For the last several days, this has been on my mind and in many of my personal discussions:

“Last week, I was behaving badly in class and I must work harder to offer better CE.”

I mean the use of the word BADLY, and I don’t mean it in the sense that my performance or the content was lacking. I hope those two things have been to the quality standards agents agree that gives us the BEST CE rating you’ve told us many times.

Badly here means I behaved in such a way that I felt guilty for my actions. I probably hurt one of the class participants and certainly made the others in the group feel uncomfortable. This is not okay in my book on any day or in any way. Not only for good moral reasons, but I want you all to feel open enough to share because I encourage energetic lively discussion in our LIVE INSURANCE CE classes.

Many of you comment that your favorite part of our LIVE INSURANCE CE is the commentary from the other participants, and I too enjoy learning more about you, your business, experience, and values from these discussions. Let’s face it, I am in every single one of these classes, and it is YOUR involvement that makes the class unique and drives the importance of the topic.

How did my ‘bad’ behavior arise? A class participant I respect very much, whom I’ve enjoyed having in class for several years, who has shared a great many valuable points in the class said, “With the ever-growing income disparity and rising prices, how will people afford these $60,000 to $80,000 e-cars they’re mandating?” This is paraphrased, of course, but this was essentially the point. It was also more than just her sentence. It was the fact that the whole class began validating it.

I had not heard of this before, so I did what I customarily do, and began researching it, AFTER I said, “That isn’t a federal law, is it?” The response was, “No, some states.” But in the process, I was really amped up. I was angry. The class was chatting about this as if it were a fact that we ALL would be FORCED to buy an $80,000 car. In fact, one person asked, “When will I have to do this?” To which I promptly replied, “NONE OF US HAVE TO BUY A NEW E-CAR–no one does!”

That’s the ‘bad’ behavior–I was visibly irritated, maybe even downright angry. Not at anyone in class–no, the people in class were doing what people do, sharing ideas, concerns, and beliefs. All of that is very good, and I am grateful to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who share their thoughts with me. You all have made me a better person and made our CE better too.

My anger is at the folks who are pushing this crap. In this instance about the e-cars, they are only giving part of the story to cause fear and alarm. They are positioning the story in such a way to push their agenda. Here are some of the FACTS as I know them regarding e-car mandates: This is just a handful of coastal states. This impacts new car sales ONLY. People can drive, sell, or buy used fuel cars with no deadline. One can also buy an e-car for as little as $20,000.

Here are more FACTS: Climate change is real. It is being witnessed by a greater intensity and frequency of storms everywhere. The planet is changing due (in part) to emissions.  Insurance companies are pulling out of some states and all of our insurance rates for homes, cars, and other personal property will go up making that unaffordable to the typical family too.

This is where I am trying to work hard to build better CE because these forms of misinformation are not going away. There are folks on various platforms doing more than just slanting the truth–they are LYING, and the sad thing is, some Americans are buying it. It breaks my heart, and frankly, it pisses me off. It’s in the emotion that we lose the war on truth. That is what I need to take out of the equation.

I am going to make some promises to you so that I can stop behaving badly and offer you a truly better CE. I will always do my best to ensure that FACTS are represented in our LIVE INSURANCE CE courses. We pedal truth and a balanced approach. I promise to continue to do my best to give you a platform to feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and ideas. I will also do my very best to remove the emotion so we can balance our discussion with various considerations.

You might be wondering what is with these pictures and how they fit with the ideas contained in this blog. There is an interesting connection. A few days after the class mentioned above, I went for an early morning bike ride. I decided to stop and do some writing at the ROCK ISLAND SWING BRIDGE. This is the beautiful park featured above. I hit it right at sunrise, and it sure was beautiful. I wish I could always start each day in this way.

Please notice photo number two–this is the KOCH REFINERY in Rosemount, Minnesota. This picture does not give justice to the enormous size and scope of this facility that changes raw crude oil and changes it to other products we might use. If you’ve ever traveled Highway 52, you have surely noticed this on the west side of the road. In the evening, when it’s all lit up, it looks like a city.

These two things put together bring me to the main point of this discussion. As much as it might help us feel good to just look at the beauty around us, or to stay focused on the things that fit with the perspective we prefer, we must look around the corner to see the other things too. Even if we don’t like it, even when it bothers us–even when we would prefer to ignore it, it is best if we take in everything so that we just might try to bring the same beauty to everything. In my opinion, we owe this to ourselves, but we also owe this to our neighbors, children, and future generations. We only find truth when we take in the whole story.

If you’d like to join our discussion during our IN-PERSON LIVE INSURANCE CE, we have three locations that remain: MANKATO in September, BRAINERD in October, and ST. CLOUD in November. This scenario happened in a LIVE WEBINAR. Yes, they get pretty darn chatty & lively too, which is a darn good thing because that’s where we’ll meet up while our instructor is in Mexico. For more information on this change, see our recent blogs RENEE IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE and BIG CHANGES FOR THE BEST CE. Regardless of where our instructors are located, Bryan Ventures will continue to offer the BEST ONLINE and LIVE insurance CE to Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin agents.

This blog highlights the lively discussions in our LIVE INSURANCE CE classes. Published September 2023. Renee E. Bryan also publishes writing on her blog: WrongWayLizzie.Me.


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Renee E. Bryan ~~ President & Primary Instructor
primary instructor at bryan ventures
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