I’ve just thought about an insurance salesman named uncle George. When I was in my teens, uncle George was a firebrand salesman, he sold all sorts of insurance to my mother and most of her nursing colleagues at Tembisa Hospital (Gauteng, South Africa) – from funeral covers, short-term insurance, educational insurance, to life covers. If it was insurance you needed, then uncle George was the person to go to.
I recently bumped into uncle George, and although we weren’t in a business environment, I couldn’t help but notice that uncle George was still in the same sales profession, now no longer selling to my mother’s generation (my mother would be in her early 60’s if she was still alive), but he’s now selling to our generation – by our generation, I am referring to our peers who are now nurses.
For some reason I couldn’t help but wonder, why would one still need to be chasing sales at uncle George’s age (now in his sixties)? Upon asking that question, I then thought to myself: his INCOME doesn’t know how to live without him. If he stops doing what he’s doing, then his income will soon die.
I then thought about what uncle George as a firebrand salesman could’ve done to prevent this dilemma. See, many people are in uncle George’s shoes, and having given some thought to what uncle George could do to keep his income alive even if he is to stop working, I think my advice to uncle George can work for anyone who is in the same situation. Uncle George worked for one company, one industry, for a very long time and has built wonderful relationships, as a great salesman. What he ought to have done, or still do is:
1. To start a business (servicing his field of work).
Uncle George already has all the needed relationships in the insurance industry. An insurance brokerage business would be a viable business for him because of his experience. Starting the business will be risky for him, but it will allow him to move to the next step.
2. Hiring people and building systems.
As soon as uncle George has people working for him, he could allocate time to finding more insurance companies to work with, and then build a sales team that will do what uncle George used to do, at a larger scale. Uncle George will then build systems around his business, to teach his business INCOME to live without him – as in for income to flow in even if uncle George is not there.
3. Areas to build systems around
Now that uncle George has a running business, with insurance companies as his clients and nurses and other people as his secondary customers that he signs up to his clients’ insurance, he now needs to ensure that he continues to get paid whether he works or not. Uncle George needs to build a MARKETING team and hire more SALES people like himself, to do everything that he used to do, finding customers and signing them up. He, of course, will have to come out of his comfort zone and learn to lead, train, and motivate his team to produce great results.
Secondly, uncle George will have to ensure that things run smoothly, and that there is continuity in his business. To do so, uncle George needs to hire a good OPERATOR (manager); someone who will ensure that the business’s operations run smoothly, ensuring that there is synergy between all the salespeople, insurance companies, and customers. In his type of business, he needs more than one individual to do this, depending on the growth and scale of the business.
Thirdly, uncle George needs to hire someone, or people who will help him with the FINANCE and ADMIN of the business, to ensure that all the money that comes into the business is well taken care of and reinvested in assets that will produce income for the business when times are tough. He also needs to learn to keep proper records and his admin team is to assist him in doing so.
There are many people who are like uncle George today, but things can change for them if they start to think differently about their situations. Looking at uncle George; if he does what I’m suggesting above diligently, he could become a very wealthy man as times goes by, and his business would eventually give him an income even if he isn’t working.
The truth of the matter is; the less you work physically, the more money you make – if you’ve built in the required systems into your business/work.
Uncle George can now take the large income he makes in his business – since he leverages his team’s efforts – and invest it into income property, acquiring another business or franchise, and/or expanding his current business.
If you are in uncle George’s shoes, then do what I’ve suggested uncle George should do. Take it step by step! Don’t take shortcuts, there are no shortcuts to a place worth going to. Allow process to take its course.
I should’ve actually named this article “defeating the rate race”, but that’s another conversation, reserved for another day.
I wish you success.
CEO, Quality Growth International