“Expansion always: always grow, always build, always go for more.” – Justin Brain
His friends call him Brain, his clients call him Justin, whatever you call him, Justin Brain is always calling, always selling, always thinking about more. Selling is his life because sales and service have served Justin well.
Part of Justin’s success is his ability to think and act differently, the ability to set himself apart from the herd, just like he did when he played the game most closely associated with life – the game of baseball. He could throw a different kind of pitch, with a different motion, and get different results.
“I played baseball from the time I was young,” says Justin. “I was a pitcher, and I used to throw a side-arm, two-seamer.” Baseball is a game focused on the smallest of margins, so when Justin was hitting the corners, it was all good, but around 9th grade, all of that changed. The competition got a bit tougher in the South Florida high schools, and as Justin’s success at throwing strikes started to wane, he decided it was time to change focus, and change dreams.
But anyone who plays baseball and has success learns a valuable lesson from the game, a game steeped in failure, but one which awards those who work hard to achieve success, for the margins between an ordinary player and a Hall of Famer is small, but it is rooted in consistency, practice, and belief.
Fortunately for Justin, around the time his baseball career was ending, his love of competition in the business world was just beginning, and it started with a little Hollywood inspiration, a movie called Boiler Room.
“Growing up I wanted to play baseball,” says Justin. “But in 8th or 9th grade I saw the movie Boiler Room, and I fell in love with the sales aspect of it. I’m a huge, huge movie fan and I can quote movies like that, or Glengarry Glen Ross, Wall Street and more, word-for-word. I always wanted to be on the phone selling, and I’ve been in sales and selling for about 13 years now.”
Brain currently serves as a Satellite Division Leader for USHEALTH Advisors, a subsidiary of USHEALTH Group, offering affordable health coverage and other supplements to the self-employed, individuals and families. Justin has only been at the company since May of 2016 but has already issued more than 3-and-a-half million dollars in personal business and about 20-million as a team leader. That’s a ton of success in less than three years, but it took a ton of effort to get him here.
“I’ve known my Division Manager Garrett Laughlin since the 6th grade, and he started recruiting me to USHA back in 2012,” says Justin. “I owned a car shipping company, and I was doing well, better than most in their early 20’s. My partner and I started the company in the basement of his parents’ house, and within six months we had an office and 18 employees, and we were doing a million-and-a-half in credit card sales per year. I owned the company, so I wasn’t selling. I was mainly focused on doing marketing, management, helping with leads and other responsibilities.”
Justin continues, “In 2012, I moved into the building next to Garrett’s, and he started pitching me about selling health coverage. It took him about four years and 300 “no’s” to get to the time I finally said, “yes.” I kept telling him over and over, ‘you’re crazy man, I’m not going there to sell health.’” “By 2015, during Christmas week and open enrollment for health insurance, he starts showing me copies of his bank deposits for selling health coverage. The holiday season is a slow time for car shipping, so another opportunity seemed more and more enticing. While I was doing well at a certain point, you hit a lull. I didn’t see growth, of ever getting bigger than where we were, and I wanted more.”
Justin says he took a massive leap of faith and sold the car shipping company back to his partners for pennies on the dollar. “Everyone told me I was crazy,” he says. “My parents told me I was crazy, my girlfriend’s parents told me I was crazy, but my girlfriend, who is now my fiance’, Monica, she told me I should do it, she believed in me. She also knew Garrett and Garrett’s dad Mike. She understood the opportunity, I understood it too and what the marketplace was like. I didn’t know the ins and outs of it as I do now, but I knew we were going after a niche customer and offering something no one else has, so how could it not work?”
Despite his willingness to make the move, Justin took his time, hemming and hawing over the decision. He took the jump in January of 2016 but didn’t get licensed until April, making his first sale in May of 2016. “The delay is something I regret,” says Justin. “I should have just jumped in right away. But making the decision and transition was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We had no office in south Florida. It was Garrett, David Zalka and Karl Curran, working out of Garrett’s house. But Garrett told me, ‘if you come here we’re gonna get other people to come too, and we’ll open an office in the fall.’ “By September of 2016 there was an office with 30 agents, by the end of the year we had 60, and then we moved to a much, much bigger office with 100 salespeople. And of course, it’s still growing!”
Justin says it was a slow start, so he understands how an agent might not first see the forest for the trees, but by July of 2016 he says things started to get going AND he made a commitment to himself and to his team.
“All of a sudden it clicked,” says Justin. “Once you have a crystal clear picture of who our customer is and who it isn’t, then when you make the dials, and you talk to that person you know 100% you can help them, you know it’s a no-brainer and you present it to them in a way that they then say, ‘why wouldn’t I do this? Once you are crystal clear, it’s easy to sell the product. And once it all clicked, I told my team I’m going to issue a million dollars in business this year. It was already July, and I had only issued about $200,000. All the guys in our group text were laughing at me, but Garrett was the only one who said, ‘You can! So do it, do it.’ “I did it, and I shut them all up,” laughs Justin. “I issued more than a million dollars in business, and I made it to the company trip in Cabo.”
So what does it take to make it big? Justin says there’s no secret. “I looked at people ahead of me and said, ‘if they can do it, I can do it.‘ It takes work, and it’s not going to come out of thin air. For me, it’s seven days a week. Monday to Friday I’m at the office at 8 am, and I’m there until 6 or 7 pm, whatever it takes. I go home and have dinner with Monica and hang out and then I’m back on the phones from 8 pm until 10:30 pm. On Saturdays, I work at home or in the office until 1 pm. Saturday afternoon is my downtime. On Sundays, I work from 9 am to 10 pm. I watch movies, I watch sports on Sunday, and if someone answers the phone from our digital dialer, then I pause the show, I pick up the call, and I help them. Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week because you’re going to get more contacts and get more husbands and wives together at home, it just makes it all a bit easier.”
Justin’s success has made his family proud. He has four sisters and a brother, still living in South Florida, and one of his younger sisters, Kara, has also joined the USHA team. Justin says Kara is doing well, issuing more than half-a-million dollars in business each of the past two years.
Then there’s Justin’s extended family, his USHEALTH Advisors family. And it’s a big one.
“At least half of the guys in my office, I know from growing up around here,” says Justin. “50 or 60 of them went to one of three high schools in the area. AJ Brideau, who works as a Field Sales Leader on my team, will be the best man at my wedding, we’ve known each other since we were 4-years-old. It’s cool coming to work with people you’ve known forever. It makes it easier to stay here and work like we do, 50, 60, 70 hours a week, when all your buddies are here. It doesn’t feel like work, you are here with your friends, and it makes it easier and more fun!”
Plus, Justin says there’s the incredible support from his fiance’, Monica. “Monica is my best friend and the reason I work so hard,” says Justin. “She is always pushing me to keep dialing, to keep working, never really giving me a hard time about the hours I put in. We are on the same wavelength with what we are doing and she knows it is for us and our future family. We’ve been together for six years now and we are getting married next month. We’ve purchased a home and before you know it we’ll be starting a family of our own. My family, my parents lived paycheck-to-paycheck and I always wanted more for us. I know that you need to work for it. I want to make sure to provide for my family and help retire my parents one day. That keeps me going for sure.”
Justin says his goal is to get his team to 100 agents and beyond, creating an extraordinary sales force at USHEALTH Advisors. You can be sure the man they call Brain is always thinking about more – use your mind, use your brain, change your life.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.