Tan Chei Huey
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There seems to be a certain disdain for insurance. It seems that some people think – oh! You are just out to get commission from me, selling certain financial products just to get your commissions.
Then, there is the other stereotype – this person cannot make it in a real job and thus has to make a living selling insurance.
Just read some of the comments in the FB post above. It is interesting to note what people say.
In the past, insurance was considered an industry that attracted “cowboys” and so-called “rougher” crowd.
There is no doubt, there are certain bad eggs.
Guess what? This is a fact of life – there are bad eggs in EVERY industry.
We are now in 2017. The world currently is unlike our parents’ generation. In the past, our parents used to say – Never talk to strangers and never get into strangers’ cars.
The world is changing faster than you can catch up. Donald Trump – a reality TV star – is the president of the United States of America.
It is a hard reality to accept if we keep clinging on to certain beliefs and mindsets. The common adage by parents – “Study hard, get into university and you’ll get a good job” is now a broken promise especially when you read stories that university graduates are finding it harder and harder to get jobs.
At heart, I am a kampong girl who hailed from a mining town from Malaysia. I have made tremendous shifts in my belief systems and constantly putting myself in voluntary uncomfortable positions in order to grow and connect deeply to my highest self.
Mindsets that do not serve me are regularly thrown away.
I am in full gratitude of the opportunities that have been given to me. I am aware of the privilege – being able to expand my career within the banking industry in Singapore.
To be honest, working in IT of the banking industry was my comfort zone. As long as you didn’t rock the boat, didn’t screw up too badly – I knew I could stay on for as long as I like.
A part of me knew it was dangerous to think like this. Because it meant that I could become “stuck in a rut”.
Because we are creatures of habit who tend to have our words on repeat, they become like a chisel that forms grooves in our minds, playing the same stories over and over, anchoring in our thoughts and beliefs and defining our reality.
Our words are like water flowing over rocks—over time they have the power to create grooves the size of the Grand Canyon.
I didn’t want to get literally stuck in a rut or a groove of thought, beliefs, and words – especially those that will keep me stagnant!
Even then, I was slow to act.
It took a health issue for me to finally make the decision to move on and move out of the banking industry.
Money can always earn later. But health is way too precious. So I left. I decided to take action in spite of fear.
I have seen it happen too many times.
I have seen so many people tie their sense of identity to their job title, the amount of money they earn, the cars they drive, the properties they own.
It is dangerous to define your life in that manner – because if any of them were to be taken away from you what will happen? Will your sense of self-worth be gone as well?
I knew what I was getting into when I left a 6-figure job position to step into the insurance industry. I had planned for the move financially and was prepared mentally for rejections.
I will be solely responsible for my own income.
It’s been more than 2 years since I ventured into insurance. Have I ever matched my last drawn salary?
Not yet. (but it is becoming closer! I was surprised at the amount of tax I had to pay last year)
But these past 2 years have been the most enriching, learning and growing phase for me!
The first year I was an insurance agent – it was my Valley of Darkness.
It was painful, discomforting to see my so-called “friends” shun me. I didn’t want to sell insurance to them – I merely wanted to share the news I was an insurance agent.
But of course, people have their own nature, thoughts and beliefs. That stereotype of avoiding insurance agents like the plague was confirmed.
I did not let it deter me – instead I held on to a few key mindset pieces I had in place to stay the course as I trudged through the Valley of Darkness that first year.
Successful people are tenacious, which means they keep the faith much longer than the average person does.
Because of this, the average person tends to look upon the successful person, before they have become successful, as insane, ridiculous, give it a rest already!
Successful people must hold tight to their vision while everyone around them is shouting discouraging things.
Imagine Thomas Edison – in his process to discover the best material for his filament bulb – was probably told many times: What do you think you are, magic? You’re never gonna get that stupid thing to light up. Go get a job!
Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. I value my freedom, my ability to do what I want, whenever I want. I have great, wonderful clients that I always envision when I first started out.
Don’t get me wrong – I still get rejections and I take each in stride and as a learning experience.
The journey ahead of me is still long. My client, fellow entrepreneur and good friend – Aidah – told me to relax and enjoy the ride. Her reply – “Your business is like a small child. At 2 years old, it just barely has begun to walk, let alone run. Enjoy the journey.”
This journey will hopefully make me grow into someone who thinks big…. someone who finds possibility more interesting than finding excuses.
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