Updated: May 21
“The identity of an individual is essentially a function of her choices.” -Amartya Sen
Imagine a young girl in Afghanistan that wants the choice to go to school. That choice could lead to other choices like her discovering the cure to HIV. Imagine a mother in Mali who sells shea butter in a local market and wants the choice to grow her business. She doesn’t have a bank account, and personal lenders only offer her interest rates over 100%. Now, imagine a friend you know that has been selling beauty products on their own for years. They experience intermittent poverty due to seasonal declines and don’t have anyone to help them when business is booming. They want their business to be an asset for financial freedom and generational wealth but can’t seem to keep up with the bills. All of these people lack choices and their identities are limited due to this.
This week, I interviewed Edward Long III, a man whose journey is a great example of the opportunities that live within our choices. He grew up with an entrepreneurial father who owns Home Tech Health Care and a mother who teaches business and entrepreneurship at Jane Adams. At 14, his mother put him in E-City’s summer camp where he learned how to start a business. He started a landscaping company that grew in his local community. At the end of the summer, he presented his business in front of judges and won 2nd place. Though Ed did not go on to become a landscaping tycoon, he did become a successful entrepreneur.
Today, Ed is a Life Insurance Broker. He works with a few A+ rated life insurance companies and is the Managing General Agent at Senior Life Insurance Company. Through this role, he provides senior citizens with the choice to leave the legacy they want behind. Through the Millennial Campaign, he brings this choice to young adults that don’t understand the value of life insurance. He wants younger people to realize that we need to ensure our most important asset, ourselves. As a business owner, you may have an Operating Agreement for your business. If you have a section on insurance, you should have mentioned keyman insurance. There is no “real” definition for this but it is life insurance for a business’ key executive. The company pays the insurance premiums. After the death of the “keyman”, the copany will be paid out. This is intended to save the business time while hiring or implementing new strategies. Consider purchasing a “keyman” policy that is the right size for your business to secure its future.
When Ed first got his Life Insurance License, he began working as a captive broker. This meant he was only allowed to work at one agency at a time. The company he was at wasn’t training him, and he got tired of sitting in a suit to make calls. So, he decided to become an insurance broker. This gave him the choice to work for multiple companies at a time from home. He moved in with his parents and learned the ropes of insurance brokering from his neighbor. Eventually, this formed into a partnership. Now, they are hiring agents to broker deals for them. What were the steps to Ed’s success?
Take a class and past the test to get a life insurance license
Get an IMO to become a broker
Find a mentor to teach you the art of “prospecting”
Have a call days (call leads and set appointments)
Have appointment days (visit the prospect and make the sell)
Follow-up with leads
Once this is locked down, you can create a training program for new brokers. Remember that Ed left his first job as a broker due to their lack of training resources. It is your responsibility as a manager, to ensure the success of your employees. Now that Ed and his partner had a training program, their next step was to hire brokers. Their search would often start on LinkedIn. After reaching out to these cold leads, he would set up an interview. From there, Ed and his partner used “The Playbook” to teach new brokers how to have the same success as them.
This venture was funded by Ed’s partner. They have never used financial services for their business #NOLOANSCLUB. The choice to start a business this way would not have been available to Ed if he did not connect with his partner. He was new to insurance with no money. Now, Ed is starting another insurance broker group, 34 York Financial Group. He is prepared to tackle this venture differently. Money shortages can occur in this industry. In order to prepare for a string of bad months, Ed plans to save more for his business. Additionally, he plans to keep the cash flow moving through consistent recruitment. For more information listen to the full interview here!