“Telling the truth is the slow, mundane, difficult route to a meaningful life. Anything else is cheating. “
– Donald Miller
The truth is out there. And Luke Jeraci knows it.
“I’m obsessed with the truth,” says Luke. “My big thing is truth – if you follow that path I think God has your back. Everybody wants to be right, I want to find out what’s right. The truth should be what it is, even if it doesn’t benefit me.”
Sometimes to get to the truth, you’ve got to do the hard things. Hard, like sleeping on the floor of your office… for more than a month. If you want it bad enough you find a way. Luke found his way, building from the ground up.
The Jeraci Division of USHEALTH Advisors near Atlanta, Georgia, began with Luke making the office his home, literally. “It is one of the greatest challenges I have faced in life,” says Luke.
“Starting an office from scratch, while I was still a Field Training Agent. Going from sleeping in the office and on friend’s couches to the team doing a million dollars in production in a single week. As an FTA I was doing it all, figuring out the bills, funding, recruiting, training, outfitting the office. I slept on the floor, showered in the office building, just living out of there while I was building it.”
Why do it? Why go through it all? Luke says he felt it was time to grow and it was the only real way for growth in his situation, he felt ready for it. “Sometimes you just know,” he says.
Luke made the move from Ft Lauderdale, Florida to Lawrenceville, Georgia, (near Atlanta), after talking to his friend Brian Okin and encouraging Brian to join USHA in Ft Lauderdale. “Brian asked me if I would consider opening an office in the Atlanta area. I told Brian if you get three friends to do this, I will.”
“We started in November of 2019 with Brian Okin and a few other agents. But I had nowhere to live when I came here. I couch-surfed for a time and was living with Brian, but then Covid hit. Brian has two kids, and I didn’t want to take any chances, so I moved myself into the office.
“I would sleep on the floor, wake up and scream f*** in the morning, then laugh and jump in the cold ass shower in the building. I told myself this is going to be such a cool story to tell. I know I’m gonna make it work, I know it, this will be so cool. To remind me of what it took, once a month I still sleep on the floor.”
This knowing has driven the “Jeraci Park” Division to generate more than $30 million in team production. That’s helping and serving a lot of people, in a relatively short period of time. Luke joined USHEALTH Advisors in June of 2016, after being recruited by Garrett Laughlin.
“I was working in Ft Lauderdale as a bartender and knew Garrett from the bar,” says Luke. “I saw on social media, when Garrett posted the USHA Phoenix magazine, with himself on the cover, so I called him and asked if he made a million – he said more – and so I asked if I could join.”
Luke says it was a hustle in the beginning, but he’s no stranger to hard work. At the time he contracted with USHEALTH Advisors, Luke was tending bar, acting, and helping to run a moving company. Hustle might be Luke’s middle name.
“My buddy, Chris Storrie, who just contracted with USHA, and I had started this moving company, with nothing, not even trucks,” says Luke. “We’d print about 600 flyers at Staples, go around town and introduce ourselves, hand out the flyers, then when someone called we’d book the estimate, get an upfront $100 deposit, go rent a U-Haul and do the gig. I actually helped moved Garrett’s sister and brother. When I started, Garrett had me come in, I changed in the bathroom and started making calls.”
For Luke, the transition seemed like the next step in his journey. Helping (as a mover) and serving (as a bartender) is not foreign to Luke, neither is the concept of reinventing himself – Luke had already worked as an actor as well. The good ones know how to transform themselves into someone else and make it real.
“I grew up in Syracuse, New York, but in 2013, my intuition told me to move to Florida,” says Luke.” I didn’t know anybody at the time, but I found my way into acting. I had just read The Secret and was inspired. I saw an ad about casting for a Cadillac commercial and I applied. While there I overheard some people talking about an audition for the next day. You had to have applied to try out, but I went there anyway and convinced them they had lost my resume. Fortunately, it was an improv audition for a role in a small film called, Alone. I won the part, but the film never got made. The guy running it was also pushing kilos of cocaine, or something,” laughs Luke.
“I got a few more gigs and got paid for them. I ended up taking acting classes. It’s cool, acting teaches you how to be authentic when a situation isn’t real. You act as you feel in the moment. It fine-tuned my intuition, it helped me, like in a quote I read from Todd Durkin, ‘to be true in a fake situation.’”
The truth is out there.
Luke says he’s lived his own truth in more ways than one, coming from a strong foundation. Luke says his childhood was “great”, growing up with one sister and “awesome parents”. He played high school football and made friendships, many of which he still maintains to this day, including friends who he persuaded to work with him at USHEALTH Advisors. At the still-young age of 35, Luke says he has learned a lot and he has taught much as well.
A little more than a decade ago Luke worked as a high school history teacher, as well as mentoring, tutoring, and teaching high school football. But he says education in Syracuse was tough.
“I had phenomenal results,” says Luke. “But I wasn’t fulfilled. A lot of Syracuse at the time was known as an at-risk area, in fact, the school next to my house had a 33-percent graduation rate. Most of the high schools in the area had less than a 50% graduation rate. I wanted to save the world, but couldn’t do it there. You have to save the world by empowering yourself and others.”
In order to save the world, sometimes you need to see more of it and view how others make their way along this journey of life. Luke got lucky and met Scott Ball while the two were in college. Scott enjoyed doing charity work and had several connections. Scott and Luke ended up in a program where they spent a year in Porto Novo in Benin, in West Africa. They brought books and supplies to help out in the schools and assist the teachers. “They had very few resources,” says Luke, “The teachers have to have everything memorized because of the lack of books. And kids used mini chalkboards to write. It was super wild and cool to assist them.”
While on spring break from graduate school, Luke and Scott also went to Florence, Alabama to participate with many others in Habitat for Humanity, helping to build a house for a single mom who had lost hers after a series of tornadoes tore the town apart.
Luke also took part in a mentorship program in Syracuse for at-risk youth who had only one parent or no parents, called Hillside. And once he moved to Florida, he volunteered to donate 10% of his paycheck to a program called, HANDY. Most recently, in Atlanta, Luke opened his heart again to assist in Hope Through Soap, helping homeless people. The program rents trailers and parks them where groups of homeless are living, offering up showers, haircuts, clothing, and a new backpack for the less fortunate.
It’s a spirit of giving, of helping, and of serving that works so well with Luke’s career at USHEALTH Advisors, where the focus is to be Powered by Purpose and anchored in HOPE. After all, givers gain and it’s what you do for yourself, to build your mind, your character, and your heart – and then share those gifts to build others up – which makes for a rewarding career and a fulfilling life.
“I have a miracle morning,” says Luke. “I wake up about 5 am and go into silence, prayer, meditation, affirmations, reading, visualizations, exercise, and write down gratitude and my plans for the day. I tell people I have three life hacks, it’s wake up early, read and write life goals.”
“I try to read 48 to 60 books a year and do book clubs with agents and leaders. I read a lot in the morning and before I go to sleep. I always take time out of my day to read. When I’m on point, it’s about 90 minutes a day. I often go back to reading a spiritual book, called The Kybalion, from ancient Egypt, a guide to the nature of life, the all, god’s meditation.”
“I truly believe that if you grow yourself the business will follow. If you focus only on the business, burnout happens. I keep a bookshelf in the office with books the agents and leaders can sign out. I ask everyone to take time away from work and exercise and then meditate. I do less work by getting better. I don’t manage people I help make them better. We call it growing mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
Luke says he believes in Dojo, a Japanese term that literally means place of the way. “It’s the Dojo where you go to get better and help others to do the same. My training is on my goal setting and little wins to build the mental reserve. If you have stuff going on, it’s where you come to learn the ways to handle it all. I believe life is like a pendulum. It swings constantly between easy and hard, between good and bad. If you develop and maintain the right habits and work in the right environment, you can switch it back from bad to good, or from hard to easy.”
Luke structures his days as well, taking that pendulum from one activity to another, all with the focus of facing the obstacles and then swinging back to the solution. “I’m a problem solver or a solutions finder,” he says. “I love the quote from Think and Grow Rich, every adversity has an equal and opposite opportunity. I tell agents and friends that all the time… there’s always an opposite and equal benefit from the adversity you face.”
Luke’s days are spent helping with the leads, doing appointments with agents, and training. The team does Monday book reviews, Tuesday goal settings, Wednesday workshops, Thursday life hacks. And Luke likes to take walks mid-day, he used to go on walks with others, but now he walks by himself. “Each level you go up in any company, more people need your attention. So now I walk alone, about 45 minutes to an hour each day. Sometimes I walk twice, two-a-days… mainly cause I’ve gained weight,” he laughs.
Luke also tries to meet one-to-one with his agents. “In an homage to my mom, who loved the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, I used to call it Fridays with Luke, with everybody telling me their life story, or what is going on with them. But the more we grow, I can’t get it all done on a Friday, so it’s more than Fridays now. It’s very unconventional the way we do things here. We dial less, but are more engaged per dial.”
“I tell my agents, to first and foremost be yourself and be authentic, don’t say anything that’s not true, ever. People in my opinion have a natural bullshit detector. Connect with the person, that’s the first thing you do. Get on the phone and have fun. Don’t worry about insurance, find out about them first, find out why they are looking, ask questions. I have my agents rewrite whatever I teach them in their own words. Everyone’s pitch is completely different. I understand the reasoning behind trying to sell the “normal way”, but when someone calls and tries to sell me sh*t, I hang up on them. But if they call to talk to me, then I will talk with them.”
It’s this focus on self-worth, on growth, on getting better that attracted Luke’s soon-to-be better half, Danielle Graves. The couple will be married on May 8th. Apparently, there’s another benefit to being a voracious reader.
“I met Danielle when I first started working at Garrett’s office in 2016,” says Luke. “She walked up to me while I was reading a sales book, and she says, ‘people here don’t read.’ She was trying to do sales, but now she’s a mental health counselor. And so now I also have her come in and work with the agents!
Luke says he also very much appreciates all that has been done for him along his own journey up to this point. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am without my family and inner circle,” he says.
The support Luke has received and the work he has done for himself has created a foundation that helps to keep Luke grounded. And it’s obvious the mental mindset needed to be successful in business is what fascinates and inspires him, as well as the challenges of leadership and the goal to make others better.
“My big thing, what I want to be known for, is empowering others,” says Luke. It’s my motivation for everything.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.