The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Andrew Freeman
1. Always be giving.
2. Put gratitude first in everything.
3. Take time to be present.
4. Thoughts and assumptions aren’t facts.
5. Your fears do not define you.
Today on the Person Behind the Professional, we are glad to have on Andrew Freeman, a Farmers Insurance agent in Waxahachie, Texas. Before insurance, he has a background in finance and banking, and worked specifically with auto lending. Wanting something that gave him more time to spend with family, he decided to start his Farmers Insurance agency in March 2018.
In this episode, Andrew talks about his agency and how it is truly a family-run company. He and his wife both work in the agent, his sister-in-law helps with marketing, and his in-laws work for him and bring their decades of insurance experience. Discussing this journey, he details some struggles that can occur when working with family and how he and his family have overcome them. One secret: extensive communication.
Andrew also talks about how his unique experience in banking and financial lending has transitioned into insurance. Many people don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to financial lending, so he found himself educating people and helping them meet their needs. This experience and skillset transitioned over to insurance where he continues to educate and help clients meet their needs. Transitioning over to insurance, Andrew talks about the struggles of starting a business for the first time and how to overcome those challenges, while still growing and providing for his family.
Lastly, Andrew discusses how he handles time management and why he believes that stress management is very important, especially for entrepreneurs. Personally, Andrew uses breathing and focusing on the present when quelling fears or stress. Starting a business or being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of risk and responsibility, so he talks about how you can cope with the stress and fear associated with those journeys.
Thanks for listening to this episode with Andrew Freeman! Please subscribe and leave us a review so we can continue improving the value that we provide to you!
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Sometimes our worst fears become our reality.
Thanks for listening today. My name is Keagan with BriteBee and today on the Person Behind the Professional. We’re glad to have on Andrew Freeman. Andrew is from Waxahachie, Texas. I’m only going to say that once with Farmers Insurance. And Andrew, I appreciate you being on today.
Absolutely. Keagan, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it.
Absolutely. Well, let’s just jump in so far from what I see. You haven’t been in insurance very long, but you have a deep background in some other things as well. So tell us a little bit about where you came from and why you’re here now.
Absolutely. So, uh, for the past six years I’ve worked in the banking and finance industry, uh, kind of in the sales realm and kind of in the, uh, really everything that banking has to offer and kind of cut my teeth on that right out of college and, uh, ended up in Dallas, uh, in the DFW area because my then fiance had got a teaching job up here. And so, uh, I migrated to a, the DFW area and now we settled down and got married and started my career there and that banking industry and then the time came after we had our first child, we kind of decided together that we wanted to kind of approach a self-employment route so we could spend time as a family together and network on a business as a family and that’s exactly what we did.
And so you said work on a business as a family. So is your, is your wife involved as well in the business?
My wife has a lot of input in the business. She called all of my project manager jokingly. So actually her, uh, my in-laws, so it’s her parents are, uh, are my employees. So, it’s a family operated business and so everybody’s got input from my sister in law who helps with my marketing to my wife’s getting ideas for an educational seminars and blogs and things that we’re looking at. And then of course my in laws that have over 20 to 25 years collective live insurance experience themselves.
Wow. Okay. So, I mean, this is truly a family run business. Yes sir. At its finest. So tell me, I mean, transparently, how has it been thus far with, with all your family? Some people say it’s the best thing ever. Some people say it’s not great at all. I’m assuming it’s not that bad or you wouldn’t be on the podcast today.
Exactly. So we made it out of the first few months, which is the real test of faith there. Uh, fortunately we have a very tight knit family so we all kind of Gel and Mesh together pretty well. But uh, you know, transparently there were a lot of bumps in the road starting out, you know, I’ve never started my own business before and uh, neither has my wife and so, you know, working together as a family and separating family in business and actually being able to be successful in that. There’s a, there’s a lot that, uh, you kind of don’t know until you actually get in there. Um, but fortunately with our, our, uh, relationship and our communication and our faith, we’ve made it through the first few months here, which had been the toughest part and I think we’re starting to see that light at the end of the tunnel,
man. That’s, that’s encouraging. So tell us a little bit about what, what are some of those bumps in the road that, that you’ve experienced? You know, we talk about the struggles of adulting and starting a business. There are a lot of struggles of adulting, honestly, a lots of things that we thought we knew and then we start and we think, my goodness, I didn’t know half of what I thought. So what, what are some struggles that you’ve seen that, that you’ve overcome a through starting a business?
Sure, absolutely. Great question. Kagan, and you know, a lot of it has to do with the communication between everybody know we’ve never really focused on as a family a collective goal business wise and goal wise. And, you know, with our, with the obvious age difference, you know, my in laws being a from a different generation, just communication between the generations and generational gaps and even in the, uh, the industry itself that, you know, being an insurance, we talked to anybody and everybody. So, uh, that along with the, the also, like I was touching on earlier, we’re remembering to have time for, for your family basically. And separating that, that’s been the biggest challenge I think is remembering that, you know, regardless of what we go through, regardless of what struggles we go through together, uh, in the daily business life, you know, we’re still family at the end of the day.
So you said that your in laws correct have a fundament of insurance knowledge as well. So what, what is their background? Where do they come from?
Yep. So they’ve been lifelong residents of Ellis County, which is where walks as she is. And my father in law has been a lifelong entrepreneur. He’s owned and operated successfully to have his own businesses and he’s currently doing some paintless dent repair and independent contract work. And then, uh, he is also licensed as an adjuster as well as an insurance agent. And then additionally, my mother in law has 20 years of experience with one insurance carrier and then an additional two and a half to three years with the farmers who were with now. So you got it
some overall. Oh, well I’d say it really, really well rounded out an experienced me with the, with the claims even with like body repair and then your then your mother in law. I mean that, that seems like you’ve kind of got a nice little scope.
Yeah, that was kind of the vision, you know, is we all have our own strengths and we all have our own weaknesses. And the idea behind kind of teaming up is that we all possess collectively, uh, all the pieces of the puzzle. But we can’t put that puzzle together without,
and help with each other. Definitely. I mean, this is, this is. I could talk about this all day to talk about family and you know, my, my family’s extremely close as well. And we’ve worked, we’ve worked in very interesting situations together and man, there’s, there’s been some struggles, but a lot of it’s been really good and we’ve, we’ve come closer together and I think you get a much better perspective, uh, with, with your family when you’re working with them as well. I’ll see the good and the bad, right? It’s all out there. Yeah. It tests, it tests your patience, it tests your endurance. Uh, I think also just the love that you have for each other, uh, it, it, it pushes you to love and I think a little bit different way.
Exactly. And then at the, after it’s all said and done, you come out of it and you’re, you’re closer than you were before and you know each other better than, than he did before because sometimes you know, you see each other all the time, you see each other every day and it’s a little bit hard to remember that there’s still more there to discover in your relationship and more growing to do and this really test that and then helps you, uh, kind of mold that as you go.
Definitely. So where do you really come from before this? You’ve had an extensive background in something regarding loans. So tell us a little bit about that.
Yeah, that was when I was working in the banking industry. I did auto financing, so I would uh, originate applications for our customer base that wanted to apply for loans and then we did a product sales as well. So we were in competition with a lot of the auto dealerships and other banks as far as financing rates and competing for customers business and whatnot. So that was where I spent a good portion of that six years in the banking industry was, was in the finance and sales world.
What was some of the major reasons why leaving that and coming over to do your own thing?
Okay. Get Out of college. I did not have any clear vision at that time what I wanted to do, career wise aspirations. I just knew that I wanted to be successful in whatever I did. So, uh, I got my feet wet in the banking industry because I thought it was a good industry to get into. There’s lots of opportunity and so I finally discovered myself essentially when I transitioned over to lending and sales, I didn’t know I had a, you know, the type of skill set in order to actually be successful in that, in that realm, so to speak, of the banking world and I found out some things about myself and some positive things about myself and I wanted to kind of branch out and use that skill set so that I could actually spend more time with my family because I felt like I was spending long hours at the office, a long commute, cetera. So it was, it was something my wife and I talked about for a long, long time before we finally got in. Made the, made the transition.
So you jumped out there and you took a risk, big risk, big risk. Yeah. So I mean, were you scared? Were you or are you nervous? Are you still nervous? I mean there’s nothing wrong with still being nervous.
All of the above. All of the stress and worrying that’s been a part as a part of every human being’s life and the older you get and the more responsibilities you take on, you know, have a two year old daughter and a son on the way due in a few months. And then, uh, you know, my wife, she was a teacher for about six or seven years and she left to be a stay at home mom. So with everything being, you know, financially and just being the, the kind of the man of the household, so to speak to the provider and having to be the one to make it kind of, you feel that, you know, so, um, yeah, definitely. I was terrified and I still am, but it’s getting, I would say it’s getting better every day. I mean, we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor. We’re starting to see everything come together and so it’s a, you know, one of my things I like to say, as your fears don’t define you. So even though there is that fear, there is that, that nervousness or finding a way together as a family to, uh, to support each other and succeed together and cause she can’t do it by yourself.
Yeah. That is exactly right. When you said your fear zone to find you, I wanted to say your fears do not define you, but they do scare you.
Scary you to the point of, well, let’s just say that stress management is a big part of who I am and finding a way to quell those fears into quiet them.
And so how do you manage your stress in this situation?
Well, you know, it’s different for everybody keying into on myself. Uh, you know, I like to focus on the present. I like to take a breath, take deep breaths. If you have to, uh, you know, I listen. Want to listen to some calming music or read anything that gets your mind kind of drawn away from the everyday stresses. And the more you do that, the more you’ll see that, those, uh, all of those fears and worries you have, you know, the, most of them probably just assumptions and thoughts that you’re building in your head and not actually true. And it’s not until you pull away from that, that you realize that, uh, that, that those things don’t define and those things are made up of nightmares that you’re kind of making up in your head.
I think you’re right about that sometimes. Sometimes. I think that my pride is, is the fear, you know, that, that I, I struggle with, what if I fail or what, what, what if this happens or this or that. And really I come back and I say that’s, that’s my pride. Like it’s nothing else outside that’s affecting that. It’s actually me. Exactly,
exactly. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a kind of a negative thought process. So we have to pull away from and we’re all guilty of it, you know, I just think that awareness and that open mindedness to admit Hagen network, if I don’t meet this particular goal or if I don’t succeed by this date, it doesn’t mean that I as a person, I’m a failure. It just means, you know, another thing I like to say is either you win or you learn. So in those situations, it’s not the end of the world. His world is still turning and you can take that experience and make the next one better because of the, of your willingness to learn from it.
So what does your wife think about all this? I mean, I know it’s, it’s one thing for you to be stressed, but, but what about her? What are her thoughts?
Well, she’s a whirlwind herself because in the middle of a pregnancy, in the middle of this transition, um, you know, she is pregnant as well to, to worry and stress. And the good thing about it is that, um, you know, we’re kind of there for each other in that regard and supporting each other is our, is our biggest priority right now, and she sees me and she sees how I am successfully dealing with and managing some of my stress and my worries and so my hope is that I can be a good example for her and be there for her when she’s stressed and be strong for her. And then alternatively, you know, when I’m feeling the pressure, she is reciprocal to that and she’s there for me at that moment.
That’s great. Well you talked a little bit about time management and also just having time for your family. Well, I think you, I think you put in the time for your family. I mean you, you went all out on this and, and got them all involved in what you’re doing and I think that is awesome. But tell us a little bit about how, how do you manage your time in this whirlwind of trying to win customers? I had to service them and also have time for your family.
Yes. It’s certainly not easy and that, that can, you know, if you’re not careful that the whole planning of your time and mapping out on your calendar or can be taken, kind of put you back in that mindset of thinking too much about the future and not being able to be present. But obviously, you know, we’re all adults. We have to plan things. So the key is communication, you know, my wife and I communicate very strongly, uh, as to what we’re going to be doing over the next few weeks. We have a calendar up on the wall that we prepare usually two to three weeks out and there is good effective team communication between the two of us. And then of course her parents do, which are part of the business. So really it’s just effective communication is the key and making sure that you are making time for the important tasks and prioritizing them.
Definitely. So I want to jump back to your, to your loan days. And I think one thing that we don’t hear a lot from is just maybe the experience that you’ve had in that and what you saw maybe that consumers maybe failed to do or fail to understand that maybe something that would help them understand more so of what to consider in, in getting alone and how that affects them.
Absolutely. I mean, lending, finance your credit. I mean, it all ties together as far as, you know, you’re an adult, you’re going to get a car, we’re going to get a house, you know, those were the things that adults tend to do and it all relies on having good credit. So getting into the loan world, you know, a lot of people don’t think about maybe the ramifications of what type of loan or getting into maybe the interest rate they’re getting on the loan, extra a loan products with the loan itself or the term of the loan, how long it can have to be paying it. And one thing I’ve seen, Keegan, is that is that unfortunately, you know, people get into some bad deals, um, it with no car dealership financing deal with other banks and religious education is the key there. Obviously consumers think need to be informed and with the Internet and the reviews are that are out there, you got to be careful as to what’s real and what’s not, of course, but I’m just consumer. The more information, the better knowledge is power essentially. And, and uh, you know, being in the position I was in, I was there to guide and educate consumers. Um, unfortunately a lot of times consumers just see a sales person and kind of turn off 30 years. So it’s challenged. But that’s the goal really is to educate.
So educate me real quick. So we, we just purchased a different car. My truck went, went goodbye, and so my wife had the great idea. Well, and instead of replacing your truck with another truck or something for you, what if we do a minivan? And I bought a van. I tried to talk her into that two years ago, but she didn’t want it. And now she’s changed her mind and so I felt stuck, so I’m like, yes, we can, we can look at a minivan. And so we get in there and you know, we’re looking at the, at the financing and everything else. And honestly, the guy was going so fast, you know, like, Hey, you have a great credit, you know, let’s get this done, let’s get that all down. And um, you know, I, I kept asking him, you know, is there anything else? Is there anything else on here? Is there anything else added in that I don’t know about? And so, what are some things that you would say people get, I don’t know, stuck on or they get they get into maybe that they did not know they were, they had.
Absolutely. And then there’s quite a bit, you know, consumers just naturally. And I’m a as well. Um, you know, we don’t know what we don’t know and if you’re not familiar with financing and lending and how all that process works, uh, it’s okay. But you know, a lot of people get into bad deals that way. There is a lot of fast talking and there is a lot of fine print and unfortunately not everyone out there is as ethically, um, their ethics aren’t in line as to what we would hope will say exactly but not a sound and they’re motivated by greed, money, unfortunately, the pitfalls of human nature. So you get to be careful and as I said before, you don’t know what you don’t know, but it is wise to have a team of people in the finance world that you trust. Um, and you can find those people through referrals, through friends, you know, searching online for yelp reviews.
It’s important though to get in touch with a CPA, a lender, somebody that you trust to explain to you what that fine print and what, what’s really under that fast talking. And it’s always okay to go and refinance your loan at another institution and you’re never stuck. Um, a lot of times there’s tactics like you can’t refinance for three months or this or that. You can always refine the sense that anytime I have to get your loan, so if you find a better rate, if there is an expensive loan product that maybe you didn’t know it was on your loan that somebody finds and your documents and points out to you, you do have 30 days in the state of Texas to, um, to go back to who you purchased that the vehicle and the loan from and get a refund for that minus the, the restocking fee or whatever it is that they call it.
Yeah. No, and that’s really good to know because I think so many people, they just get in there, they’re excited about their car, they’re excited about, you know, getting in and driving away and they forget in at the same time. They’re like, well, I don’t know why it went up a thousand dollars for the car. Exactly. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I got at the institution I worked at from consumers who had gone through a dealership. They had taken the dealership’s financing over another bank’s financing and products and they were there at the dealership all day and they were tired, want to go home, and they were rushed through the important parts after a long day of waiting around and they come to us and they would say, Hey, can you look at these documents and tell me what I missed? And uh, you’d be surprised or maybe wouldn’t unfortunately, that sometimes thousands of dollars, um, get, get spent by consumers unbeknownst to them.
Right? And if you start rapping in the taxes and things like that, intuit, it just starts adding up and you kind of get lost in all of it. So I think that’s, I think that’s really good. Well, I’ve got a very strange question for you. I don’t ask a lot of people this, but for some reason we just decided to ask you this question. So if you were stranded on an island, what Superhero would you be? Uh, that’s an easy, easy question. Keegan. Batman. One hundred percent. That man. Why? Why Batman? Batman’s a popular hero and for good reason, he’s my favorite superhero. Um, but a lot of people kind of look past the fact that he doesn’t have any super powers, so technically he doesn’t qualify as a super quote unquote hero, but of all the heroes and comic book characters out there is definitely, I think the smartest one and he has a genius intellect and all the gadgets to get himself out of any pinching. So I’ve seen it time and time again from a, from a Adam west or any other iteration of Batman. So I’ll take that any day,
man. That’s a pretty good answer. I feel like you’ve really thought about this.
Oh, well, I mean, Keegan, he touched on a topic actually that, that is a hobby of mine. I really enjoy comic book collecting is actually a pastime of mine. So
that’s providential then that, that is hilarious. I think that was a very good answer. So Batman, uh, tell me what products you offer and what companies that you represent as well in the agency.
So, uh, farmers is the insurance agency that I’m or the company rather than contracted with. So, I do have my own agency down and walks ahead sheet and we offer auto insurance, home insurance, a renter’s policy, a Condo, town house or a home that you own a. and then we do business insurance and life insurance as well.
Great. So what is the, what is the best way for people to reach you? If they wanted to learn more about you?
Absolutely. You can find me on Facebook from an insurance agency a and then you can just google me a freeman insurance agency, walks hatching and now we’ll have a link to my Farmers page and then of course look me up on Facebook as well. If I’m an insurance agency,
Andrew, what we like to do and it makes sure everyone comes away with five key takeaways from you. Something that they can benefit from. So what would those five key takeaways be?
Sure. The first one is to always be giving a. You may have heard the, uh, the old sales adage from Alec Baldwin always be closing I like, I kind of like to change it. It’s good. But I like to change to always be giving. I want to make sure that, uh, I’m always giving more than receiving, um, because that, that really makes a difference in your life really, not just from a business standpoint, but from every interaction you have, don’t hesitate to give. You’ll don’t worry about getting anything back. It’ll pay dividends for you and that’s just the best way to benefit yourself and everybody else in your life. The second takeaway is put gratitude first and everything. I think in our society we don’t count our blessings and if we have bad day, it’s easy to get bogged down in the stress and the worry and the deadlines and the tasks.
But I like to say, Hey, you know what? I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head and air conditioning in the summer and in the winter, and food to eat and water to drink. Uh, all of my needs are met. So just remember to be thankful. That’s, that’s my second takeaway. A third takeaway is take time to be present. And now we all plan. We all get caught up in the future. Sometimes we get caught up in the past, uh, take time to be present, look around you and enjoy nature, enjoy your family, enjoy the present. A takeaway number four, uh, thoughts and assumptions aren’t facts. I said it before, but sometimes our worst fears become our reality and it’s not reality. It’s just a fear. It’s just an assumption. And that ties into my fifth takeaway, which is your fears do not define you. Your identity as a big part of who you are. It’s a big part of who everybody is. And if you let your fears become your identity, you’re not going to have a lot of. You’re not going to have a good feeling of self-worth or self-esteem if you let your fears become your identity. So it’s important to remember that they do not define you.
That’s great. One of the takeaways you said was being present, you know, with, with bright be, you know, we’re continually trying to move forward and, and look to the future and what’s it, what is it going to look like for insurance agents and how are we going to be able to serve them? And how are we going to give back and everything else and I’ll tell you, you make a good point because starting this podcast, we didn’t know exactly how it would go, but the one thing that it has helped our whole team is actually being in the present because we get to hear stories like yours and what you’re doing right now. And it kind of gives us a really good perspective and, and honestly, it’s really encouraging for us to see who we’re looking to serve in the future. And so I appreciate you saying that. I think it’s a great takeaway. It sounds so simple, but it’s not as simple as everyone would like it to be.
Exactly. It’s one of those things. It’s just a short, simple phrase that is not easy when you start to think about it. But now I guess the whole point is not overthinking it. Absolutely.
That is very true. Well, we really appreciate you being with us today and we want to remind everyone to subscribe to the podcast and also give a review. Give a review on, on what you thought about this podcast and the and the five key takeaways. Also, if you are looking for insurance quotes that don’t sting check out BriteBee. You don’t come in, make sure to click, get a quote and you can find Andrew Freeman right there. So if you guys have any other questions, reach out to Andrew. I know he’ll be more than happy to help you.
Everyone have a wonderful day.
Check out Andrew’s BriteBee Profile: https://app.britebee.com/agents/andrewfreeman102
Check out Andrew’s Website: https://agents.farmers.com/tx/waxahachie/andrew-freeman?Source_Indicator=AP&SourceID=AMPL001L002