Two years ago we made the decision to open our own brokerage in order to be able to live and work in a more “authentic” way. We wanted to be able to make more of a difference in the way we operated and in the way we connected with our clients and our community.

Fast forward two years and although we have made strides in the right direction, we have not been able to totally break free of the spiral of a transactional / whirlwind business model of chasing things instead of building things.

We know there is nothing inherently sexy about insurance. In most cases it is a necessity of life that people place somewhere between having to pay taxes and getting a root canal.

But to be fair… I believe that is all our fault for letting it become that way. Value is something perceived and our ability to provide the perception of value (or even real value) is sorely lacking.

We know that the industry is changing and we must become more than the noise of “Save up to 30% on your insurance!” It ends all becoming the same noise.

And as my children have taught me… people tune out the noise after a while (I am the noise in their world).

Marketing experts have been talking a lot about the need to switch to a “conversation” with your market that is inclusive rather than talking at (or even shouting at) them. Yelling louder is not a good marketing or business plan. The insurance industry has been a little bit behind in this regard and we all seem to be in a “race to the bottom” as Seth Godin says.

Steven Covey said that you had to take a moment from barging through the jungle to stop, climb a tree to see if you were actually going in the right direction… or even worse if you were even in the right jungle to begin with.

How many of us are in the wrong jungle right now.

But that is tough task to stop being busy and reflect and create.

Six weeks ago I had shoulder surgery due to believing I was invincible for most of my life. Having shoulder surgery is very humbling as you are reduced to doing nothing for long periods of time (by the way I am not invincible).

So I took the time to think about where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. Now although we have not fully been able to make the changes necessary to achieve our goal, we are working towards them and hopefully someone will notice those changes soon.

I can tell you it has been more fun since we started this journey.

Start asking questions and listening as part of a conversation. No more talking at anyone.