ORLANDO – Some people say happiness is a choice. Danny O’Connell says happiness is a baseline.
O’Connell, CEO at Next Level Insurance Agency, gave his insights into turning a successful practice into a balanced personal life during the NAIFA Performance+Purpose convention in Orlando, Fla.
Too often, he said, people equate being successful with doing more things.
“We get to the end of the day and say, ‘Gosh, I was busy today but I didn’t get to anything on my to-do list,'” O’Connell said. “And in our personal lives, too often we overcommit and think that to be a better parent or better spouse, we just need to do more and more and more. All it does is add stress to the end of the day and what are we really accomplishing anyway?”
O’Connell said he took some of the principles in books such as Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People and considered how to apply them to his personal life.
“Once, I heard a speech about what is your one job,” he said. “Your one job is to be the best possible version of yourself. But my frustration is that nobody tells you what that’s supposed to look like.”
Businesspeople who are accustomed to having goals and hitting sales numbers often are bewildered with trying to accomplish something that’s abstract, O’Connell said.
He started by looking at his many roles – husband, father, business owner, boss and mentor – and examining the things that are expected of him in each of those roles. “We all have expectations and most of our trials and tribulations come from the reality of unmet expectations,” he said.
O’Connell said he asked his family and staff what expectations they had of him. His children told him they wanted him to be home for dinner a certain number of nights each week and to be available to play games with them. His staff said they wanted him to put them in a position to succeed.
From those discussions, O’Connell compiled a to-do list and focused on a few of the items on the list each quarter.
O’Connell tries to start each day in a positive and thankful mood by taking time each morning to think about the good things in his life.
Putting all these things into play also had a positive effect on his business, he said, with his staff becoming more engaged.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents’ association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at Susan.Rupe@innfeedback.com. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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