“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”
I started my career as a General Insurance Broker in 2004 – 05 and I am still working as a broker to date. Before starting my career as an insurance broker , I was in sales and customer service starting at the age of 22.
After I graduated from the university with a science major, I joined the pharmaceutical industry and worked several years in the industry on different sales and management positions.
After I left the industry, I worked in different sales and customer service related positions in the retail and corporate sector, including designing and implementing customer service and sales programs for small to midsize businesses.
In my over 25 years of combined sales and insurance career, I might have attended hundreds of training courses, seminars, webinars etc and probably invested thousands of hours studying books, articles and research papers on the subjects ranging from sales, customer service, personal development, business management, marketing, consumer psychology & behavior, body language, and insurance etc. I lost count.
Reading is my passion especially on subjects like Insurance, business, personal development, spirituality and history.
My entry to Insurance was purely incidental. The company where I worked as a customer service coordinator, rolled up their business in Canada and decided to go south of the border and I was one of many employees , who suddenly found themselves looking for another career or a job.
My friend told me to become an Insurance Broker because he saw his broker driving a Mercedes- Benz 500 and thought this must be a very lucrative career and I can be very rich , very quickly. But I was more interested to have a life long & stable career instead of getting rich quick job.
After I joined the insurance industry, I realised that this is one of the most toughest and challenging industry in the world. Only the right person with the right attitude and hard work is rewarded with success and wealth. There are no shortcuts or get rich quick way to become rich in insurance.
Long story short, I did some research , called few insurance brokers, including my current employer with whom I shared most of my career. Everyone encouraged me to get my broker license and join the industry. So I prepared for my licensing exams and passed them fairly quickly within couple of months.
But my real challenge began after I started my career as a broker and my boss Mr. Hyder started to train me. Even though, I passed my licensing exams but still I had no clue on how insurance business is like in the real world. He used to train me on the theoretical part, whenever he finds time out of his busy schedule. I started shadowing my senior colleagues and watching them doing all the paperwork, applications, change requests on insurance policies etc. They were kind enough to allow me to sit with them and hear their conversations with their clients in person or over the phone.
After several months of observation, shadowing and asking questions, I was still far from being a real professional broker. My basic concepts were not very clear about the industry and how it works. In my heart, I was and not very happy with the entire training process which was coming to me in bits & pieces. I didn’t have enough time as we were expecting our first child and I wanted to start writing business asap and start making some money. The training was taking too long and painfully slow and I was confused, and simply frustrated with the entire process.
Unfortunately, after so many years, nothing has changed. Today, a new broker has to go through the same process I went through so many years ago. Most of the companies don’t have an experienced trainer or a training program designed to train new brokers or agents they hire. Some brokerage owners simply can’t afford it and some fail to understand the importance and value of having a proper training program for new brokers.
Any way, back to my story, one day, I shared my frustration with my boss and told him that I am willing to learn and excel in my new career, but I need proper training to know the technical side of general insurance and the art of being a General Insurance broker.
He looked at me and kept staring for few seconds and then he said, “that’s it. I am going to send you to Akbar, he will train you.” I didn’t know him at that time but later on I find out that he was the most senior broker in the company with 30 plus years of experience as a life & General Insurance broker. He trained and mentored many brokers before me.
Akbar had a great personality and he was a teacher at heart. He knew exactly what I am thinking and what’s in my mind.I still remember, he used to drive blue Jaguar , which impressed me right away and I wanted to own one, one day. He took me under his wings, and started training and mentoring me.
He showed me how to run a profitable and successful business while playing safe from potential legal situations or lawsuits. He shared with me his in depth knowledge and wisdom about the insurance business and how it works.
I was his last student and mentee and then he retired. I am eternally grateful to him for a successful career I enjoyed so far, it would not have been possible without him.
Now my mission is to carry forward the knowledge I got from my mentor and other experts, I had the pleasure & honour to work with over the years, add some of my own experiences and pass it on to the next generation of brokers.
I have individually mentored and trained many new brokers & sales agents over the years, but now I want to share my expertise and knowledge on a wider scale, in a more organized and formal training format.
My wish is to make it a movement of sharing knowledge and experience with those who are seriously committed to learn the art of being a general Insurance broker and sincerely want to serve their clients with integrity and professionalism.
I hope you will join me in my mission.
Knowledge & Achievement Inc.