What do you feel is your life’s purpose?
For me, it all starts with my family. I want to be the best father to my 3 amazing kids, Ryan, Joey and Andy. And also the best partner to my wife, Lisa. They are the key to my best life. Beyond that, it’s to make people laugh and smile and feel good – I know it sounds a little cheesy – but it’s the truth. Some say I’m a bit of a goof – think of Phil Dunphy from Modern Family – either he’s my role model or they modeled him after me. I guess it’s the latter, since I was here first.
What key life lessons have you learned from being a parent that applies in business?
People’s feelings matter – so don’t tell them that they shouldn’t feel a certain way. That’s a key lesson I’ve learned from my kids that I apply in business all of the time. Listen to what is being said, not how it’s being said. Don’t get caught in worrying about how they deliver the message, look for the underlying message that they are presenting and focus on responding to that.
Is it hard to be in sales and make calls to friends?
Sales at its core is about helping people to find a solution to their needs/problems. So every call I make, I’m trying to create value for the person on the other end of the line. In the case of calling friends, it’s all that much better because I get to catch up with them on what’s going on in life! I love connecting with people, having a laugh and making stuff happen.
Is it possible to have disability insurance when you are self-employed?
Absolutely it is. If you would be unable to earn an income because of your disability, then the coverage will be helpful. What I discovered in researching disability insurance for Lisa is that if you’re making a disability claim, you would need to show the insurance company that you can’t earn income in your position due to the disability. Since insurance companies don’t want to payout claims, they can make it more than challenging. But the value is there and I enjoy exploring the options of value.
Do you believe in buying life insurance? Aren’t living benefits better?
It’s not a question of whether one is better than the other. They both provide a solution to a need. Life insurance protects against the worst catastrophe – and how your family can carry on living without financial worry. Living benefits on the other hand can be extremely useful to help replace income in the case of illness/accident, that way you can focus on taking care of yourself for a period of time rather than on how you’re going to pay the bills. It always sounds better to me to have benefits while alive and well rather than when we aren’t.
For Lisa and I, it was important to be able to sleep knowing that if one or both of us were to die or become ill, that the other could carry on without a major and added financial burden. I’ve thought about what losing an income will mean for being able to support where we live, how we live, the education of your children etc. In our case, we have both life insurance and critical illness coverage.
Nobody likes thinking about their own mortality – but the reality is that we will all die at some point – we just don’t know when. Insurance to me is creating security against the worst – and it’s important to do it sooner than later – because you never know.
Do you believe in health care over disease care?
I believe that we need to always think about taking good care of ourselves. If I can make some choices now that will give me a better chance for living a longer, healthier life, then I’m all in. But you never know what’s going to happen. Lisa was on bed rest with our youngest for 6 months and that was certainly not planned for a decade ago, and took a toll in many ways, but out of it came solutions for better living and our wonderful 3rd child!
Favourite morning routine?
Ideally, it starts with a sleep in – but I can’t seem to get past 7:30 anymore, no matter what time I go to bed or how hard I try! A great day for me starts with a quick check on e-mails that came overnight, followed by a workout (a run or hockey preferred), followed by breakfast with my kids before sitting back down to work. My first step is to make the priority list, followed by starting to check things off (of course, it won’t take long before other urgent needs come up from a client that change my day’s focus, but rolling with it all makes it easier than working against it).