It’s real, it’s now and it’s abundant. If you can lock in on those three concepts, you can create almost anything. If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands.
The birth of a business includes all of those pieces… think of the idea, visualize what it could be, in all its grandeur, then put those thoughts into action.
Do the thing and you will have the power.
The doing of the thing is the secret, then embracing the challenges and obstacles – the eventual mastery of skills brings self-confidence.
The story of a business hero is born from such work.
Everyone has a story.
I am Mark Brodinsky and this is Storytelling for Business.
Storytelling for Business: Powered by Purpose
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
It actually all began with Natalie Giannascoli’s initial introduction to USHEALTH Advisors. For Natalie, her first reaction was fear – false evidence appearing real.
For several years prior, Natalie had been working as a bartender, most recently at a beach bar in Clearwater, Florida. But even then, in her early 20’s, she had a realization. “I had an epiphany one day,” says Natalie. “I thought what am I going to do when I’m 40? I know there are careers for bartending, but I don’t want to deal with people drinking too much and other issues the rest of my working career. So I started looking for something else and found a job advertisement for this company called USHEALTH Advisors.”
“I wasn’t nervous to attend any interview, but when I got to this one I was SO nervous. There were so many people there in the room, I thought, what am I doing? I remember texting my husband John, saying, ‘it’s a group presentation, what do I do?’ “He said, ‘just sit there and go through it, they let you know quicker in a group setting if they want you or not.'”
Then Natalie started doing the thing so many of us do, she told herself a story in her mind, she made an assumption and nearly made a beeline for the door.
“I looked around and saw people older than me, ” says Natalie, “even people looking professional holding briefcases. I knew there was no way I was getting this job. I told myself, all these other people are more qualified for this. I don’t know why I’m here, I know nothing about insurance. I don’t know what I’m doing here!”
“But then I started listening to the presentation, taking notes and thought, damn this is really interesting. I get the whole picture. The income potential did it for me at first, but then I saw the pictures of happy people in offices and going on rewards trips and having a good time. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing, and I’m also very competitive. That fired me up. Then I saw people out in the office where I was interviewing, not just sitting in cubes, but sitting and working together. There was music playing, it was weird, nothing like I was used to when I worked in an office. And there was the whole self-employed part of this – I like that – I don’t want my work ethic to be compared to someone else. I want to show up for me.”
But Natalie says what really made her want to be with the USHA opportunity was the one thing that happened right before her one-to-one interview because it made her smile. Natalie loves to laugh and have a good time. “The guy who came out to call me in for my interview tripped as he walked out of the door, and then someone gave him grief about it” laughs Natalie. I said to myself, ‘this is good, these are my people, I’m in the right place.’ “I like it light-hearted I like seeing people happy because I like to have fun. I thought I can really do this, this is super cool, I want to be here.”
Natalie says she contracted with USHA and did the online licensing study course in four days. “I did not want to do the study course, because I’m not a good test person. So I buckled down and got the study course completed as quickly as I could, just to get it over with. I took the test two days later and passed.”
But then as she started off in her new career with USHA, Natalie did the one thing that nearly made her want to pass on the opportunity, the one thing that for most people is a recipe for failure.
“I tried to reinvent the wheel,” says Natalie. “I joined USHEALTH Advisors on January 7th, 2017 and I didn’t write my first insurance application until March 28th. I just thought there were certain things I could do better than how I had been trained to contact potential insurance clients. I tried to rewrite my scripts to have different things to say, but it was all really because I was scared. I was scared for people to listen to me. I thought they would say, you sound like an idiot, why would you say that? I had been a great bartender and could talk to people, but that was face to face. I could talk to anyone about anything in person, but over the phone, it was harder for me because they couldn’t see me and I had a tough time being animated. I didn’t want to sound like I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Natalie freely admits now it was a recipe for failure, but failure doesn’t mean defeat. Failure means a learning curve, a lesson, an opportunity to create success from your mistakes, for what else is a failure, but success deferred. After all, for years Natalie faced failure every day – as a dedicated softball player. A sport that is steeped in failure.
“It definitely helps to play a sport when you’re growing up,” says Natalie. “In softball, I played first base, a position where I had to pay attention. I was in almost every play, every situation, yelling to the outfielders how many outs there were, watching the pitcher, the runners, all of it. It’s a lot like this career at USHA, agents throw curveballs at you all the time and you are in everything, every “play” that’s going on.”
In her time at USHEALTH Advisors, Natalie has proved she’s got game. With the help of her leaders and fellow agents, Natalie got past her fear of dialing and has been leading by example. She recently passed her four-year anniversary with USHA, having issued more than $2.5-million in individual insurance policies and now as a Field Sales Leader, has helped her teams to produce more than $22 million in sales!
That’s a lot of phone calls, a lot of long days and nights and for Natalie, a lot of fun. “I like having a fun environment with whatever I do,” she says. “I like to tell jokes, to fool around, whether it’s with my family or my agents. Life doesn’t have to be all serious. if you’re too serious, especially with this career, you won’t make it. You deal with a lot of rejection throughout the day. Without some jokes, or something light-hearted, you won’t feel happiness or joy in your day, at least not for me.”
Natalie knows that experiencing true joy is important because to feel the joy you undoubtedly must have experienced some pain. For Natalie, that pain drives her purpose – because her purpose for selling health insurance comes from the pain of loss and knowing how important health coverage can be.
“I grew up in New Jersey with two younger sisters and three older brothers,” says Natalie. “My oldest brother, Christopher, he’s my purpose. He had medical concerns and passed away. I run my purpose because I know what it was like to deal with all of that. My brother had cerebral palsy and lived with a lot of medical concerns. Unfortunately, he couldn’t handle all the surgeries and medications – he was only 22 when he died. Health coverage was important for my parents to help find the right doctors to get my brother the care he needed. And now it serves as a story that I can relate to others, especially when I speak with someone who is young, or healthy and tells you they don’t need health insurance. It serves my purpose and theirs when I can share a real-life story – it can be so helpful for people who need to see that side of their own story.”
The story of Christopher’s passing stays with Natalie, though she says she has learned to be able to get past it and can now, as she said, relate it to others.
“I was in high school when he passed,” she says. “It’s a weird feeling. It’s not like when you lose an older family member, like your grandparent, which you usually experience first and are prepared for, or even if somebody gets sick and you know it’s coming. This was kind of out of the blue… it was all of a sudden. It’s different. It’s like somebody cut you in half and then tells you, ‘ok, now you’ll have to figure out this life with just two limbs. It was a very empty feeling, but my family and I got over it together. Being together made it better, made it a bit easier.”
Having realized so much about the value of life at a young age, (Natalie was only 17 when her brother passed on, she’s now 26), she’s focused on getting as much life as possible out of each and every single day, including her work with USHEALTH Advisors.
“My day begins early, my alarm is set for 4:45 am,” says Natalie. “It goes off and then I lie there for 15 minutes just thinking – about what I can’t even tell you sometimes. But it serves me. If I’m not on top of my morning, then my whole day is shot and I want to start over. I love my 15-minutes-of-me. I might think about what I have to do for the day, or about yesterday, or what I’m looking forward to that day. At 5 am I put my feet on the ground. I don’t like to feel rushed which is why I start early. I remember reading a few things from Warren Buffet, who talked about getting up earlier, leaving earlier, so you’re not interrupted and you avoid the little things during the day that might aggravate you. It’s hard to get up early, but it’s beneficial for sure.”
“I get to the office between 6:45 and 7 am, about an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes before the agents and I start on the phones, and I always have something to do, whether it’s an e-mail to read or to send, or work on an underwriting appeal for an agent, or anything else. I have that hour-plus to deal with it. It’s the most crucial part of my day.”
“I then dial with the agents from 8 am to 10 am. In the morning I have fewer interruptions than I have the rest of the day because once the afternoon hits my day starts picking up speed because we do our training in the afternoon as well. That’s why I get my organization stuff done in the morning. The evening time is when you get most of your potential clients on the phone. I sit with the agents so I can hear them. I normally don’t leave the office until between 8 pm and 9 pm.”
“My agents work long hours too. When they see me do it, they do it. I tell them, in the beginning, you have to be tied to the phones, talking to somebody, or prospecting. If you leave the office to go to lunch, then go to the same restaurant every day – and over time sell everyone there – then when you have sold everyone you can – find a new restaurant. Keep it all going.”
To keep it all going for herself, Natalie also leans on her husband John. Natalie and John met at a trivia night at a bar the two used to frequent in Pennsylvania, where Natalie went to college. They married a little less than two years ago and now John is Natalie’s stay-at-home husband.
“John is not an agent, but he quit his job to help me out,” says Natalie. “He helps with some networking at the local chamber of commerce and even more importantly he does everything for me at home, like taking care of two dogs and a cat, they are enough work as it is! He does the laundry, cooks, and all the tedious stuff no one wants to do, so I can spend more time at the office.”
For Natalie, it’s all about putting in the time. She believes the more she works and grows, the more she can give.
“If somebody were to say to me give me three things I like about Natalie, I hope it would be that she made me laugh, she helped me out and she bettered my business. She cared about what I was doing as a person, personally and professionally. I want to be somebody people want to follow on both sides – be a role model outside and within the office. I want to know that I’m making enough of an impact, that I am someone they want to follow and then do the same for other people.”
“I want to make them feel like they have a purpose. I know I do.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
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