Starting your own company is no joke. For many, it requires taking a leap into the unknown which can be scary. #Like A Boss is a salute to women brave enough to go off on their own and build a company from the ground up. There are two qualifications for being profiled on #Like A Boss. First, your company must be your primary source of income. Second, you had to have been the founder or co-founder of the company. These women mean business and were willing to put their careers on the line to prove it. They handle their companies with authority and finesse. LIKE A BOSS.
Next up is a woman who is changing how we view the insurance industry. Meet Mindy Lamont founder of The Insurist.
What is your company?
The Insurist is a modern day insurance agency with a focus on efficient technology and transparent communication. I like to say we’re a blend of the best of old world insurance agency management and new world technology. We create solutions for humans and companies with a need for life, health, disability and long term care insurance. And we do this without all the typical artifacts of the insurance industry (the suits, the cufflinks, the shoes). We’re real people who want to do business with real people. I recently heard an advertising company describe themselves as “owned and operated by refuges of large agencies” and that’s EXACTLY who we are.
What inspired you to start the company?
Oh gosh…is there a politically correct way to say bu***hit? I’ve been in the industry for a long time and have been blessed to work with only the finest. But. There are flaws in the industry that make it its own worst enemy at times and I wanted to do it without those flaws. And I have always dreamed of getting back to being an owner. I was 19 when I was in corporate management, and although it was GREAT for me and my future, it’s not of my same soul. I wanted to create a place where people who want to do good work with good people are given the space to do just that…without the time suck of endless meetings and corporate politics. I wanted to create an insurance agency where reality could be kept simple and fun. Most people don’t think of the word fun when they think of insurance products, but I say it’s possible.
How many employees does your company have?
We’re at five today and growing. If I had kept all who have showed up, we’d be at eleven. I’m really intent on keeping a culture of transparency, drive, fun, and creativity.
How is your company different from your competition?
It’s going to be hard to honestly answer this one without offending anyone, but we are quite different from the typical demographic of the industry. More than anything, I believe our approach to marketing and our branding is what sets us apart. If you compare our sites with our peers you’ll immediately see what I mean.
What are your favorite sites/blogs you check daily?
I try to stay out of the industry sites because there’s a lot of unnecessary noise there. That said, I do frequent LifeHealthPro.com and log on to the carriers sites first thing every morning to check the status of underwriting. The Kaiser Family Foundation has great information available on healthcare reform if you’re in to that sort of thing. Most of my blog reading is about nutrition and health: The Simple Veganista and Food Babe are two of my regulars. I’ve been a Seth Godin fan for years and when I want a good laugh I go to The Bloggess.
What’s the most difficult part about running your own business? How do you overcome those challenges?
The roller coaster of entrepreneurial life. You have to have the stomach for it or you’ll crumble. My best tools for overcoming the mental strain are good nutrition, yoga, and time spent with those I love. Having an awareness for when I need to focus some time on those three things is the hard part…but I’m making progress. I think.
What’s the most rewarding part about running your own business?
Owning your own life. The upside of the roller coaster is having complete control over your own life. While you may work twice as much as a non business owner, you get to choose when you put in those 60+ hours per week.
What’s one word of advice that you’d like to offer to anyone starting their own company?
What keeps you motivated?
I’m having a ball. And I have no personal plan B. When I started The Insurist I was operating with a plan B. I hit a rough patch and, oddly, a former colleague called the next day about working together. I took the offer. It lasted three days and went down in a ball of flames. And then I knew I had no plan B and this was it. The pace of progress accelerated from there and hasn’t slowed down.
What is your latest obsession? Restaurant, beauty regimen, workout, ect.
Orange Theory Fitness. One just opened a five minute walk from my house and I love the workout.
What women in LA inspire you?
Sophia Amaruso. I love what she’s doing with her life, her business, and her community. There are not enough girls in this world with her level of moxie. I’ve also been a big Jane Wurwand fan since I heard her tell a story of handing an employee a tooth brush and saying “here’s our dental plan.” It takes a lot of courage to stand behind that and to have your people follow you through it. She’s done that and has built an amazing thing with Dermalogica and all the company does.
What’s your website address?