You do not have to be good at everything. When I first started in business, I thought I had to learn and master everything. That is not only unrealistic, but it also is not the way to be successful. Focusing on the things you are good at and finding others that are good at the rest is the way.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Seegert.
After serving as a Russian intelligence analyst, Paul worked for a national insurance company.
Five years later, Paul left to fix healthcare and has consulted for thousands of employers. He is a nationally recognized expert who speaks to employers and advisers. Since COVID, he also started a marketing company to serve like-minded healthcare consulting firms around the country and is currently running campaigns in more than 20 metro areas in the USA. Paul is a father of five and a student pilot — so he can work and still be home for dinner.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/8c20ab361b9d8a03b7320a2c16d159b3
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
Sure, I am the fourth of 6 children and I grew up on a ranch in a rural part of Northern California. I was raised in a small business family and learned how to work from an early age. My parents had a residential construction company and that meant taking naps in bathtubs on construction sites and getting potty trained in paint cans! In the “off time” we raised our own livestock, fruits and vegetables and spent plenty of unstructured time playing outdoors. Pretty early on, my mother could tell I was outgoing, and she encouraged me to get involved in activities that included public speaking — something that I am grateful for every day.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
When I was around twelve years old, I was riding with my Dad in his work truck and he said, “One of the greatest things about life is that you can do anything you want if you are willing to do the work.” That stuck with me and I have seen over and over that daily discipline to the work is undeniable over time. At first you may just be outworking your inexperience, but all that extra practice turns you into an expert at your craft.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. A lesson that I seem to learn over and over is that the main thing standing between me and greater success is my own expectations and the limitations I have placed on myself. Years ago, I thought that I had to move to larger and larger markets to grow my career — and I did that. Now, I realize that was a self-imposed limit. I am currently raising my family in a small and simple community while doing business all around the country.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Prior to COVID, I was a healthcare consultant working with employers mostly in the Western US. Our focus was to bring solutions and vendors that would more typically cater to jumbo employers to mid-market clients. This allowed them to lower their costs and improve their benefits.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
When sheltering hit, I found that my meetings were all going to the web and I now had considerably more available time in my week. Also, we had been getting quite a bit of attention in our industry for our organic growth that was a result of our proprietary marketing system while others in our industry were faced with the prospect of reduced revenue because of the economic downturn and related layoffs. I started to get contacted by consultants from around the country asking for help to improve the results of their marketing efforts.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
One person in particular, John Butler from MN, called me weekly encouraging me to white label our system and start a marketing company. While I resisted initially, I thought about it more and more and decided to truly consider the idea. The next time he called, I told him that I was leaning towards doing it so long as the numbers worked. I shared the cost structure I had in mind and he said, “send me a contract and I will be the first customer.”
How are things going with this new initiative?
Fantastic! It has been as exciting as when I started in business years back — maybe even more. We have active marketing campaigns ongoing in 25 markets with great partners and we have a waiting list of prospective clients — and it is growing weekly. We have grown the team to about 20 and have a list of people who are interested in joining us as we continue to grow. We will exceed our expectations and add seven figures plus of new revenue within the first 12 months.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I have had many great mentors. The person who I consider to be my “original mentor”, after my parents, is a man named John Merris. I find myself repeating things that he told me at least weekly. Examples include, “you can pick ego or income — which one do you want the most?”, “everyone wants to be part of something great — so let them become part of your story”, “education costs money, and tuition is one of the cheapest forms.”
Most recently, I must give credit and thanks to Craig Lack and John Sbrocco. Their support and willingness to share is invaluable for those in our industry who are working to fix the way that we pay for healthcare. I recommend joining their group HeadsUp Adviser (on Facebook, etc.) to anyone in our industry who want to be part of something great.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
I have traveled during the pandemic to meet and evaluate some of our new potential partners. I will never forget walking through the airport in St. Louis and not seeing one other traveler — only airport employees. It was surreal. I found myself eating lunch in a completely empty restaurant having a conversation I will never forget with the lady who was running the bar.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- You do not have to be good at everything. When I first started in business, I thought I had to learn and master everything. That is not only unrealistic, but it also is not the way to be successful. Focusing on the things you are good at and finding others that are good at the rest is the way.
- There is not really any competition. When I got started, I made the commitment to make 20 sales calls per day. It took little time to separate from the pack. Most people are doing the minimum to get by.
- It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. The law of compensation is real. No work goes unpaid… However, you might make a deposit in one area and a withdrawal in another.
- Education costs money and formal education is the cheapest form. When you make a mistake and pull out your wallet to fix it — that is an investment in your education and not the end of the world. Learn from it and move on wiser.
- Money is easy to talk about. Money is simple. It must align with the value being created by each party in a deal or the deal will not last. So, handle it head on and line it up the best you can. Also, be willing to revisit things if they change so that you can keep it on track.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
I do not watch the news — I only read the news. This makes it more informational and less dramatic. I also spend extraordinarily little time on social media — hire someone to handle it and get back to work.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
That is what we are working on with our business — fixing the way that we pay for healthcare in this country. It is crazy that the price of insurance is so unrelated to the cost of care. We can do a lot better. In fact, there are examples and pockets of success all around the country. As we bring more transparency to this part of our economy the American consumer will be empowered to fix healthcare.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Richard Branson. One of his quotes hangs in my office and is a driving force behind what we do, “A lot needs fixing in this world and if you can provide a solution to a problem someone has, you have yourself a business.”
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!