In a physical locale: Get involved in philanthropic and volunteer events. This helps you network in an area of people with similar interests and its “good for the soul!”
Do your thing: Get excited about building something new, get excited about your potential and get excited to teach other agents how to do it. Over the years we have changed things up in our practice to keep us energized. My current passion is helping families with special needs children to plan for a successful future. Through personal experience, I have witnessed a great need for this type of planning. It’s a challenging market, but is very rewarding.
Learn to say no! At this stage in my career I am only interested in working on projects that I have a passion for, and I’ve been able to find that with my new niche. For years I have been involved as a volunteer in the special needs community, in which I spend 10 to 12 hours per week advising causes that support my community and coaching sports teams for kids with special needs. This allows me to give back to a community I love and puts me in close proximity to people who would benefit from my services.
That said the special needs community is a small percentage of the population so I wanted to do something to help people on a national level, beyond our local market. To do this I partnered with an MDRT friend who is an expert on internet marketing and have built out an internet based approach. The website we’ve created (www.lifeinsurancespecialneeds.com) makes planning tools and information available to anyone who needs the resources for this type of planning, so parents have valuable resources available to them and can come to the table with questions to work through with me.
It is also a great site for advisors looking to better educate themselves on the unique planning aspects of the market. The site will help my colleagues understand how the planning is similar and how it is different than traditional planning. Again, this is counter intuitive. Giving away knowledge helps me more than it hurts me. Good advisors want to understand what to do, but the majority of them will look to partner and work jointly with us because we specialize in the special needs market. Information is not a substitute for experience, especially not in a market like this.
Find your niche and build it. You will find you’re more passionate about what you do and ultimately, you will be more successful!
Brad is an active volunteer in the community spending the bulk of his time supporting causes serving children and adults with special needs. Brad is enjoying his 15th season as coach of the Challenger Little League team in Palo Alto, is a co-founder and former coach of the VIP Soccer team in Palo Alto, and is on the Philanthropy Advisors Council for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.