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IAM2066 – Social Entrepreneur Owner of Insurance Agency Helps Families, Women and Girls Realize Their Dreams

Podcast Interview with Erin Lewis

In this episode, we have Erin Lewis, an accomplished insurance expert and the visionary behind Goosehead Insurance and the Dream Queen Association and Foundation.

Erin shares her unique journey, starting from a financially constrained childhood to becoming a key player in the insurance industry by founding one of the fastest-growing personal line insurance agencies.

She emphasizes the importance of providing unbiased, comprehensive coverage to clients by comparing options across 30 different carriers.

Furthermore, Erin discusses her passion project – the Dream Queen Association and Foundation, aimed at empowering women and girls towards leadership and impact.

The conversation also covers Erin's CEO story, her motivations, and the philosophies driving her success in business and her mission to make a positive change in the world.


Previous Episode: social-entrepreneur-owner-of-insurance-agency-helps-families-women-girls-realize-their-dreams

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Erin Lewis Teaser 00:00

So we focus serving those who are purchasing homes, need coverage on their cars. One of the things I think that's always important is to make sure that you've got the right coverage at the right price.

And a lot of times What happens is when you're used to dealing with just one company, just one option, you think that might be the best one out there. What we have the opportunity to do is shop 30 different carriers for our customers to ensure that they're getting an unbiased opinion on their insurance.

Intro 00:29

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 Harkness 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 00:56

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Erin Lewis of Goosehead Insurance and the Dream Queen Association and Foundation. Erin, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Erin Lewis 01:09

It's awesome to be here, Gresham. Thank you so much.

Gresham Harkless 01:11

No problem. No problem. And what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Aaron so you can learn and hear about all the awesome things that she's been able to accomplish and she's doing.

So Erin is the owner and risk advisor of one of the fastest-growing personal line insurance agencies in the country, Goosehead Insurance. She and her team help families protect and realize their dreams by utilizing unbiased risk management expertise to provide the right insurance coverage at a fair price.

She is also the founder of the Dream Queen Association and Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating a world where all women and girls have the knowledge and support they need to step into positions of leadership and bring their whole selves to impacting the world, making it a more positive, more peaceful and joyful place to live.

Erin currently serves as a Maryland governor-appointed commissioner for the governor's office on service and volunteerism and steering committee member for the Million Women Mentor Maryland Initiative. Erin has been awarded the Business Leadership and Woman of Impact Award from the Southern Maryland Women's League and the Lifetime Legacy Leader Award from the Caroline E. Parker Foundation.

Erin received her B.A. in Economics and Political Science from St. Mary's College of Maryland. She is most proud to be the mom of an energetic and strong-willed five-year-old daughter, wife to her husband of six years, and stepmom to two athletic boys. Erin, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Erin Lewis 02:35

I am. I'm so excited.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:38

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. What I want to do, which is passionate and mic, so to speak to see if there's anything additional you can tell us about your CEO story and what led you to start your business and organization.

Erin Lewis 02:47

Yeah. So I was born to two parents, neither one of which had college educations. My dad fixed cars all of his life. And my mom stayed home with me until I was eight years old. And then she had my youngest daughter and the family needed more money in finance. back to work at the receptionist.

We grew up without a lot of money and that became for me my driving motivation. I figured, you get situations in life so that you can figure out whether you want to repeat them or do it totally different.

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In this case, I wanted to do it totally different. Unfortunately, growing up, without a lot of money created for me. A lot of situations where you know, my self-confidence was hindered in middle school. I had dorky clothes, dorky glasses, like I just didn't think very highly of myself.

My parents were great parents and they instilled a lot of great values, responsibility, work ethic, being part of a family, all of that. But I just felt like if I had more money, things would get better. And what ended up happening is I was looking for a job going into college and to pay for car insurance of all things.

And there was a position open at a state farming agency. I applied, got selected and have been there for 18 years up until this past July when I decided to branch out on my own and open an independent agency with Goosehead Insurance as a franchise owner.

So, what I love about insurance is that it protects people's assets and income. And at the same time, it's a lucrative career. You're helping a lot people and it's a great opportunity to make income. So it totally has changed the financial trajectory of my life. It has given me so many opportunities that otherwise wouldn't have been there..

Gresham Harkless 04:28

And I know that's often what happens. I'm glad you point that out. Sometimes you go through certain things and it puts you in a position where you appreciate things more and you want it more. So sometimes that's how the world kind of works.

Erin Lewis 04:39

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 04:41

And now I wanted to ask you more about what exactly you're doing for Goosehead insurance. Can you touch a little bit more on how exactly you serve the clients that you work with?

Erin Lewis 04:49

Yeah. So we focus serving those who are purchasing homes, need coverage on their cars. One of the things I think that's always important is to make sure that you've got the right coverage at the right price.

And a lot of times What happens is when you're used to dealing with just one company, just one option, you think that might be the best one out there. What we have the opportunity to do is shop 30 different carriers for our customers to ensure that they're getting an unbiased opinion on their insurance.

We're not tied to one company or one option. So that gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of price points, different companies want. different clients. And so they price the risk for that purpose. And so goose and goose is super exciting for us because it gives us so much more possibility and opportunity to help more customers in more ways because of all the options that are provided.

And I think nowadays that's what consumers are really looking for.

Gresham Harkless 05:43

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Yeah, a lot of people definitely, looking for ways that they can find different options and be able to, of course, reach their goals. So it's incredible that you guys are able to do that in goosehead and you've taken on the mantle to do that yourself within the area.

So I wanted to ask you a little bit more about your secret sauce and what I call your secret sauce and kind of like what you feel makes your company and organization unique.

Erin Lewis 06:04

I think the thing that impressed me the most about goosehead, especially initially when I went down there was the culture.

Everybody, it's a culture of meritocracy, which, do the work, get paid for it. We, that's one of the things I think my parents taught me most is if you want something in life, you have to go get it. If don't expect a handout, don't expect somebody to do it for you. You have to take responsibility for where you want your life to go.

And when I walked into the company that first time, that was exactly what the culture said to me is these people are about helping other people. They're about. Taking care of the needs of customers, they provide an incredible customer service experience, which in our industry is huge. When there's so many choices out there, it's oftentimes that's the one differentiating factor that folks are looking for when they're out there shopping.

But that second to the culture and this idea of if you work hard, you'll get rewarded for it. It was the Was this winning attitude? One of one of the things that I've always been excited and proud of as an agency owner, even 10 years with the prior company was this ability to create a winning culture inside of the team, bringing people on board who wanted to do what was best for other people and win at the same time and to be in an environment where the whole company operates.

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Around one singular mission of becoming the number one distributor of auto and home insurance in the country in the next 30 years. It's pretty exciting. I've always been a little bit of a risk taker, a maverick, a color outside of the lines rebel, if you will, in how I did things. And so when I found a company that didn't have such stringent guidelines around how things needed to be, especially when it came to the creative part of marketing, the business, I got excited.

Gresham Harkless 07:50

Yeah, that makes sense. And I feel like that's where a lot of the kind of the magic happens when you are able to color outside the lines and push against boundaries to some degree. And that's like where those innovations and those breakthroughs come from.

Erin Lewis 08:01

Absolutely. It's, you mentioned the Dream Queen Association and Foundation in the bio that you read. It's truly my heart and soul. That's why I do what I do. We all have to work to make a living and earn an income.

And I'm grateful that we do something that. That does that and is rewarding at the same time. There are a lot of things that you can sell. But at the end of the day, if you're able to provide money that rebuild somebody's house or money that makes sure the car can get fixed or the medical expenses are taken care of, I feel like we're doing a good thing with that being said, the foundation is really what has driven me and so much of who I am and what I've stood for inside of my company professionally.

We've tried to teach and instill back in these teenage girls. And there's a new way of needing to do things in the world. There's a three-step process that I teach on. It's called reclaim, re the steps are reclaim, re vamp and resuscitate. And the whole idea behind reclaim is figure out who you are at the core, understand the unique nuances that make you who you are and celebrate that.

Don't try to be like everybody else. Like being different is okay and embrace what that is for you. So reclamation of self-reclaim step to revamp is all about once you've done that reclamation piece, which is a lot of personal growth and development work, right?

Once you've done that, it's all about taking that and going back into these sort of old institutions, if you will, or these standard institutions that we've all grown up in and infusing your unique perspective in that environment and breathe it resuscitate, meaning breathing new life into those places.

I think, when we I've always been a visionary aggression. So when I look out at the future and I think about what needs to be done to change the world and Create a big impact. It definitely comes down to knowing who you are, being able to take who you are and infuse that into an organization so that it can grow and become the best that it can be and ultimately breathe new life into the world that we live in.

Gresham Harkless 10:00

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. And definitely in true entrepreneurial form, not even just having those ideas or those visions, but actually putting kind of the pen to the paper or putting action behind that and actually creating that to not only help out yourself and help out the people that are around you, but also those young women and girls that you're working with as well.

Erin Lewis 10:17


Gresham Harkless 10:18

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. But what I want to do is switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack and CEO hack might be an app or a book or it might even be a habit that you have, but it's something that you feel like makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Erin Lewis 10:32

Yeah, definitely. So there's two things that I have. One is a book that I've been reading recently. It's called Extreme Ownership, How U. S. Navy Sails Lead and Win. And it was by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. And they, it is awesome. It's all about how to create that winning culture inside of your environment by taking 100 percent extreme personal responsibility and ownership for whatever happens inside of the organization.

And I just love the one, the stories that they share, but also, the technical stuff about how to do that inside of an organization. So that's the first thing. The second thing is making sure, and I learned this a long time ago by studying really successful people, but inside of an organization, if you have the right people, Processes and systems in place.

You can create unparalleled success. We were ranked in the top 2 percent of 18, 000 agents in the former company, and we did that because we hired top talent. We created processes and systems. Every single thing that we did. So, and there's a book about this e-Myth but yeah, that's the other hack.

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Gresham Harkless 11:38

Yeah. I love that. And, that's definitely, great reminder, like you said, developing that culture. Cause that's when things start to really reach a different level when you create that culture, not just within yourself, but also within the team that you have.

And then the emiss is always a good classic book for people to remember, like working on the business. Not necessarily in the business, working on those processes and systems, making sure they're in order so that you can continue to be successful.

Erin Lewis 12:01


Gresham Harkless 12:02

And now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice that you might have for other entrepreneurs and business owners.

Erin Lewis 12:10

Yeah. So I love this quote. It keeps coming up. I think, especially as I've made this transition from old to new and reinvesting in a new company, and it's the Steve Jobs quote, here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pigs and square holes. The ones who see things differently.

They're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, and glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do absolutely love that.

Gresham Harkless 12:48

Yeah, I love that quote as well, too. And just pigging back on what you were talking about, like how you look at things in a different way. You've always been a risk taker and a maverick. That quote by Steve Jobs definitely builds upon that.

Erin Lewis 13:00


Gresham Harkless 13:00

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And now I wanted to ask you, which is my favorite question, which is like the definition of being a CEO.

And we're hoping to have different types of quote-unquote CEOs on this podcast, whether it be solopreneurs or people that might own franchises, people that have thousands of employees. So I want to ask you, Erin, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Erin Lewis 13:19

Oh, Gresham. I think being a CEO to me means having vision leading from the heart and making a difference in whatever you do.

Gresham Harkless 13:28

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And I love that definition. And it's a good reminder for everybody whenever you're running or managing your business. So, Erin, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule.

What I want to do is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers know about Goosehead Insurance or the Dream Queen Association and Foundation and also how best people can get out of you.

Erin Lewis 13:50

Yeah, Goosehead Insurance. It's, That's how you can get a hold of me directly on that front. Happy to provide comparison and quotes opportunities, talk about the opportunity itself.

It's a fast-growing company with a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurial minded people. That's on the Goosehead side. On the Dream Queen side, it's your and we're really excited right now to provide women in particular opportunities to go and give back to the next generation of young girls.

There's all kinds of different ways that we do that through this foundation. So it's your and if they go there, sync up with us on that site, look around, find the opportunities that best fit them. We're in the middle of a big expansion and what we're doing in terms of launching different programs in different areas and giving women an opportunity to give back to the younger and next generation so that they can become the leaders that so many of your followers are aggression.

So thank you.

Gresham Harkless 14:50

No problem. And thank you. And we'll make sure to have those links in the show notes just so that anybody can follow up with you. But Aaron, thank you so much for all that you've been able to accomplish and all you're doing and taking some time out with us to give us an insight into you and your business.

Absolutely, Gresham. Thank you. It's a pleasure.

Outro 15:06

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at 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 Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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