When Jessi Park was laid off from her full-time job in 2016, her first thought was “not again.”
Park relied on that job to support herself and her two kids, as well as pay off the student loan debt she accrued putting herself through college. But the education that was supposed to ensure her a steady income and security for her family was just putting her deeper in the trenches.
“I thought, ‘oh, well, it’s normal to have student loan debt and credit card debt and all these things’,” she said. “But when I was laid off in 2016, that hadn’t even been the first time I was laid off. No matter who I pledged my allegiance to, it was always that I was disposable.”
After that layoff, Park – who worked in the marketing sector at the time – knew she had to shift her mindset. While using her degree would have been ideal, caring for her children was more important. So when six months of interviews didn’t pan out, she shifted to an unlikely field: insurance sales.
“In my mind, I got this degree, so I’m supposed to be a marketing director, not working in a field like sales,” she said. “That’s where my mindset had to shift.”
And that mindset shift, as it turned out, was the best thing to ever happen to Park.
Being an insurance agent was supposed to be a temporary gig until Park found another full-time job in her field. But when Park realized how good she was at her job – and how lucrative that success was – she started considering another career path.
“When I first started, I was on food stamps and I started off without anyone helping me,” she said. “I didn’t have family or financial support, and I didn’t have anyone giving leads to me. It was up to me to figure out how this would work.”
In just months, Park rose to the top of her firm, surpassing every sales goal and setting a record as the only woman in her company who did so in such a short period of time.”
“I realized if I just kept up my same energy, I could hit even higher goals,” she said. “So I gave myself a year and a half to earn $1 million in sales and I earned it in eight months.”
In 2018, Park started Inspired Insurance Solutions, an independent brokerage company providing individual and group insurance solutions. After founding her company, she then thought about how she could mentor her agents to find the same kind of success she had.
“I loved recruiting agents and teaching them how to find that kind of success, especially since I came into this business without following the traditional ‘man’s man’ sales agent advice,” she said. “I didn’t follow advice like ‘always be closing’ and those kinds of things, and I want to teach other people how to follow that approach.”
Making a Mindset Shift
Now, Park has turned her focus toward guiding and mentoring agents who want to be where she is – and need a mindset shift to do it.
“I really do have a passion for teaching, and I realized this as I started mentoring and training my own agents,” she said. “I started reflecting on my own story and my own journey and realized that there’s a lot about how I got to where I am today that has to do with mindset and how that propelled me toward success.”
Park focuses her mentorship efforts on training agents to overcome their “mental blockages” and start thinking about their work in terms of goals, not income.
“There really aren’t any barriers to getting into this industry that you see in a lot of other ones,” she said. “If you come in and determine what you want to make based on how hard you’re willing to work, the sky can be the limit.”
“But,” she added, “you’re never going to get there if you’re only focused on ‘I have to make enough money to survive!’. Thinking about where you want to be, rather than what you think you have to do to make it, is the first step to shifting your mindset for the better.”
Above all else, Park said, she wants to be the person who elevates other women in the industry.
“I want to be the person that finds and trains women who want to work and find financial freedom,” she said. “That’s what I’m all about, and I think now more than ever we need more women in these kinds of positions. So as long as I’m elevating and inspiring others, I know I’m right where I want to be.”
About Jessi Park
Jessi Park, CEO of Inspired Insurance, helps thousands of clients find the best policy for them, carrying over 200 carriers to choose from. Find the right policy for you at www.inspiredinsurancesolutions.com/
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