As I enter my 29th year in the insurance industry, I reflect on what it is that I exactly do. You see, I entered the profession by answering a newspaper ad stating I could make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Young and sort of naïve, I went in with the same enthusiasm that many of our newest agents do today. The best thing I was taught was not to count on making lots of money my first year; which for me was not only my first year but also my second, third and even into my fourth. On the other hand, I knew immediately that this was going to be my profession. Let’s face it, I could make as much money as I wanted to make, could work the hours that I wanted to work, and I got to dress professionally and look much smarter than maybe I was. I also got to talk to people in their homes, their businesses, or in my office, although it was quite small. Actually, it was a cubicle so I would try and use someone else’s office when they were not there. It was probably obvious, now that I think of it, since there were awards or pictures on the wall and they didn’t reflect me. I enjoyed learning from people about their lives, their trials, their successes and about life itself. As I listened to these individuals, it became more and more obvious that there are just a couple of truths in life. One is that you will die. The other is most people want to be remembered, either by family or by others. This was very helpful in my own planning as well as when I met with new prospects. Knowing that these two truths permeate all social, economic or ethnic divisions allowed me to ask the questions of which I already knew the answers. I have yet to meet someone who is later in life that doesn’t want to be remembered.
So, with that knowledge, I decided that I wanted to be remembered as a millionaire. I know, it seems quite elementary but I was young, broke, and as I mentioned early, naïve. Now, being a broke new agent and wanting to be a millionaire didn’t really seem to mesh too well. But, with the magic of life insurance, I instantly would become known as having been a millionaire the day I purchased my first million dollars of coverage. Since then, I have thought often on how simple but profound that statement was. Did it by its very nature encourage me to work towards the goal? Today, I look back and think of why I did achieve the amount of success that I have and I truly believe it is in large part to this simple philosophy. I was once told that you will sell as much life insurance as you own. If every agent actually practiced that, we would unfortunately see that most policies sold would be for $250,000 or less. If you want to sell multi-million-dollar life insurance policies, I would suggest you start by being your first client. By the way, if you are afraid to sell the policy to yourself, let me know, I would be happy to assist you.
Life insurance changes the world and we are the agents of that change. My fear is that unless we bring new blood to the industry, we won’t have the strength in numbers we will need to protect our clients. Let’s all do our part to promote to young people the rewards and the self-satisfaction that comes from entering our profession. Now is a great time to talk with graduating seniors as to the benefits of starting a career in our industry. If you love what you do, tell a young person to give it some thought.