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Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu, Adios and Goodbye

It has been a thrill to have had the privilege of writing the “Back Page” for 11 years!

By Thomas John Wolff, CLU, ChFC

It has been a thrill to have had the privilege of writing the “Back Page” for 11 years!

In the first article, I stated my mission was to share sales ideas to help readers make immediate sales and share my belief in life insurance and its benefits.

Recently NAIFA was nice enough to publish the 60 articles I have written in a book titled Sales Success—The Tom Wolff Way. While editing the book, I read each of the columns and I believe they held true to the original mission.

During the last few years I have taken on a significant amount of pro bono work, and so my active participation in the business has diminished significantly. I have therefore decided that this will be my last “Back Page.”

Before signing off, I would like to share why I’m so grateful I chose selling life insurance as my 52-year career.

The power of independence
I have always cherished my independence. In no other career could I have enjoyed more independence than the one I chose. As long as I acted with total integrity, no one was able to force me to do anything I didn’t want to do.

As long as I got the job done, I was able to adjust my work schedule to accommodate my family and social life, my hobbies, travels, emergencies and anything else that came up.

I never had to ask anyone for a raise. When I wanted to make more money, I set my goal and committed myself to doing the things I needed to do to accomplish it. I have always been able to achieve or exceed the financial targets I set.

During recessions, I decided not to participate. I simply put blinders on and did my thing. I call it KOKO: Keep On Keeping On. When a business segment faced tough times, I switched my emphasis to another group that was doing fine.

By not having to work for someone else, I have been able to control my own destiny. I never had to play company politics, wait for someone to retire before I could advance, work for a boss I didn’t respect or worry about losing my job. I have been able to live and work in the same community without worrying about being transferred.

Although the products I sell have changed somewhat, the core of my business, life insurance, is needed today more than ever. As long as people love one another and need one another, life insurance will continue to be critical in their lives.

Many of my friends have been forced to retire. Most liked their work and are now frustrated and bored. No one has ever asked me to retire. Because I’m my own boss, I have been able to taper my workload at my own pace. Some of you may be too young to value this benefit. However, be assured, some day you will fully appreciate what I’m sharing with you.

What is most important?
When people are asked what is most important to them in their vocation, they inevitably reply that they want to feel they are doing something meaningful, that they are helping people and are happy in their chosen field. I feel they have described my profession.

During my career, I have sold thousands of life insurance policies. In my articles, I’ve shared my belief that not one of those people ever did me a favor by buying life insurance from me. I also believe that I helped each one by selling a policy they would not have bought without my help.

Yes, my career has had meaning and yes, I’ve helped a lot of people. Yes, I’m very grateful I chose selling insurance as my career. The icing on the cake came when two sons and a grandson chose to join the same profession.

Writing a column has been frustrating at times. Over the years, many of you have offered help and encouragement. Thank you!

Auf wiedersehen, adieu, adios and goodbye.

Thomas John Wolff, CLU, ChFC, served as 1979-1980 president of NALU (NAIFA). A member of MDRT since 1958, he is a recipient of the John Newton Russell Award. He is a member of Hartford AIFA (Conn.). His address is P.O. Box H, Vernon CT 06066. His email is


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