The Escape Plan - April 2011
What’s Your Escape To Paradise?
By Alfredo Moreno
LHFP Travel Writer
By now, you’ve probably figured out that there’s something a little different about the 2011 incentive travel trip. Primarily, it’s that we’re keeping it a secret where the trip is going to be held. All that’s certain right now is that it promises to be an “Escape To Paradise” – which sounds great – but the exact details are a total mystery. Of course, that’s exactly how we planned it.
You may receive a few clues that will lead you closer, but chances are you won’t be able to pinpoint anything on a map until the big announcement is made in May. In the meantime though, there’s nothing wrong with letting your imagination run wild.
What or where could this paradise be? Will it be a familiar vacation spot or an exotic location you’ve never heard of before? What language will the locals speak there? What kind of food is popular there? Also, what really makes this place a “paradise” and is your idea of paradise the same as your co-workers?
Anything is possible.
For many people, paradise is a specific location or environment that inspires pure happiness. It’s a sunny day on a white sand beach, the shimmering blue ocean in the distance, and a nearby palm tree swaying in the gentle breeze. It’s the smell of fresh forest air and the sounds of a rushing stream and chirping birds on a cool morning at a cozy mountain cabin. It’s a sidewalk café in a bustling cosmopolitan city with new adventures and endless opportunities seemingly around every corner.
For others, paradise is the event that’s the pinnacle of their biggest passion.
If you’re a soccer fan, nothing compares to the FIFA World Cup. Held once every four years, virtually the entire planet turns its attention to the 32 national teams taking part in the month-long tournament. Die-hard music fans experience it at the annual South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas – an annual event that features more than 2,000 bands playing in more than 90 venues over four days. Love dogs? Your paradise is in England when nearly 28,000 dogs converge for the four-day Crufts expo – the biggest dog show on earth.
Chances are your paradise isn’t that specific. Maybe it’s just a vision of your ideal life, such as a world where money has no value or traditional jobs don’t exist. It could be as basic as an existence filled with simple pleasures without worries.
Travel blogger Matt Long of LandLopers.com described paradise as simply as a state of delight, writing that it’s “the feeling we enjoy when in a state of utter contentment and happiness.” If Long is right, then paradise may be closer than we think, regardless of where we live, how much money we make, or how much free time we have.
Your Escape To Paradise can start right now by simply slowing down and taking a look around you at all the little things that make life so good. It begins with the love and support you give to and receive from your friends and family, and even your loyal pets. Paradise can be found all around you in the some of our most basic, everyday joys – a delicious meal, funny movie, great song, beautiful sunset, or a warm fire. Whatever it is that brings you that pure contentment and happiness can be your paradise.
Of course, we’re confident that the 2011 incentive travel trip will offer you plenty of reasons to feel content and happy. It may be a mystery now, but you can count on a generous reward of wonderful experiences with great people in a stunning location for your hard work this coming year.
We hope you start enjoying your personal paradise at home today and look forward to joining us on our Escape To Paradise trip next year!
By Cindy Abel
Family Service Counselor
After a 20-year career in dentistry I was ready for a change. Even with a college degree, I found that new jobs would soon become monotonous with little potential for growth. I found myself getting bored quickly and always looking for the next challenge. I continued searching for something new and different when I came across an ad in the newspaper for a position at a local funeral home.
My career with Lincoln Heritage started out very successfully and I earned the incentive trip in my first year in the business. A few months later though, my schedule started looking pretty thin and I began to get worried.
My RC suggested that if I only relied on the FPC to make my appointments I would never be able to sustain successful preneed business. I needed to get out and develop leads on my own as well. While I knew he was probably right, I wasn’t ready to make that step.
Rather than search out more leads, I decided to try and fix the problem myself by finding additional part-time jobs. Now I had three jobs, plus volunteering with an ambulance service, but it didn't really solve any of my problems.
The only limitations we have in this business are those we place on ourselves. It was time for me to start evaluating and removing the things that were holding me back.
After working a new job in life insurance for a few months I realized that most insurance producers have to generate all of their own leads and make all of their own appointments, in addition to meeting with families. I started to see that I had a wonderful opportunity at Lincoln Heritage because I had this huge asset – the FPC – that made and confirmed appointments for me, and constantly generated new leads.
I realized that the FPC was doing a great job, but ultimately the responsibility for making my schedule successful fell on me. We have so many wonderful resources at LHFP, such as the FPC, the Community Education Program, and our RCs, but I knew that I couldn’t limit myself to these alone. I needed to explore all possibilities.
I began working with my schedule and when I saw that I had openings I tried to fill them myself. Now I’m starting to accumulate my own referrals and leads, and have realized the importance of following up on them consistently.
Another area I’m starting to work with is door knocking. I’ve found this to be very easy and also fun. People are friendly and are almost always willing to talk. Now I look forward to getting the door knocker lists from my RC every quarter.
Finally, I knew it was time for me to look at what I could be doing on my own and not what I thought others should be doing to make my business successful. The only limitations we have in this business are those we place on ourselves. It was time for me to start evaluating and removing the things that were holding me back.
I’m now willing to knock on doors, spend time on the phone, go through files, write letters, and educate my families and community on the benefits of preplanning. Ultimately my RC was right, I just needed to be more creative and look at all the possibilities.
I’ve had a lot of successes and some failures. I haven’t perfected this art, but what I have learned is to never give up, to continue to learn, and explore and implement any and all possibilities.
Editor’s Note: Cindy has since quit her other jobs and has qualified for the 2010-11 Escape to Secrets incentive program as well.
How to Qualify:
- Counselors and managers in good standing at the date of the trip are eligible.
- Participants will earn award points for business received by LHFP between February 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012.
- Counselors will earn points for each dollar of funeral face value sold (minus chargebacks):
- One award point for all single pay sales (including EPOs) over age 75 and all TIs
- Two award points for all other sales from direct mail leads
- Three award points for all other sales (other lead sources)
- Managers may participate as a counselor and receive points on business that they personally produce as outlined for counselors. Additionally, managers will earn an override equal to one fourth of the award points earned by counselors in their region.
Award Points Needed to Qualify:
Counselors must earn a minimum of 1,000,000 points to qualify for the trip. Additional points can be used for room upgrades, extra nights, excursions, etc. Perk Points carried over from previous years can be used for upgrades and excursions once the counselors or manager has already qualified based on 2011 sales.
Terms & Conditions:
Awards points are non-transferable, carry no cash value and are redeemable only through the Escape to Paradise Program. Room type is based on availability. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning reserves the right to judge quality of business reported, as sold, as it relates to early death, lapse and surrenders. The payment of federal, state or local income tax levied on an award is the sole responsibility of the counselors and managers. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning will file a form 1099 when the amount of awards exceeds $600 in any calendar year. In matters relating to the interpretation and application of rules, the decision of Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning shall be final. Cancellations must be received by Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning before the close of online registration or all points earned may be forfeited. Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning reserves the right to change, cancel or extend program at any time.