What inspired you to start your business?
I was an employee in a business where idea’s you had others would try to claim as their own, it wasn’t a supportive environment and I was bullied. I thought there has got to be a better way to live your life, so I decided it was time to put myself and my family first. I saw an ad with a business opportunity – to work my own hours, around my family, all the effort you put in, is for yourself and best of all my ideas were mine! People would get to meet the person they were dealing with and realise you were actually a genuine, honest person wanting to find the best solutions for them.
Tell us about your business?
The company was founded 5yrs ago, and I joined to cover the Wellington, Manawatu, and South Island. Our unique difference we have, we are not tied to any one insurance company. We can genuinely show you options across all of the major providers in NZ including banks, how they compare and what works best for your current situation. We are wanting to make sure you are covered for what you actually need. When it comes claim time, we are there helping you throughout so you aren’t having to deal with a potential traumatic event and the insurance company.
I am also fortunate to educate people how to maximise their hard earned dollars with KiwiSaver. We provide educational workshops to businesses, empowering staff to understand their KiwiSaver and also 1:1 meetings. We have advisers available throughout the country, did I mention the workshops are FREE! Get in touch so we can help your staff with their ‘financial wellness.’
What do you love about running your business?
Being in insurance, you get to watch people’s gaze trying to avert eye contact with you. Insurance isn’t something any of us want to think about, let alone speak about! We have for a long time, had some unhelpful people in the industry doing a lot of damage regarding the products they were offering. The Kiwi thought process of ‘she’ll be right’ is a thing of the past. We need to start trusting financial advisers as we are bound by the FMA to ensure we provide services to you that are ‘best fit for the client’. When I sit down with people and talk through their needs vs their wants, they are pleasantly surprised at the level and quality of cover they can get for themselves/their family at an affordable price. In some cases they can get more cover for a lesser price than they are currently paying, yet the quality of the product is higher. We only know what we are shown, I really enjoy showing people the comparison charts, truly is an eye opener for them, which in turn helps them to make a fully informed choice as to what is best for them.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Starting a new business for yourself is an exciting yet scary time; the initial start up costs, finding leads, and then getting consistent lead generations was a struggle to begin. I did find some people could be very unhelpful (within your area of expertise) almost as though I was a threat to them. You always hear the first 2 years in business can be the hardest and they are not wrong. Having support through my networking groups has been invaluable.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Don’t work all the hours in a day to make money only to regret the family you never spent time with.
Who inspires you, and why?
Julia Roberts is my inspiration. Knowing her celebrity status but watching her still remain grounded and real, wanting the best for her children and family. She works hard but ensures she keeps the work, family balance in check.
What growth have you experienced being in Venus?
The best thing I did was join Venus! Meeting with like minded women who understood your struggles with starting a business, and had come across similar issues within their businesses, enabled me to stand up tall and continue to keep going out and providing the best service to clients. The confidence you gain, the networking and friendships made, will be lifelong.
Women are redefining success and growing businesses on their terms: What does success look like to you?
Success isn’t just monetary, it is getting the right balance between work, family, and me time. If you don’t have this balance right, you will look back on it in a number of years / critical illness & see all of the things you have missed out on.
What’s your favourite pastime when you are not working?
Spending time with the family, enjoying time at the beach, camping, and boating.