Storytelling for Business: Be
“Stop lying to yourself about who you are, and why you’re that way. That’s your fuel, not something to hide. You can’t win until you embrace this.”
– Tim Grover, Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness
Being exactly who you were meant to be.
Try it some time, it’s not easy. Silence the noise around you, quash the desire to be noticed or accepted, stop following the rules others have made for you without your consent, and then try to live your life. The one designed for you.
If you want some advice on all of this, ask Jayme Lunsford. After years of fitting in and accepting the world around her, and the rules she was expected to follow, Jayme took the leap of faith. She went inside herself to realize who she really is and by doing so, her outside world forever changed.
In her present life, Jayme is a Field Training Agent for USHEALTH Advisors and since becoming a full-time agent in January of 2020, she’s crushing it. Since her first application that month, Jayme has issued more than $3 million in personal business and as a Field Training Agent, has led her team to nearly $10 million in sales.
While her business and her life are on fire, in a good way, Jayme says it wasn’t until she gave herself permission to be her true self, that she was able to fan the flames of living the life she truly wanted all along.
“I’m genuinely a happy person,” says Jayme. “But for a long time I wasn’t really happy and I couldn’t figure out why. I grew up very much trying to please people in a world where I felt I didn’t belong. My family is Southern Baptist, so I went to church regularly, was in the youth groups and it was expected I’d marry a good Baptist boy and have a bunch of kids. I tried to do that, but it didn’t work out for me. I didn’t want to just be a silent supporter and worker bee my whole life. I didn’t really like doing that. Like I said, I’ve always been this inherently happy person, but not able to sleep at night, ultimately because I wasn’t truly happy.”
Words can change your life. So can the awareness you’re not exactly where you want to be. If you look hard enough, you’ll find it. For Jayme, it was the single word in a quote she found that changed her mind and turned her life around.
“If you want to be happy, be.”
Jayme says it was that quote and that word from Leo Tolstoy which made her realize you must be who you are, who you need to be and be present in the situation you are in, to find true joy.
“A week later I got the word, Be, tattoed on my right wrist,” she says. “I can’t spread the joy if I don’t have it in me first. And that set me on a journey to find myself.”
“I was 34 at the time and I had been working as a physical trainer. You work everywhere you can in that profession to make a little bit of money. I was helping others to reach their goals and see their lives change. I was meeting so many incredible people. My first husband and I were heavily involved in the church, but the church didn’t smile at my job choice. They told me wearing the short shorts and the tall socks I wore as a fitness trainer was unacceptable, so we got kicked out of the church. None of it made sense to me. But what did make sense was I was living a life that didn’t work for me.”
Jayme and her husband eventually divorced. But she says while going through that tough time there was someone who helped her to see things differently. She explained to Jayme that if you focused on an important aspect of your existence, life would never be the same.
“Going through the divorce I had an incredible client I was working with at the gym,” says Jayme. “I’m a firm believer that people are in your life for a reason. And this woman Jackie, though 15 years older than me, was just a beautiful soul. She said to me, ‘in life, there are two kinds of people, fountains, and drains. If you’re a fountain and you surround yourself with drains, eventually your fountain will run out of water.’ “Now I knew how to proceed. I’ve come back to that many, many times in many situations. Everyone should work hard to surround themselves with fountains. I know I do.”
Jayme started to focus on abundance instead of scarcity and having made some scary changes in her life, she says it was just about that time a man named Perry Lunsford entered her world.
“Perry bought the gym where I was working,” says Jayme. “We became work friends, then good friends, and then we decided to go on a date, and as we both say, that date has never ended. Happiness has me being able to find me, to find that person and to be where I am now, be the parent I am, and raise the kids we have raised in my blended family with Perry, it’s amazing.”
“Perry has a drive I had never seen in my life. It’s this unstoppable, relentless energy I always craved and wanted, but never sought out and wasn’t able to experience. No matter what happens, whatever life throws at us, Perry is always a forward thinker. He can focus on the here and now and still have what I call his popcorn brain, looking out at the future and has it figured out in every direction. I’m not the same way, because I never want to miss the present.”
“Plus,” adds Jayme, “Perry is a very present, incredible daddy. Our kids, my three and his two children became friends, and here we are now, ten years later and our kids are best friends – and our house is exactly the place they love to be.”
Where Jayme and Perry also love to be is at their USHEALTH Advisors office, which they’ve nicknamed, The Lions Den. Perry is now a Satellite Division Sales Leader, having joined USHA in June of 2018, while Jayme was still running the last remaining fitness club they owned. Perry laid the path for Jayme, showing her what was possible at USHA, having eclipsed $7 million in only three years as a personal producer and more than $22 million in sales as a team leader.
Jayme says when Perry sold the remaining club in 2019, she assisted him with his USHA business, doing social media and other activities. “I then started recruiting for him and helping with customer service,” says Jayme. “We talked about getting my insurance license, but I told him I’m just not great at sales, you saw how I did at the gym, it wasn’t good. I just really, really doubted myself. But in October 2019, Perry said it was time. I was panicked, but I got it done, finishing out 2019 by helping Perry with his incredible open enrollment period, and then in January of 2020 I submitted my first policy.”
Jayme says the past year-and-half has been a big wake-up call. “It’s been an incredibly challenging time, coming in and finding out, holy sh*t, I’m good at this!” says Jayme. “But I also realize I have to split my time and attention. I can’t just go through everything here at work and not work on my relationship with my husband. He is my best friend and I have to cherish and nurture this relationship and be around for the kids. If mom can’t be around, then none of this matters. Finding and working to create that balance is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”
“I realize now how I grew up and understand my parents’ mindset. I respect the hell out of my parents, they did an incredible job with myself and my sister. They understood it’s a parent’s responsibility to raise someone better than yourself. Now we have offices of people (agents) to grow as well, to cultivate them to be better versions of themselves, whether they stay with us for a few months, a few years, or forever.”
Jayme says a typical day and week for her at USHEALTH Advisors and running the blended family with Perry and their five children, is far from typical.
“It’s chaos,” laughs Jayme. “I don’t have a normal day. I don’t always know what the schedule is going to look like, when the phone is going to ring, when an agent is going to need help, when you might need to do customer service for your clients, send e-mails, coaching, going to a meeting and more. A typical day is simply made up of work. If I’m not in the office I’m still texting, working with our Facebook page, it never stops. You try and shut it down when you come home, it’s not easy.”
“But Perry and I make time every week, on Wednesday, for date night. That night is ours and the team knows it. We have to take time out, to step away and be with each other.”
As far as the future, Jayme says she’s unsure since she doesn’t have the same popcorn brain as Perry. “I can’t answer that question, because I’m not a forward thinker,” Jayme says. “I’m so in love with what we do. There are crappy days of course, but do the good days outweigh those down days? Definitely! I’m just appreciating all of it and focusing on what we have now.”
What Jayme says she, Perry, and their teams certainly focus on is USHA’s mission of HOPE: Helping Other People Everyday.
“What HOPE means to me, is the example that happened just the other day,” says Jayme. “About three to four months ago I had someone reach out through Facebook. This woman is a year and a half removed from surviving breast cancer. I let her know we couldn’t help with our medically underwritten health plans, but I stayed on the phone with her and spent 30-45 minutes going over the other option out there and just helping her, finally recommending she stay on her COBRA plan. The other day her husband called and told me the COBRA plan was expiring, and his wife had told him not to talk to anybody until he talked to Jayme.”
“It really is just about helping people – it is 100-percent my why in life to leave an impression on someone – whether it’s at the gas station, a phone call, or someone who sees pictures and follows us on Facebook. My goal is to leave an impression of joy, happiness, and love, caring about people selflessly. That’s what I love about this career and this company, even the people I can’t help with our products, are actually the ones I can help more than anybody else.”
Touch a heart, lend a hand. Jayme says it’s all about other people, whomever you are in front of, an agent, a client, a friend, one of her children, her husband, she wants to be present and in the moment – experiencing the power of now and keeping everyone looking on the bright side of life. Her family has a daily prayer they recite to keep everyone focused and living life in the right manner.
I am in control of myself, my attitude, and my future.
Always be on time.
Try to help people who are smaller than you.
Treat other people the way you want to be treated.
Work every day to be a better person – mentally, physically, smarter and stronger.
The Lunsford’s have nearly the same prayer their USHEALTH Advisors team recites at the weekly meeting in their Lion’s Den, to keep everyone on point and powered by purpose.
“It’s not sales, it’s helping people meet a need,” says Jayme. “Believing in what we do and knowing that what we are doing is changing lives, protecting people and their finances. I talk to people all across the country and it’s just me being able to touch people in a way I never could have before, but something I always wanted to experience.”
If you ask Jayme what’s the one thing, the one thing that makes her tick, the one message she wants to share with everyone, her answer is one simple word, the word that changed her own life for the better: Be.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.