In my last post I talked about the path that I have chosen, but I never actually stated what it is I do for a living. My focus there was to reflect on my past and the paths I could have taken. I used the post as backwards exploration of the things I gave up for where I am today. So I figure it’s about to time to make a post about what I currently do and have been doing for 2 years now.
Since I was 18 I have had multiple “jobs”. And by jobs I mean I was simply a bottom of the chain worker who had a boss who had a boss who had a boss and so on. These jobs were not rewarding in hardly any sense and even though I made well above minimum wage, I still never made all that much. I did actually make minimum wage in only one of my jobs. This was while I was still in college and I actually took a job at the college working in the computer lab. I stayed in the lab and helped any students that had any technical issues with the computers. It was a very easy job but only allowed for 20 hours a week and paid minimum wage.
As ironic as it was I was driving my first ever brand new car at the time. In my previous job at a bank, I had purchased my first ever brand new car…A 2013 Roush RS Mustang. To this day it is the only brand new car I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned some very nice cars but they have always been at least a couple of years old. Anyway…I was laid off from the bank when interest rates started to climb back up. It had been full time hours, but I was a temp like many of the other workers. I spent some time unemployed until I took the job at my college. I pretty much made just enough money to make the car payment. That was it. Fortunately for me I had a good amount of savings and investments just in case there was an emergency.
As crazy as it sounds, I was also eventually laid off from that job as well because of too many student workers on staff. I spent 3ish months unemployed until my old boss from the bank called me up and asked if I knew anyone who was job seeking…to her surprise I was looking myself! This position was for a different department that had a couple of full time openings. This time I would be an actual employee rather than a temp. I applied for the position, spoke on the phone with the person who would be my new boss and was offered the job a week or so later. During the same time period I was presented with another opportunity to work with my best friend for the two guys he worked for. They needed someone to sell property and casualty insurance. I met with the two owners of the company one day over lunch and was hired on the spot. I then declined the bank job, spent two weeks studying, and then passed my testing to become a property and casualty insurance agent.
Having never come from a sales background I had no idea what I was doing. The owners had promised me that they would train and guide me once I got licensed. This never happened because they were rarely ever working. They spent their time out drinking, golfing, boating, etc. They would go out and do anything else other than come to work. And after three short months I quit. And I burned my bridge REAL good when I did. I spoke with the main owner and I told him exactly what I thought of him. By doing this I gained A LOT of respect from the other people that worked for him. As of today, none of them are still working for him or his partner.
During my time there though I built relationships with some other people. One of them was an older guy who had built up a large book of life and health insurance business over his lifetime. The guys I worked for had bought his book of business. This guy stayed around though to ensure that they continued to pay him monthly for the business he had sold them. He didn’t trust them and he knew what they were really like (as did everyone else). After I quit, the two owners were pissed and would not stop talking about me. This very much pleased this older guy and I stayed in contact with him even after I was gone.
A couple of years later this guy was fully bought out and no longer had a contract with the two men. There wasn’t a non-compete agreement or anything like that which could prevent this guy from going back after his old clients. So that’s what he did. He partnered with my best friend, and together they left those other two crazy guys and formed their own company. They gained back every single group health client and a handful of individual clients. And after about a year of being in business they hired me.
I was still licensed for property and casualty insurance but I had to get my life and health licenses since that’s all they did. I did that with no problem and I spent a good year or so learning the ins and outs of the business. I was in an administrative role up until January 1st of this year when I became a partner. I currently own 20% of the company and at the end of the year I will be at 25%. Our bread and butter is currently group health benefits. We help businesses implement a major medical plan as well as supplemental and ancillary products such as disability/critical illness policies, or life, dental, vision, etc.
What I have found is that there are not a lot of young agents in our geographic area that are actively pursuing group business. So when we speak with business owners or HR reps, they are with an agent who has been around for years and just hasn’t bothered with offering some of the more modern medical insurance options. The average company in our area is on a fully insured plan with either Anthem, UHC, or Humana. There are other options that can save these businesses money. These options don’t always work for some groups, but it’s worth a shot at least, and I love making money by saving people money.
Additionally we do sell individual products such as life insurance, short term care policies, medicare supplements, and so on. We sell our products in Indiana and Kentucky. We plan to expand our reach to more states in the future as we grow the business and develop a larger online presence. We do not currently offer home, auto, or liability insurance, but we plan to expand into that over the next couple of years as well (especially since I’m licensed for it). The health care industry is not a solid enough foundation for us to 100% rely on, so we have plans to expand into several areas that don’t just include insurance. As an example our five year plan has us investing into real estate.
For now though my 2019 looks like that of any other hard working insurance agent. I’m planning to gain some new business through networking and connections as well as the old fashioned method of traveling business to business to speak with owners and HR reps about their current benefits and how I might be able to help. I enjoy what I do (most days) and I really don’t have the desire to explore any other options. I’ve spent most of my life confused on the direction of my professional career, but I finally feel like I’m in the right place….and it’s a good feeling.