The Soft Stuff Is The Hard Part

First a quote: “The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff.” – Roger Enrico, Former CEO, PepsiCo

I have facilitated countless change management workshops over the years. It is one of my favorite topics and has been one of our more popular workshops. I consider myself to be a passionate student on the subject; always studying, reading, learning, and growing in this area.  It is a fascinating topic.

The research on failed change initiatives is significant. Research from McKinsey and Company shows that 70% of all transformational change efforts fail. According to 2008 research from IBM, the need to lead change is growing, but our ability to lead others through change is shrinking.

My experience with major change efforts suggests change management, as a leadership responsibility, is not the most concerning issue. Most change initiatives, in which I have been a part, were fairly well managed and, in most cases, poorly led. Organizations today need more effective change leadership, not more change management.

What is the difference? Change management is about the tasks, things, buildings, equipment and processes involved; what will start, stop, change, be replaced; what will be different, etc. Change management is about anything and everything that can be scheduled on a Gantt chart, planning document or calendar. There is usually a start, a stop and a process and sequence of events to be managed.

Change leadership, on the other hand, is about the people. The soft stuff! It is about the emotional transition people must make in connection with significant change.  We’re talking about a psychological journey of sorts through predictable stages of change. Change leadership is about helping others navigate through normal and natural reactions to change. As much as we may want to tell others to simply “get over it” and move on, people must go through it. Moving through the emotional stages of change is also a process. These psychological transitions cannot be scheduled, planned, or put on a Gantt chart. It is about the soft stuff and as Roger Enrico said, “The soft stuff is the hard part.”

Let’s take relocating your family to a new home, perhaps in a new state, as an example. The change management list will be long, and perhaps feel overwhelmingly complex. A brief sampling of the list might include: finding a new home or apartment, getting out of your current lease, finding new service professionals including, barbers and beauticians, dental, medical and insurance providers, researching schools, renting a moving truck , forwarding your mail, getting a new driver’s license and updating utilities companies. Again, just a short sampling of a very long list to be managed.

Change leadership, also just a sampling, will include supporting your family while informing friends and relatives of the move, saying good-bye to neighbors, sorting, packing and perhaps disposing of favorite possessions, finding new friends and new social gatherings like churches, clubs or sporting groups. It will require going through loss and separation while still working through the uncertainties of your family’s new environment and looking forward with anticipation. I have seen research placing home relocation as one of the top 10 sources of personal stress, often straining marriages and other family ties.  If you have ever relocated teenagers, you know first-hand what I’m referring to.

I’m not suggesting change management, as a skill and leadership responsibility, is unimportant, clearly it is extremely important to the success of any change event. I am, however, suggesting change leadership doesn’t get nearly enough attention and often gets short shrift compared to the time and effort invested managing the hard stuff. Always remember, the soft stuff is the hard part when leading change.

Bonus Quotes Below.

How will you live and lead differently, or better, this week?

Do you know someone who might benefit from this weekly leadership minute?  If so, please feel free to pass along the subscription link below:
Click here to subscribe to Monday Morning Minute.

Have a great week!

Bryan Yager

“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”

Bonus Quotes:

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” Lao Tzu

“Change cannot be put on people. The best way to instill change is to do it with them. Create it with them.” – Lisa Bodell

“Few things are more important during a change event than communication from leaders who can paint a clear and confidence-inspiring vision of the future.” – Sarah Clayton

It Worked So Good…

I love technology! I love anything that is shiny, sexy, new. I love the latest and greatest ANYTHING!

So many things that show up on my Amazon suggestions call to me to just hit “Buy with 1 click!” So many information products (classes, seminars, resources, do it for you programs, etc.) sing to me.

I’ve seen a lot of marketers claiming that you no longer have to cold call. How cool! Wouldn’t it be awesome to just use social media? “Who needs to cold call,” the charlatans cry out. Just buy my course for $1,999 and I’ll show you how to leverage LinkedIn!!!

I’m not alone. As I work with sales teams all over the country, I regularly see organizations that have walked so far away from the basics of sales, they couldn’t find their way back with gps.

The reality is that we aren’t really leveraging technology. Technology is leveraging us.

Please understand that I am not a technology hater. I am more connected than I probably should be. Technology has made many aspects of our lives much easier (not necessarily any simpler.)

We get so caught up in learning the new tool that we forget to do the basics. Why? It is very safe to spend 4 hours learning how to do LinkedIn searches. Nobody can tell us no when we are watching videos.

Instead, we start spamming inviting people, we have zero connection to, to learn about our awesome opportunity. When they don’t respond or tell us they aren’t interested, at least it was so easy to ask we don’t feel the rejection the same way we would on the phone or in person.


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 [email protected] 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

  • Most people go right because most people go right.
  • Adversity creates tenacity.
  • DNA determines much more than hair color, height, etc.
  • Founders of companies are generally 5%ers.
  • CEOs are generally 30%ers.
  • Our country was born from 5%ers.
  • Learning what your two God-given talents are, being thankful and then letting God use them in service of others.

Ken's Billboard:
"Are you the best set of pliers?"

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Focus On The Five – Ken Coleman

Where To Connect With Elizabeth


Freaking out about taxes? You will want to join me next week when I have Elizabeth Hale, CPA on the podcast. Elizabeth specializes in helping small business owners and the self-employed increase their profitabilty while reducing their tax bill. Sounds good to me!!!

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

“What part of ‘I’m not interested are you to dumb to understand?!?!?!?”

WARNING: This post is not for weenies! To use the techniques described, you must have HUGE cojones!

Almost 15 years ago, I meet THE. WORST. HUMAN. BEING. on the planet. At least that’s what it felt like at that moment. I’m not sure if I caught him on a bad day or what.

I was trying to get on this business owner’s calendar for 20 minutes. He had already wasted 15 minutes telling me he was too busy to give me 20 minutes, but I digress. He kept telling me why he and his employees didn’t need Voluntary Benefits (VB). I kept trying to convince him that he was wrong. As you can imagine, I was losing and losing badly. I should have taken my dad’s advice, “Never try to teach a pig to sing, it just wastes your time and annoys the pig.” Well this particular pig was definitely annoyed when he turned 93 shades of red, put his finger right in my face and screamed, “WHAT PART OF ‘I’M NOT INTERESTED’ ARE YOU TOO DUMB TO UNDERSTAND?!?!?” Spit was flying and I was sure the vein in his forehead was going to explode at any moment.

I’d like to tell you how I was able to turn his objection around and close the case. That would be a lie. Instead I slinked out the door, with my tail between my legs, vowing to find a way to overcome that objection in the future. I took me several more years to formulate and then test the concept of, “WHATEVER their objection is, that is exactly the reason they MUST move forward!” I really believe that.  But how do I attack the “What part of ‘I’m not interested don’t you understand?’ objection? It took me almost five years, but I figured it out! Let’s get to it shall we?

The Exact Reason They MUST Move Forward

Objection – “What part of ‘I’m not interested’ don’t you understand?”
What most insurance agents say – “……………… “ Click. (The sound of the agent leaving or hanging up.)
Why that’s the wrong thing to say – Most agents just pack up and go home. It’s pretty hard to close a sale from the parking lot.

What you are going to say from now on –
You – “That’s exactly why I’m here! I knew before I got here that there was no way you would be interested. Again, that’s exactly why I’m here!
Them – “…..(confusion showing) “What? What do you mean that’s why you’re here?”
You – “(Said with great confidence and a little humor.) Like I said, I knew you weren’t interested. See, if you were interested you would have called me! What I have found overwhelmingly is: Once a business owner sits down, takes an objective look at how our porgrams work, understand that it doesn’t cost them anything, and can even drive revenue to their bottom line, well then all of a sudden they are very interested. I get it, you are not alone. No one wants to meet with us, until they meet with us. Let’s do this, if you will either sit down with me today or early next week, I promise to keep it to 15-20 minutes. If you like it, great! If you still aren’t interested, I’ll help your throw me out. That’s fair, isn’t it?
Them – “(In their best Robert Deniro voice from Analyze This) You. You! You’ve got a gift my friend!
Why this works – It is the exact opposite of what they expect. They have a script that gets sales people out of their office. In fact, their script is so good that when it doesn’t work, they don’t know what to do. Other than give you the appointment!!! Trust me, I have used this technique dozens and dozens of times. There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to overcoming objections, but this one is close.

Conclusion: Even the most difficult objections can be meet head-on. The best way to meet these objections head-on is to use that objection as the exact reason they need to move forward. Done properly, this technique is devastating. So devastating it might even give you an unfair advantage. That’s all I’ve ever asked for out of life: Just one or two unfair advantages!!

Question: I dare you to leave me an objection in the box below that you think I can’t turn into the exact reason they need to move forward. I promise you that I will answer all comments!

Parting Thought: If you enjoyed this article, (and why wouldn’t you?) please consider sharing it with as many people as possible! You can “Like” it on Facebook or tweet it by clicking the buttons below. Perhaps you can pass it on to your friends through email (there’s a button for that too)? Show the VB world that you are coming for them!!!

“Power Hour” and the $10,000 Mistake

If you haven’t turned 21 lately, or like me, had a child turn 21 lately, you might not know what a “Power Hour” is.  In Arizona, last call is 1:00 a.m. on weekdays (2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, more on that later).  It seems there is a recent tradition that many young adults have a celebration of becoming old enough to (legally) drink by inviting all their friends (at least the ones over 21) to join them at a bar starting at midnight on the day they are actually turning 21 and drinking the hour until last call.  As you can imagine these invitations go out through Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.

My youngest daughter Victoria was no exception, earlier this month when she hit the big two one.  In fact, she convinced us to allow a “few of her friends” to come over to our house around 8:30 p.m. to “pre-game” for her “Power Hour.”  A few friends quickly turned into 18 and the party was on.

As her father, I was recruited to be one of the designated drivers.  Everyone was having a great time and many were already feeling no pain by the time we loaded up the gang and headed out to the bar my daughter had chosen, McFadden’s at the Westgate Center in Glendale, AZ

When we arrived at McFadden’s the party had actually grown to over 25.  As everyone gathered around Victoria went boldly up to the bouncer and presented her I.D. showing very clearly, that as of one minute ago, she was indeed now legal to drink.  The bouncer very rudely informed her that she still wasn’t allowed into McFadden’s, as they don’t recognize someone as being 21 until the following day.  The crowd quickly got ugly. (Did I mention alcohol had been flowing?)  I tried to intervene and asked to speak to the manager.  From the way he walked over to talk to me, I knew instantly that this conversation wasn’t going to accomplish much.  It quickly became apparent that he hadn’t read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  In fact, I’m not sure he had read too many books period.  I very politely asked him what day it was.  He affirmed to me that it was indeed the day I thought it was.  I then asked him what day someone born on that day, say…….. 21 years ago might become legal to drink.  He agreed, it was that very day.  So no problem, right?  Wrong!  He said that it was still the previous day as far as their business day was concerned and that until he closed out that business day he and McFadden’s wouldn’t consider my daughter to be legal.  Seriously dude, I have 25+ people that are ready to come in and spend a ton of money and you are going to turn your nose up.  You may have noticed I have given you the name of the bar (McFadden’s at the Westgate Center in Glendale, AZ) several times.  I’m doing that so that the name burns into your mind.  I hope you remember this post the next time you are in the area and are ready to pick a place.  There are some great bars and restaurants in the area.  McFadden’s isn’t one of them.

Someone suggested we walk the 50 feet or so to Saddle Ranch.  Saddle Ranch is a country bar.  You can tell it’s a country bar by the hay bales outside and the mechanical bull inside.  Once again, my daughter boldly approached the bouncer with her ID at the ready.  She loudly announced it was her birthday and handed over her driver’s license.  He swiped it through his handheld ID verification machine and held it up so that everyone could see that it read “Age 21” in big read letters.  A cheer rang out from the assembled crowd and we started to walk in.  It took a few minutes for the bouncer to check everyone else’s I.D. (except mine….sigh).  While we were waiting, a different bouncer, who had seen the cheer ring out stopped the manager of Saddle Ranch and let him know it was Victoria’a 21st birthday.  He came over to us, congratulated her, asked her how many were in the party, and then offered to buy the first round for the entire crew!  What a difference!!!  I know how much that cost (approximately $200), because I bought the second round.  Well earlier I mentioned that last call on Friday and Saturday was actually 2:00 a.m.  Since Victoria’s birthday fell on a Saturday, her “Power Hour” turned into two hours.  Very conservatively we spent $600 (25+ people X $8/drink X 4 drinks = $800).  Saddle Ranch wanted it, McFadden’s didn’t.

So how is this a $10,000 mistake?  Let’s say that none of the 25 people that partied with us that night ever return to McFadden’s (I know I won’t).  And that the average bar tab is just $50.  Let’s also say they might have gone there a total of 4 additional times in their lifetime, that are now not happening.  So here is the math: 25 people X $50 X 4 lost visits = $5,000 in lost revenue. But it doesn’t stop there.  What if each one of them convinced just one other person not to ever go to McFadden’s again?  We just doubled the $5,000 in lost revenue to $10,000.

But actually it get’s worse.  Much worse.  Here is what I have observed over the last several years.  People that are around 21 post EVERYTHING on social media.  They aren’t just telling a friend or two about their bad experiences.  They are telling EVERYBODY in their social network.  Just that night I saw no less than 10 Facebook posts about how McFadden’s had been rude to us and how awesome Saddle Ranch was.  I’m sure there were more than 10 but I’m not connected on Facebook to all of my daughter friends.  I know that it was also tweeted and countless pictures were posted on Instagram with #McFadden’s Sucks, #PartyAtSaddleRanch.  Honestly this night turned into a much bigger mistake than just $10,000 for McFadden’s.  If you think that each person that attended reached 100 people that night via social media, and that it affected the behavior of just 10%, then McFadden’s lost more like $50,000 by being rude.  Conversely Saddle Ranch paid less than $200 (in free drinks) to get some of the absolute best marketing it could possibly hope for; the spontaneous endorsement of raving fans.

Recap: You can’t afford to have your clients upset with you.  They won’t tell just a few people.  There is a good chance that they can reach thousands with their message.  I currently am connected to 1785 people on LinkedIn, 480 on Facebook and have 2,101 people that follow me on Twitter.  How many of them would you want to hear about how great you are?  What if the news wasn’t so good?

Question: What do you want your clients to say about you on social media?

Elizabeth Hale – Protect Your Profit

Not going to lie, I am NOT a fan of the IRS. We have tangled more than once and surprisingly I have yet to win… Today’s guest Elizabeth Hale is a CPA that specializes in business accounting. She is definitely 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 pretty 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

  • Her start in the family restaurant business.
  • Just because there is money in the checking account doesn’t mean that things are on track financially in your business.
  • Time is actually a financial asset.
  • Why you MUST set aside money aside for taxes.
  • How you structure your business (sole proprietor, LLC, etc.) can dramatically impact your tax liability.
  • You actually make money by hiring someone to handle non-revenue generating activities.
  • How Process Street can help you create checklists for employees.
  • Why “benchmarking” is so important.
  • Why you would want to file an extension.
  • Preserve time you can go back.
  • Fund retirement before the end of the extension.
  • Amend previous year’s returns.
  • Interest the IRS charges may be less than any other financing.
  • Other strategies to increase profitability.
  • Ongoing training of your employees.
  • Keeping employees engaged.
  • Looking at ALL overhead expenses carefully.Limiting discretionary expenses.
  • The 2018 tax break doesn’t mean larger refunds.
  • To avoid overwhelm at tax time:
    • Get a simple accounting software system (she recommends QuickBooks Online) and keep it up to date
    • Get a separate bank account and credit card just for the business. (Don’t comingle funds!)
  • Avoid the challenges of writing off meal and entertainment expenses by buying gift cards for YOU to use.

Elizabeth's Billboard:
Protect Your profit!

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute

Good to Great – Jim Collins


Traction – Gino Wickman

Protect Your Profit – Elizabeth Hale


Where To Connect With Elizabeth


Join me again next week when I bring on retirement specialist Daniel Blue. I promise he is going to blow your mind! At least he did mine.

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

Daniel Blue – It’s Your Money

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” as a 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

  • He is the embodiment of the American dream.
  • He is a college dropout and has been in sales his whole life.
  • Why the public school system should teach about money.
  • His opioid addiction and how he has overcome it through recovery.
  • His company Quest Education is the 296th fastest growing company on the Inc. 5000.
  • Eat your own cooking.
  • The importance of measuring EVERYTHING in sales.
  • Numbers don’t lie.
  • Create and stick to a budget.Make sure you and your significant other are on the same page when it comes to money. (What are your needs vs. wants?)
  • If you are having money challenges, you need to make more money… (Duh!)
  • It’s not smart to have money in low-interest investments when you have high-interest credit card debt.
  • The financial world wants to make sure you leave your money in longterm investments because they get paid for “money under management.”
  • How a solo/self-directed 401(k) works and why it might be the right vehicle for 1099 employees or small business owners.
  • Inside a solo/self-directed 401(k) you can own things other than stocks, such as property.

Daniel's Billboard: Your money, your choice, your quest.

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins


The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss



Jonny Burgess returns! Jonny's first episode probably generated the most feedback of any episode. Since then his business has exploded and I can't wait to show you why.

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

Jonny Burgess

I love Jonny Burgess! Even if he did try to 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…  More importantly, Jonny gave his readers a step-by-step outline on how to be successful too. Hence the name of the book.

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.

Things Jonny And I Talked About

  • He had no plan B when he started.
  • He had 8 kids and a mortgage payment of $5,000 per month, yet never missed a payment.
  • He is more excited about VB today than he has ever been.
  • You must make your sales presentation real simple, then lather, rinse, repeat.
  • His employer presentation lasts 4-5 minutes.
  • You must get the shelf space first and then build from there.
  • How to create a “milk run” of 200 clients.
  • Why you should borrow the prospect’s pen.
  • How to create urgency.
  • Why working with brokers is becoming critical.

Jonny’s Billboard: The tragedy is not that you aimed too high and missed. It’s that you aimed too low and hit.

The Books We Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Success Principles – Jack Canfield

When God Winks At You – Squire Rushnell

If it’s going to be, It’s up to me! – Robert Schuler

You Can Too – Jonny Burgess

You Still Can Too – Jonny Burgess

Where To Connect With Jonny


Social Media Guru, Alex Lombard is going to drop some serious knowledge on the SIV Tribe!
Don’t you dare miss it!

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

  • He was expelled from seminary.
  • He started his career selling books door to door as a college intern
  • Adversity needs to be examined in perspective.
  • His passion is helping people live their best life.
  • Learning to ride in the current rather than fighting it.
  • The next 10 years are the “golden age” for Voluntary Benefits.
  • When you are having “one of those days” remember:
    • It’s not about you.
    • We tend to look at problems from the “me” perspective.
      • Why are they being mean to ME?
      • Why do bad things always happen to ME?
      • Why don’t people buy from ME?
  • The best way to get out of that funk is to make a positive impact on another person.

“The best advice I’ve ever received was to do what scares you.” – Eric Hemati

  • Be present
  • You only find your authentic voice after you know how to do something.
  • Courage doesn’t occur without fear.
  • If you saw someone talking to their dog like you talk to yourself, you would probably want to intervene and tell them not to treat their dog that poorly.
  • One of the biggest self-limiting beliefs is that we need to do something on our own. Lose the pride and ask for help!

Eric's Billboard
Love each other

The Books eric and i Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Sell Or Be Sold – Grant Cardone

Think and Grow Rich  – Napoleon Hill​

Where To Connect With Eric


Join me again next week when I bring on Andy Neary. Andy is going to school us on creating mindshift by eliminating mindshit.

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

Brad Lea – 4 Pillars of Training

"Training is something we do, not something we did." - Brad Lea

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 espouses.   

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

  • He dropped out of school at 16 when
  • His dad kicked him out of the house.
  • His upcoming book The Hard Way.
  • The difference between “hard work” and “working hard.”
  • How he mastered the game of sales.
  • He became addicted to helping others learn sales and watching them have incredible success.

  • The four keys necessary for learning:
    • Great content
    • Repetition
    • Practice and role play
    • Accountability
  • With the right knowledge, success is guaranteed.
  • Confidence comes from competence and competence comes from practice.

"I took the scenic route. It’s been a longer journey than I thought. But, EVERY SINGLE DAY I GET: A little better. A little smarter. A little closer to my goal. As long as I’m breathing, I’m on my way." - Brad Lea

The Books Andy and i Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

The Bible – God

Think and Grow Rich  – Napoleon Hill

Where To Connect With Andy


Join me again next week when I bring on Author John Reid. I promise he is going to challenge your thought proccess around sales systems. At least he did mine!

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

Eric Silverman – Returns

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

  • Eric fully admits he is a recovering carrier rep
  • Insurance is a small industry.
  • We are in the people business.
  • You must know what is going on in the industry.
  • Bypassing the broker has killed the reputation of Voluntary Benefits.
  • Every employee must become a true consumer.

  • There here are only 4 types of medical brokers as it pertains to Voluntary Benefits.
    • Those who ignore VB.
    • Those who send it to the same carrier rep they always use.
    • Those who bring it in house by hiring a VB practice manager.
    • Those who outsource through a carrier agnostic boutique VB firm (like Eric’s.)
  • Eric thinks of himself as a supply chain manager for brokers.

"How can you claim that you are breaking through the status quo if you are treating Voluntary Benefits the same way you always have?" - Eric Silverman

The Books eric and i Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

The CAP Equation – Joe Buzzello

Don’t Keep Me A Secret – Bill Cates

Where To Connect With Eric


Join me again next week when I bring on Brad Lea. Brad is a guy I have been following on social media and the work he is doing with his company LightSpeed VT for at least 5 years. You are going to love his positivity and mindset.

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…

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

  • While selling mobile homes he learned:
    • To follow a system
    • To have a process
    • To be a product of the product
  • Why he became a student of sales and continues to invest in himself.
  • Do you want to be a pro or an amateur?
  • As “The Sales Whisperer” Wes:
    • Trains sales trainers
    • Rehabilitates salespeople
  • Always Be Closing doesn’t fly today. (If you haven’t ever watched the famous scene from Glenngary Glen Ross you can watch it here. Carefully CLICK HERE WARNING!!! It is not safe for work.)
  • His sales cycle is:
    • (A)tract
    • (B)ond
    • (D)eliver/Delight
    • (C)onvert
    • (E)ndear

“Don’t stick with it until you get it right. Stick with it until you can’t get it wrong!” – Wes Schaeffer

  • Why you need 7 different voice mail scripts
  • You’re not that good
    • Talent is not transferable
    • Only systems allow you to grow and scale
    • Henry Ford is known because of his system
  • Jimmy Kimel and Oprah make enormous amounts of money by:
    • Asking good questions
    • That they have researched
    • So that they can have an engaging conversation
    • Sound familiar?
  • The biggest mistake salespeople make is not knowing their #1 job.
    • It isn’t selling
    • The #1 job is prospecting. It is the only thing you can control
  • The easiest person to sell is someone who has already bought from you.
  • It’s easy to be a Navy Seal. The trick? Don’t quit.

"I want to be remembered as someone who took his shot." - Wes Schaeffer

The Books Andy and i Talked About

As always: Click on the cover below to learn more or purchase through Amazon.

Breaking Through The Status Quo – Andy Neary

The Alchemist  – Paulo Coleho


Eric Silverman returns to the Success Is Voluntary Podcast and he pulls NO punches. In fact, I'm guessing he is going to make all of us a little mad and that's o.k. We can't grow unless someone challenges/pushes us. Eric has always done that for me.

Until then, I wish you great SUCCESS! I’ve heard it’s VOLUNTARY…