Those who achieve success early in life often cite several reasons for their rapid rise to the top. Among them: good mentors, business savvy and a strong work ethic. Add tenacity and integrity to this mix and you will understand how Tim Harrison, CFP, CLU, ChFC, managed to create a national presence for himself at the ripe young age of 30.
In 1994, 18-year-old Harrison started in the financial-services business as an intern for Northwestern Mutual in Omaha, Neb.; he passed the life insurance exam on his 19th birthday and went on to earn a degree in accounting. Today, he is a wealth-management advisor with Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. Under his direction, $160 million of his clients’ assets are managed by the Russell Investment Group. He is a seven-year qualifier of MDRT and was a Court of the Table qualifier last year.
When asked where he gets his drive to succeed, he responds, “I strive for excellence, expect to be successful and I reach to achieve.” He also gives credit to his parents, who instilled in him their work ethic, integrity and the process of being a good listener.
“IT IS NOT WHERE YOU ARE, BUT WHOM YOU ARE WITH THAT COUNTS.”
In addition, he set high goals for himself—and actually kept track of them—by using Al Granum’s Client Builder System during his first five years in the business. On average, this worked out to 60 kept appointments, 80 referrals, 20 factfinders, 20 case openings and 20 closes per month.
To maintain this high level of productivity, he has stuck to what got him there in the first place—“dreaming big” and working smart. “There is no substitute for activity, hard work and good records,” he adds. “Do joint work with top producers whenever you can, and learn to be great in one area—either specialize or be the rainmaker.”
Harrison’s career may already be in high gear, but this is just the beginning of the road for him. He wants to have $1 billion of personal and institutional assets under management by the time he is 40 and $1 billion in life insurance in force, primarily via the executive-benefits market, during his career.
As admirable as these goals are, he has no intention of spending all his time on meeting them, though. Recognizing the importance of a balanced life, he hopes to spend three months a year on quality time with his family, teaching (financial youth literacy), and pursuing “other useful endeavors.”
One endeavor that has been useful to him is his membership in NAIFA, which he joined to meet people who can offer “encouragement and insights, and share the struggles in the industry. My NAIFA membership helps me share ideas with good people, and the association’s leaders have integrity and it shows in all they do. My involvement has made me a better businessman—and a better person,” he says. Harrison is also active in other organizations including the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army and his alma mater, the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
It’s not where you are
Despite his penchant for setting goals and always reaching to achieve, his parting words during this interview were not about the value of hard work or perseverance. Instead, he sagely pointed out what often eludes people twice his age: “Nothing in life matters if you can’t have time to smell the roses with family and friends. It is not where you are, but whom you are with that counts.”