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078: Becoming The Naked Agent with Brandon Straza

Brandon began his career in the financial services sector, but coming from a family of business owners, he believed that controlling his own path was valuable. So after meeting his wife, they founded American Option Insurance Group in 2011.

Fast forward to 2017, Brandon realized he wanted to bring more value to their business partners, so he launched The Naked Agent, an initiative to highlight his business partners through video and storytelling.

Today Brandon runs his insurance business, produces The Naked Agent, and even facilitates mentorship programs to connect seasoned pros with newer insurance agents needing support.

 

Places to Find Brandon:

Real Naked Agent website.

On Facebook @RealNakedAgent

On Instagram @realnakedagent

 

Show Notes:

[3:00] minute: Tell me what life was like for you growing up and what was the mindset around money instilled in you?

  • Family had a restaurant growing up, which created an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Family went bankrupt when Brandon was 10 or 11 years old, his father left at that point, and they didn’t have anything left.
  • Having everything taken away was what created that hunger in him today.

[5:20] minute: Did you parents talk to you about what was going on, or what was the conversation around money like in your household around money after this bankruptcy?

  • Didn’t talk about it much at all.
  • Felt like outcasts in their own town.

[6:40] minute: Going forward to your life working in the financial services sector and then leaving that to start your own business, what was the impetus for you to make that jump?

  • Made good money but didn’t love any part of what he was doing.
  • His Wife told him, “Shit or get off the pot”.
  • Was told no by almost everyone, and that built the motivation.

[11:00] minute: You mentioned this was right when you got married, what was it about the two of you, or any things you did in your relationship that allowed you to sustain through those first 18 months?

  • Belief. Knowing it was not BS.
  • Learning every day still how to make being an entrepreneur work for a family.

[13:30] minute: What has been the biggest transformation in terms of mindset that you’ve had to make to grow your insurance business over the years?

  • The industry was really stuck doing the same thing over and over and it no longer completely worked.
  • Led to the creation of The Naked Agent.
  • First time learning that doing it differently can work, and that helped change his mindset on being willing to do things different.

[15:45] minute: And what has the response been to The Naked Agent?

  • Easy segway into having a conversation, and shines a light on him and his company that no other insurance companies are getting.
  • Story of one of the first interviews that showed him what he was doing was going to work.

[19:35] minute: The skills you are needing to leverage to pull off The Naked Agent, they are very different than what you needed to build the insurance company. I’m curious what that has been like and if there are any habits that have been the most helpful to work both these skill sets?

  • Always have had the creative side.
  • Found a partner he knew had the skill set he needed and moved that person to Texas to be in the same place as him.

[23:40] minute: Outsourcing your lowest value tasks.

  • Real world lawn-mowing example.

[25:45] minute: Helping others is really a cornerstone of your values, and I know one way you do that is through Shades of Hope, can you tell me about that?

  • Met a woman who had started this foundation and needed help.
  • Shades of Hope is a scholarship foundation to help students whose families can’t support them to continue their education.

[28:30] minute: What does fulfillment mean to you in business?

  • Fulfillment has changed in his scope of things in the last year or so.
  • It was just money, like a lot of people. But that didn’t make him happy.
  • “Being able to go where I want, when I want, without having to have restraints on me.” Being able to spend more time with family and friends when he wants.

[30:00] minute: Who has been the most impactful person on your journey to do well and achieve financial success?

  • Wife

[30:30] minute: Who has been the most impactful person on your journey to do good and make an impact?

  • His Son. He is challenged by him everyday.
  • Teaching and simplifying things to a four year old’s perspective has taught him a lot.

[31:10] minute: When you are having a bad day what do you do to get yourself out of a negative headspace, any regular personal development practices?

  • Go for a walk and try to forget about what is going on at the office for a few minutes.

[31:35] minute: What book do you find yourself recommending most often?

[32:10] minute: What is the best piece of advice related to happiness that you’d give our listeners?

  • Actually listening to what other people are saying once you’ve surrounded yourself with those smarter people than you.

 

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nominee:

Shades of Hope

Website | Donate

The Shades of Hope Foundation was established to recognize young women and men who have displayed grace, charisma, positivity and professionalism in their hometown, school and extracurricular activities.

 

Where to Find Dorothy:

Visit Do Well and Do Good’s free Facebook community here and arrange a one-on-one with Dorothy herself!

Follow Dorothy on Instagram @dorothyillson to keep up with the latest Do Well & Do Good news!

About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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