From Bankrupt Entrepreneur to Insurance Industry Mogul

Tim Gaspar LA Weekly Image

Bouncing back from bankruptcy isn’t a simple task. Doing so requires not only a vision, but also a strategic plan to make that vision a reality—as well as a strong stomach for the uncertainty and doubt along the way.

Tim Gaspar managed to pull this off so well that he was able to launch and scale an insurance company to the point that he could sell it to Foundation Risk Partners (FRP) within less than a decade-and-a-half.

Gaspar’s entrepreneurial spirit was obvious from an early age. As a teenager, he pursued a range of different money-making strategies, from running lemonade stands to operating his own haunted houses. But dropping out of college to pursue his early ambitions didn’t work out as planned, and he found himself bankrupt at the age of 20.

Determined to change his life trajectory, Gaspar dove headfirst into the insurance industry, gaining experience by working at a major firm for a few years before starting his own venture. Though he lacked formal training, Gaspar’s work ethic and willingness to learn from missteps led to a trajectory of constant improvement.

Over the next 15 years, Gaspar’s company grew exponentially, establishing itself as one of the largest independent insurance firms in both Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley before expanding to multiple locations across California, Arizona and New Jersey. It also drew the attention of Inc., which recognized Gaspar Insurance as one of the fastest-growing companies in America for three years in a row.

The journey is detailed in Gaspar’s debut book The Biggest Leap: Building a Profitable Insurance Agency from the Ground Up, in which he shares insights from his journey while also demonstrating why the insurance industry remains an underrated way to grow wealth.

In The Biggest Leap, Gaspar credits his success to focusing on the creation of long-term value for the business, team and customers. He offers detailed, practical advice on eliciting high-quality referrals, building successful teams, securing carrier appointments and drafting producer contracts—often in contrast to the “quick fixes” offered online by social media and marketing gurus.

Though his company is under new ownership, Gaspar continues to steer the ship. But he’s also now able to dedicate more of his time to community service: in addition to establishing the Timothy Gaspar Entrepreneurship Scholarship at California State University, Northridge, he’s actively engaged with several non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles area, holding board positions with the Discovery Cube Los Angeles, the Metropolitan YMCA of Los Angeles, the West Valley YMCA and the Nazarian School of Business at California State University, Northridge.

The Biggest Leap offers readers equal parts inspiration and pragmatic advice to apply to whatever “leaps” they may take in their own lives, no matter their field.

The Biggest Leap is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among other major retailers.

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