In this day and age, not many people stay with a company for 10 years or more. In fact, until now, neither had I. So you can imagine when I received the notice that February 2014 was my 10 year anniversary with American Family, I was surprised (time flies when you’re having fun) and proud.
I started as an agent in 2004 and accepted a sales manager position three years later. After six years as a sales manager, I returned to agency the Fall of 2013. A lot comes to mind looking back on the last 10 years and I’d like to share my experience with you.
I was first attracted to a career as an American Family Agent because of the opportunity to run my own business. After many years in a corporate sales position with little control over my time and an ever-increasing gap between effort and reward, I realized I had the entrepreneurial drive to own a business. In the role of an agent with American Family, not only do I control my time, effort and reward but just as important, I have the ability to provide superior products/claims from the best insurance company in the industry.
Not only was I happier in this new role but each year I received an added bonus of working with like-minded fellow managers, supportive company partners and motivated fellow agents. Everyone I’ve encountered in the company, American Family Insurance, has the same focus: Put the client and the Agent first! The company’s sole purpose is to give the client the best experience possible as it pertains to the purchase & servicing of insurance products.
My time as an agency sales manager (2007-2013) gave me access to the inner workings and executive leadership of the corporation. The time spent working for the corporation was invaluable as it helped me understand who we are, where we are going and how important our clients are to the organization. I had the opportunity to work alongside a team of talented sales managers (in Indiana and other sales states) as well as lead dozens of agency owners in District 556.
The opportunity to work once again as an agent, assisting current & prospective clients, has been the best part of this career. Meeting with clients and learning about their families and understanding their story has been a privilege. Our lives are so busy these days with work/family commitments. I know that my clients need my agency’s advice and recommendations so they can make the best decision for their families.
I have so much gratitude for those that have helped me get to this point in my career: My awesome wife, Shawna; my Parents; all the amazing mentors I’ve spent time with; and my past managers that gave me opportunities along the way. All of these individuals helped me succeed in my efforts to be where I am today professionally (and personally). I thank them for their support, encouragement, dedication, time and belief in me and the agency. There’s so much heart and soul that goes into what we do every day and I hope you can feel that when you speak with me and Shannon.
I am optimistic for great things to come at The Patrick D. O’Brien Agency. And those that know me well can hear my tone when I say, “I am pumped”! Here’s to 10 more years!!
– Pat O’Brien
ps. If you’d like to view American Family’s 2013 annual report, you can view it here.