Don’t Stop – Chad Douglas & Catherine Koclanes

“Your purpose and your why has to be a lot bigger than your paycheck.” – Chad Douglas

If you’re going to find your place at USHEALTH Advisors and create something meaningful in your life, then you need to walk in the door with one of the tools of the trade you already have inside you, but too many never stop to think about… a little faith.

A little faith, and a LOT of hard work. For great success comes with a price… sacrifice.

Just ask Chad Douglas. Chad is a Field Training Agent in Tampa, Florida. He is one of the most successful agents in the company these past few years and Chad will tell you like it is.

“If you want to have what I have, you have to do what I do,” says Chad. “I’m in the office every day, 7:30 am, until as late as I need to be most Saturdays and some Sundays. It depends on how many new agents I have. I like to lead from the front. So if I have a big class of new agents and I’m telling them to work the weekends and they show up on the weekend, I would want my leader to be there for support. I don’t want any resentment, for them to be able to build resentment towards me. There’s no room for excuses. Typically if I have a big class of agents, I’ll be there on Sunday with them too. I’m right there next to them, but yeah, I probably put in at least 70-to-80 hours a week.”

It bears repeating, do what Chad does and you can have what he has. And Chad has a lot.

“I’m very straightforward and black and white with the agents. I don’t fluff anything. When I interview people, I’m like, hey listen, I’m not the guy that’s trying to sell you from the pitch you heard in that other room just before. This is what it is. You either want to do this or you don’t. Yes or no, which one is it? Well, you’re not sure… no, it’s yes or no, which one is it? Cause when you get on my team, and I really believe my team and the camaraderie in my team is second to none, you’re going to earn it. I think it just piggybacks off of my personality and the transparency that I have. I think people believe and trust in what I do and what I say.  You have to put as much as you possibly can in this for it to work, and it will if you work.”

Chad’s wife, Catherine Koclanes, is in agreement. Catherine works at USHA as well, as an agent on Chad’s team, and now, perhaps more importantly, in the other part of Chad’s life, as his new bride. The couple got married on October 29th, 2022 and have formed a partnership, not just in love, but in synergy about what they believe it takes to be a successful independent contractor at USHEALTH Advisors.

“It was me watching Chad’s success and seeing what was going on,” says Catherine. “Obviously I was a skeptic as well, just going online, reading reviews. Some people didn’t make it here, not everyone makes it. I’ve obviously learned that it’s not for everybody, it’s for the right type of person who’s willing to put in the work and willing to wait and watch the success, because it doesn’t happen overnight. It was me watching Chad, he started off a little bit rocky in the first few weeks, as do so many. But once he really hit the ground running, I just saw how much, number one, he loved what he did and number two, what the opportunity was and then I also knew what it was going to take some time. But I was able to see what it’s going to take to be successful.”

“I knew I had to get outside of my 40- hour-work week life and having weekends off and paid-time-off and that was my fear, obviously, it’s commission based. I was afraid of that. But it worked for Chad and so I basically said if it worked for him and just like he said, if he can do it, I can do it. If these other people I’ve met can do it, I can do it too.”

And Catherine and Chad are doing it, as a great role models for so many at USHA. To date, Chad has issued nearly $3.7 million in personal insurance applications (he only got going in August of 2020) and his team has produced more than $7 million in business. Catherine, starting her career after Chad, has issued nearly $2 million in personal business. That’s leading by example and doing so by doing what the best among us do – sharing the lessons and scars of the past so that others can benefit from the adversity you have experienced – and come back from to tell your tale.

Let’s face it, life is not a zero-sum game. It owes us nothing, and things just happen the way they do. Sometimes they’re fair and everything makes sense; sometimes they’re so unfair we question everything. The goal is to have some guidance from a great leader and then answer your own questions with the cure-all… action!

“I’ve gone through it,” says Chad. “I’ve put myself through a lot of sh*t in the past. If someone like me can do what I do on a day-to-day basis and have the results that I have, and believe me I had messed up and goofed off most of my life, but I made it happen here. I’m surprised that I came out alive, to be honest with you. I’m surprised I graduated school. I got lucky. It’s only by the grace of God that I am where I am now. But if I can do that, I always tell people, if I can do this, and literally this is me, because I know you – someone who is probably smarter than I am – if I can do this, you can do this too.”

Chad says there’s no secret to success, but it is about battling back.

“In the midst of adversity and challenge and everything else,” says Chad, “put everything you have into it. Go home at night, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself that question, did I do all that I could do today? And if that answer is no, then there’s only one person to blame and it’s you. Come back tomorrow and let’s change that because ultimately life’s made up of the decisions and choices that we make. At the end of the day it’s you. But take pride in everything that you do. Don’t stop. Take responsibility for your actions. Do what you’ve got to do and just face it head on. I could go on and on about these types of conversations to be honest with you. But yeah, just to keep it simple, take pride in everything that you do and don’t stop. Just do it.”

Catherine has her own philosophy and opinions on why she’s here at USHA and what this all means to her. After all, everyone has a story.

“Honestly, this opportunity would be my greatest achievement,” says Catherine. “I think it just goes back to where I came from. I’m one of six kids. I definitely wasn’t destined to do much in life based on my circumstances. The first accomplishment was actually just getting into college and graduating college. That was a big achievement for our family. When I was a teenager I went to a residential education program, which pretty much was for underprivileged youth. You volunteered to go there and if you went there, they’d pay for your college education. It’s called the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch. I was 13 when I started there and it was a tough, structured place to help with tutoring and education.”

“I had a story written about me from my time at the youth ranch, the title of the story was, Unlimited Potential. I think that anyone is capable of doing anything, doesn’t matter what their circumstances are, doesn’t matter if they came from a big family, low income, or every obstacle stacked against them, because there were a lot of obstacles stacked against me, a lot of different things. But I came out on top because I always had a positive outlook on life. I never let these things inhibit me from success.”

“A lot of people let those things affect their growth and tell themselves they can’t do it, or that they can never be successful. I think that you just have to always think positively and no matter what your circumstances are, you can do whatever you want to do and not only change your life, but people’s lives around you. I believe you have to stay positive and motivated and anyone can change their circumstances.”

While Catherine developed the habit of a positive mindset, Chad says his experience at USHEALTH Advisors, has led to a  transition in his own mind – and now in his business – so that helping and serving become bigger than just getting a paycheck. For Chad it’s a shift in awareness and witnessing the results of true service.

“So being able to give back, I guess in a way, or have an influence on people has now become my motivating factor,” says Chad. “When I started this, it was very selfish. I wanted what I wanted. I wanted to make a million dollars, I wanted to do this for me, I wanted to do this for so many other reasons. At some point this year, growing the team, I don’t know what happened, but it was some natural shift in my mental state, where it became less about me and more about the people around me. I give back a lot to the team. I’m talking not just time, but money and resources. I make a lot of money, but I give a whole lot of that back.”

“I do believe if you don’t think money could buy happiness, you aren’t giving enough of it away. Just giving back and seeing the new agents, despite their circumstances, watch them succeed, is magic. I have an agent on my team that in the beginning lived in his truck in the parking lot. He bought a gym membership at our office so he didn’t have to drive the 45 minutes back home and then drive back here in the morning. And to see him get a big paycheck last week and to make good money, consistently every week now, that’s what drives me.”

“Or to see a kid on my team from California, I literally I gave him my old pair of shoes because his shoes were in such bad shape when he first started. Then he and his brother got held up gunpoint their third week in this business and the gunman took everything, the clothes they had in their bags and their computer. I was able to buy them new laptops and get them started again. And just seeing where they’re at now, thriving, is like a miracle. I could go on and on with stories like this. So at some point there was a shift where it became less about me and more about positively, indirectly affecting the people around me. That’s really what pushes me now. But I think it all started with, hey if you do something, do it and take pride in it, that’s a big lesson I learned from my mother.”

Chad continues: “There’s this story I always like to tell. I was really young, and I had to do chores growing up and my mom would pay me for them. When I first started, she paid me like $6 a week. And then the next year, $7 and then $8. And when I got in high school it was like 20 bucks. Anyway, I remember being really young, and she told me to go clean the bathroom. There was this particular wall in the bathroom she wanted me to clean. I go in there and take a look. So mind you, I like to take shortcuts, I like to get things done, but just a little bit, with the least amount of effort. I start to clean it and she comes in and checks my work. She wasn’t happy.”

She scolded me and she said, Chad, whenever you do something in life, you must take pride in it. I never forgot that, it has stuck with me. When she came here to visit for our wedding, we would talk about me as a kid and how I’ve always been a perfectionist. So whenever I do something, I always want to be the best at it. I think that’s probably a fault as well, because sometimes I sacrifice things around me to do it. But I think that was from her lesson, and I’ve carried that with me forever. Whenever you do something, take pride in it.”

Both Chad and Catherine are very proud of what they have built and continue to build here at USHEALTH Advisors. Their recent matrimony, leading to harmony and synchronicity, in how they are leading from a position of being the best-of-the-best at this great American company. As Chad and Catherine now go hand-in-hand into the future and face life together as husband and wife, they are sharing, holding the hands of others and inspiring those around them. It’s why we are here, to see what all we can do, with all we have been given.

“My big piece of advice is just don’t give up,” says Catherine. “I see so many people who come in the doors at USHEALTH Advisors and  the beginning is the hardest part. Transitioning into this opportunity, learning a new product, having a new schedule, it’s a lot of hours, it’s a lot of knowledge, it’s all new and it can be a little tricky in the beginning. The biggest thing is you finally get your first new business and then sometimes it’s not approved. The insurance company requests doctor’s information, or the application gets declined, it’s all part of  the game. And people get so caught up in that and I think a lot of people give up, they don’t give it enough time. My biggest thing is just give it more time. It takes everyone a different amount of time to be successful.”

“I see people give up too soon and I think, you would’ve made such a great agent. This could have really changed your life. But they’re comparing themselves to somebody else who started the same day as they did, who already experienced early success. My piece of advice is just to give it enough time because it’s really not rocket science, it really isn’t. It just takes hard work. You have to be a good person. You don’t even need to be the smartest person in the room. You don’t need a college degree, you don’t need a lot to be able to do this. You just need to understand the product, work hard, be a trusting person, and trust the process.”

Both Chad and Catherine believe you have to keep going, just like the name of Chad’s FTA team, Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop.

And to add one more piece of advice: Don’t Stop.

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Your Storyteller,
Mark Brodinsky

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