I remember my first meeting in Columbus, Ohio. I attended with my manager, John Poston, and met people who would not only impact my ability to survive in this new business venture, but who would introduce me to icons of the industry. Many of those past friends have long since left the industry, but many I still regard as friends, very good friends at that. Friends who have helped me during those early years and offered support as I began taking LUTC classes, celebrated the first $100,000 life insurance sale (that’s a face amount, you know) and helped me formulate ideals and hone strategies that allowed me to thrive in this great industry.
I remember volunteering to teach LUTC, which gave me the opportunity to gain knowledge and confidence. I ran for Athens City Council as a “write in” candidate and won! I was approached by another fellow from the NAIFA-Ohio, our Executive, David Field who mentioned I should consider running for state trustee. In a few years I was encouraged to run for the state executive board and by 2000, I had the privilege of becoming the President of Ohio and incidentally enjoy the first year of being able to qualify for the Million Dollar Round Table. That was not a coincidence. All of this opened another door of new relationships as I began meeting other people from around the country, people, just like me, who somehow, had this calling to serve their industry. We had a common vision and knew the benefit of relationships.
The point is, I would have never, ever had any measure of success, let alone survive in this very competitive industry if it weren’t for NAIFA. It’s all centered on relationships. I am asked from time to time a very similar question by those who have yet to realize why they have joined NAIFA. Individuals who have asked in some form or another, “Where is the ‘value’ I should get for my membership dollar?”
The answer is simple. Because of my membership in NAIFA, I have grown far beyond any dreams of success I thought I would ever experience in a career. Because of NAIFA, I have helped my clients in ways they never thought possible. Because of NAIFA, I have helped other people survive the perils inherent in this great business. Because of my NAIFA involvement, I would like to think, I have in some small way, made it a better Federation that has withstood the political, economic and societal changes that impact us daily. In short, I am convinced I am a better person because of NAIFA.
What about you? Are you a member of this industry and a member of NAIFA? If that’s a question too hard to answer, then I challenge you to join NAIFA and become involved. Do the heavy lifting. Find that creative spirit within yourself that may be lying dormant. Make the commitment, take the challenge. Relationships and friendships are only good if they are shared. Make your relationships the best they can be and join NAIFA today!
Jim Fuller, LUTCF