Posts Tagged ‘life insurance’

Nobody has ever accused me of being mundane, Orthodox, or conventional.  Let’s get that out of the way before I commence the crazy.  Things that get the hoi polloi all sorts of fired up tend to make me yawn with disinterest.  That could be due to my history as a wry cynic, or that I have a severe allergy to propaganda– and most motivational techniques come across as just that.  Cheers and chants (with a handful of noteworthy exceptions) tend to annoy me.  Mission statements and similar concepts of that ilk are met with the same disdain as political campaign ads.  In my less than humble opinion, and you can feel free to quote me on this–  “Motivational speech without mechanics or substance to back it is just propaganda in pretty clothing.”

Of course, there are also the personal sources of motivation– money, success, progress.  These dangled carrots, to me, feel like intangibles– especially if they are coupled with repeated indoctrination with circuitous motivational speech.  Now, some of you may be slapping your foreheads and saying, “What did you expect?  Have you not worked in sales before?”  (The answer is:  not like this, nope.)

Luckily, my company is legit-- and not unscrupulous.

Go on YouTube and look up Alec Baldwin’s “motivational” speech from this movie. Welcome to my life. The major noteworthy difference is: my company doesn’t tolerate dishonesty (unlike the one in the movie).

Some people are motivated by having a figurative (or literal) gun to their head.  Yeah, I’m motivated by the need for a paycheck– and certainly motivated by the concept of being fired.  However, that said, I’m more motivated by the promises I made to several friends– that I would personally handle their affairs and needs when it came to life insurance.   That promise upgraded the proverbial gun (usually a pistol) to full-sized naval artillery.  Forget spattering my think jelly on the nearest wall for an art student to critique, I’d end up a smoking crater.  This kind of motivation is less of the high-energy type, and more of the grim determination variety.  I cannot fail them, end of story.  Luckily, it’s in my 100% Italian/Sicilian genes to be stubborn enough to beat a cat in a staring contest.

Right about now, there are readers attempting to do this.

I swear, this will not become a habit.

No, I will not degrade to utilizing only Cheezburger memes– but the point had to be illustrated… right? Stare at the cat and quit judging me.

How’s a jaded, easily-frustrated, misanthropic, cynic like me supposed to get actually fired up?  I mean if the allure of the almighty dollar sign isn’t enough of a carrot, and I’ve got my promise standing in for the main guns of the USS Missouri (pointed at my head), what’s a guy like me do?  Sex is a fantastic motivator, but I’m going to marry Cortana– so I’m not worried about attracting tail (although trying to ensure that she never needs to work is another excellent reason to keep my nose to the grindstone).  Is it through study, inspirational reading, meditation, praise, or reprimand?  Bitch please.  It’s all in the music.

85% of my colleagues are younger than I am, and this includes both of the guys higher than I am on the food chain.  I’m only 32, which makes this even more wryly entertaining.  They can preach all they want, but it’s hilarious when someone 4 years my junior tries to browbeat me like I’m 23.  Sorry, kiddo, you can either address me like a man– or you can be ignored like a child (albeit with a humongous allowance).  I don’t get motivated by rhetoric, and their choices in music are about as demotivating.  I’m a dyed-in-the-wool metalhead, and they’re listening to a ton of club music, hip hop, and rap.  My love of the Kool Ade has allowed these blasphemies to my musical cannon bleed into my psyche, and I’ve found myself listening to Skrillex.  That’s another sidebar entirely, in fact, it’d probably have been better placed as a side-effect like in the last edition.

No, my motivation comes from a much more powerful place– the heartiest bowels of all that is Metal.  Yes, that capitalization is intentional.  When I was plodding forward a month and a half ago, four weeks into a no-business/no-paycheck binge, I found the elusive gasoline to dump on the embers of my confidence.  That jug of gasoline came from the lyrics– and the infernally majestic orchestration– of a song entitled Gateways.  Although Dimmu Borgir‘s diabolical masterpiece, as a whole, spoke to me– it’s this specific passage that woke up the indignant narcissist inside:

“The rebirth is nearing completion
As we slowly awaken from slumber
To receive the light that shines in darkness
The light that shines forevermore (forevermore)…

Be the broken or the breaker!
(Be the Giver or the Undertaker–)
Unlock and open the doors!
(Be the Healer or the Faker–)
The keys are in your hands:
Realize you are your own sole creator
Of your own master plan”

For those of you without the benefit of an English background, or a background in poetry, we’ll take pause and let you really appreciate what I took from this.

This guy gets it.

You see a mosh pit. Like the dude on the surfboard, I see opportunity, energy, creativity, motivation, and innovation.

So I came up with my own master plan, and started working on it.  I got mad, because I realized that although I’d been pitched with smoke and mirrors– it’s all on me, and I’m not gonna fail because I didn’t take the opportunity and run with it.  So, needless to say, when I’m on the road– stuck in my box at the office– or trying to push my pace into overdrive…  cue up the metal.  Gimme that sexy Viking Metal– because (as Amon Amarth would tell me) “Valhall Awaits Me.”  Throw on that PM5K, because you know “It’s Riot Time.”  Cue up some FFDP and feel completely “Bulletproof.”  Just as DragonForce says, “Through the fire and the flames, we carry on.”  The message is pretty universal– in front of unstoppable odds…  clench your fists and let your soul loose a war cry.  Die if you have to, but never go down without putting up a fight befitting a fallen god.

Interestingly, it’s the same stuff I listened to while training for the Tough Mudder.  No matter what’s on the stereo when I pull up to an appointment, I’ve always got a smile on my face– and a healthy attitude backing it up.  The punchline:  this life insurance agent derives his immediately positive energy from death metal.

Unplug.

You know, over the years, I’ve become an expert at alienating people.  Not that I go around actively trying to get everyone and their mother to hate me more than a Kony meme, but through years of observation and innovation– it’s pretty safe to say that I know a way to get anyone to piss off with enthusiasm.

That said… if, for some weird reason you want your friends to avoid you like a yarmulke in Mecca (and you don’t want jail time), start a career as a life insurance agent.

No freaking joke.  People who I know full well have their cellphones glued to their hands, especially on the crapper, suddenly stopped replying to anything I send them.  Friends who I’ve known for years suddenly stopped calling/texting and surely won’t answer or return something as personal as a call.  It’s a damn good thing that there are noteworthy exceptions to this rule, so I am not hurting for drinking buddies– otherwise my shit would have been lost weeks ago.

Not even at my most offensive was this happening to me...

If this shit keeps up, my social life is going to be as dead as a Myspace newsfeed. (Yes, I realize this is a google+ screencap. Appreciate what’s being said here, and the finer nuances will make it funnier.)

So yeah, let me back his up.  When I finally got Sheen-deep in a pile of Kool Aid (because I do this like a boss, forget hydration), I realized that with this career track– I’ve also acquired a skill set that isn’t common.  I have a damn good understanding about how insurance/benefits/retirements and all of those fun shenanigans work.  Naturally I can’t shut up about it, I live-sleep-eat-breathe-drink this seven days a week… and aside from the weekends where I moved and went to a wedding with Cortana, I haven’t had a day off since June 4.  I’d probably be stuck in a “work dream” cycle if I actually got decent time to sleep.

Anyway, I digress, so back to becoming a social leper through employment.  I’ve flooded my Facebook creepfeed with shameless self-plugging (and if you made a masturbation joke, you’re welcome for the gimme), some of it informational– others pointing out the insanely obvious. Granted, the longer I’m in the field– the less I do it– but regardless, there were a couple instances where I was just blatantly saying, “Listen you! Everyone eventually needs this shit.  Someone will eventually get in touch with you about this, do business with me.”  Some people need an anvil instead of a hint, you know?  Decided to work with the whole “squeaky wheel” approach, but kinda shut up about it recently– because I hate broken records and repost whores.   However, I think those semi-informational/semi-marketing posts backfired on me because I think I got myself marked as a sales agent.

Anyone who really knows me, knows I hate “sales” with a fervor that ranks up with the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.  I know, quit laughing at the irony of my current job description.  I’ll hit that later.  No matter if you’re talking about prospecting, or the almighty concept of closing, it’s not something I’m a fan of.  In fact, if I’m in a place where I’m going to do business (and I know that the public-facing employees are commissioned only), I deliberately avoid “salesmen” and seek out the person most likely to be low-key and knowledgeable.  Then it hit me– I’ve donned the mantle, but not adopted the practices.  However, what do people see?  The mantle, and they make like Iron Maiden and run to the hills.  It’s almost as if they’ve forgotten who the hell they’ve known for upwards of a decade on end.

Thanks everyone

Not sure if I should be thankful for the message, or start dishing out Gibbs Slaps.

Now, I realize that most insurance agents get their start doing a Project 100— there are several companies that mandate this out of their rookies.  Reason #1 where the life insurance guy (in particular) end up as welcome in their circle of friends as Jehova Witnesses on a hangover Saturday.  The company I work with blesses us with response card leads.  Now, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but nobody said these were fresh– or that someone else hadn’t got their hands on them first.  This gave me a direction to run in, but it’s like playing Battleship.  I don’t even need to complete the simile because it’s all right there for you, just connect the dots.

That said, the company is solid– and the product is beyond solid.  I know this, and that’s why it sells itself.  I don’t play hardball with anyone, especially those I know.  Why?  Because that’s what sales guys do.  I like to think of myself as a service agent.  I don’t sell shit, I’m in this for the long haul– and if someone doesn’t like what I’ve got, hey–  I still walk out of the house with a shake of the hand, a grin, and no hard feelings.   Everyone ends up kissing the Reaper eventually, and if someone doesn’t want to plan for it– that’s between them and their loved ones.

Anyway– I have hit up some friends to have a sit-down with me over beers (and I’m buying) to have a look at what I do.  Primarily, I’m looking for added avenues to follow for business, helping out their coworkers/friends/family who would otherwise have to deal with a sales douche, who may or may not stick them with a bullshit product that will collapse before they die.  We all know the skeezy mental image that pops up when you say the words “insurance agent.”  Seriously, I do not fit that mold– and I’m not trying to.  I want them to see how my approach is, what I do, and know exactly what they’re referring.  Seems to make sense, right?  Worst case scenario, I walk away leaving a coupla freebies (maybe brews) and some knowledge in my wake.  Best case?  They send me to more people to educate and serve.  Simple concept, right?  Apparently not.

Shit.  Listen to me preaching the light side of the Force.

Unfortunately it appears that even I have fallen victim to…  the stigma.  So yeah.  If you wanna really reset your social life– get a job in life insurance.  You will have a clean slate in no time, no matter who you are or how you handle it.

Unplug.