What I Learned About Customer Service from Two Deer Accidents in Six Weeks

For years I’ve opined privately on how I dislike insurance. I need insurance for my house, my cars, my motorcycle, my health, my teeth, my eyes… it feels like I pay all this money into a system that only cares about taking my money – and more of it every year.

Then in the last six weeks – seriously, six weeks to the day – I’ve had two car/deer accidents. Besides the thought that “if it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” I’ve started thinking about the lessons I’ve learned from the interactions with the same industry I’ve whined about, and others involved in my accident recovery. I’ve come to the conclusion that customer service, while it’s not complicated to execute, it seems to elude so many.

Fortunately for me, the players in this adventure have all stepped up and taught me the lessons with what they’ve done well.

Boring Industry Content Can Still Kick Ass

At the HubSpot “Inbound” conference this year, I spoke to hundreds of marketers in businesses consider BORING. My theme: Screw Sexy. Be Helpful. This session resonated with so many marketers, I was asked to repeat the presentation twice more. Everyone thinks their industry is too boring to take on inbound marketing. It’s time to get beyond the boring, and be helpful to prospects, clients and evangelists.

Why I Ignored Jordan Harbinger’s Advice and Started a Podcast

Recently, podcast guru Jordan Harbinger (formerly of The Art of Charm, now with The Jordan Harbinger Show) offered advice to anyone (especially business-focused people) thinking about starting a podcast. The title gives it away: Thinking of starting a podcast? Don’t.

Jordan’s reasons – it’s not an easy money maker, there’s too much noise, competing against big media – all seem legitimate. However, I’m a bit stubborn.

I decided to start a podcast as a passion project. Interviewing storytellers about their craft fascinates me. If I can learn a little something about becoming a better storyteller, while sharing it with others, then I feel like I leave the world a little bit better for the future.

My Personal Brand Journey

Today we say goodbye. Goodbye to a man who made a big difference in the world through small kindnesses. He may not have bragged about his work, but he knew that he was making an impact. I don’t think he knew the depth, but we sure hope he knew something. I can tell you that he would have been happy to know that if there was a house he was living in next to this cemetery, he wouldn’t have been buried here. Because he was still living … his favorite joke years ago; now, a chance for us to laugh a little – which would have made him happy.

6 Best Practices for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with other professionals. Sure, it can be a place to go job hunting. But it’s also one of the best places to talk “industry” with business referral partners, possible employees and peers. It’s like going to business networking event…from the comfort of your home or office.

Since LinkedIn is a more professional atmosphere, it’s helpful to follow some best practices. Not only will this help you maintain a business profile, it will also help to grow your LinkedIn network – a goal of many of us in the referral-business world. Here are a few best practices for the LinkedIn crowd.

33 Leadership Lessons

Leading an organization, a group, a team or even yourself can be difficult.

Great leadership can also seem so simple, it’s misleading.

In thinking about my leadership and that of others around me – great leaders and lacking leaders alike – I thought I’d put together leadership lessons I’ve learned and strive for. Yes I miss the mark sometimes, but it’s something I definitely work on every day. I’m blessed to have had 2 years of leadership training at a previous job – thank you AmeriFirst – and I study leaders to try and make myself better.

Why I Believe in Helpful Marketing

It was Thanksgiving week. Like most years, I started to reflect on what I was grateful for, which brought me to some amazing blessings.

This particular year, I was working for a world-changing company run by a good man with whom I’d wanted to work for years. The work was rewarding and challenging; it put me in touch with inspiring thought leaders around the world. It didn’t hurt that the work was remote, so I had a home office and could go anywhere to work. The money was good – much better than where I was just 7 years earlier struggling to provide for my family in a job I’d grown to despise.

The Best Michigan Podcasts

The Best Michigan Podcasts

Recently I was looking for lists of the best Michigan podcasts. Truthfully, I wanted to submit a show I work on to anyone compiling this kind of a list. It's a show I'm proud of, because of the work we're doing through it to combat domestic and sexual abuse. So it's not entirely selfish, right?

I found a sparse Reddit thread, an article from a few years ago on an inactive site I used to love, and then several NPR lists of their own shows.

Left hungry for Michigan audio content, I started to search and think about the podcasts I listen to. So, here's a list of 17 of the best Michigan podcasts (and the best podcasts by Michiganders) I know of*.