The late great Albert Einstein once quoted “the value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”That is a very valuable lesson from one of the smartest men that ever lived. But do most insurance agents believe that? If so, do they strive for that? Let’s explore some data.
Most insurance agents I believe strive for success. Meaning they are looking for material gain such as money, assets, cars, boats, large houses, business property, planes, etc. Our society is geared to material wealth. There is nothing wrong with material wealth. It can be used to do great things for those less fortunate, discover new technology, new medicines, and shelter ravaged areas, feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Our media and entertainment celebrate successful people consistently. We are taught money buys us happiness. So, if that is true, why would a rich person commit suicide? Could be a lot of reasons, but I have yet to see an example of a really happy person killing themselves. Successful people can leave money and assets to their loved ones or favorite charities. They create jobs and build things. In other words there is a lot of good that can come from successful people. A poor man never gave a job to anyone. Hence is why we celebrate our successful celebrities.
However, what about a person of value? Why would that be better than a person of success? Let’s look at the assets of a valuable person. Instead of money and assets they strive for respect and honor. Their wealth is in their character, not just reputation. The difference between character and reputation is character is doing the right thing when no one else is looking. I believe a person of respect is more valuable than a successful person. You can be the richest man in the world and be mean, nasty, hated and certainly not respected and what can you gain from influence? See a valuable person has more influence than the rich jerk because of respect. He can accomplish 10x more than the wealthy person can buy with his money. A man of honor is one of the most respected people you will ever meet. It is becoming rarer today to hear the expression “your word is your bond”. What else does a person have if they do not have honor? There is no trust, respect, value, accountable or creditable.
What I believe Albert Einstein was saying in the quote is that in order to really make an impact with your life, the money will only place you in with other rich people. That person is just another grain of sand on the beach. It’s the selfless good deeds you do that will set you apart from the rest of the herd and etch your name into history. One of the greatest quotes I ever heard was from an old mentor of mine in my young days in the insurance business speaking about a friend that he did a lot of business with. He was able to enter into business deals with a hand shake. He said “I trust him so much that I would shoot dice with him over the phone.” That is the type of business man that I personally strive to be.
“There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ‘em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ‘em.” ~Kevin Welch
Image By Za3tOoOr! Via Flickr
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.