If you remember, my last blog post was about the art of saying “no.” Funny enough, I heard Oprah on “CBS This Morning” about a week after it came out. She hit the nail right on the head for me when she said, “The answer ‘No’ is a full sentence.”
As I sat on my umpteenth flight for 2017, I started reflecting on the things in my life I have chosen to say “yes” to that give me personal satisfaction. That’s one thing I love about the women I have met in our industry (as well as many men): we are givers. We’ll hand you our playbook, the budget and the strategy that built our businesses. So, after telling you all about saying “no” the last time, I wanted to tell you my “Seven Silos” of saying “yes.” These are things that I do that help me to be a better me, not only to my family and business, but a better me to me.
- Exercise: I work out religiously five to six times per week. If I go two days in a row without it, you don’t want to be around me. I need this to feel centered, energized and just feel better about the skin I’m in.
- Recognizing Others: This is something that I have found that gives me a lift by lifting others up. I have been lucky enough to write for some publications, one of which allows me to highlight other women in our industry that I get to parlay into my company’s “Wonder Women Wednesday” weekly feature.
- Me Time: I need to have this weekly, just an hour or two that I can turn my phone off and just do something nice for myself. I’m fortunate enough to live in NYC where manicures are $7. Also, about once per quarter, I go to a girlie movie late in the morning during the middle of the week and just escape for a bit. I also like to read, so sometimes I’ll combine a light workout day with hoping on the bike at my gym for an hour and just reading. Win/win for me for sure.
- Education: I feel that we need to be the best for our clients and we do this by expanding our knowledge daily. I typically start my morning reading the NAHU Newswire since my brokerage has a big emphasis on health insurance and benefits. I also attend numerous webinars and conferences that have content about not only products and what is going on in our industry, but also peers sharing their ideas and strategies that have worked in their practices.
- Mentorship: I have always thought that this was a very important way to give back to the next group coming up but a few years ago, I started looking at this differently. I am a University of Missouri grad and I was back in Missouri speaking at a conference and a woman shared how at any given time she looks to have nine “deep” relationships; three people that are mentoring her, three people that she is mentoring and three peer-to-peer mentorship relationships. The light bulb really went off on this one for me, and since then I have consciously made an effort to have relationships in each of these areas.
- Brainstorming: This is one of the things I love to do. I always ask the question: What would it look like if…? I openly solicit brainstorming sessions with industry peers and have one about once a month. There is so much we can learn from each other and there are so many people that have been where you are and can help you talk through a business situation or can get your juices flowing when you are helping them talk through a situation.
- Advocacy: This can take many forms. This can be political or it can be helping someone along the way. I will tell you, on the political side, most industry organizations have a “Day on the Hill” and if you are looking to make an impact in our industry and educate the people that are often deciding what our roles will be in the future, there is no better way to get involved.
This list is definitely not a “one size fits all” and it will be different for everyone out there. What are you saying “yes” to that is making you a better you? I’d love to hear! Also, if you are interested in being a Wonder Woman or doing some brainstorming, feel free to connect to me on LinkedIn. I’m always looking to build my network with incredible industry professionals.
- MORE FROM SUSAN COMBS: Can I get a “No?!”
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Susan Combs founded New York-based insurance brokerage Combs & Company in 2005, where as CEO she oversees all aspects of the business and serves as the quarterback on all specialty risk and expert witness duties.
For more about Susan, please read Susan Combs: Candid and determined