Plans for the Near Future

Last week my insurance license arrived in the mail. You can now find me on the State of Maine website for insurance if you do an agent search. I now feel “official.”

I once held an insurance license for both life and health back in the mid-1990s, but I let it lapse. At the time, I didn’t know the first thing about sales and in hindsight, the company I was selling for really didn’t have a very strong stable of products. Part of that was due to insurance laws in Maine at the time. However, other reps did very well because they kept it simple and worked their plan.

Passing my insurance exam was the first step for me. To be honest, I hadn’t thought beyond simply getting a passing score. I was tunneled in—selling our house, moving 26 years of belongings to a new location, and fitting work, study, and freelancing into what was a roller coaster three month ride. That was all I was capable of carrying to the close of 2016.

Yesterday, I received my year-end summary from the supervisor I report to at my part-time gig. She was pleased with my performance since May. I even received a slight bump in pay, what some might call the employment version of a COLA. The standard three to four percent that some people get barely keeps inflation at bay. However, in the first quarter of the 21st century, any scraps that workers receive from the boss’s table are supposed to be received with gratitude, and we’re also expected to be loyal in our servitude.

My session went better than his.

This isn’t intended to be a criticism or a critique of where we are in America, a place that long ago stopped being “great” for most workers. No, I’m simply acknowledging the reality. I could also frame it as a personal declaration that in 2017, I’m done allowing myself to be taken in by hucksters and charlatans promising things that they can’t deliver. That applies to employers, politicians, and people that I come across in my daily travels.

This week, I’m working on completing my first article of 2017 for one of the trade magazines that I contract with. The article I turn in will be well-written and informative. I will also go out four days this week and do a bang-up job for my hourly employer, always holding up my end of the value proposition. That’s how I roll.

But here in week three of 2017, I’m pondering if it’s possible to better leverage some of my own hard work and personal discipline. Can I enhance my opportunities? I’ve been doing some research and performing due diligence, getting up to speed on the insurance industry. I am beginning to think that I have a bigger bargaining chip than I thought I did two weeks ago. I also have a credential that not every prospective agent has.

The question is, how do I best employ it for my own benefit, and the benefit of others?