“Success is not about money, success is about being able to change people’s lives.” – Leah Schumacher
Success comes from digging deep, from toiling in the soil, from planting seeds, nurturing them, and watching them grow. It takes time. And if you put in the time, then you can reap the harvest.
Leah Schumacher knows all about that process. For years, she’s watched her dad do the same—work the earth to provide for the family.
“I grew up in a small town in the panhandle of Texas,” says Leah. “I come from a farm family. My dad is a farmer and to this day, he still works his hands to the bone. It’s in our blood to work hard every day. I consider myself fortunate because I learned that work ethic from my parents.”
Leah’s parents worked on their family the same as they did the farm, planting, nurturing, and watching their children grow and succeed.
“I have two younger brothers,” says Leah. “My brothers loved sports and went on to get sports scholarships in college. I was more into the social aspect of school. I played tennis, but just to get a tan,” she laughs. “But I was more involved in the competitive things the school had to offer. My dad grew up in a big 4-H family. So, he pushed us to do the same.”
For those who might not know, 4-H is a “U.S.-based network of youth organizations whose mission is engaging youth to reach their fullest potential, while advancing the field of youth development” through various projects. These projects can be in any of five different fields, including agriculture and livestock, family and community health, leadership and citizenship, natural resources, and STEM.
Leah says she learned a great deal from 4-H and the skills transferred to her working career.
“Looking back, that taught me so much,” says Leah. “4-H builds character, it teaches you how to speak to people, something that helps me now in my career with USHEALTH Advisors. I was also involved in FCA, Future CareerMakers of America, which teaches leadership skills. You could be involved in different categories. I competed in the job interview category. I’d go in front of judges and I would teach workshops with people in my own age group and with their advisors. I was able to travel and so it helped a lot with social development. You grow and come across as confident and it prepares you for what comes later in life.”
What’s come later in life is Leah’s flourishing career as a Field Training Agent with USHEALTH Advisors. Leah has been with the company only about 18 months and she is already helping and serving to change lives, one person or one family at a time.
And Leah’s doing it the way her dad taught her: working the farm.
“My business is really 100 percent referrals,” says Leah. “Five days after I graduated from college, I moved about seven hours away to the big city, Richardson, Texas. But I’m still tied to my roots, I’m so close with my family and my community. I grew up in such a small town, I had only 42 people in my graduating class. In my town, everybody knew everybody, they knew what you were going to do before you even did it! Now, that’s where I get most of my business because people in small, tight-knit communities know your name, and you’re the one they go to before everybody else. I’ve always been a person who is friends with everyone. Wherever I’ve been, I can make friends easily, I don’t really know a stranger. And that small community needs me, it’s always a part of you, those are the people that raised me.”
Now it’s Leah’s chance to give back. And she’s doing it based on her strength of “being social.”
“I’ve always been active on social media and as soon as I started this career, (in March of 2018), I started sharing what I’m doing. Not everyone started reaching out to me right away, but they told me they took screenshots of my posts and some started contacting me months later. They definitely take someone they trust over some random person calling them. The people in my hometown, or with the other company where I worked, I know in most cases our paths have crossed at some point. I’m in a closed Facebook women’s group as well. The group has nearly 5,100 members and the most talked about topic is healthcare.”
Before USHEALTH Advisors, Leah worked for more than a decade at COACH, the high-end fashion accessory designer. It made sense since Leah had majored in fashion, design, and merchandising in college.
“I was always a top performer,” says Leah. “I was my boss’s right-hand man. I was the go-to person. I developed a proven track record and was nominated for leadership awards and stock options each year, which I called golden handcuffs because they kept you tied to the company. I went 100 percent in with that business, just like I do with anything I believe in. I live and breathe and become obsessed with whatever I’m doing—I give it my all. I would work 60 hours a week and then some, and always understood this is my job, this is what I signed up for.
“But I had no life and with no team, you’re it. I never got to go home for Thanksgiving and was off only 36 hours for Christmas. After my last holiday there in 2017, I hit a wall. I decided I had enough. I left. The day I left, I sat in my garage and stared at the wall, and thought what had I done. But I just knew there was something bigger and better for me out there, and I would have no problem finding it, and I did.”
Leah found it because she had done more farming—planting the seeds of some important relationships and nurturing them over the years.
“I met Lore Soto, (who is now a Field Training Agent with USHA), through a mutual friend at a Christmas party about 10 years ago,” says Leah. “We were both in retail and we would bump into each other from time to time, as well as help each other network. When Lore started at USHEALTH Advisors, I saw her post on Facebook, I glanced at it, and saw she had changed careers but didn’t pay too much attention to it until the day I left my job. I reached out to her.
“She and I have different personalities, but we are cut from the same cloth in our background. Plus, we had just both worked jobs where it was “kiss and kick”, you could never do enough for the retailers, they’d always compliment you but then show you or tell you how you could have done more or better. Lore told me USHA was doing interviews for sales positions and told me I should come in. She said I was one of only three friends she would mention this opportunity to. I went in for the pitch, I met Jay and Teaira Still, and it ended up being the only job interview I ever went on. That was it for me, I was in.”
But just like anything new you do in life, you must first embrace and accept change.
“There were definitely some challenges and low moments getting started here, because I came from a job where I knew everything and I was the go-to person,” Leah says. “Starting at USHA was a very eye-opening experience for me and there were times I would say to myself, ‘This is not the best day, but OK. Just shake it off and start over tomorrow.’ I’d wake up and say, ‘Yesterday was not a great day, but I learned something and I’m going to go out and do it and make it happen today.’ There are people at this company that have families and that is their why for doing this, but I AM my why. I know I can do this, and I know what I am capable of. We get so few opportunities like this in life, and I am definitely where I am supposed to be.”
Leah has worked hard from day one at USHEALTH Advisors.
“I actually only had three days to go to hit my $100,000 in issued business in my first 13 weeks here,” says Leah. “But then I got on a roll and ended up issuing $200,000 in annual volume in the next 13 weeks at the company and earning the Beacon award from my Division.”
Leah’s big roll began because of all the seeds she had planted when she first started at USHA, making sure everyone in her hometown knew what she was doing now, and once one happy client referred Leah, things started to really take-off.
“My business exploded overnight,” says Leah. “I helped someone who is a boutique owner in my hometown. I bought a few things at her store over the summer for my nieces. After I helped her with her policy, she put a post on Facebook and it probably got me close to $300,000 in business. I wasn’t expecting that post to go viral like that, but she has 4,000 followers on social media because of her store and she does Facebook Live as well, so she’s very popular.”
Leah’s advice for a new agent: You have to embrace the uncertainty in the beginning.
“This all just doesn’t fall in your lap,” says Leah. “You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable to get to the places you want. Being real and genuine is key. It’s so rare that you get to talk to people in business and they thank you for being kind and nice. You have to have emotion and passion. They feel what you feel. If you don’t believe in it, they won’t either. Your personality is your trademark, it’s your talent, it’s your business card. They are sold on you! I may not be for everyone, but I am for some people. My presentations are like just old friends catching up. By the time my clients and I get off the phone, we are best friends. They always buy you more than they buy the product.”
Leah also knows to be successful, you have to buy into a system. She believes what makes a difference in this business is how you start and end your day.
“I get up between 4:45 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. every day. I’m a ball of energy. I make my list of what I have to do that day before I go to bed that night. I have notebooks full of lists. I write it down so I remember it before I close down my day or put my work away for the night. Once I’m up in the morning, I’m working on my thought process, because whatever thoughts you start your day with, your whole day will go that way. Whatever you put out there in the universe is what you will attract. It’s your life, you control your happiness, you control everything in your life.
“I also learned NOT to pick up my phone until I leave my house, no one needs you that bad that early. After I hit the gym, then I’m at the office. I spend most days at the office because I love being around people. My team and I go to breakfast every Monday morning, recap our weekends, then regroup and head into the office together. Fortunately, we’re all morning people, so it works.”
Leah continues, “You also can’t spend time comparing yourself to other people. Comparison is the thief of all joy. I’m always trying to find ways to motivate my team and to help them find their why, with things like podcasts or books. Right now, I’m reading ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne. I just think it has some great insight. I tell my team members, ‘You have to find time to sit with yourself, to find out what drives you and motivates you.’”
It’s the people you touch in life, the lives you change that bring about satisfaction and fulfillment. Leah believes the opportunity with USHEALTH Advisors creates this sense of satisfaction in her life, and it’s because of the clients she gets to serve. She makes them feel valued and appreciated, and they, in turn, do the same for her.
“I have clients who have sent me flowers,” says Leah. “Some just want to say thank you, for example, for helping their wife or mom be able to quit their jobs. In the farming and ranching industry, a big market I serve, a lot of moms work only to provide health coverage for the family. And so many times, I’m able to help with a health policy that lets the mom now stay at home and raise her kids. Everyone has a dream and a goal they want to reach and I’m happy to be a part of that.”
It all flows, it all fits for Leah—her purpose, her why, and her chance to live the company’s mission of HOPE: Helping Other People Everyday. It all fits so well that it’s a mirror image of the note that Leah keeps on her mirror and looks at every day: Do everything with a good heart. Expect nothing in return and you will never be disappointed.
A good heart. A good career. A great life.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.