Primerica

This Second Career May Be For You!

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By Jerry Lambert

(Author’s Note:  I originally wrote this article not long after I launched TBPC.  However, because of my association with Primerica at that time, I wasn’t able to publish it.  Since I have broken ties with Primerica, I can now post it.  I hope you find it enlightening and enjoyable.  – JL)

This week I am going to talk about one of the Side Hustles I tried fairly early on in my forced retirement.  Primerica (Primerica Financial Services).

Financial advisor sitting with coupleYou may, or may not have heard of Primerica.  It is one of the top financial services companies in the country.  The Primerica business model is unique.  They actually put the needs of their clients first.  That business model enabled Primerica (PRI) to go public with one of the most successful IPOs of 2010.

The business has two sides to it.  The client side and the opportunity side.  The client side offers products that range from investments, to debt reduction, insurance, legal protection, and much more.  The opportunity is to own a small business, with Primerica’s help.

Primerica is a solid company that has been in business since 1974, and has built its reputation by helping out families that have been ignored by the larger financial services companies.

That’s great you say, but how is this an opportunity to own my own small business?  A good question!  Primerica has grown the company by always being on the lookout for sharp people who want the freedom of running their own business.  If you meet with a Primerica Representative, and they are impressed with you, you will be invited to an interview.

Overhead view of business people talking

If you join Primerica as a Representative, your business is grown entirely on word of mouth referrals and your ability to recruit others onto your team.  You join the business as part of a team, then you start working on building your own team.  To build a client base and recruit potential Representatives, you will be asked to contact your friends and family.  This is to see if they are properly protected financially and / or looking for a way to start a small business.

This is where a lot of people will shy away from Primerica.  Nobody wants to tick off their family and friends by “ratting them out” to Primerica.  However, what it all comes down to is that every family should know where they stand financially, and where they can do better.  This is where you can help, with the financial products I listed above, and the prospect of earning some extra money.  If you decide to join the company as a Representative, there are some small startup costs.  $99 to join the company and $25 per month for website access.  That’s it.

Now, for the not-so-rosy part of the picture.  The targeted demographic age group for clients (and prospective Representatives) is 25-35, married, kids, job, and homeowners.  Since we are in the 55-65 age bracket, unfortunately that doesn’t apply to us.  However, if you have a large family, who might need some of the services that Primerica provides, you may be on your way.  Plus, some of your family members may be interested in becoming Representatives.

Man using two telephones

I’m not going to lie to you.  Unless you are a naturally outgoing person and / or have a large group of family or friends in the demographic I mentioned earlier, Primerica may not be for you.  I worked HARD for 9 months and came away with 2 clients and 1 recruit onto my team.  I am one of the clients and my recruit dropped out of the business before really getting started.

That said, this may be an income stream for you to check out.  If you are able to create a decent sized team, it will take on a life of its own.  Keep in mind that the time commitment to be successful at Primerica is substantial.  If you are the type of person who is willing to bust your hump for a few months, or up to a year or two, then Primerica may be for you.

HERE IS MY GIGANTIC DISCLAIMER!  During the whole 9 months I was trying to build my Primerica business, I was bringing in Zero Dollars of additional income!  This added a level of pressure that was not conducive to success in the company.  The opportunity is designed for you to start part-time and eventually go full-time.

Couple on red carpetThat said, if you are the type of person who would like to give it a try, I would definitely recommend using one of the other income producing Side Hustles (possibly driving for Uber & Lyft) to bring in some cash.  This will relieve a lot of pressure to succeed right off the bat, with Primerica as your only income stream.  I only wish I had approached Primerica this way in the first place.  My results might have been different.

Well, there it is.  If you live in the Detroit metro area and would like to learn more about Primerica, please contact Heidi McCarroll from the Troy office at 586-619-0123.  If you live outside the Detroit area, contact the Primerica Main Office at 770-381-1000.  Ask to be put in touch with a Representative in your area.

Hopefully, this article has helped point you in a direction you may not have considered before.  If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy talking with people, this may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

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Sunken Costs

When is Enough, Enough?

By Jerry Lambert

Hey!  Welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  I hope you enjoyed last week’s article about Automation.  What an uplifting piece that was!  This week I decided to cover a topic I have been thinking about recently, Sunk (or Sunken) Costs.  These are defined as a past cost that has already been paid and can’t be recovered.  Like that vacation in Hawaii.  You had a great time in paradise, but the money you spent on that trip is long gone.

IS09AJ7GJThere are many ways to look at sunken costs.  Financial, obviously.  However, there are more personal ways to look at it as well.  What if you spent 3 years working on a degree in a field that is no longer viable, or of interest you?  What if you have a friend who is a constant drain on your time and energy, who provides nothing to you in return?  Those are other ways that sunken costs may be controlling our lives without realizing it.

The main category is Financial, of course.  The biggest sunken cost for most people is their house.  Cars come in second, but your house is the one cost that will actually increase in value, instead of depreciating at an alarming rate.  If you want proof of this, buy (lease) a new car.  Then drive into the McDonald’s parking lot next door and check the value of your new “used” car on TruCar or Kelly Blue Book.  That little jaunt to the McDonald’s just cost you thousands of dollars in depreciation!  Yikes!

Sunken costs are a very emotional thing.  You bought that old Model T years ago, with hopes of restoring it and driving it in the Woodward Dream Cruise.  If you sold it for 25% of what you bought it for, you wouldn’t just be losing 75% on your investment.  You would also be taking a hit to your pride and feel guilty you didn’t take the time to restore the car to its original 1910 condition.  Loss of investment and guilt are not a good combination.

Businessman looking at telephone book in sunken phone boothSunken cost avoidance runs rampant in the business world.  Due to the time and money already spent on a project, companies who spent the past 2 years getting updated to the latest and greatest technologies often find they are unable to shift gears fast enough and make changes when they should.  Never mind that all the “New Tech” became obsolete about 6 months ago!  How would you like to be the Project Manager explaining that one to the CEO?  Queue the flop sweat.

From your Career perspective, sunken costs can cripple your decision making.  You know you should start to learn new skills.  However, you just completed your “Data Processing” degree last month, and you are loathe to start all over again.  That’s why staying up to date on the latest trends is so important.  As I mentioned in my article on Automation, you’d better see the handwriting on the wall and upgrade your skills.  Otherwise, when it all hits the fan, you’ll find yourself out of a job with no end in sight!

The silver lining about the times we live in is that there is no end to the amount of learning you can do!  I don’t know if you have heard about TED Talks on YouTube.  These have historically been the realm of Uber-Nerds (not the rideshare service).  Nowadays, these talks have spread out to a number of different topics that range from tech to motivational speeches.  Really worth checking out, if you want to stay ahead of the “next big thing”.

!workingHowever, this is where many people get stuck.  They have made a commitment to reaching a goal.  The amount of time, money, and effort required to reach that goal may no longer be worth it.  This is a very emotional issue for many people.  Nobody wants to feel they have just been spending the last year and a half spinning their wheels.  Worse, the goal they were trying to reach has just been eclipsed by new technology.  “Now, what do I do?” you may ask.  I’m not sure, but there’s probably a TED Talk for that.

People are another issue altogether.  Without turning this into a therapy session, we all have friends in our lives we may be better off without.  The big question to ask is, “If I just met this person today, would we become friends?”  That’s a very important question.  Because if the answer is “no”, you have to give some serious thought to what you are getting out of that relationship.  Again, emotion plays a huge part in this decision.

I suggest you sit down and make a list of all of your sunken costs: Financial, Career, and Personal.  Then do a Pros and Cons evaluation whether you should keep the item (or person), or let it (or them) go.  If you’re honest, this list can grow pretty long.  As I wrote in my article on Procrastination, it’s easier to ignore the sunken costs, than taking a hard look and determining whether you really need it!

I hope this article has helped illustrate what sunken costs are.  How to really look at them with blinders off, and make an honest evaluation of them.

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

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