We love advice at AdjusterPro. Whether it’s helping each other on a day to day basis, or looking to the pros for ways to improve our business, little nuggets of wisdom can make a big difference. We wanted to share some of the great advice we’ve received over the years…the things that truly stuck with us and made a difference in our lives and careers.
Adam Gardiner, Co-Founder: “Say Yes!”
For years I’ve been counseling folks who are seriously interested in adjusting to say “yes” to any/all offers of employment. It was the best advice I received and I think others should hear it as well. Why? There are thousands of folks wanting to be deployed. You have to stand out. One way to do this is to get hired and to do a kick-ass job. You can’t show how great you are if you don’t work. So use any assignment, however menial, as an opportunity to shine.
Saying yes to everything also shows that you are a problem-solver, and the industry needs problem solvers. When the employer/manager knows they can send you in to any given situation and you will figure it out, it stands out in their minds. They develop confidence in you and will start to choose you first in every deployment. Lastly, saying yes gives you a wide range of experience and knowledge about the industry. This helps you determine your strengths…and what you need to improve upon. With so many insurance professionals planning to retire in the coming years, managers will be needed, and those who understand the industry as a whole will be better positioned to move up into those vacated positions. So while it may not always be glamorous or fun…say yes!!!
Dan Kerr, Co-Founder: “Be bold.”
I received wise counsel from my dad my whole life but the one that sticks out the most is: be bold.
These two words have had a profound impact on the way I try to approach everything, including our work here at AdjusterPro. Life is too short to be timid and hesitant, and far too many talented people are crippled into inaction by a fear of failure or the judgement of others. To hell with that! General Patton said “a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Get up, seize the day, take a risk. Fortune really does favor the bold.
As I think about the thousands of students we’ve helped over the years, it’s my observation that those who are bold get work while the timid stay on the sidelines. By bold here I mean those who are pro-active and aren’t ruled by fear. Those who push their comfort-zone by calling prospective employers, and then call them again and again. Those who say “yes” to a deployment, even if it doesn’t meet their ideal expectations for a first deployment. Those who aren’t afraid to go “all-in”.
I believe deeply that God has been bold in His creation, and He wants us to be bold in our response to it and to Him. Boldness, really, is about casting out into the deep trusting that the good Lord above won’t let us drown. He won’t. Be not afraid. Be bold, and dare to be great – it’s your calling and its the only life worth living. If you experience failure, so what?! You’ll never regret trying…
Melissa Brittain, CEO: “Treat People Well.”
I have a friend who I’ve always admired for the way she treats everyone like they are the only person on the planet. I brought it up to her and she said something so simple – ‘its not that they are the only one on the planet, of course, but they are the person standing right in front of you so the only one that matters at that moment in time’. I guess it seems kind of basic. I mean, who hasn’t heard of the Golden Rule, right?
On a personal note, treating people well requires focused attention – something that is the key to building lasting friendships and interacting in a meaningful way with your friends, your spouse or your kiddos. But, it is strangely lacking in our media-ridden, cell-phone culture and it requires a concerted effort and practice. Professionally, for us at AdjusterPro, it starts with developing and delivering a great product and then backing it up with great service for our clients, our corporate partners, and State Departments of Insurance. Ultimately it is the key to building trust and lasting relationships.
Treating people well is really just good living rooted in charity, and it requires focus, sincerity and practice.
Lisa Whalen, Development Manager: “Plan Your Finances”
When my husband and I got engaged, my dad gave me a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace. While that isn’t direct advice, we read the book per his suggestion and it ended up having a big impact on our lives. There are some great guidelines that I am so glad I learned when I was 20 years old – like don’t have a car payment! Even though we didn’t follow everything in the book, having a plan and working towards it helped us create a solid foundation that we still benefit from today.
Brittany Saibini, Director of Service & Support: “Never Stop Learning”
My grandmother was a huge inspiration in my life. She firmly believed in the power of hard work and education to better yourself and your circumstances. She would always tell me to “get as much education as you can…don’t ever stop learning.” She recognized that education has the power to open doors and create opportunities in life.
Her advice wasn’t simply in reference to formal education, either. She was a true lifelong learner. She took it upon herself to learn many skills and was always passionate about staying active and being useful. After being a nurse in WWII, she studied graphoanalysis, or handwriting analysis and worked in the legal system. She cultivated many hobbies to bring beauty and and wonder to the everyday, like writing and painting. Bob Ross was a staple visitor in her household. I have carried her words with me to all areas of my life. I believe in doing your best always and learning everything you can in every situation you may find yourself.
Michelangelo said at the ripe young age of 87, “I’m still learning.” I plan to be too.
Kelsey Lahaie, Executive Assistant: “Live in the Moment”
It’s common advice that sounds simple, but it’s hard to put into practice. I find in life and in work we are always looking to the next thing instead of enjoying what we have today. If we are constantly looking to the weekend or the next vacation we can forget that today is a gift. In both life and work, ‘remembering to live in the moment’ helps me to slow down and appreciate what I have, rather than rush through things and hope for a different outcome later down the road. Simple and perhaps a little silly but I do have to remember, often, that today is the only day like this I will live – I might as well be aware and appreciate it.
Lyndi Wright, VP of Product Development: “Trust Your Instincts”
I think it’s human nature to want others to understand you and your decisions, but sometimes it can be a hindrance. The best advice I ever received was to trust my instincts and follow my heart – and once I did, it changed my life. I stopped listening to what everyone else thought I should do, my family, friends, boyfriends, bosses – and started listening to and trusting myself. Sometimes you find yourself in a place where its obvious and easy to follow your gut, but sometimes it can be extremely difficult. I invested a lot of energy in getting to know myself…I kept a journal, read countless books, purposely took myself out of my comfort zone and faced my fears. I made decisions that weren’t popular with some people but that’s ok. It gave me the confidence to trust my inner voice and know that following my instincts was the right way to go.
Pablo Gonzalez, Director of Career Consultations: “Do the Right Thing”
The best advice for me has always come from my dad. “The right thing to do is always the hardest” and “We always have the time to do things over, but never to do them right the first time.” To me, it’s important to do the right thing, even when (especially when!) it may be the hardest thing to do. I used to reflect on that when I was an insurance salesman. It was difficult because sometimes it would cost me sales, but many times I would be honest and tell folks, “Sorry, this isn’t a good policy for you. I think you need ABC coverage which we don’t sell. Try contacting…” Or there were times when someone ‘failed’ the life insurance blood test and even though underwriting would call them and explain the denial, I would always follow up as well. It would get me in trouble because we weren’t supposed to but I did, because it was the right thing to do.
One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain: “Always tell the truth. It is the easiest thing to remember.” I knew I had found a good home at AdjusterPro when, in training, Adam told me that ‘we always do what is right for the customer, even if it costs us money.’
Mary Brennan, Director of 1st Impressions: “Remember Your Priorities”
I used to struggle, and sometimes still do, with worrying about things I had no control over. A good friend advised me to remember what my priorities are and spend my time and energy on what is most important to me. At the end of your life, you will only be judged on three things…your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse, and how you raised your children. When you find yourself struggling or not knowing what to do, remember your priorities. Not only will it help you see the best course of action, but it will give you the inspiration to carry it out.
Ben Dunlap, CT/FO: “Don’t Ignore What’s Right in Front of You”
Toward the end of my junior year at a small, intense Catholic college, I sat down at breakfast next to a graduating senior named Paul. He was one of those older and wiser students who had taken his time at college very seriously — even by small, intense-Catholic-college standards. I barely knew Paul and had never spoken with him at any length, so I made the small-talk one makes with a graduating senior: “What are you planning on doing after college?”
He said, “Oh, I’ve been thinking about going into the seminary.” I mumbled something about thinking the same thing myself once in a while, because, you know, I had thought about it, for at least five minutes. Mind you — for Catholics, “going into the seminary” entails giving up dating, and planning for a life of celibacy.
I expected Paul to reply with a safe pleasantry and then ask me to pass the salt. Instead he looked right at me and asked: “Really? But you and that Mary Clark girl are pretty good friends, aren’t you?” I said, “Yeah, I guess we are”. And then Paul threw me for a loop: “If I had a friendship like that with a girl I wouldn’t think for one minute about going into the seminary.”
I took Paul’s advice, and Mary and I will celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary this year.
Caitlin Brittain, Customer Champion: “Follow Your Gut”
I remember hearing a story about the Sony CEO that really stuck with me. In an interview, he talked about how he would mentally ‘eat’ each business offer if he didn’t know which one to choose. Then he would sit back, reflect, and see which one ‘felt better’ in his stomach. He was literally using his gut/intuition to make huge business decisions and I have always remembered that story as validating using my intuition, whether it be with our customers or parenting my son.