The Hive Five Podcast

5 Key Takeaways from Branden Weber

1. Your why has to be bigger than your how.

2. Know who you are, but more importantly know who you aren’t.

3. Your environment has to match your goals.

4. Alliances and partnerships are vital.

5. Incessant tinkering – Always work to improve and get better.


Description


Today on the Person Behind the Professional, we are glad to have Branden Weber on the podcast. Branden is an independent insurance agent and founder of the Alpha Insurance Group in Frisco, Texas. He has a passion for matching clients with the right provider to meet their needs. Because he’s independent, he can offer coverage from multiple companies including SafeCo, Travelers, Nationwide, Chubb, and more. If it can be insured, Branden says they can insure it.

Branden has a varied background. He sold sandpaper and tape, and worked in multiple corporate organizations after college. He even worked for an NBA team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Working for a corporate insurance company, he realized things that he could bring to the table to enhance the insurance experience and this is when he started Alpha Insurance Group.

Branden talks about how he has built a phenomenal team. They are people he’s had contact with for a long time, but are also experienced in their area of work. Hiring dedicated marketers, people with computer tech backgrounds, and people with hardcore sales backgrounds has been integral to building such an amazing team. He also talks about the transition from the corporate lifestyle to owning a business and being an entrepreneur.

When making the transition to starting his agency, he really evaluated why he was doing it. He knew that he wanted to be involved in insurance, despite most people’s negative views. Branden felt and feels that it’s important to humanize insurance and the experience. It is something that everyone has to have, even though they don’t necessarily know what it doesn’t does. However, when you need it, you really need it. Through all of this, his family has been the motivation and the support. He discusses family-work blend quite a bit in this episode. Normally, people refer to this as a balance between work and family. However, Branden has eliminated the word balance, and replaced it with the word blend. He includes his kids in the business when possible, as well as other things to make sure neither aspect of his life is neglected, but that both are focused on appropriately.

We thought this episode was full of great value, and we hope you think the same. Please leave us a review and rating regarding what you think of Branden.

Transcript


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Authenticity starts with really sharing one story because everybody has a unique story.

Hey guys, thanks for listening today. My name is Keagan with BriteBee where insurance quotes don’t sting, and today on the Person Behind the Professional we’re glad to have on Branden Weber. Branden started the Alpha Insurance Group in order to really humanize insurance after leaving a long and successful career in corporate America. He has a passion for matching his clients, were the insurance provider that is right for them and providing a world class insurance experience. Thanks for being on with US Brandon. No problem. Thank you for having me. Well, Hey, let’s talk a little bit about your background and your agency’s background. Tell us just a little bit more. Sure. So, um, my background is kind of varied, but I think all things kind of culminate to, to get me to, to this point. So I spent time in corporate America. I’ve worked for companies like three m right out of college and were actually sold sandpaper and tape. So yeah, sandpaper and sand, paper and tape. That’s, that’s exciting. Oh my. Be Riveting. But, and I did so in Houston, Texas. So if you’ve ever been at a pipe manufacturing yard and Houston, Texas and the dentist summer where you have to go outside the cool off it makes you evaluate some career choices.

So that being said, I, you know, I took my talents back home to California and I’d saved a bunch of money and say, you know what, I think we want to work in professional sports. So I did that at work for the Los Angeles Clippers, very low level positions, but I out a high level connections. And as a diehard Lakers fan it was gut wrenching. But it taught me, it taught me one thing that uh, you know, any organization can be successful or whatever you’re doing, you can be successful at it if you really, really make an honest attempt. So I left that work for a major insurance company, a fortune 100, opened up offices, work with the product team, did a number of different things. And you know, I just had a thought one day. I said, you know what, this insurance experience can be different. Um, there’s some things that I feel like I can bring to the table that may enhance this experience, so I don’t know to put my money where my mouth is, so that’s what I did at started Alfa insurance with little to no, I hadn’t sold when I was in management and sales management, which would be considered, you know, a natural step to sound, but it was actually I worked with a number phenomenal agents and see some really good training and made some lifelong friends and just wanted something different and wanted to leave that legacy for my children, but to really be engaged in and implant myself within the community that I’m in.

Man. That’s awesome. So tell me a little bit about the corporate America and, and learning from that and what lessons you learned that has truly helped you grow your agency and, and serve your clients better. Oh, absolutely. The thing about a corporate, when you hit with one of these top five a captive carriers, you really respect the billion dollar infrastructure. So one of the things initially that I took away is that everything has a system and a process. And you can create those processes within a small business, so to speak, to kind of replicate that experience. So I was looking at it. One of the things, one of the major things I learned is that, you know, time kills deals. What people fundamentally want you to have. I want you to be knowledgeable, went the results quick and want to be easy. That doesn’t change no matter the channel that they received their insurance from.

And so I thought about my agency, I thought about how do I build that to make it an easy process relationship, but still have some transactional elements but made it, make it automated such that anybody could use it, they can go online and just say, hey look, let me just go on and make a vehicle change. So that’s one of the things that, you know, I respected from my time in corporate American and also I learned everything has a value. Everything has a dollar amount of customer acquisition cost. What is my true outflows? So I think from a back end standpoint that allowed me to really build a model that is really sustainable more than more so than not having that experience.

So we know that it’s not just all about you building that but also team. So tell us a little about your team as well.

Sure. So my team is one of individuals that I’ve had relationships with or contact with for awhile, so I knew a number of. I mean they’re phenomenal. As I say, teamwork makes the dream work. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything. So I have dedicated marketers, I have some individuals with computer technical background and then hardcore top sales experience that really opened the doors for us to have conversations with individuals that typically we wouldn’t have a conversation with. And when I mean that, I mean strictly from an industry perspective we would go about it differently. So I mean my, my team is phenomenal. That’s awesome.

What struggles did you experience in, in changing over from the Corporate America to watch you do now?

I think one of the main struggles was the first, I would say the first piece having managed, and I’m having a staff and having administrative professionals, um, you know, first time I had to make flight arrangements, so it was like, hey, you know, we have to make flight arrangements, somebody should make those arrangements and there was nobody there to make the arrangements but myself. So that was a humbling experience. Just really the struggle was really the time. Now instead of wearing one hat, I have to wear several hats and shoes and gloves and you know, any other apparel that’s going to help the business succeed. So yeah, I would say that was one of the struggles is really getting a handle on how do I become marketer and chief, but also realize that with no new policies, no sales, there’s no revenue. So that’s a delicate balance.

That’s kind of a scary thing. Right. Absolutely. So did you experience any opposition from friends or family? Did, did anyone say, man, you’re crazy? Um, no. I, I think my friends and family were supportive, but uh, and I didn’t mention it to a lot of friends and family, of course my wife knew, but, you know, really, really close tight knit circle. We just kinda started and launched and develop really, really good relationships outside of, um, you know, those people that you traditionally start with. And I think what that did was allow me to get, gain credibility and have them say they’re not joining them in the startup phase. They’re, they’re coming along for the ride on, you know, what, what is a successful wave. So yeah, definitely no opposition. I mean they’ve been really, really supportive and I’m thankful for that and if they haven’t at least I haven’t heard of it.

So they’re going to keep going here. The opposition. So that is great. Well, let’s talk about family for a second now. There’s a great picture of you and your family on your website. So I think, I think one of the things that I was intentional about doing is really evaluating why am I doing this? And one of the things was, um, I just wanted to, I saw the industry and you know, most people think of as, as a dinosaur of an industry, but I just saw it as one that can evolve and I want to be in the mix once it evolves and you know, my family is at the core of the driving force, so those days where I may not want to, you know, go and look for a new business and Kinda go through the daily routine, they, they, they keep me motivated.

So I just thought it was important to humanize the experience. Oftentimes it’s a, it’s a phone call, it’s a computer, it’s a policy and insurance is ambiguous. It’s a piece of paper with a promise and always say you don’t need it. You don’t really know what it, you have to have it. You don’t really know what it does and when you need it, you need it. So I wanted to try to humanize that as much as possible. Just convey, Hey, I’m a person just like you. These are the things, these are the people that I do it for. And these are the things that I want to protect, you know, hopefully we can, we can find some common ground and protect those things together. How do you manage and, and find work life balance? I mean, what, what have you, what have you seen that works for you?

Well, I’ve seen one of the things that were. One is I eliminated the word balance. I look at it as a work life blend because there’s going to be some times where land. Yeah. And uh, and it’s just sometimes where there is no balance there. There’s some days and nights, you know, I’m going to have to put in sweat equity and make sure things are accomplished. And then there’s some times where there is some flexibility where I can be at a lunch with, uh, with my daughter or attend to practice or um, just take care of some of the things that need to be taken care of throughout the day because I’ve built it and built that into that calendar. So I always look at it more of a blended know some. It’s always going to be out of balance. It’s going to be, you know, working too much, not with the family, with the family, not getting stuff done. So how can I really blend those things together and I try to incorporate my family and you know, if I have an event, a community event or an onsite or something that bring them with me here, here’s a tee shirt, learn how to go and shake hands and talk to people and make sure that you understand what’s going on now is within the child labor laws. I give them breaks in.

Yes, they have their breaks and their welfare, their, their time is limited to 30 minutes. That is great. Well, I, I had just taken my boys over to to see an agent that we, that bright b’s been serving and she had written a book and I took them over and you know, tried to walk through with them beforehand like, hey, this is how you’re going to speak. And if she asks your name, make sure you say what’s your name is and all of these things. And, and then we get there and she’s got candy and then everything went. You know, it went bad, it was like, absolutely. She’s back in also. No one cares about anything else. Oh, great. Equalizer show. That’s right. That’s right. Well that’s, that’s phenomenal. And it’s good to see you incorporating your family in that. And I think the blend is.

I think I’m going to start using that because you’re right, especially with entrepreneurs and people who have businesses, there’s not a lot of balance in that and it pulls one way and then another. It pulls the other way and so I think, I think a blends. I think that’s a good way. I’m gonna I’m gonna. Talk to my wife about that too, so you’ll back me up on that one, right? You got it. I’ll back you up. I’m always on the man’s side. That’s awesome. Well, you mentioned to us that you’re passionate about your community as well. What drives this passion?

I think one of the things that drives it is my upbringing and I’m originally from Compton, California, and I immediately, people have a thought of what that is and just like I am to change what the perception of insurance is. I, you know, I try to do the same with articulating my background, so having been in a, and I guess you would consider a inner city, I realized the importance of small business and their impact on the community. For example, um, you know, and it may seem kind of Cliche, but a local entertainer really came back to park that was around the corner from a neighborhood. He was one of the local entertainers and the first thing he did was resurface the courts, uh, the basketball courts and really change the environment. And what that made me think of is, okay, here’s a person that has resources and they don’t really have to do this.

And then I started looking around were it not for the small business locations, there would be none of the resources that are needed. So really in, in, in, in addition to being a business, it was more of a service. And you start to develop those relationships and you start to have local people that you can kind of look to and say, oh, okay. That’s, you know, this gentleman, he owns his record store. He owns his barbershop. And a, you know, for example, under barbershop they had a record store and a barber shop right next to each other and that was my first entree into, you know, going to get, you know, the favorite magazine or you know, new album, it was just always right there. And where those resources, not they’re there, you know, where will we go, we would have to go to another community.

So just from an economic standpoint, I realized that impact and what that freedom allow people to do for them, for their particular community. So it was just, it’s just been ingrained within me and it’s something that, uh, you know, that I want to replicate. So you said that you grew up in the inner city, correct? Yeah. So tell us a little bit about that, what that’s actually like, because I did not grow up in that, in that environment. I mean, what, what, what was that like? Paint a picture for us. So I would say this, my picture may be starkly different from and stark contrast from a what, what’s typically portray. I grew up with the advantage of having four of my best friends and consecutive houses. Uh, my, the street that I grew up on was all second generation families and it literally was 26 other children within five years of each other.

So you’re talking about fun and always having people to play with and things to do. I mean, literally it’s every sport you can think of, you know, everything you can imagine from summer trips to, you know, going swimming and playing in a local park. Just everything you could imagine a typical childhood experience would be, would be, but then surrounded by that is everything you would see portrayed in the movies about content. So I just think it was that delicate and I go back to blend of here is my thought process, here’s my upbringing. But it’s so similar to anyone’s other story with elements that may be dissimilar around us. Sure.

So would there be any negatives towards, towards you being in that type of environment but from him? From what I, from what I hear you had, you had more people, uh, support wise, uh, than, than most people ever do. Exactly. I think there’s always negatives, but I think any environment, I mean, you take a nominally serving suburban environment, you know, it can be negative that I may not see kids outside. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s not that comradery that you may typically see. So yeah, there’s, there’s inherent negatives that, that can be a within any community. But I think one thing that made it unique is really people and um, and relationships and that kind of spills over to, to the insurance side and, and makes me want to continue that service. But uh, yeah, I mean there’s negatives to any environment and that environment was rife with temptation but good upbringing, good parents and just having that vision and that goal and seeing weigh a lot more positive than the negative really, you know, made those potential hazards, uh, less likely and, and temptation

temptations there. But temptation is everywhere, right? Absolutely. And just because it may not be in one way, uh, in, in this community may be completely different. I’ll tell you, I didn’t have 26 people to play with people. I mean, I don’t, I think I had my sister to play with. I would look out and there would be almost no one outside playing or anything. So I think that’s really neat to have that, that camaraderie with everyone. Literally Black Party every day in the sow. Right. That would be so great. Honestly. Um, it would honestly be so great to have that now and to think about our kids being able to have that. But unfortunately I just don’t think that’s in many places anymore. Absolutely. So you celebrate life lessons. You had mentioned something about celebrating success and being authentic with life lessons.

So I think that, uh, in an age of Bezos with Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg and, you know, looking at those stores that are seemingly overnight success, I think that, uh, you know, from any book, do you know the amount of time that has to be put in behind the scenes? I think that’s an under and under story that’s not really brought to light as well as it could be. So I mean that authenticity starts with really sharing one story because everybody has a unique story and there are going to be setbacks and challenging times and things. So it’s awesome to celebrate the success and say, you know, this company like an Airbnb is valued at $20 million dollars, but let’s learn a little bit more about, you know, when you were letting strangers stay in your home for a conference. Um, and what, what was that thought for us?

What was that feeling about? And, and I just think that in society there’s not enough of those stories captured because it’s all about, you know, the, the end result. But I think the journey is much more than a destination. So what about companies and products that you offer at your agency? So I work with companies like Safeco, travelers nationwide, your, your, your large, a large carriers and then some, some niche carriers and um, you know, your, your Chubb pure, um, offer, auto, home life, commercial. Um, you know, basically I always look at it as if it can be insured, we can find a way to do it. So yeah. So one thing we always like to do at the very end is his gift. Five key takeaways from you that our listeners can, can learn from and takeaway and benefit from. What would those be?

One of the, one of the things that will come to mind immediately would be your why has to be bigger than your house. And uh, I think that oftentimes there’s the right models will carry you through the how part of it and it’s just, you know, they say necessity is the greatest theater of innovation. So I was looking at it that way. I think Kinda secondly I would say know who you are, but more importantly know who you’re not and to use a colloquial term, keep it 100, like, whatever you’re good at, be that. And if it’s an area where you need development, be honest about that, you know, be, be intellectually honest about that. But, uh, you know, whatever your agency is great at being great at that and whatever, that you’re not good at, be honest with that and either outsource or, you know, look at other ways to become better at that.

Um, your environment has to match your goals. And here’s what I mean by that. I think, you know, at the beginning of the year, a lot of people start with, hey, want to lose x amount of pounds and you know, as they say, Wait Til March and the gym will be, well, what does that environment look like? You know, if I say that I’m on a strict diet and I’m not longer eating me, going to a barbecue restaurant probably isn’t the best thing for me. So I think that is, uh, you know, let me just make sure that, you know, if I say that I want to assimilate with associated with successful people that I’m doing so. And then I’m in that environment to keep learning alliances and partnerships will be one I think would be a key takeaway. What I mean by that is look at stories like, you know, Microsoft and apple and you read about how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had some adversarial, they had some tensions throughout the years, but in order to get apple to where it is now, Bill Gates was one of the largest investors so that, those alliances and those partnerships where they make sense can be the difference.

I don’t view my competition is other agents. My competition is the Internet. Our competition is, you know, these billion dollar corporations that uh, you don’t have the resources and, and can, can automate a number of processes that, that I can. Um, so I just try to form those partnerships where necessary. And then lastly, uh, I use a phrase that I received from my pastor, which is incessant tinkering. I’m always trying to improve, always trying to get better and you know, test stress, test the process and make sure that it’s something that if I’m putting myself in their world of an end user, a policy holder, that something that I can, I can really stand behind. So it’s, it’s constant tinkering.

That’s fantastic. Well, I feel like bright is constantly tinkering, so I’m going to use that one a all the time and you’re welcome. We really appreciate you being on today and I’m really looking forward to getting to know you better and especially our bright b team. Getting to know you better as well and maybe brainstorming a little bit on how we can conquer these obstacles that we face as, as insurance professionals. So really, really appreciate it. Brandon. Now tell us the last thing is, how do they get in contact with you? What are the best ways to reach out to you?

So I try to be everywhere. Best way to reach out to me is called the office. Um, if someone doesn’t answer, you know right away, then you know, we’re either on an appointment and I will definitely get back to you. But, uh, office phone, can I get my number? Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Yeah, so it’s a two. One, four, three, zero, six, zero, nine, eight, two, two, one, four, three, zero, six, zero, nine, eight, two. A. One of the other ways that we connect is facebook messenger. Um, you know, were available to take those calls and those requests. So facebook messenger as to Graham were facebook, facebook.com/my Alfa insurance, and I’m on Instagram, my alpha elite. I’m on instagram. So any one of those, those platforms were,

were, were, were easy to reach on. What we want to remind everyone to make sure and subscribe and give a review on what you thought about this conversation with brandon. And also don’t forget that if you are looking for insurance costs that don’t stain, checkout bing.com, click get a quote and then type in Brandon Weber’s name and you will find him there. Guys, we really appreciate you listening today and we will see you next time.


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