This could be the most valuable blog post you ever read. I am humbled by the “thank you” from restoration contractors and public adjusters for the help I enjoy providing to you and the work we do for your industries. It is a labor of love because I view you as kindred souls, just like my team, trying to help policyholders restore their lives and businesses after a catastrophe. So, if you own or operate a business, run an insurance restoration firm, or are a public adjuster, I want to share three areas of mentorship that can lead to your success.

Chip Merlin and Darren Hardy

Never Spit the Difference and Chris Voss 

Negotiation is part of life. For people in businesses dealing with insurance companies, negotiation skillsets determine your survival.

I regularly gave speeches on negotiation, citing many different authors and viewpoints. Then, Chris Voss wrote Never Split the Difference. It was a complete game-changer. I stopped giving negotiation presentations because this is where you should go.

In Adjusters, Appraisers, and Umpires: The Power of Trust, Respect, and Likability in Property Insurance Claims Handling and Appraisals, I stated why you should not just read Voss’ book but attend his training classes to develop these important skillsets, which can be learned, and are crucial to your success:

In Never Split the DifferenceChris Voss, a former FBI hostage negotiator, provides invaluable insights into the art of negotiation and persuasion. For those in the property insurance claims business, this book offers techniques to build trust, respect, and likability, qualities Steve Patrick suggests are vital to effective claims resolution, and doing your job. Voss emphasizes the importance of active listening, understanding emotional drivers, and crafting calibrated questions. By applying these strategies, claims professionals can navigate complex property insurance disputes more effectively, ensuring fair outcomes while fostering genuine relationships. The book underscores that successful negotiation is rooted in human psychology and connection, making it a must-read for those in claims adjustment or appraisal.

ClaimWizard Software and Lynette Young 

With my last name being Merlin, I sometimes get asked if ClaimWizard ripped off my reputation in the insurance adjustment business or if I have some secret side deal with the owners of ClaimWizard software. The answer is “no.”

On the other hand, there is nobody who understands the property claims processes that must be followed to properly submit a claim and then have basic business processes to run a public adjuster business better than Dave and Lynette Young. Their ClaimWizard software is simply the best of breed in the public adjuster business.

I wrote about Dave and Lynette Young in Last Minute Opportunity – Learn From The ClaimWizard Who Is Legitimately Helping Public Adjusters Grow A More Profitable Public Adjusting Business:

“Running a great public adjusting business is not easy work. If you wanted to ask a question from somebody about your public adjusting business, you could go to an owner competitor who might have an excellent idea about that owner’s business.

But why not go to somebody that has seen hundreds of incremental successes and mistakes other public adjusters have made running their business? That is who Lynette Young is. And that is just one reason why I think the opportunity to be with her next week is something I wish all public adjusters would do.”

I have been so impressed with Lynette Young’s very humble but thorough understanding of the public adjuster business that I am happy to announce that we are co-publishing a public adjuster business reference book this year. My writing is done except for the final editing. I am very excited about this work and can hardly wait for its release.

The Business Master Class and Darren Hardy

I saved the best for last. Do you want to succeed in your business and professional life? Nobody has gotten into my head, often in a roundabout way, more than Darren Hardy.

An example is Hardy selecting me as one of ten Hardy Bowl Champions. Then, he explained that since we were champions, we had to give a speech and compete against each other. I appreciate that many readers of this blog have seen my improvement in public speaking over the years. I have been improving my teaching on the nerdy aspects of property insurance law and adjustment, as well as my rhetoric as a trial attorney, but I was whipped by a bunch of truly talented and very competitive speakers. Yours truly finished eighth out of ten.

I am butthurt—but then thought, I have to be better. God knows I hate feeling the embarrassment of not performing better and losing more than the love I have for winning.

My mind is now racing about how to give better presentations and speeches that truly help those in the audience. In a very direct lesson, Darren Hardy is improving one of the most important skills that are so important to my personal success—communication. He also rekindled my competitive spirit, which hates losing. For those of you who are in my audiences in the future, Darren Hardy is why I will be doing even better than before.

Every person in our law firm receives Hardy’s Living Your Best Year Ever. We spend over $100 thousand per year investing in business learning programs made by Darren Hardy because they work. Our entire eight-member executive team goes to Darren Hardy’s Business Master Class, which is a three-day program. We do this twice a year.

Here is a video for you to learn about the Business Master Class.

Julie Ward-Glenn and Chip Merlin holding the Hardy Bowl Trophy

The photo above is me with Julie Ward-Glenn, who is on the Hardy A-Team. She takes care of Merlin Law Group’s account. I told her that she might get just one or maybe a thousand calls and text messages from those who follow our firm’s advice. She told me to list her cell number, and she will take care of you.

The most valuable thing you will do from reading this blog is to take action and make an investment in yourself. Calling or texting Julie is one step I cannot do for you, but hope you do for yourself, your family, and those depending on your success. I get nothing from this other than the sheer happiness of seeing you being able to help more policyholders fully recover from disaster because you are more successful in your business. Julie’s cell Number is (619) 405-7596.

Thought For The Day

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.

—Darren Hardy