I kicked off Day 2 of the Supplemental Health , DI & LTC Conference. Afterwards, I got ANOTHER standing ovation.
I know what you are thinking. I you are going to keep getting standing ovations, what don’t you hire a photographer to capture that. The answer: I don’t know. As they were standing, I thought “We should be capturing this.” But then I didn’t do anything but SMILE. I have a picture of me smiling:
When Tommy asked me to send a few pictures to be used in this ceremony, I immediately pulled out pictures of Tommy as a little boy—preschool, kindergarten—when he came home every day and put on his latest crimefighter outfit. He took on many personas. He was the red power ranger, he was buzz lightyear, he was a ninja, he was a knight, and of course superman and batman.
But the one that will always stand out in my mind is when he would come home, put on his batman costume, strap his knight sword onto his utility belt, tape down the ears on batman’s cowl, Velcro on his cape, put on his cowboy hat, and became Zorro.
Every day for months and months and months, Tommy stood in front of the television and watched Antonio Banderas fight for the people. He studied every sword move and eventually matched the whole choreography.
Little did I know this was all a foreshadowing of what was to come. Of course he would choose Military Police for his Army career! (He was a chemical entering student). Those seeds were planted a long time ago.
Even though he did not use the pictures I sent, I think they would have fit nicely with this moment.
Look at you now—a different outfit but still our little boy.
A stroke is an emergency—it can happen to anyone at any time and at any age. What happens when someone experiences a stroke and what occurs on the way to the hospital and in the hospital is the focus of this year’s National Stroke Awareness Month video. Help save a life by knowing what signs and symptoms to look for.
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
I invited Gordon and Jill Viggiano to speak to our group of about 100 financial advisors and insurance agents at our monthly luncheon meeting here in Omaha, Nebraska.
What an impactful story we heard! We saw and heard, firsthand, how disability can strike anyone, at any time. In Gordon’s case, this was a massive stroke that nearly killed him on his 51st birthday. If it wasn’t for his humble income replacement coverage, the Viggiano’s would have been financially ruined.
Gordon and Jill have experienced unbelievable hardship and trials since Gordon’s stroke, but their perseverance, faith and love for one another helped them conquer these great storms. After hearing from Gordon and Jill, everyone came away inspired and truly blessed.
Our NAIFA members were both inspired and will have a renewed passion to share the need for income replacement insurance (aka disability insurance) when doing holistic financial planning for their clients.
We had the privilege of having dinner with the Viggiano’s the night prior to our luncheon. After speaking with Gordon at dinner and hearing him at the program, it became very apparent just how much painstaking hard work went into his speech. It’s truly remarkable how far he’s come.
Gordon’s wife Jill is a true hero. Her perspective is especially helpful because many times we are the ones helping someone else through a life changing event. Her unyielding faith in you and God is truly inspiring, and your story needs to be told to as many people as possible!
Jill wrote a book “Painful Blessings”, discussing the struggles and the victories that she and Gordon went through, it is outstanding! Advisors can use this book as they discuss the need for disability insurance, simply by giving it to their client to read as they ponder their decision. Each person who attended the lunch meeting received a copy of the book.
The presentation is surprising, gripping, educational, motivational and inspirational. I recommend Gordon and Jill for any group that could use a little of any of the above!
Gordon and Jill, thank you and may God bless you always!
Richard A Mangiameli, LUTCF, FSS
President Elect of NAIFA Omaha
RAM Insurance and Financial Services
I was really excited about going on stage for the first time this year. We got there early so I could set up…an it is a good thing I did. There were a few challenges, but I got most of them worked out. The only thing that was wrong: my mic…it didn’t work!
So I began my talk LOUDLY….but I could stay loud so long. The 120 people could hear me ok..but their were times it could have been louder.
I must admit, I didn’t do as well as normal: I got lost a handful of times and I left a few things out. Even though I have given this same speech over 500 times, I still get lost! The good news: nobody know what I am going to say…except for Jill…and she DOES let’s me know. It’s a good thing I like Jill.
They gave me another standing ovation…and I am grateful for that. Fortunately, I ended strong…but I am still sad that I didn’t give it my best. I guess it shows me I have to work at EVERY speech that I give; speaking doesn’t just naturally happen for me. I am blessed each time I talk to an audience.
You know that I practice for a few weeks before giving EVERY speech. Last Friday, I was absolutely amazing; I has the audience (me) in tears! I hit every slide, I paused in the right places; I really was fantastic.
Today, I thought “why do I need to practice again? I given this same speech over 500 times. Maybe I should stop. I know, I will just give it one last time.”
So I did….and I was horrible. It was as if I was giving the speech for the first time. I would say a few sentences, but then would be stuck to fine my place. It was a real wake up call for me. I really do have to practice this speech!
It was so humbling to realize that I put EVERYTHING into speaking; I just don’t wing it. So, it is back to practicing!
As I was preparing to write about my experience and ask for a reference letter, I got this note from Ken Kolosso. I have to tell you, I was impressed with what he said, but even MORE impresses with the timing. The event was just a week ago and I already had a reference letter!
Do you know how long it takes me to get a referral? Not 1 week! I have a rule: the second that a referral comes in, I will post it.
Meeting Ken’s 2 teams was an experience.
We arrived in Omaha at 11:35 PM…and still got an Uber driver (love that service). We got checked in, jumped into bed by 1:30pm and was up at 5:30am to get ready for the trip…only 4 hours of sleep. I don’t have to tell you this: I NEED my sleep…and so does Jill!
We got up and meet Dylan at the lobby. He arrived early; I have to admire that trait in him. Dylan, my navigator, rented a Ford Expedition so we went in style. He set cruise control at 81 and we FLEW…for 1.5 HOURS!
We got there early…so I had time to set things up. Case in point: when they introduced me, I usually open up my speech by attempting to tie my tie. I totally blanked out and got right into my speech. The audience didn’t know about the sequence, so that was ok. But then I got to a slide, and couldn’t remember what I was supposed to say. What felt like 2 minutes…was probably a few seconds; I flubbed a little. I said I would do better at the speech tomorrow.
Then, we had to wait, as the other presenters gave their talk. During one part, I just couldn’t keep my eyes opened for a part of it; I kept dozing off. I felt bad for the speaker; I just couldn’t help it. I wanted to say something, but he left as soon as he was done.
This time, we went to bed at 10:00pm!
We got up and met Dylan at 7:15am (again, he was early) and we made it there in record time: 28 minutes. The speech the next day went GREAT. A portion of Ken’s quote:
After hearing from Gordon and Jill, people will come away inspired and truly blessed. Financial advisors will have a renewed passion and desire to share the need for disability insurance (aka income replacement insurance) when doing holistic planning for their clients.
I feel blessed to have meet Dylan and Ken; they were fantastic to deal with and I feel honored to have worked for them.
I finished speaking at a meeting in Eugene…and I will have to wait for an answer next week.
All this energy; all this enthusiasm; everyone doing there exercises… I couldn’t believe it!
The were a two NEW things I tried. For the FIRST time…ok the real FIRST time was in Seattle and my presentation didn’t work…I tried giving them the exercises so they could vote with their smart phones. It was a little shaky, but it worked. I didn’t pause enough between questions and I should had something clever to say about the winner… A book would have been nice. Next time!
Then, right before I finished, I mentioned how to get my FREE BOOK and the SECRETS part of my website. I THINK it went well, but I have to ask Laura, who hired me to speak at her event. I call her next week….after she has a weekend of much needed rest.
But my key measure: I asked my wife and she said it was GREAT. For me, this was a thumbs WAY up!
Each time I give a speech, I ask my wife “How did I do? Was I OK?”
For the most part, she pretty much says “I did OK.” But this time she said “I was really great!”
Did I hear that correctly? Could she be describing somebody else???? No….she was describing me! I guess that month of preparing was the right thing to do.
This Tuesday, I will ask the clients’ opinion. If the client liked it, it can open up new doors for me. Wish me luck!
OK, I know what you are thinking….you don’t believe in wishing somebody “good luck”. Either do I; it is just a nice thing to say when you are stuck for something to say. We all make our own luck…. with consistent effort….each day. Luck doesn’t just happen.
I gave my presentation earlier in the year and the client gave me GREAT feedback. Combine this with additional changes I have done …and this will give the audience an uplifting presentation.
This Thursday, I will give my Putting Failure In Its Place presentation to the entire company (300 people). One of the things I have done differently is the way I ask for feedback. I am excited to try it. If this works, it will provide me with a LOT of feedback.
After I do the speech, I will show you the slides the audience sees. I can’t do it earlier because I am still changing them. Wish me luck!
I will let you know how it goes…good or bad…because that’s the way I roll.