Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Reality of Owning a Business

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go to a seminar entitled, "Monetize Your Message" that Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction.Com put on.     I've been following her for about a year and a half and love all the nuggets she gives about running a business.     What I love about her is that she is real, honest, humble, and full of integrity.     

Fabienne put on a great seminar and it has been a dream of mine to not only meet her, but take advantage of one of her programs.   The dream of meeting her in person came true this week, however, taking advantage of one of her programs is still in the horizon.    The reason and the reality is that it costs money and it's not yet in my budget.   

One of the things that she spoke about is her struggles in business and because of her honesty, it truly gave me hope.      Contrary to what some may believe that just because you are in business, it doesn't mean that it comes easy, without work, or without struggles.     As much as I love what I do, there have been several things that have happened that hurt.    I'm not one to share these things often, but after listening to Fabienne, I feel that by sharing them, there will be someone that will benefit.    At least, that is my hope.     She shared her heart and it was not only a benefit, but a blessing to me.    Thank you, Fabienne.  

One of the hardest things for me to hear is that "You do insurance - wow, you must be loaded".     This comment or anything like this really takes me off guard.      First of all, my husband and I aren't loaded and even if we were, it isn't something that should even be brought up.     For me personally, I work to put some of the money that is made back into the business every month.    Many months, this isn't possible and I can look at my account seeing less than $10.00 there and wonder how I will get through until the next week.   Does this affect me? Yes it does.  Do I sometimes feel sorry for myself?   You bet.    Can I do something about it?    Yes, and I do every single day.     I get up, brush myself off, and find a way to provide peace of mind to another client.     Is it hard?   It can be if I let myself think about it too long.    That's the reality.    

About a year ago, I received a referral for a business with seven employees.     They had reached out to me to find out if I could come with options for their employees for health, dental, and supplemental insurance plans.     I collected all their information, put together a wide range of options, set up an appointment, and met with the owners of the business to go through everything.     The meeting lasted for two and half hours.     At the end of the appointment when they had made their decision, one of the owners told me how much he appreciated the work and knowledge I brought to the table.  He went on to tell me that he had never seen any agent be so well prepared.    They currently had a plan in place that was due to expire in six weeks from the time of the appointment.     We set up another appointment to close on everything in two weeks.      Three days later at almost 9:00 at night, my cell phone rang.      I heard the phone ring, however, unless I know it is family calling at that time of night, I don't answer the phone because this is my family time.    Yes, business owners do need family time.    After listening to the message the next morning which by the way was from the business owner that complimented my presentation, I was floored.    In the message, he thanked me for giving his business plenty of information to know where to get their benefits, but they already had an agent and wouldn't need my services.    My heart sank as I thought about how this business had used my services to get what they wanted all while knowing that they never intended to move forward.     Did this bother me?     I can honestly say that this was probably one of the hardest things I had to overcome.    Did I learn from it?    You bet in more ways than one.     Did I brush myself off and move forward to help others?   I had to because I couldn't let one bad apple get in the way of helping others that wanted and needed the help.    The reality is that there are far more people that are honest and would never even dream of using someone.     The reality is focusing on the people that are honest far outweighs this one company that felt it necessary to use my services.    

With any profession, there are people that do a great job and there are some that don't have a good reputation.     One of the things that I work each day to provide is trust.     There have been people that have said, "Oh, you sell insurance.  I don't trust anyone that sells insurance - how can you be trusted?"    This can come from people that don't even know me.      This is where it has helped me to read over testimonials, read past e-mails from clients that thank me, and put my focus on all the good that comes from helping others secure adequate insurance coverage.     The reality is that there are bad salespeople.     The reality is that I feel for people that have been hurt by anyone in sales.     The reality is that I am human and sensitive.     For some reason, people believe that just because you own a business means that you can take anything including verbal bashing.    The reality is that I do sell insurance, however, I do so in a way that provides as much education and consultating as possible so that people can make informed decisions that are best for their companies and families.   

Even with all of this, I love what I do.    I have learned that I must keep going.   I have learned that without my help and guidance, many people would suffer.     I have learned that owning a business and being my own boss has it's rewards.   I have learned that I have many hats and know my strengths.   I have learned that there are many types of businesses out there and all of them have struggles.    I have learned that business owners have fears, but do it anyways.   I have learned that other business owners want to help you because they know what you go through each day and have come to be some of my best friends.      I have learned that it pays to be honest and trustworthy and I wouldn't run my business any other way.     That's the reality.        

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