Make Mentorship a Priority

My question for you today is, do you have a mentor? Are you mentoring somebody else? One of the things that needs to happen in the insurance world is we need to embrace mentorship to perpetuate good skillsets going forward. If you don’t think it’s important, maybe I can change your mind.

Personal Development

Do you have a mentor? Are you mentoring anybody else? If the answer to either of those questions or both is no, you’re missing out. Mentoring does so much for our personal development. It gives us the skills we need, it gives us relationships, it helps us build our network, and most importantly, it perpetuates greatness in the industry that’s given all of us so much. Let me give you an example. Yesterday I had an instant message come through my Facebook account early in the morning from my buddy Jason Cass. It said, “David, I need to talk to you immediately. It’s urgent.” Well, I’ve been working with Jason for about a year and a half now, and when Jason tells me something’s urgent, I’m going to pick up the phone and call him and see what’s going on. Jason had an opportunity that he wasn’t a hundred percent sure on how he needed to approach, and he could pick up the phone and call somebody who’s been in that situation before to give him advice, walk him through strategies.

Fifteen Minutes with a Mentor Can Change Your Game

In 15 minutes on the phone, he left with a confidence level that he didn’t have prior. Guess what happened? As his mentor, I followed up with him yesterday afternoon. I wanted to know, was he successful? Did I bring value to him? Was my advice good? I got an email from Jason that said, “You’re not going to believe this.” And he forwarded me an email from the account he met with that clearly said, “We want you to be our agent.” Guys, this isn’t a $5,000 premium BOP. This thing’s like $150,000 just on the worker’s comp, and the premium is going to go North from there because they’re in a situation where we know the mod is not going to be favorable this year. I love getting the call saying, “Hey, it’s urgent. I need to talk to you.” But what I love more is when I get the email that says, “David, what you told me works. What you told me made a difference.”

Never Stop Learning

That’s huge for us. As we progress through the ranks, we want other people to learn from us. We feel good when we help other people, but that doesn’t mean that’s where it needs to stop. It should never end with you mentoring others because I need a mentor too. I need somebody who’s further up the food chain than I am so that they can make me better, and they can help me sharpen the saw. They can turn my game into something that it’s not right now. Never quit learning. Always seek help. I’m going to give you a few places where you can do that.

The Independent Agency Owner’s Alliance

The first one is the Independent Agency Owners Alliance, I-A-O-A. It’s a large Facebook group with about 6,500 members, all agency owners. If you’re an agency owner, you have to be an owner, and you’re not in that group, you need to find it and get plugged in immediately.  Every year they host Innovation. Innovation is a conference like none other in our industry. Innovation brings agents together to collaborate and to grow themselves. They share what’s working in their agencies. They share their failures. It makes everybody better for having attended. If you’ve never been there, you don’t get it until you go. I went the first time in 2019, and I left with three entire legal pads worth of notes. I didn’t even know where I was going to start when I came back. Thankfully, in 2020, I was only looking for one or two things because I learned my lesson in 2019, “I can’t drink from a fire hose.” But if you need information, if you need to connect with other agents, IAOA is the place to do it. And here’s the best part.

They have a free mentorship program. My man Tyrone Shelton and I went through that program. The program doesn’t cost anything at all. I’ve been working with Tyrone once a week for the last six months at this point. Quick 30-minute phone call. “What’s going on in your business? Here’s what’s going on in my business. How can I help you? What can I do to make you better?” It costs absolutely nothing. Get in IAOA.

Insurance Agent Mastermind

If you want something a little more intimate, reach out to my man Jason Cass at agency intelligence. If you’re selected to be in his Insurance Agent Mastermind, it is a limited number of elite agents from across the country. I’m in there. I learned stuff from these guys all the time. And truth be told, I’ve made some of the best friendships that I could make inside the insurance industry in his group.  Jason’s a great leader. He brings a lot of value to the table, and he’s a champion for the independent agent. Unlike the Independent Agency Owners Alliance, you don’t necessarily have to be an agency owner to be in Insurance Agency Intelligence. What you do need to do is be handpicked. Besides, Jason also has BrainShare, which is his event, and it’s an entirely different animal than Innovation that I mentioned earlier.

Agency Intelligence Brainshare

Jason’s event puts all of us in a room with several microphones, and we hash it out. Thoughts are shared and we share our opinions. We talk about what’s working and what’s not. These are cutting edge conversations. Things about sales techniques, technology, data, systems. All the things that we’re afraid to learn, but we know we need them. Check him out.

Mentorship Doesn’t Have to be Formal

If anything, you can do an informal mentorship. If you don’t want something formal, if you don’t want to get into IAOA, if you don’t want to be part of the Insurance Agent Mastermind, find somebody that you respect. Find somebody that you can talk to and ask them if you could develop a relationship where you’re a mentor or a mentee. Meet for coffee, do a zoom meeting, whatever it is that you can do, do it.

I’ve always liked the saying that imperfect action is always better than perfect inaction. If you’re inactive, you’re not a producer. You’re never going to kill it in commercial insurance. Get up on it, get a mentor, and go out and crush it.

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