In life, you are either moving forward or standing still. The latter means you’ve chosen an existence of safety and security, never dreaming bigger than you ever thought possible, or taking a risk, because you’re paralyzed by the imaginary fear in your mind: the fear of change.
It’s those who step out of the darkness and into the light, those who run from the sidelines and out onto the field of battle, those who believe that life begins when you look inward to find who you are and what you could bring to this world, that you manifest the greatness inside you.
If your life can be that grand, then so can your business, because the moment of wonder and magic is not when you make your life fit your business, but when you make your business fit your life. The energy of the two intertwined in harmony amplifies the music that’s already inside of you, it’s a symphony of work and dedication to being the best you can possibly be. It’s your song, your story.
Everyone has a story.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is Storytelling for Business.
Storytelling for Business: Anything is Possible
“Life changes when your purpose becomes bigger than your problems, and your determination becomes deeper than your doubt…”
– Troy McQuagge, CEO USHEALTH Advisors/USHEALTH Group
In life, you’re either running with the herd or taking the road less traveled. Going off on your own takes guts, heart and the ability to ignore the naysayers, the ones outside and your biggest threat, the one inside.
For Mike Le, it was not an easy decision to become an entrepreneur, his ethnic background dictated he follow a generational path, but something inside told Mike to turn the other way.
“My biggest accomplishment in life so far is being successful on my own,” says Mike. “It definitely wasn’t easy. Being brought up in an Asian family, there were only a few options presented to you, but I went against the grain. Most of my other relatives are doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, and dentists. It’s a lot about the prestige. For way too long I felt I had to do one of those professions, but then I went in a different direction and have been very successful.”
It’s a brave stance for a kid, who up until kindergarten, didn’t even know his real name.
“I grew up since the day I was born thinking my name was Michael,” he says. “The first time in school they called out Young Le, I had no idea that’s who I was. Truly, I had no idea. My parents called me Michael from the day I was born, no one had told me any different.”
Whether it’s Young Le or Mike Le, it’s just a name, yet being different has always been the fuel for this young man’s success.
Mike is a newly promoted Satellite Division Sales Leader for USHEALTH Advisors, a UnitedHealthcare company, offering flexible health coverage and supplements to individuals, families and the self-employed. Mike says it was his different approach, right out of the gate, which created his success at USHA.
“I started in March of 2017 and in the first three months I earned about $60,000 in advances at the company,” says Mike. “I came in running, hit my first $100,000 in issued annual premiums in about six weeks, recruited really quickly from my pool of friends in the fitness industry and have kept building and building and building. It was my fitness background, the determination, and the discipline it takes to make it happen in that industry, which helped me transition over here at USHA. I had already been working with tremendous discipline in bodybuilding for the past five years and competing as well, so when I came to USHEALTH Advisors I went full force and used the same dedication and motivation, all the same qualities that made me successful in the fitness and supplements business.”
But it was a secret, yet-a not-so-secret piece of the puzzle that got Mike off to such a quick start at USHA. It had nothing to do with special favors, or some clandestine activity and everything to do with awareness of what could set him apart. Once again, being and thinking differently.
It was the nights and weekends trick. Work smarter, not harder.
“I think I was the one in our office that created the nights and weekends focus,” says Mike. “When I first came here, no one was working after 6 pm. I said, ‘let me see what would happen if I worked a little past these guys, a little longer and later than everyone else.’ “As it turns out I was getting 20-to-30 new leads every night I stayed later. We used the dialer to call prospective clients and since no one was around, all those leads were coming to me. I was putting up an additional $20,000 to $30,000 in annual premium volume every night. Multiply that by five or six nights and now I was crushing it. The agents around me thought I was doing something shady or getting some special treatment. They said, ‘how do you submit $30,000 by the end of the day when you barely had anything going on during the day?’ “I just told them you need to work when the people are going to pick up the phone. That was between 5 pm and 9 pm each night and again on weekends. I was just working when everyone else wasn’t, and it was the weekend AV as well, Saturday and Sunday, maybe the best two days because people are willing to talk to you. I eventually got my team doing it as well, so when everyone left we stayed back and worked.”
Let’s face it, hard work works. Always has, always will. Coming from his days of weight lifting and strict dieting, Mike knew the road to greatness was paved with focus, determination, and dedication, not shortcuts. You stay on that road, but at the same time keep thinking outside the box. Stay physically and mentally strong.
“I learned so much from fitness,” Mike says. “No one is going to lift the weights for you or put the chicken and broccoli inside your mouth for two years straight. Here at USHA, you do the same type of work, it’s on you, you are working toward a goal, just like in the bodybuilding industry, where you want to look and feel better. Here, you want to build a better life.”
“It’s a mental attitude and it’s fail-proof. We’re all here to better ourselves and better the people around us, it’s self-driven and it’s responsibility. I brought a lot of people here from the fitness industry with that same mentality and it’s why we are so successful, we want the results. Whether I’m trying to help as many people as I can, earn as much as I can, or try and get to 4% body fat in the gym, I’m going to do it and do whatever needs to be done, regardless of the challenge.”
Mike says he credits much of his ability to persevere from his mother, who was forced to work as a single mom for much of Mike’s childhood, and his grandfather. Since Mike’s mom had to be out of the house and out in the workplace, it was his grandparents who helped raise him.
“My grandfather is my rock,” says Mike. “He raised me and gave me a lot of my personality, he helped make me who I am today. He is very respectful and was a big part of my life. When I do whatever I do, I think, ‘would this make him happy?’ “All the good qualities I have for myself, respect for others, being positive, it came from him. My grandfather came from a royal family in Vietnam and because of that he always talked about how other people are watching what we do and we must rise above and be an example. Everything from simple table manners, to how to treat people, the same way you would want to be treated.”
For Mike, it doesn’t end there either when it comes to respect and responsibility in life. Because Mike’s parents split when he was young, and with Mike being the oldest among his step-brother and cousins, much of the decision making and responsibility for the family rises and falls with Mike.
It is literally leadership, defined.
“With the hierarchy in the Asian culture, you are born and expected to act a certain way,” says Mike. “If the father is not around, it’s the oldest child who makes the decisions for the family. When we discuss anything for the family, I have a big say in all we do. It’s such a huge responsibility and it has helped shape me into a very responsible decision-maker. Whatever choice I make I know it affects a lot of people, so I always try and make the best one.”
Yet it was his decision to break from the traditional cultural path and to become an entrepreneur, which initially shocked and disappointed much of his family.
“I had graduated with three degrees in college,” says Mike. “I didn’t have minors in a couple, I actually majored in three different areas and got degrees in each: biology, chemistry, and psychobiology. I was a way-above-average student, but the career path I was to follow was not my dream, it was my family’s dream. It took a lot to tell them I was going to do something else, to tell them that this is what I want, and then to go out and prove I could be successful doing it. But it’s worked out. I have cousins and relatives who are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from the specialty schools they attended after college. But I have made a lot of money and have no debt at all.”
Mike says what he did is not the right path for everyone, but he says his point is if you want it bad enough, whatever it is, then go get it.
After a pitch from his high-school friend Garret Laughlin in 2017, Mike says he knew USHEALTH Advisors could be the right place for him, but it would take hard work. “I had only worked building salt-water aquariums for people and in the bodybuilding and supplement business,” says Mike. “I told Garrett, ‘I deal with fish nerds and people that look at themselves in the mirror all day, (the bodybuilders), not sure if I can sell health insurance.”
But it worked out, big time. By the end of his first year with the company, which remember, didn’t begin until March of that year, Mike had been promoted to a Field Training Agent and his team finished Top Five in the country.
Mike says anyone who wants to come to USHEALTH Advisors should understand it will take hard work because true success always does.
“I tell anyone who comes here to trust the process,” says Mike. “This is not a get-rich-quick scenario, you will get out of it what you put into it. If you want to be a six-figure person, then work six-figure hours. If you want to work 9-to-5, you don’t belong in our office. This company is the greatest opportunity you could ever want, you just gotta work for it.”
Putting in the work, from the first day he got here and continuing on into today, has helped Mike to live the life of his dreams. And when you make your dreams come true, no doubt you will touch other lives as well.
“I got married in June of 2017,” says Mike. “Only four months after I started here. That was another make-it-or-break-it time for me. I had to pay for part of my wedding and because I knocked it out of the park in March, April and May, I was not only able to do that but also to take my beautiful wife Queenie, on the honeymoon of her dreams.” In June of 2017, Mike took his new bride to Athens, Greece, Santorini, and Mykonos. “It would never have been possible without me coming to USHEALTH Advisors,” he says.
Mike now has a growing family as well, with his step-son, Alex, and a baby, 15-month-old Landon. And he says his goal is to always be there for them.
“I was raised by a single mother, without my father around, so I want to be a better man,” says Mike. “I strive for success and to be with my family and be everything I can for them. I don’t want my kids to go through what my family went through in the early years. My mom remarried when I was ten, and I have a step-father who treated me like I was his own. In that respect, it worked out well.”
Being a leader for his family, a leader in the company and a leader for his team, are all responsibilities Mike takes seriously. And he wants others to share the same success he has, despite any obstacles they encounter.
Mike says: “My message to anyone would be life is not easy, success is not easy, it’s hard. Especially when your family, like mine when I was growing up, is not supportive of your decision. But do it anyway. My family was a big challenge, they wanted me to follow the traditional career path, it took a while for me to say to them, ‘this is what I want to do.’ “But not only did I do it, but I became successful in doing what they didn’t want me to do. Society and others like to judge you, but if you want it, go out and get it and make sure you do it well.”
“If you put your mind to work and dedicate your heart and soul into what you want, even if you must go against the grain, then if you want it bad enough you can make it happen. If you have shortcomings or anything like that, learn from them, they should drive you to be the better person you know you could and should be. Tell yourself you’re going to do it, then anything is possible.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
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