Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 15th

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

The best way to learn to be present and develop presence is to have the experience of someone you respect and admire being present with and for you. ~ Mark Goulston

As I have mentioned in earlier emails, I was a speaker at IAOA in January. This gathering, our country’s youngest and brightest independent insurance agents, is one of the highlights of my year.

The trip started with our airplane ride to Phoenix. I don’t know what you do on an airplane, but I usually work writing blogs, creating  posts and/or laying out chapters ideas for the book I’m writing.  

Suddenly, I got a look from my wife, Kathy that screamed, “hey, I’m over here, why aren’t we communicating?”  

I put my laptop away, we watched a movie, fell asleep and had a great flight.

The conference is 2 ½ days of presenters and break-out sessions all day. The event is choreographed so that all of the members in attendance get maximum exposure to one another. Kathy spent this time by the pool, visiting the local things to do and working on her hobby.

When the conference was over, we hung out for a couple of days to enjoy the weather, but so did many of the other independent agency owners. And everywhere that we went at the hotel, we ran into each other and started chatting about how we’re doing, what we’re doing and our “secret sauces”. 

One of the agents asked me if I was afraid of sharing my secret sauce.  I replied, “you may already know the sauce, but you still have to cook it.” I borrowed that from a chef friend of mine!

Here are a few of the most common barriers that keep us from being present and mindful:

  • Thinking about the past and the future
  • Multitasking
  • Being in denial
  • Obsessing on thoughts or observations
  • Pushing away thoughts or observations
  • A lack of intention
  • A lack of compassion
  • Judging, analyzing, criticizing or evaluating

Judgment is one of the most common ways that keeps you from being mindful. Whether you are judging your experience as good, bad or ugly, it’s an obstacle to being fully present in the moment. We do this all the time. Everyone does. The way to do it less is to notice it and move your thoughts on and not let judging interfere with your ability to be mindful. It’s ironic isn’t it? You have to be mindful about being mindful.

Try spending a few days noticing all the judgments you make throughout the day: 

  • “What is that lady wearing?” 
  • “Yuck, this food is gross!” 
  • “I should not be the one handling this!” 

Any time you catch yourself playing Judge Judy, notice it, label it as a judgment, and resist the temptation to judge yourself for being judgmental. More irony, right?

Pay Attention!

When I came to this realization, my first thought was paying more attention to Kathy. I know how I feel when people don’t listen to me or pretend like they’re listening to me, so I have to apply the Golden Rule:
Treat her as I want to be treated.

This one is easy because I want to treat my wife better than I want to be treated. There’s an episode of the Cosby show (sorry), “The Dead End Kids Meet Dr. Lotus” when Theo is given great advice from his father. He’s told to repeat these words: “I will pay more attention to my partner.” 

Remember  “Tomorrow isn’t promised, all we have is today.'”
~ Sylvia Solomon

My second thought? Next week!

Monday Morning Motivation Week of July 8

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

“Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Last week, I talked about the responsibility of small business owners. Facebook is a good example because it’s where many people spend their day (and nights) scrolling.

There are two primary features:

● Personal Profile (Get over the fact that we, as marketers, need to share with the world ourselves and our families, warts and all! People want to do business with you and not a sanitized version of you.

● Posts 


  • What is the One Job of your profile?
  • What is the One Measurement of your profile?


  • What is the One Job of a specific post?
  • What is the One Measurement of a specific post?

There are of course a variety of post types. You could have a picture, a video and/or a story (includes a picture or a video). You can now add polls and all sorts of things.

But isn’t it easier to think about One Post at a time? A few thoughts:

  • Gathering friends and followers is not the NUMBER ONE job of your profile.
  • Gathering followers is not the job of EVERY post.

For example: A post may have the specific job of featuring a video about the newsletter topic you are writing about tomorrow. You may want to point people to your “link in the profile” where they can sign up to your newsletter.

  1. The post points to the profile.
  2. The profile has the link that points to the page.
  3. The job of the page is to get people to engage with us and sign up for our newsletter.
  4. The job of the newsletter welcome email is to set the stage for what’s to come and on and on.

The real beauty of One Number (and One Job, One Measurement, One Source) is the simplicity. It narrows our focus and aligns our efforts, making it easier to know you’re on the right path (or not).

That’s it for this series! I would LOVE to know what you think of my messages over these last few weeks. Send me an email or connect with me on social media.

Monday Morning Motivation

As you know, I LOVE to start my week with positive words of wisdom. This week’s are:

“With hard work and effort, you can achieve anything.”
~ Antoine Griezmann

Last week I finished with creating a NUMBER ONE for you! To do this, you’ll want to clearly list your goal and your approach.

The approach is where we’ll find the ONE NUMBER.

If your goal is $120,000 a year in revenue, then your average monthly goal is $10,000 a month.

The number 10,000 the goal broken down to a more achievable number. 10,000 is not your ONE NUMBER.

Let’s break it down further.

If you sell houses or mortgages and on average, your commission is $2,500 per sale. That’s 4 houses or mortgages a month to hit your goal.

Note, 4 is not your ONE NUMBER either because this is a goal, not the approach.

  • How much effort does it take to get to the closing table?
  • What effort are you applying now to get to the closing table?

The answer to these questions is your ONE NUMBER.

If you know that face-to-face meetings will help to get to 4 sales per month, then the number of face-to-face meetings could be your ONE NUMBER.

Your Turn!

* What’s your goal?
* What’s your approach?
* What kind of effort will it take you to get there?

Write it down.

● Goal

● Approach ← this is where you derive your ONE NUMBER

● Effort Troubleshooting Your ONE NUMBER

There’s a huge likelihood that you won’t pick your ONE NUMBER correctly the first time.

Often times, we accidentally pick the goal number and mistake it for the approach number.

The Goal is the finish line. The approach is how we get there.

Goals include:

  1. Revenue is a goal
  2. The number of homes sold in a set period of time
  3. Making 150 calls to get referral partners is the goal.
  4. Getting face to face with houses or mortgages buyers is the goal.
  5. Getting to the top of the mountain
  6. Learning the best path to the top of the mountain

The ONE NUMBER is how you get there.

This may take a little work, but this is important as you set out to achieve your goal.

The secret of priority management is working on the tasks that move the goal forward.

It’s not about getting stuff done. It’s about getting the RIGHT stuff done.

Pick your ONE NUMBER, even if you change it in a week or two later. It’s important.

One Job

Let’s apply this to marketing. Next week!

Monday Morning Motivation

You know that I LOVE to start my week with positive words of wisdom. Here we go:

“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night. -Michael Jordan

Last week, I’m sure I kept you in suspense with what I mean by “Goals vs. Effort”.

The concept of ONE NUMBER is separated into three areas:

  • Goal
  • Approach
  • Effort

Example: What is the effort necessary to (literally) climb that mountain.

We review the trail map: there are 30 paths to get us there:

  1. Some are difficult and challenging
  2. Some are manageable
  3. Others are that smooth green line AKA “a cake walk.”

The last one, more often than not, may be a likely option for some of us to take. However, we decide to plan the excursion.

We train by going to the gym for a month, and hit the stephill climber in anticipation of the mountain climb. This is the effort.

We have our provisions: we bring a liter of water and two energy bars.

Some of us worry about the goal. We may commence a level of effort we deem necessary to achieve the goal. We may not spend enough time thinking about the right approach for our goal. We may apply a lot of effort with no particular approach in mind. This could lead to us not attaining the goal to our satisfaction.

The magic is choosing and sustaining the approach. This will help to identify if there is an approach problem or an effort problem.

Let’s Create a ONE NUMBER for You!

Morning Motivation – Week of June 10

I LOVE starting my week with positive words of wisdom. These words inspire me. I LOVE sharing the same words of wisdom with you for inspiration too! This week’s words of wisdom are:

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
~ Tony Robbins

Last week, I talked about setting up your “Number One” goal.  An example of a goal could be focusing your marketing and sales efforts by understanding how to leverage your “One Number.”

You may be asking, did he say “number one” or “one number?”  
I said BOTH!

When I’m talking about a “number one” goal, it’s not the same as your top priority goal. For example, growing top line revenue is a primary goal.

What, then, is a ONE NUMBER goal?

The ONE NUMBER goal is a measurable numerical digit that you choose that relates to a desired outcome based on a list of goals that will grow your business.

Let’s get specific with using MY NUMBER ONE goal setting as an example:

The Goal:
I want to add to our list of referral partners.
Therefore, 5 is my ONE NUMBER goal. You choose the “by when” date.

Action Steps:
-I establish the number of calls I need to make to find new potential referral partners.
-I set out to make 30 calls weekly to prospective referral partners.
-I secure 1 to 3 new appointments with prospective referral partners.
In my experience, 3 appointments on average becomes 1 new referral partner.

I need a list of 150 referral partners to get 15 appointments to get 5 new referral partners.

The “ONE NUMBER” goal is 5 referral partners.

Next week: Goal vs Approach vs Effort!

Morning Motivation – Week of June 3

I LOVE to start my week with positive words of wisdom and here are this week’s:

“And what is the greatest number? Number one. ~ David Hume

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives:
* Getting into the better shape
* Building a successful business
* Raising a wonderful family
* Writing a best-selling book
* Winning a championship

….and so on, and so on, to name just a few.

For most of us, the path to these “wins” starts by setting specific and actionable goals. This is how I approached my life, until recently. I would set goals for classes, for weight-lifting at the gym, and for the type of clients I wanted to attract to my business.

However, I realized that when it comes to actually accomplishing the tasks it takes to make progress with those specific goals, there is a better way to approach this process.

It comes down to the difference between goals and systems.  Let me explain.

Let’s talk about your goals, specifically your “Number One.”

Goal: Focus your marketing and sales efforts by understanding how to leverage your “One Number.”

* One Number
* One Job
* One Measurement
* One Source (at a time)

What is the ONE NUMBER? Stay tuned for next week!

Morning Motivation – Week of May 20

The new week brings new prospects! Are you ready?

Here are your words of wisdom for the week:

“It pays to cultivate popularity. It doubles success possibilities, develops manhood, and builds up character.” – Orison Swett Marden

Last week, we talked about the importance of bringing traffic to your business website, and I promised to share some sources of “free traffic.” If ever there was a siren song of the digital age, “free traffic” is it!

  • Can you get free traffic to your site?
  • Can you build a business based on this traffic?

The answer is YES and YES. However, you must learn how to do it and you must be consistent with your activities.

Are you ready to get on that “super highway”? (See what I did there?)

Here are the main sources of free traffic:

Search Engines

Get your site listed in the venerated “top ten” search results; this is “organic” content. The most effective way to achieve organic search results is to provide quality content – lots and lots of content.

When your website proves to be a useful resource for visitors, you will do well. If you try and outsmart the search engines to get the traffic, you will be “spinning your wheels” (Oops, I did it again!), and it simply won’t work.

Create a content rich site and the search engines reward you by displaying that site when people search with the keywords within the content you provide. The content must be high quality. It must be original. Check out our Vargas and Vargas blog to see our own humble example.

Free Ads

Free ads are a mixed blessing. Free sounds good, right? They usually don’t work. That’s bad!

If you can get a free ad in a place where ads are usually sold, like the free ad you get for subscribing to classified ad sites that are visited by people, it might be worth the time. Be careful of how much time you invest.

However, the ad blasters and automated submitters do not work in my experience and should probably be avoided.


Without a doubt, marketing with articles/blogs is the #1 free traffic method. You don’t need to be a professional writer to do this. All you have to do is write a short article 300 to 500 words in length, that describes a problem people face and that provides a few solutions you know people are searching for.

Once your article is written, post to your site and to your social media channels. Submit to article directories, ezines and groups on social media. Some website owners are generous and will share your blog to get the widest possible distribution. However I personally have never had success doing this.

Write and submit an article a week and very soon your website will get interested visitors who are proven to purchase. Or, you may wish to write and post more often. Remember, “lots and lots” of content!

Next week, I will share with you the final two sources of “free traffic.” Stay tuned!

Morning Motivation – Week of May 13

As you know, I like to start each week with a few words of wisdom.
This week’s quote is:

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” ~ Bill Gates

Last week, we chatted about working on wealth. This week, let’s switch gears a bit and talk about “traffic”.

When it comes to making money, whether it’s online and/or offline, there are three elements you must include in order to succeed:

  1. A product or service to sell
  2. A compelling website that moves a buyer to buy
  3. People visiting your site

That third step stumps most business owners.

When folks visit your website, that’s known as“traffic”. Driving traffic to websites is the topic written about, discussed, pontificated about, stressed about more than any other. Don’t stress about it! I’ve got you covered! I like to keep things simple and easy to understand. Here are some simple thoughts on how to push traffic to your website.

There are two types of traffic: free (or organic) traffic and paid traffic. Organic traffic simply means folks are visiting you with no “artificial” encouragement. And, yes, that “artificial” encouragement happens when you pay to drive the traffic to your site. Either way, organically or paid, you’ve managed to get your website’s image, profile, address in front of someone’s “eyeballs.” And those eyeballs lead to clicks; clicks lead to your website.

Let’s be realistic, everybody pays. It could be your time; it could be with advertising dollars. Sometimes, it’s both. Paying with your time means you’re creating engaging content that tracks on search engines. Paying with your time can also mean you’re personally engaging with folks online, and they’re interested to find you. Paying with your money, well, that’s Google ad-clicks, Facebook advertising, and other well-placed marketing activities.

In a nutshell you get traffic to your site when it’s paid or organic traffic. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In my next message, we will take a look at each type of traffic-engine and see how they work.

I will explain and demonstrate examples of ‘free traffic.’


Morning Motivation – Week of May 6

Are you ready for another great week? My words of wisdom for this week are:

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~ Unknown

Do you recall last week’s message about being wealthy? I promised to share my favorite tips on how to work on your wealth.

I cannot tell you how many likes on Twitter I get or what’s currently trending on TV.  I know I’m not great at writing email messages (without a copy editor) but I have ideas; I jot them down and forward to the editors.

I know what people are up to because they share with me how they are doing. From the classes I facilitate at real estate offices and from my coaching clients, I continue to acquire wealth in knowledge and relationships.

Learning and connecting is how we navigate each day.

We would love to assist with your friends and family as they try to navigate the learning and knowledge necessary to make your insurance work for you when you need it.

There is no obligation for us to provide a comparative quote to help gain knowledge and maybe even a new relationship with our agency.

Next week’s message will discuss directing traffic to your business.

Morning Motivation – Week of April 29, 2019

I’ve got a mug of Ethiopian Limu from my local favorite coffee roaster Flat Black Coffee. I made it for myself in my Bialetti coffee maker. How about you? What are you drinking? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

As you know, I like to start each week with some words of wisdom, this week’s words, with my awesome coffee in hand, are:

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” – Henry David Thoreau

The future is coming quicker than you think! In fact, the future is here and it’s NOW!

You need to learn about data and new concepts like the Internet of Things. You need to understand how technological changes like artificial intelligence (AI) will affect businesses. I’m not saying to imagine that you need all of this, because you do. I’m saying the future is coming. So now, imagine how you will feel when the future arrives on your front doorstep. Will you feel overwhelmed?

The way to avoid feeling overwhelmed isn’t just learning about the latest trend. You can’t possibly learn fast enough to “keep up.” Keeping up is overwhelming. Calm yourself down by knowing your spot.

If the marketplace is shifting, where do you want to go? How do you fit? How can you contribute? This is your spot, and you must know it.

If you sell real estate: make a smart website and make it easy for anyone and everyone to find you.

If you are in the mortgage business: answer all the questions that people have when buying a home so you are considered a resource and you become the first call they make for all things, MORTGAGES.

If you were hired into a new role, where do you go to figure out new stuff required for the new position?

The prerequisite is: Learn something.

Connect with others and listen to their perspective and their resources. Then learn more from them and from your own efforts. That’s how you’ll get through all these changes. That’s how you’ll figure out where you fit, what matters, etc.

Think of how these changes will hit from all angles. For instance, if you run a vacuum store and Roomba vacuums are the future, how are you going to position yourself in front of potential customers so you’re top of mind to solve their problem? How do you compete?

Connect with people. Listen to their perspective. Learn what’s trending.

Next week, I want to share some tips with you on how you can work on your wealth. Don’t forget to comment about the morning beverage—coffee, tea or other—you’re drinking to commence your awesome day!