QUANTIFYING THE BENEFIT OF A GOOD ATTITUDE

#atttitude #GoodAttitude #QuantifyingAttitude
No rah-rah speeches, please.
That’s what Sam Glenn, a worldwide expert on attitude, was told by a company representative who was considering hiring him to give a speech.
So Glenn tells the story of how much a good attitude is really worth.
Glenn was going to buy a TV, but only had $500 to spend. The store clerk says $500 won’t cover that. Glenn asks to speak to a manager. When the manager comes over, his first response, rather than “may I help you,” or something akin, was, “what’s the problem?”
When all was said and done, the manager could do nothing for Glenn, so he took his $500 and walked out of the store.
“That unhelpful attitude is reflected in the level of work they do in the workplace,” Glenn writes in his book, “The Gift of Attitude: 10 Way to Change the Way You Feel.”
Good attitudes have a benefit that can be quantified. If one customer per day leaves a business without spending money, because he doesn’t like how he was treated, that’s real money, Glenn asserts. Multiplied over a week, month or year, you can see the cost of a bad attitude.
The book also talks about attitude “warriors,” people who make it a point to ALWAYS have a great attitude, and attitude “termites,” those that eat away at people’s good attitude.
So, the question becomes, are you a warrior or a termite?
If you are a warrior, you probably are intentional about how you feel. You insist on not just displaying a good attitude, but genuinely creating one. If you are a termite, you work diligently to make happy people miserable. But, if you run into a warrior, chances are the termite tactics won’t work on that person because he or she has made it a point not to let a termite taste victory.
Circumstances differ day to day in most workplace settings. Warriors don’t allow those circumstances to affect their attitude. They make good situations great and bad situations better.
They treat everyone as if he or she is special.
If your (pick one: work, financial, personal) circumstances are causing you to be an attitude termite, think about what’s good in your life, and try adjusting your attitude using those things.
Think about ways to help others. If you are looking for a vehicle to make your life better, and help others, there are many such vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are an employer, devote a priority to an employee’s, or prospective employee’s, attitude. The right attitude can yield real productivity. The opposite is also true. An employee’s bad attitude can really cost you.
If you are an employee, make sure you create a good attitude going into work. A good attitude reduces stress and allows you to better deal with any circumstances that cross your path. You may not solve every problem, but you’ll find many more possible solutions – or create a solution.
If you are having a bad day, and it’s affecting your attitude, think about a time when you were treated badly by a store clerk, or some other person you were hoping would help you solve a problem. You do not want to be like that person. You want to solve your and others’ problems.
Leave home thinking you’re going to save the world – one person at a time – by treating that person the way you would want to be treated.
Peter

DOING THE RIGHT THING

#DoTheRighThing #employers #employees

“Catch someone doing the right thing.”
“Do the right thing, even if no one is watching.”
These two quotes seem contradictory. However, they have much meaning together.
When one does the right thing, it’s sometimes for the display factor. They know they are being watched, evaluated etc., and they do what they’re supposed to do.
If you are a boss, you are more likely to look for people doing the WRONG things, and disciplining them for it. After all, you EXPECT people to do the right things, since that’s what they are getting paid for.
But what if, as a boss, you looked for people doing the right things? Would you think that your staff would be more motivated or excited to witness acknowledgement of what’s right, instead of punishment for what’s wrong?
Now, let’s say you are the employee. Your boss has stepped away from your area. Are you tempted to do the wrong thing, i.e. slack off, take a break etc.? If you are a good person, you keep doing your job, even if your boss isn’t watching. It matters not to you what your coworkers are doing. You just keep doing your job.
Now, as a boss, what if you surprised your employees by doing something nice for them? How would that make them feel? How would that make you feel?
Doing the right thing, no matter what, is always right. When you are in a job, you want to find the things about it that motivate you, other than the money. Finding non-monetary motivators is a key to happiness at work.
Of course, some jobs make finding non-monetary motivators more difficult than others. It’s tough to find such motivators when you clean toilets, haul trash etc. Still, your role in the organization may be vital, and you have to take encouragement from that.
On the other hand, if you are truly miserable at work, or you and your boss are constantly at loggerheads, you might need to find a path to success outside of that environment.
There are many ways out there to spend some part-time hours outside of work so that you can say goodbye to that miserable job. Message me to learn about one of the best vehicles out there to do that.
Sometimes, doing the right thing involves leaving a situation in which you are encouraged to do the WRONG thing. There are some unscrupulous employers out there who might put you in that position. In that case, getting out is doing the right thing.
As humans, we find ourselves doing the wrong things occasionally, even if we are, by and large, good people. In that case, apologize, correct your mistakes and proceed to do the right things.
It doesn’t matter who is watching. Find the right things to do, and do them vigorously and constantly. At the same time, look for others who are doing the right thing, acknowledge them and emulate them.
You will feel good. You’ll make others feel good.

Peter

HOW GOOD IS YOUR BOSS: PART 2

#BadBosses #leaders #managers
Most of us who’ve had jobs have seen different styles in managers.
There are some that left us, as employees, pretty much alone to do our jobs. They interfered only when necessary and appropriate.
Others wanted to know everything, have a say in everything, be copied on everything etc. They are known as micromanagers.
Debra Auerbach, a writer for the Advice and Resources section of CareerBuilder.com, issued a few tips on dealing with micromanagers. Her article appeared in the Feb. 21, 2016, edition of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
Her first tip in dealing with a micromanager is to be on top of your game. You don’t want to give that boss more reason to nitpick, she writes.
Secondly, she suggests determining whether you are a target. See whether the manager picks on others he or she supervises, as much as he or she picks on you.
Thirdly, she suggests building trust. The manager has to trust you if you have any chance of getting “more space” from that manager.
She also suggests providing frequent updates to the manager, trying your best to adapt to that management style and deciding whether working in this environment is a deal-breaker for you.
We’ve all either worked for, or have seen in action, micromanagers. As discussed previously, leaders don’t micromanage. Leaders hire the right people and provide the environment in which the employees are empowered to do their jobs the best way they know how.
Ideally, the boss is doing what he or she does best, so he or she doesn’t have the time or inclination to worry about what the employees do best. Sure, there are certain expectations. But, if the leader has done his job correctly, he or she has no worries about those expectations being met or exceeded.
What kind of environment do you work in? Do you work for a micromanager? Many of them are not necessarily hostile toward you, but they annoy you and make your job more difficult than it should be.
Most jobs have stressful components. Micromanagers add to that stress. Leaders do their best to relieve as much of the stress as possible.
Micromanagers will still be all over your case when you are shorthanded because someone is out sick or on vacation. Leaders will understand that you are working shorthanded, and pitch in to help pick up some of the workload.
A micromanager can ruin the career of a perfectly good person by nitpicking. That manager may even set out to hold his or her people back from advancement. A leader will encourage his or her people to move on, when the opportunity is better for that employee, and even help that person get what he or she wants.
If your boss is nitpicking you to death, you may have to take time outside of work to find other opportunities to earn income, so you can make such nitpicking a deal-breaker. For one of the best ways to do that, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Eventually, you could be the leader that helps others advance.
Remember, some nitpicky bosses don’t mean you harm. It’s just who they are. You are who you are. If you understand them, you can better get along with them, until you are able to move on. Don’t stop looking for new places to go.
Peter

HOW GOOD IS YOUR BOSS: PART 1

#BadBosses #leaders #managers
The Peter Principle is alive and well in many companies.
In a nutshell: A person becomes very talented and skilled in a certain area. He is promoted to manage that area. He becomes a terrible boss.
Jeff Vrabel discusses this in an article about bosses in the August 2015 issue of Success magazine.
“Some people are natural-born leaders. Others are cruel, inhuman monsters,” reads a sub-headline over Vrabel’s article.
We’ve come to expect, and Vrabel’s article points out, that those employees who perform well are rewarded by moving up to management. In most organizational structures, that is the only way to move up. But a good engineer, a good technician or a good marketer doesn’t always make a good leader. Too often, the opposite is true.
It’s important here to understand the difference between a manager and a leader. Managing is learned. Leadership tends to be natural.
So what happens? The promoted employee is given a list of procedures, a system, if you will, to learn. So he learns to be a manager. And, he or she isn’t even that good at managing.
“Leadership is personal. There’s no single way of leading, no silver bullet,” Vrabel quotes Deborah Ancona, faculty director of the MIT Leadership Center. “We can’t be perfect at everything. So if you’re someone’s boss, the trick is to find out what you’re really good at and what you need to ramp up on, and getting better at both,” Vrabel quotes Ancona.
As a boss, you could be doing everything YOUR boss is telling you to do, but your staff may still hate you. It’s human nature to like some people better than others. It’s also human nature to give more positive attention to some employees, and more negative attention to others.
When you mix the two traits of human nature, it can sometimes turn toxic. You may have a good employee, but, for some reason, you may not like him or her as well as you like some others. The employee senses that, and feels as if he or she is not being treated fairly. That puts added stress on the good employee, and that could manifest into the loss of that employee, or discord within the organization.
More importantly for the employee, he or she may not advance as far as he or she would like, or is capable of. That, too, could ruin a good career.
Managers have to work at treating everyone underneath them as fairly as they can. Leaders have to lead in their own way, as Ancona put it. It’s great to have high expectations of your staff. But if they don’t see you as having those high expectations of yourself, you won’t get the production or cooperation you want.
Many organizations foster competition among employees, rather than cooperation and teamwork. A good rule of thumb: If you are after the same goals, competition wastes energy. If each person or group in the same organization has different goals, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Have you been, or are you still, being frustrated by bad bosses? Are you feeling stuck under the duress of someone who doesn’t inspire you? You may have to look at developing a way to eventually fire that bad boss. There are many such ways out there for anyone. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Who knows? You could turn into the leader you’ve always wanted, or wanted to be.
The best players almost never make the best coaches. The best employees don’t always make the best leaders. If you run a company, look for ways to reward your good employees without taking them away from what they do best, and most love to do. If you are a good at your job, and love what you do, don’t be afraid to say NO to a job you don’t want, even if it pays more. There are many other ways to add money to your coffers.
Leaders, often quietly, make themselves apparent. For instance, beware the person who wants to take credit for everything. Look for the person who wants to always GIVE credit to someone else.
Peter

IS YOUR BOSS WATCHING YOU FROM AFAR?

#employerspying #privacy #spyingonemployees
Imagine your boss forcing you to download an app on your personal cell phone that would allow him or her to monitor everything you do, everywhere you go, both at work and at home.
Would that bother you? What if deleting that app from your phone got you fired?
Heather G. Anderson, a lawyer with the Miller Anderson Law Group, discussed this in a column in the June 21, 2015, edition of The News Sentinel newspaper in Knoxville, Tenn.
Many employers equip their company vehicles with GPS systems to monitor their whereabouts at all times, Anderson says.
Now, a California company has opted to require employees to download an app on their personal cell phones, so they can monitor what the employees are doing at all times, she says.
Certainly, employers can have legitimate reasons to monitor people. They certainly don’t want their employees goofing off, or dealing with other personal issues on work time. Employers may even want to track employees and vehicles in search of better and quicker responses to problems, more efficient use of company property and employees’ time etc.
The big question becomes, what about an employee’s privacy? Anderson says employees expected privacy in the workplace by locking desks, password-protecting documents etc. But employers have discovered that some employees abuse the latitude they are offered in the workplace.
So, Anderson says, if you are an employer, and you don’t want to offer your employees any privacy while on the job, including Internet and cell phone use, you need to spell that out.
But what about monitoring an employee outside of work? Anderson says many states have laws regarding employee monitoring, and some require permission in advance from the employee to do so. Others make it illegal to fire an employee based on lawful activity outside of work, unless specific exceptions apply. Tennessee does not have any off-duty conduct laws, she adds.
Anderson recommends, as one might expect, that employers check with an attorney to determine the rights and risks involved in setting up a monitoring policy.
Many employers will try to get away with anything to learn as much as they can about someone who works for them. They delve into a person’s social media activities, do background checks etc. A rule of thumb here for an employee or prospective employee: if you have something you don’t want your employer or prospective employer to know, don’t put it where it can easily be found. Better yet, keep it to yourself.
The bigger questions, besides the legal ones, become: what limits do employers have? What expectation of privacy should employees have when they go to work someplace? An employer’s curiosity may not stop with the interview question: what are your hobbies?
Of course, you can eliminate the possibility of an employer snooping on you by becoming an independent business person. How? For one of the best ways, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You can work for yourself, not by yourself, and create the freedom to do what you like, without anyone watching. Of course, it’s always best to do good things, even when no one is watching.
As employers look for tighter leashes for their employees ostensibly to improve their bottom lines, they risk sending great, or potentially great, employees out the door. If you are one of those great, or potentially great, employees, your options may not be as limited as you might believe.
Peter

PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE: BE AN IMPACT INVESTOR

#investors #publicprivate #impactinvesting
Who will solve the great problems of the nation and the world?
Will it be governments or private citizens?
Or, will it be a little of both?
It was thought that private citizens would never solve anything unless they can make money – gobs of money.
Governments, on the other hand, don’t have any money, but spend it anyway, sometimes futilely.
New York Times columnist David Brooks discussed the new concept of “impact investing.” That is private money going into investments that attack some of the world’s problems. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published his column Feb. 3, 2015.
Brooks says that the private market, prone to devastating crashes and producing widening inequality, combined with gridlocked, ineffective government aren’t getting the job done.
So a group of smart people with opposable minds – part profit-oriented and part purpose-oriented – have created organizations that look a little like businesses, a little like social-service providers and a little like charities – or some mixture of the three, Brooks writes.
They are creating new impact funds, social stock exchanges and include players like Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. The first wave of this sector was led by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Now you have an array of capitalist tools ranging from B Corporations like Warby Parker, which gives free glasses to the poor, to social impact bonds. Brooks writes. He quotes at 2010 report by the Rockefeller Foundation and JPMorgan that says impact investing capital could amount to $1 trillion by 2020.
So what’s happening here? Did government failures in helping its people make wealthy people feel guilty – guilty enough to accept a potentially lower profit to help lots of people?
Capitalism is a marvelous institution that has gotten a bad rap. People are beginning to realize that it’s not how rich you become that matters, but how you become rich. Did you do well by doing good? Were you helping others succeed as you were succeeding? Once you’ve achieved success, did you hoard all your gains, or did you use them to help those worthy of your help?
It’s clear not everyone is going to get rich. But there are many vehicles out there that allow ANYONE to get rich. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Check out a model in which success only comes by helping others succeed.
Think back to the days when you were young, and just starting out in the workforce. You probably had an entry-level job for, say, a small business. When the time came for you to move on to other things to better your life, how did your boss treat you when you left? Was he wishing you well, telling you he was proud to have you work for him and offer any lifelong assistance (not necessarily financial) that you might need? Or, was he the type that was upset that you were quitting and leaving him short-staffed? The former likely was a pleasure to work for, because he looked out for you, and you, in turn, made sure you did your best for him. The latter likely had employees who were indifferent toward the boss, didn’t care whether his business succeeded and probably worked under a good deal of stress.
If you become a boss, which kind would you like to be? If you become an investor, which kind would you like to be? People who work hard on being better people tend to have success follow them. Those who don’t, and still achieve success, probably have lots of current and former employees, who got relatively little in return, to thank.
Peter

DON’T WORK TOO HARD?

#workhard
We’ve all had friends who have, usually as they are leaving us, wishing us well and telling us not to work too hard.
Our parents, teachers, coaches and other mentors all tell us that hard work is required to get almost anything.
So why would our friends tell us not to work too hard?
Let’s forget for a minute work-life balance, and overwork-induced stress. Our friends don’t want us to work too hard because we might give our employers more than the employers are paying for.
Most good, conscientious people don’t want to be deliberately unproductive, or give less than they know they should. Most of them want to be as productive as they can be. Some will risk their physical and mental well-being to be so.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do things right, and pleasing your boss. But there should come a point at which one asks himself, who’s working for me? If I’m working for him or her, is he or she also working for me? If I am helping him or her get what HE or SHE wants, is he or she returning the favor?
Many people believe that they work for a paycheck. They get so busy doing that, they don’t even think about their own big picture. Sure, your boss might ask you in a performance review where you want to be in five years, 10 years etc. You give some pat answer, even if you KNOW you may not want to be in that place, doing what you are doing now, all those years later.
Even people who want to be doing something different in the future are so consumed by their circumstances that they not only can see no way out, but also they won’t even consider great alternatives that may be presented to them.
Those that do consider alternatives sometimes find great things that they never knew existed. To do that, one has to be willing to look. Serendipity is great when it happens, but, generally, one has to be willing to look for alternatives to find them.
If you believe your current situation needs to change, AND you are willing to see what might be out there to help you change it, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. Some may not find what they are looking for there, but others may find just the thing. You may also find not only that you can work hard for you, but others will work hard for YOU!
Polls show people dismayed, pessimistic and downright hostile to the future. But, when one looks at facts, rather than conjecture, he will likely find many good things out there to be had. He will also see that he can HAVE them by doing something a little different.
In short, don’t work too hard for someone else. Work hard for you! Very few others will work for you. Do what you need to do to make your situation better. Complaining requires energy that you need to do what you need to do.
You don’t have to abandon what you have, but you may need to have a different attitude about it. Good, hard workers in bad situations know that the situation is only temporary. They know that one day, what they want will be theirs.
Have a good mind-set about any task you perform. Always believe that the future not only can be bright, but you will make it so.
So, work hard, but have a reason, besides a paycheck, to do what you are doing. Take steps to get control of your future – control that no one but you can take away.
Peter

POWER: IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU USE IT

Every dispute, situation or dynamic is centered around power.
Those that have it tend to want to use it to control others.
Those that don’t have it look to find something they can use as a weapon against those in power.
When terrorists cannot implement their agenda, they use terror tactics to inflict damage against those whom they cannot conquer.
When a criminal wants what someone else has, knowing that person would not give it to him willingly, he gets a weapon to force the exchange.
Our only hope is that those who gain power use it to help others, not hurt others.
Anyone can gain power. Most of those who are successful in business, for example, didn’t get there without hard work, good fortune and some help from others. Now that they have achieved their success, are they using it to take from, or give to, others? And, in the process, are they using, or otherwise taking advantage of others to achieve their goals?
Some see power as evil, unless they have it. Power does not have to be evil. It can be very good, if used properly. Of course, it can be evil if not.
How do we use power for good? We use power to empower. We use power we have achieved to empower others. For example, we use our power as parents to empower our children. How? By acting toward others in ways you would want your children to act toward others.
You see, you can tell children anything, but what you tell them won’t matter unless they see you acting the way you are telling them to act. You can tell a child to stay away from drugs, but if you are taking them yourself, chances are your children will follow your actions.
If you are an employer, you can’t expect your employees to give you their best if they believe you are not giving your best to them. They have to see you act in the way you want them to act, and you have to reward them the best way you can if they perform well.
If you are a teacher, your students will follow what you DO, more than they will follow what you TEACH. Actions are the best teacher. Students can learn from books, but they will learn best when a teacher not only acts professionally, but shows the students respect. A good teacher empowers.
Anyone can get power. Almost no one is powerless. One just has to think right, find what they need to get power, then empower.
You are just a “working person,” you say? Your current job may not give you the power you want, but there are many ways outside of your job that you can gain power. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may find the classic tool to not only give you power, but give you the power to empower.
We all believe that if we had the power, we would use it wisely, and for the benefit of others. For some, achieving power changes them for the worse. Still others who gain power change for the better.
Some who gain power just want more of it, and will do what they must to get it. Others who gain power just want to give themselves to others and empower.
If you had power, would you distribute it or hoard it? Doing the latter could eventually come back to bury you. Doing the former could change the world for the better.
To paraphrase an adage, power can corrupt. Absolute power can corrupt absolutely. But the opposite can also be true. Power can enhance. Absolute power can enhance absolutely. It all depends who has it.
Peter

YOUNG VS. OLD IN A CHANGING WORLD

It started in the 1960s.
Young people wanting something better than – or, at least, different from – what their parents had and cherished.
Some 1960s protests turned violent. Today, in countries all over the world, the protests are very violent. The police and military in many countries are turning on their own people – largely young people – for trying to change the status quo.
Reporters David Kirkpatrick and Mayy El Sheikh discussed the chasm between young and old in Egypt, which has already overthrown its longtime dictator. But in that country, the “new” government hasn’t given them what they want.
The reporters’ story was published in the Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, edition of The New York Times.
We see it in countries all over the world – Syria, Ukraine etc. Young people want more freedom. Young people want to be who they really are – not who their parents or other elders want them to be.
If you are young today, the world is very different from that in which your parents grew up. Jobs are scarce. Employers are reorganizing every five minutes. So, even if you are lucky enough to land a good job, you can’t expect it to last.
Your parents may not understand you. They want what’s best for you, but may not have a clue what that is. All they have to go on is what was best for THEM.
If you are older, you shake your head at the younger generation. After all, your “dream” was a secure job with benefits, some advancement potential and a pension when you retired. If you got that far and achieved that: congratulations. But those younger than you may never see that. They will really have to be diligent to have financial security when they are your age.
Yes, the world is an ocean liner. It is certainly not a cruise ship, but in many cases it turns just as slowly. Make no mistake, though. It is turning. Perhaps it is not turning as quickly as the younger people want, but it is turning. When it turns, it will go in a very different direction.
Companies and employers have experts watching the ship, and trying to determine which direction it will go. Unlike the world of the past, this world will be turning constantly, as innovation in communication, manufacturing and technology evolve, and re-evolve.
Innovation, combined with education, give young people the courage to be who they are, not who their parents or elders want them to be. They have different, and more modern, ideas about how to live. In their minds, if they are going to survive, they have to fight for what they believe in. They have to fight for the freedom to be what they want to be.
In a changing world, we – young and older – need to have a Plan B. If the world changes in a way we don’t like, we need something that will give us the security to be who we are, and want to be. We need something that will allow us the freedom to not be dependent on an ever-changing employment situation. There are many ways to accomplish this. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, fight to be who you are in an ever-changing world. At the same time, let others be who they are, as long as they mean you no harm. Throughout the world, give the young people the freedom they so crave. With freedom comes innovation. Innovation will come, whether we want it to or not. So let people innovate.
If you are older, you must realize that change isn’t all bad. If you are younger, remember that your elders are fighting to keep what is dear to them. When young and old understand each other, the world will be more peaceful and prosperous for all. As Paul McCartney’s mother told him years ago, “Let It Be.”
Peter

HEALTH INSURANCE AND JOBS

If you are fortunate enough to work for someone who provides you with health insurance, count your blessings.
But also know that it probably won’t last.
Not only have state and the federal governments set up insurance exchanges, companies are also setting up private insurance exchanges.
Leading the trend is a company called Towers Watson, whose CEO, John Haley, was profiled in the Oct. 31, 2013, edition of USA Today.
Having health insurance with your job used to be a beautiful thing. Not only did a company pay you a salary and contribute toward your pension, it also paid a portion of your health care costs in the form of insurance.
If you hung around the company long enough, you could stay insured until Medicare kicked in.
But the recession that started in 2008 changed that mind-set. People lost jobs, and, therefore, lost their health insurance. People started to seriously question whether it was a good thing to have health insurance tied to a job. It was bad enough for a person to lose a salary. But losing health insurance compounded the problem many times over, especially if that person had a sick family member, or were sick themselves. Never mind what the stress of unemployment might do to their health.
Working people really began to wonder whether it was really good to have an employer have that much power over one’s life.
But modern companies want to provide good employees, and prospective employees, with the best packages possible. They understand that without good people, they will not thrive, and they will not survive over the long term.
Yet, health insurance as we know it is a serious cost to employers. Private insurance exchanges may be a vehicle to reduce those costs, and still provide affordable insurance to employees. If they can be devised so that the employee doesn’t necessarily lose benefits if he is laid off (he may lose the company subsidy), these exchanges might be the perfect solution.
We all want affordable health care. We all want to be able get the care we need under any conditions, without impoverishing ourselves or our families.
Between the government exchanges and the private ones, we might be on to a good, long-term solution.
Sure, the federal exchange Web site has had glitches. These, hopefully, are fixable. We might have to tweak the Affordable Care Act as time passes, to make sure it’s as effective, and inexpensive, as it can be to those insured, while not creating too big a government expenditure.
What if you had enough money on your own to buy whatever insurance you wanted? That would be ideal. If you are looking for a way to do that, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Meanwhile, shop carefully on whatever exchanges which you are allowed to shop. Choose the plan that is right for you. Also remember that paying penalties is throwing money away. Even though it might cost you more, when you buy actual insurance, you are at least getting something for your money. So buy insurance. You, your family and your community will be healthier for it.
Peter