Q. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
Ans: The Florida Farm Bureau Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Group. We are a multi-line insurance company. Our goal is to protect the standard of living of each of our members. FL Farm Bureau Insurance is offered through a network of exclusive agents in each county of FL. My agency covers St Johns and Puntnam counties.
Q. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans: I come from an agricultural background and represent the first generation in my family “off the farm.” I’ve been business inclined as long as I can remember all the way back to my candy re-sale business in middle school. My first established business was a mobile car detailing service that I ran during highschool. I graduated from the University of FL in 2001 with a bachelors in business administration. I was recognized in 2009 as FL Farm Bureau’s “Rookie of the Year.” Since then I’ve been a 3 time “Century Club” winner, 6 time “Round Table” winner, and was promoted to Agency Manager in 2014. I was recognized as “Agency Manager of the Year” for the state of FL for 2015.
Q. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?
Ans: I was inspired by my family’s long time Farm Bureau agent William “Bill” Morris in Apopka, FL. Bill knows his clients personally, has developed such strong relationships, touched so many lives, and played such an instrumental part in delivering protection in times of need. Many will take notice and congratulate him in his upcoming retirement at the end of the year…the 56th year!
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans: Treat every customer/client like it is your last. Make goals and be willing to work towards them. If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing right!
Q. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans: Skills for successful entrepreneur – Self-reliance, Creativity, Sales aptitude
Q. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans: On average I work 9-10 hrs/day.
Q. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans: I most attribute my success getting along and working well with others.
Q. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans: We mainly market through a grass roots word of mouth, direct solicitation, and basic advertising. Our most successful marketing occurs when we interface with public.
Q. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans: The best way to achieve long-term success is by making long term goals then sacrificing and working towards them
Q. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans: In 5 -10 years I see myself with many more meaningful relationships like the ones already established. I see my business prospering with at least one additional location in St Johns County.
Q. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans: Chic fila is a company I admire. They have not allowed huge success to compromise their beliefs…heck of a product also!
Q. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans: Good employees have been as important to our success as anything. Our employees value our goals as a company, they go the extra distance to ensure satisfaction, they care about every day here.
Q. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
Ans: I have been known to stick with something to the bitter end. A more nimble approach to ideas/activities/processes is something I’m working on.
Q. What motivates you?
Ans: I’m motivated to be the best, I’m motivated to build wealth meaning the experience of a wealthy life i.e. love, people, money, and possessions moving through you like plumbing….don’t clog the pipes
Q. What are your ideals?
Ans: My ideals are Faith, Family, and Farm Bureau
Q. How do you generate new ideas?
Ans: Generating new ideas is kind of like the scientific process. It starts with observation.
Q. How do you define success?
Ans: To me success is nice blend of accomplishment and happiness
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
Ans: You build a successful customer base by satisfying one customer at a time and putting their needs above yours.
Q. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is knowing there is no ceiling to your success. At the end of the day you can look in the mirror and live with what you have made of it.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Ans: My most satisfying moments in business have come when we stepped up and provided financial support for clients in their time of need
Q. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: I feel the major difference b/w entrepreneurs and employees is that entrepreneurs have the ability to say no.
Q. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
Ans: The culture that exists in this organization is Faith, Family, and Farm Bureau. This culture was established long before me however I do lead agency meetings and begin with a prayer and I believe it is easy to see my dedication to family and Farm Bureau based on everyday actions.
Q. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Ans: If I had to characterize my life as an entrepreneur with one word, that word would be “sell”