Optimism is a choice, and it’s a competitive advantage to be optimistic.
That was the word from Scott Brennan, former president of the Million Dollar Round Table and a MassMutual agent from South Bend, Ind. Brennan gave some of his insights on being successful in the business and in life during an online town hall meeting held by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors on Thursday.
Brennan gave a rundown of some of his experiences and tips for living. He described himself as the “chief attitude officer” and said his goal was to share “the things that have worked out for me over the years.”
The current COVID-19 crisis has been tough on many people, but Brennan tried to provide some hope. “Tough times are not meant to humiliate great people – just uncover them,” he said. “All we have to be is a little better than our doubts.”
Brennan has been in the business for more than 30 years. He said he begins each year by filling out a planning book for the year, including writing a theme and goals for the year. Sometimes he gives himself a written performance review at the close of the year. He has kept the books he completed for each year he has been in business.
The life insurance business isn’t easy, he said, “but it was never meant to be.”
“It’s a hard-won dignity and I’m better off for it. The life insurance profession is a business of stories. Don’t make it complicated.”
He noted that during his life insurance career, he has written coverage for a garbage collector as well as the CEO of a $100 million company. His first death claim was for $5,000, which he said was received with more gratitude than he received in delivering multimillion-dollar death claims.
“I wrote a lot of life insurance that cleaned up a lot of messes over the years,” Brennan said, particularly in helping beneficiaries deal with tax issues. Life insurance also gives peace of mind when the market is in turmoil, he said, adding, “When the markets tumbled in March, I didn’t lose a dollar in all the life insurance I have.”
Brennan said his No. 1 goal in life “is to be a gentleman.” He said he begins each day by creating a “joy list” of things he is thankful for.
“One day at a time, and if that’s too hard, five minutes at a time.”
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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