Friends Are The Most Important Ingredient

“Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life.”
– Dior Yamasaki

I thought this week I would give you a few Facebook tips that I have found very helpful in our business.

In the presentations that I do, I’m often asked for tips and strategies to create and connect with friends and customers on Facebook.

Here’s a few:

  1. When a person “likes” your Facebook post, always respond with a comment with their name in it. Use their name to personalize the comment.

If you start to type their name in, Facebook will fill it in, and it will tag them.  If you want to make it more personal, you can back out their last name, which is what I suggest.

Here are some examples:

Mary, I love that you enjoyed this.

Mary, I knew this message would resonate with you.

Mary, I love it when you like what I share.

2. In the beginning of the post that you do, encourage people to share it with others. What I do is simply write on the top of the post:
“This is worth sharing with your friends.”

Or

“Please share.”

Put a message either at the top of your post or at the end of the post encouraging people to give it away.

  1. When someone shares your post, send them a “private message” thanking them for doing so.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    Mary, thank you for sharing my post.

    Mary, I am so glad that you found my post helpful, thank you for the share.

    Mary, thank you for the share! I hope that you are well and business is going well, let’s meet for coffee soon.

  2. If a person comments, always “like” their comment and respond to it with a question.

For example, if a person says, “That is really cool”, you would comment and ask them what is it about his that you found to be cool?

Just have some fun with it.  When people comment, don’t let them hang, go back and say something about what they said.  You want to encourage and facilitate a conversation and therefore build the relationship with them.

  1. Don’t forget to wish your friends a happy birthday on their birthdays.
  2. Use the list feature to sort our your friends, clients, colleagues, acquaintances, etc.  Learn more about Facebook lists here.

Why is this Key?  I call it the “Law of Familiarity”, the more communication, in whatever form, you have with people, the more familiar they become with you.

The reality is that people love to do business with the people they know, like and trust, and they love to refer others to people they are familiar with. Facebook is the ultimate way to create a high level of familiarity with others.

I LOVE connecting with people. In fact, if there was just one thing I feel that I am THE EXPERT in, it is branding and marketing. I use what I have learned to work with a few local business folks on how to connect and grow their brand both online and offline.

I am so committed to these local business friends that we have a Monday accountability call each week. The good news is that I have room for a couple more of these Monday accountability calls. So, look at 2017 – if you’re trying to START or GROW your personal brand, let me know. We’ll spend a little time together, and I will give you an assessment and a clear direction on HOW TO CRUSH 2017 to BOOST YOUR PERSONAL BRAND. Want to meet in person? We can do that too. All you have to do is comment below now, and I promise to make time for you because you are important to me.

Spring Cleaning Tips that Everyone Should Know

It’s a ritual here in the US – every spring, millions of Americans begin to clean their houses with an annual vigor. Did you know that this custom of “Spring Cleaning” may have come from Iranian, Jewish, and Chinese origins? Regardless of the reason for this custom, here are some tips that you can use to ensure that your Spring Cleaning is successful:

  • Work on your home from the top to the bottom and from one side to the other. Finishing rooms one at a time will give you a sense of accomplishment, and will also ensure that you aren’t carrying dirt or clutter between rooms.
  • If you can, multi-task. Run the washing machine or the dishwasher while you scrub or dust so that you can knock out two birds with one stone.
  • While you clean and organize, make a pile of things to donate – it will help you get rid of clutter, and can help benefit the community!
  • Go at your own pace – take breaks often to rest and rehydrate. Split big jobs into several smaller chunks so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Also, make sure that you know your limits, and hire a professional if necessary.

When you finish cleaning your house, give Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency a call and we’ll help you clean up your insurance portfolio! One of our friendly and knowledgeable agents can review your home insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, and other insurance policies to make sure that you have all the coverage that you need, and at the right price. Don’t hesitate, call now – 617-298-0655.

Planning Your Patriots Super Bowl Party

The New England Patriots have done it again – our boys will soon be on their way to Houston to play in the Big Game! Now that we know the lineup, it’s time to start planning a watch party with a red, white, and blue theme (my apologies to anyone from Atlanta).

If you’re going to have anyone over to watch the game on February 5th, make sure that you consider these party planning and safety tips from your friends at Vargas and Vargas Insurance Agency:

  • Ask your guests ahead of time if they have any food allergies, and plan your menu accordingly.
  • Before anyone arrives, move valuable and breakable objects to a room that isn’t a part of the festivities. If any of your belongings (or a part of your home) is damaged during the party, call your local insurance agent to start a home insurance claim!
  • Make sure that everything is safe for your guests – you don’t want any hazards around the house, like an icy sidewalk or rug that could be tripped over.
  • If you are serving alcohol, make sure that all partygoers have a designated driver, and don’t let anyone get too impaired.
  • If you’re going to be frying any of your party foods, keep guests (especially children) away from the fryer and out of the kitchen.

Have a great party, and make sure to show your Patriots pride on the Vargas and Vargas Insurance Facebook Page! We want to see how you are rooting for the team! And remember – to make sure that you are fully prepared for any house party, call for a free home insurance review at 617-298-0655.

Answers to Your Umbrella Insurance Questions!

Everyone knows the purpose of home insurance, business insurance, and car insurance. But do you know what umbrella insurance does? It’s one of the most mysterious insurance policies out there, but it is also a policy that gives you a fantastic amount of coverage for a very low price. Read more about umbrella insurance here:

What is Umbrella Insurance?

In short, umbrella insurance is coverage above and beyond your other insurance policies. For example, if you cause a car accident that results in property damage, injuries, and lost wages for the other party, your auto insurance policy will cover up to a certain amount of the damages. If the damages are more than the liability coverage limit on your insurance, you would be on the hook for the rest – unless you had umbrella insurance! The same umbrella insurance would also cover your home insurance and more.

Who needs Umbrella Insurance Coverage?

No one expects to need coverage above and beyond their home and auto insurance limits, but sometimes life has other plans. Most people could benefit from a Massachusetts umbrella insurance, especially those who own property, own a business, own a trampoline or dog, have significant savings or investments, or engage in activities that increase chances of a lawsuit.

How much Umbrella Insurance should I get?

Every person has different needs when it comes to their insurance. To find out how much umbrella insurance you should carry, talk to your local independent insurance agent. They will be able to identify your risks and recommend a policy based on your unique situation. For more information about Boston umbrella insurance, call the Vargas and Vargas Insurance team at 617-298-0655.

“When The Leader Lacks Confidence”

As people, we sometimes find ourselves in situations that leave us feeling uncomfortable and uneasy. As business people, leaders, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs, that’s pretty much a constant.

Being scared is part of being alive. Accept it. Walk through it.
-Robin Sharma

You know what I mean, it could be something positive—maybe speaking to a large crowd, launching a new product, or meeting with an important client.

It could be something negative—a confrontational meeting, an unexpected call, or an ambush instead of an actual sale.

In my experience, as a business person and leader, the day is filled with a mix of both the positive and negative. And, if you’re like me, sometimes we don’t always feel up to either.

Challenges are a constant, but confidence is not. It comes and goes. It ebbs and flows, but we have to learn from both and become better at dealing with our uncomfortable zone.

I experience the greatest doubt and anxiety at the start of something new and big. Whether it’s good or bad, I’m usually fine once I’m going. But until then, I’m like the person on the tip of a black diamond ski slope, overlooking way too much white powder.

Here’s the problem: If you’re a leader, going back isn’t optional. You have to go—and you have to go first.

So, how can we kick fear to the curb long enough to get off the slopes? For me, it comes down to connecting with three critical truths. And I think these can help anyone facing a moment of doubt or uncertainty.

Truth No. 1: They Matter

Whoever you’re dealing with, whatever their circumstances, they matter. This is non-negotiable for gaining confidence. Why? Because it draws us out of ourselves and our own concerns and doubts.

Truth No. 2: It Matters

Not only do others matter, but so do our solutions. As business people and leaders, our job is to meet needs. We could also say—just as easily and accurately—our job is to show how our offer meets our client’s needs.

Truth No. 3: I Matter

Frankly, this truth might be the hardest for some of us to believe. The people you’re dealing with matter. And yes, you know what best addresses their situation, even if it’s bad news.

You have to believe in yourself. Let these thoughts fill your mind and  see how they sound:

  • I am not here by accident. God sent me. To this person (or people or company). At exactly this time.
  • What I have to share is vitally important. It matters, to them, to their loved ones, and to the world.
  • I have all the resources I need to make a positive difference in this situation.

Go ahead and jump!.

This is not going to solve all your problems. You’ll still have the uncomfortable meeting and the angry clients. But who cares?

QUESTION: What big move, positive or negative are you dreading right now? I would love to know, leave a comment below.

That’s it for this week!

Now, go out and DOMINATE your week!

Carlos

What Happens to a Mortgage When the Owner Dies?

It’s a topic that no one wants to discuss, but that everyone should be talking about. Have you done any estate planning? After all, the fact is that we will all die one day, and it would be a huge burden lifted from the shoulders of your loved ones if you were prepared. Thankfully, there are lots of resources available to help make sure that your affairs are in order when your time comes.

One of the most important things that you should iron out is what will happen to your home. If you have a mortgage, there are several things that you need to consider. After all, the mortgage payments won’t just disappear!

If you have a co-borrower, the mortgage will automatically pass to them. If there is no co-borrower, a co-signer is the next person who would assume the property. If neither of these positions are filled, a Boston estate planning lawyer can help you construct a plan regarding passing your home to a person of your choice, whether it’s a child, grandchild, or someone else. When you die, your home (and your mortgage) will be transferred to that person, and it will be up to them whether to continue payments or sell the property.

Have you thought about having some extra life insurance or mortgage protection insurance to help pay for your property when you pass on? If you want to explore your options, call our agency and speak to a knowledgeable agent about what you can do to leave a parting gift for your loved ones.

Do you have any more questions about your mortgage? If so, please let me know! I have many friends in the mortgage industry and would be happy to help you find all the answers you are looking for. Also, we are always ready to answer your homeowners, automobile, homeowners, business insurance questions! Call or email me at cvargas@vargasinsurance.com, and we can find a time to chat and answer all your questions.

Helping the Seniors in Your Life This Winter

Whether it is a family member or a neighbor, everyone knows an elderly person that may need a little bit of extra help this time of year. Do your part to help the seniors in our area, especially in the harsh winters of Massachusetts. Here are three things you can help with:

Prevent Falls – During the winter here in Massachusetts, things are often slick. This is a concern for everyone, but most of all for seniors, who are at an increased risk for injury from slip and fall accidents. To decrease the risk of a slip, keep sidewalks and driveways de-iced.

Ensure Warmth and Comfort – When the temperature drops, you should make sure that the seniors in your life stay warm and comfortable. Monitor the air temperature in their home, and ensure that heating devices like space heaters are used properly to reduce the risk of fire.

Prepare for a Storm – Seniors need to be somewhere safe during a storm. Ideally, they would have someone with them – this could mean that someone stays with them until the storm blows over, or that the senior is relocated to stay somewhere safe during bad weather.

And if you want to further help your senior family members, friends, and neighbors, make sure that they have optimized their home, health, and life insurance policies. If you suspect that one of your elderly loved ones could use a thorough insurance review, please let me know – I would love to help and make sure that they are fully prepared for the rest of their life’s journey.

How Podcasts Saved My Life

Did I grab your attention with my headline?

Good!

When I say that podcasts saved my life, what I mean is that listening to podcasts has made my daily workout much more enjoyable. Here’s my story – a few years ago I was in a funk. I did not like the size that I was approaching (I am 5’5” and at my heaviest, I weighed more than 200 pounds), PLUS I was always exhausted. I love food, and socializing, so what was I supposed to do?

During Lent of 2015 my son challenged me. Matthew said, “Dad, I challenge to give up for lent  you to stop your daily glasses of wine at lunch and dinner, and add daily exercise into your day.” I accepted the challenge. While it was not hard to stop the wine drinking, I found it difficult to get daily exercise. After all, I have always found exercise boring, and I could only listen to so much music… so I  started listening to podcasts!

Do you listen to podcasts? If you don’t, I challenge you to do so! Whether you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur, or someone who just wants a little bit of self-improvement, you can get so much value from listening to podcasts (I even started a podcast, more on that later). Check out my ‘Top 10’ list below for some inspiration if you are new to the podcasting world.
Here are my top 10 podcasts:

Do you make it a point to get the recommended amount of exercise each week? According to the American Heart Association, the average person needs about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. In addition to aiding weight loss and heart health, exercise provides these invisible benefits:

  • Higher Pain Tolerance – Did you know that athletes have a higher tolerance for pain than sedentary people? This means that they are also less affected by day-to-day annoyances and stress.
  • Better Eating Habits – After a workout, people are less likely to crave high-calorie foods. This means that people that exercise are less likely to reach for junk food! It’s a win-win!
  • Less Stress and Anxiety – Exercise causes the release of GABA in the brain, which has been shown to quiet brain activity and minimizes anxiety. This means that spending a few minutes at the gym each day could make you a happier person, especially when you consider the endorphin rush you also get when working out!
  • Improved Immune System – In addition to lessening your chances of heart disease and diabetes, regular exercise has been proven to decrease the likelihood of contracting common illnesses like colds and flus.

How do you like to exercise? Hit reply now, I would love to know. Some people prefer zoning out on a treadmill, others (like me) prefer going out on nature walks in the community… thankfully, your body will appreciate the activity no matter how you chose to work out. So don’t wait any longer – get moving! And make sure that you let me know if you have any questions about health or health insurance policies

That’s it for this week!

Now, go out and DOMINATE your week!