What's In A Title?

If you make your living earning commission from the sale of insurance products, you might be an insurance agent. You might also be a producer, or even an account executive or a broker. Even still, you could be a risk management consultant or a risk advisor.

The title may vary from one organization to another, but the job function is the same.

In the insurance industry, unless you are in - or inching toward - the C-Suite, titles rarely translate.

In fact, I’ve been largely oblivious to titles in our industry as my own career path has taken shape. The focus has been on the function of the job - the responsibility, authority and opportunity.

This isn’t always the case, though, as I was reminded when a friend in an unrelated industry recently turned down a job offer. The title was Manager, not Director, a title she’d earned in her last position, and one she wasn’t willing to let go.

And yet another negotiated a substantial raise with the stipulation that the VP title she coveted must be bestowed within 6 months - and it was.

Titles can be a non-negotiable - or they can be a non-issue.

What weight do titles hold in the industry you serve? Let me know in the comments below!


Lessons Learned | Lesson Two

One year down, so many to go!

This week, I’m sharing a few of the many lessons I’ve learned since launching Adjunct Advisors, LLC one year ago.

Lesson Two: People have an inherent desire to help. Well, most of them do.

Building the foundation of a business is a series of very solitary activities. In the early days, I whiled away hours - sometimes entire days - identifying my ideal customer, perfecting a website, a logo, business cards and building the first product I’d launch.

Then it was time to start telling the world what I was up to - and I panicked. It was one thing to sell a product - and totally another when the product was one that I’d researched, developed and then brought to life...and had my name on it!

I started connecting with those closest to me - those I knew would love me no matter what - and told my story. With one single exception, every person I’ve connected with since has been open to learning more about the work I’m doing.

And that one exception - well, she’s a story for another day! :

Have you been pleasantly surprised when you’ve asked for help? Let me know in the comments below!


The Head and the Heart

They say that life is about the little things, and I was reminded of this when I (finally) turned on my air conditioning this morning.

Nearly 10 years ago, when it was time to put down more permanent roots in the neighborhood I’d grown to love here in Chicago, I sat with my realtor and made a list of my “must haves” for my new place:

☑ Dedicated parking spot

☑ Outdoor living space

☑ Central air conditioning

☑ In-unit washer and dryer

I knew I was home the very first time I turned the key in the lock on the front door of the unit I’d end up buying - I could feel it in my gut. It was THE ONE - but it also had none of these "must have" features.

Over time, I'd begin renting a parking space from a neighbor, I’d work with a specialty contractor to add the washer and dryer I coveted and finally, install that central AC that made me smile this morning.

The heart and mind are constantly coordinating as we consider what is right for us - and heart often wins. In sales, we often focus on the financial aspects of the product or service we offer - lower cost or competitive terms - but we can’t overstate the significance of heart.

I’d love to know - are you a “fixer upper” or a “move-in ready” dweller? Let me know in the comments below!


#HaveHerBack | Leah Neaderthal

I’m pretty terrible at asking for help.

I tackle just about every household task myself (before I have no choice but to call in the experts), and in growing my business, I’m humbled as I realize how many have helped me along the way.

Though sales has been a focus for much of my career, now I'm selling a solution that I’ve built, and to an audience who may not realize that they need it. It’s a heavy sale, and one I’m grateful to have the support of Leah Neaderthal to navigate.

In her words: "After several pivotal career moments, I made a decision: I needed to find a way to sell that felt comfortable, felt like me, and didn't feel like a sleazy salesperson. So over the course of several years, I developed a selling methodology that works, that feels good, and that builds really strong client relationships. Using that methodology, I have a 92% win rate and I've sold over $3MM in work.

Now I teach other women how to do the same thing in their business - because I know how hard it can be when you're so good at everything else."

I’d love to know - are you good at asking for help? Let me know below!


I highly suggest checking out Leah’s free training, The Leads to Clients System, here: ::


What is it about “likes” or “comments” on a social platform that feed us as they do? I can’t quite pinpoint the psychology behind it. Ego? Validation? Connection?

Maybe you’ve shared someone else’s article or spent time to write your own - only to find out, several hours later, not a single engagement! Sigh.

I assure you, though, that people see you - and that’s exactly how I came to know Michael Porpora, AAI, CIC. Michael and I have a common interest - the insurance business - and also share an affection for this social platform.

Our initial connection led to a curiosity, and then support, of one another’s efforts, like he demonstrates in a personal challenge he issued that benefits us all. Michael committed to introduce one of his connections here on LinkedIn to his audience each day for one year.

I was happy to wake up this morning to the news that I’m #215. You can listen to the brief clip below to learn more about Michael’s project and the work that I do.

:: I so admire Michael’s dedication to this project - if you’ve ever issued a challenge like this to yourself, I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below!


How Do You Give Back?

I grew up with public television; as a child, I assumed Sesame Street was just a few blocks away, and as a not-quite-teenager, my mother and I spent many winter afternoons devouring the latest installment of the Anne of Green Gables series. More recently, I looked forward to spending my Sunday nights in, watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey.

Through the years, and woven throughout these programs, were the segments filmed in the studio, when the on air talent would implore the viewers to call in to make a pledge to support the work of the station during a pledge drive.

“Who are those people?” I would often wonder as a kid; as a pre-teen it was more like “What qualifies them to do that?” And, a couple of years ago, the question was “How can I do that, too?”

A quick Google search and many volunteer hours later, yesterday afternoon, I again had the total pleasure to be in the studio during the latest pledge drive at WTTW studios, our local PBS affiliate.

To hear the stories of the callers as they recount their own experience with public television was time so well spent.


I’d love to know - whether it’s through a donation of time or of money, do you have a cause you are passionate about supporting? Let me know in the comments below!


Taking the Risk | Women In Tech & Entrepreneurship Breakfast

There is power in connection - and I felt the magic this morning! Such amazing energy and insights shared during this morning's Women In Tech Breakfast. I'm happy to grow in connection with you as we shared the stage, Liem, Laura, Rachael and Julia!

Thank you to General Assembly for curating this meaningful event and to TechNexus Venture Collaborative for hosting us.


Women In Tech & Entrepreneurship Breakfast

Chicago gals!

Next Friday, join me and an inspiring group of female founders as we deliver lightning talks about how women are succeeding in tech and entrepreneurship, and how we are fostering the next generation of leaders during the next Women In Tech Breakfast. Hosted by General Assembly at TechNexus Venture Collaborative, along with fellow founders Laura Dribin, Rachael Kay Albers, Julia Kanouse and Liem Le, I'll be sharing my message "Taking The Risk."

More information and your free registration here: Women In Tech Breakfast