Goals Govern Growth

In a study at Harvard, the graduates of an MBA class were surveyed in 1979.  3% had written, clear goals.  13% had goals, but they were not written down.  84% had no goals identified.  In 1989, ten years later they were all contacted.  The 13% with unwritten goals made twice as much as the ones with no goals.  The 3% with written goals made more than the other 97% combined.

Life is not simply about money, but it is one way we can measure.  The power of written goals applies to relationships, finances, spiritual acumen, mental acuity, emotional stability and more.  Goals govern growth. 

Some folks would say, “ I hope to be able to do this or that.”  Without a true focus, a goal and a plan, that is a wish not a hope. Hope has a plan.  Hope is powerful.  Hope is a healer.  But Hope has a focus and a plan.

Your plan may not be written out as detailed as some.  But you need to have a plan. 

As a project manager of decades, I always found it helpful to decide on a few items.  One was the goal or the final object obtained in a project.  The second is a set of measurable deliverables that happen along the path.  When the deliverables are met, the goal is met.  Then and only then can we start to decide on an action plan.  When we design our workshops today, this is the same approach.  There is a final goal to reach that is only reached as each deliverable is reached. In that way, we can sustain hope and healing and radically alter our future to a better life forward.

What are your goals for relationships, mental and emotional health, spiritual determinism, and physical stamina?  In each of these areas, we can and should set simple goals. Write them down.  Read them every day.  Tana Amen does a great job encouraging the “One Page Miracle” that she and Dr. Daniel Amen have found so helpful in folks overcoming physical and mental and emotional trauma that affects brain functioning.  One Page Miracle  Maybe even write the short form in erasable marker on your morning mirror so you can’t miss them. What are yours?

Here are mine: Good communication. A listener. Strong and fit body. Sharp and quick mind.  Emotions serve me and stir joy. Example of Christ life. Sufficient finances and some to share.

There.  It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. Just focused and written.

Be a 3% agent of change and growth.  Set goals.  Write them down.  Read them out loud regularly. Make your daily, weekly, and monthly plans to see them come to full fruit.

Interested in a little more?  Read this quick article on Energizers, notes for people managers and wisdom for us all.

Breaking Barriers

In my cup collection is one of annual cups for AFPRESS, a concept company extension of a larger insurance corporation. The cup and the year were titled Breaking Barriers. Other executives mocked us openly. The venture was not popular because it challenged the norm, it threatened mediocrity. And of course, because it worked. A small group of staff written off as failures went on to grow from falling to $4.5mm worth of retail digital print publishing in a falling industry. Indeed, they broke many barriers of customer service, production, quality, and quantity. Barriers mostly are mental impositions created by small vision. They can be broken.

Breaking Barriers

Oh, the reason I wrote this article? I’ve been working with some pastors on getting that plateau busting in motion. As part of that, I put together a quick starter that takes about 30 minutes MINISTRY METRIC MATRIX OF GROWTH. The MMM is FREEEE. I like pastors. I like local churches.

Throughout my menagerie room are similar cups and momentos. Consider the “Year of The Plan” for C.R. Anthony corporation where we shocked the courts and pulled a company out of chapter 11 bankruptcy in 18 months and became profitable and lithe. That was a fun set of barriers to break. Then there is the “Best Place to Work in IT” award from ComputerWorld, where our director team led in outstanding recognition. A great memory was leading alongside others in a pastoral team to see a plateued non-profit move from 1500 membership to 5500 membership and move from being 99% white to completely multi-cultural where no one racial heritage was 51%.

That non-profit/church breakthrough took 3 years. In fact most breakthroughs in which I’ve participated took about 3 years. Whether it was retail, insurance, non-profit, or healthcare, the breakthroughs have a pattern. My fourth major book, STUMBLING INTO MIRACLES outlines personal progressions involved in those breakthroughs. It will take you to see many individual barrier breakthroughs that we see today in SOLUM working with folks struggling through the I’ve HAAAAD It! Hopelessness, anger, addiction, abuse, anxiety, and depression are horried barriers. Developing a systematic workshop to apply to those has been a great and fulfilling journey. It isn’t a book, but a personnally mentored workshop. But then the other three, TIME TO LEAD (community and culture), BY GRACE (churches) , and MANAGE WELL (corporate departments and entrepreneurial efforts) all have similar themes. Breaking barriers is not easy, but it has some commonalities in personal life and business and community endeavors. And if you are a person of prayer TRANSFORMER’S PRAYER is a good quick place to start.

So, why write so much about barrier breaking transformation? Why help others? Why take on giants instead of just living mundane? Because it can be done and you can do it. We are working on a huge barrier now that we have broken in one place and want to extend to many. It only took a few years to break the barrier, but now we are looking to break nationwide. SOLUM is the flagship of that breakthrough.

Are you ready for the commonalities? No matter the industry or endeavor, I’ve found a few.

  1. Inventory What Is. Too often we apply change before we apply understanding. Covey tells us, “Seek first to understand before you seek to be understood.” Yes. Even better seek first to understand before you seek to pose a solution. You may be totally off base in what you know. A production group was off target by 14 hours a day. They were supposed to hit target at 7am daily and were hitting at 9pm. What a mess. Inventory and a little sorting and structuring took out the excess and put production on target consistently.
  2. Determine the objective in measureable terms. How often I ‘ve gone into a corporate fix to find out the owners did not have a clear objective for the team attempting to perform the impossible task of hitting an invisible and moving target. Pshaw! Quit treating people that way. Get deep. Figure out the target and make it clear to everyone involved. Even in church work, we figured out the key metrics both tangible and intangible and watched them as they helped us reach our greater goal.
  3. Inspect what you expect. Expect what you inspect. As you apply small changes implement tracking tools that require little effort. People spending time on tracking tools are not spending time on what they are attempting to accomplish. One team set impossible objectives for production and celebrated as percentages were clicked off on the way to the top goal that they did reach.
  4. Enjoy the journey. Celebrate milestones. A team of printers had a great time when a customer, who had expressed disdain openly, awarded them a big party when they reached 100% of the customer’s business with joy. Cool, huh! My wife bought me a white cap with 100 on it. The naysayers just grumbled, but we celebrated.

That’s it. You can go read a book full of other markers and information by selecting any of those referenced or change your life by following the I’ve HAAAAD It! link. But working on these four major attention items will get you in quick and reliable motion.

Keep your eye peeled as we break through national barriers. Better than that, break through your own. If you’d like, I’d be happy to do a one-one coaching session with you for personal barrier breaking. I’m not free. But I’m good. No brag. Just fact.

Oh, the reason I wrote this article? I’ve been working with some pastors on getting that plateau busting in motion. As part of that, I put together a quick starter that takes about 30 minutes MINISTRY METRIC MATRIX OF GROWTH. The MMM is FREEEE. I like pastors. I like local churches.

Phil Larson, thethinkdirector phil@solumcommunity.net 405.494.0637 Schedule a 30 minute FREEEEE breakthrough interview.

Clear Decisions

Reaching 64 years old gives access to some of the greatest years of living.  The first 20 years is about growing and learning life.  The next 20 gives us an opportunity to lay a foundation. The third 20 years develops our friendships and family and sets a course.  We discover more of what really makes us tick.  The next 20 to 40 years is an adventure like none other.  Get a better life forward.

The recent book When I’m 64: 7 Clear Decisions for a Better Life Forward by Phil Larson, the think doctor, is an amazing entry into this life span opportunity.  The population of the United States becomes increasingly larger and larger a proportion of those over 65 to those under.  It is an exciting time in which to live.  The dynamics of culture and economies will shift to meet these wonderful times. 

You are one of these leading the charge into a better life.  How will you do it?  What decisions will you make to increase your life enjoyment?  Happiness is a decision you control.  Control it.  Get the information you need and make good decisions.

One of the clearest decisions is your healthcare provision under Medicare.  You can decide for an Advantage Plan or a Supplement Plan to come alongside your Medicare A and B.  Medicare A takes care of Inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care (not custodial), hospice care, and home health care. Medicare B  covers outpatient care which include services from doctors and other health care providers and some preventative services. 

Why pick an Advantage plan?  Advantage plans from a private insurance carrier usually provide an HMO or PPO plan with a local network of providers.  They can have extra benefits and may include a prescription drug coverage all with a low or zero extra premium.  Take the time to get fully acquainted by using a licensed and trained agent like SOLUM provides or any of our partners across the United States with the GrandParentBenefits.org affiliation. When you have limited funds, an Advantage plan can give you some cost reductions and management.  You can get a plan that includes prescription drug coverage.

Why pick a Supplement or Medigap plan?  Average costs for medical run between $4000 and $5000 a year with deductibles and payment sharing.  A supplement can pay the majority of these for a predictable and managed premium.  You control your costs at a premium that may be closer to $2000 a year, when you include prescription drug coverage. That can represent significant cost savings over your senior years.

Go to our website and read more.  Advantage / Supplement

You matter.  Your choices matter.  #wecanhelpwiththat

A Better Life Forward

What does that mean?  You might have a great life now.  Why not have it better?  You might have some struggles and interruptions that attempt to rob your joy.  Why not have it better?  Whatever condition you find yourself in life, there is opportunity for a better life forward.  And, I want to help you have it.  When you turn 64, there are some important decisions to make about your Medicare.  You have structured time frames in which to make them and want to get them done early, but with informed and clear decision.  Our team is always posting information on decisions surrounding Medicare on

Want the entire EBOOK?  When I’m 64: 7 Clear Decisions for A Better Life Forward.  Send me an email at phil@soluminsurance.com and I’ll reply with a copy of the book that is print ready for your home or office printer or can be read easily online with large type. Want a printed out copy? Send me your address with that email and I’ll ship one right out to you.


405.494.0637 – office cell/text

The Prize Goes to the Winner: Character

What is character and how does it work for you?

Everyone has a different definition of character traits that contribute to success, but one of those that overshadows most came to me from Earl Nightinggale.  “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” Let me explain what that has to do with character.

Take it apart and here are the character traits.

Success Orientation


Realized Results

Worthy Goals

Those four character traits will get you far in life.  They may not look like what you were expecting.  You might have been expecting a note on the virtues of a positive human or a Christian or a community contributor or a business professional.  These four apply to all of that and more.

Success Orientation:  Some people have no desire to compete or win in life.  If you do not value success, you will not have success.  Your life will be plagued with losses and disapointments. Get a character that wants to win.  You want to win and you want others to win.  Zig Ziglar says, “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”  That is a success orientation.  You are committed to have enough to satisfy your lifestyle and sufficient to give to others in need.  You are committed to the success of every other person with whom you come in contact.  You are generous and gracious and competitive with yourself.  Have a success orientation.

Progressive: Success, accomplishment, overcoming shortcomings, and getting to the top of your vision is progressive.  Develop a progressive attitude.  Quit looking for easy wins and low hanging fruit.  That stuff is for those committed to losing or making others lose.  You may gain finances.  But finance is only a part of success character.  Arriving at a worthy goal means arriving with a clean and pure conscience. You don’t have to look behind to find who is following.  You see progress every day toward the goal.  One day may be a big jump.  Another day may be a small step.  Every day moves you closer to the goal.

A few good men served today ( Nov 28, 2016) at Ohio State University. During a campus attack from a madman, they responded with character, competence, compassion, and chemistry. How rare do we see these three in action? In our age of self-service and self-serving, we are missing large quantities of courage, discipline, orderliness, compassion, reliability, accountability, selfless giving, and selfless service.  Journalists attribute their response to military preparation.  Maybe, but I bet there were other military trained on campus and maybe even in the room.  These men had something more.WordItOut-word-cloud-922060 (1)

These men stood to the moment. When word went out, they organized their class of students away from the door. Then they placed themselves in harms’ way at the entrance to the room. Had the attacker walked into that room, he probably would not walk out. They showed character, competence, compassion, and chemistry under pressure. Under pressure we are our better selves and we are our worst selves. We choose each time.

Yesterday, a man came to me in my office and asked me an odd question. “What is prudent?” He was looking for a dictionary definition. A quick anger assessment that we do had thrown an unfamiliar word at him. Arms crossed, face scowling, hard life screaming from his face, he looked for an answer. For a moment, it was hard to answer. The temporary confusion was not because I was stumped for a definition. It has hard to answer because it means so much. To summarize, a prudent person does the right thing at the right time with the right wisdom backing the choices. A prudent person would not be standing in my doorway taking an anger assessment because he was on probation, community supervision, supervised by the state.worditout-word-cloud-1956501-prudent

A little later I was on the phone with a case manager overseeing a family situation. Seems the man and woman showed up for a court hearing on neglecting their children while they were high on drugs. Bad had gone to worse. Maybe they are good hearted and imprudent. Nevertherless, they chose to put their children in danger and now the children are under conservatorship in foster care and the parents are being supervised by the state.

The men in the first story sound like my children. I would place my life in the hands of any of my daughters, sons, and their spouses. I trust their decisions over their homes and families and neighbors. They do not believe the way I believe on every subject. They do follow prudence. They do exhibit wisdom in right choices over and over and over. They do exhibit the 4 Cs of Success multiplied by lives lived for Christ.They don’t need me, my wife, or the state to supervise them.  They have been raised.

The men in the first story sound like key employees I have had over time. When they show me the balance of character, competence, chemisty, and compassion, I invest trust and training and increasing responsibility and watch them grow. Consistency and congruency takes over and multiplies their contribution. Talking to my assistant yesterday, I told the story of one such colleague. When this person came to work for me, she could not show up regularly and her work results were erratic. But underneath her chaos, I saw the 4 Cs of success. Over the years, we walked through developing good work habits, learning good work skills, and living through deaths and distractions that life throws us. Her contribution increased as the 4 Cs ordered her life and her income and influence quadrupled. Income in life is directly proportional to contribution.

How does it work? The 4 Cs of Success produce a consistent and congruent contribution. Here is the formula (Character + Competence + Compassion + Chemisty) x (Consistency + Congruency) = Contribution3 . This missive is already too long, so you must read the next few to get the full story.
Note: SOLUM Community Transformation Initiative is a 501c3 dedicated to fixing fractured families. We work with strugglers to stabilize and unify homes. Make your financial contribution today to turn the corner in character for men and women and their children. http://solumcommunity.net/

Check out the definitions of prudent. Synonyms and Antonyms of prudent (merriam-webster online dictionary) http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/prudent

Really? I can make a change to my medicare advantage plan in Jan/Feb/March?

Many people think the only time to make changes to a Medicare Advantage plan is in the Fall Oct 15 to Dec 7th Annual Election Period. That is not true. There is a great option called Open Enrollment Period from Jan 1 to March 31st. #wecanhelpwiththat

Why make a change?

. All the advertising was so confusing in the Fall, I am just now understanding there is a better plan for me.

. I want service. I bought online without an agent and just don’t understand what I did and want to do something different.

. I have an ancient advantage plan that does not have the new benefits offered in other plans.

. My needs have changed and I’d like to move from an HMO to a PPO or from a PPO to an HMO plan.

. Just curious and want to see what options I have.

These are some reasons you might want to take a look at a change in your advantage plan. #wecanhelpwiththat

Send me an email at phil@soluminsurance.com or call or text our dedicated insurance service line 405.494.0637 and we can do a quick review of your insurance with you and inform you of some new options or just reassure you that you have a good plan. It is always good to check your insurance on an annual basis.

Thanks to Boomer Benefits for this super clear graphic.

What’s up with that retirement experience?

This week I met with three financial advisors to select the one that will be my coach for the next 20-30 years. #wheniam64 Whew, is that exhausting! 70/30, 50/50, 60/40 and alternatives are great, but who understands all that? The answer is those that study understand all that, and I am ready to commit to a coach to get me from 64 to 94.

Reality is the average life expectancy is 78.something and declining for the first time in decades. I am not ready to concede defeat yet. Hit the gym this morning for a solid workout. Adjusting my eating to offset risks of Alzheimers and keep my brain running at optimum. Brain envy is what Dr. Daniel Amen calls it. Resting more as I age, only working 50 hours a week instead of 60-80. What are you doing to shift? As a life coach, I have to set the example. #wecanhelpwiththat

Now, for healthcare. That medicare decision looms. At 65, you have a period of seven months to make your decision. Three months before, the month of your birthday, and three months after. It gets tricky after that if you want to make significant changes. There are open change periods for advantage and prescription drug once a year. But, supplementals require medical underwriting after that first decision and the rates can go up significantly. #wecanhelpwiththat

Having fun yet? Wisdom tells me that happiness is a key to longer life and well, who wants to be sad? Having a manageable plan you understand that helps you meet lifestyle objectives can lead to a merry heart and that is good medicine. #wecanhelpwiththat

Let me know how we can help. There is never a fee for an analysis of your position and never a fee for healthcare help. We don’t do income management, but have some good partners to whom we can refer you and for smaller amounts ($10k-100k), we can give you some tips. #wecanhelpwiththat


405.494.0637 – dedicated mobile for you

3V Decision Criteria


Posit this!  Every action you take, every thought you make should be measured against the 3V criteria.  Validity, vitality, and veracity need to mark your reputation and the reputation of your organization or business.  Consistent failure on any of these over your history will eventually mean failure of your endeavors.  You may make money, fulfill the purpose of your non-profit, and have fun without them.  You are not successful.  You will fail or your successors will fail.

As a leader, ingrain these in your psyche.  Your personal reputation and continuance depend on them.  When others doubt you (and they will), your ability to face the mirror in the morning and be true to yourself is what will move you forward in life.   When you revel in victory, the congruence of these in the actions and intents that took you to the mountain will sweeten the taste.  When you struggle with…

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Why An Independent Agent Makes Sense with Medicare

AARP is just one of the captive agent groups. They are a good organization and sell United Healthcare, a good product. When you shop with an independent agent, you contribute to the competitive free-enterprise system. We can help with that.

This article examines older legislation that affects us today. We don’t agree with all the content and believe that supplements/medigap are a good solution when they fit your healthcare need. A wise shopper needs comprehensive information. We can help with that.

How the AARP Made $2.8 Billion By Supporting Obamacare’s Cuts to Medicare – Forbes

FREE consultation and education.

Call 405.494.0637

Email phil@soluminsurance.com

For more info: grandparentbenefits.org

Medicare and Indemnity Products – We Can Help With That

Understanding insurance is important. Insurance is purchased before an event happens against the risk that it might happen. Some get confused and want to get insurance coverage after the event has happened. That does not work. Let’s take a few minutes to talk about how that applies in one instance to medicare advantage and supplement programs.

Maybe you have an HMO or PPO Advantage program for the last five years and are beginning to experience more and more health issues and visits to the doctors. You are concerned that a major problem could bankrupt you and so you look into a supplement. You have heard that a supplement will cover your deductibles and copays, which are increasing.

Here is what you find. Advantage and supplement or Medigap are mutually exclusive. You don’t have both, you have one or the other. Some agent tells you that you can have both and you are confused. It can be confusing. But you cannot have both.

You also find that a supplement has premiums adjusted for age. A $120 a month supplement at 69 is now $140 a month or more.

You also find that a supplement after your first year on an advantage program requires medical underwriting. Any health issues have to be communicated and affect your ability to get that supplement versus your advantage program.

Ouch, what can you do? You are concerned that the maximum out of pocket for your program is so high you can’t pay it many years in a row. Your MOOP could be $6000 or much more.

This is one of the reasons people buy a supplement in the beginning instead of an Advantage program. The Advantage program is good if you have little medical experience, which is common at age 65. But as you age, the medical gets more and more expensive with deductibles and copays. The supplement gives you a budget amount each month and with the right plan covers those deductibles and copays. You need to review the supplement you choose. They are not all equal, though they are all the same coverage carrier to carrier when on the same plan such as G or F or N.

What can you do? There is a good alternative and I would be happy to talk with you about it. Good carriers have INDEMNITY packages designed to insure against expensive hospitalizations and short term care and emergency and even cancer. Of course they are purchased before you are diagnosed, but some have short waiting periods such as you have not been hospitalized in the last six months for an issue, even though the issue is present. There is a lot to consider, but an indemnity plan in your mid retirement years is a good option. You don’t want to wait long, because of course the rates increase as you age and you may find yourself in the middle of an issue and you needed the insurance before you arrived at that point.

Okay, these are just simple notes. INDEMNITY packages are not medicare. They are an adjunct health product to give you increased financial protection against risks. They can be good for you if you have had an Advantage product or original medicare for a while and are getting concerned about future healthcare costs.

There are alternative ways to protect yourself and your financial stability and make sure you have what you need to get the healthcare you need as you age. We can help with that.

Call 405.494.0637 or phil@soluminsurance.com. We can help with that.

Not about insurance, but all about you…..

As consultants to seniors at grandkidsmatter.org, we are hearing a disturbing problem. Pastors and Christian ministry leaders tell us they have lost connection with the largest population in the U.S. 10,000 people a day turn 65 in the US. The churches focused on millennials and now the next gen and are missing the fact that these seniors are faithful, connected, sociable, and forgotten. They will live into their 80s and 90s and the church is missing them.

This township in New Jersey has been sensitive to address these issues for 30 years. What insight they have. Does your church have a senior advisory group? Not a senior ministry, but someone or someones who have the ear of the leadership to help guide polity and ensure the Biblical design of extended and full family stays intact?

As part of our benefits for seniors in 2020, GrandParenting Seminars will include special time with church leaders to share insights and tips.


Contact me and tell me how this trend is affecting your life..

phil@soluminsurance.com . 405.494.0637.

Phil ..