Sunday: Courage, hope, inspiration, someone born to do what they do, someone doing their best to excel in service to others, someone trying to become more.
The Sunday Series (14): It’s Time You Know
This is my blog. This is the Sunday Series, the signature feature of the blog these days and as turn a corner into the second quarter for the Sunday Series, I thought it only fair to tell a bit of my story, because it’s time you know.
I believe those who might not know me and there are plenty who don’t, deserve to know. You might know what’s in my heart, I would hope you do if you read this feature, or any of the blogs I post. But if you are going to share with others it’s just good customer service to make sure those you serve have knowledge about you. What blows me away is plenty of people I have featured in this Sunday Series really know nothing about me before we speak on the phone, or know very little before they put their blind trust in me to tell their story. And I think it only fair you know some more about mine. It’s time you know.
I am Mark Brodinsky, father and husband, author, blogger, financial services professional. Maybe the best kept secret on this blog is I have another vocation. I have wanted to share that information for some time, but when you serve in this field, compliance issues can get in the way, I’m going to work around those today. I also wanted it to be the right time. It is the right time.
The other night I was presented the award as the # 1 PEA in my general office. PEA stands for Professional Experienced Agent, I have been in this field for more than a dozen years. But before I get into why I want to share my other vocation and how it completely fits into my purpose and my why on the pages of this blog, I think a little history is in order. After all, this is the Sunday Series and here we tell stories.
As I described myself above, father and husband come first. I truly believe the two go together. In my life one wasn’t going to exist without the other and it doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, it just is. The core of my universe are my two daughters, Sophie and Emily and my wife Debbie. When I take pen to paper to share a thought, write down a goal, or when I hit a keystroke on this computer to write a blog, or tell a story… as author of a book, or in my work helping individuals, families, seniors or business owners with protection, profit and security, the core of my universe is never far from my thoughts. Live in service to others, especially those who you love and rely on you to be there, but really to everyone you meet and needs your help and guidance. My family and my core beliefs guide me… and I am one person doing all of these. Mark Brodinsky, blogger, author, tv producer, tv talent, financial services professional, no matter what I am doing I am the same person.
Living in service to others. I’m not sure I always understood what that meant, maybe few do when they are young. When I was young I had a dream. We all do. I can’t imagine you find a kid who doesn’t, whether it is to be a professional athlete, doctor, lawyer, teacher, pop star, movie star, the list goes on and on. When I was a teenager I battled in silence with a speech impediment, stuttering. It didn’t really surface until about the 4th grade, at least what I can remember anyway, and it wasn’t bad enough to be entirely noticeable, because I developed such an astute ability to work around it and never told anyone about it until later in life, but it made me want to do something…prove I could overcome it. I was going to be on television. At the same time, as I was growing up I found a way to communicate exactly the way I wanted, without struggle, I would write. Because on paper and with a pen or pencil to speak for me it was easy to share my thoughts without fear, or the limits of coming up with words I could say without trouble. I excelled in my English classes and in my creative writing course in college. I got straight A’s in my classes focused on film writing and television writing. I could write with the best of the best.
During my senior year in college my success with writing made me decide to accept an internship at Baltimore Magazine. I signed on, but something wasn’t exactly right. Remember I had a dream, something to overcome and writing for a magazine was not going to get me there. So I asked the internship office for one more choice. I was instructed to check out a Baltimore TV station, WJZ-TV. The moment I walked into the newsroom I knew that was where I belonged, I was center stage in this dream and I wasn’t going to let it get away. I promptly called Baltimore Magazine to tell them thanks, but no thanks. And I began a 17 year career in local television. Writing, true creative writing was about to take a back seat.
At WJZ I was a good producer, that was my main gig. But I was able to convince the powers that be to give me an on-air segment on the morning show I was producing and it worked. I became one of the few producers in the entire country to appear as talent on the same show I was producing. Over the years I had several segments on that show, including my signature segment called Fly Friday, where each Friday morning we went up in the station’s chopper and checked out cool stuff from the air. I served as reporter. The morning show was a huge success, I had been given a TV nickname, The Blade, and I was having a blast. I had reached a dream. I had overcome.
But my main responsibility was as a producer at the station and was promoted to the 5pm newscast. In my very first year producing that 5pm show I won an Emmy Award for Best News Broadcast in a Medium Market. Exciting times.
Emmy Award 1996
It was a turning point, because both events made me realize there was much more to this thing we call life then just the job. Live in service to others. The hours I was pulling in TV were not conducive to me being present for the newest addition to my family and so I made the decision to walk away and gain control over my life and my hours. I went into the insurance business.
I worked doing individual health and supplemental sales for ten years helping the self-employed with benefits they desperately needed. Live in service to others. In less than ten years I racked up $6 million in production, one application at a time.
Found this picture, what the heck 🙂
But as healthcare reform hit and my significant equity investment in my company plummeted, it was time to move on. It was a transactional business for the most part, I wanted to work in a consultative industry, where I could truly get to know others, plus I needed to rebuild. And at the same time we had another daughter to care for… Emily.
That’s where I am now, and in a second I’m going to tie this together, but there’s just a bit more.
The online journal I kept and posted nearly every day and my wife’s strength in dealing with her illness inspired me to write a book, It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story. In just four days after release, it became a # 1 Amazon Best-Seller. The book is meant to share the message and it has worked, its purpose is fulfilled every day.
It Takes 2
This never started out as me becoming an author, it was always about finding a way to help other people. But only those who have taken on the task of writing, publishing and promoting a book can understand, at some point it has to be about the book and promotion. Mainly because the most important message out there, one that might actually resonate and help other people will have little meaning if no one knows about it. In our busy world it is easy to get lost in the tidal wave of information which exists, so it all comes down to the packaging. So write a book, share a story or a message and promote the heck out of it. There is nothing wrong with being proud to be an author or of that accomplishment.
Thank You for all the support
It was Debbie’s illness, my online journal and the chronicle of our journey which took me back to my roots of writing. The experience led me to start this blog, “It’s Just About… Life” and eventually the Sunday Series as well. It’s my desire to give back, to make a difference, to leave a legacy. And in life you can’t just live by intentions, you have to take action. I take action. I am on a dedicated, disciplined journey of personal growth and I want to share.
And here is where it comes together. My actions, my intentions, my desire to live in service to others is the same whether you are reading what I write, or as I am working with the two types of people who need me the most, those who might die too soon, or live too long. A death without life insurance in place and the right amount of life insurance for that matter is going to mean sacrifice and maybe devastation for those left behind. And people are living longer, how do you make the money last? What is the right strategy? How do you make those golden years truly golden. I help with all of these things and I am the same person who pours his heart out on this blog and pours his heart into other people who need my help as a financial services professional.
New …. Life
I’m not supposed to use the name of the firm where I work, but you can look at the picture above, or search me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and see my vocation,(see links below). I can also tell you it is three words, it starts with the word New and ends with the word Life. It’s tag line is The Company You Keep and it is one of, if not the most successful corporation in the United States.
Any my purpose to tell you a little of my story is not to impress you with any of the accomplishments, there are tons of successful people out there doing incredible things, my purpose is to impress upon you that I work to build a better life for those I meet. Besides I don’t believe in life you should stand at the top of the mountain looking down and say “I’ve done it all”, I believe you should stand at the bottom looking up and say, “I want to learn it all”. My goal is to become more by helping others to do the same…to help them protect, pursue and to live their dreams, in my writing, speaking and my advising. In all of this I am one person, living in service to you.
I am Mark Brodinsky.
Now you know.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
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