Statistically speaking, it’s true. Most people who start in the insurance industry don’t make it past a few years. According to AgencyBloc 89% of Insurance Agents quit within 3 years.
But not me! I was convinced that I wouldn’t be a statistic. I heard about how much agents could make if they were willing to grind and hustle (2 attributes I know I have). This was great timing for me as I had to cut my Nashville trip short and come back to California. I just found out I had a baby on the way, and I wasn’t going to let my lady raise him alone. Hell I have always wanted to be a father. But more on that later. Let’s get back to the deal of insurance.
I started looking into insurance in March of this year and began the training online at America’s Training Center. I honestly loved the online platform they had there. Lou (the guru who is in all the videos) was legit! He had a knack for wearing a different hat in each video and I thought he was funny as hell. The only issue I had with their training was sometimes I was not given credit for a video completion and I would have to spend another 30 mins watching it all over again (if you lost your internet connection or exited the window you would have to start over again). But my “hats” off to them for putting together great content for anyone that wants to get into the insurance biz.
I would stay up most nights till about midnight watching the videos and studying for the exams. I did this consistently for about a month. Come April, I felt like I was ready to tackle the Life and Health insurance exam. So I signed up online to take the exam in Redding, CA. Well I found out all you needed was 60% to pass the exam and I passed just under 80%. I was relieved because that test was no joke. The questions were very confusing and even if you knew your shit, you could miss a question just by misreading one word in the question or answers.
Great. I’ve passed. Now what. I had to wait 2 weeks+ to get my license approved, and you can’t sell any policies (legally at least) till you get your license. Well, after I got it, I was informed I had to also purchase Errors and Omissions coverage. Things were starting to add up, and when you don’t have a job, $hit is tight yo!
Ok! Now I’m ready to sling policies and my focus was going to be Medicare Supplement plans in the Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. I just needed to sell 3-5 a week to meet my goals of becoming a rockstar insurance producer in a year. Why? Because I know how to hustle and grind. Well…what I didn’t realize is that I still couldn’t sell policies yet. You have to get appointments with the carriers you want to work with. Well…another month goes by and I got the top 2 cheapest providers in Monterey county, American National of Texas and AARP who is partnered with United Health Care.
Whew! It’s now May of 2018! I got my appointments and have been working on locating prospects. It’s almost June and I am close to meeting my goal of 3-5 clients in the first month…no, not exactly. I got 2! I had to work my a$$ off for them too! The Senior market is very wary of new agents coming in. Gaining their trust to get them to talk to you was more difficult that I had imagined.
Lead generation is key in making it in the industry and the barrier to entry was harder than I thought. Most folks I talked to were already with some of the best carriers in the county. Other agents and brokers were clearly light years ahead of me and making sure the 65+ population was well taken care of. This was very discouraging especially making the move to Monterey where rent isn’t cheap. My first month was closer to $2k and when you are making $0 with a baby on the way, let me tell you…You don’t feel very manly.
So, I decided I needed to come up with new strategies and talk to agents I already knew personally. Most told me it’s time to hit the pavement and walk into small businesses, Senior centers, doctor offices, etc. Now were in June! Still no new clients and I am doing my thing, introducing myself to the community and seeing if I can convince some of these places to get me in front of their clients. This is something I definitely was more interested in as I am a big face to face person. I was also looking into direct mail leads and other forms of advertising. Let me tell you, it’s not cheap. I was going to be spending $1k a month minimum to get started.
Let me stop right there. At this point, the Universe was punching me in my balls and trying to get my attention. I quit insurance. This was a huge struggle for me. Why? I didn’t want to be a statistic! I didn’t want to be thrown into the pool of insurance agents who didn’t make it. I have hustle and grind dammit! But, that wasn’t my problem. I had to look deep down inside and realized that I wasn’t doing insurance for the right reasons. And the Universe knew it! Here’s my take away:
- I was doing it to make big bucks and I heard how “easy” it is to make selling insurance. Believe me, it’s not easy even if you are a person with hustle and grind. And if you don’t have money to get into the game just like any business, it might not be worth your investment especially if you don’t have passion for it. But…if you do, go for it! There are lots of agents who are crushing it.
- It was a complete 180 from what I was really good at. I was a full-time coach and running a gym. And I loved those things, especially the coaching part. Why did I stop? Well it’s another blog post in itself, but I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown then. My mind wasn’t right and I needed to spend some time working on myself.
- I’m not an excuse person, but let me say this. If you aren’t loving what you are doing, it’s probably not worth investing your time, energy, and money (it’s time for an exit strategy, but don’t quit today if you are supporting a family. I quit because I wasn’t making any money and only spending money and wasn’t happy doing it). I was waking up in the morning dreading to pick up the phone or hit the streets because the passion wasn’t there! When I went into this I was thinking I was going to be helping a lot of people save money on something they had to have or already had (and were overpaying). And in most instances, it was definitely the case…but…
- Passion. I wasn’t passionate about it! I would have conversations with Hilary or my friends about it and how things were going and I hated talking about it. I dreaded saying that I was not striking it rich and that it wasn’t working out. But, again I had to have another honest conversation with myself. Is this the right industry for Matt Brown? Well, deep down I have always known, but was afraid to admit it. Well…Monday I decided to not be afraid anymore. I decided to finally go back to what I am passionate about. Coaching. Coaching comes in many forms, not just in exercise and nutrition. It can be just sharing your story about successes, and most certainly failures (which are great learning experiences).
In no way am I bashing the insurance industry or the folks I was working with. They are awesome and gave me a ton of support. But…that isn’t important if you are in the wrong industry and you aren’t following your passion. I encourage each of you to look deep down in yourself and ask yourself 1 simple question. Most days, Do you love what you are doing?