Pessimism; Good or Bad??

Editor’s Note: Success Is Voluntary is very excited (and proud) to introduce you to Bryan Yager of the Bryan Yager Group. Bryan writes a very popular newsletter that is delivered each week titled Monday Morning Minute. To find out more about Bryan, and the fantastic work he does, just head on over to

Monday Morning Minute

First a quote: “I like pessimists. They’re always the ones who bring life jackets for the boat.”
Lisa Kleypas, author

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I like to write about positive energy and how important it is for leaders to be forward looking, optimistic and creators of hope, confidence, trust, promoters of opportunity and a better world for all. (see links below) Today, I focus on the opposite end of the optimistic/pessimistic continuum.

I am often asked to deliver workshops demonstrating the importance of diversity and the role of diversity in an organization’s success. As you might correctly assume, there is often a focus on gender, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation in most diversity initiatives.  Those are certainly important topics and at the same time, the importance of diversity extends well beyond those critical topics.

There is also a need for diversity in terms of personalities, working styles and leadership tendencies. Just to give a few examples, please consider:

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SIV #072: Eric Hemati – Twins Separated At Birth


“We get out of life what we put into the lives of other people.”

I first met Eric Hemati in early November of 2018 and knew immediately that we were kindred spirits. Since then we have probably spent 20-30 hours on the phone together.

The more I talk to Eric, the more I realize that he is one of the “good guys” in our business. He does everything with excellence and integrity.

Eric has spent 13 years building and growing his agency that has agents all across the United States. To accomplish this he does a great job of leveraging technology including a very innovative website for his agents to learn through.

As I’ve gotten to know Eric, I swear our experience, philosophies and leadership style are so closely aligned that I swear we must be twins separated at birth (and about 10 years.)

I know you are probably sick of hearing me say this, but you might want to take some notes… Of course, you don’t have to. Taking notes is voluntary… but so is success. Remember, you don’t have to be all fancy about it and write your notes in a bound leather journal. Just grab a brown paper bag and some blue crayons and let’s go to work.

Things Eric And I Talked About

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SIV #071: Brad Lea – 4 Pillars of Training

Training is something we do, not something we did.

Training is something we do, not something we did.

I first talked to Brad Lea 6 years ago when I reached out to him about a tweet he had posted. We spoke for nearly an hour and he explained his training technology platform, Light Speed VT, and how it was completely changing the way organizations deliver training results to their people. He was killing it then and his business has grown exponentially since.

I have continued to follow Brad via Twitter and recently Instagram. His posts are always incredibly positive and uplifting. The cool thing is that his posts are the real deal. I don’t know if you are aware of this, but what some supposed gurus post online, has nothing to do with their reality. It’s refreshing to see someone like Brad who actually lives out the values he espouse.   

If you decided to listen to this podcast today because you needed an attitude adjustment, you are in the right place! But know this, Brad is going to purposely try to make us a little uncomfortable. He believes that we need to seek out and embrace discomfort as it is the only way we grow. I know you are probably sick of hearing me say this, but you might want to take some notes… Of course, you don’t have to. Taking notes is voluntary… but so is success. Remember, you don’t have to be all fancy about it and write your notes in a bound leather journal. Just grab a brown paper bag and some blue crayons and let’s go to work.

Things Brad And I Talked About

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Come join me (and a several hundred of my closest friends) in Nashville Tennessee!  The great team at SourceMedia and Employee Benefit Adviser have put together what promises to be an outstanding conference.

I have been honored to give the kick-off, keynote speech! I couldn’t be more humbled and excited. The title of my talk is Leaving a Legacy Through Recruiting.

For more information about the conference just CLICK HERE  But you need to hurry! The conference is almost sold out.

See you in Nashville ‘ya all.

Date: February 20, 2019
Time: 3:30-4:15 p.m.
Appearance: Work Place Benefits Renaissance
Outlet: Keynote Speech - Leaving A Legacy Through Recruiting
Location: Omni Hotel - Nashville, Tennesee
Format: Other

I will be announcing the full launch of the website!

SIV #070: Eric Silverman Returns

Single-handedly disrupting a 100-year old industry.

All we have to do is change everything.

I’ve known today’s guest Eric Silverman for a long time. When we had him on last time he sparked some controversy with some of his opinions and thoughts around where he thinks the Voluntary Benefits industry, or as he calls it enhanced benefits, is headed.

Well if you though his last appearance was controversial, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t agree with him on several things we talked about but I do admire, respect and am willing to be challenged by his positions and beliefs. How open are you to hearing things that might challenge your status quo? I never want to close off my thinking by digging into my position without understanding the other side of the argument.

As you listen to today’s podcast, my guess is that there will be somethings Eric talks about that might not sit quite right with you or even make you mad… And that’s great!

Eric would love to start a conversation with you and listen to your point of view.

During our interview I forgot to talk about his excellent book Breaking Through The Status Quo. That was completely my fault. (Sorry Eric!) I can’t recommend it enough!

Now SERIOUSLY get out blue crayons and brown paper bag to take some notes. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and facilitating a lively discussion around this interview.

Things Eric And I Talked About

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SIV #069: Wes Schaeffer – The Sales Whisperer


The A,B,C,D,Es of Selling

I first met Wes Schaeffer at a convention in Phoenix back in 2014. He was just starting to get some real traction in his business and he has exploded from there. His “The Sales Podcast” is one of my must listen to podcasts and he has taught me a ton!

You are going to enjoy our time with Wes and I hope you come away a better salesperson.

Do you know the only way to ensure you learn something from this podcast? Take some notes!

You don’t have to be all fancy about it and write them in your leather bound journal. Just grab a brown paper bag and some blue crayons and let’s go to work.

Things Wes And I Talked About

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SIV #068: John Lee Dumas – On Fire


The Power Of Focus

I have listened to John Lee Dumas’ (or JLD as he likes to be called) Entrepreneur On Fire podcast for several years. I have to be honest with you, I can’t keep up.  John literally produces a new podcast seven days a week! When I just checked today, he had produced 2082. WHAT?!?!

On the EOFire podcast John interviews top entrepreneurs and business leaders. His list of guests is crazy. With nearly 2,100 interviews (and counting) I promise you can find a guest that will help you and your business.

Instead of spending any more time telling you about JLD, I’d encourage you to jump on his website at

Get out your blue crayon and brown paper bag to take some notes. Let’s do this! Let me introduce you to the Mayor of Fire Nation himself, John Lee Dumas

Things John And I Talked About

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SIV #067: John O’Leary – Live Inspired


John O’Leary might be my favorite guest to ever appear on the Success Is Voluntary Podcast. No offense to the previous 66 guests.

I have been to somewhere between 50 and 75 large, national sales/leadership conferences in my career. Invariably the organizers bring in a keynote speaker to inspire the audience. Some of them crush it and others have been ok, but for some reason miss the mark for me personally. 

In January of 2017, I heard today’s guest John O’Leary speak. I have never heard a speaker that I have taken away as much hope and excitement for life as I did that day. During his talk I literally lost it 2 times and walked away incredibly inspired. His message is still impacting my life.

When John O’Leary was 9 years old, he suffered burns over 100% of his body and was expected to die. He is now an inspirational speaker and author, teaching more than 50,000 people around the world each year how to live inspired

I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it!

John O’Leary

Not only has his book On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life become a national best seller, his podcast Live Inspired is in the top 20 podcasts on iTunes.

His message of hope and the ability for everyone, including you and me, to be overcomers was something I desperately needed at the time. I hope this podcast blesses you and impacts you in ways you are still remembering years from now.

I’d encourage you to listen to the entire podcast as John and I are doing something really cool for the first 5 people that email me.

If this podcast doesn’t inspire you, I give up. I say it every week, SERIOUSLY get out your pen and note pad. OK, enough build up! Please let me introduce you to my new friend John O’Leary.

Things John And I Talked About

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SIV #066: Gerry Sandusky

Engage, Amaze, Influence

Gerry Sandusky joins the Success Is Voluntary podcast

I was introduced to today’s guest, Gerry Sandusky by my good friend Eric Silverman. And just to be clear from the very beginning, this is not the same Jerry Sandusky that was convicted of child molestation while a football coach a Penn State.

Ok. We got that out of the way.

This Gerry is the play-by-play announcer of the Baltimore Ravens. How cool is that!?!? But that’s not why I asked him to come on.

You can imagine, his climb up the broadcasting ladder was arduous. Along the way, he had the opportunity to meet a vast amount of very influential people. He noticed some of these people were horrible communicators once they got to the front of the room to speak. Gerry decided to do something about it and he started a coaching company to teach people how to give presentations that Engage, Amaze and Influence their audience.

In our industry, I can’t imagine a better outcome whenever you make a presentation, whether you are trying to convince a Decision Maker to let you see their employees, or sharing the value of your coverage with those employees.

I loved talking with Gerry! I felt like I attended a master’s class for free!

Things Gerry and I Talked About

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SIV #064: Dov Gordon – Leading Elegant Sales Conversations

The 3 Questions Every Prospect Asks

Dov Gordon: Success Is Voluntary Podcast Guest

I was introduced to today’s guest, Dov Gordon by Bob Burg. Bob appeared on the SIV podcast a couple of weeks back and I am thrilled to get Dov on so soon. Bob had him on his podcast and I found their conversation to be fascinating and couldn’t wait to get to dive in deeper into what Dov calls Leading Elegant Sales Conversations. Dov’s approach has nothing to do with scripts, tricks or hacks. I found it fascinating and I think you will too!

Things Dov And I Talked About

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