Overcoming Disappointment

Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want. Plain and simple.

In fact, I found myself disappointed earlier this week. Though the situation wasn’t a big letdown (a “first world problem” if you will), it still had me a little wound up inside.

So, I decided to stop in the moment and actively reflect back on other times in my life when things did not go according to my plan and times when my expectations weren’t met.

We’ve all been there.

  • Sales aren’t matching up with your goals and the year is running out …
  • Your kid didn’t get accepted into the college of their dreams …
  • That new sales superstar didn’t quite work out or a key team member is leaving next month …
  • and more.

I get it! It happens to all of us.

This introspection got me thinking even more, and I asked myself,

“How have I dealt with disappointments in the past, and how I have overcome
those disappointments and behaved proactively to gain new perspective?”

I grabbed my notebook and wrote down a few things that popped into my mind quickly; things that have helped me bounce back from disappointment and look to the future with optimism and rejuvenated motivation. I wanted to share my little list with you …

  1. Trust the Process – If you look back over past disappointments, you may find that when something didn’t work out, it usually led to something better happening in your life. The lack of sales in your business gave you the motivation to restructure, which led to an increase in profit all around. Hindsight really is 20/20!
  2. Release Expectations – Someone very wise once told me, “You can make plans, but you can’t plan outcomes.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made plans with the expectation of everything going according to them … only to find out that they didn’t work out at all. Of course, it’s crucial to your success to have goals and vision in your life. The key is to not place too much emphasis on the outcome. Broaden your expectations and just enjoy the journey! 
  3. Just Say “No” to Tunnel Vision – If you are uber-focused on a goal, a very close-minded approach can develop which can stifle your motivation and creativity. Expand your horizons!If something doesn’t work out as you had hoped or planned, ask yourself “What else is possible?”Let it percolate. The answers will come right on time!

Many years ago, early in my career I was bitterly disappointed when I missed a goal of winning an award that included a trip. In speaking with my mentor at the time he asked me, “Bill, did you do everything possible to win this trip?” My response was, of course, yes, I believed that I did! What he said next has stuck with me ever since. “Then that’s all you can do. If you do everything possible to reach a goal but don’t achieve, you have to let it go.” I continually pass along this advice to other agents and team members.

When you set a reasonable goal, not too far stretch and you make a plan and follow it to reach that goal. You have done everything you thought possible. You can’t beat yourself up about it; you have to let it go.

If my answer had been no that I had not done everything possible to reach the goal – then that is on me.

If you look back over past disappointments, some of them probably turned out to be gifts in disguise.Keeping yourself open to new discoveries and possibilities after disappointment can only lead to better outcomes for you and your agency!

Here is a great saying I found online that goes along with my philosophy of Goal, Plan, Action –

A DREAM Written Down With a Date Becomes a GOAL

A GOAL Broken Down Into Steps Becomes a PLAN

A PLAN Backed by ACTION Becomes REALITY!

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November is National Diabetes Month

I know during the busy holiday season, many of us like to focus on all the great holiday food that we’ll enjoy this Thanksgiving and Christmas. While some of us can eat worry free this season, those living with diabetes need to pay careful attention to what they indulge in.

While November brings the yummy food of Thanksgiving, it is also American Diabetes Month.

It is time to increase awareness and promote finding improved treatments and cures.

You may have diabetes yourself or know someone personally who suffers from diabetes. This disease can be devastating to both the person that has it as well as their family. Diabetes MUST be properly managed. Currently, diabetes affects over 29 million people in the United States and recent studies have shown that a person’s with diabetes are 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than someone without diabetes. Women with diabetes have an even higher risk of fatal heart attacks as well as kidney disease.

As your body breaks down the foods that you eat, it produces glucose which is a sugar. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and it helps to carry the glucose to the body’s cells where it is then used to produce energy. When a person has Type 2 diabetes the body doesn’t produce enough insulin (hypoglycemia) or the cells ignore the insulin, which causes a person to have too much glucose in their blood (hyperglycemia).

One of the best ways to prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes is through physical activity. Exercise provides many benefits, as well as improving your body’s ability to use insulin. Exercise will also keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels low. Losing weight and body fat will also reduce your risk for diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

The holiday months can be a time of year where people tend to eat a bit too much and let their exercise habits lapse. Don’t let that happen, enjoy the holidays but watch what you eat and head out the door for some exercise after a big meal.

Here are a few tips on how to stay active during the holiday months:

  • Take a spinning or exercise class online.
  • Take the stairs when possible. Stair climbing can be a great cardiovascular workout.
  • Use your lunch break to go on a quick walk.
  • Buy a cross-trainer or stationary bike for your house and work out each night.
  • Form a neighborhood workout club and get together for walks and outdoor workouts.

We hope that you have a happy and healthy holiday season!

For more information about diabetes, including awareness and management, please visit the American Diabetes Association’s website at www.diabetes.org.

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Don’t Forget to Fall Back Sunday!

This Sunday, November 1st, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end. Mark your calendar now to keep from being an hour early.

When you set your clock back, it should be turned back one hour. The change will cause additional hour of light in the morning, an earlier sunset, and an extra hour of sleep for us that night!

Did you know…? Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea of Daylight Saving Time in an essay in 1784, where he wrote that the time change in the spring might be a good idea to help ration candles.

During World War II, the change was imposed to save fuel. Since then, Daylight Saving Time has been observed off and on, with varying start and end dates.

Currently, Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March, and ends at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November.

Daylight Saving Time is a great time to remind us to do little things around the home that should be done every six months.

  • Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Flip your mattress
  • Wash your pillows
  • Clean your fridge’s coils
  • Replace or clean filters around your house
  • Check your emergency kit and restock as needed
  • Take stock of your medicine cabinet and pantry. Throw away any expired medicine.
  • Vacuum out your dryer’s vent and ducts. (This will help to prevent fires.)

Another great thing to do every six months is to review your insurance policies to insure you are fully protected and receiving all possible discounts. Call the agency today to schedule your full review.

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October is the Perfect Time To Get Your Home Ready For Winter!

Summer is over, the leaves are changing color, and the weather is getting a bit cooler. It’s time to start getting your house ready for the cold winter months ahead. October is a great month to tackle those home repairs and winterizing projects before winter really starts.

Winterizing your home will help your home run smoothly over the winter and prevent minor issues from turning into large ones. Properly maintaining your home now will cut down on unexpected expenses such as broken pipes and overflowing gutters in the dead of winter.

When winterizing your home, it is important that you take precautions and stay safe. A fall from the roof or a ladder can be deadly so if you are uncomfortable performing any work, it is best to hire a professional.

  • Inspect Your Roof – Its not always safe to get up on a roof, so, if possible, do the inspection from the ground, using a pair of binoculars. Look for missing, damaged or loose shingles as well as debris. Call in a professional if repairs are needed but don’t wait as small roof problems have a habit of turning into big expensive ones.
  • Clean the Gutters – While its possible to clean your own gutters, in many cases it is best to hire a professional. Remove all leaves and debris to make sure they drain properly during fall and winter.
  • Check for Drafts – Check around windows and doors for drafts. Cold winter air coming in can affect your heating bill pretty heavily. If you find any serious drafts, caulk and seal the drafty areas.
  • Inspect and Clean Your Furnace – Have a professional test for leaks and check the efficiency of your heating system. The filter should be changed and the entire system cleaned before heavy use during the winter.
  • Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Change the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house. Test all devices to make sure they are working properly.
  • Turn Off Faucets – Put away hoses and shut down your outside faucets. A hose attached to an outside faucet in winter will
    often result in a burst pipe. Store hoses in a dry place to prevent damage.
  • Rake Leaves – Clean up the yard, rake up all leaves and debris. Raking leaves can be difficult work. If you are not up to the job consider purchasing a leaf blower or hire a professional or a local teen to help.
  • Close Up the Pool – If you have a pool, now is the time to shut it down for the winter. Closing a pool properly will ensure that it is protected over the winter months. Hire a professional or do it yourself if you know how.

Getting your house in order for winter months will cut down on major repairs, as well as help prevent expensive claims on your homeowners insurance.If you have any questions about coverage or your homeowners policy, give us a call at any time so we can help make sure you’re properly protected!

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4 Tips For Carving the Perfect Jack-o-Lantern

It’s October and time for leaves changing color, cooler weather, and a really fun holiday — Halloween! One of my favorite Halloween traditions is pumpkin carving. No matter what, there’s always something that can go wrong when trying to make your own Jack-O-Lantern. Here are 4 tips to help ensure that your pumpkin carving experience this Halloween is a treat, not a trick!

  1. Choose a large pumpkin. The larger the pumpkin, the easier it is to carve. Avoid any pumpkins with bruises or moldy stems as they will spoil much faster. Pumpkins with a lighter color tend to be softer and easier to carve.
  2. When cutting out the top, place the knife at a 45 degree angle so the lid will have a place to rest when you replace it. If you cut straight down, the lid will fall through.
  3. When cleaning the pumpkin, save the seeds. Toasted pumpkin seeds make a healthy as well as tasty snack. Use a large, heavy metal serving spoon or ice cream scoop to scrape the insides. If you plan to light the pumpkin with a candle, the back wall should be scraped as smooth as possible since this is where the light will be reflected. A 1-inch thickness of the pumpkin wall is optimum.
  4. For longer life, soak the cleaned pumpkin a couple of hours in a bleach water solution of 1 teaspoon bleach to 1 gallon of water. Dry thoroughly, then rub inside and out, including all cut edges, with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to prevent shriveling.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

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Join The Fight! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It shouldn’t take long when you hear the word “cancer” for someone you care about to pop into your head… unfortunately, most of us can say that we know someone who has battled the disease. Cancer reaches many of us on a personal level and because of that, many people take a very proactive approach in increasing awareness for it.

Each year, our Agency and many others nationwide observe October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October was established as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985, and an ongoing health campaign has continued since.

During October, extra effort is made to raise awareness of breast cancer and reduce the disease’s stigma by educating people about its symptoms and treatment options.

Greater knowledge and awareness can help lead to earlier detection of breast cancer.

Mammography is promoted as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.

Breast cancer has higher long-term survival rates than many other forms of cancer, and an early detection plan, including regular exams, can help Americans live longer, healthier, cancer-free lives.

t is critically important that we support this cause & do what we can to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Here are a few breast cancer facts to pay attention to. Did you know….

  • The older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer.
  • Men can get breast cancer. 1 out of every 100 cases of breast cancer will occur in a man.
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the U.S, after lung cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute estimates that a woman in the U.S. has a 1 in 8 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime.

For more information about breast cancer, including how you can show your support, visit the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’s website at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

Call our office during the month of October to find out more about how we can help protect you and your family with Cancer Insurance!

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Climb the Tree

I’ve been in the business world for years and very aware of it for much longer. I always had a sort of “drive” and knew that I could get to where I am (and further!) if I was just willing to pay attention and make a conscious effort to be successful.

As a small business owner, I am always looking for ways to improve and grow, not only in my business, but with myself as well. In this ongoing, lifelong process of self-improvement, I prescribe to a lot of “self-medication” in that I’m always paying attention for lessons that I can learn from, seeking out motivation to keep getting better, and working to maintain a positive mindset.

I came across a quote the other day that I thought really embodied my feelings about self-improvement, and I wanted to share it with you here…

“He that would have the fruit must climb the tree.” – T. Fuller

If we want to be successful – to continue maximizing our personal potential every day – we have to be willing to do what it takes, no matter what that is. For some of us, that means quitting a bad habit or making big attitude adjustments, while for others it simply means intensifying our current efforts.

If we want the fruit, we have to climb to the highest branches of the tree to pluck it. Those who aren’t willing to start climbing will never get there. Me, I’m a climber. I want what’s at the top, I have confidence and KNOW I can get to it, and I’m not going to let any amount of falling rain or unsteady limbs keep me from reaching for the next branch and making my way to that delicious fruit that’s up there waiting.

When it comes to self-improvement, you can’t dwell or over-analyze too much. Doing so sets you up to fail before you’ve even begun. You must keep an open mind, keep looking forward, and always be learning.

If you want the fruit, you have to climb the tree.

So start climbing.

What are you waiting for?

You CAN do it,

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6 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Life Insurance

As you probably know, September is Life Insurance Awareness month. Here are 6 reasons why you DON’T NEED life insurance.

  1. You are never going to die.
  2. You are going to inherit a fortune.
  3. You are going to win the lottery.
  4. Your children are going to support you.
  5. You are never going to retire.
  6. The government will take care of you.

We’re kidding. Hopefully, you don’t believe any of this nonsense above…you really DO need life insurance for yourself and your family.

Choosing to protect yourself and loved ones with Life Insurance is one of the most important things you can do.

We want to help make sure you are informed about this very important type of coverage.

While it is easy to overlook, life insurance is an absolute necessity to protect yours and your family’s financial future. It’s a subject no one really wants to think about, but if someone depends on you financially, it’s one you cannot avoid.

In the event of a tragedy, life insurance can:

  • Pay for funeral costs
  • Help pay the bills and meet ongoing living expenses
  • Pay off outstanding debt, including credit cards and the mortgage
  • Continue a family business
  • Finance future needs like your children’s education
  • Protect a spouse’s retirement plans 

For more information about Life Insurance or to review your current coverage, give us a call or come by the office today!

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5 Tips for Proper Gutter Maintenance When the Leaves Start Falling

As summer ends and fall begins, the leaves will quickly start falling. When they do, it is important that you are more aware than ever of the proper way of cleaning and maintaining gutters on your home.

On average, gutters accumulate anywhere from 40-250+ pounds of debris per year! It’s important to make sure to keep gutters clean from debris so that water may drain from the roof of your home properly. Neglecting to clean gutters over a long period of time could cause serious damage to your home.

If you can, pick a day when the leaves are dry to clean your gutter. It will make it easier for you to remove leaves and small twigs with your hands or a handheld leaf blower.

Here are 5 Tips to Help Keep Your Gutters Clean:

  1. For all gutter maintenance, you should use a steady ladder. Please use ladder safety precautions at all times. If your gutter is two or three stories high, use a ladder with a stabilizer.
  2. Remove all the debris from the gutter. Get every leaf and twig with a gloved hand. Go section-by-section, dump the debris you can reach in a bucket, and then move the ladder down (very carefully).
  3. After removing debris, check for corrosion and any holes or dents. Tip: If you find small holes, place a piece of painter’s tape by the hole so you can easily find it when you’re ready to repair. If you’ve found small holes in your gutter, you can seal them with a clear silicone sealant.
  4. Gently run water through your gutter with a garden hose to ensure your gutter is draining well.
  5. If the downspout is clogged, work to loosen the debris from the bottom up to avoid further clogging the downspout. Turn your water hose on high and run it up the spout from the bottom. If this doesn’t work, try a plumber’s snake (again, from the bottom to the top). If all else fails, remove the downspout and tackle the clog by hand.

There are now many gutter guards/covers available that fit on the gutter allowing water in while keeping debris out. Many of my customers have happily invested in this “one and done” solution. Shop smart and do your research if planning to purchase.

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September is National Preparedness Month

It’s important that we are always aware of the risks outside our control and are prepared in case the unthinkable happens.

We recognize National Preparedness Month to help increase awareness of the importance of always keeping safety first.

“Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

Here are 10 Ways to Prepare:

  1. Sign up for local alerts and warnings.
  2. Create your emergency plan and test it.
  3. Assemble or update your disaster kit.
  4. Conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions for local hazards.
  5. Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
  6. Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  7. Document your property and obtain appropriate insurance for hazards that may occur near your home.
  8. Make improvements to your home to reduce potential injury or property damage.
  9. Conduct a disaster exercise to review and improve your emergency plan.
  10. Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.

Now is a great time to learn lifesaving skills – such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.

For tips and information about maximum preparedness, go to www.ready.gov. It is the best resource for all types of disaster, emergency, and preparedness info.

Yours and your family’s safety is our Agency’s #1 Priority. Make sure you are properly prepared before a disaster or emergency strikes, have a complete Home Inventory, and are properly insured.

As always, if you have any questions about your current coverage, feel free to give us a call at any time.

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