SIV #077: Jonny Burgess Returns!


I love Jonny Burgess! Even if he did almost get me fired. I first had Jonny on the SIV podcast back in 2014. He had just written and published his book You Can Too. The book details his start in the Voluntary Benefits arena and the challenges he had to overcome. (Apparently, his kids wanted to eat every day… lol) More importantly, Jonny gave his readers a step-by-step outline on how to be successful too. Hence the name of the book.

How the nearly getting fired part works is that Jonny was, and still is, representing Aflac. In his book he talks extensively and exclusively of his work with Aflac. He went so far as to put a picture of the Aflac duck on the cover. He also received an endorsement from the Aflac President.

So far so good, right? Well…. here’s the thing. At the time I was a corporate employee of Aflac’s biggest competitor. I put a picture of Jonny’s book (with the duck) on the Success Is Voluntary website. My company lost its mind and threatened termination if I continued the SIV website and podcast. They believed I was “training competitors how to sell Voluntary Benefits.” I reminded them that Success Is Voluntary is carrier agnostic. They didn’t care. So as I wrote about in my blog article “I’m Back!” on January 1, 2018 I’m ashamed I caved. You can read the article here:

That’s all ancient history and I’m glad to no longer have to answer to Corporate America and work with shortsighted people.

Fast forward to around Thanksgiving of 2018. I came home to find that a book had been delivered. That’s not that unusual as I read a book a week. What was unusual is that I didn’t remember ordering a book. I hadn’t. It was a copy of Jonny’s new book: You Still Can Too. I had no idea he had written it. It was signed and contained a note that I was mentioned in the book! In his book, Jonny mentioned this very podcast and encouraged anyone in the VB arena to listen. Thank you Jonny for your kind words.

I want to give credit for today’s episode to Jennifer Hyatt. Jen is a rookie VB agent in Las Vegas. She is absolutely kicking ass. She found the SIV podcast because of Jonny’s blurb in his book. Jen asked me to get Jonny back on and I couldn’t have agreed more. Thanks Jen for the suggestion!

Remember, Jonny’s book is called You Still Can Tool not Jonny is a rockstar. Jonny, Jen and I all believe that you can too… If you get serious about this thing, stay coachable and take action. Oh yeah, taking a note or two couldn’t hurt either.

Things Jonny And I Talked About

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SIV #076: Daniel Blue – It’s your money!

Daniel Blue - Quest Education

I don’t know about you, but if I’m being completely honest and transparent, I haven’t done a very good job saving for retirement during my career. About 7-8 years ago I got serious and started to find ways to invest in my future. After talking to this week’s podcast guest, Daniel Blue, I realized that there was/is a different approach that might be better than the traditional “just invest in mutual funds and keep it there until you retire” strategy.

My guess is that you probably haven’t heard about the strategies Daniel talked about during his interview. I know I hadn’t. Please hear me clearly, I am not even close to being a financial advisor. Having said that, I think you might want to explore some of the things Daniel suggests.

You might also want to take notes. If you don’t take notes, and you end up broke at retirement… That’s on you!

Things Daniel And I Talked About

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SIV #075: Elizabeth Hale – Protect Your Profit

Elizabeth Hale - Protect Your Profit

“Every dollar you write off saves you 30 cents in taxes.”

I don’t know about you, but I am NOT a fan of the IRS. We have tangled more than once and surprisingly I have yet to win, sigh… Today’s guest Elizabeth Hale is a CPA that specializes in business accounting. She is definately a fantastic resource for the self-employed.

Elizabeth has a passion for helping businesses protect their profit through multiple avenues, not the least of which is helping them avoid unnecessary taxation. I have run my own businesses for 25 years and thought I had a preaty good handle on tax strategies. Elizabeth gave me (and you) a Master Class.

If you don’t get out something to take notes on, you deserve every single penny you are going to pay in taxes this year. But maybe you don’t feel the need to save money on your taxes. If that’s true, please make your checks payable to the Tim Martin retirement fund…

Things Elizabeth And I Talked About

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SIV #074: Ken Coleman – Focus on the 5

Ken Coleman - Focus on the 5

“40% of millionaires are 1st generation immigrants.” – Ken Coleman

I met Ken through a series of events and I am so thankful to connect with him. He has challenged my thinking and I‘m relatively sure he will yours as well.

I’m really interested in finding out if you are a 5% er. Leave a comment below or shoot me an email to

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 Ken And I Talked About

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SIV #073: Andy Neary – Shift Happens


“Before you shift your mindset, you have to clear the mindsh*t.”

Today’s guest, Andy Neary, was introduced to me by our mutual friend and frequent podcast guest Eric Silverman. I’ve got to tell you, I loved doing this interview. On the Success Is Voluntary podcast we often talk about mindset or we do a deep dive on technical skills/strategies. I’m not sure we have ever done both in the same episode (at least to the level we did here.)

The only way you won’t get something out of today’s podcast is if you don’t listen. The best way to get the most value out of your time listening is to take some notes. Here’s what I would encourage you to do: hit pause, get a pen and something to write on and let’s get to work.

Things Andy And I Talked About

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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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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


It’s a matter of perspective…

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

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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