Category: Inspirational Speaker

How Will the Florida Panhandle Overcome Hurricane Michael?

Hurricane Michael approached the Florida Panhandle on October 6, 2018, and did not fully scatter until October 16, 2018. It was the third most intense hurricane ever documented with the wind speeds the strongest ever recorded at up to 155 miles per hour.  In its wake, it left nearly 60 dead in the United States alone, along with countless injuries and more than $25 billion in damage. As part of the damage, agriculture was virtually wiped out including more than 3 million acres of valuable timber.

Adversity Isn’t a Statistic

Statistics tell only a small part of the story. Adversity is much more than numbers. Before my accident I was a Division I Florida State University football player and a martial artist. I read the newspaper every day. News of accidents and natural catastrophes were just passing statistics to me as they are to most of us. After the accident, when I was left with a diagnosis of quadriplegia, there was nothing statistical about it. Initially, I was overwhelmed.

Over time my medical caregivers and personal support team dwindled down to a precious few. For the most part, I was on my own. I realized that if I lacked the outlook to get better, I could remain physically confined and emotionally depressed for the rest of my life. I was determined to not let that happen.

Cities are made up of people. Psychologists reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 said that serious mental illness doubled and more than 40 percent of the New Orleans population showed signs of PTSD. Panama City and the Florida Panhandle have reported similar statistics.

In an article appearing in the Panama City News-Herald entitled “Trauma, stress, anxiety: Hurricane Michael taking a toll on residents’ mental health,” Panama City Psychologist Joel Prather noted “I see a lot of trauma, stress, anxiety, depression. People have lost everything (but) I also see a lot of resilience in the community.”

As with my experience after the accident, Panama City has mostly been left to itself. FEMA has pulled out, many people still live in tents, roads are treacherous, and in fact, automobile accidents have skyrocketed. Many of the businesses and landmarks disappeared, and beaches were swept away. The lack of basic human requirements forced many of the residents to flee and worst of all some have lost the will to rebuild, to hope, to overcome and to continue.

“Hope for The Florida Panhandle”

Recently, I was asked to be the Florida overcoming adversity keynote speaker at the “Hope for The Florida Panhandle” event on April 19, 2019 in the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center in Lynn Haven, FL.  I will be honored to bring a message of vision, mindset and grit for residents who are still facing overwhelming challenges and adverse conditions in their communities.  This event was initiated by a Panama City resident who heard my keynote at a pharmaceutical sales conference earlier this year and has been tirelessly seeking sponsors and backing the event with his own funds in order to offer it free to surrounding communities. His passion and commitment is the kind of true grit and perseverance I find both humbling and life-affirming. I am grateful for the opportunity to help encourage these communities to stand up to their challenges.

When I initially felt devastated by my condition after awakening from the accident as a quadriplegic, I had no choice but to change my mindset from despair to a vision of wellness while gathering the personal strength and inner resources to rebuild my life. I was in it for the long haul. I needed the sheer grit to see it through. My challenge to Panama City and the Florida Panhandle is to rise up as one to overcome adversity.

I am a Floridian by birth and I know we are a resilient state with the courage to face any hardship that comes our way. We are caring and strong. Just as I needed to reach down deep, so too will the entire Panhandle rise up in this time of challenge and promise.

For more information on “Hope for the Florida Panhandle” please contact Douglas Carpenter, 850-714-2515.

 

For other events: Scott Burrows, Florida Overcoming Adversity Motivational Speaker, Denise@scottburrows.com or call: (520) 548-1169.

 

 

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, Inspirational Healthcare 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

 

 

 

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

Had long, tiring week? The nuances of a daily life can take a toll on anyone’s health. Once the weekend arrives, you have a chance to spend your time engaging in some calming yet energizing activities, which will improve your mood and keep you inspired in the days to come.

Here are five inspirational things you can do this weekend. (more…)

That scene in American Beauty where Ricky Fitts shows his girlfriend his video of a plastic bag dancing in the air stands out in that film.

While describing the video, he says, “You want to see the most beautiful thing I’ve ever filmed? It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air; you can almost hear it. And this bag was, like, dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes.” (more…)

Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to travel coast to coast speaking to an array of different organizations! A few times, my girlfriend, Kim Wagner joined me. I reconnected with Kim at our 30th high school reunion in 2013. Truth is, I was not too sure I wanted to attend being single.  Friends enticed me, so I went. On the 3rd day of that reunion Kim and I started a conversation and the conversation has not stopped. Yes, we’ve fallen in love… The morale of that story, “If you happen to be single, “GO” to your high school reunion!”

A few months ago I had a speaking event in San Antonio Texas at the Hilton along the River Walk. If you have the opportunity to visit, it is well worth it.  Kim joined me on this excursion. (more…)