Life isn’t easy for anyone, it never has been, it never will be. Accept that fact and move forward, regardless.
It’s the same for business, for it’s a focal point of life, a way you can create and hopefully contribute, and it’s never all sunshine and roses. The difference-maker is in your attitude, your thinking, and your effort.
Believe that you can overcome and you will. Focus on how your business will serve others and you’ll succeed. Be driven by passion and persevere… and then you’ll have a story to share.
Everyone has a story.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is Storytelling for Business.
Storytelling for Business: Be Someone’s Light
Powered by purpose.
That’s the theme in 2021 for USHEALTH Advisors and one which Rachel Waddington has embraced, and it has fueled her success. Success leaves clues, and at the age of only 25, and after only a few years in the business, Rachel has led her team to more than $8 million in insurance sales, with nearly $2 million coming from her own personal production.
“About three years ago my entire life became obsessed with being the best version of myself,” says Rachel. “No one wants to be on a team, or with a leader who is not trying to be the very best version of themselves every day.”
Yet it wasn’t that long ago that purpose was far from Rachel’s mind, instead, for most of her life she was punctured by problems.
“The first 20 years, it was like life was throwing rocks at me,” says Rachel. “Or at least that’s the story I told myself. I went from thing to thing asking myself, ‘so where are you going to get hit by more rocks?'”
Born in Cape May, New Jersey, Rachel says there wasn’t much to do, or at least in her mind, much hope. “Cape May is beautiful,” says Rachel. “If I could pick it up and move it to Tampa, I would. It’s just that there was very little opportunity there. Plus I was a crappy student, so I didn’t do myself any favors. I don’t know why, but for some reason, school didn’t work for me, but I knew I was destined for something big. I knew I always wanted to help people. I’m the person who will give my last five dollars to someone else before I spend it on myself.”
Rachel says she and her siblings spent a good amount of time on their own because for a good portion of their lives Rachel’s mom had to provide for the family.
“My parents split when I was about ten,” says Rachel. “So my mom had to work and she was not around as much as she could, or would have liked to have been. But we were super lucky, because my mom always gave us so much love, even though she might not be there physically. She was the type of person who was very understanding and the times I was able to be with her she was the person who always showed you how to be kind. She was very giving in how much she showed love and told me I could be independent and all the other positive adjectives you can think of. She was the one who told me I was meant for something bigger, and she told me my whole life that I had a calling.”
We all have a calling, but what we don’t often realize is that the thing you are meant to do rarely shouts, it whispers, and it can take some time to hear, to listen, and then understand our purpose.
So while waiting for her calling to arrive, Rachel got to work. In fact, at the still-tender age of 14, Rachel was serving, though not the kind that creates fortunes, just enough to make ends meet.
“It got crazy in the summertime in Cape May,” says Rachel. “I got a hospitality job and every summer I worked a million hours to make money. I was always a server that rose to the top very quickly, becoming a top trainer or top server for that shift. I was always somebody who was given a job then stepped up to the plate and did very well in hospitality. In fact, there was a time I thought I would do that forever.”
While the hospitality industry seemed to be a good fit, Rachel says school was still part of what she refers to as her “struggle bus.”
“I went to community college in New Jersey for two years,” says Rachel. “And then one of my best friends moved to Tampa. I went to visit and decided to transfer to the University of Tampa.” But Rachel’s university experience lasted only one semester. If she was meant for something bigger, it wasn’t going to come from hitting the books.
“I don’t know why I didn’t give college my all,” she says, “because I’ve seen what I can accomplish when I do give it all I’ve got. I got my priorities messed up, I was part of these nightlife gigs, basically promoting events, happy hours, college events, and parties and I gave that way more attention than my schoolwork.”
Plus, Rachel says she needed to work and work hard since when she made the move at age 19, from Jersey to Florida, she only had about $900 in her pocket.
“$967 to be exact,” laughs Rachel. “I remember driving down to Florida and stopping in Virginia to fill my gas tank. In New Jersey, they don’t let you pump gas yourself, the attendants do it for you. So when I stopped in Virginia, there I sat at the pump, waiting for a gas attendant who, I had no idea, was never going to come. But it gave me time to look at my bank account on my phone, stare at the $967 in there and wonder if this was the right move.”
Life changes when your determination becomes deeper than your doubt. Meant for something bigger than her beautiful small town, Rachel was at least ready to try and make it in the big city.
By 2017, among other jobs, Rachel was working at World of Beer, the same one where Reid Demyan was employed as a bouncer. Reid left his gig to join a company called USHEALTH Advisors, while Rachel single-handedly created a new marketing position for the restaurant. It was September of that year when Reid, enjoying success at USHA, decided to step up into a leadership position and called his friend Rachel to invite her to join him at his new venture.
“Reid called me and said, ‘I’m starting a team and I think you’d be great at this’, Rachel says. “I told him, ‘No way Jose, I’m doing big things here and I’m making a name for myself!’ “But that year the holiday season kicked my butt. I’ll never forget I was driving along highway 275 in Tampa, in crazy traffic, when my boss called me, screaming at me. I couldn’t take it anymore. It told him, ‘I’m done.’ “I pulled off the road, and called Reid, crying, actually not just crying, balling my eyes out, asking if the offer to interview was still available and can I still get that job? Reid said, ‘I got you.’ “I said, good, cause I’ve got no place else to go!’
The next few days were perhaps one of the fastest onboarding experiences in USHEALTH Advisors’ history. Rachel was on a mission to prove she was meant for something more.
“I went in for an interview on Monday,” says Rachel. “On Tuesday I went back for an expectations meeting and I contracted. On Wednesday I studied and on Thursday I passed the exam to become a licensed agent. I told myself if Reid, (who is now a Field Sales Leader), can do this, so can I.”
But could she? At first, Rachel was confident she could get going quickly, full of enthusiasm and inspired after her first sales meeting, where she saw another agent hit their $100,000 milestone, Rachel says her can-do attitude was on fire. That is, until she struggled, just a little bit, then her mind took over and the “rocks’ from her first 20 years started flying again.
“At the beginning of my career I struggled a lot with not leaving my problems at the door,” says Rachel. “I complained about my financial problems to Krystal Roberts (Rachel’s Field Training Agent at the time), being a college dropout, not having many friends… it was poor me, poor Rachel, for the first six months of my career.”
“To be honest, before coming to USHA I had struggled with depression a lot in my life. Now, it was back. I was struggling to get out of bed, to look in the mirror, ignoring my family text messages, and just not addressing life in general. I was still living the scarcity mindset. I knew I was worthy of being a six-figure earner, but I was not feeling good enough, I was looking at myself in the mirror and saying terrible things. If I had only $20 in the bank, I carried that energy with me all day long. It got so bad that Krystal made me go home, telling me she couldn’t have that cloud poisoning her pit at the office. I went home and realized I was not just a dark cloud, but I’m a poisonous one too!”
But Rachel says where many people might have given up on her, Krystal stayed true, looking to help her get back on track.
“Krystal gave me two quotes that started to change things. The first is that success is inevitable as long as you don’t give up and the second is that my future self was begging me to keep going. I made a decision I was not going to let my future self down.”
What Rachel started to realize was her future was also tied to the positive part of her past, that calling she felt, that purpose her mom kept telling her about, that Rachel was meant for something big. In one moment, Rachel says an offer from Krystal brought that dream to life.
“I turned things around the very second Krystal and I came to an agreement that if I could get it together, I could be in leadership. That one word brought a spark, it spoke to me. When Krystal said leadership, it changed everything. I started writing my story, and I’ve been doing it every day now for three years. I wrote it down, I looked at myself in the mirror differently, I started working out and making my bed in the morning. I never understood before how important that was. I started reading and five books in a row told me to make my bed, so that seemed like a good idea!”
Fast forward to today, where Rachel says being able to share her own struggles and make other people realize it will be OK, is part of her gift. After all, your struggle is your gift the world will fall in love with. It’s not the strengths that connect us, it’s the weaknesses, it’s our flaws that bond us.
“I do affirmations now,” says Rachel. “I have my goals in lipstick on my mirror. I have a journal I write in every day, and I write my story every single day, no matter what, even if I’m sick I still write it down. I am reading Think and Grow Rich again. I read it when I first started with USHEALTH Advisors but I really didn’t grasp it then. I just read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, it’s so good and I have already applied a lot of it. Every quarter I read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve actually put in writing that the author, Don Miguel Ruiz, is going to officiate my wedding!”
Rachel continues, “if you ask the Tampa office who is the mindset guru, they would say go talk to Rachel. I tell all my agents, I have no shame. I will tell them all my stories, I don’t care, I’m transparent. I find peace in being able to see where someone is and I can relate to them and make them feel better. Krystal Roberts, who is now my Satellite Division Leader, and I were talking just the other day, asking, why is it people keep coming to us? I told her, ‘Krystal it’s because we have been that struggle bus.’ “I can tell you I would not be where I am today without Krystal. I believe that 150 percent. I would not be where I am without her. I’m so lucky to be with her and on her team.”
Rachel says it was Krystal who helped teach her the daily disciplines and structure needed to succeed; everything from writing down her goals to listening to motivational videos in the morning, to creating a schedule and sticking to it.
“I’m up at 6 am every day,” says Rachel. “The first thing I do is take my dogs for a long walk. My time with them is so important to me.”
“I also listen to the same Nike motivational commercial every day and it still gives me goosebumps even now. I talk about my goals with my boyfriend, Joseph Garrison, he also works for the company as a Field Training Agent. Once I’m in the office I write down my goals and I write down my story, again. Then I read for 15 minutes before we ramp up for the 8 am call session. I’m still a dialer, so I hop on our CRM and start dialing along with my agents. Later on, I train with role-playing and objections.”
Rachel’s FTA Team name is Team Overflow. She says she heard Oprah once say everyone is a cup. That you’re a cup and if you don’t keep yourself overflowing, while you continue to give yourself to the world, you will deplete yourself and not have anything left over. If you’re overflowing, you have plenty to give and always have a feeling of full abundance.
It’s about abundance and consistency. “My days are very consistently the same, says Rachel. “And I have great support. Joe is also a huge reason why I am now genuinely the very best version of myself. I had spent the last couple of years trying to get there – I got close and it’s still impressive, but this year, ever since we’ve been dating, I have felt as close to the perfect version of myself. I told him I believe you have been single all this time because the universe was keeping you for me. Thanks for waiting for me.”
Rachel believes the universe is conspiring on her behalf and that it can be this way for anyone. As a matter of fact, the reason she is the focus of this story is simply that she wrote in her journal every single day that Mark Brodinsky, (that’s me :)), would one day write her story. “It’s a lot of visualization,” says Rachel. “I’ve been writing the words, Mark Brodinsky Story, for two years now, hundreds and hundreds of times, and here we are.”
There’s power in persistency, a positive mindset, and then the magic ingredient, putting in the work. It’s a singular focus that powers Rachel’s purpose to help, to serve, and just as important, to shine her light.
“My favorite quote in the whole world, the one I live by every single day, is to be someone’s light in an often dim world. That’s what’s most important about my story. With as few skill sets – financial intelligence, or emotional intelligence that I had – it’s when I was being kind to someone else, trying to help them, that’s when I felt my fullest and I still do. It’s that passion and eventually the mindset that got me to where I am today.”
It’s living a life in service to others. Rachel is powered by the purpose to be someone’s light.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
(***If you would like to read the personal and professional story Rachel writes down each day, read below***).
PERSONAL – I wake up every day with excitement to do my best. I greet the morning sun knowing wonderful opportunities are waiting for me. I deserve happiness success health and wealth as much as everyone else. I am thankful for the air I breathe. I am prepared. I am capable. I am becoming a better person every day. I am living in a perfectly toned body. my mind and my body are healthy. my business flourishes with referrals, networking, and success. my mind is bulletproof. I trust that the universe is guiding me to my divine life purpose. I trust my instincts and know I will always make the right decision. I choose to be kind and understanding even when no one is looking. I am limitless. I am the secret. I am closer every day to my long-term goals. I always try my best. I take nothing personally. I make no assumptions and I am impeccable with my word. I choose to have the right attitude. I am in a happy and healthy relationship with someone who treats me the way I expect. my life is filled with many blessings. I live an abundant life with someone I respect and adore. I am doing a great job and I am proud of myself. I continue to climb and improve every day. I am worthy of everything I want.
PROFESSIONAL – My business flourishes with referrals, networking, and success. Applications flow to me effortlessly and on a continued basis. I am so happy and grateful now that I am ahead of my goals. my applications issue continuously and reflect my 85% taken rate. I am confident in my abilities. I influence others every week with my consistent numbers. My system is efficient and effective… I easily have finished in the par bonus. I am confident that my name is highlighted green for my yearly goals. I have successfully converted myself to be a consistent top producer. I have exceeded the standards of FTA average production and earn $25k issued average production. My business continues to prosper. referrals are calling me every day for insurance and they are all healthy and wealthy. I have full confidence in my ability to succeed. I am in the top 100 in the country for issued business. I have improved the story I tell myself. I have improved my consistency. I have mastered this business and make myself proud. I am a million-dollar producer.
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