Lessons Learned | Lesson Five

Sharing the last of just a few of the lessons I’ve learned as Adjunct Advisors, LLC celebrates its first year in business.

Lesson Five: We don't have to do this alone.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the posts I make here each Friday, highlighting a woman in my network and the work that she does - the #HaveHerBack series.

These women, and so many more, made space for me just after I’d left my corporate job two years ago, when curiosity was the only thing I had to offer them. They shared their wisdom and their knowledge freely and honestly, expecting nothing in return from me.

They’ve been there with a hug, a high five or a kick in the you-know-what - depending on what I needed at the time! Being part of this community of knowledgeable, confidendent, supportive and generous women has been a true gift.

I couldn’t do this alone, and I’m grateful I don’t have to.

How do you know when someone has your back? Let me know in the comments below!

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Lessons Learned | Lesson Four

If it’s true that life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, then my life began when I launched Adjunct Advisors, LLC one year ago.

This week I’m sharing a handful of lessons I’ve learned this past year.

Lesson Four: If it feels clumsy and awkward, you're doing it right.

I’m a recovering skeptic - I still struggle, though, with money-back guarantees and a one-size-fits-all approach to most things - including building a business.

You already know I believe that we learn by doing. We gather information and we process it. We decide where it aligns with our tolerance for risk, and then we act. Or we don’t.

This year, I’ve learned there is indeed no magic formula for growing a business. Instead, it’s an ongoing cycle of trial and error, good days and not-so-good days, more trials and more errors. Days when it all makes sense and days when nothing does!

I was asked recently if I have any regrets, and I said that I’d instead prefer to call it advice I might give to someone just starting on this path, as our journey is our own.

I’d love to know: What advice would you give someone new to your industry? Let me know below!

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Lessons Learned | Lesson Three

So many lessons learned this first year in business!

Sharing today the one that is proving to be far and away the most challenging.

Lesson Three: Half price wine tastes just as good.

When more goes out than comes in, shifting my money mindset means, very practically, re-prioritizing where the money goes.

It’s saying “no” to those nice-to-haves: an “I’ll only wear it once dress,” spendy dinners with friends at trendy hotspots, and last minute trips to catch a musician I love.

It also means saying “yes” to software subscriptions, all the taxes, and pretty awful health insurance (don’t get me started).

It means digging even deeper within to acknowledge my own beliefs surrounding worth and money, and to honor the value of the investment I’m making to create a different future for myself.

Let’s just say this particular self-development “opportunity” hasn’t exactly been a perk of entrepreneurship!

Let’s lighten the mood: If you happened upon $50 right now, what would you do with it? Leave your response below!

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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!

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Lessons Learned | Lesson One

Adjunct Advisors, LLC is one year old this week!

I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane over the next few days as I share a handful of the many lessons I’ve learned as I’ve navigated this first year in business. Off we go!

Lesson One: Not having a plan is still a plan.

When Adjunct Advisors came to life, I knew the problem I was out to solve and I knew how I was going to solve it. I also knew how much revenue I needed to generate for the business to sustain itself - and that I was the one most capable of doing this work.

I also knew of my love for lists and plans and that, for me, building a traditional business plan was an exercise that I could’ve spent months perfecting - a crutch for me that could’ve easily stalled my progress.

And, because mine is a service-based business and required very little capital to get off the ground, though some were curious about it, no one asked me for business plan.

So I pushed play - careful to stay nimble and recognize when I’m veering too far off course, and to pivot when instinct tells me I’ve done just that.

I’d love to know - are you a “read the instructions first” kind of person? Or do you just wing it? Let me know in the comments below!

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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!

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#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: https://lnkd.in/gnHhjyy ::

#365Connections

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.

https://lnkd.in/gKCZaJa

:: 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!

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Instant Gratification

Networking is like planting seeds.

Follow up is like watering the soil.

Value you create, unrelated to the product you sell, is like the sunshine.

Opportunities that come as a result are like the tiny buds popping at the surface of the soil.

Clients you serve are like the deep-rooted trees that can withstand any storm.

"There she goes again," I'm sure my clients are saying when I spit out another "tree growing roots analogy." I just can’t help myself! It speaks so clearly to the effort, the time, and the patience that is required to build successful long-term relationships.

One of the challenges early career insurance salespeople navigate is the desire for instant results.

Often they’re learning the language of insurance for the first time. Even more, the revenue goals set for production in that first critical year (or two!) are often unrealistic - as are the timelines they’ve set for themselves to see success.

While seeds are being planted and nurtured and the tree is establishing its roots - they can’t yet see it. When we do the work, though, confidence builds and we know that the results will follow.

I’d love to know - how do you manage the desire for instant results in your business? Let me know in the comments below!

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Are You Curious?

I believe there’s a story within every story, and when I connected with Katie Tomaszewski to chat about insurance, I knew I wanted to hear hers.

Katie learned about the power of community through her regular Pilates practice, and wanting to help other women find the same, she began teaching Pilates herself.

Katie’s journey took another turn when she decided to give up alcohol.

In her words:

Although I never identified as an alcoholic, I knew that it was draining my time and motivation. After giving up alcohol, I felt more at peace and productive - but I felt isolated. I knew I wasn’t alone in this and began thinking of ways to systematically allow people to shift their worlds away from the habits getting in the way of living their fullest lives.

In 2018, Katie launched Drynamics, an intentional living program where participants examine how their everyday behaviors, starting with alcohol, are unintentionally holding them back. Professional coaches provide the resources - and other motivated peers provide additional support.

The next session of Drynamics starts July 7th; learn more here.

I’d love to know - has a simple curiosity led to a significant change in your life? Let me know in the comments below!

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