We’ve all heard the old saying that the only things you can count on in this world are death and taxes. While both of these things seem to be inescapable, I feel that there is a more relevant constant in our day-to-day lives – the concept of change. Change permeates every facet of our personal and professional lives. We gain or lose weight, we cut or dye our hair. Our fashions seem to cycle more quickly than the seasons. We all grow, we all age, and we all will eventually die. If not for the inevitability of this change, there would be no reason to do the work that we do – providing a legacy to those that remain after the greatest of changes, when a loved one passes away.
Why do we have such a hard time embracing change? It can be uncomfortable. Unfamiliar. Maybe sometimes even downright painful. But I think a quote I ran across sums it up best – “If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”
Our industry, like the world, is changing all around us. It’s easy to see how economic volatility and new technologies in our industry (think mass-marketed internet quoting) have created an environment where discussions about value are often overshadowed by price. While these aren’t wholly negative developments, it is a slippery slope that could ultimately hurt our industry – and even the very customers that our industry exists to serve.
After all this, where did we go astray? Why aren’t we having these discussions? Have we lost sight of the fact that the very foundation of our industry is based on relationships – about the value that we can provide to each other? Regardless of whether that value takes the shape of providing retirement protection for our loved ones, a guarantee of protection for our hard-earned assets, or the peace of mind that our children won’t go without after we’re gone; this is why we do what we do.
We need to reshape the discussion. We need to bring relationships, and the resulting value, back into focus.