“If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time.” – Will Smith, Actor
It starts with a foundation and grows in kind. Jacquelyn Levine grew up with a strong sense of family, of committing to making herself the best she could be, of watching her parents work hard in their own business and now she is paving the way for others.
It all begins with love.
“I grew up in Sarasota, Florida with parents who have been married 43 years,” says Jacquelyn. “I have a little sister and it was always a family-oriented environment. My parents were entrepreneurs, my grandparents owned their own restaurant and deli, so my family was really focused on goal-setting and working hard. But every night we still had the family meal, one night each weekend we did things together as a family, we did a lot of things together. You had to work hard, not doing well in school was not an option for my sister and I. Growing up it was important we focused on our studies.”
There was also a little bit of the arts to explore, one which taught Jacquelyn to focus on discipline and beauty. “I chose to minor in ballet in college,” says Jacquelyn. “I didn’t do it because I was good at it, I did it because I just enjoyed the activity. It was very, very challenging, but very rewarding,” (remember those words). But when you are in school and a dance minor, the classes are three hours long, so you have to be ready to dance. You can’t go out and party. There’s a dress code too and it kept me disciplined and on-point to be a part of the program two-to-three days a week!”
Strength in body, strength in mind. Leadership qualities and activities that would serve Jacquelyn well in the not-too-distant future.
Earning a Masters in Psychology, Jacquelyn tackled the “real world” in the field of mental health counseling, but found it hard to make a living. “It was tough to make money,” says Jacquelyn. “I was capped at like $34,000 a year. I worked part-time in cosmetics just to pay the bills. I went back to school and became a medical aesthetician. I worked in pharmaceuticals with a medical aesthetics company. It’s actually where I met my husband David. I was traveling all over. Then I got pregnant and I still worked and traveled. We got a live-in nanny and then I found out I was pregnant with our son and I just didn’t want to do it anymore.”
Jacquelyn continues: “I ended up doing consulting for an aesthetics company and by then I was having a terrible time with health insurance. Both my husband and I are self-employed. Obamacare had me paying too much in premiums and too much out-of-pocket. I felt like we were paying for nothing. I saw someone on Facebook post something about how they liked their plan and their agent. I wrote a nasty comment because I was fed-up with health insurance, but the agent contacted me anyway. I loved the plan she presented and I signed up and asked her if she loved the company, because I said I might like to do it. I got in touch with her manager and I immediately knew I wanted to come on board.”
It was the summer of 2016, the company was USHEALTH Advisors, the responsibility – offering affordable health coverage to the self-employed, individuals and families – and it was the next stop on the journey for Jacquelyn. “At first I was working from home,” she says. “My son was six-weeks-old and we were living in the Naples area. My husband was going to law school and then we moved to Sarasota.” For Jacquelyn it was a game-changer because she was able to go into the physical office to work. “Being able to work in the office every day I learned so much from the other agents,” she says. “But I think my whole first six months were a big challenge for me. I was not used to doing virtual sales and it was almost all virtual in the office. It was a big transition and there were many weeks I thought this just isn’t for me. It was not as easy as I thought it would be. But something in the back of my mind told me to just keep on going, just keep doing it and I would be successful.”
Success can be elusive, especially if your mind tells you otherwise and your work ethic starts to wane. But from her strong family foundation, to the examples of hard work from her parents, to the disciplines she learned in college – studying, dancing and her psychology background, all served her well to keep the faith. Success is not possible without faith, especially in yourself.
“I kept my eye on the goal I wanted,” Jacquelyn says. “I saw other people being successful in our office and across the country. I thought if they can do it, so can I. I told myself just keep doing what I was doing and the rest will fall into place. Just keep going through the motions and suddenly it will explode.”
Jacquelyn just wrapped up the 2017 campaign as a Field Training Agent, issuing over $1.2 million in personal business, and more than $3 million with her team, one application at a time. She has since been promoted to a Field Sales Leader and she’s not only focused on a big year, but her challenge of the family/work-life balance. “Since I grew up with a family of entrepreneurs I’ve always been a hard worker,” says Jacquelyn. “There’s a tendency in me to be a workaholic. So my big challenge here is the balance of family life, working hard and accomplishing the goals I want.”
And there’s one other challenge. Like most who are successful there’s the understanding that health is wealth. This spring Jacquelyn, her husband and another agent in the office are taking part in a triathlon. “My husband did his first one a few months ago and he did great,” Jacquelyn says. “His goal was just to finish without passing out…and he did it. Now he talked me into it. I will be doing the biking for the triathlon. The biking is 25-miles of the course. Now as part of my morning routine my 20-month-old watches me as I set up my bike with a trainer – a device you can attach to a regular bicycle to turn it into a stationary bike. I’m up to riding about an hour now which is about 15 miles, the goal is an hour-and-a-half, which is equal to 25 miles.”
It’s all about driving toward your purpose in life. “The thing I enjoy the most in life is helping people become the best that they can be,” says Jacquelyn. “And especially with USHealth Advisors, helping to develop leaders and inspire agents. I have one agent who is a single mom, and I believe was working as a bartender before she came here. She was not sure she was going to make it – was on the brink of leaving and then something clicked in her. She gave me her goals to produce a million dollars in business this year and is on track to earn more than she could ever have imagined. This opportunity with USHA opened doors she would never have been able to open on her own. Just three months ago she was struggling. For me to be able to help someone like that and take her to the next level, that is exciting for me and hope that’s what I’m remembered for.”
Jacquelyn says she also understands the essence of being a true leader. “I lead from the front – number one – I know my team really appreciates that, it’s about setting an example. I am also a huge Game of Thrones fan and on that program, there is a moment when Tywin Lannister, who hears his grandson brag about being the king, turns to his grandson and says, ‘any man who must say I am the king, is no true king.’ “To me, that means if you have to say you are something, then you probably really aren’t. I use that saying so much in my office and with my teammates. I think it’s very, very important to be humble. I think a true leader is someone who leads from their heart and doesn’t force themselves on people. They are leading people because they want to inspire them to be the best they can be.”
Words and actions that inspire others. That’s the mark of a true king.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.