DO YOU LIVE TO WORK OR WORK TO LIVE?
Kirstie Alley recently passed away. She was 71 and died after a short battle with Cancer. I grew up watching her on TV and in movies.
People die every single day, so why am I writing about this? Because I bought an agency from a great friend who spent his entire adult life working in his agency. He was in the office 6 days a week and even though my dad and I invited him on multiple hunting and fishing trips, he always declined and stayed back to work. I do not remember him taking a single Allstate trip or even a family vacation. Two months after I bought his agency, he died of liver failure at the age of 66.
For some of you, 71 may seem like a long way away. You may feel like you have plenty of time to do all the things you want to do, and time is on your side.
I would disagree.
Both of my parents are over 71 and it seems like yesterday when they were in their 40s. Time goes by fast. Think about the last 10 years of your life. As fast as that went by, the next 10 years will go by even faster.
Through CWC and especially my Inner Circle program, I work with lots of agency owners. Fortunately, the vast majority have been able to build a business that allows them to actually live their life.
Instead of their agency dictating how they live their life, they are leveraging their business to live the life they want to live. There is a huge difference.
Trust me, time is going to go by faster and faster. You will likely never be healthier than you are today. Your kids are going to grow up and you are going to get older quicker than you think. The day is going to come where will no longer be able to do the things you love to do. So, what you do NOW is important.
So, what am I saying?
Simply put, you have an amazing opportunity in front of you to live a life others can only dream of. I live in a neighborhood full of doctors, attorneys and other professionals that live to work. They miss out on so much while they are at work.
Unfortunately, many insurance agency owners are in the same position, and it does not have to be that way. Instead of being chained to your business, I want you to leverage your business to live the life that you want to live. Many of you have already accomplished this, but most of you have not. If you create the correct staffing structure, culture and processes in your agency, you can accomplish this, and it may come a lot sooner than you think. You just have to prioritize it and stay disciplined with your approach.
Some of the keys?
- You need an amazing team . And to develop true freedom and flexibility, you will need to develop some strong leaders. To create that, you must have high quality standards and expectations and you must hold people accountable. Many of you struggle with that.
- You need an amazing culture
where you lead by example and have a strong, positive voice that people want to follow. Many of you struggle with that as well. Remember, you get what you tolerate. Many of you tolerate way too much and that’s exactly why you find yourself in the position that you are in.
- Own everything and learn from things that do not go well. Everything that happens in your agency is your responsibility and it reflects your choices and decisions. A new team member fails? That is on you, not them. You hired them. You trained them. You are the one responsible for their success. Do not make excuses or lie to yourself. Accept responsibility and learn from your mistakes so you can apply what you learn to the next situation.
Too much blame is placed on company direction, rates, lead vendors, hiring companies, etc. when agencies are struggling. The key thing to focus on is YOU. Your agency is perfectly designed to get the exact results that you are getting, and you are the one that designed it. The good news is that if you don’t like your results, you are also the one that can change it.
If you are already leveraging your agency to live the life you want to live, I congratulate you. However, if you find yourself being held captive by your agency, it is time to start the process to change that. You don’t have to work around the clock to be successful. You don’t have to miss out on important life events out of fear your business might not operate if you are not there. You can step away and you can take the time off that you deserve. You can do anything you want to do if you will simply set your mind to it. I promise you, 71 will come a lot faster than you think.