In this podcast episode, host Andy Neary dives deep into the core attributes that drive a winning mindset in the insurance industry.


Video Transcript:

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Hey, hey, welcome to the Bullpen Sessions Podcast, a podcast for driven insurance professionals who are looking to reach their full potential in their insurance careers. This is the place where we help motivated insurance professionals build the right mindset and tools to create more credibility with their target prospects. I’m your host, Andy Neary. Former professional athlete turned insurance advisor.

Each week, you will learn tips and strategies to help you execute a clear prospecting game plan every single week. Clarity creates action when you’re clear, you’re confident. When you’re confident, you’re consistent. When you’re consistent, you are unstoppable. All right. Let’s dive into today’s episode.

Hey, hey, welcome back to Bullpen Sessions. My name is Andy Neary, and this is episode 281. In today’s episode, I am sharing three key insights that I have learned over the last few weeks by getting an opportunity to spend, a day with some of our top clients, as well as finishing up a book. I recently read, The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go down to Texas, spend a day in Spencer Smith’s, studio where he does his work, The Maker’s Gym in Frisco, and I got to shoot four podcast episodes with, some clients, mine.

And it was an extremely successful day, an energetic today, day. And I left that day going, man, I learned so much about what makes these four people tick. I interviewed Chris Hamilton, Heather Bowers, Ross Connor, and Spencer Smith for for individuals in the insurance industry, both commercial insurance and benefits that are succeeding at a very high level.

And I wanted to use today’s episode to give you some key insights into what I learned while interviewing them about what makes them tick. To be honest, we didn’t really talk about insurance all that much. We just talked about their mindset, how they approach their life, what matters to them, their health, their family. And so I think you’re going to learn a lot by today’s episode.

I’m also going to reference, the book I just finished, The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban. Nick Saban is arguably the greatest college football coach that ever lived in. This book was phenomenal. There’s so many lessons I took away from there, and I realized the lessons I learned from the book, the lessons I learned from, interviewing these four great human beings.

There was a lot of overlap. So I want to share this episode with you today. If you’re sitting there right now struggling a little bit in your insurance career and you know you should be doing better, these insights are going to be awesome. So get ready. Buckle up. Let’s dive in. Hey, hey, welcome back to the podcast. Today I have one goal.

Today I’m going to take you inside the minds of people succeeding at the highest level in their craft. So you can try to do the same in yours. I got a chance recently to spend a day interviewing some of my clients who are succeeding at a very high level. I’m actually excited to share this with you. I went down to Texas, spent a day in Spencer Smith’s studio, and, I got to conduct four guest podcast interviews with four of our clients Chris Hamilton, Heather Bowers, Ross Connor, and Spencer Smith himself.

And I’m really excited to share those with you in future episodes. One of my goals is to spend more time doing our guest interviews in person, in the same room. I think they just bring a whole different energy to the podcast episode, so I’m excited for those, for those to air here, probably in the next 3 or 4 weeks.

But after spending that day, with those four people I really want, I really took away some key insights as to what makes these people tick, because that was my goal with the podcast, is I wanted to get inside their minds. I didn’t want to talk, just insurance and their beliefs about insurance. No, I wanted to get inside their minds about what makes them tick.

Who are these people? Why are they so successful? And I want to share some of my insights with you. And now, ironically, that day that I spent with them coincided with, a book I just finished reading, written about Nick Saban, which is the leadership skills, leadership secrets of Nick Saban. We all know Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach that has ever lived.

And so when I read this book and took some notes, a lot of the insights overlapped. And so I thought the timing of interviewing the for clients, reading the book, this would be a good time to share some of these insights with you, because one of my goals with the podcast here is to give you, key insights, tactics, lessons that you can apply to your career.

We realize when we post our podcast every week, our, the vast majority of our audience are insurance producers. Not surprised. People who are 28 to 40 years old probably looking for that key insight or two to grow their business. If that’s you, you’re at the right place. This today’s episode is not going to disappoint you whatsoever. And the problem I see right now is too many advisors are complacent and they’re okay with being okay.

They’re okay with mediocrity. And there’s a quote in the book here about Nick Saban, quoted, Nick Saban is quoted as saying, mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people. So my goal today is that even if you’re stuck in mediocrity right now with average results, I hope you’re striving to be a high achiever.

And I want to share these three insights with you to help you get on the right side of success. Because here’s where you might find yourself right now. Your results don’t match your abilities or your potential, and I know how that feels. That’s how I spent the first ten years of my career. One of the things that drives me nuts when I work with producers today is watching somebody who I know has all the potential in the world, and they’re just holding themselves back from achieving what they’re capable of, and it’s usually because of their mindset, and it’s them who is keeping them from having success.

And so I want to use today’s episode to help, help you overcome that is if you find yourself there. And again, I share this from a very personal place of empathy, because I spent the first ten years of my career not living up to my full potential. I can specifically remember two occasions, two different events where I had.

I got sat down by my boss and was told, Andy, you, you have all the potential in the world, but your results aren’t showing it right now and we need to start seeing more results from you. Otherwise we might have to let you go. And I can remember those two conversations like they were yesterday. both of them occurred not long after I had achieved at a high level, playing professional baseball.

And I’m like, what’s going on? Why can’t I succeed in business? Do I do I not have what it takes? What am I missing? And I realize one of the things I didn’t have 20 years ago was the mentorship, the insights, the coaching that I hope to give to you. And so if I can be that conduit for you to help you get yourself on the right side of momentum, that’s what I want to do today.

And by the way, it doesn’t you don’t need to be a new producer to to take what you learned today and apply it to your business. You could be a veteran right now, struggling a little bit, trying to get on the right side of momentum. I hope the insights I share with you are going to help you out, because I can tell you that after spending a day with these four individuals that I got to interview, I was I was so energized, not just because of the fact I got to spend some time with them and interview them, but just the lessons I learned from these people.

I got a chance to see what makes them tick. And I think you’re going to you’re going to really take away some of these things that that they’re doing on a daily basis in the mindsets they’re applying to make sure they stay at the top. And that’s the key. Anybody can win for a moment. These people are winning consistently year in and year out.

And I want to share those insights with you. So let’s just dive right into it. The first key insight I took from spending a day interviewing clients and finishing up the book written about Nick Saban. The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban is number one. Top achievers are curious.

They’re trying to get better with everything they do. Complacency is their enemy in all areas of their life. They’re not just a good insurance producer. They’re good at everything they do. Or at least they’re striving to be good at everything they do. You know, I can specifically remember a conversation with Chris Hamilton. This man is passionate about his health, like me, and he was just talking about how he’s on this mission to become a better student of his health so he can continue to lean into a long life.

He wants longevity. And that really resonated with me because I’m on that same path. I can remember when I had my leg infection in 2021, coming out the back end of that infection. Even though I was a healthy person, I worked out, I ate well. I’m like, I have to become a better student in this game. And after having that conversation with Chris, I was like, yes, that that is something that makes people these high achievers successful is they’re curious for more.

They are thirsting for more knowledge, more skills, and they do not let complacency impact their business. Even though they experience success and have experienced success, they continue to be driven to get better. You know, Spencer mentioned that one of the things he often hears from his peers is how curious he is. It’s a skill set. It’s actually something that separates high achievers from a lot of people, because that means they are constantly driven to get better.

I think the one of the best examples of of where this is true is after reading the book about Nick Saban, I mean, this man is has been at the pinnacle of college football for the last 15 years, but he continued to get better every single year. In fact, he knew no matter how many coaches went through his program and became their own head coach at their own program, they were never going to keep up with him.

They were never going to catch up. And this is true. Look at his record against his former assistant coaches. He is 28 and three out of 31 tries. Only three of his former assistants actually beat him in a game. Another great example of how curiosity helped Nick Saban evolve for the first several years of his coaching tenure at Alabama, his teams were known for defense.

I remember watching Alabama games in the early 20 tens. Watching the defense was impressive, but man, sometimes watching their offense was like watching the paint dry. Yet somehow he turned out national championships. But things changed as the offenses in the college football changed became more high tempo, more passing, more run pass option type offenses. He could have sat there and said, no, we’re Alabama.

We’re known for defense. But he didn’t. He realized in order for his teams to stay on top, they had to evolve. They had to be curious in in a matter of one year, they went from a defensive minded program to having one of the best offenses in college football. In fact, I think the 2018 team has won has is considered one of the greatest offenses in college football history.

That’s what curiosity looks like. So if you find yourself right now taking your foot off the gas a little bit because you’ve been in the industry, been in the insurance industry for a while, you think you got things good, you feel like everything is good, it’s okay and you’re starting to pull back a little bit. That’s going to quickly become your enemy.

That’s not what the best do. Top successful people in business stay hungry.

Even though they’ve experienced success they wake up every day hungrier than they were the day before. And when I interview Chris I interviewed Heather, Ross and Spencer. I saw that time and time again. These people are curious. They want to know what they need to do to get better. They want to know who they need to connect with to be better.

They do not stop growing. Are you doing the same right now? Ask yourself that. Have an honest conversation. Are you looking to get better every day, or are you finding yourself okay with being okay? Put the pressure on yourself a little bit to grow. Challenge yourself to be better. Be curious not just in your business endeavors, but be curious.

Then have what it takes to be a better husband, a better wife, a better father, a better mother, better friend, better son, better off with exercise, with health, with diet. Be curious. This is what the top achievers do. Did you know the tips and strategies we share on the podcast we can help you implement? If you’re an insurance professional looking to grow your revenue without all the stress, I invite you to consider our membership community Complete Game University.

Listen, let’s face it, sales training in the insurance industry is outdated. You’re working hard, but not getting the help or coaching you need to reach your full potential. If you’re looking for that extra insight and guidance to help you reach your goals, complete Game University is for you. Inside the membership. You’ll receive on demand coaching, workshops, video courses and have the opportunity to interact with other insurance professionals from around the country.

If you’d like to learn how you can become a member, simply go to complete Game backslash CGU to learn more. Once again, that’s complete game backslash CGU. We love to see you inside the membership. All right. Back to today’s episode. Now insight number two. This was really true. After interviewing the four folks I referenced earlier. Successful people.

The ones who stay on top consistently are humble. Now, I know just hearing that’s going to make you disagree and say bullshit. Andy, I know plenty of successful people that are cocky. The people that stay on top are humble. Why? Because they don’t let the highs get too high and they do not let the lows get too low.

In fact, in Nick’s book, Nick Saban’s book, he was legendary, known for his 24 hour rule. Win or lose, you only had 24 hours to dwell on the loss or celebrate the win. And there’s two instances in the book that are referenced that where this was absolutely true. It was I can’t remember the season, but when, Alabama lost the famous kick six game to Auburn, and if you don’t remember that game, you’re not a college football fan.

Alabama was actually lining up. It’s the Iron Bowl, which is the biggest game of the year between Alabama and Auburn, an in-state rivalry. Alabama was lining up to kick the game winning field goal with seconds left. The kick came up short. Auburn returned the kick 106 yards for the game winning touchdown with no time left. It was one of the most dramatic finishes to a game in college football history.

In that locker room, Nick Saban said. This was one of the toughest moments in his career to instill his 24 hour rule, because this was a devastating loss. But that next morning, guess what? His team was back at it. They, I believe, qualified for the playoffs that year, still had an SEC championship to play for. They had to get back up business as usual the next morning.

Now, on the flip side, he won plenty of national championships, but Nick Saban was famous for going out on the recruiting trail the day after a national championship game. Just like Michael Jordan, Jordan was famous for being in the weight room, lifting the day after another NBA title. That’s what I’m talking about. These people love to continue to grow.

They’re humble, and they do not let their success get to their head. Once they achieve a desired goal, they celebrate, but then they move on because they’re on to achieve the next goal. Yes, they take a moment to pause and celebrate the win or let themselves commiserate in a loss, but they don’t let themselves sit there for too long.

I can remember interviewing Dominic Frank Keeney, in one of our former podcast past episodes, one of our most downloaded episodes we’ve ever had, and it was in this episode, Dominic Frank Keeney said, after 19 years, I still don’t feel like a I’ve arrived. This is a man who has a multimillion dollar book in the insurance industry. That’s what I’m talking about.

And I’m going to be honest with you, I see a scary trend in this industry where somebody starts to have a level of success. They didn’t have before, and before you know it, that success gets to their head and then they become their own biggest fan. It’s a dangerous place to be when you start becoming your own biggest fan, and you are the biggest fan of your success, that’s when things start to go south. You want to stay on top consistently. Stay humble. Don’t let the highs get too high. Don’t let the lows get too low. Do not get high on your own supply now.

Insight number three. Some of the most successful producers I’ve gotten a chance to hang around or interview like I did, or even coach, have an unbilled, achievable ability to simplify, whether it’s the processes they run inside their teams, whether it’s how they communicate with their clients or their prospects, they have an unbelievable ability to keep things simple, whether it’s their own life or the life of their clients or prospects, they make things simple.

You know, I remember the old famous story of Steve Jobs, and when he was asked why he wears a black turtleneck to the office every single day, he said, it’s because I make things simple. I don’t have to choose. I wake up and I know exactly what I’m going to put on. And when I think about the folks that I interviewed that Nick Saban, they keep things simple.

You know, if when you if you ever get a chance to read this book, the Alabama process has become a thing, a legend, in fact, most of his former coaches, whether it be, Kirby Smart, Lane Kiffin, you name it, how many people have come out of his program? They have literally taken his process and copied it at their new school.

In fact, they talked about how Georgia, when Kirby Smart got to Georgia and he replicated this process down to the images they painted in their locker rooms, they just switched out the Alabama logo for the Georgia logo. And look what happened to Kirby Smart. He’s gone on to have unbelievable success at Georgia. But the process is simple. The point is, they keep things simple.

They don’t overcomplicate the process. They do not make it hard for prospects to do business with them. One thing that I hear more today from producers than I ever have before, and this is primarily in the employee benefits space, is frustration around a lack of sales when they feel that what they’re sharing is so much better than their competition.

I watch a lot of producers right now who want to be viewed as the innovative advisor in their market, and they’re sharing ideas. Their competition isn’t, but they’re not winning. Why? Because they’re making things too complicated. I can recall one specific conversation I had a couple weeks ago with a former client of mine who’s frustrated. He’s trying new things.

He’s trying to be innovative. He’s talking about all these outside the box ideas. Right. But he’s not winning. And I said, dude, you’ve got to make things more simple. You have to remember when you are explaining things people have never done before, these ideas around pharmacy carve outs and self-funding concepts and captives and you name it, they don’t know what you’re talking about.

They are so far removed from where they are today. Whatever you’re telling that to them looks too hard. You have to make it simple for them to do business with you. Give them that one thing they can do today, which won’t require them to change everything so they can take one step towards getting where you want them to go.

So if you’re one of those advisors listening in right now and you think you’re that innovative advisor, but your results aren’t showing the same type of innovation you want, it’s because you’re making it too hard for people to do business for you. Business with you. Keep it simple. You want to learn how to build a thriving practice. Keep it simple.

Build processes in every part of your business. What is your marketing process look like? What is your sales process look like? What is your account management process look like? You have to have a process for everything you do, and you have to keep it simple. One of the best things we have ever done for complete game consulting. I started doing this before I ever hired my first employee is build processes SOPs standard operating procedures.

When I read when I got when I look at Nick Saban’s process at Alabama, it’s basically a massive list of SOPs for everything they do, right down to how the janitor in the building treats recruits when they’re on campus. Everything is a process. When I interviewed Chris, I interviewed Heather, I interviewed Ross, and I interviewed Spencer. That’s what I saw.

Spur processes around everything they do. I talked to Spencer about what it’s like to be traveling as much as he is now that he’s with Parado, how does he ensure he maintains his exercise, his diet when he’s on the road? Process? So I want you to look at your business in your life right now. Do you have processes in place to ensure your business is going to continue to grow and continue to thrive?

It’s cliche to call it future proofing your business, but that’s what they’re really talking about. What are you doing today to keep things simple? What are you doing today to put processes in place to grow your business, to make it easy for prospects to hire you? Don’t make it complicated. Success doesn’t have to be hard. This is something I’ve been going through for the last couple months.

I have been living in this mindset that for it to be successful, it must be hard. I’m here to tell you that’s not true. I’ve been guilty of saying, you know, it’s a grind if you want to have success, but I’ve come to learn. It’s kind of bullshit. That’s what everybody wants to tell you. It actually can be easy.

And when I interviewed Chris, Heather, Ross and Spencer, I’m like, man, which is with as much success as these people had, they keep it pretty simple because they make it simple for everybody else, whether it’s their communication, their expectations, how they put themselves out there to to open doors, how they sell business, how they take care of their clients.

It’s very simple. So I don’t know if this episode helped you today. I hope it did. I know what I shared today wasn’t some game changing insight that you’ve never heard before, but I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about this today because after spending that day with these, these four individuals who I absolutely adore after reading this book, Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban, I realized where I was going wrong with my own business, and I wanted to share these insights with you because they’ve impacted me over the last few weeks.

As much as I hope they impact you. So if I could give you any advice today, if you want to get back on the right side of momentum, you want to eliminate the mediocrity that you’ve been feeling in your business. Maybe in your life. Number one, be curious. Force yourself to get better. Wake up every day with a thirst for knowledge to be humble and still.

Nick Saban’s 24 hour rule. If you just lost two big opportunities, don’t dwell on it. Don’t let it become your story. On the flip side, if you’re winning right now, things are going great. Don’t let that allow you to become complacent. Don’t take that foot off the gas. I know it’s so easy to do it. Take Dominic Frank Keane’s insight.

After 19 years, I still don’t feel like I’ve arrived. This is a man who could take his foot off the gas if he wanted to, but he’s not going to let it happen. And number three, keep it simple. Build processes in every area of your business. Make it easy for your prospects to hire you. If you’re an innovative advisor right now trying to break the mold of of, mediocrity in your own market, remember, you’re doing great things.

What you’re talking about is amazing, but you’ve gotta make it easy for your prospects to take the next step. So I hope you can instill these three insights. I hope they help make a positive impact on your business, because I know I am constantly trying to grow and I hope you are too. Because you know what happens. You get the clarity you’re looking for, you’re going to grow more confidence.

And when you’re confident, you’re going to become more consistent. And when you’re consistent, you will feel unstoppable. And that’s what I want for you. Be good. That’s all we got for today’s episode of the Bullpen Sessions podcast.

One thing that would really help us both and other new potential listeners, is for you to rate this show and leave a comment in iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in to listen to the show. Also, make sure to link up with us at Complete Game on social media, and please share this podcast with anyone who you think might enjoy it. Until next time, remember. Clarity creates confidence. Confidence creates consistency. Consistency makes you unstoppable.