I hope this finds you safe and healthy.
I’m sure we’ve all been spending more time in reflection than usual. One of the things I have been reflecting on is just what a special industry this is. I am inspired by how seriously you take your role as an advisor to your clients and how you always have their best interests in mind.
I am privileged to spend most of my days on coaching calls with some of the best advisors in the business. As you might imagine, the tone of the calls has been different recently. There have been tears on calls; there’s been laughter. There’s optimism, and there’s concern. The emotions have run the gamut, and they’ve been rather raw.
While we have still been discussing the broader issues of running the agency, not surprisingly, much of the conversations have focused on the effects of the COVID crisis. Agency owners are concerned about the financial impact it will have on their businesses. They are wondering how they can successfully maintain a work-at-home structure. They’re worried about their clients and their ability to survive the crisis intact. Honestly, there is no aspect of their business they aren’t thinking about constantly because of this crisis.
As difficult as some of the conversations have been, they have all proven to be therapeutic for everyone involved. What I know is the more that we talk to one another, and the more we share and open up with one another, the easier this crisis feels for all of us.
Our industry is not alone – far from it
The concerns I mentioned above aren’t unique to our industry; they are universal. Every business owner in your market is struggling with the same challenges and worries.
There is a great opportunity, need even, for you to provide a platform for these business owners to talk through their concerns. I would encourage you to reach out to 10, maybe 12, other small businesses and organize a small business roundtable (held virtually, of course).
Not only does this not need to be anything formal, I encourage you to intentionally keep it very casual in structure (at least the initial session). Just set up a video conference and create an opportunity for owners to open up about what they are experiencing, share their fears, ask questions, and share ideas.
You may be surprised by the power of simply coming together as a community to recognize we’re not alone; we’re in this together. And, maybe, just maybe, ideas will be shared, resolve enforced, and confidence built in a way that allows businesses to get through this (read: recover) a little bit faster, a little bit more successfully.
The therapeutic value of these conversations alone will make it more than worthwhile.
An additional upside
I hope you find this to be an idea that gives you a chance to give back and connect with other professionals. I encourage you to do so merely for the simple act of giving. But, also recognize this is an idea that will help you strengthen your own business.
By organizing such a meeting and openly sharing your ideas, you will allow other business owners to see the value of a real advisor. Your knowledge and experience as both a benefits advisor and small business will provide you an opportunity to contribute to the conversation.
Seeing you in such an environment will change the other participants’ expectations of what it means to be an insurance broker. Show them you have more to offer than a fancy spreadsheet. Let them see the broader value you can bring to their business, even in the most difficult of times.
Bring your local business community together and give them this valuable platform. A platform to not only talk about benefits issues, but to also talk about the broader issues that impact us as a business, as a community, and as human beings going through this challenging journey together.
I hope you will take this idea, share it, and organize some powerful conversations. By doing so, you will make a difference for others, and you will also make a difference for yourself.
Whatever you do, be safe my friends.
Photo by freshidea.