Create Next Level Relationships

Nothing is more valuable than the people in your life. Maintaining your relationships isn't easy, so with the help of our Special Guest - Mari Tautimes, the co-CEO of Western Asset Protection - we are going to discover how you can create next level relationships by transforming the people in your life into your very own Raving Fans.

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it may help. We designed this weekly podcast for ambitious Young Professionals and aspiring Leaders who want to stay motivated and keep moving forward. Throughout Season 1, we will be connecting fresh perspectives with practical strategies to help listeners feel empowered all week long. You can help us improve by joining our LinkedIn and Twitter Community by using #IgnitionPoint, submitting a review on Apple Podcasts, or emailing feedback to


Welcome to Ignition Point – the show that’s here to help you take the leap, conquer your week, and achieve your goals. If you’re looking to amplify your mindset with a fresh perspective and spark your momentum – you’re in the right place.

Hey! What’s going on? I’m Steven Miller. Thanks for joining me for another Ignition Point – the show where we cover an influential speech or feature a Guest Keynote that’ll get you fired up and ready to take on another winning week. I hope you crushed it last week and elevated your conversations with the advice from our talk on Body Language. This week, we’re going to apply those next level communication skills and work on building more meaningful relationships with the help of our Special Guest.

On today’s episode, I’m joined by Mari Tautimes, the Co-CEO of Western Asset Protection. WAP is a family-owned Medicare FMO Agency that has become one of the leading brokerage firms in the Southwest.

Mari is an operational innovation mastermind. Over the years, her passion for helping others and solving problems have driven her to lead process optimization and automation efforts at WAP. In business and beyond, she continues to seek perspective and inspiration in a quest to live her best life.

But her beginnings are unlike most CEOs. At 15 Years of Age, Mari became a teen mom and later dropped out of high school to get a job. She had to fight every step of the way to rise above poverty, but she’s always managed to get back up after she’s been knocked down. Today, Mari is a proud mother and grandmother, who’s fired up about learning more and helping others.

Mari guides her decisions by what she calls the “Feel Good Metric,” which is based on her belief that your success is linked to how you make the people around you feel. Success by this measure transforms the people you serve from customers into Raving Fans.

But how do we transform the customer persona? Well, all people actively or subconsciously desire attention, connection, and inclusion. Just look at your Instagram Feed and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. We want to be talked up or talked about, and it’s not a far-off conclusion to understand that if people feel this way, they’re going to look to someone to fulfill that need for them. You have to take this into your own hands and fulfill that need for the people in your life.

So, Let’s get after it! Here to help you win the week and create your own Raving Fans, this is Mari Tautimes.


I learned about the importance of creating raving fans at a conference called Business Mastery hosted by Tony Robbins – and while it's a conference about business – I learned very quickly after the conference that the importance of creating raving fans permeates throughout every aspect and relationship in my entire life. What it does, is it makes people feel more connected to me. They want to find opportunities to help me, and every relationship is just that much more meaningful. So, if you're looking for that kind of relationship, creating raving fans in every relationship that you have is going to be an important step.

So, I want to explain how we got to the conclusion that creating raving fans was the most important thing. At Business Mastery what Tony does to get you to focus even though you're there for four days, 14 hours a day, he puts this competition together so that throughout that entire time you have to figure out how you're going to provide more value to the room than any other team, because that's what we do for raving fans. We create more value for them than anybody else ever could. So, even though we're taking notes feverishly, we're learning from person, after person, after person about marketing, and branding, and business, and strategy; even while all that is happening, we were obsessing over how we're going to provide more value to the room than anyone else, which I have to say, is a really hard thing to do when you're sitting and learning all that time – 14 hours a day. So, what are we going to do? How do we provide the room more value? Do we bring them blankets? Do we bring them food? What can we do? And we're thinking of idea after idea, after idea about what we can do to create more value than any of the other teams.

If you've ever been unhealthfully obsessed with someone, maybe during a courtship in a relationship, that's the same thing here. You go to work and you can't stop thinking about them, and you can't wait to see them again, and you're thinking about, “how can I surprise them? How can I delight them? How might I take them on a date? What could I do? What do they like? What do they like to eat? What do they like to drink? What's their favorite flower?” You're obsessing over them in that courtship process, and so the first step in creating raving fans is to develop that level of unhealthy obsession over how you're going to create a raving fan out of the person that you're thinking about.

So, who is your customer? And you might be thinking, "I don't have customers." Yes, you do. If you're trying to turn someone into a raving fan, that person is your customer. A customer in your life is going to be the person that you want to stand by you no matter what. They're going to stick with you through thick and thin. It's the person that's going to talk you up when you're not around. If you're not in the room, you know that they're still saying great things about you because they really appreciate you and they care about you, and they think very highly of you. Also, they're going to be thinking about you for opportunities. If something comes up and they're like, "Hey. I know someone that would be great for that. Let me introduce you." Right? They're going to make introductions for you.

Whoever that person or those people are in your life, those are your customers, and while they're not paying you in cash, they're paying you in a different currency like love, like connection, like opportunities. So, they are your customers. Understand first who your customers are. It might be your spouse, it might be your coworkers, it might be your teammates, it might be your peer group. Who in your life would you like to stand by you, to talk you up, and to think of you for opportunities?

Once you've got that person in your mind, the next thing you want to do is you want to ask some really good questions, and I'm even going to say asking better questions, because the odds are right now if you're not in a great relationship, you're probably also not asking better questions to improve that relationship. So, remember that courtship process that we talked about earlier that was such bliss? Like it was just, "I can't wait to do more for them, I can't wait to connect with them," and then you get three years down the road, or seven years down the road and you're wondering, "why can't we connect the way that we used to?"

That is a useless question. A better question is, "what can I do to make him feel like the king of my world?" Or, "what can I do to bring her more joy than she's experienced in a long time?" Those are better questions. Those are going to get us to the outcome of connection that we're looking for, right?

So, understand who your customer is. If my customer is my spouse, that might be the question that I'm asking. If my customer is my boss, I might be asking, "What is her boss expecting of her and what can I do to help her achieve those goals?" When you do those things and you take ownership over your part in the equation and you start making deposits into the relationship, then you're going to start experiencing success, and if you're making these deposits for the purpose of getting something out of the relationship, you're on the wrong track.

The whole point to all of this, of creating raving fans is to deliver joy, connection, love, and gratitude without any expectation of anything in return. If you're showing up and you're making deposits, and then you're pulling out your little scorecard with your little golf pencil and you're trying to keep track of what you've given to other people and now waiting for something back from them, you are not doing this authentically. You're being inauthentic. The point of creating raving fans is to genuinely think about these people in your life, genuinely make the deposits because it's the right thing to do, and just know that someday somewhere down the line – that might be five years from now, that might be two weeks from now – those deposits are going to start delivering returns in your life.

So, now that we understand who our customers are, and now we understand what better questions we should be asking, the next step in creating raving fans is to schedule thinking time. I learned about thinking time from Keith Cunningham, who is the rich dad in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, written by Robert Kiyosaki. Keith tells this really great story, and in this story he wanted to pitch a deal to this really wealthy, successful oil mogul. During a meeting that they were having, right as he starts his pitch, someone interrupted the meeting and said, "Sir, we need this really important decision from you and we need it right now." And the gentleman said, "Son, I'm not scheduled to think again until Thursday morning at 4:30 in the morning. Let them know they'll have their answer by 6:00 AM on Thursday morning."

Keith said this was the most powerful lesson that he'd ever learned, and he didn't get to learn from him - until some years later - exactly what thinking time looked like, but when he finally got to him, he said, "What is that? You said thinking time, that was the coolest thing I think I'd ever heard. What do you do during thinking time?" And he said, "What I do is I sit down, I get into a quiet place and I write down a really good question. Then for 20 to 30 minutes, I will write out all of the possible answers, and I never stop moving my pen. So, if I need to write 'elephant' or something just to keep the pen going, that's what I do." So, you write, and you write, and you write for 20 or 30 minutes and then you stop, go back through, and you circle the top three answers that you got from that.

People think this is just so simple that it can't possibly be this easy, but it's not easy. It's not easy to sit still and think. What you need to do is you need the schedule the time to think. It's something to do once a week. Go look at your calendar and book time to think, and just practice. You're doing it because it's the right thing to do. It's the way that you're going to build deep and meaningful connections, and the only way that you can build deep and meaningful connections is to show up and do this kind of thing in your relationships consistently.

I make deposits everywhere I go. If I'm at the airport and I'm checking in with TSA, if I'm at Walgreens, if I'm at a conference. I am the person that is going to make deposits as frequently as I can, as long as I'm checking in and making sure that they're genuine. I'm not going to tell somebody that I like their shoes if I don't like their shoes, but if I do, I want to light them up, I want them to feel seen, and appreciated, and you never know in that same conference, four days later that person might come up to you and say, "You made my day." So, you have to do it consistently and you do it everywhere you go.

So, this is your job in life, to light people up. Light up as many people around you as you possibly can, and you will begin to experience life at a whole new level. One of my favorite sayings from Tony Robbins is that, "a customer will leave you for the next best deal, a raving fan will stay with you for life." Turn all of the customers in your life that you possibly can into raving fans by making as many deposits as often as you can.


Mari did a great job of laying out what it takes to create Raving Fans. To recap, you’ve got to figure out who your customer is, provide them with more value than anyone else by asking better questions about their needs, set aside some dedicated thinking time, and then apply what you’ve learned to light up their world. With this in mind, I want to share three specific action steps that echo Mari’s points to help you put all of this into practice this week.

Let’s kick it off by taking the time to communicate in more meaningful ways. Remember, deep connections come from giving others your undivided attention and making genuine contributions. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating a superficial relationship. If you really want to develop strong relationships, sending text messages isn’t going to cut it because you’ll never convey your personality to someone in a string of emojis.

Now, that doesn’t mean you need to strictly have face to face interactions. In a 5-minute phone call or a FaceTime, you can communicate what takes 30 to 45 minutes to hash out in text messages. Don’t default to texting for the sake of convenience. You want to stay on someone’s mind, so communicate in a more personal way.

The next action that can help you drive your own “Feel Good Metric” echoes Mari’s message about scheduling thinking time. When you schedule thinking time, you’ll of course benefit from coming up with better solutions to the questions you have, but I think the greater benefit is that it allows you to be exponentially more present wherever you are, with whoever you’re with. Thinking time enables you to compartmentalize your curiosity for the right time and place. That means your mental energy will be dedicated to what you do, when you do it. So, this week, wherever you are – be all in – and be totally present.

For a moment, I want to take a step back and share what happens when you don’t make deposits and you passively interact. I know some people who think they’ve got these great friends, but because they don’t put in the effort or communicate, their relationships become a figment of their imagination. Eventually, they create a false idea of what relationships are. If you don’t make deposits or nurture the relationship, don’t claim that person is your BFF. Sure, that person is in your network, but a person you fail to communicate with can quickly revert to being just another acquaintance.

This brings me to my last suggestion. Throughout the week, consciously make one authentic deposit with a different person each day to light up their world. This isn’t quantum mechanics or gene splicing – it’s human interaction – you don’t need to complicate it. Relationships where you’re a raving fan of someone and they’re a raving fan of you are built on the back of effective communication and making those meaningful, authentic deposits. So, light them up in the hope that they’ll want to pay it forward.

I was raised with a clear understanding that – in life – it’s never about what you know, it’s about who you know. So, go extend yourself to others often, and provide as much value to the world as you can. You’ll discover that when you help others to achieve their goals, they’ll help you to achieve yours. Starting this week, create raving fans of everyone you meet by communicating in more meaningful ways, schedule thinking time to dedicate your attention to each present moment, and light up your world by making authentic deposits whenever you can. 

I’d like to thank Mari Tautimes for coming on the show today. If you’re interested in learning more about Mari and her business, you can check out this episode’s show notes at

Everyone wants to make more money, and many have dreams of owning their own business as a path to do that. Mari’s Company – Western Asset Protection – is dedicated to helping their brokers reach their full potential as business owners. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day, there are thousands of people near you looking for caring, qualified Medicare Insurance Brokers. Becoming a Medicare Insurance Broker happens to be a fantastic opportunity to own your own business and become your own boss. To learn more about this great opportunity, visit

Ignition Point is all about making a positive impact, so please share the show with someone you think it would help. Your feedback helps Ignition Point to keep moving forward, so send me an email to or write a review for the show on Apple Podcasts to let me know what you think.

This week, put your people first and light up their world!

Stay motivated and keep moving forward. If you put in the hard work right now – one day – you could be the one motivating the world with your story.

I’ll be looking forward to speaking with you next time on another Ignition Point.

Now get on out there, and win the week!