Tag Archives: Time Management

How To Achieve Your Dreams and Success in 2013

2013The champagne has been popped, the fireworks have exploded, the kisses have been smooched and the celebrating has ended, which means 2013 is officially here!

Now that the New Year is upon us, the question is, have you set new goals for your business in 2013?

You’ve got a clean slate, and now is the time to make new goals to conquer over the next 365 days. If you want 2013 to be the best year you’ve ever had personally and professionally, then you’ve got to set your sights on the next big thing.

It’s important that you set new goals to provide direction, facilitate growth and to cultivate success. Your business and team members depend on direction and the success of your business, and you can’t take your business anywhere unless you know where you want to go.

Make your commitment now to yourself, your business and your family—make the choice to commit to greater things in 2013.

Once you have set your goals, the next step is to become teachable, as Andy Albright advised in his best-selling book, “8 Steps to Success.”  Being teachable is all about being willing to learn from others who are smarter than you are and from those who are where you want to go.  By doing this you will speed up your growth, learn tips and tricks known only to those who have been there, and receive constant guidance along the way.

You can begin to be teachable and successfully achieve your goals in 2013. Andy Albright will work with you step-by-step through daily videos sent directly to your inbox to provide direction, guidance and support as you work toward your dreams. In fact, it’s like Albright pops into your life to personally coach you every day for 90 days.

To get started making 2013 your best year yet, sign up for the Albright Challenge at www.albrightchallenge.com.

We’ll even send you a free gift to help remind yourself of the commitment you have made.

Now get to work and make your dreams happen!

“Like” Your Way into Referrals and Leads with Facebook!

FacebookSocial media is a great way to advertise and market your life insurance sales business. National Agents Alliance Agency Managers can use Facebook as a means of creating new leads, boosting your agency’s visibility, and to get people talking about your business.

Facebook currently has more than 901 million users on its network, with 854 million monthly active users. The social media giant also produces 125 million impressions and 2.7 billion “Likes” by users every day.

With numbers like these, it’s foolish not to actively market your life insurance sales business on Facebook.   Building a Facebook business page and getting people to “Like” it is the basic method to doing this. If you have people who “Like” your Facebook business page, it will lend credibility to your company and provide an outlet for marketing and interacting with them. In fact, your “likes” are similar to a testimonial, an endorsement and a referral.

Think about it this way, if someone thought highly enough of you to “Like” your business page and connect with you, then they likely will think of you when they need to purchase life insurance products, or refer someone they know to you.

The task is in persuading people to “Like” your agency Facebook page. This can be accomplished through several different means. Certainly providing exceptional service with integrity is the foundation, but beyond that, online there are extra tactics. Posting articles and content about your products, what you do and how you can help people, and you can also post thought-provoking and question-related statuses—you want people to interact with your business and get people talking and sharing your posts.

The more content and information you provide your followers, the more they will engage with your business. This all builds credibility and positions you as an expert in the life insurance industry.  While it can be a great business booster, keep in mind that Facebook is a tool and a publicly facing outlet, and must be managed properly in terms of content, interaction and time!

So, NAA Agency Mangers it’s time jump on the Facebook bandwagon and get people talking about you!

Write it Down!

It's a dream until you write it down, and then it's a goal.If you are prone to procrastinate, keeping an organized list helps you to develop much more clarity.  Too many people are scattered in all directions.  They are late for meetings; they’re late for the airport.  They forget appointments.  They can’t find their cell phone with all their contacts, or they experience all sorts of other things because of their disorganization.  Being organized is a skill and an important one if you want to be super successful.

Getting organized means keeping lists!  Not on a scrap of paper but with a good method, whether that means in a Day-Timer, online or in your smartphone. Successful people are creatures of habit and that includes keeping track of everything.

To become successful with National Agents Alliance, you must understand success principles and live the laws of success.  This means developing habits, routines, skills and a mindset that will allow you to do all the little things the winners do every day.  If you don’t develop a system, and write things down, it’s easy to become a procrastinator.

Step six in Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success is “Be Teachable.”  At NAA, the top producers do a great job of teaching new agents, and these big producers are all good at being super organized.  The new agent has to be willing to listen (Step 3 in the 8 Steps) and implement the strategies that have proven successful, and profitable.

Most of our top agents plan their day the night before, and those with assistants will even leave messages for them in the evening so they both start off each day with a blueprint to follow.  With things written down, and prioritized, important tasks never get delayed or forgotten.  Most often, National Agents Alliance’s leaders list and tackle the most difficult tasks first.  Following a prioritized list makes sense, it allows you to feel like your day is productive, and if something should not get completed it won’t be the most important task of the day.

So, to make the most of your National Agents Alliance business:  Listen, learn and write it down!

The Productivity Secret

Checking off the To-do ListFor some people it always seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get done everything on your to-do list. Productivity is an elusive thing for many people, who get wrapped up in personal obligations, extra-curricular activities or are just plain lazy.  Productivity has a tendency to slip through our fingers all the time, and as a sales professional with National Agents Alliance, this can wind up really hurting your bottom line.

According to TIME Business, truly productive people share these certain characteristics:

  • They have a life: The most creative and inventive people have a life outside of work. It helps to take their mind off of work and be able to just think about non-related things. According to academic research, external commitments are highly correlated with high achievement.
  • They take breaks: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that if you work more you’ll get more done than if you stopped and took a break. Neuroscience has shown that we can easily become resource-depleted (tired), causing you to quickly become rigid and narrow minded (tunnel vision).  By taking a break and going to a short walk to reset and refresh your mind, you can solutions to problems that you would have never recognized behind the desk.
  • They have often worked in several different industries: This means that they regularly challenge orthodoxies because they’ve seen different frameworks and approaches. They may not take so much for granted, and have the experience to see the value in re-framing problems, TIME Business stated.
  • They have great outside collaborators: Sometimes these collaborators are formal, often not. But their sounding boards aren’t just immediate colleagues or clients. Their wide networks allow them to incorporate a wider range of thinking, contacts and information and they bring light and air into the business, TIME Business said.

If you can incorporate just one of these characteristics you will surely see an increase in your productivity. In fact, scientific research by the Ford Motor company in the 1900s has shown that 40 hours is the sweet spot for employee productivity. Working another 20 hours does provide a minor increase in productivity, but that increase only lasts for three to four weeks, and then turns negative. So keeping a life outside of work and actually keeping your work hours to 40 hours a week, you will see your productivity pick up.

Parkinson’s Law

Expanding TimeYou may not be familiar with the name, but you have probably heard the definition:  “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”  This concept was first publicized in 1955 by Cyril Northcote Parkinson in an article for The Economist and later became the major point of one of Parkinson’s books, Parkinson’s Law:  The Pursuit of Progress.

Parkinson, who worked in the British Civil Service, saw firsthand how a bureaucracy provided no incentive to work hard, fast and/or smart, and now we know this phenomenon is not restricted to government work.  If you are not careful, it will seep into your National Agents Alliance business and will thwart production.

What the “Law” means is that if you give yourself eight hours to complete a one-hour task, then the task, in your thinking, will increase in complexity, causing more stress and tension about having to get it done.  Conversely, when we assign the right amount of time to any chore, we gain back more time and discover that the task is not really complex.  Many people are amazed at how quickly and efficiently some tasks can be done when they set a strict deadline.

Why do people allow Parkinson’s Law to govern their work?  In government bureaucracies it’s easy to fall into the trap because there is very little accountability, so “who cares?” In government people rarely lose their job over poor production, and it happens in business when an employee feels that their work is not appreciated.

For a National Agents Alliance agent it matters!  As an independent business owner you learn quickly that you are responsible for your own results and profitability, so getting things done in a timely manner can make a big difference in your income.

More importantly, you have to understand that, for new agents, working independently from home is probably a new experience and the temptations for procrastination are great.  With no boss to set deadlines it is real easy to let Parkinson’s Law creep into your work habits.  You can get up from the desk and wander to the refrigerator, play with the kids or just visit with family members or neighbors. With no sense of urgency to complete the work, the eight-hour work day becomes a thing of the past, 14-hour days become routine and you begin to feel that you are always working.

So, what to do the top producers at National Agents Alliance do?

Here are some of their suggestions.  Make a list of your tasks and assign the amount of time it would normally take to complete them.  Then challenge yourself to finish each task in half the allotted time.  Treat the time limit like an unbreakable deadline from a boss or client, but you are now the boss enforcing the deadline.  This is your business.  Treat it as such.

Most of the very successful entrepreneurs are very competitive people, so start treating these deadlines like a competition that you have to win.  Beat the clock without taking shortcuts; you still have to do things right.  Soon you will know exactly what a reasonable time to finish a particular task is.

Start by restricting some little time wasters; like handling emails and surfing the web.  If you usually spend a leisurely 20-30 minutes checking emails, allot no more than five minutes.  Don’t give these tasks any more attention until you’ve completed everything on your to-do list that day, at which point you can so some email reading, social networking and web-surfing to your heart’s content. Just don’t spend all your spare time that way!  Learn to focus on the important tasks.

When you start running a tight ship in your own home office you will be more efficient, more profitable and you’ll suddenly discover that you actually have more free time to live your life the way you want to live…and isn’t that why you wanted to be your own boss?

First Things First

Good Morning SunshineWhat is the very first thing you do every day?  Successful agents with National Agents Alliance lead busy lives and each day brings a full schedule of appointments, phone calls, and follow-ups.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of building your own NAA business is that no two days are alike.  Instead of following a “boss,” you get to design your own life!

If you study the top producers in NAA, you will learn that almost all of them have a pre-game warm-up routine.  What does that mean?  Most of them take time at the start of each day, before the phone starts ringing, before the emails pile up, before getting pulled in all directions, to be still and connect with their gratitude and to plan their day.

Many agents come from work backgrounds where chaos is the order of the day, with people jumping from task to task, responding to the crisis of the moment.  At the end of the day everyone is exhausted, stressed out and very little has been accomplished.

With National Agents Alliance, we learn from reading books like The 8 Step to Success that we have to operate differently.  Andy Albright teaches us goal-setting techniques that include seeing the results before they actually happen.  This keeps us focused on the right things and keeps our day from becoming the chaotic drill we remember from the corporate world.

So, start your day quietly.  Give thanks for all that you already have.  Take some time to organize your day inside your mind so that it will all come together.  Make a short list of the most important tasks to accomplish today, and stick to your list so your day is less likely to get hijacked by everyone else’s priorities.

One of the great reads for morning time is Max Lucado’s Each Day.  You can easily find this book on the web, and it is a short and wonderful way to get your mind focused on the things that truly matter.  Starting you day by thinking about who you really are at the deepest level helps you become a better person.  Once you become a better person, better results seem to show up in everything you do.

So, start your day right; first things first!

How to Juggle Work and Kids in the Home

Work Life BalanceOne of the many benefits of working for National Agents Alliance and yourself is that you can work from home. For many people having the ability to work from home means you can save on other things, like child care. Your job has a lot of demands on your time, but now your children are demanding your attention too—making it difficult to actually get any work done.

If you have to balance your children and work, Entrepreneur Magazine has offer tips in their article “5 ways to work around the kids” on how you can remain productive while juggling babysitting duties:


  1. Work on fringe hours of the day:  If your priority is to be home with your kids while they’re young, then you may want to adopt the habit of working extreme hours in the morning before the kids get up, or at night after they go to bed. This would be ideal for managing work requirements that don’t require you to do things during traditional business hours, like make phone calls or set up appointments.
  2. Take advantage of nap time: Nap time—it’s those cherished few hours when there’s peace and quiet in your household. You need to be no-nonsense about naps and diligent about making them happen. Not only is it a good opportunity to squeeze in some work, it’s good for your child to have healthy sleep habits.
  3. It takes a village: No matter how great of a parent you are, you will need help from time to time. Consider a baby-sitting co-op with a friend or another parent who works from home. If you’re already watching one child, what’s another one? You’ll be able to trade off babysitting duties, allowing for longer periods of uninterrupted work time.
  4. Supportive spouse: Your spouse has to value your being at home with the kids. They also have to realize that you’ll need some help. Maybe they can go to work later one day or come home earlier one evening so you can get some child-free work time.
  5. Kid space: Depending on the age of your kids, consider setting up some child-friendly office space. Maybe your youngster has his own computer with kid’s games, coloring, etc. Give him some projects and make the supplies special. For instance, he can only play with those toys during “work” time. Do not expect to get phone calls or schedule any meetings during this time, but it’s a good time to go through the mail, inbox, etc.

Need More Hours in a Day? Create Some!

Making More Hours, LiterallyYou’ve got 15 voice messages, 40 emails, your phone is ringing; the kids need breakfast and to get to school; the dog needs to be walked and you have a flat tire! At this point you’re ready to pull your hair out, and beginning to wonder if you have enough time in the day to get everything done, including tasks that were left over from the day before.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in life’s responsibilities and curve balls, which can kill your momentum and put your day in the trash can.

Thanks to Entrepreneur Magazine, we have some tips on how to make the most of your day:

  • Create a zero-tolerance list: Make a list of things you should stop doing—your distractions. For instance, checking Facebook between tasks, watching television while you work, or anything else that may keep you from getting your work completed.
  • The rule of thirds:  You should dedicate one-third of your day to prospecting for new buyers, one-third to executing business tasks and the remainder to supporting existing customers. Most people tend to focus on one or two of these areas and forget the other.
  • Five people to thank: Who are your top five customers? Or who were the last five people you conducted business with? Take the time to write each customer a note to check in and see how everything is going, find out if you can help them any further and thank them for their business. If you keep them on the top of your mind, they’ll return the favor.
  • 30 minutes of media: Take 30 minutes twice a week to shoot and post a short personal video message to prospective insurance buyers, about anything from current industry outlooks, why life insurance is important, educational information, etc. This can help drive customer perception of your company and potentially create new leads.
  • 10 replies a day: President Obama responds to 10 written letters every workday. It’s one of his rituals–and it’s just plain smart. Put the practice to work and commit to replying to at least that many e-mails, blog comments or tweets each day. This simple gesture improves loyalty.

Keep the Family Happy

When you work from home it’s easy to get pulled in different directions by family and friends.  Those folks often think that since you are at home you are not working.  They don’t even consider their intrusion to be an interruption in your important work schedule. The top producers at National Agents Alliance have learned to balance work and play to keep production levels high and family members happy.

One of the most effective tools the agents use is an Annual Activity Calendar.  At the beginning of the year the agent fills in every day off for the whole year.  All the days they will NOT work are marked off…weekends, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, conventions, training sessions, family reunions, recreation – any day they plan to be away from the office.

Once you have established your “off” days you will be able to plan your work day schedule.  Agents are very good at carefully planning their work schedule…phone calls, appointments, paperwork and preparation.  Eliminating time wasters like emails, surfing the web and shuffling papers around the office, National Agents Alliance leaders make every day count, and then they have no problem enjoying all the days of free time they scheduled at the start of the year.  The only addition step in this process is to teach the family to work around the production days as scheduled on the Annual Activity Calendar.

When agents follow CEO Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success and get family members to honor the work/play calendar, everyone is happy!

Getting Started Right

At National Agents Alliance, everyone works hard to create a clear path for agents to run on.  It’s up to the new agent to follow the path that leads to massive success.

After licensing and contracting comes learning from your mentor exactly how top producers do the job.  Learning the products, learning the successful sales system, and practicing the scripts for appointment setting are definite first steps to success.

Ready, fire, aim!Watching and learning from your manager is important but you will also need to practice creating illustrations using the carrier software until you are confident that while in a client’s home, you can present options, overcome obstacles and successfully fill their needs.

You can’t learn to swim standing on the side of the pool, so it’s time to jump in and get your feet wet.  Without worrying about being perfect, the new agent needs to make some dials, set some appointments, sit with clients, protect that family and get paid!

Don’t be concerned if you make some mistakes; keep going and do it again and again.  As CEO Andy Albright says, “Once you have sold one policy, you know exactly what it takes to make as much money as you want, just keep doin’ it!”

Creating a work schedule for yourself can be a tremendous asset in getting started right also.

The most profitable agents use their time on the right activities and take time to plan their weekly, monthly and annual activities.

It doesn’t matter if you are a part-time or full-time agent, you MUST allocate definite hours of operation for your business. One of the biggest challenges of working independently from home is the lack of structure and time management.

You need to schedule adequate time to:

  • Participate in Corporate Training calls
  • Participate in Corporate Events
  • Participate in Team Training calls
  • Make your dials for Appointments
  • Study to expand your Product Knowledge
  • Work on Personal Development (Read, Listen)

The business system at National Agents Alliance is simple, but YOU have to do the activity.  Remember that there are no shortcuts to success.  Get leads, set appointments, sit with clients, submit applications and receive commissions from carriers.  Do it again. Follow the system!

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