Share Your Umbrella is a First Financial Security® podcast where entrepreneurs share stories about helping families with financial opportunities and solutions. With each new episode, we take excerpts of interesting answers from our guest’s interviews and feature them here on our blog. This week, we talked to Tony Jackson, a National Marketing Director who has been with FFS since 2016. In this great interview, Tony touched on important topics like the power of integrity in the workplace and the value of diversity in our industry.
See below for an excerpt of our conversation — you can listen to the full episode here.
Tony, what were you doing before you joined First Financial Security? What was your professional background up to that point?
I’d actually been in the insurance arena for 23 years already. At the time I joined FFS, I was primarily doing final expense, and although I enjoyed that, my passion was to help people on a higher level — like what we do with our IULs and annuities. I really enjoy life insurance and financial planning more than car insurance, home insurance, and that type of thing.
Then my career evolved, and I actually became a pastor for five years. I knew when I came back to insurance full time that I didn't want to be captive anymore. I didn't want to be stuck with one company. I was looking for something that would allow me to bring the best products available to my customers because I knew there were better things out there than what I had been able to offer in the past.
Then FFS came along and I found what I was looking for. We have everything anyone could ever want — I don't think there's anyone that could come to us that we can't help. We do everything except manage money, really.
What kinds of challenges did you face when you started with FFS?
I think the biggest challenge for a seasoned entrepreneur is getting over that commission hump. In the end, it doesn’t even have as big of an impact as you might think. It took me a couple of years to really hit my stride at FFS, but then, in 2019, I was able to make it into three clubs: Success Society, 75k Club, and Champions Club. It was because I finally dedicated myself and said, “This is going to be my main thing. I'm going to make it work.” Now, there's nothing I would do any differently. There's nothing left undone.
You mentioned to us before that you really appreciate our support staff. How has your experience been with our Home Office staff?
Well, I want to talk a little bit about workplace culture. Like I said, I've been in this business for 23 years, and one thing I’ve seen with a lot of companies over the years is that, unfortunately, there is not enough emphasis on integrity. That's the one thing that makes a difference for me. I’ve never run into anyone at FFS who suggested doing anything that wasn't in the customers' best interests. There is integrity in terms of how people conduct themselves.
I tell people all the time: when you take a policy with me, I'm like your relative for the rest of your life now, right? You can't get rid of me if you want to. But behind me is FFS. If anything ever happens to me, there’s this huge support system that's going to make sure you are taken care of. I know that I have a strong backing behind me.
We named the podcast Share Your Umbrella because umbrellas are an insurance symbol — they cover, shelter, and help people. For us, the umbrella represents not only the products that shelter our clients from risk but also the opportunity to build a business in the financial services industry.
With that in mind, do you have any stories of sharing that umbrella with others? What does that concept mean for you?
Well, one of the big reasons I chose FFS is how serious we are about changing the face of insurance. That really stuck out to me. Going to my first event and seeing people who looked like me and other nationalities made me want to be a part of such a culturally diverse group.
I think about the $49 million of coverage that's now in place in the Black community through the Black Wealth Alliance and Power Networking Conference. Would those folks have gotten insurance somewhere else otherwise? Maybe, but probably not all of them. Personally, I may have written close to 250 policies or more since I’ve been with FFS. It’s interesting to look at those numbers and know we've had an impact making sure there's more coverage in the African American community.
There’s a wealth gap in a lot of areas, and we're doing our part to close those gaps. Insurance is one of those mechanisms that can close it really quickly. I can go out and get a job and do really well, but once that job is done, that income is gone. But if I take my resources and get a million dollars in life insurance, that's going to change the whole trajectory of my family.
Listen to our full conversation with Tony Jackson to hear more about building a business that provides families with financial security and peace of mind.
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