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April Is National Financial Literacy Month

36 min read

Manage Activity To Get Real Results

By NAIFA on 11/15/23 10:31 AM

Topics: Podcast

Mickey Straub is a successful entrepreneur, renowned speaker, accomplished author, devoted patriot, and mayor emeritus. He is passionate about inspiring people to set audacious goals with short deadlines so they can achieve more and regret less. 

With 23 years of experience inspiring organizational success, Mickey provides the necessary resources to implement a goal-oriented, activity-based, and metric-driven performance management system. This system helps individuals and sales teams identify, manage, and measure high-payoff activities, enabling them to achieve their goals and steer their businesses in the right direction.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Mickey Straub shares his background and how he got into the activity management industry
  • The value of activity management 
  • Recommended digital products for activity management and its adoption
  • Micky talks about sales activity management
  • How Mickey’s company helps clients seize the day 
  • How to improve activities and produce results 
  • Mickey’s advice for advisors 

In this episode…

Are you struggling to spend your time wisely, achieve your goals, and maximize results? Make your day more productive with these strategies.

Advisors and agents juggle multiple clients, projects, and deadlines constantly, which can be challenging. Consider investing in a high-quality activity management solution to take your sales game to the next level. According to Mickey Straub, hiring a company that provides custom solutions tailored to your specific management needs is essential. By managing your activities effectively, you can make the most of your time and achieve your goals more efficiently.

On this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Mickey Straub, an entrepreneur, speaker, author, patriot, and mayor emeritus, to discuss activity management tips that drive results. Mickey talks about the importance of activity management, digital products for activity management, the sales activity management process, and advice for improving activities to produce results.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Everyone, so great to see everyone. And we have a wonderful guest today. Welcome to the Advisors Today's podcast where we focus on the growth and development of all advisors as a collective hold. I'm here with my wonderful co-host, Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 0:38 

Hey, Chris, good to be here.

Chris Gandy 0:40 

It's so good to see you. And we have a wonderful guest, who I know you're going to introduce today. But we look forward to learning some amazing things today about activity, activity management, how to create processes and systems and what are some of the tools that we can utilize going forward. So Suzanne, who is our wonderful guests today, and also who is sponsoring this wonderful program.

Suzanne Carawan 1:08 

So I'm delighted to introduce Mickey Straub, from Sales Activity Management, we crossed paths because of NAIFA. I believe Joe Temper introduced us, so thank you Joe. So this is NAIFA members doing business with NAIFA members. We got to talking we have all sorts of let's call it divine connections, but all sorts of interesting things in there, but how we can work together and it just seemed a total natural to bring the sand planner into the NAIFA membership, that community make sure everybody knows that these tools are available. And then to really be able to do more work together because we're really interested in building out the member benefits portfolio for our members to make sure that they're the absolute best that they can be under our talent development center and our business performance center. And so Mickey Straub is here as the CEO and founder. So Mickey, thanks for being on and we're delighted do this. And we had so many things. I had no idea that Chris Gandy is like a raving fan, before we even get going. He's like, what, are you kidding me? Of course right now. So wherever you want to kick that off, Chris.

Chris Gandy 2:08 

So Mickey, it's a pleasure. It's a pleasure to have you it's a pleasure to know that you've meant so much in people's lives, and they probably don't even know how much you meant, right? And so, when I when I think of Mickey right, I think, hey, Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine, that comes to mind, but you're fine for other reasons. So Mickey, tell us a little bit about you and the SAM, I'm not gonna steal your thunder. But tell us a little bit about SAM calendars. And tell us a little bit about why this is so important in the lives of advisors, no matter what level of success you're having.

Mickey Straub 2:49 

Thanks, Chris, that tee up. But you know, you'll be a better person to actually express that because you seen that firsthand. But let me kind of introduce it to initially. Now I was an insurance agent, I tell people I was an agent for 16 years, I was two years as a federal agent, and 14 years as an insurance agent. And I launched his company, and we saw a lot of talented people going by the wayside. And I went out to seek the answer. I tried to find out, how can we help those new agents succeed, at least these talented people know what's happening with them. And I became a time management or a junkie, if you will, and then went to all the seminars and use all different planners and came to realization that we can't manage time, we can only manage activity. And then activity management was been used in this industry for decades. I mean, people long before I came along, lot of people have heard about Grantham, but they haven't necessarily heard of Frank Betcha. Or even Dr. Albert Ian Gray kind of referred to it as indirectly when it comes to doing the right things. This guy over to are America's best financial advisors, they Devlin had a system around activity management, New York Life did as well. So I wasn't the first one to discover it. But what we did is we packaged it and customized around our clients and gave them really to empower them to succeed. The whole goal of it, was it empower agents to succeed?

Chris Gandy 4:22 

I had myself on mute, I apologize. So Mickey, being in the business now for 20, I just heard to my side, I started in 99. And so the SAM calendar has been around for a while. And if he came from one of those mutual companies, right? It was part of the culture. Right? It was part of the culture, but you guys have taken it to a new level. Right. And so we were joking because I said, everybody who joins my organization gets what I call the playbook. So they get this SAM calendar. And they're required to keep it with them. Like, literally like so I played sports. And I remember our coach said, You got to learn to plays, right? If you don't learn to plays you can't play. And so this was not only the playbook. But it's a statistical book that allows for people to actually experience, process and procedure regularly. So, question you guys have taken it to a new level though. Now, most people don't know I can see it behind you. But what is SAM stand for? And why is activity important?

Mickey Straub 5:39 

Well SAM stands for sales activity management. And it came about because I finally asked myself, what do I do well, and what can other people benefit from? I thought, well, I'm a great salesman. But reality I wasn't a great salesman. There are much better persuaders and presenters than myself. But why was I successful? Why did I win the contests? How I indicated Rockies and build a nice house and breweries in my 30s. I thought, it's not because I'm good salesman, it's because I manage my activities well. What kind of activities I asked? Sales activities. That's how the company got its name to the beginning. And I come to realize that we're sorry, not the first one that discovered it's actually based on a biblical concept. Galatians six, seven, no, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. Not rocket science. Jesus told us 2000 years ago, that we reap what, we reap what we sow. So it's kind of cool, because it's very pragmatic and simple. And very, I think that its left brain, we're just intellectual. It's also very right-brained, very inspirational, because we're very emotional, because only one person controls your activities is you, and the lf you set goals to keep score of your activities. And the legacies long before you and I came along, whether it be Grantham, Mori Stewart, Phil Richards, a lot of guys in this industry, have been talking about for years, but they started calling it activity management, we gave it a brand.

Chris Gandy 6:08 

I think it's kudos to you guys for keeping this program alive. I mean, it is truly, I mean, I can't say enough that without this app I have ever since I've started in the business every year, I keep my SAM calendar. Why? Because it reminds me of where I've been and where I'm going. And it also is one of the only what I call, I call this, interesting enough, I call this our, our cash register. When you go to a shop, but you go somewhere, how often do you open the cash interest? Well, you open it numerous times a day, right? You don't just open it at the beginning of the day, put it on the shelf and say, oh, no, we're not gonna count the money in it. The way in which you're able to track keep track, stay on track. And also project is this type of tool. So question is that let's go old school for a second. Hey, we can do it in paper. But now you guys have progressed and said, okay, we've got some digital formats. We've got some interactive. So what are some of the new things that some of the, let's call it older guys like myself, and I got a little gray beard here. Okay, so what are some of the things that's new in SAM that people don't know and that they could tap into through some of the newer resources or opportunities?

Mickey Straub 8:36 

Well, we certainly went digital many years ago, actually now, we've always had digital products to do the scorekeeping. But they're two different things. Because the calendar book, is designed to keep it in front of you at all times, as you mentioned, prior to the call that nothing takes place in the calendar bucket. Now, even president Kelby did a big research and it came, they spent like a million bucks to count to conclude there's still a better connection between the mind and the pencil than the mind the keyboard. So you're right on track with that. They're not mutually exclusive. You don't eliminate paper because of it. But what our digital products have always done, and we launched a scoreboard 20 years ago. I mean, that was in 2002. In 2002 we launched the scoreboard and MetLife Prudential AXA, they were all big, big users of it as well, a lot of different firms agencies. But the number crunching let the computer do it? But for actual day-to-day stuff, that takes place on the calendar book itself. But we also have a pretty very cool digital product now called SAM suite. We renamed it from EA scoreboard days, we were actually able to set goals and keep score on your phone and keep those numbers in front of you at all times. And that's it. People live on their phones right now and we all do, that's one first thing we reach for. So we end up coming with a mobile version by three or four years ago, he just came out with and that was the only the iOS because 75% of the insurance industry's on Apple. Now we just launched an android version. So that too, so you're able to set goals and keep score on your phone, and be able to actually, it's very, very simple and straightforward. This is actually I know you used that one of our earlier products, but that was, I think before it was even mobile. But you're actually able now to upload a picture, whatever your goal is, right from your broker, your address book, and end up using the same suite to do just that. So right at your fingertips and let these numbers roll up to number one, first and foremost, it's a self-management tool. As an agent, you want to stay focused, it's your cash register, how many calls how many contacts on the appointment set and kept? What's going on? What are the statistics to run my business? But hopefully, as they do, and I know they do an ear for and we have done those numbers can roll up to a manager to general agent to even the regional or national if it's a national project. So yeah, so the number crunching, we design with the golden rule in mind. And we don't want to, I don't want to track numbers manually. So we enable people to do it on the phone.

Chris Gandy 11:23 

When you look at our phones, AI list or AI in there right, and let's throw the book in there. Where's the sweet spot? Should we be keeping on our calendars here? On our phones? Keeping in touch with our goals? And how do you guys allow for an advisor like myself to input it here, but it show up on my screen so that I don't have to duplicate the effort?

Mickey Straub 11:54 

Well, there's two different topic you're talking about, one is the numbers and one is the names. Okay, so we have an option. Now the LD scoreboard, we now call it the SAM board option, or the the scoreboard option. So you just track the numbers, so there is no duplication, other than counting up how many calls and contacts you do and putting into your phone. Now we do have a module, that's called the pipeline module, or the Sam book, kind of coined after the book itself, where it will do everything the book does. So it can do, you put your names in there, track your pipeline, etc. And the only does avoid duplication. And if you're able to sync with Microsoft 365, Google, or one other one, I'm not a high-tech guy, but it can sync with your calendar. But it won't sync with your database per se. So it does require double work in the case of not being able to sync with your calendar. But the cool thing about it is, if you do get the Sandberg option, or the pipeline module, then you can see the names behind the numbers. Because I know you know, when a guy tells you, yeah, and I had five appointments last week, well, who are they with? It'd be nice to go, hit a button, go oh, yeah, that's who they're with. And hey, let's talk about that. And let's see how you're looking to coach them to have a name behind the number. So we do have two modules. Again, we're building on the Golden Rule and allow the farmer and the I'm trying to make it as simple as possible for people to do every product has been designed by our clients like us saying hey, can do this hey can do that. If you guys tell us an easier way to do it, we'll build it in system.

Chris Gandy 13:41 

So you're saying that you are systems driven, agent, advisor, altruistic like so you're listening to the voice of the advisors, you're listening to what we want, you're listen to what we're saying, we need you guys are baking in the cake.

Mickey Straub 14:02 

Exactly, exactly. And that's why we started. We started out going agent the agent and also the manager saying hey, let's, an agency start saying, hey, let's five data z and then somebody agencies were to buy it. And we were in 45 states in the first five years we were in business which sold over a million and a half of them but then the whole mouse has jumped on board and unfortunately sometimes it became more of a leadership tool rather than a self-management tool but first and foremost is designed to help them run their business if the agent advisor is our true client in our of all eyes, just like NAIFA's eyes I know is to protect the industry and help them help develop it and help them succeed ultimately, and that's what our focus is.

Suzanne Carawan 14:51 

I'm interested in this, so you've done this a million I have copy sold, Chris you use this etc. We have so many people right now we're really focusing on recruiting new agents in right and trying to bring in new agents and make sure that they're successful and they don't wash out? Can you actually tell at this point by the adoption or not adoption of the sand planner like it? Like, do you see, if the people that resist it? Can you already say like, oh, look, I'm already saying this is gonna be a red flag indicator that they're not going to probably do well, in this business, like, what's your take now on having seen the adoption or not adoption of this tool for this long in the ability to say, who's got the sticktoitiveness to make it?

Mickey Straub 15:33 

We've always had applications to help track recruiting activities as well. But, yeah, and with MetLife, we did it. First, after about five or 10 years, we did an extensive study. And we found that the ones that succeeded, they're trying to retention rate of an advisor was like five or 10 times greater if they moved from, it was what three appointments, or two appointments a day to three appointments a day, or whatever that number was, there are statistics that you can track if you dig deep enough, I but it's really the people that really use it are more successful in general. And it's the best practice that's created, it's helped build more careers than the other best practices out there. As Chris had mentioned early on, so it said, that intuitively makes sense. You set goals, keep score of your activities, and take responsibility for your actions and results, which is key, as our habit number five, you'll be more successful.

Chris Gandy 15:49 

Isn't that what we all want is more success. You mentioned a couple of things. And I just want to break down a couple things is sales, we're in a business of, the more transactions you do, the more opportunities you get, then the more opportunity more times you take a shot at it, the more opportunities you're gonna have. So we are in a sales business, I understand that some people out there are convinced that we're not, but technically, we are in a sales business, we get paid to sell products, whether we're selling ourselves as a product, or we're selling a service as a product, or we're selling something, right. But activity, I just want to ask this in your history of working with advisors and being an advisor. Right. So you're you've come from both sides. Why is activity so important? I mean, once you get past a certain point, why do I have to track activity? Why do I do that? I mean, that's painful.

Mickey Straub 17:44 

Well, it's a it's a merciless mirror, as my mother used to say about our haircuts. When you do that, look at the statistics. But I love the book. Start With Why by Simon Sinek and that's clearly you have to know your why. But you know your best why in the world unless you have some activity to it. Nothing happens. Now, if you want to fill up a glass of water, you got to pour it. If you want to put that ball in the hoop. You got to do it or is where is Waldo Bonnie's say you need practice 500 shots a day. It's not just matter of quantity is not our quality. I though I had an agent Dowden actually, one of your counterparts out in Los Angeles the other day, I Jermaine Carter, who had a good quote, he said, it doesn't, this is not a skill business is the activity business. And there's some truth to that. It's not a knowledge business. It's an activity business. You have all the great intentions in the world. But unless you pick up the ball and throw it open, you're just not gonna survive. And there was the guy back with the guy and John Cellar. You might remember that name from over the years. He's up North. North of you now. You're here. Did you ever hear that? Did you catch that? That I moved from Illinois?

Chris Gandy 19:06 

I did. I see the Lincoln behind you though. So I'm assuming that I know you're linking guy. I remember. You guys weren't too far from our office actually.

Mickey Straub 19:16 

Now it was about seven or eight miles. But the 40th anniversary of my living in Illinois, the land the Lincoln. I said you know what, God wants me to go elsewhere. And the I've always loved the Nashville Tennessee area, and the site and but the cool. They have to talk to the many are here. And I am Jamie Clary. I said, Jamie how's the Lincoln view down here, kind of seller and state and the he's all very positively, the interjection dominates because he was from Nashville but like it was born just 100 miles away, up Main Street. So my main street goes through here goes right to where Lincoln was born. So I ended up, I still have a great attachment to Lincoln. Of course, I always will. And based on my 50 capitals trip and all Lincoln's I look for around the country, but we did decide to move. And it was painful, but I knew it was the right thing to do. And looking forward to the next chapter in my life.

Chris Gandy 20:23 

Well, they do say that nothing happens until something happens. And so you're preparing yourself for the next opportunity where you're going to continue to thrive and grow. And nothing happens on accident. So, you are a gift to the industry, we appreciate you so much. I see a little thing behind you. And I see it and it says win the day, this so tell us a little bit about that. Where does that kind of come from? And what does that really mean?

Mickey Straub 20:53 

It finally took us years to get down to this focus of , what we really do is we help you win the day. And it's a if you take care of the days, the weeks and the months and the quarters, the years take care of themselves. And that's also something I realized when I was in the hospital one time is that God gave us a gift, right? Give us a day or a holiday, or only bread or only read. So we have to be the best of every 24 hours that we have, and the gifts that God gives us. So if we help people focus better every 24 hours, the rest of it takes care of itself.

Suzanne Carawan 21:34 

Little Dale Carnegie day-tight compartments. Yeah.

Mickey Straub 21:38 

Yes. Yeah. Yeah, Dale Carnegie, then also Earl Nightingale would become what we think about moving to Russia, or most dominant thoughts. I know Chris knows all these. And I know, I know, you're recognizing a lot of them as well. But as a matter of, yeah, do your best every day. And it's tough. We're human, we're fickle. We're fragile. Now, yeah, these tools are designed to help weaken our help strengthen people's natural weaknesses.

Chris Gandy 22:03 

I'm going to add something, Mickey to what you said. So what I've done in the years is I learned this from Grantham actually, I was one of the young ones. So you probably don't know this, but I was one of the young ones at Northwestern Mutual, that had a chance to spend some time with Grantham I was in what they call the up and coming what they call them an extra generational group because they did 100 lives within six months at Northwestern, wow, did that I was able to join this kind of exclusive group of ages. And we would go once every six months to Chicago, and Grantham would spend the morning with us kind of just algorithm me and us to death. Okay. Grantham is what we used to call it. But one of the things that I understood about this system, specifically about what you're saying, is, activity is different than productivity. But you don't have productive people without doing activity. And so if you control your behaviors, you can control the activity. So from our perspective, this tool became the person who just put in the most amount of effort on a daily basis, one, period, regardless of how good you were, regardless of all those other skills. So this became more of a stat-stuffing sheet for us. It was like, okay, how many to get, how did you get? I got five, I got three, I got two. But you would never know unless those columns were there, they would never know if you didn't know where to put that information in that data. And then you would never know what you did the day before. Because we asked agents today. Hey, how many people did you meet yesterday? They'll say, I think it was three. Right? And I say in your cash register, let me ask you a question. Would you know how many nickels are in there? They said, yes. Would you know how many dives are in there? Absolutely. We know how many dollar bills are in there? Absolutely. Not many of those people were in there. Know exactly. I mean nickels, pennies and dimes of people that you met like yesterday, and now all of a sudden an epiphany. So I think what you're saying is that activities creates productivity and productivity creates happy people, especially in our industry. It buys you time in this industry, to grow and develop into what you want to become. So this tool here is an activity management. Notice Suzanne did not say this is a productivity management system. Activity, which is a behavior, this here manages behavior, and because of that, that allows for us as advisors to be better with our behaviors that naturally lead to more opportunities and naturally lead to more success that naturally leads to all those other things. I think advisors Mickey have gotten that backwards, is they focus so much on the productivity, they forget about what it takes to do it. Everybody wants to play in Everybody wants to play the World Series. Nobody's willing to, in the minor leagues ever go actually practice all the other days. Why? Because that's the hard thing. So this is about behavior and creating habits and rituals. I say that because it is true, it truly is, if I didn't have that tool. I'd be all over the place.

Suzanne Carawan 25:18 

Well, one of the phrases I use is activity begets opportunity, right? So the more you put that up activity, when you know it, you become more lucky, the more opportunity comes your way, you're able to do better. So you get that positive feedback cycle, so then you're more likely to keep with it. But the thing that we've heard, and the reason we wanted to bring this back into the membership, and Chris, I don't know if I've shared this piece with you, either we listen all day long to our members. And what they keep saying is this type of training, this type of access this type of know-how they used to be so prevalent, is no longer there, right? And NAIFA's now being able to provide that and step in and fill that void. Because somewhere along the line, I think, Chris, the opportunity you've had with those special agents circles and things, somehow they seem like they've gone by the wayside, at least that's what our members are telling us. They're saying they don't get that same sales training that same nurturing anymore, and NAIFA's still provides that. So we're happy to be able to plug kind of that whole, especially for the young advisors, we're hearing that all the time. Right, that the expectation is still that there's going to be a 12% washout rate, but there's even less support and tools now for it.

Chris Gandy 26:29 

Yeah, I think some of the companies around the Mickey you can, I thinks some comments says, I think some of the companies have gone away from what I will call the traditional stuff, they've said, oh, there's got to be another way, there's got to be another way, there's got to be another way. No this is the way, right. And so I think companies have got to get back to the bread and butter. They've got to get back to how we've gotten here. Suzanne, you keep track of everything. I keep track of everything. The devil is in the detail. And so we've got to do a fantastic job a great job in promoting these type of programs, these opportunities to connect with people like Mickey, and making sure that they know where to find the great jewels like this, and I'm not bragging on this. Listen, I'm not bragging on this, because he's promoting us, he had no idea I even had them in my office. Right? They actually went on for this just to give you guys an idea before we came on before this, they're like, you still have yours. Are you joking. Like, this is the deal. Like, this is like the jersey you put on every day like this is what we do, like this is part of the DNA of my office to give you guys how we use it is that every advisor for the first 90 days in their business, they have to walk around with this manual, and they have to learn it to be able to teach it to other people, if they don't learn this, their odds of success doesn't mean they're gonna make it. But their odds of success and my history, and I've recruited over 100 agents at MassMutual, here at a bunch of different places. And I can tell you, the people that are serious about their success, the people that are serious about this manual, their opportunity to succeed goes way up. Because they're like they're engaged. This engages people in a process. So it's not a problem. It's either to process or it's a problem.

Suzanne Carawan 28:22 

So you actually make them not only learn, but you turn around and have them teach others Yes. Which means that they really know it because you kiss unless you really...

Chris Gandy 28:30 

Correct, that's just familiar with it , no, basically, what's every definition mean? Oh, well, I think it means this, that means you don't know it. Right? Being familiar is not necessarily what we're looking at here. We want you to know it like the back of your hand. It's just like when we run plays in sports. You can't run around with a playbook. Yeah, but the playbook down and you got to now have ranted enough times to know that this is what I need to do. And I need to be able to do this and I need to be able to do this. You don't sit around and say oh, let me hold on coach. Let me look in the playbook real quick. I think that's the number five.

Suzanne Carawan 29:04 

I think that's become prevalent because it's the same thing. Everybody wants to run the play. Nobody wants to do all the sprints and all the lifts that lead up to running the play. There's something we've lost there in that idea that it is that constant work ethic and a little bit each day a little bit each day that somehow I feel like we've skipped ahead. Everybody wants surprise.

Mickey Straub 29:27 

Yeah. Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Yeah, Chris, I kind of choreograph this podcast. Again, coincidence, things happen for a reason. And thank you, Suzanne, for quarterbacking it, I could record choreographing a better. You're a great enthusiast of activity management. You're a practitioner, you're a leader you're doing for your agents, advisors, what Brandon did in the beginning, and you and I are to stand on the shoulders of people that came before us, is not a new concept. But activities produce results, improve the activities, the results are going to follow. We didn't make it up. We just tried to make it easy.

Chris Gandy 30:12 

We had Joey Davenport on here before. And if you go to Hoopis Network, I'm on there talking about the importance of activity management. And how I linked to I actually mentioned, the SAM Calendar, I actually mentioned calendar, and like our OCS system, and I talk about it, because it's part of what made it so that I'm here. I mean, when I tell you I share with us every week is that I'm not here by circumstance, I'm here because I put in the work. I'm also here because I want to see the opportunity for others for it to be better by growing the things that we learned and taking this and actually growing the tools and making sure they know what the tools are. They know how to get to them. And they have somebody that reach back and help them learn it, not only learn it, but become masters at it. And I think that's super, super duper super key. So with that being said, I'm gonna try to win today, I'm not trying to win today, I'm going to win today, because my activity is full today, I have 11 meetings today. So I am keeping track of all my opportunities. And I will actually download and we need to get back to the digital part of it. Because we're now we're doing the book. But the digital part of it we are not doing anymore. So when Suzanne has an opportunity for me to get better today, one person better every day in every way. So we appreciate you. And hopefully we get an opportunity Mickey to see you at all the conferences and we're talking about the SAM calendars and you guys get me on a video, I'll promote it, I am a believer in this system. I just had SAM and I believe it's just part of what we're supposed to be doing. And I know it's led to my success, a big chunk of it. So I even have, it's funny. I even have my recruiters using this. I even have my staff using this tool. Because they don't remember what they did 48 hours ago, they have no clue. Write it down, here you go write it down, write it down, write it down. And again, now we have metrics of what we can measure and Mickey you know this, we can manage what we don't measure, right. And this allows us to measure everything.

Suzanne Carawan 30:52 

Everything down to it's like, it's a kinesthetic learning to write it down. Like I know. Or somebody was like, nobody writes anything down. Are you kidding me? Every college kid that goes through anything nowadays, every athlete, they still write it down, writing it down makes all the difference. It helps you to remember it.

Chris Gandy 32:53 

Yes. Vince Lombardi I digress, but Vince Lombardi those you don't know he's one of the greatest coaches that quote unquote, in an NFL history, right. And one of the things he used to do is he had to give his players notebooks when he used to walk into film. And he used to collect the notebooks after he said that people would retain 70% more if they wrote it out. So they would give them they would not only watch the film, they would discuss it or write down notes, because his quote was champions, take copious notes. This is a copious note-taker. It's a great tool.

Suzanne Carawan 33:27 

And listen, he didn't even know he could put his logo on it, Mickey, now that Chris knows he can put his own brand on that thing. Right? What a great way to brand your agency and build up more awareness. People didn't even know so make sure everybody knows that. Especially our 100 plus.

Chris Gandy 33:40 

I want to put my face on the front and that logo. Which brings me something pretty profound, right.

Suzanne Carawan 33:51 

Endorsed by Chris Gandy, that's right.

Mickey Straub 33:53 

Well, Chris, I still have your cell phone numbers. We'll definitely connect.

Chris Gandy 33:57 

That's awesome. That's awesome. All right, Suzanne. I think we want to go to the lightning round, or you got some more questions.

Suzanne Carawan 34:04 

Yeah, I'd say one last plug. So if you're an NAIFA member, visit the member portal. There's more information in there. And you get all of the information in the SAM planner and a nice discount that Mickey has provided us. If you're not a NAIFA member, why not? No time like the present? Please join us belong.naifa.org/join. Chris, I think we're ready for lightning round.

Chris Gandy 34:26 

No, my ploy out there at all our NAIFA members is we do business with people that do business with us. So let's support and continue to support the tools necessary for our agents or advisors ourselves to be successful in the future. Don't forget where you came from. You didn't start where you are. You started out doing the bread and butter. And that's things like the simple things, not the super complex cases and not the super all this other stuff. We started out keeping track. And that's how we know where we've come from. And that's how we know where we're going. So Suzanne, let's do it. So Mickey, we have a little fun. People may not know you, but people might know of you, they may not know you. So we have a little fun with this. And again, I'm not going to ask you questions about what you did when you were 10 years old that you were running around and your mom was looking for you, when I ask you questions like that, we're not going to ask you questions about things that are embarrassing. We're just gonna ask you questions, just kind of have a fireside type of chat. We ask you questions, whatever the deal is, whatever comes top of mind, just what you answer, there's no right or wrong answer. It's just we're curious. We want to get to know you a little bit. So is that fair?

Mickey Straub 35:41 

Well, yes, I just want to make sure that I am going to have enough power in my temporary office here. We move into our office space for another week or two. But my battery's running low. So if I had to jump to the side here, you know why so? Okay. And that, but I also like to say that, Chris, thanks a lot for sharing your enthusiasm for SAM. But sharing some of your insights to helping advisors and agents succeed. I mean, it's no wonder you're as successful as you are. I've been hearing about you for years. I see it all over the social media and of course, through NAIFA. And I hope I'm sure you're just the more about you being out of state. But thank you for all that. You're truly an inspiration to all of us.

Chris Gandy 36:27 

Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that. We got a lot of work to do Suzanne. Yes, we have work to do. We look forward to taking NAIFA to the next level. So with that being said, Mickey Here we go. So first thing, Mickey, you're from Illinois. So you know I have to ask the question, Cubs or White Sox.

Mickey Straub 36:44 

I don't have a preference. I was always an Illinois fan. I started with the Cubs, but Bo Jackson was one of our neighbors and residents. So I tend to go for them too. So but I'm not from Illinois, originally. I'm actually from Pennsylvania.

Chris Gandy 37:00 

Okay. So if you had to choose one, because in Chicago, they make you go to a game or just say stay home, which would you go to.

Mickey Straub 37:09 


Chris Gandy 37:10 

Okay, so you got everybody. Okay, so you so that one was easy, right? Okay, cool. So with that being said, now we'll go with a little faster pace, right. Favorite sports star?

Mickey Straub 37:23 

Oh, that'd be a tough one. Favorite sports star? I got to say Bo Jackson.

Chris Gandy 37:29 

Bo Jackson, why?

Mickey Straub 37:32 

He was one of the greatest one of the best. And I got to know him personally. He's a very well balanced guy that he keeps his humility in check. He's great family, man. He wasn't just great athlete. He's one of those motivational speakers I've ever met and died and I just for his record, I haven't got a clue. But definitely, definitely the one I would, of course, I was a little bit Mickey Mantle who I was named after. But his personal life wasn't his much of it. What do you call it?

Suzanne Carawan 38:09 

Data verse Nieto I don't know, Belk in like hit it with the arrow and like sling the deer over and run like, that sounds pretty impressive.

Mickey Straub 38:17 

But he endorsed my book called Big Goals, Short Deadlines. If I didn't send you a copy of it, I will. I but he said Mickey's done things that most of us only dreamed of and have Bo Jackson and say that, I almost I teared up. But I should have kept the first part where he said I first met Mickey about 10 or 15 years ago in a gym. And he looked like Gilligan and had legs that era coffee table. And now he's my mayor.

Chris Gandy 38:47 

All right, so if people could just describe you, your friends could describe you how would they describe you?

Mickey Straub 38:55 

Two the resonate most now these days is I'm about God Family and country. And my whole company is a patriotic faith-based company like ours, we want to not do well on our business for our family. So wonderful.

Chris Gandy 39:13 

Wonderful. Your proudest moment in the insurance and financial services industry

Mickey Straub 39:24 

Well, proudest moment, that'd be a tough one.

Chris Gandy 39:27 

Your proudest accomplish? Do that.

Mickey Straub 39:32 

Well, proudest accomplishment still is the 50 capitals trip that I took. It was 50 capitals and 50 days for love of country and turned out to be for love of God and country. But to finish that and have the whole NAIFA Illinois Board grabbed me on the steps of the Illinois State Capitol and time their annual board meeting to be when I finished the trip go 50 capitols in 50 days it did it 44. When I walked in that rotunda, and I saw the NAIFA's board and Sarah Deckard war John Wheeler now i Luba Fano, Eric Eckstrom, Bob stockworks and a few other ones just I cried. That was probably one of my proudest moments was finishing that trip. But also that trip would not have been impossible without all my NAIFA connections and what I learned in this business what you learned on the court is that activities produce results and if I use the same concepts to run the business, and they did it finish that trip, and that's what I'm also excited about sharing with people today. That doesn't matter what you're looking to succeed that the to set goals and keep score and manage activities.

Chris Gandy 40:45 

Awesome. Mickey you're from Illinois, so I got asked this question. Deep dish pizza or thinned crust?

Mickey Straub 40:56 

Got to go thick, got to go with stuff.

Chris Gandy 40:58 

Stuff crust pizza. Got it. All right. Last couple questions for you. One big one, favorite quote.

Mickey Straub 41:10 

Yeah, I have to say it's, we reap what we sow. Five little words that can change someone's life. Because just by saying it is a claim of responsibility, that I reap what I sow. And it's a very inspirational I think, and that's still one of my favorites. A lot called Lo farmer has its roots in the Bible, but really quite simple. We reap what we sow and every aspect of our lives, but in sales, you could bank on it.

Chris Gandy 41:41 

Wow. All right, last question for you. If you could go back in history and have dinner with anyone whether they live in now or they passed away? Who would it be and why?

Mickey Straub 41:58 

First gut feeling is Ronald Reagan word John Paul's second but like Ronald Reagan I can relate to. And I always love the fact that his humble beginnings and in just do it for they was all about him. His ability to bring people together and that's my now, I should have figured that out after he left office figure out some way of doing that. But that's one of my many regrets.

Chris Gandy 42:31 

And then last question is this, is the bonus question. If you could say anything to NAIFA nation to advisers starting in the business in the first five years today what would you tell them about the importance of having something that they can keep track with.

Mickey Straub 42:51 

Earl Nightingale said it best he said that we become what we think about we move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts and so you need to keep your eyes focused on the prize but also on the daily activities. Your success is in your hands. And yes, you need great mentors as I know Chris, and Suzanne have seen in the past and we've all learned from people in the past. But ultimately, it's up to you and you're in control your own success your own destiny. But you need to do the right activities every day. And now lead success a chance.

Chris Gandy 43:27 

Thank you Mickey. We're so happy as Mickey said every day, every day. So win the day love it. Suzanne you want to wrap us up or you have any comments before I close this out.

Suzanne Carawan 43:45 

Well I would say Mickey is gonna join us the National Leadership Conference this December so we're excited to welcome him and you can meet him in person and we're gonna have more great conversations just like this going forward.

Chris Gandy 43:57 

Wonderful. Mickey do you have anything else for NAIFA nation before we close?

Mickey Straub 44:02 

I love NAIFA, now always have. NAIFA got your back because they have a target on their back, I even did T-shirts years ago regarding that. I just said if anybody does not support the association's that support the industry, he's got to be brain dead. You've got to do it. You got to support NAIFA in particular, they're not really looking to protect the industry, looking to develop and help build careers. So I applaud anybody is a member. And I encourage everybody that's in the insurance and financial service industry to join.

Chris Gandy 44:38 

Wonderful. Thank you, Mickey. Thank you Suzanne. It's always wonderful spending time with the both of you. I'll close us out. Thanks for tuning in to Advisors Today podcast where we promote uplift and support the collective good of all advisors out there. We look forward to seeing you again next week, same time, same place and listen, if you haven't got your SAM calendar for 2024, go get it. There's no secret sauce. This is the secret sauce. I'll tell you that this has made me lots of money. And so if you're interested in making a lots of money, go get you one. If you want to know how to use it, I'll actually show you how to use it. I'll volunteer. I'm pretty good at using it. But my key is that if you're going to use it, you need to become a master at it. So thanks, everyone for tuning in. We'll see you next week.

Outro 45:37 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes. And if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know



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