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IAM104 – Career Agent Helps People & Organizations with Health Insurance Outside of the Affordable Care Act

Podcast Interview with Sharon Carter

Sharon Carter is a Career Agent with US Health Advisors in the Sterling, VA. In her 3 short years with US Health, Sharon has achieved some impressive milestones. In 2017, she was the #1 Agent in her office and generated $700K in sales for the year. Sharon is continuing her hot streak and is currently the #1 Agent in 2018 and is on track to generate more revenue than she did last year.

Sharon wasn't always the CEO! Prior to her career in insurance sales, Sharon began her career in accounting/finance from the age of 17 and decided to do something different after being downsized one too many times. The company's motto of helping other people everyday, the flexibility and unlimited earning potential that sales offers, is what motivated her to make the switch. As an Agent as US Health, Sharon helps individuals, families and small businesses with health insurance options outside of the Affordable Care Act. She is licensed in 14 states and sells both locally and virtually.

  • CEO Hack: Being able to convey yourself with clarity and confidence and build relationships with value and trust
  • CEO Nugget: Believe in yourself without a shadow of doubt
  • CEO Defined: Having a clear vision of where you want to go and executiing

Website: http://www.ushagent.com/sharoncarter
Instagram – http://instagram.com/iamsharonpcarter
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharon-carter-mba-b4a538a3/

Transcription:

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresham Harkless from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Sharon Carter of US Health Advisors. Sharon, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Sharon Carter 0:38

Oh, thank you for having me, Gresham. Glad to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. We're happy to have you here. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Sharon, so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sharon Carter is a Career Agent with US Health Advisors in Sterling, Virginia. In her 3 short years with US Health, Sharon has achieved some impressive milestones. In 2017 she was the number 1 agent in her office and generated over 700,000 in sales for the year. Sharon is continuing her hot streak and is currently the number 1 agent in 2018 and is on track to generate more revenue than she did last year. Sharon wasn't always the CEO though. Prior to her career in insurance sales, Sharon began her career in accounting, and finance at the age of 17 and decided to do something different after being downsized one too many times. The company's motto of helping other people every day. The flexibility and unlimited earning potential that sales offers are what motivates her to make this switch.

As an agent of US Health, Sharon helps individuals, families, and small businesses with health insurance options outside of the Affordable Care Act. She is licensed in 14 states and sells both locally and virtually. Sharon, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Sharon Carter 1:50

Yes, I am Gresham. I'm ready to rock and roll.

Gresham Harkless 1:54

So, the first question I had was just to hear I guess a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Sharon Carter 2:00

Okay, well, I didn't wake up with the idea to sell health insurance. I started this business back in January 2016. I was in the middle of a career transition. I just recently had a job layoff in July 2015. With my last employer who was Xerox at the time, this is my first sales role. Just so with US Health, like you mentioned, in my bio, I've been in accounting and finance since the age of 17.

I have an MBA in finance, I worked with different companies like Paine Webber, Lifetime Television, and TV Guide in New York City, and then I relocated to the DMV area, and about seven years ago this month, for a position with a local government contractor. That position did not work out too well, either at that time, I was focusing on that position focused on doing finance and pricing for Oklahoma's work.

So, it was a lot of stuff in Afghanistan and Iraq. And at the time when former President Obama pull the troops out of those areas, the company started laying people off, so I got downsized from there. Then I went to Xerox, I was at Xerox for about almost three years. And I was a senior pricing analyst there again, doing the government pricing role, I did state, local, and federal different RFPs that they're responsible for. But then I got downsized again, about almost three years, my cutting Xerox decided they wanted to outsource positions to cut costs. So, they sent positions overseas, and my particular role went to Guatemala.

So, when that happened, I tried to stay within the government contracting world, I had a lot of interviews, I was up and down going to interview after interview, and I got a lot of verbal offers, and maybe it was three or four on the phone. But then they came back to me and said, Oh, we're gonna freeze positions. And we're having, you know, a hiring freeze and such as such and such. So, I kind of knew that I had to do something different at that point because things weren't working out the way that I could open to working out.

So, really, truly this opportunity at US Health came my way. When my director saw my resume online, he said the job board reached out to me at first, I wasn't open, but then I kind of said to give it a chance. And that's growing up when I was working in New York at different companies, that many people who should tell me you shouldn't be in sales, and I never really gave it any thought I honestly didn't know, I was like, I have an MBA, what are you talking about? But um, I kind of remembered that when this opportunity came my way. And I said, what, let me at least be open and hear what they have to say.

So, fast forward I met with my director who's my James my director, and he told me about what was happening with the Affordable Care Act, I didn't really know much about healthcare, but he told me, I saw the numbers of what his company was doing. And I just said, what, give it a chance. And I did and now 3 years, almost three years later, I've done pretty well for myself.

Gresham Harkless 4:48

Yeah, I mean, with those giant ginormous numbers that I read earlier. You have definitely done pretty well. I would say myself and whoever told you, you should have been in sales deserves as they deserve. Well, because it seems like you're writing a line with what you should be doing.

Sharon Carter 5:01

Yeah, yeah, you know, you sometimes people can see things in you that you don't see in yourself. And I think that's what happened to me at that point.

Gresham Harkless 5:08

Yeah, that happens to all of us where we're kind of too close to it even to your talents, and you take for granted sometimes how good you are at something that needs somebody else to tell you, Hey, you should do X, Y, and Z. And then it just starts to take off from there.

Sharon Carter 5:20

Yeah, it's so important to have people around you who really want you to do well who are mentors, coaches, or someone who can help me and we're in the right direction.

Gresham Harkless 5:29

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So, I wanted to drill down a little bit in here a little bit more about, like, how you're helping out these people with the health insurance options.

Sharon Carter 5:36

Okay. So, I don't know, how much you know about the health care that's going on right now Gresham, but the Affordable Care Act became law in 2009, former President Obama and made it mandatory that everybody must have health insurance, or you, you'd have to pay a fine. Unfortunately, the whole Affordable Care Act did not go the way that it was intended. As I like to tell people, the intention of it was good, where everyone should have health insurance, but the execution of it was terrible.

So, basically, now we're seeing the results of the execution that wasn't the best pretty much so to speak. But politics aside, how I'm able to do, what I'm able to do is that US Health company, basically, I work with individuals, families, and small businesses. Now, many people, people who don't get insurance for a job, can't get it to a corporate job, whether they're a small business owner, consultant, or so on, they have to get it on their own.

So, they go to healthcare.gov, or the Maryland Health Exchange, or whatever, to find health insurance. But unfortunately, it's no longer affordable. I worked with a family locally here in Virginia, who did go to the Affordable Care Act, they're both small business owners, a husband and wife team and their health insurance premium was it when it first started, it was 400, or something and went up to 600 or something.

And when it's 800, and something and it went there, so it keeps going, it's to the point now, their premium was almost $2,000. So, they couldn't afford it anymore. And I was able to put them in a policy that saves them $800 A month and eliminated their $700 deductible.

So, the way that I'm able to do that through US Health plans is US Health is a preferred risk group. And I'm not sure what that means. But it's basically where the Affordable Care Act takes any and everyone regardless of medical history, right? And there's no medical underwriting with that, that process that's based on income, whereas with us health plans, they're based on medical history, and they don't take any and everyone.

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Okay, so in terms of the question that always comes up, do you write people with pre-existing? Yes, I have. And, and I have, I've written a woman who had breast cancer, she's a breast cancer survivor, I've written a gentleman who's a prostate cancer survivor, it just depends on the individual's medical history and fitting them into the right plan at US Health. There are some instances when I can't help them when I would help them find what's the next best solution for them.

So, that's how I'm able to do what I'm able to do is really is just really putting people in a better situation than they are right now today. And again, US Health plans are not for everyone, but they are a lot of people they are for.

Gresham Harkless 8:14

Yeah, it sounds like I guess the biggest thing is just to kind of have a conversation, because sometimes especially if you're paying that much, I mean for health insurance, then you probably are looking for alternatives. And a lot of people I imagine probably think that they're not any kind of alternatives out there.

Sharon Carter 8:28

That's the thing. And a lot of people I met a woman on Thursday, and I, we connected we're supposed to meet this week, she's like, I never knew there was something besides the Maryland Health Exchange, she's like, I'd love to know what it is. So, that's why I really want to get the word out about who this company is and what we offer to people. And you don't have to go broke paying your health insurance premium every month, we don't want you to do that we want you to have the coverage you need when you need it and still be able to maintain your livelihood.

Gresham Harkless 8:55

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So, you can kind of enjoy your life so to speak, you're not paying it all through like health care and health insurance. So, now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be something that you feel kind of distinguishes you or maybe in your organization. But do you have an example of a secret sauce for us?

Sharon Carter 9:12

Yeah, you know what my secret sauce is honestly, in the beginning when I started the company mission and it sounds corny, it may sound corny, but it's what drove me hope to help other people every day in order to be successful in not just insurance, sales, but just sales overall, or any kind of business, you've got to have the mindset that you are helping other people you've got to show up and really put the needs of that person at the forefront of your mind, and that's what really motivated me, in the beginning, it still motivates me today.

My unique selling proposition is that I really honestly take the approach of educating my consumer first. I'm not a pushy TV salesman, doing a policy for someone I do my intelligence, and my research, and I take my time to find out what their needs are and it really makes sure that I'm putting them in a policy that fits their needs. And I also take the approach of being that resource, like I said before if I can't help them, I do my best to put them in the right direction.

So, it's really about taking the time to meet people's needs, I do take very good care of my customers that I have my clients that I have, and that leads to a lot of referrals, and I wouldn't have been able to write over a million dollars in two and a half years if I didn't put the needs of people first. Does that make sense?

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And as you said, if you're getting opportunities, you're getting referrals, and people are mentioning your name, then you must obviously be doing something right. But I think that as well, especially with all the legislation that's changed and understanding what you can and cannot do, it's always good to be able to have somebody who can at the very least lean on to ask questions and be able to answer those questions so that you don't have to know everything, you just have to know who to call.

Sharon Carter 10:51

Exactly, exactly. It's making people's lives easier. Yeah

Gresham Harkless 10:54

Exactly, exactly. Awesome, awesome. So, what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or a book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Sharon Carter 11:08

One thing I would say definitely is being able to convey myself with clarity and conviction, it is very important to be able to do that, regardless, of whether you're in sales, if you're in the corporate world, or whatever. But you have to be able to speak with authority and conviction and competence. And people pick up on that. And they know, if you're someone that they can, build a relationship with and establish that know, like, and trust, right? And then also to really build relationships based on value and trust. What can you offer to people not where's what you can take from people?

And that's one of the things I network a lot I go to different events, I'm in a BNI at a local BNI. A lot of people don't know what they're doing in networking, they're going out, they're just telling their cars to people, but that's not going to get you business, you have to be able to build a relationship with people again, that know like and trust and build relationships based on value and trust. Value first and trust. So, that's very, very important.

Gresham Harkless 12:06

Yeah, absolutely, I would definitely echo that. And being able to kind of build those relationships based on that value. So, that you're a person that's a go-to resource, not necessarily somebody that's a go-to person to pass out their business card all the time when you go to those networking events. So, it's important to make sure you're providing value. So, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can go back maybe 3 short years to when he got started, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Sharon Carter 12:36

Believe in me without a shadow of a doubt. When I first heard about this opportunity. I didn't know if I could sell I kind of like, I never really had a sales position ourselves. And fast forward 3 years later, I guess no. But you really, have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in your abilities. You have to take risks. And you really got to step into your power and own it. And that's very important.

Gresham Harkless 13:02

I love it. I love it. Yes, it's something that you sometimes forget. But like we said in the beginning, sometimes when people can see things in you, you kind of take that chance, even though you may not be comfortable doing it and you go in and do it. Sometimes you can find something that you're you're light, so to speak.

Sharon Carter 13:16

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So, now I wanted to ask you, which is my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of being a CEO. And on the show, we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So, I wanted to ask you, Sharon, what does being a CEO means to you?

Sharon Carter 13:31

It means having a clear vision of where you want to go and being able to execute it.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

I love it. I love it. Yeah. And anytime you're a CEO, you have a goal and a mission that you want to reach and you have to be able to understand exactly how you can kind of get your hands dirty, so to speak, to be able to reach that goal.

Sharon Carter 13:48

Yep, exactly, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 13:50

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, Sharon, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. And what I want us to do is pass the mic to you, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then also how best people can get in touch with you.

Sharon Carter 14:02

Sure, sure. Well, open enrollment is coming up. It will be well, we don't know yet. But we're usually on November 1. And I know a lot of people are looking and trying to figure out what they're gonna do with their health insurance. So, the rates are going up, they don't know what to do. I want them to give me a call and reach out to me online. Either way, they can do that on my personal website with the company, just so you know it is, and let me give it to you here because and the funny thing is, I never don't go on my own website and look for myself or anything like that.

So, oh my gosh, but they can reach me online. I'm actually on LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn. Sharon Carter on LinkedIn. I am on Instagram @iamsharonpcarter on Instagram. And then they can also reach me on my Google Voice number 703-829-5795 And I'll say it again 703-829-5795.

Gresham Harkless 14:58

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And we'll do is we'll have the links in the show notes as well just so that anybody can follow you on Instagram, or your LinkedIn and of course, reach out to you via phone. But Sharon, thank you so much again, I truly appreciate you.

Sharon Carter 15:10

Thank you very much question for the opportunity. Thank you.

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Outro 15:13

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co

I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:27

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresham Harkless from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Sharon Carter of US Health Advisors. Sharon, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Sharon Carter 0:38

Oh, thank you for having me, Gresham. Glad to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. We're happy to have you here. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Sharon, so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Sharon Carter is a Career Agent with US Health Advisors in Sterling, Virginia. In her 3 short years with US Health, Sharon, has achieved some impressive milestones. In 2017 she was the number 1 agent in her office and generated over 700,000 in sales for the year. Sharon is continuing her hot streak and is currently the number 1 agent in 2018 and is on track to generate more revenue than she did last year. Sharon wasn't always the CEO though. Prior to her career in insurance sales, Sharon began her career in accounting, and finance from the age of 17 and decided to do something different after being downsized one too many times. The company's motto of helping other people every day. The flexibility and unlimited earning potential that sales offers is what motivates her to make this switch. As an agent as US Health, Sharon helps individuals, families, and small businesses with health insurance options outside of the Affordable Care Act. She is licensed in 14 states and sells both locally and virtually. Sharon, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Sharon Carter 1:50

Yes, I am Gresham. I'm ready to rock and roll.

Gresham Harkless 1:54

So, the first question I had was just to hear I guess a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business?

Sharon Carter 2:00

Okay, well, I didn't wake up with the idea to sell health insurance. I started this business back in January 2016. I was in the middle of career transition. I just recently had a job layoff in July 2015. With my last employer who was Xerox at the time this is my first sales role. Just so with US Health, like you mentioned, in my bio, I've been in accounting and finance since the age of 17. I have an MBA in finance, I worked with different companies like Paine Webber, Lifetime Television, TV Guide in New York City, and then I relocated to the DMV area, and about seven years ago this month, for a position with a local government contractor. That position did not work out too well, either at that time, I was focusing on that position focused on doing finance and pricing for Oklahoma's work. So, it was a lot of stuff in Afghanistan and Iraq. And at the time when former President Obama pull the troops out of those areas the company started laying people off, so I got downsized from there. Then I went to Xerox, I was at Xerox for about almost three years. And I was a senior pricing analyst there again, doing the government pricing role, I did state, local and federal different RFPs that they're responsible for. But then I got downsized again, about almost three years, my cutting Xerox decided they wanted to outsource positions to cut costs. So, they sent positions overseas, and my particular role went to Guatemala. So, when that happened, I tried to stay within the government contracting world, I had a lot of interviews, I was up and down going to interview after interview, and I got a lot of verbal offers, and maybe it was three or four on the phone. But then they came back to me said, Oh, we're gonna freeze positions. And we're having, you know, a hiring freeze and such as such and such. So, I kind of knew that I had to do something different at that point, because things weren't working out the way that I could open to workout. So, really, truly this opportunity at US Health came my way. When my director saw my resume online, he said on the job board reached out to me and at first I wasn't open, but then I kind of some said give it a chance. And that's growing up when I was working in New York at different companies, that many people who should tell me you shouldn't be in sales, and I never really gave it any thought I honestly didn't know, I was like, I have an MBA, what are you talking about? But um, I kind of remembered that when this opportunity came my way. And I said, what, let me at least be open and hear what they have to say. So, fast forward I met with my director who's my James's my director, and he told me about what was happening with the Affordable Care Act, I didn't really know much about health care, he told me, I saw the numbers of what his company was doing. And I just said, what, give it a chance. And I did and now 3 years, almost three years later, and I've done pretty well for myself.

Gresham Harkless 4:48

Yeah, I mean, with those giant ginormous numbers that I read earlier. You definitely done pretty good. I would say myself and whoever told you, you should have been in sales deserves like they deserve. Well, because they it seems like you're writing line with what you should be doing.

Sharon Carter 5:01

Yeah, yeah, you know, you sometimes people can see things in you that you don't see in yourself. And I think that's what happened with me that point.

Gresham Harkless 5:08

Yeah, that happens to all of us where we're you kind of too close to it even to your talents, and you take it for granted sometimes how good you are at something that needs somebody else to tell you, Hey, you should do X, Y, and Z. And then it just starts to take off from there.

Sharon Carter 5:20

Yeah, it's so important to have people around you who really want you to do well who are mentors, coaches or someone who can help me and we're in the right direction.

Gresham Harkless 5:29

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So, I wanted to drill down a little bit in here a little bit more about, like, how you're helping out these people with the health insurance options.

Sharon Carter 5:36

Okay. So, I don't know, how much you know about the health care that's going on right now Gresham, but the Affordable Care Act became a law in 2009, former President Obama and made it mandatory that everybody must have health insurance, or you, you'd have to pay a fine. Unfortunately the whole Affordable Care Act did not go the way that it was intended. As I like to tell people, the intention of it was good, where everyone should have health insurance, but the execution of it was terrible. So, basically, now we're seeing the results of the execution that wasn't the best pretty much so to speak. But politics aside, how I'm able to do, what I'm able to do is that US Health the company, basically, we I work with individuals, families, and small businesses. Now, many people, people who don't get insurance to a job, they can't get it to a corporate job, whether they're a small business owner, consultant, or so on, they have to get it on their own. So, they go to the healthcare.gov, or the Maryland Health Exchange, or whatever, to find health insurance. But unfortunately, it's no longer affordable. I worked with a family locally here in Virginia, whose they did go to the Affordable Care Act, they're both small business owners, a husband and wife team and their health insurance premium was it when it first started, it was 400, or something and went up to 600 or something. And when it's 800, and something and it went there, so it keeps going, it's to the point now, their premium was almost $2,000. So, they couldn't afford it anymore. And I was able to put them in a policy that saves them $800 A month and eliminated their $700 deductible. So, the way that I'm able to do that through US Health plans is US Health is a preferred risk group. And I'm not sure if what that means. But it's basically whereas the Affordable Care Act takes any and everyone regardless of medical history, right? And there's no medical underwriting with that, that process that's based on income, whereas with us health plans, they're based on medical history, and they don't take any and everyone. Okay, so and in terms of the question always comes up, do you write people with pre existing? Yes, I have. And, and I have, I've written a woman who had breast cancer, she's a breast cancer survivor, I've written a gentleman who's a prostate cancer survivor, it just depends on the individual's medical history and fitting them into the right plan at US Health. There are some instances when I can't help them when I would help them find what's the next best solution for them. So, that's how I'm able to do what I'm able to do is really is just really putting people in a better situation than they are right now today. And again, US Health plans are not for everyone, but they are a lot of people they are for.

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Gresham Harkless 8:14

Yeah, it sounds like I guess the biggest thing is just to kind of have a conversation, because sometimes especially if you're paying that much, I mean for health insurance, then you probably are looking for alternatives. And a lot of people I imagine probably think that they're not any kind of alternatives out there.

Sharon Carter 8:28

That's the thing. And a lot of people I met a woman on Thursday, and I, we connected we're supposed to meet this week, she's like, I never knew there was something besides the Maryland Health Exchange, she's like, I'd love to know what it is. So, that's what I really want to get the word out about who this company is and what we offer to people. And you don't have to go broke paying your health insurance premium every month, we don't want you to do that we want you to have the coverage you need when you need it and still be able to maintain your livelihood.

Gresham Harkless 8:55

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So, you can kind of enjoy your life so to speak, you're not paying it all through like health care and health insurance. So, now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be something that you feel kind of distinguishes you or maybe in your organization. But do you have example of a secret sauce for us?

Sharon Carter 9:12

Yeah, you know what my secret sauce is honestly, in the beginning when I started the company mission and it sounds corny, it may sound corny, but it's what drove me hope helping other people every day in order to be successful in not just insurance, sales, but just sales overall, or any kind of business, you've got to have the mindset that you are helping other people you've got to show up and really put the needs of that person at the forefront of your mind, and that's what really motivated me in the beginning it still motivates me today. My unique selling proposition is that I really honestly to I take the approach of educating my consumer the consumer first. I'm not a pushy TV salesman, doing a policy someone I do my intelligence, my research, I take my time to find out what their needs are and it really make sure that I'm putting them in a policy that fits their needs. And I also take the approach of being that resource, like I said before, if I can't help them, I do my best to put them in the right direction. So, it's really about taking the time to meet the people's needs, I do take very good care of my customers that I have my clients that I have, and that leads to a lot of referrals, and I wouldn't have been able to write over a million dollars in two and a half years if I didn't put the needs of people first. Does that make sense?

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And like you said, if you're getting opportunities, you're getting referrals, and people are mentioning your name, then you must obviously be doing something right. But I think that as well, especially with all the legislation that's changed and understanding what you can and cannot do, it's always good to be able to have somebody who can at the very least lean on to ask questions and be able to answer those questions so that you don't have to know everything, you just have to know who to call.

Sharon Carter 10:51

Exactly, exactly. It's making people's lives easier. Yeah

Gresham Harkless 10:54

Exactly, exactly. Awesome, awesome. So, what I wanted to do was switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this could be an app or a book or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Sharon Carter 11:08

One thing I would say definitely is being able to convey myself with clarity and conviction, it is very important to be able to do that, regardless, if you're in sales, if you're in the corporate world, whatever. But you have to be able to speak with authority and conviction and competence. And people pick up on that. And they know, if you're someone that they can, build a relationship with and establish that know, like, and trust, right? And then also to really building relationships based on value and trust. What can you offer to people not where's what you can take from people. And that's one of the things I network a lot I go to different events, I'm in a BNI at a local BNI. A lot of people don't know what they're doing in networking, they're going out, they're just telling their cars to people, but that's not going to get you business, you have to be able to build a relationship with people again, that know like and trust and build relationships based on value and trust. Value first and trust. So, that's very, very important.

Gresham Harkless 12:06

Yeah, absolutely, I would definitely echo that. And being able to kind of build those relationships based off that value. So, that you're a person that's a go to resource, not necessarily somebody that's a go to person to pass out their business card all the time when you go to those networking events. So, it's important to make sure you're providing value. So, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO, nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can go back maybe 3 short years when he when he got started, what piece of advice would you give yourself.

Sharon Carter 12:36

Believe in believe in myself without a shadow of a doubt. When I first heard about this opportunity. I didn't know if I could sell I kind of like, I never really had a sales position ourselves. And fast forward 3 years later, I guess no. But you really, you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in your abilities. You have to take risks. And you really got to step into your power and own it. And that's very important.

Gresham Harkless 13:02

I love it. I love it. Yes, it's something that you sometimes forget. But like we said in the beginning, sometimes when people can see things in you, and you kind of take that chance, even though you may not be comfortable doing it and you go in and do it. Sometimes you can find something that you're you're light, so to speak.

Sharon Carter 13:16

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yeah.

Gresham Harkless 13:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So, now I wanted to ask you, which is my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of being a CEO. And on the show, we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So, I wanted to ask you, Sharon, what does being a CEO means to you?

Sharon Carter 13:31

It means having a clear vision of where you want to go and being able to execute it.

Gresham Harkless 13:36

I love it. I love it. Yeah. And anytime you're a CEO, you have a goal and a mission that you want to you want to reach and you have to be able to understand exactly how you can kind of get your hands dirty, so to speak, to be able to reach that goal.

Sharon Carter 13:48

Yep, exactly, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 13:50

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, Sharon, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. And what I want us to do is pass the mic to you, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then also how best people can get in touch with you.

Sharon Carter 14:02

Sure, sure. Well, open enrollment is coming up. It will be well, we don't know yet. But we're usually November 1. And I know a lot of people are looking and trying to figure out what they're gonna do with their health insurance. So, the rates are going up, they don't know what to do. I want them to give me a call reach out to me online. Either way, they can do that my personal website with the company, just so you know it is and let me give it to you here because and the funny thing is, I never I don't go on my own website and look for myself or anything like that. So, oh my gosh, but they can reach me online. I'm actually on LinkedIn. I'm very active on LinkedIn. Sharon Carter on LinkedIn. I am on Instagram @iamsharonpcarter on Instagram. And then they can also reach me on my Google Voice number 703-829-5795 And I'll say it again 703-829-5795.

Gresham Harkless 14:58

Awesome, awesome, awesome. And we'll do is we'll have the links in the show notes as well just so that anybody can follow you on Instagram, or your LinkedIn and of course, our reach out to you via phone. But Sharon, thank you so much again, I truly appreciate you.

Sharon Carter 15:10

Thank you very much question for the opportunity. Thank you.

Outro 15:13

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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