So, how did I get so lucky?
Well, hard work was probably one of the biggest factors. I had two great parents who instilled a work ethic. I just knew that I should start mowing yards at 10 years of age, and earned an allowance by sharing chores with my siblings. I learned how to darn socks, clean a toilet, shine shoes and become an amateur landscaper under the tutelage of my parents. Bottom line, even though I played sports all year long, I managed to find time for part time jobs. So, maybe the lessons I learned early in life prepared me for paying for my last three years of college. Look, I am not asking for praise because nothing that I did was unusual. It was what had to be done. Many of you know of by business successes, so I will not bore you by repeating them. You can “Google” me. So what is the point of this commentary? Read on.
You see, I have tried to pass down what I have learned to my kids. Especially, for the point of this article, to my “partner sons” Nick and Joe. They know that, in our world, the most important people are the agents and advisors that do business with us. We also realize that each Ohlson Group associate is as important as the associate working next to them. I also think that passing down what I have learned to the agent in the field could reap rewards for our agents. Why? Because I have truly walked a mile in your shoes. Yes, what you “earn” is a nice way of keeping score.
But, passing down what you “have learned” will be far more important to the current and future generations. Not learning just about the successes, but also of the failed attempts at things. Teaching others that failure is the greatest recipe for success. We, in our business, need to pass down what we have learned to our clients and prospects… and to their kids. What about volunteering to teach a personal finance class at a high school? Maybe coaching a little league team? Or, sitting down with younger people urging them to reach deep and become someone special? Advise them that time is the one thing you can’t get back. Each time you do that you have an opportunity to change and enhance someone’s future.
Bottom line, we all have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. All of us, parents, grandparents, teachers, police, military and financial services professionals and more. So, if you are looking for another reason to do what we do, pass along what you have learned and enrich people’s lives… one person at a time.
And, in closing, maybe The Ohlson Group has learned a few things that can help you. And, I am confident that there are things you have learned that can help us. Because, at the end of the day when your last press release is the obituary, people will continue to speak about you for passing down what you learned as opposed to just what you have earned.
Good luck and good selling!
Raymond J. Ohlson, CLU, CRC, LACP
President and CEO of The Ohlson Group