Motivational Episodes

One-Bedroom Apartment to FMO: Part 2

Episode Summary

The Brokerage's journey from starting in a one-bedroom apartment in the 1970s to becoming a major national insurance agency today is a remarkable story of perseverance through adversity.

Cheryl Hopkin and her husband launched the company with nothing but passion and a dream. In the early days, their success was driven by Ross's visionary leadership, Sue's operational consistency, and Cheryl's tireless "volunteer" attitude. They built personalized services like making house calls.

The business gained momentum through the 80s and 90s. But the road was far from smooth. Major legislation changes disrupted their business model, forcing them to pivot. Relationships proved crucial - a call from Secure Horizons opened up the Medicare space. Momentum was regained.

Tragedy struck in 2002 with Sue's sudden passing. This left the company struggling to survive, with only a month of payroll reserves left. At this critical juncture, they made the bold move to relocate from Dallas to a new office in Louisville, strategically positioned between key markets.

Though agents pushed back, they took the risk of selling a new Medicare HMO product. This strategic gamble paid off - within years, they went from almost shutting down to becoming leaders in Medicare insurance.

Several key factors allowed The Brokerage to rise from humble beginnings and overcome major hurdles along the way.

First was Ross's vision and ability to see opportunities even in the darkest times. When the market shifted, he saw new openings like training agents. His intuition brought the Medicare opportunity.

Relationships were also crucial. Connections opened doors into new markets and products even when times were tough. The call from Secure Horizons was a pivotal moment.

A willingness to take strategic risks and bet on new ideas also fueled their growth. Despite reluctance, they took a chance on Medicare HMO and won big.

Finally, sheer passion, diligence, and consistency powered them through the ups and downs. Their perseverance never wavered.

The Brokerage's journey has many lessons for leaders and entrepreneurs. With the right vision and mindset, any goal is achievable no matter the obstacles. That relationships and calculated risks can unlock growth. And that consistency and perseverance will be rewarded in the end.

Their rise from humble apartment to national agency shows that through passion and determination, even the boldest dreams can become reality. The Brokerage's story is truly inspirational.


(0:00:00) - Part two of our series follows Cheryl Hopkin's journey from a one-bedroom apartment
(0:03:52) - At this point, the company's doing well. If anything, a small group was growing crazy
(0:06:34) - Ross says this is where independent brokerage distribution model is going to grow
(0:12:03) - Dave: We uprooted from north Dallas, moved out to Louisville
(0:17:54) - You started selling Medicare Advantage in 2003 or the early 2000s
(0:23:09) - Some of these guys had to be retaught because we moved
(0:23:39) - This podcast focuses on helping insurance agents sell more and earn more

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