Category: Scott Burrows

My Longest Race was One-Eighth of an Inch

As an overcoming adversity keynote speaker, I am frequently asked who the main influence was in helping me to overcome a major cervical spine injury that determined I would be a quadriplegic. My father lent me the wisdom to deal with adversity.

What do you visualize?

When my father taught me to play golf his first lesson was that I master the art of visualization.

“Scott, be willing to see complete success in your mind’s eye first. Now imprint that outcome over and over. Do it so frequently that your mind can no longer tell the difference between what you are fighting for and what is real.”

I thought of that advice as I awakened after an accident paralyzed me from the chest down. Through the weeks of constant therapy, I had only one focus: to move something. I knew if I could move a finger, just the joint of a finger, then I could accomplish anything. After a rigorous therapy session, I again focused on moving my hand. It worked! I moved my wrist one-eighth of an inch. It was like being the first-place finisher at the Boston Marathon.

The road toward recovery was tough, I won’t kid you, but with determination I went further than anyone around me imagined. This brings to mind a quote by author Robert Heinlein, “Always listen to experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done, and why. Then do it.”

Most people give up before they allow themselves to succeed. This is especially true with sales professionals who shy away from adversity rather than overcoming it.

How determined are you?

Deep Patel writing for Entrepreneur magazine, “10 Ways Successful People Push Through Adversity,” reflected “How is it that some [sales] people can bounce back and find a way to overcome misfortune and defeat? They don’t allow themselves to become overwhelmed with negative emotions or thoughts. They take time to process what they’ve been through, then they resume moving forward. Their mental fortitude lifts them up to seek opportunities instead of dwelling in despair.”

When I was in the hospital, I could have easily given in to negativity but I developed the grit to find optimism in every sign I encountered.

The Harvard Business Review recently found that the annual turnover in some professional sales organizations had climbed to as high as 27 percent. The publication found that contrary to popular opinion, it wasn’t the poorest salespeople who quit, but those who were average. They lacked the ability to visualize themselves as taking it to the next level so they walked away.

Business News Daily in an article about the traits of successful salespeople said, “Top sales people while grounded in reality, focus on what they can control, stay on course with optimism about what they can achieve, and [don’t] let the rest drag them down.”

Once I knew I could move my wrist, I understood that with determination my arms and fingers and even legs could follow. I did not allow those around me to convince me to accept “just” one-eighth inch of movement as the best I’d ever achieve, nor did I ever minimize the accomplishment.

You can visualize yourself as “average,” and settle for that, or to overcome adversity to be greater than you ever imagined.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Speaker on Overcoming Adversity in Sales 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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…)