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Eric Geier is the CEO and founder of Puresurance, advising business owners and entrepreneurs on the implementation of life insurance as a retirement vehicle and custom designed health coverage solutions.
Prior to founding Puresurance, Eric had 25 years of experience on Wall Street. Puresurance is helping him to achieve his lifelong goal of helping people with their personal finances and retirement plans.
We discuss the challenges of transparency in healthcare and business, plus Eric shares amazing lessons on how he motivates himself and stays customer obsessed which also allows him to give back in many other ways. He’s a real inspiration and this is a great conversation.
Connect with Eric on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericgeier/
Check out Puresurance here: https://puresurance.com
Transcript powered by Happy Scribe
Hi, this is Eric Geier. I’m the founder and CEO of Puresurance. Welcome to the DiscoPosse podcast.
You’re listening to DiscoPosse Podcast. All right, here, approach this, you’re a fantastic speaker, by the way. So this is my pleasure to host you, not just because you’re named Eric, but because I’m a big fan of the story of your organization. I’m going to love that. My audience is going to be very aware of the challenges that your team are solving. And you’ve got such a really good personal history in the industry and how you got to hear.
So it’d be fun to kind of dove into how pure surance got started as well. But before I go too far talking about it, for folks that are brand new to you, Eric, if you want to give us a quick intro and a bio and then we’ll talk about the pure Shuren story.
Sure. Yes. My name is Eric Guya. I’m the founder and CEO of Pure Surance. We help franchisee’s small business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers, secure, affordable, comprehensive health insurance. And it’s something that if you’re a small business owner without a without being fortunate to have a spouse on a group plan that you can leverage, you’re likely to have an expensive problem. So that actually brought me to health insurance. I had spent about twenty five years before that institutional equity sales on Wall Street representing some of the world’s largest pension funds and asset managers treating the global equity markets.
I now from New York, we moved down here to Florida and I am much happier making a difference in the lives of people on a much more granular level. I meet a lot of interesting small business people. Everybody’s got a great story. And it’s just nice to see the the the effects of of your work on an individual basis. So that’s kind of what brought me here.
That is one of the most profound things that we get to do. We we often talk about the stories and the customer stories, so such a fundamental part of like marketing and really relating what it is, the value that we bring as organizations. And when you can actually, like, shake the hand of the person that you helped indirectly and great. This is a hot topic, definitely in one that we see the numbers from the SBA. We see the numbers from, oh, especially the last 18 months.
A lot of folks are in a real struggle as far as, hey, can I get away from my traditional day to day because my traditional day to day is not tenable anymore. Like it either went away or it’s been cut back. Just the world has changed so much in the last while. And a lot of folks say, well, let me start my own thing. However, outside of just going to legal zoom and grabbing your contract and forming a Delaware LLC, there is suddenly a real personal family problem that you have and this is the problem of health care.
And so if you want to give back, or especially for my international listeners, so as the Canadian all my Canadian folks like, what are you talking about? Where it’s all included is what worries the Canadians can come back in 20 minutes when we talk about startups.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Well, the the probably one of the most fitting examples is that the Franchise Business Association based down here in Florida, who represents over two hundred franchises as well as third party marketers, has brought me on as the person to solve the health insurance problems for the existing franchisees and for those who are considering going into business for themselves. One of the biggest stumbling blocks, especially if you have a family in making that jump from corporate America, is to have that health insurance in place.
So when you do open up your doors and whatever business you decide to undertake, it won’t be a an albatross on your shoulders. Having to pay that COBRA a monthly fee that is so taxing for a new business owner where cash is king and liquidity is paramount. So every day we’re trying to make health insurance as wallet friendly as possible while providing the kind of asset protection that business owners need to stay solvent and not have to worry that if a serious event happens to either of them or anyone in their family or their employees, that they will be sufficiently taken care of it.
It’s an interesting thing, too. It’s not just accessibility of insurance and just the raw capital expenditure, but it’s there. But also it’s it’s effectively an investment. It’s one that we have to invest in every month. But there are ways in which we can use, you know, things that there are different asset vehicles and different investment vehicles that are going to be incorporated along with it. It’s but it’s most people don’t even do the taxes and they very certainly don’t do their health care.
Yes. With the attention that it needs, right?
Yep. Yep. I actually get laughed at a lot because I’m the only one who gets excited about health insurance. I know it’s important because health insurance is, first of all, not a one size fits all thing. Right. So, you know, you could have been put on a policy three years ago and all of a sudden your life circumstances might have changed. And it dictates that you don’t need this, but you need that. And this is something where you need to do an annual review like you do your retirement plan.
You know, this is this is asset protection. This is health protection. This is God forbid something serious happens. There are no surprises. So, you know, I would strongly encourage that whoever your health agent or broker is, that you conduct a an annual review to make sure that the coverage that you have is relevant to the life situation that you find yourself in at the moment.
That that becomes the important thing to it’s not even just one size fits all, but one size fits you for greater than 12 months, a lot that’s affected in your life. And and as people think, five years down the road to perhaps business and financial planning, it’s so odd that we don’t think of what is the impact on my overall insurance and program. My wife, you know, is has severe allergies. Show is sort of joke. She says basically food is trying to kill her every day.
And so everything under the sun. And one of the the challenges, of course, if we were to go out on her own and be independent creators or whatever full time is, you know, the insurance risk to her and the health risks are significant. So it really. We know I know very well what the impact is, but most people think kind of everything is OK. Until they go to the doctor that one time, it’s right, they find out a good friend of ours, you know, he says I’m having, you know, weird back problems and then finds out that he has a cancerous growth, you know, and.
Like that in a moment, it’s it’s different, right, and no one wants to be ready for that. Like, that’s the way it seems horrible to have to think about those kind of catastrophic events that could be there. And thankfully, he’s with us still today, is in remission, has survived all that, you know. As humans, we really struggle with the planning part, especially when it’s planning plus spending.
Yes, and one of the biggest and I you know, I know we’ll probably talk about life insurance at some point, but one of the biggest things where people bury their head in the sand is long term care. Right. People are living now into their 90s. You have a five percent chance, if you’re married, that you’ll both live to your one hundred. You know, there’s a 50 percent chance that you’re going to need long term care. And most people do not have a long term care plan in place.
So, you know that that’s a that’s another conversation, obviously.
But, you know, you just can’t afford to bury your head, your head in the sand with anything having to do with your health or having to do with your finances, because life will happen regardless of whether you’re in the sand or not. So it’s just better to endure the pain, which is never as bad as as one might anticipate it and just make sure that you are well covered.
So this brings the question, Eric, what is the once the pure surance story that’s targeted specifically to the independent folks and the entrepreneurs? How how do you bring something that’s going to be focused on on that audience or persona, I guess is one would say, in our in our marketing terms?
Yeah, yeah. So, you know, a lot of this I represent the largest friend, one of the largest franchises in this country, over twelve hundred franchises nationwide. And you know, the biggest reasons they come to me is insurance unaffordability, high deductibles that they don’t even hit. So they are not even seeing any value in their plan at all. They’re basically functionally uninsured. COBRA is a problem and just really high prices for their families that they can no longer afford.
But they need this desperate coverage. So the you know, the the impetus behind pure assurance was let’s find an affordable option for small business owners who can feel good at night, that they’re going to be well covered and not have to endure this ridiculous premiums that are escalating year over year and and deductibles which are increasing. So I think, you know, we’ve done a good job in doing that. You know, it’s there’s a lot of things out there that people who are not on the inside don’t know call them tricks and tips, especially with emergency rooms who hike up the bills as much as one hundred percent.
So we we don’t just kind of insure people. We coach people on how to take a more proactive approach to their health care. So, number one, the patient provider relationship is restored and not just like a an assembly line, like major medical insurance companies have made doctors. Right. They’ve it’s right now it’s about how many people you can see in an eight hour period. Not, you know, let me give time to this patient who really needs it.
So it’s I aim to do that. And when we’re working with people, you know, let’s put the provider patient relationship back together. And because nobody is going to know your health better than your primary care physician and let’s make it affordable, that’s it’s a very, very easy model. And, you know, it it’s so funny. It’s like Steve Jobs, when he spoke when he did that monumental speech in front of Stanford at the commencement, I think it was two thousand five talks about the dots connecting that.
You can never see the dots connecting forward. You can only see it connecting backward. And when I got my start on Wall Street, I worked for a firm that brought transparency to a very opaque trading style. When, you know, back in the late 80s, early 90s, trading was there were no screens, there was no electronic trading. It was all pieces of paper and brokers. And that’s cool. Yeah. Old school stuff, right in the New York Stock Exchange is basically a photo op place right now.
And we we brought transparency to a very opaque market for a transaction costs down. So it was actually being in the center of the advent of electronic trading that made that experience. So let’s say that shine the light for me on health insurance, another. They are very opaque business that I aim to bring transparency to.
And what is the. What’s sort of the secret sauce that you bring aside from the music coaching is one of the most fundamental things, right? It’s not just it’s actually creating a program and engaging and understanding, you know, KYC, as we call it, in finance. Right. So you have to have your client understand their risk and it’s a legal requirement. Yet in insurance, No. KYC, it’s just the most bizarre thing right there. Just like whatever, dude, you know, you if you’re willing to roll the dice and cancel your insurance.
Suddenly the COBRA payments to stop and people just they don’t chase it down. You know, it’s it’s so different than the financial side of the world, but yet it is so alike to it in the way that the market works that it should just be hand in hand. But so, again, like. Outside of coaching, what are you bringing on the back side of your platforms and your your sort of your anecdotal knowledge and in your systems that can come together and and help folks, different types of plans that the average consumer doesn’t know about that are out there that have emerged in the last few years.
The Trump administration signed some legislation that took effect in twenty nineteen that brought other insurance possibilities to the center of the forefront. And if anybody knows about health sharing ministries, which are not insurance there, they are share their share policies.
But they’ve gained a lot of traction, too, over the over the past few years. I don’t I don’t put anybody in those, by the way. I just I’m very, very wary of of of something that doesn’t is not a transfer of risk when you’re paying for a transfer of risk. But, yeah, we’re going to we’ll take your money. We can call it a policy. We can’t call it claims because it’s not real insurance. But just take our word for it.
It’s nice to be good.
So know so but there are a lot of products out there that the average consumer doesn’t know about that because they’re not in it. I mean this is what I live and breathe. You know, I’m constantly looking for new product. I’m constantly seeing what’s out there, what can be constructed together to create a compelling story that will protect assets and protect people. You know, one of the initial things that that people don’t know about are subsidies that they may be entitled to on the exchange.
When you’re a new entrepreneur, if you are fortunate enough not to have a big income this year, you may qualify for subsidy, right. And dependent. And it all goes it all depends upon the size of of your households. So if your husband and wife and two kids and you’re making between twenty five and one hundred thousand dollars a year, you’re eligible for a subsidy and that could make the insurance very affordable. Now, there’s no subsidy for the deductible, so the deductible can still be eighty five hundred dollars per person.
But a catastrophic policy, which essentially it is, is better than no insurance. And if you’re paying a small amount for it, so much better. So I like to I like to provide people coverage where they see immediate benefit in there. So that’s kind of the focus. Yeah. And, you know, it’s it’s fun because it’s kind of like a puzzle that you put together. Right. Not everybody has the same situation and it’s the uniqueness of people makes putting together products know very, very challenging sometimes and exciting at the same time.
Well, the advantages and in the same way that any large adopted technology or system at all, the system itself will operate in a way and learn in a way that an individual contributor to that system cannot understand. And the same thing like when I go to when I choose a product or service for just about anything, what I want to look for is effectively economies of scale, both in pricing as well as in ability to be ahead of the curve in selection of options, whether it’s cloud computing, whether it’s software for anything.
Right or any service. And it’s tough in this particular thing that we’re talking about of there’s not the economies of scale are effectively coming from the people who they own the scale. It’s the the larger insurers. Obviously, I want to be careful, I don’t want to use the wrong words, and there’s careful implication when you say things like monopolistic or whatever, and I’m not making any implications, but I worked in insurance for a long time, worked for an insurance organization, and they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to continue to profit and grow the business while reducing risk.
So as a consumer, as a buyer of services from them, they only see their product selection. Right. So versus I go and I say, I’ve got Eric Guya in my pocket, you are now shopping all of them and looking for not just them, but other options. Right. So you are my economy of scale because you’ve got greater interest in me than in them.
That’s right. That’s right. And the the amount of power held by the top insurers is is is just extraordinary from a lobbying perspective, from a just controlling in the hands of government. It it just it’s a it’s a very hard thing to change when that happens.
You know, the it’s the and the the interesting thing is competition. This is a really, really tough part, is like the free market itself is ultimately a perfect and imperfect system in that when given the right level of competition, it forces an equilibrium in pricing and availability of services that ultimately makes it more friendly to the consumer. And it becomes a supply demand, a beautiful equilibrium. However, when you start and the elephants on one side of the scale and it’s hard as a newcomer, there’s no one’s just saying I’m going to start an insurance and life insurance company today.
It’s yeah, it’s an easy market to get into.
So it’s hard. It’s hard. And, you know, it’s the same thing that happens with the airlines. Anybody who’s tried to buy an airline ticket online knows that the fares for the big three are going to be very close to each other. And and then you have to look at kind of second tier to see for improvement. But, you know, it’s the same with insurance. It’s same exact thing. It’s they’re very closely aligned in price. So it’s more like a, you know, an oligopoly.
And it’s it just is what it is. So we’re kind of like the the Goliath’s out there fighting the David in this whole frickin family because seven generations past.
The good thing is that you effectively are now the opportunity because you can come with a large enough client base effect and be visible to these providers. So the hard thing to happen, and that’s what we need because then it’s a real win win because effectively now you can ride their wave of understanding and competitiveness with your clients because they’ll say Erik’s doing all this crazy stuff and he’s found a way and he’s using our competitors against us. So let’s use them against let’s use our stuff and Eric and pure surance in the folks against the competitors, realizing that you are now a competitive differentiator for all of these large organizations, like that’s what needs to be seen so that they can then bring better products, so that you can then offer them to all your clients.
So one of the things that I that I love to see, that I love happening and it’s actually big down here, is concierge medicine, where people pay a monthly fee and they get in to see the doctor as much as they want and their doctor is on call real, a real, let’s say, relationship between the provider and the patient. Right. That’s what you want. That’s the goal. So wouldn’t it be great to find private health insurance that works well in that model, too?
And that’s a goal as well. A lot of small business owners don’t have a lot of time. They don’t know when they’re going to be able to book an appointment out two weeks in advance. Right. So if they have an issue, they want to be they want to get into somewhere to that. They want their kid in today. That’s how they operate. And, you know, this is I also look to leverage that relationship, to complement that offering with my small business owning clientele.
If you could choose, and I know I’m going to put you on the spot here, what’s sort of the top myth or maybe a couple that people have that’s just commonly believed about health care in general here in the United States?
That open networks don’t exist, that that that emergency rooms are that you never tell, here’s a tip. Don’t ever tell an emergency room that you have insurance when you go into the E.R., always say that you’re self-insured or that you’re or that you’re uninsured because then you’re going to pay the real price. And if you have the kind of insurance where you can submit a bill by yourself and get that really good price at the E.R., then that is a Win-Win for everybody.
So you’re basically you’re playing chess with the with the health care system. And if you know how to play chess, you’re going to win. Right. I had a client just in Houston, actually chest pain. She was having huge chest pains and she was sent to the E.R. and they did EKG and all kinds of stuff. Thirty seven hundred dollars. Oh.
But we just lost your sound there for a second. And this one, I’ll say, while you’re getting reconnected here again, Eric, the the challenge I know of of this is the the bill shock because they ultimately don’t have a responsibility. To send the bill in advance, I mean, this is part of the challenge that we often face is that, you know, you talked before about transparency when I’m. Working with, you know, a financial adviser, they tell me how much his trade is going to cost me.
They tell me the way they can hand me a prospectus, but there’s no there’s no prospectus when you walk into the E.R. saying, I’ve got a problem and I need to to deal with this. So and that’s that’s the frightening thing. It’s it it compounds the risk to you as the consumer because you don’t have a choice at that point. You know, in the same way that people always say that everybody finds religion only when they need it. That’s the moment where you’re praying.
You’re praying that you’re going to get through it. And the only person that’s on the air that are listening to prayers is the one that’s got the invoice. And they know that you’re they’re willing to sort of stretch your understanding of faith via your insurance company, which is a really, really tough spot to be in. We still have no sound. And here I was saying that I rarely have to edit and this be the one that for whatever reason, we’re having trouble.
I think. If you want, we can do Eric, you want to like maybe disconnect and reconnect. Let’s just try that and then see for whatever reason it resets the settings or let me just see if I can. I’m not sure I can control it from here. Oh, there we go now we’re back, now we’re back.
Is this better now?
There we go now. All right. OK, cool.
So where should I just pick up on the. Yeah, if you want to just pick up from there and then I’ll I’ll make sure I clean that little chunk out of there.
OK. OK, so yeah. So we talk about if you have to go to the E.R. and you’re uninsured or underinsured, always go as a self insured person because you’re going to get the real price. So I was talking a story about my client in Houston who went to the E.R., a thirty seven hundred dollar bill from the E.R. when she went to check out which there they don’t they’re not allowed to take money from you, by the way. But in this situation, it was it worked out.
She said, you know, insurance, please. She’s like, I, I self-insured. That’s what I coach her to say. And they came back to her with a couple of numbers that didn’t work for her. And they finally settled on six hundred and fifty dollars. So that thirty seven hundred dollar bill in a matter of ten minutes went down to six hundred and fifty dollars. And that just goes to show you that everything is not written in stone.
And she ended up because of the insurance that she’s on, making money on that E.R. visit. So there are plans out there that actually pay you for excess benefit. And this is a particular plan that she had. So she ended up, you know, well, I want to say profit it.
She ended up doing having excess benefit. And, you know, it doesn’t happen all the time. But that’s just an egregious example of how to fight back in emergency rooms, ridiculously high charges.
And it really, again, it becomes the point of your the economy of scale in this case, the scale of knowledge and awareness of of the rules and the offerings that are available to a consumer. And I can I can’t go pouring over the Internet looking for tips and tricks on on how to be able to pay less at the E.R. There may be a bunch of articles out there, but they’re never going to have the proven scale. And also that I could ultimately biproduct through.
This is why, again, I I really appreciate you and your story of pure assurance in tackling this problem, because the consultative. Vendor, you know, sorry, I said it was like a dirty word when I see a vendor, but the consultative provider, right. You know, it’s like, yeah, you could be very different in that you can actually bring that because. Look, the hospitals, unfortunately, like the insurance companies, have a fiduciary responsibility and someone’s paying for it, you know, they know that they can get it at the other side, so why wouldn’t they?
And it’s again, it’s the free market. I love it, but good golly, it’s tough, right? Because you know that they’re going to leverage it in the moment. They can’t. Those prices would plummet. Right.
Look, if you know if you know, if you know how the game is played, it’s easy to navigate and bend and and do what you need. Everybody, look, everybody is an expert in the business that they do. And they know the the workarounds for things. Right. Health insurance is no different. I’m just somebody who’s taking the time to get into the weeds and know how everything works and then and then structure my business around, like the secret menu for health care.
I love it.
I’m like I’m like Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction, I think.
And this is so important because. You know, we’ve got generational change that’s happened that we’ve got, you know, we all kind of joke of like, OK, Boomer in all these sort of memes, that camera stuff. But the the whole industry is adjusting to the populace. And so anything that you are going to get told by your parents, your uncles and aunts, is relative to their experience directly with health care. Yeah. So today’s regulatory changes, as you talked about, recent changes that have happened, it’s like if if you’re not watching for this stuff, it’s happening and it just happens quietly.
And that’s why you need a partner. That’s why you really do need that consultative partner.
One of the one of the bigger reasons why health care has gotten so expensive is because the individual mandate went away in twenty nineteen. So there’s no more penalty for not having insurance unless you’re in the state of California. They impose their own penalties and you essentially are having people who can afford the subsidies and who are sick getting on these plans and everybody else is kind of subsidizing those. Right. So preexisting conditions are very, very expensive to to to manage.
And that’s why you’re seeing deductibles go up. President Biden has spoken about a Medicare like option for those under 65. I think that’s a great opportunity to provide a backstop for the highest risk of population and then get the private insurers back on a better footing so we can have better policies at more affordable costs. You know, I’m not for a for a public option for everyone and I’m not for a private option for everyone. I think there needs to be a public private partnership to address the the problems in this country.
And, you know, it’s I talk about it a lot, but it’s it’s just everybody wants to stay in their corner and and be protective of what they have. And nobody wants to give up anything for the sake of the of the greater good. But I do think that there’s going to be a Medicare like option for those under 60. There has to be insurance. It does, you know, good to have a seventeen thousand dollar deductible for your family.
You’re not you’re just you’re paying into a hole. You’re not going to.
Yeah, this is your you’re ultimately paying for it with the option of paying again and your watch. Yeah. And you you bring up a great point, Eric, that this is it’s a polarizing topic. And unfortunately, for whatever reason, like just at least in the very public sphere, the Twitter sphere and like the the the news cycles there, everybody’s wrapped around some side winning. Yes, we’ve got three hundred and thirty five million people or whatever the current population is, I’m not I’m Canadian, so I’m going to take on, I feel my geography test just now.
But let’s just say ballpark, three point thirty five million people, you know. We have to think in not winning and losing, but as you mentioned, the greater good, what’s the thing we can do for the greatest part of the population so that then the edge cases are. Are manageable. Yeah, but yeah, we’ve got to stop treating like the edge case is the greater solution and then push for all or nothing, which is a really tough position to be in.
It is. And, you know, I always say to myself, and I have to remind myself sometimes that never let progress get in the way of perfection, right? No, no. Never let perfection get in the way of progress. That’s right. That’s right. And, you know, and that’s what it is. A lot of the times people, naysayers out there are saying, well, this won’t work. This won’t that I work. And of course, nothing’s going to be perfect.
Right. But you have to get into it to see. So let’s just do something that makes sense and stop fighting about it. Right. You can’t you know, everybody jumping up socialism. This is socialism. You know, you have socialist policies in this country. Medicare is is a socialist policy. Social Security is a socialist policy. You know, there’s nothing wrong with government taking the reins on things. You know, it’s but there’s there’s some things that private industry does better and that should be recognized.
And there’s opportunities for public and private to work together. And if that can happen, I think, you know, there’s going to be a much better outcome in the future.
I think what you said at the beginning was important to like we’ve we’ve seen this have to happen, although we still struggle with it in the financial industry is transparency. And especially when you get in those public private partnerships, you know, there is the same potential for a for profit, you know, insurer and a for profit hospital and, you know, to ultimately for all collude. It is a rough word because, again, it has implications. But to to see the opportunity for profit and then aim for it versus when we have transparency across the board, then the consumer can begin to choose and steer the ship more so than just because I mean, I would say I’ll align almost libertarian in the sense of I like smaller government, but I recognize we need government controls for many things.
But you also need an informed population, right? People people need to recognize the importance of this and not depend on their legislators to affect the change. Right. Affecting change can happen at the ground level and should because that’s like you said, that moves the shit.
And that’s when the people that represent us make far more than us. Yeah, don’t aren’t required to do the things we do, like take on our health care.
All right. It’s all covered for them. They’re good. They don’t need any. And they’re I’m sure they’re getting nice campaign donations, too, from the from the big guns. So, I mean, life is great there. But, you know, for I have a I bring a different perspective and, you know, I want people to be able to look the more money in somebody’s pocket is more money that they can grow their business with. It’s more money that they can put towards their retirement.
It’s money that they can, you know, take their family on vacation or send their kid to the school that they want to go to. So better in your pocket than in somebody else’s pocket. No one. And better to be informed than not. My clients have the luxury of of me being informed on their behalf. But I do make them take a more proactive approach to their health care. I, I do bother them every now and then.
Did you do this? Did you do that. Did you do. But you know, on the kind of person that works 24/7. So, you know, I’m always thinking about things that at all hours of the night so.
Well, and that’s who you want on your team is somebody who’s like who’s going to care a lot is going to work on. Yeah. That this is what this is why I, I implore people to look at what you’re bringing to to the market, because this is something that I don’t want to have to care as hard about it as you can.
And just like financial advice and health care advice and coaching advice and relationship advice, you if we only look to the Internet and to our peer group. Yeah. Then you’re it will not end in a positive story because it’s just if you do what you’re lucky more than right.
I am a big fan of staffing out stuff that you don’t understand and don’t want to understand. Right. I don’t change my own oil in my car just because there’s somebody who’s going to do it better. I can probably do it, but there’s somebody who’s going to do it better. And just like, you know, you have people do your your mundane stuff so you can focus on on bigger picture stuff when you’re a business owner. So it’s the same exact thing.
Right. Always find a competent person who knows more than you do and work with that person. And health insurance is no different. Retirement is no different. You know, it’s it mentor relationships are are the are the kind of things that everybody should be looking for.
I think it the funny thing is every once in a while you watch some of these eyes open up to like the challenge we have. And again, I’m not that worried about I don’t sound like I’m trashing government or whatever, but like, great example is if I go through it. So I’m a technologist. I’m ultimately where when something comes along, like there’s a thing called SOPA, which was the idea of like online privacy. And immediately I recognize, like, there’s a gross overreach that’s going to occur if this goes in and people rallied around it.
And all these technologies were like, hey, you know, this can’t happen because they knew they understood the rules of the game in that game. And so they took a vested interest. And we actively, as a society, as a group, we’re able to influence outcomes and make changes. But then the funny thing is then along comes health care, decision X, whatever it’s going to be. And they’re like, well, they must know more about that than I do know.
They know as little about that as they did about SOPA or anything. They’re lawyers. They know how to write fantastic legislative contracts.
Yeah. They are not more knowledgeable. And that’s the tough part. There’s no engineers. There’s no doctors. Well, there’s two doctors, but there’s there are not enough real true representatives at the legislative branch that can ultimately have our true interests in mind. So this is why, again, you know, look, I can’t say it enough, like finding somebody like you said, like go to an expert of everything that you need them to be an expert in.
That’s right. That’s right. And you oftentimes you’re not going to pay any more because it’s just going to be bundled in with whatever service that you’re that you’re buying. But even if you do have to pay, you’re going to pay a lot less in the long run. Bye bye. Bye bye. Doing the right thing now. So, you know, that’s that’s just kind of that’s you know, it’s just kind of something that I’ve been working on myself to that it’s always historically been problematic for me to not do everything like.
My instinct is to do everything I like, to be involved in everything, and you can’t, right, because there’s just not enough hours in the day. So, you know, you you link up with really good people and you trust them. And, you know, for health insurance, I’m fortunate enough that that people see me in that way for their for their coverage.
You’re the way you approach things. Eric is interesting, you know, you come from a financial background, you’re clearly very aware of like the financial implications of these things in the larger market. You’ve got an incredible amount of knowledge. But everything that you do, the the customer always slides into first every time. But that’s the first thing that comes through even would appreciate you saying that.
It’s this is very differentiating and and rare, sadly. Yeah. In in the world. Right.
I think that for you. Well, I, I rescue I rescue homeless pets, so that’s that that that does that for me. But I mean, I have a servant’s mentality, you know, it’s you just when you’re working with people, you have to have a servant’s mentality. It’s not about you. It’s about providing value for them. It’s about making their lives better. It’s about taking a big problem they have and eliminating it for them. It’s you know, that’s that’s how it that’s what it is.
And if you do that business comes to you tenfold, but get the focus off of you and focus on those who you’re serving. And if you do that, I think that the world is going to be a much better place.
And you bring up a good point. So then I was actually I’ve had it on my mind, things I wanted to ask you about. You know, you’re both a donor as well as active in animal rescue and lots of different ways. Yeah, talk about that. What what drew you to that as an important thing for for your weird world?
I was bullied as a kid, I was, you know, I was a little overweight and, you know, I’m not five nine like five five on a great day. So, you know, there was I was bullied from a high perspective and from a weight perspective. And when you’re bullied, it opens your eyes as to the vulnerability of others who are also bullied. And, you know, animals can’t can’t talk. They can’t tell people they’re in pain.
They can’t tell people they’re scared. So, you know, I you know, being an advocate for them is is it was a logical next step. Children to children and animals are a lot alike in that respect where they’re very vulnerable. So those two segments of of the population are something that my wife and I feel very, very strongly about and into into make a difference in.
And especially if we look over the last year and a half now, it’s hard to believe we can say that at this point. Like we that voice got dampened even lower, both for children, for animals. So, yeah, less money abuse is potentially much more rampant and now unseen. That’s a really, really tough thing.
And about a few folks on on the show who who’ve really seen that and we’re doing it, I, I do as much as I can to kind of reach into organizations to help out for stuff like that, because this is sort of the it it didn’t stop. It just became more hidden, which is far more dangerous.
I agree. I agree. The more stuff out that’s out in the open, the better chance of of change.
Now, the the other thing that’s again, you know, your your background is you went you know, you went to business school. You’ve got a great strong financial background and you saw successes in there. Did you ever you know, how did you find that balance to be struck of really being a true customer focused service provider and seller or whatever you want to describe it as? And also, like we’ve talked about a few times, I have a fiduciary responsibility to grow the value of the company that selling the products to those consumers.
Did you ever like how did you find and maintain that balance of of making both sides successful in the transaction?
I actually don’t I don’t have any balance in my life, I just focus I just focused on serving my clients and let all the other stuff fall into place. I really my wife gets on me sometimes about there’s no balance for me, like I am always on something. And then, you know, I she has to kind of look at argue the opposite point. But look, I mean, how do you argue against serving clients? How do you argue against rescuing animals?
How you argue against saving children from trafficking? I mean, how do you you know, just for me, you just have to be all in and almost like an obsession with with one thing to be, you know, to be successful and greencard don’t talks about it. I mean, I’m not new about I’m not new at this stuff, but it’s yeah, I, I don’t have any balance in my life.
Not well. And in a way that’s I mean ultimately that that’s the the success of, of drive and passion come together. Yeah. And and like I said when applied to the right focus area is important. And again, this is differentiate our huge respect for for what you’ve done, Eric. And, you know, this is the other thing, too, is, you know, I look at you today and folks will go and they can they can check out they’ll find pictures of you.
No one knows the story. Right. We like you said, how did I know that you were larger as as a child, right. That you struggled with, you know, with the fitting in. And ultimately, that can greatly impact the next ten and ultimately the next 70 years of your life. Yep. Those are unseen things that if latched on to and exploited in the right way, has made you an incredible partner to so many people.
Now, because you saw like I got two ways I could deal with this. I can hate the world. I can write a manifesto and I could be angry or I can take this passion in this sort of, you know, something something bad happened. Now I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to others.
Yeah. Yeah, it’s I just I think I’m just very thankful and just have a lot of gratitude that I went that route because life is it’s not very fun when you’re miserable.
No, no, and this is really the thing that I I appreciate that we we are starting to think, especially with the last year, recognize where we do need to be open about this and discuss these things, because they are they are happening regardless of whether we believe it or not. So that’s, again, a huge respect you for doing this. Thank you. I I’ve. If you have advice, then for for somebody who wants to, you know, you took this first principles approach, I see a problem, a large problem.
And I’m going to build something that’s going to solve that problem in the face of adversity. When you see somebody and they come to you and they say, Eric, I’m I’m thinking about doing my own thing, walking my own path. What’s your sort of first few words that you share with them to help them on that first couple of steps?
Why do you want to do it? That’s the wayas is the most important. What’s your what’s what what is underlying your reason for wanting to do this? Is it a need to help people? And insurance is your mechanism to do that. It’s great, right? Do you have a passion for coffee and you want to share that with other people? And that’s why you want to open a roaster or store, stuff like that, stuff that’s going to sustain them when it gets tough because it’s tough, right?
Because there’s times when, you know, early in your business, first two years, it could be financially scary and it likely will be financially scary. And you’re going to have to go to a place where you made that initial decision to do it and remind yourself why you did it. And in those dark moments, your purpose could be the only thing that moves you forward. So I would and I know there was a book about this. It start with the why.
And I think that’s a that’s a really good place to start because it’s the subtext that has the real answer in it. Right. It’s not the I want to do this or that because I think it’s cool. It’s the it’s the why underneath it that that is going to provide that strong foundation that’s going to get you through even the most tumultuous of times, especially as a as a founder. You you have to make sure that that’s infused in every part of the organization and the team.
Because if you don’t have that founding principle. Yeah. Then you know, it’s very easy for another one to come in and take its place. And that could be, you know, profit against, you know, being good. You know, it’s like it’s it’s very easy to see. And it’s also, again, like a weird thing of I talk to a balance, whereas before it’s like we have to have these businesses, they have to grow to employ people to give them opportunity.
And in doing so, at some point, they reached a size where they had to make decisions, which will then be decisions they never had to face before, personally and professionally.
Yeah, one of the things I love about Sara Blakely is she never took a penny of private equity money, you know, and it’s her company. She can run it in the way she wants to. And the principles can be hers and hers alone. Right. As soon as you get private equity involved in a company, the profit now becomes the the focus. And it’s OK that you have values as long as a profit is still there. But if the profits start hitting a roadblock, those values are going to be compromised.
And I would in anything I ever start to become a part of, you know, no matter how how tempting that that payoff might be, I would never, ever want to be a part of a company where a private equity firm owns a piece of or a public company because you’re just sacrificing that which makes you unique and special.
Yeah, that’s what I actually just read the book I figure I was concerned about. The Caesars is basically about the Caesars bankruptcy and talking about the the way of the battle of the shareholders in the private equity firms that ultimately audit the debt. It was an incredible story having you. You and I both spent a couple of decades, you know, in the financial industry. So we know how a lot of the stuff works. And it’s it’s weird that we today we people just like throw it around like, oh, yeah, they just got by KKR.
They got by somebody who was like some random private equity firm. You have no idea what that implication is for that organization. And, you know, sometimes it can be good because it means that they could find efficiencies that could get them back on to really discover that vision, but made them the corporation to begin with. Yeah, that’s why we see sometimes they go in and out of private equity. They can ultimately be rescued through those things. But it’s it’s we know it’s like when someone says, oh, congratulations, I see you just got funding.
Like, I don’t know if you want to congratulate me to sign a contract for your soul. Yeah, exactly.
It’s it’s a term sheet with the devil sometimes. But it yeah. It if it means that you can get to the point where you can bring this vision to a higher level of execution, then it’s fantastic.
But there are good and there are good private equity firms that are I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t, I shouldn’t make a generalization on that. But, you know, there are there are horror stories for the taking out there. So, you know.
Yeah. And that was the amazing thing is who is you know, even now those same firms are revisiting the way they approach things. They’ve had, you know, through the 80s and 90s especially, we saw real change in the industry. Yeah, and then the 2000s was, you know, the financial world kind of went sideways and that really opened the door for those with cash to ultimately have an unhealthy level of control over over asset, you know, repatriation.
And you know what? If we didn’t have that, you know, a lot of companies would be missing. You know, we saw J.C. Penney’s in and those are the world that are as they go into bankruptcy, but they will reemerge hopefully, you know, now hopefully healthy. And we can get back on top of it again.
But yeah. Yeah, I guess I guess what I’m just saying here is that I just wish that the world would care a little bit more about the rest of the world, you know, and that’s it. I’m sorry. I’m going into my horrifying dark tales.
No, I like it.
It’s ancient Greek conversation and that’s it, right when it all comes down to it. Isn’t it amazing when we can look and say, you know, I did this, I I’ve got Sony comes up to you and they say thank you and it can be the smallest thing. Yeah, but they learned that brought them to an outcome that they hadn’t expected was available to them yet.
Yes. And they made it in their life, which changed because of it for the better. Yeah, absolutely.
That’s why we’re put on this earth. And I guess I hope that more people see the opportunity to affect it as well, even in small ways. Like you said, like we can go to a shelter, we can do small giving things in small time giving things.
You don’t have to do everything. Just do something from the man who doesn’t do anything but everything there.
Thank you to you guys.
It’s it is I my wife always tells me she’s I share a similar fate of of throwing myself into things as you do. Eric, it’s funny because, you know, a friend of mine has pictures like this, Wolf, like with his, like, big gritting teeth and it says bite off more than you can chew, chew harder.
That’s where I keep going.
I’ll always have this look like I’m overwhelmed constantly. And then, like, all of a sudden a meeting gets canceled and you’ve got an hour of your life that you never thought you had. And also, I’m like, I can do five hours of work in this one hour. I immediately think of way too many things to squeeze into that time. But it’s it’s in it’s in our nature. And and the good thing is when you do this enough.
You know, you get enough things that stick, and that’s why, you know, folks like you inspire me to do like those kind of things, right? It’s it’s such a beautiful treat when you can see the result of it come through. And I remember seeing a talk. I forget who it was. The clinical psychologist might have been Dr. Jordan Peterson, polarizing figure for some. But and he said that creative people tend to create an incredible amount of value, but rarely for themselves.
And it’s it reminds me of your story, Eric, it’s like you you do so much, the side effect is that it will come back to you and I’m pleased that it has been able to do so. And I hope that much more does come back to you. And it comes you give.
Yeah, and it’s just about. Putting in as much as you can and letting the universe do its thing, I said, eventually you find yourself, you’re talking to your friends and they’re like, so what do you what do you what do you do? You know, do you sort of explain to them? And they they start to just their eyes start to widen up and they’re like, I’m getting tired just listening to you describe what you do. I can’t imagine actually doing it.
And it’s fun. It’s it’s like it’s I live in Florida. It’s beautiful here. And I’m very fortunate. And, you know, I get to talk to smart people like you. And now I am lucky enough that I have an amazing woman who loves me and, you know, it’s just strong family, strong friends, and it’s about relationships and just loving what you’re doing.
That’s it. Know, and it’s this interesting thing I’d love for you to share know balance is not something you know well, but how do you. How do you take time to see the joy that you’re able to experience, because I imagine that you’re you know, Elon Musk also described you. Some people said, look, what’s it like when you go home? It’s like, you know, 1:00 in the morning and you’re finally free. You know, what’s it like?
He’s like that’s when it gets the worst, because now my mind is racing of what I can do. Right. So how do you how do you actually sort of disconnect or take time to find that opportunity to have gratitude and enjoy the things that are available to you?
Long walks and ESPN where you go? Yeah, you do. You schedule it in. I’m always curious about something that you just kind of when when the opportunity arises, you take advantage.
When I need to when I need to go for a long walk and clear my head, I go, I do it. You know, Wimbledon is on this week, so I get to watch some tennis. College football will be on again. And, you know, I can kind of lose myself in that. And it’s yeah, there’s there’s plenty out there. I, you know, a good a good slice of pizza, that’s all I need a good slice of pizza.
And in some sports is all I need.
Well, you know, what’s what is amazing that we forget sometimes is that it literally is that little of a thing that if you actually focus on appreciating it, it can be incredible.
Yeah, anything. This whole thing of like if I am not, you know, Turks and Caicos for three weeks, I can’t possibly unwind. I can unwind in the trip down the stairs to go see my wife. Yeah. That’s that’s how I’ve I’ve learned to not have to wrap a package around relaxation because it’s hard. I won’t I will never fit it in. But if I can learn that I can go for a run in or a bike ride or just a walk and go sit out with my my youngest daughter and blow bubbles on the front porch, how great is that?
And that’s what you’re going to remember. You’re not going to remember the meeting that you had yesterday. You’re going to remember the the thirty minutes you sat with your daughter on the front stoop and you blew bubbles with her and made her day doing it, right?
Yeah, I, I wish we had I wish we had a pure assurance for that kind of joy.
You never know what the next iteration may hold.
There you go. There you go. So for folks that did want to get connected. Yeah. With you Eric. And find out more and how they can get in, you know, see what’s available to them, what’s the best way they could do that.
They you can actually download my digital business card by typing the word covered covid already to twenty one thousand. And from there you can you can email me, you can make an appointment to chat with me. I don’t I don’t pressure I don’t provide any pressure. If you would like me to look at your current plan and assess it, I’m happy to do that. And you know, you can go to pure surance dotcom and just read a little bit more and you know, whatever you like to do, I’m easy.
Oh that’s you. You are easy to work with and easy to converse with. And thank you Eric. It’s been a real pleasure.
Yeah. I enjoyed this.
It’s, this is why I love people always say like they I got told over and over again to the start they’re like whatever you do don’t go past like twenty to thirty minutes because people won’t pay attention to like then you clearly don’t know the people that I know because what happens in the first thirty minutes is we get to talk about really neat stuff. And then beyond 30 minutes, you get to discover how that became neat to that person. Yeah, and I find that that’s my favorite part of every conversation, is when you really get to why.
And it’s it’s so much fun.
This, by the way, is why I could never pick up girls, because I could never do small talk. I’m always interested in, like, knowing what the real thing is and I can never do small talk. So any relationship I’ve ever had, it was like the girl coming to me and not not the other way around.
Well, you’re you’re giving person. And so I imagine that it’s infectious in every way that thus it would make you attractive to, you know, to people as a business partner and as a life partner.
Oh, I’m punching way above my way with my wife. I likes me.
Well, I tell you to talk about appreciation, you know, when when people understand the story, like I said, no one gets the story that led you to the moment of your start in business. Right. And even like Anthony Robbins is also an interesting example. People look and they say like, oh, you know, of course, he’s this super workout guy and he’s super successful. Like what? What makes me appreciate and admire him is not his current state.
It’s that he was very overweight, chose to aggressively attack that problem and get his health under control. He had real success with finances and failed as well. He had success in relationships and failed and recovered as well. Right. So it’s not about it going perfectly. In fact, it’s adversity that most often drives the most incredible people.
Yeah, yeah. And he knows that the only thing that you can control is your effort and you have 100 percent control over that. So.
It’s it’s something we all need to look to. So there you go, folks, go for a walk. Smile, smile as you take a bite of a beautiful slice of pizza. And remember that. And these are the moments that count. And they’re there because, you know, you got friends like Eric IHR in your back pocket who are going to help you with the stuff that you shouldn’t have to care that hard about. And so go to.
Thank you, Eric.