Challenges

June 26, 2017 — Leave a comment

So many people wish life was easier, with less challenges and obstacles but without challenges, life becomes stagnant and we stop growing.  Challenges help us uncover who we are and it allows us to become better people.

Let’s examine a very simple 4-step method to overcoming challenges.

First, state the problem clearly.  When we are faced with challenges, we tend to avoid the issue and run the other way burying our heads in the sand hoping it goes away.  Or we may say – ok, there is an obstacle, instead of heading right to it and plowing through, I am going to look for another path and even though that is not the way I want to go – it looks easier… less headache… but rarely does that work out.  When we avoid or go out of our way, we cause more headache in the end.  It takes more of our time, it takes more of our energy and we don’t get the end result we are looking for.  So take this time to understand what the challenge is.  Ask yourself what is the question, what is asked of me, what is the main goal? Write this down on paper.

Second, identify what you have at your disposal – what resources are available to you to work through this challenge? List all of these resources out.  These should include things such as tangible assets – money, computer, books, etc.  And then what skills you have, what are your strengths to work through this?  Don’t forget others – what access do you have to others that can help?

Third, design the strategy to overcome this challenge.  Utilize all your assets to create a plan of action.  You may find this plan will need to be tweaked as you execute and that is ok.  Keep at it.

Lastly, execute the strategy with effort and determination.  Do your very best with all you have to overcome your challenge.

If you find that you still cannot overcome a challenge, then re-evaluate.  If your strategy just won’t work because it isn’t viable or effective then change it. If your strategy doesn’t work because you didn’t execute it well enough, be persistent and tweak your efforts, giving it more.

Practice this method on small challenges and see how easy it is to overcome.  Then try it on the big rocks!

Behavior

June 19, 2017 — Leave a comment

Behavior defined can be a physical thing one does such as a morning routine and it can be non-physical such as replaying negative thoughts all day long.   A few behaviors are instinctual and built in while the rest are learned through meeting needs.  What this means is that our behaviors are motivated by our needs and therefore we can be manipulated as well as manipulate to have our needs met.

So when we have negative behaviors and we want to change them, we find it isn’t always so easy because these learned behaviors that we exhibit are actually rather complex.

There are two types of motivation – the motivation to approach something and the motivation to avoid something.  When we desire something, we are motivated to approach it therefore receiving positive reinforcement or feedback.  When we avoid something, we are motivated to move away from it or we will receive negative reinforcement or feedback.  This is pretty simple.  We understand that when we eat something sweet, most of us have a pleasant experience and when we eat something sour, our faces pucker and we try to avoid that experience again.

But let’s look at those things we approach or avoid because the thing doesn’t create that behavior, we do.  Some people desire the adrenaline rush of jumping out of an airplane. It is exhilarating – it is something they repeat again and again as it has a positive affect on them and they desire that and are motivated to seek that experience.  Some people avoid even the thought of getting on an airplane due to their learned fears that it will absolutely crash and they will die no matter what statisticians say – forget purposefully jumping out of a perfectly good airplane!  Did the airplane create these behaviors?  No!  We learned them.  And each of us react differently to different things, experiences, tastes, smells, thoughts, etc.  All because of our own personal thoughts and behaviors.

So how do you change your behaviors?  Your thoughts?  Let’s say you want to become a public speaker but you are petrified of speaking in front of people.  How can you overcome this fear, build confidence, perform and knock it out of the park?  You have to change your behavior so that you are motivated to approach public speaking effortlessly without turning into a sweaty mess.

Practice.  Anything you try for the first time will be clumsy and awkward, maybe even difficult.  By practicing your speech – over and over again until it is so engrained in you and flows off your tongue as if it is just another story you are telling a friend, you build your confidence to speak to several friends or a small group… until you are ready to speak to a large audience.  Practice.

Shaping.  Practice your speech and ask your audience (family members, friends, mentor, coach) for feedback.  Try giving it several different ways.  Break down the speech into bits and mix it up.  All the while correcting your approach and delivery until you shape your presentation and performance.

Chaining.  Very good and effective speeches, keynote talks, sales pitches… are complex.  They are made up of many components within the speech to get you to the end result you desire – sell a product or service, teach a thought or program, build rapport with your audience, create new clients, whatever your end result is, your speech has to be built on a frame and chaining is how you piece it together so there is a natural flow, a rhythm that mesmerizes the audience. Think about a really good comedian who gets up on stage and tells little stories for the whole set and the last story wraps up and circles back to the first story – bringing the evening to a close so naturally and you give a standing ovation because you were mesmerized by how good he was – he practiced, shaped each story or joke, chained them all together and brought it to a close.

By using these techniques, you can change an old behavior that you don’t want for a new one that you do want.  Whatever you want to change, practice your new desired behavior, shape the new behavior by approaching it in different ways and ask for feedback all the while tweaking it, chain all the components of the new skills you are now mastering together and now you have successfully changed your behavior.

We get to choose

June 17, 2017 — Leave a comment

Sometimes it comes down to which fear we allow to win.

  • The fear of failure.
  • The fear of what others will think.
  • The fear of how we will look.
  • The fear of the unknown.
  • Fear of the difficulties we could face if we take certain steps.

Versus:

  • The fear of living a lie.
  • The fear of living as under achievers.
  • The fear of not doing the right thing.
  • The fear of living a life of regret or of not being all that we could be.
  • The fear of letting our parents or our kids down or letting our maker down.

Which fear we allow to win makes all the difference.

It’s hard to believe that we’re in hurricane season already! Ready or not here it is.

I read a really good article produced by AmWINS Group Inc., one of the companies we proudly represent, that contained sound claim tips for the in the event we have a catastrophe. I share some of their article with you below:

Claim Tips

Severe weather can be unpredictable and strike at any time. We recommend considering the following tips to achieve fast, efficient handling of your claim.

  1. Assess the damage to the best of your ability and be prepared to give an accurate description of the amount and type of damage. Make sure you state whether the premises were rendered inhabitable as a result of the damages. This will allow your company to send out an adjuster with the appropriate level of experience, based on the level of damage. 
  2. Notify your insurance carrier or agent as soon as possible. The insurance contract requires notification as soon as possible after a loss. Be sure to leave a telephone number where you can be contacted and a complete address of the location so the company can get an adjuster to the scene quickly. Be sure to stay in touch with your adjuster and respond to calls promptly. Catastrophes can generate hundreds of claims, so communication and cooperation is vital for a quick resolution to your claim. 
  3. Take the necessary steps to avoid or minimize the suspension of business. Costs incurred that reduce your business interruption loss may be covered under Extra Expense. Be familiar with your policy coverage before you suffer a loss. 
  4. Make whatever temporary repairs are necessary to prevent further damage, theft, or vandalism. Repairs of this kind could include boarding up broken windows and covering holes in the roof. Mitigating your damage is usually a condition of coverage, and is good advice regardless (your insurance will usually cover the reasonable cost of temporary repairs). DO NOT make permanent repairs to your damaged property unless the adjuster has reviewed your claim and given you permission to restore your property. 
  5. Photograph damaged areas prior to making temporary repairs if possible. Doing so will strengthen your claim and help with the presentation of your loss. 
  6. If you can, get one or two detailed estimates for permanent repairs from a reliable contractor and give these estimates to the adjuster. Beware of “fly-by-night” operators who often follow a storm into town. Check with the Better Business Bureau before doing business with any vendor you don’t know.  We recommend knowing the reputable contractors and restoration companies in your area, who you prefer to use, before you suffer a loss. 
  7. Refrain from signing any contract for restoration or repairs prior to discussing it with your company adjuster. Your adjuster can play a key role in helping you avoid price gouging after a catastrophe, but he/she won’t be able to negotiate a reasonable price for services if you’ve already signed a contract. Remember your insurance company is NOT bound by the contracts you sign. 
  8. Prepare an inventory of all damaged or destroyed property for the adjuster. Be sure to keep a copy for your records, and be sure NOT to discard ANY items before the adjuster is given a reasonable amount of time to inspect them. Provide available cancelled checks, invoices, etc. that support the value of damaged or destroyed property. 
  9. Keep ALL receipts and invoices for EVERY expense you incur after the loss, including items such as tarps, boards, cleaning supplies, etc. These costs add up quickly and may help erode your deductible. 
  10. It is always a good idea to read through your policy and review coverage and exclusions prior to a claim so you will know what to expect. Keep an updated inventory of all of your property. Seemingly insignificant items can add up quickly and should be submitted for review and consideration.

Warning

Unlicensed or unscrupulous persons may pose as adjusters or, being an adjuster, may pose a threat to consumers. Public adjusters, in particular, may pose a problem since they don’t work for any company or company-adjusting firm. Unlicensed public adjusters have not demonstrated their competency to adjust claims nor have they posted the required surety bond. You are encouraged to report any such activity to local authorities. Remember, if you contract with a public adjuster, you are authorizing the claim check to be made payable to both you or your mortgagee and the adjuster.

Legal Disclaimer:

Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Discussion of insurance policy language is descriptive only. Every policy has different policy language. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. Please refer to your policy for the actual language.

This article was reproduced from the AmWINS Group Newsletter. Natalie Dominguez with AmWINS Brokerage of Georgia contributed to this article.