Is Imposter Syndrome holding you back from becoming an appointed representative and starting your own insurance broking business, becoming one of the new broker start-ups of 2021? The chances are that it might be.
If you don’t know what it is, it’s that little voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough and have just been lucky to achieve what you have. It’s the niggling doubt about your own level of skill. It’s the belief that you don’t have what it takes to be a high-flyer, even though you probably are one, in everyone else’s eyes. It’s the inner demon that makes you sure that you’ll be caught out one day and people will see you as the ‘talent fraud’ that you are.
Don’t worry if this all rings true. Lots of us have this syndrome and, whilst it used to be associated more with women, it’s recently been proved to be just as prevalent amongst men. It’s linked to low self-esteem and it is a real killer of ambition.
How Imposter Syndrome deprives the sector of great insurance appointed representatives
One of the most frustrating things about running the Gauntlet Group appointed representative network is that we know that our very own criteria – to recruit high-flyers and true insurance professionals – opens us up to a pool of talent in which a larger proportion of potential appointed representatives will never make the move, purely because of Imposter Syndrome.
Despite us having many meetings, each year, with candidates who could make fantastic appointed representatives and bring something fresh to the sector as an insurance start-up, some never get going. Something holds them back from crossing the starting line. For some, it’s probably too easy to say that it’s because they don’t want to be without a guaranteed income, particularly when there is so much job uncertainty in the market. It’s perfectly likely that some of the potentially brilliant new brokers, who we could help launch, are simply listening to their inner voice in an irrational way.
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome to start your own insurance brokerage
The ‘rational you’ would realise that it is you that is keeping your existing employer buoyant on the basis of the commission earnings that you are generating and that you could continue to bring in such income, but keep more of the spoils yourself. The ‘irrational you’ will invent things that would happen to suddenly put the equivalent of writer’s block on your sales performance.
Gauntlet’s managing director, Roger Gaunt, has some advice. He says: “After 12 years of seeing this syndrome hold some truly talented insurance account executives back, I can only urge anyone who does feel unworthy and ‘lucky’ about what they’ve achieved, to write the reasons for feeling that on a piece of paper, with another column alongside which details why they shouldn’t view things that way. Then, just take a few minutes to see which column actually makes more sense, at a logical and factual level.”
Next Steps to Starting Your Insurance Brokerage as an appointed representative
If you can get over the Imposter Syndrome hurdle and recognise that you are being too hard on yourself when it comes to your talent, maybe it’s time for some affirmation of the new you? Starting your own insurance brokerage can be life-changing and provide you with a whole new lifestyle, built how you want it. To start your own insurance brokerage, you have two options – either wait some considerable time for FCA approval and prove that you have the financial backing to start a brokerage, or set up almost immediately by working under an appointed representative network principal’s FCA approvals. The latter will also allow you to tap into a whole support package that will make life much easier for you as a start-up and which will keep your start-up expenses as low as possible.
In Gauntlet Group’s case, our appointed representatives benefit from FCA compliance, professional indemnity cover, award-winning Acturis IT, access to 210 insurers and facilities, the schemes and other support that we derive from our special relationship with Willis Towers Watson Networks, a superb training school, broking support and mentoring by one of our broking team, full back-office administration support and client money handling, peer networking opportunities and marketing support services.
What facilities and equipment do you need to become an appointed representative?
All of this makes the transition from employed insurance account executive to self-employed independent insurance broker start-up, as smooth, painless and cost-effective as possible. All you really need is a computer, a desk and a phone – and the ambition to propel yourself forward.
Of course, not everyone can overcome Imposter Syndrome. In fact, as Roger Gaunt says: “When it comes to the top performing insurance account executives who could have made it as successful ARs, I shall just have to reflect on the ‘ones that got away’ and hope they have
no regrets about the move they didn’t make.”
If you have a dream of starting your own insurance brokerage, don’t let that be you.