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The waiting place

The life insurance industry should not have to wait for a report to make changes

For Christmas just gone, my 4-year-old received a Dr Seuss book, Oh the Places You'll Go. Great inspiration for a 4-year-old - heck, for any age!

Typically it’s given to high school or uni grads for inspiration - who knew it would help me out of my funk?

You see, I'm not a patient person.

And I'm stubborn, passionate, 'soap boxy' (OK, that's enough, you get it)... I started my business in July and it’s all about life insurance, all things life insurance - advising, coaching, training, strategising - and it makes me ridiculously happy. But some days it seems like a struggle.

It doesn't get the momentum I'd like or I really struggle to get people to understand my passion, to 'see the need' and to take action.

I'm more than happy to say that moving to an advice role has been bloody hard.


And whoever called soft skills 'soft' doesn't understand how hard it can be sometimes when you're trying to help your clients.

All that aside (insert feigned shock), surprisingly, not everyone wants to discuss life insurance. Clients are apathetic (insert 100-plus reports confirming it here) but I can tell you a not-so-secret 'secret'? So is the industry.

You see, there are a lot of businesses, licensees, advisers and managers who want to do more. Want to discuss life insurance more, want to improve the process, the strategy etc, but it’s not enough to motivate them to action. In the scheme of all else we have going on, 'fixing' life insurance is last on the list.

I know I'm poking the bear right now, but consider this: are we in Dr Seuss' 'the waiting place'?

Here in the waiting place, everyone's just waiting for one thing or another, including another report, a final report or definite legislative change before we take action. And we're either waiting for 'something', or over-thinking what the action should be, and just not taking a step.

But we have got to keep moving.

Dr Seuss teaches us that you can't wait for an opportunity to find you or for great things to happen to you; you have to go out and make things happen. Be aggressive, grab the bull by the horns, take a chance.

And we might move forward, move through it, even if we are 'scared out of our pants' - Hell, I'm scared to some extent every day! - and it will take more than what is eluded to in the book, than just ensuring we don't mix up our left or right foot!.

But if we stop waiting, if we take leadership, if we face up to our collective problem that at the end of the day underinsurance and misinsurance is real and we all can do something to change it, then we will succeed. How much success, you ask? Well, 98 and 3/4 per cent guaranteed (stats via Dr Seuss).

All jokes aside, with the various reports that have presented themselves over the last few months, what progress has been made besides talk?

Do we really need to wait for 'something', or have we convinced ourselves that waiting is an action?

So if you feel that your insurance process could be improved, or your insurance strategy needs a polish, why not start today? Get on your way, accept the bang-ups, hang-ups or the prickly perch and keep moving anyway... Because great things await your clients - and you and 98 3/4 per cent sounds pretty darn good.

As for me, I'll just keep the book on my bedside table for now.

So when I hit my next slump or funk, I'll know where to turn to be sure I get through to the other side (after all, who doesn't want to be a winning-est winner!)

Melissa Crawford, 19Thirty

The waiting place
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