In addition to a $35 dollar wrist watch as my Christmas gift this year…and yes I said a thirty five dollar watch, my business partner is gifting me 20% equity in the company that he co-owns. The market valuation on that equity is between $70,000 and $100,000. It’s being drawn up by the attorney currently and will take effect on Jan 1st, 2019. So technically it’s not a straight up 70k gift, but I see it as such to remind myself of the generosity and loyalty of my best friend and business partner.

I’ve been working with him in the insurance business for going on two years. My plan from the start was to buy into his company as his now 70 year old partner faded out into retirement. However, after going back and forth over various options for a year now, I learned that I wasn’t able to access the amount of capital that I would need to buy in. I have great credit and at the time I applied for a loan I had no debt other that a small car loan of about $9,000. The problem came down to me not having enough assets to back such a large loan. I recently purchased my first home, but it’s too new to use as collateral. So my options kept getting slimmer, and after even asking my family for a loan I was denied. So we were back to square one after a year of negotiations.

The truth was that I wasn’t going to stay with the company if I didn’t have a real future there. My goal from day one was to become an owner. So after exhausting all possible options for me obtaining money, my best friend and business partner decided to gift me 20% of his own equity to bring me on as a partner and keep me around. We have always wanted to work together since we met in college back in 2011. Owning a business together has been a big goal of ours all along. It was only days after we first met that we were sketching out business plans for various types of business. Our biggest obstacle all along though, was money. Those green pieces of paper that make the world go around…and we were in short supply of it.

He went into the insurance field sometime around 2013, focusing on life and health insurance, and starting his own company with a well experienced agent in 2016. He hired me in early 2017 to run his office and help out him and his business partner. My role was that of an administrator/client relations, and I even though I had a lot to learn I loved what I was doing. About four months into the job I got my life and health insurance licenses for KY and IN. I attended appointments along side him and his partner and I learned the ins and outs of the business. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that I would never learn everything there was to know about life and health insurance. It’s a constantly changing industry and there is simply too much for any one person to know. The key is knowing who to go to for certain areas of insurance…consulting the experts in particular areas as needed.

So here I am and it’s the end of 2018, and in less than three weeks I will be an owner here. I will be working my own schedule and seeking my own clients. I’ve done some practice this year, so I’m not going out blindly by any means. I’ve also done a lot of networking in 2018, so I have several contacts that I can work with for marketing or use as prospects. I’m very excited for this venture, and I love what we do. Our focus is group health benefits, and my job is to help businesses save money for the same, if not better coverage than they already have. I’m ready to make some money this year by saving other people money.

I’m a very fortunate individual to be in the situation that I am. When I thought all hope was lost for my future in this industry, a new light emerged and a new path appeared. Now it’s time to not just walk that path, but run the hell out of it.