Author of six books on the insurance industry, Troy Korsgaden is president of Korsgaden International in Visalia, California, serving as international insurance carrier and agent consultant, industry main-platform speaker, and representative trainer. Korsgaden advises most major companies in the insurance and financial services industry, working with large carriers, both in property and casualty and in financial services. He also serves as a subject-matter expert in the area of technology and how it applies in the backroom for carriers as well as their distribution. In 1983, Korsgaden established Korsgaden/Jansma Insurance Agency.
How did the concept for Korsgaden International come about?
Korsgaden International was created to help insurance carriers and agency/firms grow a bigger and stronger local advisor presence.
How was the first year in business?
Our first year was off the charts – both consulting and speaking were immediately at maximum capacity.
What was your marketing strategy?
I leveraged my bestselling book, Power Position Your Agency; the book sold more than 100,000+ copies. It gave us credibility and the opportunity to open doors on a national and international level.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
Every working day was immediately filled on the calendar for both speaking and consulting venues. My personal motto is, “Serve first and the money will follow.”
How do you define success?
Today, I define success as serving and being of service to companies and individuals, and hitting agreed growth metrics to build a sustainable distribution ecosystem.
What is the key to success?
Putting the customer at the center of all things. I have several cornerstones to success but believe that putting the customer first is a non-negotiable priority.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
In 1983, my mentor, Jay Green, gave me the best advice ever. He said, “Kid, only worry about the things you can control.” Thirty years later, it still rings true.
What are some of your favorite books?
I like reading Jim Rohn who wrote, Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle. He said, “The book you don’t read can’t help you.” With that being said, I am currently reading The Powers: Ten Factors for Building Exponentially More Powerful Brand by Peter van Aartrijk and Tony Wessling. I’m in the first few chapters and I have already found several golden nuggets to improve my business.
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
The toughest days for me involves the loss of a client for any reason. Next would be losing a team-member/employee for any reason.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
This is an easy subject. I’ve had a tremendous amount of personal and business adversity. Most of my adversity has been self-inflicted. I have always accepted adversity as a learning opportunity. However, recently I have found more personal peace in adversity. I have learned to surrender to the things that are beyond my control. I am more effective when I surrender and focus on my strengths without trying to control everything at the same time.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Focus everything you do on giving great service. If you put the client first and don’t focus on how much you’re going to make, the money will flow naturally.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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