#004: Andre Laflamme Transcript – No Excuses

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Andre Laflamme and Kim Parks with Tim and Donna in Culebra

Host: Tim Martin
Guest: Andre Laflamme
Episode 4: No Excuses – Andre Laflamme Interview
March 8, 2014

Welcome to Success is Voluntary, a podcast devoted to helping you become the salesperson you were always meant to be, where it’s all about helping you learn the techniques and tools that will enable you to win in the increasingly competitive world of voluntary benefits. Welcome your host, a guy who has hired and trained over 2,000 voluntary benefit salespeople in his career, Tim Martin. Success is Voluntary, selling voluntary benefits.

Tim Martin: Yes, my name is Tim Martin, and you are listening to podcast number four of Success is Voluntary. Earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down and ask my good friend, Andre Laflamme, some questions via Skype. During the last 16 years, I’ve interviewed somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 potential candidates. As you can imagine, after that many interviews, someone has to really be extraordinary for me to remember their interview.

I still remember Andre’s vividly. I could not stop talking to my team and family about this guy whom I had seen so much potential in. Once Andre came on, he did not get off to a fast start, but I watched him work daily on himself and his business. We worked together for several years, and I watched him climb the rankings to the very top level of each level of responsibility he had been given.

Last year, he was offered the opportunity to return back to Washington State and take over a team, where he is leading a group of 12 sales managers and about 135 active agents. Combined, this group will bring voluntary benefits, for the first time, into approximately 500 payroll accounts and produce $3.8 million in new business. Besides being a great leader, Andre is a great husband, a great father, and a very good friend.

I just want to warn you of something, though, before we get started. If you are someone who is comfortable making excuses for your poor performance, Andre’s attitude, drive, and words might make you a little uncomfortable. He has always started by looking at himself first if things weren’t going well. So are you ready to learn? I sure am. Here is Andre. Hey, good morning, Andre.

Andre Laflamme: Good morning. How you doing, Tim?

Tim: I’m doing great. I am doing great. Hey, I really appreciate you coming on this morning and spending a few minutes with us. I’ve known Andre, like I said in the intro, for quite a while, and I just really admire the way that he thinks, the way that he interacts with his team, and the way that he just is a father, a husband, and I think he’s just a well-rounded guy and couldn’t be prouder to have him as a guest.

Andre, tell us just a little bit about your background. I know that you didn’t wake up in eighth grade, go to your guidance counselor, and tell him you wanted to be an insurance agent when you grow up. So kind of give us a little bit about your background, would you?

Andre: Yeah, absolutely. I actually come from a floor covering background. I spent about 20 years in the floor covering business. I started as an installer. It’s funny. I was talking to my daughter about it yesterday. I was living a day-to-day job and wanted a potential career. So I went to a floor covering installer and told him I would work for free if he would teach me this trade, and then I ran cars at night at a country club. So I would park cars at a country club, did some bellmen work, and whatnot.

Tim: That’s really good. Did he take you up on your free offer?

Andre: He did. He let me go for about two weeks, and then he started paying me, figured I might be sticking around, so that was good. After that, I went into the real estate business and went through some medical challenges, where I wished I would’ve had some supplemental programs and ended up losing my business and my floor covering business.

I had a store at the time and had an installation company, and I think I just owned a job, so realized that and went into real estate and did that for a few years. That was fun, but it’s that realization that no matter how many houses I sell this month, if I don’t sell anything next month I’m not paid. I didn’t have a passion for it, and that’s when you recruited me.

Tim: Well, I think you recruited yourself, honestly. It was one of those moments where I still remember we just clicked instantly, and it was definitely the right opportunity for you at the right time in your life. Let me ask you this: Do you think you would have been successful coming onboard in the voluntary benefits industry prior to going through the whole thing you did with your business and all that? Did you have the maturity, or have you always been kind of a driven individual?

Andre: I’ve always been fairly driven. I think one of the things that you’ve always told me was when the student is ready the teacher will appear, and I think you just appeared. It was the right time in my life. I wish I would’ve started at 18, but I was always driven. I was always driven. Yeah.

Tim: Okay. Okay, well, let’s talk about that for just a second. You said you “bought a job,” and I think so many people in America kind of go through that over the years. They think if they could just be the owner of the business. Maybe they’re a mechanic, and they see the owner. They think, “I’m at least as bright as that guy. I could be an owner.”

They go out, and they think it’s going to be this glorious thing being the business owner, and what they find out is they have a ton of responsibilities. I’m sure you always made sure you paid yourself first in your business. Right? You made sure that you got paid, and then you worried about everybody else?

Andre: Yeah, right. You’re the last to get paid.

Tim: You’re the last to get paid, right? That’s crazy. Then, obviously, you have supplies, and you have equipment. Things are breaking down and advertising costs and those kinds of things. We won’t mention the name of the big box that you did a lot of work for, but you signed a contract with one of the bigger home improvement centers in America, and I’m sure the day you signed that contract you were excited.

Andre: Oh, yeah, I was very excited. I was going to grow real big with that company in the floor covering industry as an installation company.

Tim: You probably were thinking about your yacht and all those things and how it was going to just be this cash cow. What kind of happened? Again, let’s not mention their name. I don’t want you or me to get sued on this. What kind of happened there?

Andre: Well, honestly, I was up in Washington State at the time, and the company came up from California and said, “We want to do all your business.” Overnight… I mean I had a couple of trucks. I had logos all over them. I had invested a lot of money, hired people, and overnight, I was out.

Tim: You were out.

Andre: I was out.

Tim: Overnight. Yeah, see, that’s so funny because you and I both spend a lot of time, energy, effort, and money, quite honestly, recruiting people, and a lot of them really want that security. They think that working for a company that pays them every Friday or every other Friday, twice a month, whatever, they think that’s security, and it’s an illusion.

Andre: Yeah. Absolutely.

Tim: I mean, you had people who worked for you, and they were out of a job when that other company came in and the big box retailer changed horses midstream on you.

Andre: Absolutely. You’re correct. I would say, first, if you have to be there in order for that business to be successful, then you own a job. Secondly, the only true security you have is in what you, I think, personally build.

Tim: Man, that is so good, Andre. I knew there was a reason I love you. All right, no, that’s really good. If you have to be there, you own a job, and that is so true. That’s why I love this business. Obviously, our business is not going to continue infinitely without us.

Our customers will eventually get tired of not getting good service, and they’re going to go away, but if you need to take off some time to be with a sick loved one, or you want to take a little sabbatical for a couple of months, you can certainly find somebody to manage your block for you while you’re gone, and you don’t miss a beat. That’s really great.

I remember vividly when you got started. Man, it was all roses and sunshine and puppy dogs, and you didn’t have any challenges at all. You came in. You had sales experience from the real estate. You had owned your own business, a sharp guy, very driven. Man, you just killed it from day one. Right?

Andre: Yeah, right. No, I…

Tim: You don’t remember it that way?

Andre: I keep looking back at the grace you provided me in allowing me to grow into this business, so forever, I’ll appreciate that, but no, you’re going to struggle. People think that they come into this and the businesses are just going to roll out the red carpet. No, it doesn’t happen. They want to know that you’re committed to them and that you’re going to do what you say, and it’s a lot of hard work. This business is built on noes.

Tim: Say that again.

Andre: This business is built on noes.

Tim: This business is built on noes.

Andre: Yeah.

Tim: Man, I wrote a blog post yesterday titled Simple, Not Easy, and you have heard me talk about that a lot. I think that’s part of the problem for a lot of agents. The hard part is they’re going to get told no a lot, and that can be defeating. How do you keep going in the face of a bunch of noes? What are some of the tricks you use, some of the techniques you use that keeps your energy and your excitement and your passion up?

Because, man, I’m telling you, there are not a lot of people in this world (let alone in this business) who have your enthusiasm and internal optimism. How do you do that? Are you just delusional? Is that what happens? My wife says I am sometimes. She says I live in la-la land sometimes. What do you do?

Andre: Well, Tim, wow, I like to say that this business is mental. Everything about it is mental. Installing floor covering, going to sleep on the job to turn around and wake up five layers to continue installing, taking Advil constantly, soaking your hands in Corn Huskers Lotion inside plastic bags overnight, that’s hard work. This business is mental, and it’s everything between your ears. It’s all about your attitude. It’s all about affirmations. It was the day that I realized if this is to be, it’s up to me. That was one of my affirmations.

The other one was that I always felt that I just had some money coming in, so I used to say that all the time. “I have some money coming. If it is to be, it’s up to me,” and I am a great salesman, and I literally had to feed my brain constantly. I had to run the “Automobile University,” just like Zig Ziglar says. I was coaching my team yesterday, and I told them, you know, I was just kind of getting back into really feeding my brain. I was listening to him, and Zig said, “The competition is tough from 8:00 to 4:00,” and he’s right.

Tim: Ah, I love that.

Andre: You know, the competition goes home.

Tim: Then the competition goes home.

Andre: Yeah, and there’s not a lot of competition. So how many times have you stretched yourself and you have wanted to quit? You taught me this. You taught me how Mr. Mueller would want to keep going at the end of the day, and it seems like when you stretch yourself, that’s when the things happen. It’s at the end of the day, and you say, “It’s simple, but not easy.” I remember the day I went to you and said, “This is simple, and it’s easy.”

Tim: It gets easy.

Andre: From the mental side.

Tim: Yeah, once you get the mental stuff right, it gets easy. Man, you’re telling a secret that I didn’t want out, but… No, I’m just kidding. It is hard at first. I don’t want to belittle that. The author/speaker/good friend of mine, Brian Hicks, says you’re creating something out of nothing, and it’s supposed to suck.

Andre: Yeah.

Tim: I love that because you’re creating something out of nothing. There is nothing there. There is no business. They don’t know you from Adam, and you have to go out there and create something out of nothing. It’s going to be hard, but once you get the mental part right, and once you really become an expert in what you’re doing (and I’m not talking product; I’m talking about sales techniques and keeping your energy level right and attitude right), it becomes easy.

That’s when it gets fun. That’s when it gets exciting fun, but boy, you have to pay the price along the way, and I saw you do that. I was really proud to watch you do that. We won’t, again, mention any names, but I know that your manager, when you first came on board (great guy, loved the guy), not a great mentor for you. Tell me, what did you do? Because, I mean, this business can be lonely as it is, and now, all of a sudden, the person who is supposed to be helping you…great guy…just not doing much for you.

How do you deal with that? Because I know a lot of people listening to this, they’re in the same situation. Maybe they were made some promises when they were recruited that, unfortunately, it’s not the company’s fault. It’s that person’s fault who recruited him or their manager’s fault that they’re not quite living up to those promises. I’m not naïve enough to think that that never happens. What do you do when that happens, because you went through it?

Andre: Well, the first thing I would say is…Winners point the thumb, not the finger.

Tim: Ooh.

Andre: You have to take personal responsibility for your business, and you can’t let somebody else destroy your dream. If the dream is real, if the vehicle, which is that supplemental business, is real (and I’ll tell you absolutely it is), you can create so much out of nothing. It’s going to provide you what you want in life. You have to take personal responsibility to grow that business in spite of what kind of training you got or whether you actually got to go out and field call with your trainer, which I never did. I was just told to go do it.

I think one of the things is that Brain Tracy says that if you ever want to be successful, you find out what successful people did, and you just model their actions, and so I spoke to people who were successful. I didn’t try to get advice from people who were crying around the water cooler. I got it from people who were doing it. Fortunately, my boss’s boss modeled hard work and a winning attitude, and so I really kind of clung on to that and knew that I was in the right place, and then it’s all about activity.

Tim: Wow, that’s good. That’s really good. You bet. I see so many people (and not just in this business, just in life) who end up wanting to blame other people. They don’t want to take any personal responsibility and all. In fact, I was listening to a gentleman on the way in, Sean Stephenson. If anybody hasn’t heard of Sean, Google him.

He is a guy who has a genetic condition that by the time he was 18, he had 208 fractures in his body. Some of them were the same bone multiple times. He has a genetic disorder, and man, if there is anybody who could have excuses and challenges and reasons why they couldn’t be successful, it would be Sean. Man, just an inspiring, inspiring individual, and he has a podcast called Recharge with Sean Stephenson. I would encourage everybody to check that out. It’s just amazing.

I’m not saying bad stuff doesn’t happen to people. I know bad stuff happens to people. I’ve had bad stuff happen to me that pales in compares to maybe some of our listeners, some of the things they’ve had. I thought at the time it was tragic, and I was very upset by it, but compared to some people’s lives, my life has been pretty ideal.

When that kind of stuff happens, you have to make a choice. Andre, you do that. I know that you went through a serious car crash, almost lost your hand. It still obviously has challenges, and you don’t have very good function of your right hand. Then you went through bone cancer, as well. Instead of lying on the couch feeling bad for yourself, you picked yourself up and went back to work. Man, that’s just so encouraging to see.

Let’s talk a little bit about this from the new agent’s perspective, because you said if your manager isn’t doing what you need him or her to do, latch on to people who are being successful, and don’t hang out with people who are whining and telling you it can’t be done. Other than just inside the company, what other resources did you use for that?

Andre: Well, let’s see. My regional manager taught a class every week, and so I made sure I didn’t miss classes. Even though I had been to the class a few times, I still continued to go, because it’s the adage of, “If I can just walk away with one new point, then my hour and a half, two hours is worth it,” and so I made sure I went to all the training possible.

You know, it’s funny, Tim, because we get people in different stages of their lives. Some people come into this business, and they’ve read things like Think and Grow Rich. They already have that attitude, and they’ve had business-to-business marketing before. They have no problem cold calling, and other people, you get into this business, and they need to start at maybe a Zig Ziglar, See You at the Top. Hopefully, you have somebody who cares about you who can help you to identify maybe where you’re at and start you there.
I think that is one of the challenges… If we don’t have that person, right? The hardest person for us to manage is probably ourselves, and so really coming to grips with where we’re at in life and what it is we need. I’ve seen different agents at different levels, so I, personally, just try to coach them where they’re at. I’ve had people crying in my office. Now they’re in management, and they’re successful. They come to you and they thank you for being there for them and helping them.

If you don’t have that, then we have a lot of good training online. Getting connected in the community, I think, would be of help, and try to find that mentor. I like to say try to find somebody who can mentor you and also somebody maybe who you can mentor along the way, have a hand up/hand down-type philosophy, if you would.

Tim: You bet. That’s great. That’s great. Because we have some sales managers listening to this (and I know the last several years you’ve been in leadership and management in this business), I want to ask you a couple of questions about that and your philosophy. You know, again, you get people at all different levels coming into this, and you have to meet them where they’re at.

I love that. You said that you have to kind of find out where they’re at and mentor them there. You said your manager never took you to the field. I think that’s a tragedy. I really do. That’s not good. Talk a little bit about the difference between being a travel agent or a tour guide and kind of what you think about that.

Andre: Well, one of the things you always told me was your agents are always going to do a little less than what they see you doing.

Tim: Hmm. That’s true. So true.

Andre: I don’t know that I’ve heard the travel agent/tour guide thing before.

Tim: Oh, okay. I’m sorry. Well, let’s back up and what you said there about “They will do less than you,” so if your day looks like this… Maybe you got on the phone at 6:00 in the morning with your home office because they’re on the East Coast, and you’re helping somebody with a claim. Then you get to the office by 7:30, and you meet that brand-new agent at 9:00. They come in at 9:00, and then you take them out for an hour or two.

Then you eat a little lunch with them, and then in the afternoon, you stop by a couple of clients. Then you kick them loose at 3:00 so that you can go help with a billing issue or something that isn’t going to be real sexy or exciting for a new agent to see. So you tell them to go home and study their brochures or whatever. They think you worked from 9:00 to 3:00. Right?

Andre: Absolutely.

Tim: So what do they think?

Andre: They think that you’re successful doing it 9:00 to 3:00, so they could probably do pretty good at 10:00 to 2:00 with an hour lunch.

Tim: Exactly. Because let’s face it, for both of us, we’ve hired people a lot sharper than us coming into this business, right? They come in and they go, “If that guy can be successful, I’m going to make a mint,” and you remember that looking at your trainer. You’re like, “Man, if that guy can be successful, I’m going to own this company someday.” You remember that?

Andre: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, Tim, this is one of the things that really helped me, and I fought it. You brought me into leadership, into management, with Aflac pretty quick. I kept telling you I wasn’t ready, but I’ll tell you, it helped me because when I had that person that I had to meet at 7:00 because we were going to go out and work in the field, I had to be there. If I didn’t have anything going on, I would probably press the snooze button.

Tim: Hmm, that’s good. That’s good.

Andre: Getting that new person that first day, you have to run with them in the field. I tell my field trainers, “Pack a lunch. Run them from 7:00 until 6:00, and then go back to the office and model that work for them, and then they’ll probably work 9:00 to 5:00. They’ll probably work 9:00 to 5:00 for you.”

Tim: That’s good. That’s good. Well, because I brought it up, I want to put a point on it. I’ll just explain the difference between travel agent and tour guide real quick for our listeners if they haven’t heard that analogy either. I think a lot of times… You’re a great exception, and I think it’s because you were so new in the business you had to make money. You couldn’t afford to do this.

A lot of times, we’ll take somebody who is a pretty decent salesperson, has a heart for other people, they really do want to help grow other people, and we’ll put them in a leadership position. All of a sudden, they think they’re a manager. They think that they’re going to sit in their office and rule their kingdom by memo or by email and do that kind of a thing.

Here is how their conversations go. They say, “You know, back when I was an agent, this is what I did, and this is how I did it. Boy, you should try this, and you should try that. Man, good luck, and let me know how it goes. If you need anything, I’m always available. My door is always open. I’ll always answer your cell phone call, and good luck.”

It’s like the travel agent. Some of the people on this call, they don’t even know what a travel agent is. Before there was Expedia or before there was any kind of online travel, you had to actually call people. They would get you plane tickets and set up your vacations for you and all. That’s a travel agent. They say, “You know, I was in Greece in 1992, and man, it was great. You need to go to this place and that place,” and that kind of thing.

A tour guide grabs you by the hand and says, “Hey, come with me. I want to show you. This is really cool,” and I really believe, even at the highest level (I don’t care what your position is inside of that company), in the insurance business, you need to be a tour guide. I try and get out in the field every week with at least a couple of my managers, whether it’s running an appointment with a group or meeting with a broker or those kinds of things.

I don’t want to ever be that guy who just sits in the office and says, “You should do this. I used to do that.” I want to be the guy who says, “Come on. Let’s go. I want to show you something really cool,” and you do that, Andre. I mean, you may not know that analogy, but I’ve seen you do that over and over again.

How do you know when to cut somebody loose? Because that is always a thing. A friend of mine, you already mentioned his name, Mike Mueller. I remember he would struggle with this early on, because he has a ministry background. In fact, he still has a ministry background. He leads a church out in the big metropolis of Elma, Washington.

He’s very, very successful in our industry, been a great leader, but early on, he treated everybody like a ministry project. I think it’s important to believe in your people more than they believe in themselves, but how do you know when it’s time to fish or cut bait, as they say?

Andre: Tim, that’s one of our biggest challenges, wanting someone’s success more than they want it for themselves. For me, if they’re still doing the activity and their attitude is there, then I’m going to continue to help them where they’re at. That said, after you’ve gone out and modeled for them how to set an appointment and how to work in the field… I like to say, if there comes a point when they still can’t set an appointment and they need me to be there, then one of us isn’t needed. It’s a challenge.

Then you maybe look at…Is there somewhere else in your organization? Maybe they would be a better admin, or maybe they might be admin support for one of your top agents or one of your districts. I’m trying to place them where maybe they fit as opposed to losing a good person, so when somebody is not willing to do what you ask them, then you need to move on would be my opinion.

Tim: Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly, and we said two very separate things that I think a lot of people confuse. I said oftentimes, and it’s a good thing, to believe in your people more than they believe in themselves. I really believe that. Sometimes you see so much potential in people that they don’t even see in themselves, and I think that’s a leader’s responsibility, to point that out and help them achieve their potential.

You said you can’t want their success more than they do, and at first glance, those appear to be completely disparate statements, but they’re really not. You can’t drag people to success. You cannot drag them to success. You can believe in them more than they believe in themselves and help them stretch and reach to that next level and do things like I did with you and put you in a leadership position before you felt like you were ready. That’s different. That’s completely different than wanting their success more than they want it for themselves. You can’t drag them to success.

One more shift of gears and then I have a couple of things to close with. Andre, you’ve done a great job. I’ve watched you over the years build team morale, team spirit, getting your people focused, and I know whenever you take over a new organization, which you just did fairly recently, it can be very defeating at first because nobody is on the same page with you. There isn’t that team spirit. They don’t know you from Adam, and you have to build that trust.

I’ve watched you over the years take over several teams and go from that point of, “Man, everybody is kind of on their own island,” to having a great team atmosphere. What are some of the things you have done to foster that? Tell our listeners some of the things that you’ve done in that area.

Andre: Well, I guess some of the things that I’ve done, you know, you put out a number. You look at what your quota is for the week and put out a number and say, “Hey, guys, we hit this, and we’re all going to have a party on the following Thursday.” We’ll go to the local establishment, if you would, and hopefully, they have some pinball and some shuffleboard and cheap beer and stuff like that.

You can just invite them, and tell them to bring a friend, as well, because it can be a great recruiting event, so yeah, “Hit a certain number, definitely going to be a little over your quota, and we’ll have a party next Thursday.” Usually that was at 4:00.

Right now, we have Power Weeks. We have our four weeks of push weeks here, and so we’re doing a baseball game. I booked a party deck, so food and drink is provided. In this one, I was looking at doing a suite, but I decided I want more people. I want more involvement, and so instead, I did a party deck. It’s a little less expensive, so it allows me, in my budget, to bring more people.

Tim: Nice.

Andre: Then also, I think key on that is I have such a strong passion for helping that new person to realize their dreams and to get with those veterans who are living their dreams. Just talking with some of my managers, we’re also going to invite some of the brand-new people and make sure that they can be there to see that and get inside that culture.

I’ve created shirts with the team name. Everyone on my team names their team. All my managers, they name their team. They also have logos for their team to put into their newsletter. They’re recognized with one another, and so it’s just trying to build a team.

You know, sometimes, Tim, I was thinking a lot about this, and if I’m going to be honest, I have some work to do here where I’m at, but if it is to be, it’s up to me. Moving, I’ve moved quite a bit in my career, and it made me think about it. You get close to these people, and if you leave, some of those relationships, they don’t always realize…

I mean, really good friends of mine from two moves ago are coming in in a couple of weeks, and they’re going to come to stay with us. We’re still friends, and we have those relationships, but sometimes it’s hard when you make that move to come in and to start all over again and open yourself up and share with others. If I’m going to be honest, I have a lot of work to do here still, and I take full responsibility for that, but…

Tim: Well, that’s really interesting. Let’s talk about that for just a second. If I’m hearing you right, one of the things that you think… At first, you come in and you’re like, “Why are these people not embracing me?” I’m not talking about your current team. I’m just talking about whenever you move. It’s kind of shocking that they kind of are standoffish.

When I made the transition to this position (I changed carriers even), at first, that’s the way people were, and it was just stunning to me. What I realized (I think this is the same thing you’re saying) is because I wasn’t vulnerable to them, why would they connect with me? Because you’ve moved a few times, it’s hard to open yourself up to new people because I’m sure it was painful when you left the people who you had really built relationships with in the past.

Sometimes we want to insulate ourselves against getting hurt or setting ourselves up for down the road if circumstances change, and we’re going to miss those people. We can’t miss them if we don’t really get close to them in the first place. Do you think that’s kind of what you’re saying there?

Andre: No, I think absolutely what I’m saying. The place that I lived before this, I was planning to retire there. I was absolutely planning to stay there. I had arrived, and like you say, circumstances, changes, and when you leave, there’s hurt. There are tears. I literally had an agent who I really, really respect, and love and cared for who said (it was the spouse of one of my top veterans who said that they came into this business because of me), “How could I leave?”

Tim: Sure.

Andre: There was hurt, so you go through that, and yeah, I think maybe I am insulating myself a little bit right now, and I can’t do that. It’s the old adage: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, and it is right. You come into these organizations, and Tim, they don’t know your heart, right?

Tim: They don’t know your heart, no.

Andre: Don’t know your heart. They don’t know who you are. I remember when I was working in Arizona. You came to me, and you said, “Andre, you need to let them know who you are.” Then we started having little gatherings and parties at the house. It was a blast, and the team really started growing. It doesn’t have to be a big expense, but get some people over to your house and break bread. Just have a good time.

Tim: You bet. We had some good times over at your house. I remember. I wasn’t invited to all of them, but the ones I came to, boy, you guys, you sure had a good time over there. It probably maybe cost you two or three hundred bucks…something like that…to throw a party at your house, and what a great investment that was for your team because I saw such great comradery. You and I are both very driven and very competitive, and we think that everybody is like us sometimes, right?

Andre: Yeah.

Tim: But on your team, there are all sorts of different personalities. Some of the people on your team are there just because they want to belong to something, and so if you don’t give them the opportunity to belong to something, to get them together in a non-work environment to… Maybe that’s the person who you, if you’re going to do like a food drive as a team, you put them in charge of that or you get them in charge of planning the next party or the next event. That makes them feel like they’re something special and they’re part of a team.

Then there are other people who literally are in this business because they want to help people, and if at your Monday morning meeting all you’re doing is talking about numbers and who had the most, they disconnect pretty quickly. Again, I’ve seen you do a great job of drawing in all those people, whether they’re competitive or whether they’re focused on belonging or whether they’re focused on really helping people. I think you’ve done a great job, over the years, of fostering an environment where they feel like they’re winning. They’re winning.

All right. Man, I really appreciate you being on here, and I don’t want to take up any more of your time. I know you’re right in the middle of trying to close out a busy quarter and those kinds of things. Let me ask you this, though, Andre. We’ll close with this: What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?

Andre: Wow. I would say that I’d like the people to say that I was honest, that I cared for others, a good father, good husband, loved the Lord, and just served other people.

Tim: That’s a great legacy, a great legacy. All right, my friend, well, that will wrap it up for us. Again, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it, and good luck. I know that your team is in great hands. I can’t wait to see you guys climb to the top of all the rankings at your carrier, as I know you will.

Andre: Absolutely, Tim. Thank you so much for everything.

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