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About MichelleLea

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday November 10

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Interests Fashion, art, music--all kinds, mostly classical and contemporary singer-songwriter--psychology, science (physics, biology, astronomy, etc.) politics, philosophy, literature. This business of living.

MichelleLea's Activity

  1. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    The Vagaries of Sales
    My mentor, Rich, and I have been spending a lot of time together lately doing employer presentations on the appointments I have set. Admittedly, it has been a little disappointing. Those who looked to be good prospects have been playing hard to get and unwilling to commit. We can only do so much, and you do reach a point where it is time to move on. Then last week, on a whim, I stopped in again at the barber shop in our local strip center and finally caught the owner. I made an appointment with him and yesterday, Rich and I made our pitch. He talked to his barbers that day, and when I called him later that afternoon, we were a go for this morning. As the morning progressed, we were able to see all five in the shop and they all bought at least one policy. It wasn't a huge account, but a really successful one. The four guys and one gal were really nice, and the owner couldn't have been more accommodating. So, it goes to show that you never really know how things will work out. I also have a new place to get my hair cut.
    We had our office holiday party at Rosie's Bar and Grill in downtown Wilton Manors. It started at 5:00, but I didn't get there until a little after 6. I wanted to feed and walk the dogs before going and then I ran into construction traffic. It also took me a while to find it. I don't see really well at night, especially when it comes to reading address numbers and street signs. It turned out to be okay. I am getting to know everyone pretty well, and I can usually keep up my end of the conversation. We had a white elephant gift exchange. I have the worst luck with these things, but I always feel obliged to participate. I will make use of the Starbucks gift card, though.
    Anyway, I have a chance to open another account tomorrow with a dentist's office. We are still on. We'll see how it goes.
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  2. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    "Most of the Time"
    My title is the same as a recent Bob Dylan song which is very beautiful and poignant--as in, I'm doing well--most of the time. I realize that this is a trying time of year after losing a loved one, and even though we haven't celebrated the holidays that much for several years, it's still difficult. Spending Thanksgiving with my sister was nice, and I'll probably spend Christmas Day with my neighbors--although that's not a given yet. I have been staying super busy, and I do require a fair amount of alone time, but maybe I do need to get out a little. I have such a routine and I hate to vary it. I am going to the staff Holiday Party this Thursday evening, although I have never been big on office gatherings. I don't want to be a stick in the mud either. Hopefully, the food will be good and I can find someone interesting to talk to. Business continues to be a bit of a challenge, although I have a full calendar for the next two weeks and expect to open at least two more accounts. That would make my month for sure. Of course, I had to through a stupid mishap into the works by back into a parked car of all things. I have a rear-view camera which I use, but not this time. Ouch.! It will cost me. For dumb! I feel like I"m going backward in my finances. At least, I have a car rental on my insurance policy so I'm not grounded.  I do find that if I keep going that things do brighten up.
    I've been watching movies occasionally on HBO. I saw Hidden Figures which was very good, and also Deepwater Horizon,  good as well. What a disaster that was. I just haven't been in the mood to dress much lately, although i did put a skirt and blouse on tonight. I just do whatever feels right. All the best to everyone. 
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  3. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: Walking Back from Lake Washington   

    You look great. I walk my dogs around the neighborhood, but I really need to take advantage of our parks and do some hiking in a more natural setting. Being in nature is so rewarding and fulfilling.
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  4. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: Bumps in the Road   

    Thanks, Emma. Good point. I will take your advice.
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  5. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Bumps in the Road
    I told my District Sales Coordinator (DSC), Rich, who has become my friend and mentor, that, in my opinion, the hardest thing about sales is rejection. But now, I think that one learns how to deal with that; it's disappointment that's the hardest thing, and last week was a disappointing week. I had a fair amount of potential business in my pipeline, but they seem to be withering away for one reason or another. It boils down to getting people to make a commitment, and we are not a priority for them at this time. So, it becomes a matter of keeping one's head up and soldering on. I'm doing my best. I still have quite a few prospects lined up, so I'm not exactly washed up, and I did make another couple of appointments today. They would be small accounts, but they all add up. I'm going to start doing employer presentations on my own on Monday. Rich has been great about helping me out, but he has other commitments, and it's time I spread my wings and learn to fly on my own. We'll see how I do. A couple will be even more challenging as I will need to use my limited Spanish to do some of my explanations.  I'll have some help, but it should be interesting.
    As I have mentioned previously, I have dropped out of the chatroom for which I feel some guilt, but it wasn't working for me anymore. I feel bad about leaving some of the people I met behind, but I think it is a good decision. I felt too stifled, and it was becoming too much of an obligation and an effort. I think at some point I will need to find another group to join, but I'm not much of a joiner. I like my routine and it's difficult to break.. I should do more on weekends.  Anyway, I am watching a little more TV--news and movies--and reading more. I like Public TV. I watched a Ron Howard documentary on the Beatles touring years last night which was a lot of fun. I sitll like the music after all these years. We'll see what the coming week brings.
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  6. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    "Over the River, and through the woods..."
    So now the holidays are upon us; my first since my wife died. We never really did that much to celebrate them, but it's still different. My sister invited me to be with her for Thanksgiving, and I took her up on it. Vero Beach is a two and a half hour drive and even though Marybeth suggested I get a motel room and spend the night, I decided to just go for dinner and come home. I didn't feel like boarding the dogs, and I'd just as soon sleep in my own bed anyway. 
    Marybeth's husband, Bill, is 14 years older than she is at 86--interesting since my second wife was 14 years older than me. My siblings seem to follow in my footsteps. He is nice enough, but a bit of a stodge--my brother cannot understand why she married him. I enjoy seeing my sister from time to time though. I'm not sure what word would best describe her--vivacious, maybe. She is somewhat perky and bright with a ready laugh. There is never a lack of conversation, for sure. Bill is a retired CPA who now writes novels--he has written two, both self-published. I hve to commend him for doing it.  A lot of people talk about writing a book--few actually do. My sister is also a writer--articles for the Vero Beach magazine. She is good.  They live in a huge, expensive, senior living condo--one bedroom, tiny. It works for them. 
    I got to VB around 2:30 and the three of us chatted for an hour or so. Then it was time to go to the country club for Thanksgiving dinner. Marybeth has told me ahead of time that a sport or suit jacket was required but no tie. I started to do just that but then changed my mind. I had bought a dress shirt with French cuffs a while back with my wife's encouragement and never had it on. So, I figured, now is as good a time as any. Furthermore, I didn't like the look of a white shirt with no tie, so I dressed up a bit. Felt good. I did mix it up a little. The standard outfit in this set seems to be a navy blue blazer with tan slacks. I wore a tan jacket with navy slacks. I like both looks, but I like being a little different too. 
    We were joined by Bill's daughter and her husband, who is originally from South Africa. They are recently retired at 60 and I gather fairly well-to-do. They were visiting Vero Beach because Hurrican Irma destroyed most of St. John's where they have a second home. Cindy had to keep reminding herself that complaining about losing their place was a 1% complaint when so many of the islanders lost everything, and now had no work on top of that. But was a cordial evening, and the food was good--traditional Thanksgiving fare. I don't like driving in the dark anymore, but I did make it home without incident around 9. My two dogs were happy to see me.
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  7. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: Not for the Faint of Heart   

    Wow! Emma, you really delivered. I have read some on your list, but I am appreciative of your suggestions. Some I need to re-read: Man's Search for Meaning.  
    Did you ever get into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the two books that followed? My wife and I both plowed through them. I'm afraid I find Ayn Rand a little too preachy for me. I know where she's coming from, but I'm not a fan of her philosophy. I read  Grapes of Wrath in an American fiction course I took. A monumental work to be sure. If you haven't already, you should read Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God which I thought was a gem--also in the American fiction class.
    If your are into articles at all, I recommend the Flipboard app for your phone or tablet. You can select almost any topic under the sun, and it will bring you the current articles on that topic. Among other things, I have chosen news, politics, physics, LGBTQ issues, space, mindfullness,...I read a lot of really neat stuff this way. I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers too just for fun. Michael Connelly is good as is David Baldacci. A litle more off-beat is James Lee Burke with his flawed detective in Louisiana. I think I've read just about everything he has written. I started reading one of Eco's books, but never really got off the ground. I am halfway through War and Peace . I suppose I will finish it eventually.
    Anyway, great sharing. I want to see  Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Have you seen it yet? Talk again soon.
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  8. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: Not for the Faint of Heart   

    Thanks, Emma, We are on the same page.​ Please let me know what you are currently reading. I've gotten to be a news junkie, but I need some good literature as well.
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  9. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Not for the Faint of Heart
    Here are some more tales from your blogging road warrior. Anyone who has been in sales knows that it is a roller coaster with highs and lows coming almost hourly. This week was no different.
    I started early Monday morning before our 9:00 meeting and set one appointment right away. It was to be my last of the week. I struggled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday doing follow-ups and breaking new territory--for me anyway. Nada. I can't say it was a total loss because I did uncover some promising businesses that will warrant a call back next week. But for the most part, it was heavy slogging either not being able to see the decision maker, or getting a flat out no, or finding out that the company already had AFLAC or a competitor. (Note: We don't replace existing policies.  We provide coverage where none exists) So it was a matter of carrying on believing that it would work out eventually.
    As I mentioned previously, I had four appointments on Thursday to open accounts. The first one went very well, and the owner we dealt with ending up buying just about every policy we presented to her. Unfortunately, her husband was not present. More on that later. The next stop, not quite as well. Our owner here is getting married this month and has a lot on her mind besides opening an account with AFLAC. Still my District Service Coordinator (DSC) persevered and we did establish a group for the company. Enrollments will wait until the middle of December, after the wedding. Our next one required some more deliberation and consultation with outside partners, so no group set up. I think it will still fly eventually. And there was a glitch in our last meeting in that Rich (DSC) had arranged for a Spanish speaker to give a presentation to employees of a pre-school, but he bailed at the last moment, and no replacement was available. Addtionally, the owner of the pre-school was not available so we wouldn't be able to move forward anyway. We'll reschedule. Rich does not have high hopes for this one. We met with one other potential client later that afternoon, however, and that shows some promise.
    So, here it is Friday morning, and Rich is up early and wants to meet me to wrap up the first client. Our owner, Sophia, is a real gem. She is sharp and a straight shooter. But, the husband wanted to be involved, so we had to wait for him to show up which took most of the morning. Rich had to re-sell everything again, but in the end it was a go with two polices yet to be decided. It was still a good sale, especially for a small company, and the owners made smart choices on their coverage. Rich and I came back to my house to work on the computer. We finally got the other employees enrolled and the account was transmitted to AFLAC.  It was a little messy, but we got her done. Rich says you always remember the first one. So it ended well, and I'll get a nice commission check by Tuesday plus an additional $150 bonus for making my fast start level and I also get free  business cards now. Now that was fun. I have an ambitious goal to  open 10 new accounts by the end of the year. With what I have in the pipeline, that is not out of the question. We'll see. I don't want to get overly excited or optimistic, but I also want to enjoy the moment. I did work for it after all.
    More and more, I think my involvement with TG Guide is going to be right here. As I have previously alluded to, the chatroom has gotten to be more of a chore for me. I hate to say that and maybe I'm being selfish, but the conversations have gotten so repetitive, and sometimes it's difficult to even get anyone to say anything. I still like to dress, and I am glad there are places where you can go and be yourself, but it's not where my head is at right now. I don't need to be told what I need to do to be feminine. I can do that well on my own, thank you. What I would like is stimulating conversation on a variety of topics. Not really into tweeting though; that seems to get nasty at times. So I'll just hang out here. This works for me  Until next time...
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  10. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: The Weeks Ahead   

    Thanks, Emma. It seems that the people who buy our products are especially nice themselves and care about their employees.I will be happy to have them as clients. It looks like Thursday is the big day as we are lined up to open four accounts. So far, so good.
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  11. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    The Weeks Ahead
    I'm going to ramble tonight which is what I usually do anyway. My 75th birthday on Friday passed quietly as expected. Funny that I got more congratulations from my neighbors and co-workers than my own family. My sister sent me a short text--no card this year; and I didn't even hear from my brother. One daughter texted that a late card was coming--she is always late; the other called a day later. My erstwhile son didn't bother either, but we have only recently re-established communication so maybe that's not surprising. A few congrats and likes on Facebook and Linkedin. Another day in the life.
    I did reconnect with my chatroom friends. I haven't been dressing as much and don't feel right about entering the chatroom en homme. Also, it has been late when I finally get finished with all my paperwork and organizing that I'm not up to spending a lot of time there. After a full day, I am ready for bed. (I have been tempted to use "just" so many times. I think I am getting better at eliminating it from my usage.)
    As I have mentioned previously, I have several potential account openings this week. The appointments have been set up, and we are ready to open my first business accounts. I have quite a few things in the pipeline now, so I am hopeful that at least some will happen. I am doing this for the money of course--that's why you get into sales, after all--but even more importantly for me, I am trying to prove to myself that I can do it. I have tried numerous times before, and while I have not been a total failure, I have not set the world on fire either. This feels different in that I am able to give it my all, and even more importantly, I am not desperate for the money--eventually, maybe--but not for quite a while. So, what will be, will be as the song says. My expectations are moderate. I think my sales coordinator is more optimistic. He is now counting on my to make his district quota for new account openings. 
    Then with that, I have to get my dogs to the groomer on Tuesday morning. I have my monthly eye injection on Wednesday afternoon followed my the Comcast tech coming to install a new internet for me. Friday, I've been invited to a Thanksgiving lunch at my previous employer, PACE Center of Girls. Busy indeed.
    BTW, I did get dressed tonight for a short visit--skirt and blouse and a pearl necklace. Simple.
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  12. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: If you are transgender you can run but you can't hide   

    Hi Kimmi, 
    I don't know that it's ever too late. It's a tragedy that we live in a society that condemns people for being who they are. I'm CD myself and only now at age 75 and widowed am I able to dress freely--in the house anyway. ​Maybe you will still have the chance to be the woman you are. You still sound like a lovely person no matter what.
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  13. MichelleLea added a comment on a blog entry: "Transition"   

    I think that it is good that you are examining the word "Transition" and any other terms in use in the trans community. Language is so important in that it defines who we are and how we and the world see ourselves. I believe that language will evolve as the trans community receives greater acceptance. People in general still have a hard time differentiating between gender and sex .
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  14. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    A Crack in the Door?
    Today, I had five appointments. My District Sales Coordinator (DSC) ran them with me since I am not yet qualified to do an employer presentation. The first two went well, and we are scheduled to open my first two business accounts. The third appointment had to be rescheduled but remains active. My fourth appointment was run by my Regional Sales Coordinator since the DSC was not available. This one also went well and could be a possible account activation. The last appointment was a bust due to a misunderstanding. But, all in all, a very good day that could lead to me actually making some money out of this deal. Of course, nothing is final until the signature is on the dotted line, but our feeling is that it will happen.
    I have two more appointments set for tomorrow, one with my DSC and one with the RSC since I am now working in two geographical locations. We'll see how they go.
    I am starting to get more of a feel how this all works, and it seems at this point that my efforts will pay off. In the meanwhile, I'll keep on working and learning. I have more online courses to take so I will be in student mode again. My wife used to say that I am a perpetual student. I don't see anything wrong with that.
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  15. MichelleLea added a blog entry in Random thoughts and ideas   

    Down Time
    Today was one of the first days in a while that I have not been running around trying to get things done. Now that I think of it, there were probably some work things I could have done, but I took the time for me instead. So, I read two long New York Times articles, one a free-wheeling interview with John Boehner, former House speaker; and another on the disarray of the Democratic party. I also subscribe to the Miami Herald and the Washington Post,  so this was catch  up on the news day. One thing I read about John Boehner was that he was very meticulous about his dress and irons all his own clothes, which inspired me to do my own washing and ironing. I even polished my shoes. I joke that when I am out prospecting, all I have is a smile and a shoe shine. Even watched a little TV. I never did see Lincoln . Very powerful, but that's Steven Spielberg for you. I had to get the news of the latest shooting from my neighbors. This is getting to be an almost daily event. Nothing will be done of course. I don't know what it will take. There is little moral courage in this country it would seem. We here will do what we can.
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