Interview with Zack Duby (@zacharyduby)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I never really felt like the 9 to 5 job was a lifestyle I adhered to. It was never the life I imagined for myself when I was younger. I wanted something I could make my own and build up into something I could be proud of. Being your boss also sounded better than always answering someone else. Choosing to go into the insurance business was risky because it’s a job with benefits that primarily depend on performance. It only reaped the rewards for me if I was willing to put in the time and money initially. And at the time, my family needed to see stability and functionality in me. I wanted to have the ability to give them the life they deserved. So, I dove headfirst and gave it my all.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?

I probably wouldn’t say that selling insurance is the most interesting job. It’s not like being a surgeon or a firefighter who experiences different things every day. So, the most interesting story to happen to me since joining this industry was being approached by multiple companies looking to hire me as an agent. Being new and mostly naïve about which jobs to say “yes” to, I got myself entangled with a company with ridiculous expectations. Things such as demanding I memorize a 2,400-word script and only offering a maximum of sixty percent commission were among them. I wanted to make fast money and got too impatient instead of trusting the process. I now work for a different company that doesn’t have absurd demands and offers me one hundred percent commission on my sales.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?

The best advice I can give any new insurance agent is to do your research, study the policies, get familiar with the different types of life insurance and annuities, and know and understand all the terminology. If you are required to buy your leads, get high-quality leads, but also mix in quantity, as well. The more calls and appointments, the better. Always be prepared. If you are, you’ll breeze through the appointments you have set and meet the goals you have for yourself.

Furthermore, always remember that at the end of the day, we are helping families get protected and making sure their family is taken care of when unexpected life events occur. Working in this business means working in your own space and deciding your hours. While that work environment sounds pleasing at first, the “burnout” can come from staring at the computer screen for hours on end or even making the drive hours away to speak with a client. Going stir crazy is something I always struggle with. I would advise colleagues to remember it’s okay to take breaks and spend time away from their computers.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

The person I am most grateful for is my wife. If it weren’t for my wife constantly supporting me, I wouldn’t have even taken this leap of faith, to begin with. She pushes me to do the best I can. She always backs my decisions and is forever trying to aid with every situation that arises in any way she can. She is truly my rock, and our family wouldn’t be where we are without her. When I first told her I wanted to sell life insurance, she didn’t even wait for me to tell her why. She trusted me and gave me a motivational speech that made me think I could take on anything that came my way.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

That’s simple. My wife and I find pleasure in giving back to people and charities. We believe in leaving this Earth better than how we found it. I have donated a significant amount of money to charities like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Toys for Tots, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and various GoFundMe pages. We’ve also introduced Christmas giveaways to our community in which we randomly select a participating family to gift money to. The goal is to offset any financial challenges a family may have during the holidays because we feel blessed to have so much to give. My son was born at twenty-eight weeks and spent the first four months of his life in the NICU. My wife and I took this opportunity to donate to nonprofit organizations, such as Graham’s Foundation, to aid in the research to lower premature births and help other parents who spend a significant amount of time in the NICU. I truly believe in building a longer table with enough bread to go around.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

My favorite “Life Lesson Quote” is, “never a failure, always a lesson.” When I was in school, I always had teachers or principals telling me that my future would be working in fast food and not graduating. They believed I would amount to nothing because my grades were bad or I wasn’t cut out of the same cloth as the other kids. They only saw a child that would rather play video games than read a book. I let it get to me. One day, I spoke to a longtime family friend, and they told me that life is full of obstacles and tests and to learn. Sometimes you need to fail. Since then, I have had setbacks but have only looked at them as a chance to do better. I used their words as motivation and bounced back stronger. It took me a long time to start believing in myself, but eventually, I learned that I could be more than who they said I was. So, I like to think that you will only be that much closer to success with every failure.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

If people want to follow me on social media, they can follow my Instagram (@zacharyduby) or my Twitter (@unpreferable) to keep up with my journey. I will soon be looking into providing coaching sessions to help people overcome some of my obstacles in the industry. These sessions will include information on how to get started in the industry, maintain a sustainable income, optimize time when agents have families, and help them with any other life obstacles. No one deserves to feel alone when we live in a world with billions of people.

Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?

Insurance isn’t an easy field to jump into, but you will achieve greatness when you get the hang of it and understand what products and services you are selling. There are many different opportunities for every type of person within the insurance industry. You choose your hours and your schedule, and you are your boss. This is the first step toward financial freedom for you and your family.