Some families are a little bit whacky. Well, maybe a bit more than a ‘little’ whacky, possibly bordering on crazy!

And some families are creepy. To some, they might be a little beyond creepy, but bordering on just about scary.

But both are adorable, and endearing. And in the midst of their crazy, whacky, creepiness, we can see the love, support, caring, and enrichment of life. This can happen in all sorts of family, whether connected by genetics or not.

Classes at Bryan Ventures are like family as well. Hopefully, not super creepy, but some would say a little whacky, bordering on zany and crazy. Yes, insurance continuing education that feels like family with multi-levels of whacky, zany, and crazy.

Heck, long ago when starting this business, I knew that if you keep people engaged, if you capture their attention, they will retain more information and the time will go faster. I kept the classes a little whacky and crazy certainly for the participants, but also for me. Life is so much better when we have fun, and this is why, later in life, when I saw this quote from Orson Wells, it completely resonated with me:

I can think of nothing that an audience won’t understand. The only problem is to interest them; once they are interested, they understand anything in the world. ~ Orson Welles

It’s also why I love these other two quotes as well–all three are included in every email I send.

Do what you love to do and do it so well that those who come to see you do it will bring others to watch you do it again and again and again.

~ Mark Victor Hansen 

Continue to let your eloquence elevate people to heights they had only imagined. ~ Maya Angelou

In all honesty, I don’t know how ‘eloquent’ I am. I have never considered myself to be the polished, eloquent type. It’s difficult to claim that word as something that might define me, but when I look at the definition, ” fluent or persuasive in speaking or writing; clearly expressing or indicating something,” this does reflect the passion with which I approach a job that I love.

In the midst of these whacky, crazy, zany (maybe creepy :)) LIVE INSURANCE CE CLASSES, something miraculous happened–we became a family. I don’t know how this happened. Maybe it’s spending decades with people and really listening to them. Here’s where the magic exists, our time together is limited–just 24 hours every two years or so, and yet in that little time, we have created a connection.

I have always sensed this–felt it, but it wasn’t until recently that my eyes were fully opened to it. I was teaching class in MANKATO, and off-handedly, before lunch, I commented that the turkey sandwiches on cranberry wild rice bread that the golf course was serving looked really good. Some of the class participants had them the day before and I shared this more for those in class looking for an alternative for their break.

During that same section, I talked about how lovely a fall day it was, and I wondered if any of them had been outside during the breaks. They commented on how lovely it was at the TERRACE VIEW GOLF COURSE. It’s part of the reason I love this sort of venue for our classes, and then just simply said, “Autumn days like this make me want to have a Honeycrisp apple with caramel sauce.”

insurance ce that is like family

During lunch, as I pecked away at my computer, one of the people in class came in with a sandwich for me. I was taken aback. I live alone, having been divorced after a not so wonderful marriage, and I don’t have many people in my life to do something so considerate for me. Maybe to some people, this is a common occurrence. It is not for me. I was deeply touched and extremely appreciative.

As I munched away on my lovely treat, another agent came in with a bag from a local grocer. It contained (and you probably know where this is going) a Honeycrisp apple complete with caramel sauce. Even as I type this, I am getting emotional. Two agents who simply know me as an insurance CE instructor were caring for me better than my very own family, and I truly hope you live in a world where people are so considerate and helpful to you. The world would be a much better place if we each did all we could to be kind and elevate the people around us.

All of this got me thinking about how many glorious family-like connections I’ve experienced teaching insurance continuing education classes. The agent in BRAINERD who invites me to dinner and to his cabin every time I am in town. This same agent got me set up in an excellent bank account and helped my son get his first car loan in Canada.

Or the woman in ALEXANDRIA, who also shares a love of biking, who invited me to stay in her home the next time I’m there so we can go biking. Or the woman in DULUTH who brings me a gift each time she attends saying, “This is the most recent surprise for all the women I love.” The couple who attend in ROCHESTER, who are involved in community theater and also love to bike, who tell me to stop in whenever in the area and they’ll show me around.

There are also the agents who accidentally attend the identical class in the same renewal period that I have rescheduled at no charge who then send me some generous gift as a THANK YOU. Or the countless agents who attended our LIVE INSURANCE CE WEBINARS while my mother was dying who gave me extra space and support, and encouragement during an especially difficult time during COVID.

There are also the agents who accidentially attend the identical class in the same renewal period that I have rescehduled at no charge who then send me some generous gift as a THANK YOU. Or the countless agents who attended our LIVE INSURANCE CE WEBINARS while my mother was dying who gave me extra space and support, and encouragement during an especially difficult time during COVID.

Two nights ago, I was lying in bed reading and got a Facebook message from one of our attendees, “I have a place in Naples, FL for the week starting this Friday. Interested in joining me?” Yes, this is a woman I met through our classes. She attended our DESTINATION CE classes in 2019 and 2020, so we know we get along well on a personal level too. But come on, an agent I see a couple times a year when she gets her insurance CE decided she wanted to share her vacation with her instructor. This too proves there is a special synergy in our classes that you just cannot get anywhere else.

Too many of these agents are now retired. They are like family, and I am so grateful for the invitations to stay in touch beyond our professional connection. One such retired agent gave me the glasses to the left. She brought them to her final class, saying, “I saw these at the thrift store, and I had to get them for you.” WOO HOO, right?

Yes, I am immensely blessed by the agents that attend our insurance CE classes, but the interesting thing is, many of these same professionals use our IN-PERSON INSURANCE CE COURSES to connect with each other. Just read an older blog, CLASSROOM CONNECTIONS, to learn about how many relationship connections happen on many levels in our insurance continuing education classes.

COVID taught us the value of human connection to our health and well-being. In our LIVE INSURANCE CE CLASSEXCEEDING RETIREMENT GOALS, we learn the science tells us that social connections are the number one thing we can do to promote a long and happy life. So, don’t wait, REGISTER TODAY, and join the fun, family style of our LIVE INSURANCE CE CLASSES. Those retired agents left a few empty seats for you.

Until you are able to join our family, may you and your family be forever blessed.

Published October 2022. This blog highlights the special connections in our LIVE INSURANCE CE CLASSES. Renee E. Bryan also publishes writing at her blog: WrongWayLizzie.Me.


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