Author Archives: Tom O. Williams

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Have you ever tried to apply reverse psychology to acquire clients in your chosen sales profession? I have. In 1979 when I entered the insurance business to earn my CLU designation and make a lifelong career at being a life insurance agent, I had my chance to apply those reverse principles that I had learned in college.

Knowing that money, in a commission only business, and prospecting would be my biggest problems, I decided to be conservative with finances. I traded for a 1966 gas saving, straight shift mustang and got my grandfather to help get it into good condition with a little mechanic work. Old mustangs were also thought to be a good sporty investment at the time.

Things went according to plan over the next few years except the necessary sales needed to buy a starter home and get my new family going on the right track.

It took years before I realized how major the “mustang decision” was in preventing success in what ended up being a 17-year multi-city stint as an insurance agent.

I was told over a cup of coffee one morning, by an old friend from my early days in the business, that my lack of success in town was likely due to a rumor getting around. People had said I had to go through the court system for fraudulent statements on all my credit applications, filed bankruptcy, and was driving the 13-year-old beater around town out of necessity. It then dawned on me that my career startup plan had backfired. Rather than being viewed as the honest, conservative, trustworthy insurance agent, most believed me to be a loser.

I think I’ll buy a cart and put it before the horse the next time that I have a chance to get a fresh start in the life insurance business.


Have you ever had a me idea? I see them everyday in today’s internet articles. They’re meant to grab your attention so that you’ll respond by disseminating what’s written to others using one or more of the little icons that are situated beside the article. Media outlets have experienced diss analyzers on staff that know how to tally their readers reactions. It takes three disses to equal a like because pollsters don’t want to hear negative reactions toward anyone or anything these days.

I like the articles that sparkle because the writer doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a family background. They hide behind their insecurities and write about others as it relates to themselves, making the reader believe what they’re saying is important to their employer’s war effort.

Give her Hell, Harry!

South Bend

We need to be proud of finally having become a nation of tolerance. If asked today, most wouldn’t be sure if our forefathers did the right thing taking up arms against Britain’s King George because they disliked taxation without representation. Or, in 1861, whether we did the right thing by fighting within our own country because wealthy southern aristocrats were taking care of disadvantaged individuals brought here by money mongers so future generations could claim part of Andrew Jackson’s dream.

Jackson, or Old Hickory, who is most known for his leadership during the War of 1812, as mayor of Horseshoe Bend, and as President of the United States, would be likely to vote for a democratic republican in this year’s presidential election.

But for which candidate that is will be a mystery for now, until things have played out by those who are happy in the deep south.


It’s often said of a lackluster performance by an artist that they shouldn’t quit their day job. I’m reminded of a favorite piece of art purchased by my first wife that hung frameless on our living room wall. At first glance, it appeared to be a building or structure in the middle of a green field. After looking intently at the artwork for a while, it occurred to me that the artist was conveying his feelings of not being a success and of being in a state of hunger. That, the building was meant to be a piece of chocolate cake in the middle of a field.

Later, when I asked where she had bought the curious piece of art, beaming with pride from what a great deal she had gotten on the painting, she told me that it came from the local hungry artist sale. I knew then that painting for a living was out of the question as a home-based job to supplement my income. And, I wonder to this day what fate befell my ex-wife and the piece of chocolate cake.


Whatever the endeavor, an inner sense of discontent drives them to want to be like a country’s heralded Olympic hero getting draped with a medal by judges. Once enjoying the victory, a fear of losing engulfs their being, until, someday they are motionless, affixed to the red carpet of their surroundings.

If Freud were alive today, he would probably blame social media for the gratification gridlock that leaves many, out to prove themselves as the best gamblers, ending up trapped in a modern-day location of a forgotten country. Celebrated forums overlook losers, while their pages watch the best, one-track jocks plan where to take their lives every waking minute of each day. Until, hopefully, maturity gives the so-called active pros a goal of becoming more like an order of passive jalapeno nachos.

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