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Brad Cummins, founder of Local Life Agents and TermLife-Insurance.com, Columbus, Ohio

| 09.14.2015 |

Today, our Superstar spotlight shines on Brad Cummins, who has turned his expertise in life insurance into a successful entrepreneurial career.

 

Q: What inspired you – and who encouraged you – to become an entrepreneur?

 

Brad Cummins: I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, from my teens through adulthood. For example: When I was 14, one of my late father's best friends enlisted my help in the sale of prepaid phone cards. The business model was a form of multilevel marketing company, for which I had strong opinions. So, I convened a business meeting in the basement of my mother's house – the turnout was huge – and I explained, clearly and methodically, my sales and marketing strategy to the attendees.

 

Did everyone agree to join my new business? No. But the reward was fulfilling – and exceeded – my initial expectations about whether members of the community would take the time to listen to my presentation, ask me questions and allow me the chance to answer each query to the best of my ability. That experience was the catalyst for charting my own path, in business and in my personal life.

 

Cut to my graduation from Ohio State, where, though I was uncertain what my future business would look like (in terms of the model, value proposition and overall philosophy), I knew then – and I know now – that I would be the best entrepreneur I could be; I would be the best entrepreneur I knew I should be.

 

Q: What have been the greatest challenges in being your own boss? And what have been the greatest triumphs?

 

Brad Cummins: The greatest challenge involves wearing, and the cliché is true for a reason, so many different hats. I have to act as the “Great Explainer” by educating customers (and the public at large) about the necessity of having life insurance, as I simultaneously write and publish original content that speaks to the financial interests of individuals, couples and families.

 

I may find myself pulled in different directions – I have a seemingly nonstop series of daily calls and emails I must answer – but the destination is always the same: To deliver intelligible answers that demystify the process of buying life insurance, and to ensure that the options I provide represent my commitment to personalized service.

 

Thankfully, I have a team that complements my values and shares my virtues, with regard to the professionalism I deliver and the respect I have for every current customer and every prospective client.

 

Q: What does it take for those seeking to start a business to be successful?

 

Brad Cummins: To paraphrase Marcus Lemonis, the businessman, philanthropist and TV personality, it is essential to have your three P's in place: People, Process and Product.

 

This concept applies to any organization because, in the absence of such a system, workers will not have a plan to follow, new employees will not have mentors to emulate, and a business will collapse because of the chaos and erratic performance that is a result of this void.

 

Q: What advice would you give to people seeking to start their own businesses?

 

Brad Cummins: Identify, and have a proposed solution for, the biggest challenges within your particular industry.

 

In my field, the hardest part of selling of life insurance involves finding new clients. Even when I have access tosuch a community, I need to customize my presentation to each person's goals and budget; I must educate myself about the potential customer well before I inform that man or woman about how and why I can be of assistance.

 

I also need to master communications, including copywriting, branding as storytelling, SEO and CRM. I need to relieve the stress of selling by offering customers the convenience of reading my thoughts and commentary about the issues that matter.

 

Finally, I must never stop innovating. Everything I do, from building and launching an exclusive Quote Engine to explaining the benefits and long-term advantages of having life insurance, must reflect my principles and strengthen my ideals.

 

Brad Cummins' companies are online at http://www.LocalLifeAgents.com and http://www.TermLife-Insurance.com.