Get To Know Your Life Insurance Broker

The life insurance salesman must really be a Renaissance Man: part business owner, part financial professional, part spiritual guide. Here I share items of interest about myself, my sales company, and my life.

Ferguson, Fairness, and Justice

fergusonsignsAs you probably have heard by now, yesterday a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, did not find probable cause to indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown.

While a grand jury is not the same as a trial – different rules, different results – political pundits and residents of Ferguson alike reacted to the decision as if a verdict had been reached on Wilson’s guilt.

Neither you nor I know for sure what really happened that sad day in Missouri. Alongside the public outcry over the tragedy, many points have been raised in Wilson’s defense.

It’s worth wondering: if the grand jury had indicted Wilson, does that automatically mean that he would have been convicted?

Scott Shackford, writing on‘s Hit & Run Blog, asks that and the following important questions:

Should we be upset at the amount of deference and effort made to find reasons not to indict Wilson in this case or should we be upset that the same doesn’t happen to the rest of us? Is the outrage that a grand jury didn’t indict Wilson or is the outrage that the grand jury indicts just about everybody else?

For me this case places front and center the relationship we should have with the police.

As a child, I was taught to find a policeman if I was ever in trouble. I would still do that. As a matter of fact, I have graduated my town’s Citizens Police Academy, and helped form my local block watch. I encourage my neighbors to call a cop even when they are not sure they really need one.

At the same time, I know personally victims of police brutality.

I know all about the “blue wall of silence” that surrounds bad cops. And personally, I would not hesitate to go after a rogue if people I know are being victimized.

Professionally, I go out of my way to try to get life insurance for police officers and other law enforcement officials. They put their lives on the line for the public welfare and that sacrifice deserves my full commitment to the protection of their families.

How do you think we can prevent police brutality and improve our relationship with officers of the law? Leave your comment below.


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Can Philosophy Bring Wisdom?

PhilosophyBookMost people respect wise people – but never figure out how they became wise. While not every philosopher is truly wise, the practice of philosophy is very important to developing wisdom in life.

Patrick Allan from Lifehacker shares five ways in which philosophy brings you closer to wisdom.

Here is my favorite:

We sometimes lose perspective: So many things in our world are much bigger than we are. We spend our days concerned with what we have and what we want, but philosophy helps us gain perspective and see the big picture.

Which is your favorite way in which philosophy brings you closer to wisdom?

By the Way…

We life insurance sales people must take a philosophic approach to life to effectively serve our clients.

After all, the men and women who buy life insurance from us must confront their own mortality in order to make the purchase meaningful. It’s our job to coach them so they feel comfortable addressing issues which by nature are distressing and discomforting.


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Do You Take Out the Garbage?

We live in a world in which too many people want immediate gratification and to get rich quick. But we all know that in reality, the world doesn’t work that way. True success comes to people who will work for it. It takes the right combination of working hard, working smart, and working from the heart. You have to be willing to start at the bottom of the ladder.

Media executive Michael Casio put it this way in his recent essay in the New York Times:

Before I was an E.V.P., S.V.P. or V.P., I worked as a janitor. For two summers I cleaned toilets, mopped floors and smelled like garbage. It had nothing to do with my chosen profession. And yet nothing was better for preparing me for work and life as an adult.

People have to earn their keep. When I was a kid, if I wanted to buy something, I had to earn the money to spend. Even before my teens I was stuffing envelopes for my father’s life insurance general agency. I remember getting my pay and then taking a long walk to the local bookstore to buy a new Hardy Boys book.

Experiences like this keep you rooted. They keep you from feeling entitled to the rewards that come your way. They help you understand that it is your assiduous effort that yields either feast and famine.

Do your children understand this? Do your employees? Do your financial representatives take this attitude when servicing your account? Or do they take your business for granted?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is America Still Beautiful?

In Mecca, under the autocratic rule of wealthy despots, some of the worst byproducts of modernity – social fragmentation, the destruction of historical treasures, and the commercialization of religion – coincide with the rise of a fundamentalist brand of violent extremism. Ziauddin Sarder talked about this recently in the New York Times. Mr. Sarder is the editor of the quarterly Critical Muslim and the author of “Mecca: The Sacred City.” He bemoans the cultural devastation of this once-holy city:

The cultural devastation of Mecca has radically transformed the city. Unlike Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, Mecca was never a great intellectual and cultural center of Islam. But it was always a pluralistic city where debate among different Muslim sects and schools of thought was not unusual. Now it has been reduced to a monolithic religious entity where only one, ahistoric, literal interpretation of Islam is permitted, and where all other sects, outside of the Salafist brand of Saudi Islam, are regarded as false. Indeed, zealots frequently threaten pilgrims of different sects. Last year, a group of Shiite pilgrims from Michigan were attacked with knives by extremists, and in August, a coalition of American Muslim groups wrote to the State Department asking for protection during this year’s hajj.

Mr. Sarder shows how the spiritual degradation of Mecca is reflected in the Muslim world at large:

Mecca is a microcosm of the Muslim world. What happens to and in the city has a profound effect on Muslims everywhere. The spiritual heart of Islam is an ultramodern, monolithic enclave, where difference is not tolerated, history has no meaning, and consumerism is paramount. It is hardly surprising then that literalism, and the murderous interpretations of Islam associated with it, have become so dominant in Muslim lands.

Such an incisive critique gives cause to reflect on our situation here in America.

Fragmented, Disengaged, and Alienated

I think our country has become very fragmented in recent years. I think that the current administration has caused a lot of damage with its inflammatory rhetoric about class, race, and gender.

We have also become disengaged from the land that has been our historical treasure. Many of our citizens do not realize that our country has been called “America the Beautiful” because they have very little to do with the natural environment.

And, we have become alienated from the “Judeo-Christian” heritage of our forefathers. It is not so much that our religions have become commercialized. It is more that the importance of philosophy and values has been underplayed, while economic success has been over-stressed.

Literalism vs Realism

I do believe that many consumers take a dogmatic approach to making financial decisions. An example is the idea of “buy term and invest the rest”. Many advisors preach that like the Gospel. They pay no attention to the potential benefits of permanent life insurance, and of policies that build cash value.

The fact is that no one approach is right for everyone. Depending on your circumstances, needs and goals, term may be appropriate; then again permanent, might be appropriate. And this can change over time.

The willingness to look at yourself realistically, the courage to do what is right for yourself regardless of what others say, and an openness to different viewpoints, can together yield a truly good decision about life insurance and your finances.

Hajj and Life Insurance

It may very well be that this year such a trip would be considered a higher risk factor. Travel to locations in which street violence, insurrection, and other dangers are possible can result in a higher rate. It may even result in a declination. An underwriter would have to be made fully aware of all the precautions for safety that would be taken, in order to get a comfort level with the risk.





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Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

9/11 Thought: What Rules Do You Follow?

The anniversary of the 9/11 attack by Al Qaeda on America brings to mind a few sad facts about life: people will hate you just because of who you are. They will think they are better than you. And they will try to rule over you.

In my opinion, these people do not live by any rules applicable to life on this planet.

By what rules should the rest of us normal people live?  Many wise people throughout the ages have talked about this.  I have found many common themes. I have attempted to distill this wisdom into practical use in both my business and my personal life.

My career selling life insurance has been based on two axioms. The first is that your race, religion, gender, ethnic origin, and political persuasion do not matter to me.  Certainly, specific factors affect underwriting.  For example, women pay lower rates than men; religious missionaries who travel to dangerous third-world locales pay more than those who travel domestically.  But when it comes to treating you as a person, these differences do not matter.  You deserve treatment as my equal simply because you are a fellow human being.

The second axiom is that the purchase of life insurance is your decision alone to make. In the final analysis, the financial security of your family, your company, and your estate is your business.  I am here to make it possible for you to take care of them in one of the most effective ways possible.  But it is up to you to buy the product; I don’t sell it to you.  I must support your right to say no.  You are, after all, running your own life.  I cannot run it for you.

I have found these axioms to apply not just in business, but in my life in general.  I think this is because respecting the individuality of a person is really a universal ethic.  It applies to every person in every place in every time.  Both the littlest baby and the oldest elder have a right to their own time and space.  We have to let people be themselves, then work with that.

And when people refuse to give us our own time and space, we have a right to get them to back off.  We could and should do whatever it takes to get them to realize that this is how the game is played.  It is not only our right, but our duty to enforce the rules that apply to everybody.  They are good for us, and they are good for them.

What do you think?  Do you think that there is a universal ethic for living on this planet?  If so, is it different than mine?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

What Makes Americans Prosperous?

As a life insurance salesman, I like to pay attention to what popular media says about my profession. It’s often not too flattering. In the movies and TV shows I’ve seen, my compatriots are typically portrayed as sleazy shysters or bumbling failures. Gangsters are often cast in a better light.

Never mind the fact that millions of Americans have found the life insurance business the way to make a good living. Let’s discount the fact that trillions of dollars have been funneled into the pockets of needy Americans in the form of life insurance benefits. I guess the Hollywood moguls see no reason to glamorize the successes of the American system.

This should be a source of concern to us all. The generation that will soon assume command of our country is not getting the best of messages about the country they will lead. Too many pop stars, big time movie producers, and college teachers are down on America.

Commentator John Hawkins bemoans this sad situation in his recent post. But he also shares with us the real reason why this country is still the envy of the world. Here is an excerpt:

We’re successful because a lot of steady, responsible people do boring jobs that have to be done. It’s the man who works 40 hours in his first job and another 20 hours a week at a part-time job so he can pay the bills for his wife and kids. It’s the stay-at-home mom with spit-up on her blouse who has been on her feet for hours cleaning and taking care of the kids. It’s the small businessman who worked 70 hours a week for peanuts over the last decade to get his business to the point where he can have people complain that he’s not paying enough in taxes. It’s the single mother who gives up partying every night to make sure her child is taken care of like he should be. It’s the pastor who says something from the pulpit that will be controversial, but that his flock needs to hear. It’s the cop who sweats through a half dozen encounters with drunk, drugged, and potentially violent creeps each night because he cares about keeping a neighborhood safe. It’s a soldier sleeping in a tent far from home because he’s doing his part to keep the peace. It’s the couple who feels like they’ve achieved the American dream because they got married, bought a house, had two kids, and are putting enough money in their 401k to retire someday.

It is the “steady, responsible people” who reap the benefits we would all like to have. That is true for my business, as well as for every other occupation in life. Don’t you think so?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Why Should the Government Limit Political Donations?

As a life insurance salesman, I compete for my business with hundreds of thousands of other sales people. These competitors include other licensed independent brokers; captive agents; property and casualty brokers; benefits consultants; bankers; accountants; investment advisors; financial planners; and wealth managers. When you consider the internet presence of many of these people, I basically have a competitor everywhere I look.

Not only that, but the life insurance industry does not allow for much innovation or exclusivity among us salespeople. We all can represent the same carriers. We all sell the same products. We all charge the same price for our products (given the same company and underwriting class). And, of course, we all want to land the big fish and sell a huge policy to a very rich person.

Given such a level playing field, success in this business really boils down to this: may the best marketer win. That is what it takes. You build yourself up into the person with the best brand, and the best way of reaching the right people, and you get what you want. If you succeed in attracting the business of Mr. and Mrs. Billionaire, then more power to you.

As far as I am concerned, this is the American way to success. It applies to business, and it applies to every other sector of our public life. That includes politics. For this reason, I have always wondered at the obsession people have with the government controlling political donations. We only have two major political parties in this country. Are they not big enough and organized enough to go out and get all the money they need? Does the USA have such a shortage of millionaires and billionaires that there is not enough big money to satisfy just two parties? Are these parties lacking in manpower so that they can’t solicit even modest donations from zillions of supporters? Are they having trouble attracting the best and brightest media consultants and marketing experts?

You know the answer to these questions as well as I do. Here is an article from the Washington Post that talks about the new latitude that has been given for political donations. My personal wish is that the latitude keeps stretching until the government removes all its controls entirely. The people who want to run our country should not need the government to constrain their competition.

May the best marketer win.


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

How Can I Prevent Date Rape?

Sexual assault is all too common in our society. Women have to be wary in many social situations, especially at bars and parties. This is sad, but true.

From a life insurance underwriting point of you, the trauma of rape can pose enormous challenges. Conditions ranging from PTSD to depression to job dysfunction may have to be addressed. Coverage is often possible, but the broker needs to be extremely sensitive and knowledgeable when working for potential applicants with this history.

Fortunately, American inventiveness is making it easier to prevent one prevalent form of attack: date rape. Four enterprising (male!) students at North Carolina State University have created a nail polish that can detect common date rape drugs. When wearing the polish, all a woman needs to do is stir a drink with her finger to make sure it has not been contaminated.

Read about their marvelous invention here. Hats off to their social conscience and ingenuity!


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Should I Pray When I Buy Life Insurance? praying help you buy life insurance?

Would it help you to make any other financial purchase?

I think so.

Self-development expert Joe Vitale talks about how prayer works in this recent post.

He stresses the importance of a spirit of gratitude.

The wisdom of requesting, rather than begging.

The need to act on your insights, inspiration, and intuition.

Here is what he says about acting:

We co-create results. The Higher Power (God, Divine, Universe, etc) works through you, not for you. When you see an opportunity, seize it. When you receive an inspiration, act on it. You are the missing ingredient in most results from prayer. The famous joke about the man who prayed to win the lottery but was reminded to buy a ticket, is good to remember.

How does this apply to the purchase of life insurance? Well, let’s suppose you sat down in a quiet place and said the following to yourself:

“May my family members live long and prosperous lives.

May my business reach new heights of success.

May all the charities and good causes that I support flourish.

May they all have everything they need for financial security and financial growth.

In this spirit, I buy this life insurance policy to help make sure this all will happen”.

It seems to me that buying life insurance with this mindset could be a very blessed event.

What do you think?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Does the Robin Williams Tragedy Make You Think About Suicide?

The death of the great comedian Robin Williams sheds light on a very delicate topic: suicide. I have firsthand professional experience with this.

A number of years ago a client committed suicide. She was also a personal friend, and that made her loss much more difficult to deal with. Her husband was a friend as well, and I literally held his hand through the claim process. It was very hard on both of us.

There was no doubt she had been suffering from depression, or another severe disorder. It was apparently a very extreme situation: she went from feeling blue, to feeling very dark, very quickly. She gave absolutely no indication that things were this bad until she pulled the trigger.

The life insurance benefit was paid without a hitch. The event took place well after the suicide clause would have applied. But getting the money was the easy part, of course; the tough part was the challenge facing a young widower and his young children. They are, thankfully, doing well.

What can we learn from tragedies like this? A lot. Psychologist Bill Knaus, Ed.D. gives us some pointers in his Psychology Today article. Here is one that makes sense to me:

Suicide is a highly preventable cause of death. For example, effectively addressing hopeless and helplessness thinking is a promising path to suicide prevention.

Read Bill’s article. Does it help you understand Robin a bit more?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Will There Be War When We Have Peace?

This is not as crazy a question as it sounds. It forces us to talk about what peace really means. Should we strive for a time when there is no war at all? Should we settle for wars that are “contained,” and not catastrophic with severe loss of life and property? If this is not possible, should we just hope that only the bad guys fight and kill each other off?

When I finally have peace in my corner of the globe, what should I do with it? Should I just try to sell as much life insurance as is humanly possible? Would that “insure” the peace and make sure it lasts? These kinds of questions make you think about how what you do – and how you do it – affect the world at large.

Some people say that to bring peace into the world, you have to find “inner peace.” That is certainly true: if people act with hostility and aggression, they will receive it in return. If they offer peace and gentleness, they will get such back. But is that all we need: for each person to simply get his or her act together, so peace will naturally fall into place?

I do not think so. It seems to me that what we do matters as much as how we do it. Many murderers, serial killers, and thugs are cool, calm, and collected as they do their dastardly deeds. It is what they do that makes the world a worse place. How they do it can make matters worse, but is not the cause of the problem.

By the same token, it is the good deeds we do that make the world a better place. Making a wholesome living in an honorable occupation… devoting oneself to a worthwhile cause, such as eradicating cancer… and even performing a single act of kindness, such as walking a little old lady across the street… all make a positive difference.

The good things we do can even involve bad things. Defending yourself against a violent mugger is good, even if it means hurting your attacker. Ordinarily, we would not want to hurt anybody; but it is sometimes necessary to do so to save ourselves. The same principle applies to a nation protecting itself from an invader. It would not want to incur any civilian casualties, but that is sometimes necessary to save itself.

But is life really that simple? Does the world become a better place simply by doing good things, even though bad stuff happens in the process? This is where “how we do what we do” can make a difference. Fighting off a mugger in a way that simply ends the fight and does not prolong the confrontation, can make the fight a single event. But getting into it for the sake of fighting can make violence between people a habit. Similarly, a nation fighting off an invader in way that simply ends the war and does not prolong the confrontation, can make the war a single event. But getting into it for the sake of fighting can make war between nations a habit. In both cases, the world becomes a worse place because people did the right thing (self defense) in the wrong way (with unpeaceful intent).

So what does this say about the possibility of a world without war? It says that wars can still be good if nations conduct them in the right way – with peaceful intent. And if people try to always have a peaceful intent, why would they start a war in the first place?

Make sense to you?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Are You Dressed For Success, Or Failure?

Dress is important in business. First impressions go a long way. We have split seconds to encourage or discourage people to work with us. This is especially true with life insurance sales people. People could be ready to commit a significant portion of their budget to the products and services we provide. They need to trust us right off the bat.

When I first got into the business, “dressing for success” was the way to go. No deviation. I remember one of the top producers in our agency once wore a turtleneck to the office, instead of the standard white shirt, dark suit, and power tie. The agency manager had a fit.

But even the staid financial services industry has loosened up a bit. These days, we have to resist the trend to loosen up too much. We are living in times in which anything goes, and that includes clothes – or the lack thereof. The work environment can easily become too informal, and morale and productivity can suffer.

Here’s a quick list for you of common dress code violations. They serve as an important reminder that looking your best is key to doing your best. Tell me what you think of the list. Does your workplace have any of these problems?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Who Owns Your Wealth?

What do we mean when we say somebody owns something? I think we mean that it is ours to do with what we want. I bought something, it is mine; I can do with it what I please. Or, I give somebody something, and it is hers; she can do with it what she pleases. Likewise, if someone in my family leaves me a life insurance benefit, that money is mine. I can spend it, or save it, or invest it as I see fit.

But don’t I have any constraints at all over what I can do with that money? When you think about it, there are indeed a few. First of all, if someone in my family does leave me a life insurance benefit, I must see that there was intent behind that decision. The money should be used to live the good life they would want me to lead, and not become a wasteful bum. It would be dishonorable to let that person down and violate the spirit in which that money was given to me.

Along those lines, I cannot use the money for illicit or illegal gains. That would be a betrayal but only of my loving family member, but of society as well. We each have an implicit contract with others to use our power for constructive, and not destructive, purposes. Take a look at what terror groups like Hamas do with the financial assistance they receive: they buy weaponry and launch those missiles against civilians. They not only betray the donors who had offered humanitarian aid – they also betray humanity by unleashing deadly force against the innocent.

What if I decided to live a good life, to not waste money, and to not engage in illicit or illegal activities? Would I then be upholding all my responsibilities? Tell you the truth, I don’t think so. I believe there is one more obligation that must be met: it is to the Generator of all wealth. In the final analysis, we must give full credit where all credit is due. That, of course, means we have a duty towards the people with whom we do business, and from whom we inherit money. But it also means that we recognize and appreciate the Source of all our powers to produce in the first place.

The One who made us human gave us astounding powers to create, to manufacture, to connect with people. To build stuff and share it, and trade it, and use it to help others. All the wealth we accumulate and generate is a byproduct of this creative potential that has been granted to us. As such, we really cannot claim it is exclusively ours. It can more appropriately be described as a loan from the Grantor.

What do you think? Who really is the source of your wealth?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Get More Optimistic In Five Minutes!

Here is your Monday Good News Roundup. Start your week feeling good about money, people, and the world around you.

Get More Optimistic In Five Minutes!

Read this blog from a young man with Muscular Distrophy. He really knows how to not just survive, but thrive!

Here are young people with their heads on straight about life and money.

Chicago Kids Nix Celebrity B’nai Mitzvahs, Use Money for Church Playground.

Diabetic, beautiful, and proud!

Miss Idaho Proudly Displays Insulin Pump During Bikini Walk

A poor and beaten boy finds a loving home.

Teacher adopts ‘holy terror‘ student no one else wanted




Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

What’s Wrong With A Little Bit of Venting? toughness expert Jason Selk puts emotional venting in the proper perspective in his recent Forbes article.

His strategy for dealing with it can help us all be less of a burden not only to others, but – very importantly – to ourselves.

As business and professional people, we meet with a steady stream of clients and customers.

Unfortunately, not every minute of the day is a good one to see people.

Maybe a personal phone call upset us, yet then we had to greet a new prospect.

Perhaps the first appointment of the day didn’t go well, but it was followed by three others.

I know that as a life insurance salesman, it is a big challenge to not bring the “emotional residue” of one encounter into the next.

Still need to let it out

But sometimes the day catches up with you, and we need to let it out.

Our clients and customers may like to be nice and listen to our problems, but our woes are really not their business.

Besides, it is unfair to ask them to serve as a sounding board when they have other things to do.

How can prevent our emotions from getting the best of us when we are in a businesslike and professional environment?

Jason points the way. He has a neat and efficient four-point strategy for dealing with the situation.

Here is one tip that really appeals to me:

Let Emotional Discomfort Prompt Action. When we “vent,” we’re often looking for validation that what we’re thinking is true and that we’re not to blame. Most will receive that validation and be content with the fact that there’s nothing to do to improve their situation. In essence, they become complicit victims. The mentally tough, on the other hand, use their discontentment not as an excuse to vent, but as a signal that an improvement is necessary. Learn to use emotional discomfort as a cue that something needs to change. Redirect the energy you would spend venting, and ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do that could make this better?”

Take a look at Jason’s strategy. It’s a quick read.

Do you think it could work for you?


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

First a Temp – Now, Majority Shareholder!

Do you need people in your firm who can work their way up to the top? Who are grateful for an opportunity to grow, and will make the best of it? Who don’t feel they deserve anything but a chance to show how they can improve your bottom line? I know I am. Such people are the pillars of American business.

Renee Rodriguez is one of these great people. She was interviewed recently by Kate Taylor in Entrepreneur Magazine. In a snapshot, here is her story:

After graduating from the University of Southern Colorado, Renee Rodriquez turned to a local Express Employment Professionals franchise office for a temporary job until she could find permanent employment. However, the local Express owners realized there was something special about the temp and decided to hire her for their own office. Five years later, the franchise owners asked Rodriquez if she would like to be a partner in the business. Five years after that, once the original owners decided to sell, she became majority partner.

Take a moment to read the full interview. It’s not too long. It will restore your faith in the American Way. And you thought we were lost, didn’t you?!


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Praise for American Exceptionalism

It’s easy for us Americans to get down ourselves and forget how great we really are. I know that as a life insurance salesman, if I lose track of the unique value I bring to the table, I feel lost.

Nick Adams gave us all a pep talk in his speech at the Heritage Foundation yesterday. Nick is a political figure who served as the youngest deputy mayor in Australian history at age 21. Here is a quote:

“I’m here to give Americans optimism at a time where there are so many slumped shoulders. I must say that if I were an American, I would also feel that there is not much reason to be hopeful. I think it is indisputable that America is in decline as we speak. But decline, I believe, is a choice, it’s not a condition. Decline can be reversed. A lot of America’s current ailments are a result, I think, of policy failures. To use an Australian term, I think that America can boomerang provided that it re-embraces the values and the virtues of its founding principles and its history.”

Makes me feel better already. How about you? Happy birthday, America!


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

A Personal Note About the Mistreatment of Veterans

Long before I got started in the life insurance business, I learned many life lessons from my uncle, a veteran of World War II.  My uncle escaped the Nazis and came to this country as a teenager. Nobody in his family knew English. Like all the other immigrants at the time, they put their noses to the grindstone and did what they had to do to become Americans. His mother was seriously ill when the day came for her swearing in to be a citizen of this country. There was absolutely no way she was going to miss that.

My uncle served with distinction in the U.S. Navy. He then went to college on the G.I. Bill. (He still gives on a yearly basis to his alma mater). He then began a career as a probation officer for the city of New York. That career lasted 50 years.

A few years ago my uncle was combating an infection in his bloodstream. It affected many of his major organs, including his brain. This adversely affected his mood, and he felt very defensive when dealing with doctors and hospital personnel (this was not a VA hospital). He felt he often had to “plead his case” and remind them of who and what he was. Sure, he was not his usual self, but what was interesting to me was that his core identity shined through.

Do you know what he kept telling people? He kept telling them that he was an American. He was a veteran. He served his country. He served the city of New York. Over and over again. His basic message was this: the rights and welfare of a loyal citizen of this country – especially one who has put his life on the line for the rest of us – should never be trampled. Doing so is not just beneath his dignity – it is beneath the dignity of the nation.

Yes, it is.

Why am I speaking out on this issue? It’s simple: when our morals get stronger, then our government will get smaller. When our government gets smaller, our economy will get stronger. It is in my self-interest as a businessman, as a life insurance broker, and as an American to make sure our politicians and lawmakers do the right thing.


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Do You Dare to Be Different?

To be yourself often means standing out from the crowd. Many successful people know this. As a matter of fact, business writer Catherine Kaputa talks about how many entrepreneurs that have made it are contrarians. Here is one example that should be familiar to you:

Growth entrepreneurs keep a pulse on what’s happening but don’t try to fit into the market–they try to appeal to where their customers are heading. They have what I call an “outside-in” orientation. They begin with the larger context–the outside–and work inward. After getting his MBA from Stanford, Joe Coulombe acquired a convenience store chain called Pronto Markets. In the mid 1960s he was intrigued with an article in Scientific American about how many baby boomers were going on to college. That article gave Coulombe his small idea. He speculated that those well-educated boomers would want a more sophisticated–but offbeat and fun–food-shopping experience. His name was Joe, so he decided to call his high concept grocery store Trader Joe’s.

My father Leon Kobrin, of blessed memory, was a contrarian. He was a pioneer in the tough case life insurance business. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, he specialized in helping people get policies who were considered high-risk by the industry. Very few other brokers were doing this.

I have taken my cue from him and steered my own practice in a direction against the tide. It has worked very well for decades, thankfully. People often ask me to provide a “snapshot” comparing our firm versus the typical life insurance brokerage. Here you go. The comparison tells you what we do, how it is different from the industry trends, and why we therefore provided an advantage to our clients.


I sell only life insurance. The industry trend is for life insurance brokers to sell other insurance products, as well as investments. My specialization allows me to become an expert in this single marketplace.

Super specialization.

I sub-specialize in tough life insurance cases. The industry trend is to promote either cheap term insurance or large permanent policies, both for people who qualify for preferred or preferred best pricing. My sub-specialization enables me to find policies for people whom other brokers could not help.

Multiple distributor affiliations.

I am appointed to represent many life insurance companies through a number of different general agencies. The industry trend is for brokers to affiliate with only one or two general agencies. My multiple affiliations help me find good offers for people of all kinds of risk.

Efficient shopping.

Through Prequalification, I confirm the company, product and price before a formal application is submitted. The industry trend is to confirm the company, product, and price after underwriting has been completed. My approach saves the client, the brokerage, and the company time and money.

Approval as quoted.

The goal of my sales system is to obtain an approval at the rate quoted. The industry trend is to submit an application speculating that the approved price will be the one quoted. My system allows consumers to apply with confidence and make a very satisfying purchase.

Standing out from the crowd to get the job done right means claiming your own uniqueness. How unique are you? How unique is your insurance broker?



Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Do I Need Life Insurance If I Believe in God? can be good for people.

Knowing that you are accountable to a Higher Authority can keep you humble.

At the same time, knowing that your capabilities are granted by a Higher Power can keep you inspired.

When people understand this, they can reach for the stars, but with their feet on the ground.

Anything they achieve, they earn and deserve.

Inhabiting our planet

Religion offers optimal ways for inhabiting Planet Earth. The Creator of the World has provided instructions for living in it.

It is not our place – it is His.

We are passing through. When we follow His directions, we can make the most of our visit here.

In it together

Religion is about interdependence.

The wisdom of the forefathers is passed down through the generations.

People are taught to take care of one another: no one is to be left behind.

People are also taught to take responsibility for themselves: no one is to be dead weight.

Killed in the name of religion

Unfortunately, many people call themselves religious, but they really are not.

We have all been hurt by hypocrites who do not practice what they preach. Truth be told, many more of us have probably been hurt by people who do not even bother to preach anything.

Skeptics of religion often claim that more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason.

In my view of history, many more people have been killed by irreligious tyrants, armies, and mobs.

Has anybody tallied the body count from the Communist crusades of the 20th century alone?

Trying to get it right

There is a classification of religious person that is somewhat in the middle between the devout and the dismissive.

These are folks who are trying hard to get it right.

Most of us probably fall into that category, in one way or another. For me, an indication of someone who is “not quite there yet” is when I hear the question, “Do I need life insurance if I believe in God?”

The simple answer to that question is, “Yes, sure you do.”

Here is a quick explanation why.

No one gets left behind

One major theme emphasized in the Bible is the importance of taking care of the widows, orphans, and others in need.

This is a mandate from God to us.

That means it is our job.

No one gets left behind.

When you take out a life insurance policy, you make sure that the people precious to you are taken care of properly. They don’t have to go on welfare, live off family members, or deplete their assets.

No one becomes dead weight.

Space for good deeds

None of this precludes the role of God as the Master of the Universe.

It is simply recognizing the gap He has left between the heaven and the earth, between the stars and the sand, for us to fill with good deeds.

In His benevolence He has even told us what those deeds should be, and has endowed us with the brainpower needed to figure out how to do them.

In my way of thinking, the purchase of life insurance is a perfect example.

Happy Holidays to all.


Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.