At this time of the year we have a tendency to look back and reflect on the past year. As I sit and think of everything we have experienced in 2010, I really have to be so thankful that it was such a great year. I recovered from a knee replacement, welcomed a new granddaughter to the world (Becca), met many wonderful new people, reconnected with others, tasted some great wines, and didn’t get the job as insurance director. For those that did not know, I had applied for the insurance director position for Nebraska. Bruce Ramge was selected and I personally think that was the best decision. I put my name in only because I think it is important for qualified people to step forward to public service if they feel they can assist. With healthcare reform at the forefront, I really felt that I could be of assistance. Director Ramge’s experience in the department makes him the perfect person to lead but we in the industry need to step forward and assist with making sure he has the best tools. I still plan to help where ever my experiences can provide insight. But I have to be honest; I was scared that I might actually end up in the director position.

With 2011 just around the corner, what are your goals for next year? Are you planning on achieving higher levels of production, increasing your education, or being more involved in your industry? Now is the time to sit down and write our exactly what you want to accomplish. I have always believed that if you don’t write down your goals, how will you ever know when you get there? Share your goals with others and they will help make sure that you make them a reality. If it’s your goal to increase production, don’t make a vague statement. Put the exact amount of change down and then figure out what you need to do to achieve. You are much more likely to follow through when the roadmap is clear. It is always amazing to me when an agent or broker tells me that they don’t understand why their practice is not growing but when pressed to what they have changed to make progress, they answer that they are doing what they have always done. If you do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got. The world is constantly changing and you have to adjust. Here at OCI, we are constantly thinking of new ways to do business. Sometimes these changes are forced on us, more often; we brainstorm as to how to strengthen our business. I suggest that you do that with your own practices also. It may mean that you “partner” up with another professional. Maybe you change the way you have done business. Products are always changing, are you keeping up with those changes and working closely with your clients to insure that they are not neglected. Take a few moments and make sure you are where you want to be.

Last thing for this blog is to say THANK YOU to each and every one of our brokers. Without you OCI doesn’t exist. Each broker is important from the producer who places a few cases during the year to the larger agencies that produce numerous cases. The loyalty and concern you show to our business as well as the way you work with our staff is much appreciated. My personal thanks for allowing us to be of service.