By Ubong Essien, CSP (Mister Motivator)
Sometimes we can become so occupied with trying to achieve our goals and get to where we’re going that we totally forget how it all started. This piece is not only intended to serve as a reminder but also a tribute to the company that gave me my first start in life as a young lad in 1998. This is an appreciation, retrospectively, of the Surulere agency of Amicable Assurance Plc that gave me one of life’s most valuable gifts in one’s youth – the opportunity to place my foot on the first rung of the success ladder. The opportunity to learn all the basics and mechanics involved in the business of making and marketing Life Insurance.
I went in search of a salary but Amicable left me a legacy. I went in feeling entitled but came out reasonably settled, yes settled in the knowledge that I had found my calling in the world of motivation and human achievement. Like most people searching for job, I had gone into Amicable in search of the typical short term benefits but would later leave with more long-term dividends. How you might ask? The first three weeks were devoted to all sorts of training on Life Insurance and other matters that carried an achievement motivation tinge. I enjoyed both but the former appealed stronger to my soul.
At the end of it all, there were to be no monthly salaries but purely commissions and no transport allowance to say the least. You had to get out on the road and pound the streets in that then most unpopular quest of persuading a skeptic and superstitious Nigerian populace to buy Life Insurance. What could be tougher than being employed to do what was perhaps then the most unpopular job in town without pay?
Within weeks some of my colleagues had quit and disappeared. But I held on for months in spite of all the noise that I do same. I held on for longer because gradually some of the values in the Amicable Education I had gotten started getting to my mind and reshaping my outlook on life.
I never eventually sold any Life Insurance Policies but I was sold for life on some key policies that now insure me. Policies such as persistence, goal setting, focus, learning and several others. I have used these policies and they continue to insure my lifestyle fourteen years later. The only premium I paid was a combination of Time, Attention and Practice (TAP). Turn on your TAP.
Now I truly and fully understand and appreciate what Jim Rohn meant about the major question to ask in life – “Not what are we getting but what are we becoming?” Wherever we find ourselves as employees or associates or partners or as volunteers let this be the major question you ask.
The Amicable Assurance Experience helped me find my voice. And ever since, I have never looked back. I recall a couple of years ago during my heydays on national television giving motivational talks, the very man who headed the Amicable Agency that initiated us into the insurance business, Mr Adekoya called me with a sense of pride having watched my live TV talks. He could not have been happier. Though I was no longer in the insurance business and the company was now defunct, for him I had become a poster boy for all the good that Amicable embodied and like it or not, Amicable was still alive and well.