Committing to Your Best Version Possible

podcast Aug 12, 2021

Welcome to the Agent Leader podcast, my name is Brent Kelly, your host. Thanks so much for joining me on another episode. And just like I did on the previous episode, I am going to be recording this via podcast audio only, and also doing a video here, which we'll stream on YouTube and other video channels. So again, trying to extend our platform, find more ways for agencies to connect with us and hear some of the messages that we're sharing here, whether it's just myself or interviews with others like Roger Sitkins, or some of our members, or some of our producers we work with. But again, want to continue to expand that platform and best serve our mission, which is to help insurance agencies, independent insurance agencies, gain clarity, build consistency, and make a commitment to become their best version possible. And I'm excited today. This is going to be probably a shorter episode, I would think.

I have nothing pre-written other than what's in my head. So we talked about having a conversation from your heart. This will be a conversation from my heart to your heart on something that I think is at the core of everything that we're about. And I said at the beginning, what do we do, clarity, consistency, commitment to help agencies become their best version possible. I want to expand a little bit on what is your best version possible. Now we've talked about this or I've talked about this or guests have talked about this in previous episodes to one degree or another, but I think at some point we forget about it and I can tell you the agencies that I've talked to the last couple of weeks, whether they're current clients of the Sitkins Network, in any capacity, or maybe they're an agency that's exploring some options and looking at some things, this is something that often comes up, what does BVP, best version possible mean?

And I, first of all, wanted just to give a little backstory to this and where this came about. Obviously we're not the first company or person to talk about best version possible. There are many things, just Google it and you'll find a lot, in fact, it's a pretty cool thing to do. Google, what is my best version possible? What is best version possible? But it started, it's been probably three and a half years ago or so, we were doing one of our agency leadership events. This was our CEO Fit program for agency leaders. And before the session we were preparing and it was me and Roger Sitkins, and we were having dinner and talking about some things. And I said, "Roger, if an agency were to say, what's our best version possible as an agency, what would you tell him?"

And he went on with a number of things that we have talked about probably in different areas of this podcast, if you've listened to past episodes. But what happened was that question, like any good question, it elicits a deeper response. And Roger tells a story ahead very well, but talks about, man I was up all night. I woke up at three in the morning. I was thinking, gosh, what's my best version possible. And of course I was asking myself, what's my best version possible? And the next morning we came to the agency leaders and we said, "Hey, listen, I know we've got some more here that we're going to be talking about, but before we get into that, I want to ask you a question, what's your best version possible." And certainly we think about this in terms, as the agency, what's our agency's best version possible.

And then of course, as a leader, again, whether you are the agency leader principal, the principal of the agency, maybe you're a sales manager or a leader, and maybe you're a producer, a claims professional, I don't really care, but you're part of it going, wait a second, as a leader, as someone who has influence, what's my best version possible. Now, some people will think about this and go, oh, here we go, it's a mindset thing and a fufu thing of my best version possible, me frolicking through the flowers of an open a meadow or whatever. I don't mean that. I just mean this, is that when you really understand and take time to say, what is truly my best version possible, it can be a huge awakening moment for you as a leader.

I've shared this on previous episodes, but I want to share it again because I think it always hits home. It hits home with me and they say, "What's the definition of hell on earth?" And it sounds a bit cryptic, but what's the definition of hell on earth. And I heard it described this way. Hell on earth is when you get to the end of your life and you meet the person that you could have become. You get to the end of your life and you meet the person you could have become. I will tell you that personally scared the bejesus out of me. And again, I'm not trying to scare you, but I will encourage you and challenge you here as a listener.

Think about that for a second. If we don't attain, at least aspire to be our best version possible, and by the way, it doesn't mean you're going to have a perfect life. None of us have a perfect life until now. You're not going to have a perfect life moving forward. We know there's no perfection, but if we say, wait a second, what is my best version possible? And again, we can look at this professionally, we can look at this personally, what is my best version? How are my relationships, my interactions, how is the office productivity, what do my clients look like, what is the culture of the agency? And of course you can take that to your home life as well. What's the culture of my home, lots of different things there.

But when you really take some time to say, "Hey, wait a second. What is my best version possible?" I promise you, it's a very powerful thing. We go through our programs, in fact, we talk about this concept in really all of our programs at Sitkins, I think the biggest impact, or at least the most noticeable that I've seen, because we had the most people in it is our producer camp. And we talk about that in the very, very first session. And people say, "Well, why do you talk about that? Don't you get into the pipelines and points of differentiations and sales strategies?" Yeah, we do. But here's the thing, in fact, people will ask me, what's one of the things that maybe differentiates you and some of your programs versus others out there?

And again, this isn't disparage anybody else. I don't know all the things that are out there. A lot of really great things out there, but here's what I can tell you. One of the things that I've seen again and again, that makes a huge difference is that if you want to make external changes, external results, you got to start internally. And that starts by really understanding who you can be, who you should be becoming, at that best version possible, really saying, wait a second. If I'm playing at the highest level and I take away all this head trash and garbage and stuff that I tell myself or people tell me, well, you're only going to be this. And this is really all you can do. And this is about it. And this is how life is. And it's not always fair. And all this junk, guess what? That's where you're going to play.

But when you take a step back and go, wait a second, what is my best version? Because I will tell you, this is not fufu. This is real, there's science behind this, if you can think and imagine it, it is truly possible for you. But here's the thing, you've got to eliminate all the stuff that's getting in your way. Now I say this with passion and conviction. You know why? Because these are questions I ask myself all the time.

What's the stuff that's getting in my way. What's the stuff that's getting in your way? Whether you want to call it a hurdle, a challenge and obstacle, we all have them, but these are the things that are preventing us from getting or achieving or moving towards that best version possible. Again, there's no perfection, but there's certainly progress in the right direction. Again, if you're listening on audio, this isn't going to mean much, but I'm showing a mirror right now. And this is going to look weird on video too, because it's got a mirror of a mirror of a mirror. You keep going back, it's like this crazy world, but if you can see this on video, I think you can read it on there that says, is this your best version possible? And again, if you're listening to audio, my mic might sound weird too, because I'm hiding behind a mirror.

If you're listening audio, this is a mirror that we received as a gift after one of our training sessions with a really incredible agency in Pennsylvania, EHD Insurance. We've had some guests from EHD in the past, Matt Fairbanks, Jon Miles has been on here, but other people from EHD that we've had on there and they're just a great agency. So you can see on the top, it says, is this your best version possible? The bottom, it's kind of funny. It says, Producers, if it's Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, you shouldn't be reading this." That's a whole separate discussion we can have about producer productivity, but the bottom line is they should be out of the office doing sales stuff. But I want to focus the top part of that mirror because I think this is an idea of what this means at a personal level and as an agency level.

So we talked about this concept of becoming your best version possible to this agency. And, they really took it to heart. In fact, their agents, their producers, their service team, all have this now as part of the culture, are we living to our best version possible? And I can tell you it's been a game changer. There are a lot of different results we can talk about specifically with that, but this is true for lots of different agencies out there in the marketplace. And so here's what I'm going to challenge you with. And again, I said I would keep this podcast fairly short today, just have a conversation from my heart to your heart. I just don't want to see you or your agency ever shortchange yourself from what's truly possible. And the greatest challenge that you face, that I face, that we all face, isn't all the stuff. It isn't, well, the carriers weren't fair or it's really tough out there in competition, or the biggest challenge is pipeline development or all these kinds of things.

Those are certainly challenges, but the greatest challenge going back to the mirror is that person that you look at every day and say, "It's me, am I committed to truly doing all the things I was created to do? And am I really committed to that? Or am I just saying things that sound good? Am I really committed to that? Am I going to look back on my last day and say, well done, well done." Because that's the biggest frustration that we have, I have as a coach with agencies. And this is just my mindset of a coach, I think any good coach does this. They see things in people, in teams and go, "I know there's greatness in there. There's more in there. I can see it. I can feel it. It's not that they don't have the capacity, it's that maybe they haven't truly made the commitment."

And it starts internally that I'm no longer going to self-sabotage. There's a great quote out there. It says this, "If you don't place a high value on yourself, rest assured the world will not raise the price." If you don't place a high value, what value are you going to place on yourself? Are you going to continue to say, "Well, I guess we're just going to be like that. And that's okay." Probably many of you, most of you have read the book or heard of the book certainly, Good to Great by Jim Collins, been around for a very long time now. It says good is the enemy of great. I would challenge and say good as the enemy of your best version possible.

If we can eliminate the good enough, and this doesn't mean that we're not grateful for what we have today. There's that always that balance of well, if I'm always seeking and I'm never grateful, be grateful for where you're at, but be hungry for who you're really capable of becoming. Be grateful, I am so blessed. By the way, if you're in this industry and you probably are, if you're listening to my voice right now, you are blessed. This is a fantastic industry with amazing opportunities, both from a financial perspective and just a freedom of time, and what you do and what you give back to the world and the industry, it's great. But don't ever just settle for that. There is a calling in your life and in your agency to do something great. And if it's not for you and it should be for you, what about your team?

What do you owe your team? What about your clients, your best version? What would that mean? What about the community? The impact that you could make to the world. Now what you do when you get success, and we've had the opportunity to see a lot of agencies increase their results, in growth and profitability. Here's the thing that money provides. If you want to talk about that for a second, money provides choices, it provides options. And what do those provide you? Freedom. If you want to go do things, whatever means the most to you, go do it. You have that opportunity. We have that freedom. Certainly those living in the United States of America and most of, all the countries that are listening to this, most of us are blessed. Some of us don't have that, but most of us that are listening we do have that freedom, that opportunity.

I know this is a bit of a rah rah speech, but I hope you feel my passion and conviction because I just, I want more agencies. I want more independent insurance agent producers. I want more insurance professionals to realize the impact that they can make to the world. That starts by looking in that mirror that I just showed and saying, am I becoming my best version possible? I'm not going to compare to other people who are walking along. We mass produce average in this country. I hate that word. Well, we're average, who wants to be average? And the truth of it, is oftentimes we feel pretty good because, well, I think I'm better than average. Is that what you want? It's not what I want. Waking up, going listen, I owe something, and wake up with passion and conviction that you have. Today I'm going to continue to move towards the person that I'm truly capable of being. How exciting is that?

Now does that mean you're not going to face huge obstacles and frustrations and setbacks? Yep. Success is not a linear path. It's not like this 45 degree angle of success. It's going to have curves and twists and ups and downs. But that mindset, that conviction of nothing's going to stand in my way. I'm going to be doing everything in my power to continue this journey to my best version possible. So there's my call, I said a conversation from the heart is you can tell if you're watching me, if I'm not going on notes, I'm going on my experience. And it's just so cool to see agents and agencies start to feel and get it. Because guess what? This business should be fun. Doesn't mean there's not challenges and bad days I mentioned, but it should be fun and inspiring.

And the opportunity you have for yourself and your team and to the world, it's truly never ending. But you just got to go take it and we want to help you. If we can help you and your agency take that next step, we would love it. Our entire experience, our process is the ProFit Experience. Professional fitness for your agency. What does professional fitness mean? Well, it's about clarity, consistency, and commitment. And our all-inclusive program of the Sitkins Network includes a few things. Phase one is clarity and core. We're going to help you really understand where you are. All progress starts by telling the truth, as the great Dan Sullivan talks about. So let's really analyze where we're at, good or bad, and then understand where do we really want to go? What are we capable of? That's the starting point. And then in our program, you, as an agency have access to all of our programs, all of our core programs, sales, sales leadership, agency leadership service, so that everyone can hear a similar message. It's your agency, it's your culture.

But we want to help you and your agency get greater buy-in. Help your entire agency become inspired to know what they're truly capable of. Imagine if every person in your agency, got to hear some form of message, and this idea of 'wait a second, what's my best version? Why am I holding back?" We have producers. This is probably not shocking to many of you. You go, I don't really need more sales training. This is not training. This is transformation. There is a difference. There are some producers who already make a ton of money. That's great, but they go, wait a second. I'm making good money, but I'm looking for different areas of freedom in my life and success and what I could truly be.

Warren Buffet makes a lot of money. Okay? I don't even know what he makes. So does Jeff Bezos or others, you can throw all these names out there, makes a lot of money, but he wakes up every day wanting to make more. Now here's the question, is Warren Buffett or other people, are they just greedy? Here's what I do think. I think it is in their DNA and their spirit and their God given abilities to go out and create and do more in the world. And that creates more money. So I would ask the same of you. I would ask the same of your team. So phase one, clarity in core. Just for 90 days, let's get clear on what we want and let's go through all the core programs and hear some messages and figure out what we're really going to become.

And from there the next 90 days is a deep dive. It's a 90 day focus in one particular area. Where do most agencies, producers, and other insurance professionals struggle, it's distractions, too many things to figure out at the same time, oh, I'll do this and this and this. So after we get some core message and really understanding some of the basic fundamentals of things, let's take one area and let's really attack it. Let's seek transformation there, that's phase two.

Phase three, which is ongoing, is an idea of, again, you can continue to go and deep dive, certainly. But phase three is about mastery. How do we begin to master certain areas? And of course, networking, you are who you surround yourself with. We want to continue to build this community. I can tell you it's so awesome. Our next networking event's coming up shortly. It's so cool, whether it's virtual or in a room with people to say, this is a collective genius of people that no one else, you can't do it on your own. No one does it on their own, so let's find peers and mentors and coaches that we can surround ourselves with to say, listen, I'm learning something, I'm sharing something, I'm growing. There is a power of a mastermind. We continue to have community masterminds with our agency leaders to help them grow, develop, see things differently, call out some of the BS that they may be talking about. By the way, BS, isn't always what you think. Belief systems, could be behaviors and strategies, so just to keep that in the forefront.

So if you're interested in learning more about that, see if it's a fit for your agency. We know it's not a fit for every agency. We just want to help as many agencies that are committed as possible. You can go to sitkins.com/aim, sitkins.com/aim to learn more. And with that, I wish you all the best in your success. Thanks for listening.


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