really like what Darrell Asbell is doing in the Las Vegas office.  Over $20,000 in total ALP in that office, most of it from new agents.  They have a solid core there.

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This entry was posted on March 27, 2013 by in Phil Folkertsma.
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