A Bag of Chips – Bryan Velasquez

“Even in the beginning, it made me realize what I’m capable of. And that’s what it does to anybody who comes to USHEALTH Advisors. It shows what you’re truly capable of, your true potential. If you have the right mindset, the winning mindset, the work ethic, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.” – Bryan Velasquez

You can’t always get what you want… until you want it bad enough. Bryan Velasquez says that once you find what you want, it’s simple, not easy but simple: “Stay true to yourself, never forget your purpose, and show up every day.”

Bryan has always been true to himself, and he knows how to work and to show up every day, even if for a decade it was for a myriad of what he describes as, “dead-end jobs.” But it wasn’t until that day in the hospital that he discovered his purpose, or perhaps what would lead him to his purpose.

Bryan wasn’t at the hospital because he was sick that day, but what happened at that moment made him sick to his stomach.

“I was with my son, my oldest son Oliver,” says Bryan, “he was about five at the time. We were at the hospital because there were some tests he had to get done. And while standing in the lobby, he asked me to buy him a bag of chips. At that moment, I was so poor, I had nothing, no money. I couldn’t do that for him. I’ll never forget that day, having to say no, that I couldn’t even buy that bag of chips.”

There are moments that take our breath away – and then there are moments when we realize we’re going to need to breathe – and take the next step to improve our situation. For Bryan, that day was the latter. Life was going to have to change. He had his children and he knew he had to do better for them.

At the time Bryan found USHEALTH Advisors he was 28-years-old and unemployed. More recently he had spent three years working, but even Bryan knew it was simply to try and make ends meet, and he couldn’t do a very good job of it because the job couldn’t give him what he and his family needed.

“I worked on a food truck, a food trailer, flipping burgers,” says Bryan. “This is a true story. I always tell it in my recruiting interviews. Before USHEALTH, I was working in a food truck in South Florida, in the heat, flipping burgers, making egg sandwiches, and washing dishes at night. I also remember scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees for $10 an hour. And I did that for three years before USHA! That’s hard to believe. That was my last job.”

That was 2016, and now six years later, no longer cooking and scrubbing, Bryan knows he’s still working hard, but now he’s making a difference. He’s helping and serving in a much different manner than working on the food truck. Now he can feed his family, and feed his soul, in a big way.

Since coming to USHEALTH Advisors, Bryan has helped enough clients to produce nearly $6 million in personal business and as a Field Training Agent and now a Field Sales Leader, has led his teams to the tune of more than $35 million in production. It’s a story of great success, of coming from nothing but never retreating, of still putting one foot in front of the other, until those steps led him to the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I had my back against the wall before I came here to USHA,” says Bryan. “My parents are immigrants, first-generation from Honduras, coming to America in the ’80s. I’m one of four kids, I have three siblings, an older and younger brother, and an older sister, so I was stuck in the middle. Because my parents came from a third-world country, things were much different over there. But my parents gave us a roof over our heads, which was obviously amazing since I know of people who have much less.”

“I learned a lot from them, how to just kind of figure it out. My dad worked at a retirement home and so he was there all day. And I’ll never forget, this was in the ’80s, he would ride his bike to work. He would ride 10 miles to work, every morning and night, before he had a car. My mom cleaned houses. So that’s another thing too that I was able to pick up from both of them was hard work. My parents finally did a little better and they were able to get out of that situation, we got out of the apartment, then got a duplex, and then a real house.”

Everything worthwhile takes hard work and while Bryan watched his parents do just that, he also says he learned how to be competitive from his brother. “I had an older brother who was two years older than me and he used to kick my ass,” laughs Bryan. “Growing up we were all competitive. I had my brothers so I love competing. Growing up in South Florida in the ’90s, you know, we did pretty much everything outside, sports, played basketball, soccer, football, and wrestling.”

“In high school, I was a competitive wrestler. So I was an athlete growing up and played soccer most of my life as well. Once I got to high school, I started lifting weights, so I got bigger. I played football and I wrestled for the last three years in school. I won a lot of different titles in south Florida. I should have gone to college, but I didn’t. Obviously, everything happens for a reason. But the work ethic that came out of the wrestling… that’s something I’ll never forget. That molded me for a lot that was to come in life, so just hard work, and pushing yourself to that uncomfortable limit.”

Yes, it’s cliche, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. But that’s why they are cliches, it’s what’s real, truths shared over and over again. Bryan says with USHEALTH Advisors, this truth was his greatest challenge.

“I went all-in once I got in contact with somebody who at the time recruited me to USHEALTH Advisors, says Bryan. “And at that time, it was only maybe five others working in my group. They were doing it from home with not much training. The only training we had were a few online calls every week. So it was hard. A brand new industry, I had no background in, I had no experience in, it was the most uncomfortable feeling ever. I’ll never forget that uncomfortable feeling, but I knew I had to get beyond it.”

Beyond that feeling and for Bryan, a chance to rewrite his story.

“Finally, Garrett Laughlin, (now a Division Leader with USHA), opened up that first office and I’ll never forget this too. He had texted us the night before, ‘Can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow.’ “And I remember that day, it was a Sunday. Garrett finally had enough money to open up the office and I didn’t want to go. I was so freaked out. I was like, man, I’ve been doing this from home. I’ve been trying to do this from home for the last four weeks. And I cannot figure this thing out, it’s not working for me at all. I didn’t even have a shirt or a tie, I’ll never forget it. I went to Walmart that same night. I bought a shirt and one of those zip-up ties, and I showed up the next day.”

Get up. Dress up. Show up. That’s half the battle to success. And a battle it is because resistance is war.

“I had to learn how to get out of that comfort zone,” says Bryan. “I showed up every single day. It just wasn’t clicking for me. And I went about two months, not getting paid, so almost quit. But failure wasn’t an option for me and I never forgot where I came from. I knew that a good habit takes time to build – and that nothing I was ever good at ever happened overnight. I knew I had to keep showing up every day no matter what. I related it to all my previous life experiences. I knew I had to push myself beyond my limits to see the results that I wanted. I remember looking my leader in his eyes, with tears in my own, because I was gonna quit… and that same week I finally got my first sale. There was too much on the line for me to give up. I had a family and so many that depended on me.”

Persistence, patience, and living with purpose. All character traits Bryan possessed, but now he added one more thing… watching how the best rose to success. Follow that yellow brick road.

“I followed what the guys at the top were doing and that’s pretty much what I did,” says Bryan. “I mirrored what they did. From day one the number one producers at the time were the ones recruiting me, Dave Zalka, Justin Brain, and guys like Ron Leonard. These guys were crushing it. And I remember just watching what they did and their routines, and I just pretty much mirrored it. I remember Ron Leonard would work on the weekends. So I said to myself, I’m working the weekends too. And again, the work ethic just never changed. It never has, it’s still in the office at 8 am. In fact, if you’re here at 8 am, you’re late.”

It’s also about teamwork. Bryan says there is no way he could do this alone. He tried in the beginning, but he experienced the isolation of working from home and it didn’t work. We’re all social animals, we all need each other. When the tribe comes together, with a universal mission, the tribe wins. Now, the office is where the “tribe” is, the team Bryan has helped create. It’s where winning happens.

“I have two Field Training Agents on my team, without them this doesn’t work, they’re my backbone,” says Bryan. “So communication’s everything. We’re always in communication all day long, every single day. My philosophy is you have to treat this like a business, like an entrepreneur, what you put into it, you’re going to get out of it. If your store is closed on Saturday, you’re not getting revenue. If it’s closed on Sunday, there’s no revenue coming in.”

“So I like to use that same philosophy as you got to have your store open every single day. So I put time into the business every day, parts of seven days, but Monday through Friday it’s in the office. It’s not optional, for the agents as well too. It’s been like that since the very beginning. We don’t deviate from it. And it shows in our numbers. We’re a smaller team. We have about 20 average writers a week. And right now we’re number six, year-to-date, as a Field Sales Leader team in the nation. Don’t reinvent what has worked since the very beginning. Since day one we all pretty much do the same thing, you can put your own little twist on it. But at the end of the day, it comes down to who really wants it the most.”

What Bryan has wanted from the beginning is to be there for his children as well. He has three, Oliver, who is now 12, Alice, who is 11 and Jack who’s six. Just recently, because of his success at USHA, Bryan was able to buy a home much closer to them in Coral Springs, Florida.

“With my kids, we’re always on the go,” says Bryan. “Weekends are big for us, because I only get them every other weekend. We love going to the theme parks in Orlando. Alice loves to ride the rollercoasters, so I find myself in Orlando a lot. In fact, all the kids love doing the rides and the water parks. I think I’m a fun dad.” And to add to the fun, Bryan has his girlfriend Chloe in his life now as well. “Chloe and I have been together for two years. She’s my backbone and plays a huge role in today’s success.”

It’s been quite the ride for Bryan, as it is for so many who take on life and take a shot at living it to the fullest. It’s those who create a phenomenal dedication to loving life itself as a ministry of kindness and service to the many, who win. Bryan is winning and he has a deep-hearted description of his current experience at USHEALTH Advisors.

“It’s a sanctuary for me,” says Bryan, “just to see what we’ve built in the short time we have been here. My leaders and I work really hard. So we love what we have. We really do. You know, we’re very passionate about everything we do. Leadership is about making everybody better around you. You’re there to change somebody’s life for the better. If you have the position to be at the top and you can extend your hand to help someone else, that’s what it’s all about. Because I remember being there, just starting out you know? So, it’s everything for me.”

And thinking back to that moment in the hospital lobby, when his son asked for a snack from the vending machine, something so small that at the time Bryan couldn’t even provide, now his experience and the work he’s put in have created a new life for himself and his children. Because of his hard work with USHA, Bryan’s become all that to the ones he loves, his children and his agents… to coin a phrase… all that, and a bag of chips. 

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Your Storyteller,
Mark Brodinsky

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