01.Introduce yourself (include your name, your business/what you do for living)
As the founder of Adjunct Advisors, LLC, I wear a couple of different hats! I provide outsourced training and development solutions for insurance agents through one-on-one coaching and in-person workshops, and I also work with entrepreneurs and small business owners to gain confidence in the process of building business insurance solutions through educational events.
02.What’s your background?
2019 marks my 20th year in the insurance industry – what a journey it’s been, with time spent working for and alongside both insurance companies and insurance agents. Through this experience, I gained a strong technical understanding of the business, and also discovered firsthand the need to affect positive change for the future of the industry.
03. How did you start your business?
Adjunct Advisors was created after a pause in my professional journey. In late 2017, I realized I was just “showing up” at work – my work product was good, but I no longer felt inspired by or connected to it. I took time, both with myself, exploring the commonalities of all of the various roles I’d had to date, and also with those I trusted most in my network, as I considered where I fit in an industry that no longer felt right for me. I also took time to renew my focus on my own health by diving deeper into my fitness and nutrition routines and to travel. At this same time, industry headlines pointed to an impending talent shortage in the insurance industry; nearly 25% of current employees will be eligible for retirement in the next 5 to 10 years – a staggering loss of human capital for an industry is built on connection. This pause in my professional journey was a gift, as it allowed me the space to bring what is now Adjunct Advisors to life.
04. What inspired you as a creative woman?
We are fortunate to have a vast and inspiring community of creative women here in Chicago; hearing their stories and the humanity that they shared in telling them – and realizing how similar many were to my own, gave me confidence that the journey I’d embarked on was the right one. So much energy, passion and drive – it’s infectious!
05. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable story?
I created a babysitting empire when I was a teen – often working with 3 or 4 families in a single day – sometimes the same family twice. I learned valuable business lessons – the importance of being organized and maintaining a schedule, and also the hardship of a last-minute cancellation!
06. If you won a lottery today, will you still continue to build your business?
Yes! I feel strongly about the future of the insurance industry and would continue to use my voice to spread the message of possibility that exists here – but perhaps from a tropical location or in between yoga retreats!
07. Walk us through your day in the insurance industry
Perhaps my favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is that no two days are ever the same. I start most days with physical movement – and a cup of coffee, of course! If I’m not meeting clients face-to-face, I will often plant myself in a shared co-working space here in Chicago, fielding calls from potential insurance clients, coaching an early-career sales professional, or negotiating a speaking engagement. I enjoy the flexibility of shared workspaces and the ability to connect with my peers and clients by meeting them where they are. Many evenings are spent connecting with others through events, or perhaps with friends and family. I value rest and try to stay consistent with my sleep habits – which I’ve learned can make or break the day that follows.
08. What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
This is it! As someone who often struggled to fit in the boxes prescribed by others, to be on this entrepreneurial journey, making my own place, exceeds most expectations I’ve had to date.
09. Where or what do you think you will be/do in the next 5 years?
I’ll continue to be a resource for early-career professionals and the entrepreneurs who I so enjoy working with today, and goals include more speaking engagements and growing Adjunct Advisors as a truly location independent business.
10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you
“Progress over perfection!”