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EP 74 – My Birthday Wishes For You

Hey, hey! It’s Friday — that means it’s time for Friday Bullpen Sessions!

But today is an extra special Friday because today happens to be my birthday! That’s right, I am 43 years old today! And I just want to say — I’m feeling great. In fact, I feel even better now than I felt 20 years ago!

I remember being 21 or 22 years old — just a young buck starting out in professional baseball. I was in pretty good health then, but you know what? I think I’m in even better health now. I’m taking care of my body, and, just as importantly, I’m taking care of my mind! I’m growing a business, learning a lot, in a healthy and committed relationship, and I’m happy even though this year has been crazy! What more could I ask for?

So on my birthday this year, I’m going to share my birthday wishes for you! And we’re keeping it within the theme of 43 — I’m going to share four observations that I’m seeing right now in everyday life, and then I’m going to share three words of wisdom to help you. My hope is that this episode gives you the encouragement and inspiration you need to end the year on a high, build some momentum, and leave 2020 ready to make 2021 your best year yet.

I’m not going to lie, parts of this episode are a little emotional. And maybe a few of the things I’m going to say are a little bit controversial! But you know what? I don’t care. I want to share my authentic self with you today and hopefully offer you the bit of wisdom you need. So with that, let’s get started!

Four Observations

Over the past year, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect. I’ve looked back on my own mistakes, and I’ve observed the world around me. And while both the world and my life have changed a lot over the last 20 years or so, there are a few patterns that keep coming up time and again. I want to share these four observations with you today.

As you read, consider whether you’re falling into any of these patterns. I want to challenge you to do some real reflection with yourself. If you discover that you’re doing something that reinforces a weak mindset, this is your chance to become aware of it and make some changes. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

#1: You’re Not Showing Up as Yourself

I see it all the time — in real life and on social media. We live in a world where if you say something, you’re wrong, and if you don’t say anything, you’re ignorant. No matter what, you can’t win, so it’s best just to be silent, right? 

Wrong. Here’s the problem with that mentality: It’s causing you not to show up as yourself. Too many of us are showing up as different people — different versions of ourselves depending on the friends, family members, colleagues, or business partners we’re around. It’s all in an effort to people-please, and that’s a really tough place to be in. It doesn’t set you up for success, I can tell you that.

I remember being 25 years old and brand-new to the business world. I tried so hard to literally become the people I was hanging around. Now, there is nothing wrong with having mentors or role models, but when you’re trying to mirror or copy someone else exactly just to please them or fit in, you are in a rough place.

But you don’t have to be. It’s scary, it’s intimidating, and it may make some people uncomfortable, but you have the power to show up as your authentic self. You can choose to show up as yourself every single day, and I want to encourage you to do it!

#2: You Feel Guilt When You Feel Good

The second thing I’ve been observing is that too many of us feel guilty when we should be feeling good — and I’m guilty of this myself. At the beginning of this post, I mentioned that I feel great here at 43, and I meant it! But too often I find myself feeling guilty for celebrating when things are going well for me.

2020 has been a crazy year, and a lot of people have struggled to make it through. But if you’ve gotten to a good place and you’re happy with where you are in your business, relationships, health, or anything else, you absolutely should not feel guilty about that! 

So right now, I’m giving you permission: Feel free to feel happy! Be glad you’re in a good place, and instead of feeling guilty, use your good mental state to help others as we all shift into this next phase. I have no doubt that the craziness of this year is carrying us into a new phase of existence, and if you’re in a great place, you have the ability to help bring others along. We’re all in this together, so feel that happiness and help others to feel it too!

#3: You Are Too Focused on the Outside World

Take a look at the people who are thriving right now: They’re not worried about the chaos, fighting, and restrictions that we’re experiencing in 2020. They just don’t care what other people think. They’re working on themselves and doing the tough inner work it takes to get into a strong success mindset.

If you want to go out of 2020 with a bang and make 2021 the best year ever, you’ve got to get to work on your mind. Elections, riots, restrictions — those things can’t control your future. You can. So take your power back and start working on your mind.

We often use the expression “haves and have-nots” to define those who have money and those who don’t. I guarantee you that when we come all the way through this pandemic, election process, and economic struggle, the new haves will be the people who focused on their own self-development, and the have-nots will be those who sat in fear and worry. Choose to work on yourself and your mind, and you’ll come through on the right side of that dichotomy.

#4: You Are Making Too Many Snap Judgments

There are way too many people making quick snap judgments about others. I’ll give you a quick example: Recently I was at a grocery store, and because they’re required in our county, I was wearing a mask, and so was the woman standing near me. But while we were shopping, another man from a different county tried to enter the store without a mask. An employee stopped him at the door, and he calmly explained that he lives one county over where masks aren’t required. Unfortunately, he was turned away at the door, and he politely left. But then, I overheard the woman nearby comment to one of the cashiers that this man was a horrible human being for not wearing a mask.

Now, you may be thinking, “Does Andy believe in masks? Does he not believe in masks?” Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t, but here’s the point: Regardless of whether that man was wearing a mask, that woman made a snap judgment about his character without even speaking to him. She attacked his character and called him a horrible person because of something as simple as not wearing a mask. 

If that’s you right now, I want to challenge you to look in the mirror. This is a strong point, but I think it’s important: You must judge your own actions before you judge anybody else’s. There is way too much judgment going on in the world today with us adding to it, so let me challenge you to take a hard look in the mirror and judge your own actions first.

Three Words of Wisdom

Those are just four observations I’ve made about the world, but now I want to share some advice on how you can break out of those patterns and start living your life at your fullest potential. You don’t have to be a prisoner to the negative thought patterns of the world around you — you can overcome them, work on yourself, and create an abundant and successful life. It only takes three things:

#1: Show Up Consistent

The first word of wisdom I have for you today is this: Be consistent. When I think back to 23-year-old Andy, I remember that that guy was looking for easy answers. He wanted silver bullets and quick fixes that were going to get him to the finish line overnight. But let me tell you, folks: Life does not work that way.

It’s great to create goals and dreams for yourself, but if you don’t show up every single day ready to take action and make progress toward those goals, you are never going to reach them. In sports we call it, “taking a play off.” If you take too many plays off, you’re never going to score.

I get it — we all want to be LeBron James making the game-winning shot in the NBA finals or Aaron Rogers throwing the touchdown pass in the super bowl, but here’s the thing: Those guys endure boredom every single day to have those highlight-reel moments. They do the same monotonous activities every day because they know that consistent action creates success. 

Quit trying to reach your goals tomorrow. Instead, play the long game. Show up every day and bring the consistency. Over time, you’ll get where you want to go.

#2: Show Up Kind

I’m just going to put it out there — there is absolutely no reason to be a dick. There’s just not! This goes back to my fourth observation about making snap judgments — we’re too often quick to be mean and judgmental, but what the world needs right now is more kindness.

I want to give you another challenge: Before anything comes out of your mouth, I want you to ask yourself two questions: “Is it the truth?” and “Is it kind?” If you can’t honestly say, “yes,” to both of those questions, do not say it. 

One of the things I love most about being a coach is that I get to choose who I work with, and I have one rule of thumb: If you want to work with me, you can’t be a dick. I want to help good, hardworking, kind people — so be kind! And trust me, I’m talking to myself here too. I remember Andy from 20 years ago made plenty of mistakes and got into some mean-spirited and gossipy conversations he shouldn’t have. But today is a new day, and there is no excuse not to show up being kind.

#3: Show Up as You

We say it so often it’s started to sound cheesy, but it’s true: Authenticity is key. This goes back to my first observation — too often we show up as someone else just to please others, but it is essential that we show up as ourselves.

Here’s the great thing about showing up as your authentic self: You can never say the wrong thing to the right person. When you’re showing up as the best version of you, the right people are automatically attracted to you! People want to hang around and do business with authentic human beings, so when you bring your authenticity to the table, people can’t help but notice.

Let’s Make 2021 the Best Year Yet

That’s where I want to end today: Show up consistent, show up kind, and show up as you. If you do those three things, you can’t help but succeed! By doing the work it takes to achieve your goals and by showing up with kindness and authenticity, you create the mindset and relationships you need to have the happy and abundant life you’ve always dreamed of. 

Now, I’m going to go enjoy celebrating my birthday! And tomorrow, I’m going to show up with more consistent action, kindness, and authenticity because I want to create the momentum I need to make 2021 my best year yet. And friend, you can do the same! I want to encourage you today to create that same momentum you need to make 2021 great. We’re about to get a fresh start in a brand new year, and I have no doubt it’s going to be amazing!

If you learned something from this episode (or you just want to share some birthday wishes!), I’d love to hear from you! Share a screenshot on Instagram and make sure to tag me, @andy_neary. And don’t forget to leave a five-star rating and review over on Apple Podcasts!

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.

Thanks again, everyone! I’ll talk to you guys on Monday!

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EP 70 – 3 Steps To Crush Your 2021 Sales Goals

Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! This is going to be a really fun message. We’re going to talk about how the routines I developed as a professional baseball player helped me build a thriving insurance business. 

I think we can all admit that this will be one of the craziest holiday seasons ever. Our habits, daily rituals, and time management skills have all been tested this year, haven’t they? Now, we’re heading into the holidays, which will end up being virtual celebrations for many of us. At uncertain times like these, routines are absolutely priceless when it comes to feeling good about what you’re doing — whether that’s keeping your body in shape, cultivating relationships, or building a business. 

When you don’t have clarity and routines for each step towards your goals, your confidence wanes. When your confidence suffers, you don’t feel like doing the right things. When you don’t do the right things, self-doubt creeps in, and all of a sudden, you have fewer sales opportunities, and you’re winning less at business. 

Before you know it, you’re in a mental dumpster fire, and you feel like you don’t even know what you’re doing. I know because I’ve been there plenty of times in my career. But I’m taking this time today to share with you my routines as a starting pitcher that later equipped me to win sales as an insurance agent. And then, I’m going to walk you through three questions to help you create your own solid sales routine.

If you’re ready to own your days and your business in the midst of our weird holiday season, this is a message you don’t want to miss!

My “Go Time” Pre-Game Pitcher’s Routine

When I was pitching for UWM, I made or broke my performance by whether or not I practiced my pre-game routine. It didn’t matter how crazy my life has been that week. If I went through my pre-game plan and recovery regime between games, I would feel good about my performance when the game ended. 

I spent most of my pitching career at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee as the starting pitcher. As a starter, I had a very defined plan of action — a very clear routine to build my confidence and make sure my attention was locked in for the game. 

My routine started about 45 minutes before I even stepped into the bullpen to warm up. First, I jogged from pole to pole. If you imagine a baseball field, I would slow jog on the warning track from the left-field foul pole, all the way over to the right-field foul pole. I jogged that pattern for about ten minutes. Then I would find the foul line, and I would run sprints.

If you know anything about pitching, you know that if you have a leg problem, you also have an arm problem. So I spent a bunch of time making sure my legs were at their best as well as my pitching arm. After the sprints, I would jump rope about 500 times. Random, I know, but it was my go-to. Next, I would stretch out my legs and arms. Then it was time to start playing catch. 

I would start in the outfield with the catcher, maybe 30 or 40 feet away. Gradually, we would work back to 60 feet, then 70, until we were about 120 feet apart playing long toss. I was literally throwing the ball as hard as I could from 120 feet out. After all that was done, it was finally time to go in the bullpen.

Once we got into the bullpen, I had a set routine for that, too. I would throw in front of the pitcher’s mound in sets of five, then do it again standing on the pitcher’s mound, and again behind the mound. I would repeat that whole set — focusing on accuracy. 

So, why did I do all that? Because I knew that when I performed that routine from start to finish, I was locked in — my body was ready, and my head was in the game. It gave me the confidence to be like, “All right, it’s go time!” Later, this same principle became a key ingredient to my success as an insurance advisor. When I had a solid sales routine, I interacted with clients with more confidence and authenticity. As a result, my business grew! 

Part One of a Successful Sales Routine

If you’re in sales, you’re trying to grow, right? To grow, you need confidence in yourself, and you need to get people’s attention. If there’s one thing business owners learned from COVID-19, I think it’s the importance of having an online presence. Overnight we went from talking to people face-to-face and attending networking events to being limited to our homes, phones, and internet. 

Moving forward, you’re always going to need an online presence if you want to succeed in business. At least, that’s my prediction. So, the first step in your sales routine needs to be, “How am I going to get people’s attention?”

In the old days, we taught people to cold call, right? I still think cold calling is a relevant part of a sales plan, but it can’t be your only strategy. Think about how many spam calls everyone gets. Very few people pick up their phone unless they recognize the number. Cold calling implies that your number is not one that the person you’re calling knows. So, you’re going to have to make even more phone calls to get one person to pick up.

But what if you could get the attention of 20, 70, 100, several thousand people at one time? They might not all buy insurance, but they would see you and what you’re doing. Pretty sweet, right? That’s the power of leveraging technology and social media. Instead of trying to get the attention of one person at a time through cold calling and going door-to-door, you can get the attention of exponentially more prospects at one time. 

So, my question to you is, do you have a clear plan of action for gaining the attention of your prospect?What is your strategy for leveraging social media? Are you hosting webinars? What kind of emails are you sending out? It is easier today to grab the attention of your prospects, but it’s also harder than hell because everybody’s doing it. So you have to be consistent and find a way to stand out!

Part Two of a Successful Sales Routine

Now, I didn’t just have a pre-game routine. I had a routine for every time I took the mound. This was important for two reasons. First, if I wanted to last all nine innings, I couldn’t throw too hard, and I needed to throw accurately. Secondly, I needed to keep the batter guessing. So, I had to tweak my game plan every single week. And I had to tweak it based on who was up to bat. 

Let’s relate this to your business. Once you have someone’s attention, how are you going to earn their business? Every time you get a new prospect, do you feel like you’re recreating the wheel? I believe that you need to personalize your pitch to each prospect, but you should have a foundational plan that you tweak. 

See, if every time I took the mound, I tried to recreate the wheel, I was totally screwed. Instead, I had a basic plan that slightly adjusted according to who was in front of me. You can and should do the same in business. When a prospect comes into your pipeline, you need to know exactly which steps you’re going to take them through. Then, based on their different challenges, desires, and goals, you can tailor the steps to them.

Once you have your plan in place, never stop innovating —know its conversion rates, which sections really connected with your prospect, and which ones felt like a filler. Continue adjusting and improving it as you go!

Part Three of a Successful Sales Routine

After my game was over, whether we won or lost, I had to keep my body in shape. My arm needed to rest, rehabilitate, and rebuild. My post-game routine started with icing my arm right after the game. The next day I would go for a long run to get the lactic acid moving and leaving my body. After a day or two of rest, I would start pitching again and have bullpen sessions with my coach.

Just like I needed a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to play a successful game, you need a solid starting, middle, and ending routine to succeed in business. So, after you’ve gotten the attention of your prospect and walked them through your sales process, you need to keep them happy. 

A lot of people spend so much time trying to win new business and recreating the wheel that they forget to keep their current clients happy. I don’t want that to be you! So, my challenge to you is this: Do you have a clear annual plan to ensure that your new client remains a happy client year after year after year?

It can be a birthday card with a $5 Starbucks gift card or a simple phone call to see if they have any questions. But whatever it is, you need to have a system to provide them value and let them know you haven’t forgotten them!

What Game Plans Have to Do with Winning During a Lockdown

Whether we acknowledge it or not, what we do routinely paves the way to our success. When the lockdowns forced us into a different way of life, they disrupted our roadmap to achieving our goals. That’s the main reason I think many of our goals flew out the window this year — our routines and action plans were rocked in a significant way. 

But I truly believe that if you set up a solid sales routine, you can start making strides in your business again and increase your confidence. Remember, as a salesperson, your priority is to have a clear plan of action to gain your prospects’ attention. Secondly, create a few basic steps for leading them from being an unhappy prospect to a happy client. Finally, have a system for keeping them a happy client for years to come. 

Thanks so much for joining me today, guys! Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: Number one, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.

Secondly, I want to help you recover the remaining days of this year, so I created a ten-day holiday challenge. Every day for ten days, I’ll send you a coaching video to help you establish the daily habits and mindset you need to take control of your business and life! If that sounds helpful to you just text the word “challenge” to (414) 622-1462. It’s going to be a ton of fun!

That’s my advice for you today. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something! If you did, please do me a favor — go to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and leave a review! And if you know of anybody in your life that might benefit from this, whether it’s a family member, friend, or colleague, please share it with them. You post a screenshot of this on Instagram, tag me, @andyneary, and let me know what you learned!

Until next time, folks!

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