How Strong Is Your Resilience Muscle?

There’s quite a bit of conversation happening in the insurance world centered on resilience - and an organization’s ability to be nimble, re-direct or change course quickly. I appreciated reading more about this topic in Elaine Nance’s LinkedIn article.

Life also often gives us these opportunities - and mine came just this morning when my plan for the day went awry!

Have a listen for more and then tell me: How strong is your resilience muscle?

There's A Lid For Every Pot

“You know, Megan, there’s a lid for every pot.”

From her favorite recliner, positioned in the living room just inside the patio door, my grandmother shared this nugget of wisdom with me following the ending of a significant relationship. I’ve never forgotten the outline of her shape as she sat in the late afternoon sun, or this sage advice, that she shared that day.

My grandmother, the first woman in insurance I ever knew - and one of the few people in my life who still called me by my “real” first name - has been gone for several years now.

I’ve since come to understand that this simple, yet poignant, statement about our fitness for one another in life has relevance in the work we do, too, as we consider the solution we offer and its fitness for our clients - current and potential.

Sometimes the fit isn’t right - we simply aren’t the right lid for that particular pot - and there's a certain peace that comes from that understanding.

Your turn: What’s a piece of advice you’ve received that’s withstood the test of time? Share with me 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!


How Accessible Are We?

“She lies and says she’s in love with him, can’t find a better man.”
— Pearl Jam

I was a senior in high school and still remember that day that I walked into English class and saw this Pearl Jam lyric printed on the chalkboard (yes - that’s how long ago it was)! If you knew me back then, you’d know my heart belonged to Eddie Vedder, but regardless, the teacher had immediately grabbed the attention of the entire class.

Mrs. Davy had a gift for making the study of language relevant to our pesky class of ready-to-be-done-with high school students. While she could have written a line from a historic poem or novel, instead she chose this popular lyric that she knew would be recognizable, and interesting, to us. I don’t remember the lesson she was teaching, but I do remember that she met us exactly where we were that day.

Our clients are a lot like that group of high school students - focused on other things and sometimes struggling to find the relevance of the subject at hand. Meeting them where they are can be the greatest tool we use to connect.

I’d love to know: How do you make the work you do more accessible for your customers? Let me know in the comments below!


The First & Second Sale

In the insurance business, there are two sales that occur in every new deal - the first to the insurance company and the second to the client making the buying decision.

Smart preparation for the first sale can often produce the best result at the time of the second sale.

Later this week, I’ll be joining a team of insurance salespeople for their regular sales meeting; we’ll be talking about the first sale - and unpack the process of building a new account submission, to be provided to the insurance company, that will garner the most favorable response from an underwriter*.

As a (recovering!) underwriter and insurance agent myself, it’s impactful to be able to share insights into the mindset - and often constraints - of an underwriter who is managing many opportunities - and also fears their time and resources may be wasted.  

*an underwriter works on behalf of a provider of insurance and uses the information available to him/her to make a decision about the acceptability of a client for insurance, the terms that will be offered and often how much the client will pay.

I’d love to know - do you have a first and second sale in your business?  


Interested in bringing this content to your team?  Message me and we’ll connect!


Always Take The Call

“Always take the call.” As she shared more about her own career path during her talk at the Women In Tech Breakfast on Friday morning, Julia Kanouse encouraged the women in the audience to always take the call - I nodded vigorously in agreement as I considered those times that I had myself taken the call.

Pivotal opportunities in my career journey have come as a direct result of my curiosity and openness to taking the call (or the meeting or the email - you get the point)!

As I continued to seek alignment between my values and the work I was doing, even if I took no action, these conversations helped me to solidify that I was indeed in the right place, helped me to forge new connections, and provided the opportunity to glean insights into the changing landscape of the insurance industry.

On a handful of occasions, these calls came at a time when I was ready to pivot. This truly is a journey!

How about you? Have you taken a call that changed the trajectory of your career? Let me know in the comments below!

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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.


Golf. Ugh.

I’ve taken more golf lessons in my life than you’d believe if you’ve ever seen me play.

The robust training provided in my first job post-college included a golf etiquette class - and deeply discounted lessons with a PGA pro - which I took full advantage of on two different occasions.

Of course, it’s the practice I didn’t do that’s really the culprit here, but alas, for many of us in insurance, golf is an accepted form of networking. And, unfortunately for me, golf just isn’t my thing.

I’ve attended so many industry-sponsored golf events over the years - I’ve run the registration process and I’ve handed out the “swag bags” when representing a carrier at customer appreciation events. Then, as an agent - and the customer being shown appreciation to - I simply declined the invites.

I used to think golf lessons should be a requirement for anyone graduating with a business-related college degree. But today, as we work to make a career in insurance sales more approachable and accessible for those just beginning their journey, I believe we can do more than a round of golf to build connection.

I’m so curious - other than golf (!), how have you seen customer appreciation demonstrated? Let me know in the comments below!


Whose Voice Do You Hear?

Later this morning, I’ll be spending time with a group of my peers for our twice-monthly mastermind. I look forward to these gatherings in a way I couldn’t have anticipated when we first met at the start of this year, as I leave feeling more aligned, more clear and more determined, without fail, each time we meet.

Today I’ll be leading a session centered on risk and entrepreneurship, and as we work to make traditional risk management processes more accessible for entrepreneurs, I’ll be challenging the group to consider whose voice it is that they hear when they waver in their decision to take - or not - a risk in their life or business.

Sometimes these voices are an actual person - maybe a peer, partner or mentor. Often they’re the personification of a perceived past failure, or a lifelong belief we’ve had about our abilities - or lack thereof - to achieve. Once we can identify that voice, we can consider its role in our risk-taking decisions - and then proceed accordingly.

I’m so curious; do you have a strategy - formal or informal - for managing risk in your life and business?


Interested in bringing this engaging workshop to your group or team? Message me here to start the conversation.

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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