How I failed my way to success

Each failure could have made me want to stop trying to be a success.  But a voice in me that always said, don’t stop, keep going, follow your gut.

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One of my favorite verses in a song comes from Exhale by the great Whitney Houston.  It says “For every win. Someone must fail.

I love those words because they remain true in anything that we do in our daily lives, especially when it comes to things like work, or small business.

Today, I will take you through my journey to success and show you that being the “Someone” that fails isn’t a bad thing.


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Door to door life insurance – Lesson 1

Getting my life and health insurance license was a great accomplishment for me; it took two weeks of self-study and 30 minutes for me to complete the state-mandated test.

Once I became licensed my first act was to establish myself with a few insurance companies and to go work with a larger insurance agency such as an Independent Marketing Organization (IMO).

These are sizeable independent insurance agencies that would train and assist you in the field of insurance sales if you signed up under them as an independent agent.

These companies wanted good agents because they get a piece of what you produce.

It looks like this:

How The Insurance Pie Works
Hierarchy Commission % Override on My Sale%
IMO (Independent Marketing Organization) 115% 5%
MGA (Managing General Agent) 110% 10%
GA (General Agent) 100% 20%
Agent 80% N/A

Based on the above layout, when I sold a $100.00 insurance policy, I received $80.00 of it, and the remaining $20.00 flowed upstream, which was still a great deal. And don’t let the 5% override of the IMO fool you, most of them can have upwards of 30+ Thousand agents.

The only issue for me is that I was doing this process door to door.  When I started 11 years ago, insurance companies were sending out “Mailers” to ask customers if they wanted to purchase life insurance.

If they sent the mailer back, it would come to myself or other agents as leads; we would then take those mailers to the customers home and try to make the sale.

The amount of time away from home was insane, and you never knew who or what was going to be on the other side of the door you are knocking on. It also didn’t matter if it was cold, hot, or raining, you had to make the sale, and after only about two months of this, I decided there had to be a better way.

I failed as a Door to Door life insurance salesman.   However, I decided I wanted to offer life insurance over the phone.

Lessons I learned from door to door sales:

  • Always be prepared
  • Persistency pays off
  • Work harder to get better results
  • Have a positive attitude & maintain a positive attitude

    The senior health market – Lesson 2

    At the time, there was only one life insurance company that I can remember by the name of Baltimore Life that offered life insurance over the phone.