Monthly Archives: August 2012

11 days of updates in a short post

So, I haven’t posted in 11 days, which I must say I’m disappointed in myself.  Since I last posted I have written 3 new accounts all personal lines.  I have another one that should get completed this weekend and I have a few other meetings set up to get some more quotes out there.

Since it’s been 11 days, I know I have posted anything about the workouts that the cross country team have been putting together.  They ran an excellent whistle drill (fartlek run) where we run at race pace for awhile, then back it down to a jog for recovery on the 21st.  They then put in a brutal hill workout in stifling heat on the 23rd and still came back and gave us excellent runs on last Saturday in their first cross country race of the season.  The girls’ team was one place away from a trophy and the boys’ team ran really well also.  It looks like we should have a really fun season.  They followed last week up with some tremendous 1000 meter repeats on Tuesday and a nice tempo run last night.  I think we are going to see some quick improvement the next time we are out to race.

I enjoyed a good afternoon last Sunday with my brother and April’s little sister as they prepared to start the school year at Kent State.  Looks like they should both have a fun year, man college life was great hopefully they really live it up!

Make every day great,

Chris

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8/18 & 19 weekend update

Well this weekend was a good one!  Starting with Friday night, when the family went to the park in Harbor Hills with the Johnsons to enjoy fellowship together.  We had a pizza picnic dinner and then spent time with the kids on the swings, slide, and teeter-totter.  On Saturday I got up early and went to my early Saturday morning bible study.  We had 6 people there this week, and our fellowship was  going for quite a while.  It is always nice to have a group of men get together and share their faith in the Lord and to help each other be accountable.

As soon as I got back to the house Saturday morning, April put me to work.  Ok, well she actually put all of us to work.  Her dad, brother, and brother’s friend all came out to help do some work around the house and then take a trip over on the lake.  We cruised around the lake for about 2 hours while April worked on her final papers for her master’s degree.

Sunday, I heard a sermon that totally nailed the same aspects of my life that I have been trying to focus on.  Not being pre-occupied with the things that are going on in life, and falling into a rut, but just focusing on returning to the Lord every time I realize that I am short of what He expects of me.

When we got home my wife made an awesome lunch, while Cayden and I went upstairs to play with the cookie monster playdough toy.  It’s fun to just sit and spend time with him and see how his mind is growing.  We then took off to my parents’ house so April could finish the last paper.  While we were there, dad and I went up to the field to measure out our course for the cross country team’s workout on Tuesday.  Cayden and I got home at 9 that night, and he went straight to bed.  Then I finally got to spend some nice quiet, and cuddling time with my wife.  I usually count my weeks from Monday through Sunday, so I must say it was the perfect end to my week!

Make every day great,

Chris

Thursday 8/16

Well, before I recount yesterday, I’m going to start with a Happy Birthday to my youngest brother who turned half my age today and as I told him on Facebook he’s about half my size!  I’m 30, he’s 15, but he has not hit the muscle growth yet that I’m sure will happen soon enough since everyone else in the family has the broad shoulders and strong build.

Yesterday I bound another account, renter’s and auto, not bad size just under a couple thousand dollars for the one year term.  Pouring on the marketing heavy this week, I am really trying to ramp this career up.  I’ve definitely gotten over being told “no thank you”, which seems to be a real break point for a lot of agents.  If you are afraid of hearing no, you don’t push as hard to get in front of people.  If you are only trying to quote accounts where you have a high chance of getting (above 90%) you’ll never get in front of enough people to make it in this career.

Just got off the phone with a mortgage lender, with great news, our closing is scheduled for next Tuesday and that will save us close to $200 a month on our mortgage and lower our rate to 3.75%.  Baby steps but finally moving in the right direction.  It’s amazing what having a little faith in the Lord has done to change my outlook on life, and just recognize the positives.

Cross country meets start tomorrow!  I’m pretty excited about that for sure, my favorite time of year.  Brisk Saturday morning races, and beautiful Saturday afternoon football games!  Just over a week until I get to see our team race and can really start gaining an outlook on what the future holds for our team.  Every day they are progressing, there is no doubt about that.

Make every day great,

Chris

Wednesday 8/15

Ok, so instead of starting with my day yesterday, I’m going to start with this morning.  This morning I woke up and haven’t really felt tired just kind of drawn down.  Cayden woke up around 7, well before I got going to get dressed and head off to work, so we cuddled on the couch and watched Octonauts.  So after that it was almost impossible to get off the couch and get ready, I really wanted to just lay on the couch and cuddle with him or go upstairs and just lay down and cuddle with my beautiful wife.  It is quite often difficult to head to work, not because I don’t like working, but because I just want to spend as much time as I can with the ones I love and that love me.

Now, back to my normal routine of how this blog going.  Yesterday was again a day just chock full of marketing, and learning a new program for our company – sharefile.  This is a pretty awesome program for us, because it is a fully encrypted and secure way to email documents.  This helps set me a little at ease, because we do have a lot of documents that either include medical history or social security numbers.

I read an interesting story about progressive insurance today, and I’m going to reserve my opinion until everything comes out.

Kiplinger’s has some good tips for your home in regards to personal finance.  Some cheap and easy ways to remodel include, updating your front entrance, painting a room, and doing a cabinet makeover.  All of these are fairly inexpensive (can probably do any of them for less than $200) and really can change the appeal of your home.  If you are looking to buy a new home, make sure you know how much you can afford before you find a realtor.  Everyone is going to try and put you in the biggest/best home they can, so know that a lot of banks will look at about 30% of your gross income as the max they will let you borrow (monthly payment).  Look into several different lenders as well, they are really competitive on closing costs right now trying to generate revenue through increasing the number of refinances and new purchases.

Two days until the first cross country meet here in Ohio.  Our team ran some tough hill repeats yesterday, and are thriving on high goals for the upcoming season.

Make every day great,

Chris

Tuesday 8/14

Not a whole lot happened yesterday, got some quotes back on the Montessori school and riding facility I visited on Monday.  We did get a new program so that we can encrypt files we send via email.  I did get a personal lines referral, but as is usually the case, we started with a game of phone tag.  I’ll have a couple of renter’s  policies to quote today, and some follow-ups on previous quotes but it’ll mainly be marketing again.

Pretty quiet night around the house last night too, we did go out and play some soccer as family.  Cayden and I tried to stay out for at least an hour and half since it was so cool and relaxing out there.  We also blew bubbles for a little while, I love seeing how excited he gets with just some of the most simple things.  Family time is awesome!

So now I’ll finally get back to some good information about finances.  Kiptip #37 is a common theme if you do any looking into personal finance and retirement.  It mentions if you start putting away $200 a month when you get your first full time job (age 22), and continue to do so you’ll have around 1.2 million at age 67 based on 8% annualized returns.  I’m definitely a bit behind, but it gives us a goal to shoot for.  I think that it’s more important to get rid of debt, especially credit cards, where you are paying above 8% than to worry about the investing side for retirement.  Once the debt is gone, it is a lot easier to put money away.  Retirement funding is very important, plus depending on your earnings and job title you can put away a substantial amount with pre-tax dollars.  You may also be eligible to put money in a Roth account, which allows you to put away money now after-tax, but withdraw all the growth in the future without paying taxes.  If you enjoy finance and retirement funding you can definitely do this yourself, but for some people a qualified financial adviser would be the place to turn.  I would suggest you look for someone with a CFP designation, it at least helps to know that the individual has the minimum background knowledge.

Make every day great,

Chris

Monday 8/13

Feeling very blessed today.  I had a great prospect meeting with the Montessori school owner, and we had an awesome conversation about how great our Father is to us.  Too coincide with that, Cayden had his tubes put in his ears yesterday to hopefully help with the ear infections this winter.  It took 5 minutes to do, and within an hour he was back to his normal self.  It is hard to imagine that you can put a child under anesthesia and when he comes to, it’s like nothing even happened.

The rest of the work day went pretty well also.  I continued my work on marketing, and already felt the fruits of some of my most recent marketing labors.  I have been sending emails out to old clients of our office, and got a response by a guy that drops off mobile homes.  I finally got a response back on a real estate land sales business that I have been trying to get quoted for a long time.  Not too bad, now I’m hoping to get his commercial auto policy and E&O policy as well.  Once you put it all together it becomes a nice little package.  I got some nice social proof that I must be doing a decent job as an agent, one of our clients left a great note on our company facebook page.

The cross country team really stepped it up yesterday!  A lot of the kids ran the mileage I asked them to run, and several others went above their individual run lengths to challenge themselves and run with their teammates.  Today will be an easy run day, and then we’ll get into some work on Wednesday with hill repeats.

Make every day great,

Chris

Weekend update

Here is my update of the weekend’s events around our household.  After I got back and did my post on Saturday morning, April took off to Cincinnati with her mom and sister to do some apartment shopping at IKEA.  I saw the booklet they brought home, man do they have some nice stuff and at some really good prices.  I know where we will be going when we are ready to replace furniture, or if we ever buy a new house!

The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful.  I got a short 3 mile run in on Sunday afternoon, and I ran it way too fast.  I was still feeling strong from the crazy start to my run on Saturday morning.  Saturday and Sunday, Cayden and I pretty much just hung out and relaxed.  We definitely don’t have the extra money to go spend doing “things”, so we just spent some quality time at home together.  Cuddled watching the Olympics, watched some of the PGA Championship, and we watched some of his favorites too Doc McStuffins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I did manage to break the lawnmower somehow, and I’m really not sure what I need to do to fix it.  Guess I need to do a google search.  April slaved away at finishing up her Master’s degree program.  I’m excited about her finishing, even more than the money just taking something off of her plate so she can breathe a little.

The church service was good, as always, since God is always good to us.  Our pastor nailed the one piece in the worship songs that I really struggled with too, so that was fitting.  I fail to prove Jesus o’er and o’er, He always proves Himself in me, but that is only because of Him.

Ready for work, and an awesome prospect meeting this morning!

Make every day great,

Chris