Embrace, Evolve, Excel - MDRT Day Singapore

| 31 Jul 2019

From 1,600 attendees at the inaugural event last year to some 2,000 attendees this year, MDRT Day Singapore 2019 was truly back "bigger and better" as described by Fuji Yeo, Chair of the organising committee.

In line with the theme of the conference “embrace, evolve, excel”, Solomon Hicks, shared that to be successful one must embrace the things that never change, evolve when things do change, and excel at what sets you apart.

On things in the profession that never change, the 32-year MDRT Qualifying and Life Member with 23 Court of the Table and 20 Top of the Table qualifications, said, “Prospects are people first, last, and always. People love their families, want to feel secure and not taken advantage of.”

As technology gives clients more access to information and products than ever before, customisation is key as products can no longer be “one size fits all”. So practitioners have to evolve with the changing times and demands.

And to excel at what sets you apart, he said, “Your purpose must be greater than your pain.” If someone’s pain is greater than his purpose, it would be easy to quit.

So finding your true purpose holds power. He shared a quote by the late Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”


If you have yet to qualify for MDRT, fret not and don’t give up. MDRT President Ross Vanderwolf shared that it took him seven years before qualifying for his first MDRT. (Read: It took me 7 years to achieve MDRT)

In fact, he had such a rough start to the career that at his performance review at the six-month mark, his sales manager actually told him that he doesn’t have what it takes and suggested that he resigned and find a job.

But he preserved. And of course, since then, he has qualified for 32 MDRT with 18 Court of the Table and nine Top of the Table.

Reflecting on his journey, he said one needs to have three beliefs to evolve and excel. First, belief in yourself – “doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”. Second, belief in the products – at funerals, insurance advisers are the only one to arrive with a cheque to ensure that loved ones left behind are able to maintain their lifestyles.  And third, belief in your processes and systems – to ensure a profitable and sustainable business.

“You haven’t come this far, to just come this far,” he said.

It is part of the journey

Reinforcing the message of not dwelling on failing or feeling like a failure was May Ooi, Olympian, former national swimmer, Ju-Jitsu athlete, and professional MMA fighter.

“Expect failure,” she said. “It’s a part of the journey to your success.”

Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. She cited as an example, her professional MMA fight where she pulled off a stunning upset, and submitted Malaysian veteran fighter Ann “Athena” Osman via rear-naked choke in the first round, after rallying from an early knockdown.

The plan was to keep the fight standing and to strike by landing punches and kicks. The plan went awry almost right from the start as her opponent landed a massive overhand right hook, which dropped May to the canvas.

Even as she suffered the effects of concussion, she changed her game plan to bring the fight to the ground as she went into auto-pilot mode with her instincts taking over as a result of the long hours she put into training and preparation.

My personal takeaways from her sharing? Embrace failure, evolve by adapting your game plan if needed, and then excel!

Committing to “being MDRT”

So what does it mean to be an MDRT member? MDRT MCC Singapore Country Chair Laura Hoi shared that in Singapore, there are only 1,769 members – of which 92 are Court of the Table and 18 Top of the Table qualifiers.

“A lot of people think that MDRT is about achieving a production goal. But it is a lot more than that. I always tell aspiring and new MDRT members, you are actually joining an elite global community. One where members readily exchange ideas to help each other to be successful,” she said in an exclusive interview with Asia Advisers Network prior to MDRT Day.

And as Performance Breakthrough Coach Jensen Siaw said:

“MDRT is not just about excelling in the appointment, but also excelling in the moment.

MDRT is not just about excelling in your skills, but also excelling in your will.

MDRT is not only about reaching the badge, but also about being the badge.”

Asia Advisers Network is official media partner of MDRT Day Singapore 2019.

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