Blog

 

To Change Careers at Midlife, Change Your Mindset

 

At the height of my career as a top producing sales agent in the insurance and financial sector, I suffered a second accident that forced me into recovery for nine months. During this time I had to reevaluate, reframe and expand my mindset and vision to include the challenges I was experiencing physically in relation to my career. This ‘setback’ allowed me time to reconnect with the passion I experienced educating my clients, the excitement I drew from viewing inspirational business speakers at the Million Dollar Round Table, and set the stage for a successful new career as an international motivational business speaker.

A Matter of Mindset

At the end of my keynote speeches on change, audience members frequently ask if it is possible for them to successfully change careers as they approach mid-life. I answer that change isn’t a matter of age, but of mindset, determination, persistence, and grit.

In September 2016, the University of Michigan studied occupational transitions of older Americans. They found that at what many of us consider retirement at age 62, about 57 percent are no longer in the labor force, but that 26 percent are still in their profession and 17 percent have decided to completely change their careers.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which conducts bootcamps for those who want to become entrepreneurs, found that people aged 55 to 64 now comprise about one-third of America’s entrepreneurs.

However, older employees aren’t just becoming entrepreneurial but are in demand as full-time employees.

As of February 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate for those 50 and above was lower at 3.2 percent, than the overall unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. These aren’t fast food jobs either, but careers as diverse as banking, healthcare and insurance.

The Determination to See It Through

Nevertheless, having the mindset to change jobs or create new jobs isn’t enough. Older workers need the determination and persistence to see it through. The website Next Avenue (December 21, 2017) stated:

Among the biggest obstacles to people’s ability to create a career they love (after 50) is a preconceived notion of ‘where they should be’ and what they ‘should do.’ But success doesn’t have to follow a scripted narrative.

To take the leap, you need to fundamentally believe that it’s never too late to transition into a career that aligns with who you are.”

Forbes magazine (June 21, 2017) debunked five myths normally associated with older employees determined to change careers. These myths included that it’s never too late to change careers; that it’s embarrassing to admit that you are not happy with a career you’ve been working at for many years; that the over 50 workers can’t get hired; that the only kind of work out there is part-time; and the biggest fear of all is that the older worker can’t compete against Millennials or younger.

Every one of these myths regarding change has been disproven providing you have the vision that lets you see that obstacles can be overcome.

How Determined Are You?

Nicole Maestas, Ph.D., is an economist, professor, and expert in the study of aging at Harvard University. In a recent interview for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Maestas stated that when older workers are determined to work, they get work, when older workers want to succeed, they will succeed. She summarized:

“The labor-demand study simply shows that when there is a shortage of skilled workers, older workers will get jobs.”

To compete in the job market, workers over 50 will need to re-train themselves to be current on technology. Age will not be the factor to hold them back, rather an unwillingness to learn. In short, be a student.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Change through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169.

 

Are You Overcoming Adversity to Reach an Underserved Market?

Prior to my career as a business keynote speaker, I worked as a top producing sales agent for disability insurance and wealth planning. The same mindset I applied to overcome my diagnosis as a quadriplegic later landed me a highly competitive spot in the Million Dollar Round Table. No matter what issues are facing your growth as an insurance or financial services professional – staying focused and resilient, MOVING with change instead of resisting it, and thinking outside of the box to overcome market challenges will move you into success even when obstacles seem insurmountable.

In November 2017, the Millman Annual Survey of the U.S. Individual Disability Insurance (IDI) industry outlined several obstacles to the growth of the insurance market. One of the problems was the perceived difficulty in expanding the market beyond traditional occupations. Yet, the survey found numerous opportunities for disability insurance sales to non-physician professionals, the self-employed, those in skilled trades, small and medium-sized businesses and millennials, especially women between 18 and 34, unaware they may be able to utilize DI to supplement their incomes while on maternity leave.

Looking at just the self-employed contractor, many are millennials who work remotely. Comparing 2017 to 2016, there was an 11 percent jump in this area of the workforce. While the annual growth has declined to 5 percent, the category is outpacing many other areas. How many are there? Incredibly, more than 44 million. They are underserved.

A poll was conducted by the Harris organization of more than 2,100 adults who lacked disability insurance. Forty-three (43) percent said the reason they did not have it was that their employers did not offer it. Only 14 percent of that number couldn’t afford coverage.

Given the data and the opportunities, why aren’t more people being sold disability insurance?

The Disability Insurance Gap

Joe Russo is an underwriter and account executive and recently wrote an article for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He said disability insurance was “an often overlooked and undervalued sector of the greater life and health insurance industry.”

He noted that some agents may “dabble” in DI but few of them lack the understanding that “the DI insurance marketplace is where we find newer and greater options than in any other sector.”

Why does it seem as though agents are unwilling to overcome the adversity of, as Joe Russo described it, “looking outside the little box” to sell disability insurance? It is a matter of comfort zone.

As a salesperson, it takes courage to overcome a sense of complacency. Russo writes: “DI doesn’t sell itself. The insurance producer is the most important part of the sales equation. Your wholehearted belief in the product is key in relating to your clients.”

He urges agents to go the extra mile. Leaving a brochure or putting a link to disability insurance on a website isn’t enough. An email blast isn’t enough, nor are phone calls or newsletters.  It is all of the above, along with magazine articles, mailers, social media and a heavy dose of personalized attention.

What I Know All Too Well

Some believe that their paychecks will never stop because they are invulnerable. Russo stated “the average American has somewhat of a ‘Superman’ complex, (that) the risk of becoming totally disabled and not being able to work is slim to none…that this is a complete fallacy.” I personally know that better than most.

We need paycheck protection if catastrophe strikes. As a disability insurance salesperson, what is your vision for reaching those who lack protection? Is it not worth leaving a comfort zone to protect your clients? By overcoming adversity, we can work wonders in sales and in life. Don’t miss the chance to make a real difference.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Disability Insurance Sales today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospitals Can Overcome Adversity and Come Back to Life

We have all heard stories about Navy Seals or Olympic athletes who have overcome great adversity to beat the challenges in front of them, but what about organizations such as hospitals?

Hospitals are supposed to cure the sick, aren’t they? As an inspirational overcoming adversity speaker specializing in the healthcare industry, I’ve witnessed many hospitals that became so sick they had to shut their doors.

Returning to Health

These are not easy times for hospitals. In an article written for Becker’s Hospital Review (March 28, 2017), CGH Medical Center CIO and Vice President Randy Davis cited 11 reasons why hospitals fail. Among the important points were lacking the courage to lead, leaving destiny to others (and doing nothing), ignoring patients, and treating physicians like commodities.

One of Davis’ many conclusions was, “A hospital must make certain they have a medical staff adequately equipped to meet the needs, demographics and desires of your market.”

Are you determined to meet the needs of your market?

There are hospitals that have overcome adversity to reinvent themselves and thrive. One example is Sonoma Valley Hospital in Sonoma, California. The hospital’s leadership closed their Obstetrics and Skilled Nursing functions for lack of profitability as they realized they couldn’t be everything to everyone. They now focus mainly on surgery, intensive care, pharmacy services, diagnostic imaging and laboratory. They made a sweeping change from inpatient to outpatient services. They realized that their Emergency Department was the greatest service to the community and they have expanded that function. With their goal to return to profitability, they emphasized that they did not abandon their patients who once sought out services such as Obstetrics, for example; instead they directed those patients to excellent services available at nearby hospitals.

To return to profitability, Jersey City Medical Center doubled the size of its emergency room, developed a volunteer first responder program, started a teleconferencing program between patients and physicians, and used smart technology to diagnose and treat medical problems.

In its vision to return to financial health, CarePoint Health in Hoboken, Bayonne and Jersey City, directed its hospitals to expand access to the community, enabled “video-visiting” with an emergency room clinician, and employed a “Telestroke” system to allow neurologists to prescribe directly to ER physicians. In addition to the tangibles, they are determined to expand the intangibles such as greater LGBTQ+ sensitivity training and greater sensitivity to women’s health concerns.

Determined to Thrive

The difference between a hospital that chooses to overcome the hardships it faces and the facility that falls into “sickness” is in having the vision to change and the resolve to see it through. The leadership of any hospital cannot ignore what is happening around them by leaving destiny to chance. Change can be painful, but it shouldn’t get in the way of a bold vision.

As Randy Davis concluded, “Leaders lead, and there is no better time to demonstrate that than to guide your board into proper broad goals and objectives. Then, you must accept accountability of the goals they create. No one said all the conversations would be comfortable.”

Overcoming adversity takes effort on the part of everyone invested in the success of the hospital and the lives that will ultimately be impacted by positive change.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Healthcare Industry Keynote Speaker today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Year of Change Ahead for Financial Advisors: How Will You Respond?

Every one of us involved in the financial and insurance industry knows that 2019 will be a year of change.

Bob Veres, writing for Advisor Perspectives (December 10, 2018), pointed out at least five major challenges that will impact financial advisors this year. They include new “BI” or best interest standards and fiduciary oaths; planning for the coming Bear market and making clients your partners in the financial planning process; the pressure to shift away from AUM (percentage-based) portfolio revenue models to flat fees; the trend away from traditional insurance agencies to self-directed purchases; and the opportunities in utilizing customized “Robo” software within your practice. Veres concluded that change is never easy and financial advisors and insurance brokers must prepare for whatever is next.

Will You Evolve or Be Left Behind?

How will you adapt your business this year? Have you identified your strategies to meet the comprehensive financial planning needs of clients about to retire as well as younger generations embarking on their careers?

As a financial advisor, in order to stay ahead you will need to wear many hats in managing client expectations. Will you be able to show clients at all stages of their careers the value that you are bringing to the investing equation, and are you determined to make the necessary emotional investment and to be an educator as well as advisor?

In 2019, and beyond, financial advisors will need to focus on new niche markets to differentiate themselves. They will need to embrace the latest tools to set themselves apart in a highly competitive financial advisory market. It will not be a matter of offering customer service, but tapping into technology to access changing regulations and ultimately to use that information to recommend the right insurance and investment products.

The questions asked above, and many more, can only be answered by one person:  you. The expanding workload, the deluge of information, evolving fiduciary rules, the need to offer clients greater transparency, and the maze of ever-expanding investment options will require each financial advisor to have the grit to maintain their success and to rise above average. “Average” advisors will suffer from average on-line ratings especially as more millennials enter the work world. Average will mean being left behind.

Be a Student, Be Coachable

The most successful financial advisors will be those who understand that they are students and not “professors.” Being a student, even if you have been in the business for many years, means updating your practice management, understanding and employing new technologies and the educational components necessary to help your clients reach their goals. It means attending conferences that offer niche market products and opportunities, evaluating the latest practice management solutions and being facile enough to use the social media to set yourself up as an authority.

While new investors may not be sophisticated in terms of investing, they understand technology and how to access information. Financial advisors must match that intensity and sophistication and have the knowledge to answer tough questions their clients find online. It is a tall order but a tremendous opportunity.

The year ahead is where the financial advisor will be a student who is determined to learn what is needed to make the practice successful.

 

For more information on how financial advisors can develop a winning vision, contact Scott Burrows, Financial and Insurance Industry Motivational speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Tough Times for Pharma Sales Reps. What is Your Mindset?

As a pharmaceutical sales keynote speaker, I know these are not easy times to be a pharmaceutical sales rep. The once glamorous profession is facing greater stresses and more adversity than ever before.

The statistics bear me out. According to ZS Associates, the U.S.-based management consulting firm specializing in the pharmaceutical industry, the industry will have around 60,000 reps this year, down from a sales force of about 100,000 reps in 2005.  In addition to the decline in reps, there is a more troubling trend. In 2012 about 65% of physicians were “accessible” to meet with a sales rep but by 2016 the percentage had dropped to barely 44%.

What is going on?

Some industry old-timers might point to the Sun Shine Act of 2007, which started the process of greater transparency, less gift-giving and “bonuses” but that is hardly responsible for present day problems. Market research into attitudes of physicians toward pharmaceutical sales reps confirms what many of you are feeling:  the relationship has soured.

In 2017, the healthcare market research firm DRG Digital – Manhattan Research published physician polling data that should be a wake-up call to the industry.

Overcoming the Perception of Being Stale

The research found that more than half of the physicians felt reps showed them information they had seen before. To the practices, most visits were time wasters. Some specialties placed the “staleness problem” even higher. Seven out of ten oncologists and six out of ten dermatologists had a good idea of what reps would present about their drug before the reps ever called on the physicians.

The research also revealed 75% of physicians routinely found what they needed about the drug online and more than half regularly used pharmaceutical digital databases. Unless there was something new to for a rep to offer, the feeling was why bother?

Despite the disappointment of being presented with old information, about 65% of the doctors polled met with their sales reps and six out of ten said they wanted to meet with their pharmaceutical sales reps in the future. They remained optimistic something new might be offered.

Though the use of computer tablets by the reps dramatically dropped between 2013 to 2017, it didn’t mean that tablet presentations were obsolete. Far more important was new information on what organizations offered patients in terms of education and support.

Overcoming the Communication Gap

Though many of the reps use dedicated health industry software communications platforms, only 12 percent of the physicians polled said they communicated with their reps in that fashion. At the same time, three times as many physicians said they had thought about communicating that way. There is a communication gap.

DRG Digital – Manhattan Research concluded in part that “Sales and marketing teams need to provide a deeper level of support to physicians beyond product promotion and maximizing their investment.”

It comes down to support, education and a commitment to customer service, not just leaving samples and hoping for a prescription quota. In addition, the landscape has shifted to being more adversarial and less welcoming than ever before. Medical and pharmacy students are being taught “resistance techniques” to cope with pressure from sales reps and patients from their earliest days of classwork.

The pharmaceutical sales landscape may be tense with difficulty, but it can be overcome. Physicians want information they can’t get from anyone but you, along with extra-effort support and communication. Will you have the mindset to deliver on their needs and to overcome the adversity of negative perceptions?

 

For more information on how Pharmaceutical sales representatives can develop techniques to rise above the crowd, contact Scott Burrows, pharmaceutical sales keynote speaker today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Is the Healthcare Industry Paralyzing Patient Care with Numbers?

For some time now, the mindset in the healthcare industry has been that the economies of scale created by the mergers of healthcare systems have resulted in superior patient care. Financial analysts have argued that since consolidation has worked for airlines, restaurant chains and insurance companies, then why not for the medical community?

Consolidation has been presumed to reduce costs and expand services and treatment options, especially in competitive markets. The raw numbers might seem to support this contention; certainly, there are budgetary advantages of lowering unit costs of medical devices, buying pharmaceuticals in greater quantities or eliminating redundant administrators.  But experts are now warning that in the rush to consolidate, one critical factor is being overlooked: patient care.

New Findings on the Patient Experience

A recent New York Times article entitled “Hospital Mergers Improve Health? Evidence Shows the Opposite,” suggests that tragically, the results of merging have led to an increase in patient mortality and a decline in care.

Martin Gaynor, a Carnegie Mellon University economist and one of the authorities cited in the article says “evidence from three decades of hospital mergers does not support the claim that consolidation improves quality (care).”

To back that up, the Federal Trade Commission recently reviewed the cases of about two million Medicare beneficiaries who had been treated for heart disease over an eight-year period. According to the article, in areas of the country where there is less competition “(Cardiac) patients are more likely to have heart attacks, visit the emergency department, be readmitted to the hospital or die.” In fact, in areas where there is one dominant cardiology clinic and the elimination of competition, cardiac patients may stand a 5-7% chance of having a repeat heart attack.

When competition is allowed in a market, healthcare staffs have no choice but to turn their mindset to the patient. They have to care about patient satisfaction, and in turn patients respond to that care. This is just as true in countries where there is strong government regulation, such as England, as it is in the United States.

According to the New York Times piece, “family doctors in England found that quality (care) and patient satisfaction increased with competition.”

More Than Numbers, It’s Mindset

In many areas of the country, consolidation has also created long patient wait times to make appointments and then once in the facility to be seen in a timely manner. Some healthcare specialists believe that if wait times are streamlined then patient satisfaction will dramatically improve. This is the case of another “number” being applied to a complex issue as though patients are pieces on a conveyor line.

Press Ganey Associates is the leading market research firm for the healthcare industry known for its patient satisfaction surveys. In other words, they talk to patients. Joe Greskoviak, president and CEO at Press Ganey concluded:

“The immediate reaction is that patient loyalty is based off things like wait time. That’s not necessarily the case. There are drivers of patient loyalty that are very actionable (such as) improving communication and then, empathy. Patients want to understand that we actually care for them.

Chasing the numbers is paralyzing patient care rather than curing it. Healthcare providers need to re-examine the mindset that consolidation, automation and computerization can improve patient satisfaction simply by reducing budgets, improving wait times and other analytics. There needs to be a renewed and shared vision that the focus of healthcare must return to the patient.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Healthcare Industry Motivational Speaker through this website or call us today at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Scott Burrows: Motivational Workplace Safety Speaker

 

Most of us say that we believe in safety. We try to remember to wear our seat belts, take care when climbing ladders, or prompt our kids to pick up the toys they left on the floor!

In companies, we put up safety posters, provide training, and maintain the VISION to commit ourselves to safety by following safety protocols to keep accidents from occurring on the job.

While our MINDSET may be safety first, we experience accidents on the factory floor, warehouse, on the roads and when we make deliveries. Why does this happen? It comes down to a lack of GRIT, the focus to make safety the highest priority, each day, every day.

Scott Burrows: Keynote Speaker on Workplace Safety

I always worked hard. In my late teens, as a golf course supervisor, I drove trucks, tractors and worked around hazardous chemicals. I thought I had a safety mindset. One night, while the passenger in a friend’s car, I made a poor decision to not wear a seat belt. That night my friend lost control of the car and we hit a sand pile. The car overturned end over end, several times, and I was badly injured.

Prior to the accident I was a Division-I football player and a martial artist. After the accident, the doctors said I would be a quadriplegic. As I recovered, I developed the philosophy of VISION-MINDSET-GRIT. Vision and mindset are important, but without grit, we can never reach our safety goals.

Workplace Safety and GRIT

Workplace safety is a full-time job. We need the daily determination to see the job through. We must be interconnected by safety awareness no matter how familiar we are with the equipment and established protocols.

If GRIT weakens, it leads to indifference. When “just good enough” is enough, it guarantees an accident is waiting to happen. It takes everyone’s focus to have a safe work environment.

In 2019, American companies will pay out more than $65 billion in employee injury insurance claims. Many of those workplaces will lack the GRIT to instill a safety MINDSET and VISION. This year, let me help your company to have the GRIT to make your workplace a safe workplace.

 Want your workplace to have the VISION, MINDSET and GRIT to embrace safety? Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote Motivational Speaker on Workplace Safety today through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

Scott Burrows: Change Management Speaker

Not long ago, I was in my office working on a keynote presentation when a meeting planner called me rather late at night. I picked up the phone and I know I surprised her.

“Oh, I thought you would be voicemail,” she stammered. She looked for the right words. “Are you Scott Burrows, the overcoming adversity speaker?”

I assured her I was, that I had overcome a lot of adversity in my life but that it didn’t define me. She gave me the name of her organization. She was in the healthcare industry and was considering a keynote motivational speaker to talk on corporate change and the management of change.

“I have done many keynotes on change for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.”

She confided that her industry was facing several major challenges. There was much concern throughout her association as to whether executives could adapt to some of the uncomfortable adjustments coming that would include initiating sweeping rules, being mindful of pricing and insurance regulations and the increased need for transparency. There were already a number of disagreements and foot-dragging among the association members and the companies they represented. They needed to understand the importance of change or get swept away.

She asked me if I had experience motivating executives to change their mindset. I asked her if she had a few minutes. She was stuck in the airport and she laughed that she had plenty of time!

Scott Burrows: Speaker on Corporate Change

I told her that I developed my life’s philosophy of VISION, MINDSET and GRIT out of my personal challenge and ultimately triumph. I wondered if she knew my story and she said she was only vaguely familiar with it.

I quickly summarized that when I was in my late teens, I was already playing Division I collegiate football and I was a kickboxing champion. I thought I was invulnerable and that I would be a champion kickboxer forever. A few weeks after ESPN broadcast one of my fights, I went out celebrating my victory with friends. Even though I was trained to engage a safety mindset working with hazardous materials and heavy equipment at a former job, I made a poor split-second decision to not put on my seatbelt. My friend lost control of his car. He ran off the road and crashed. I broke my neck and I was paralyzed from the chest down. They told me I would be quadriplegic. I could hear her gasp.

“I had no choice but to accept change,” I said. She told me she could understand that.

My challenge was a lot like what her organization was facing. Unless the members of her organization were willing to overcome their obstacles, unless they were motivated to find a new vision for themselves, to develop a mindset that was more powerful than any of their challenges, they would not get off the mat.

I added that as a speaker I knew that corporate change can’t occur without a daily dose of GRIT, the ability to grind things out every single day to achieve success. Commitment to really change is an extremely powerful weapon, but if it is haphazard little will be accomplished.

Keynote Speaker on Organizational Change

My own story is a story of rising above adversity through VISION and MINDSET to overcome paralysis and to rewire my brain and body. It led to a transformation in my physical and emotional status. I went far beyond what any of my physicians ever thought I could.  It did not and could not happen without GRIT, my forcing myself to literally rise out of my chair and to not accept the easy road but to be the best I could be. Modern day medical science tells us that we can go far beyond our initial prognosis if we put our minds and bodies to doing so.

“Using my own true-life story as an example,” I reassured her, “I can teach the members of your organization to prevail over their resistance to change and to empower themselves to be better and to be more successful than they ever believed.”

I am no longer a kickboxing champion, but I have been blessed to be able to show organizations to change their mindset from “Can’t do,” to “Can do!”  That is, to rise above their situations.

The meeting planner and I decided then and there to work together and I am happy to say my keynote address got through to the members of her organization. They rose above their fears, individually and collectively, and put plans into place to elevate their industry. They are better prepared for the years ahead and for whatever challenges will come. As a speaker it is impossible to say how proud it made me feel.

Want to be inspired to change?

To learn more about Scott Burrows, Keynote Motivational Speaker on Corporate and Organizational change, contact us today through this website or call our office at: (520) 548-1169