“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.”
– Lisa Weedn
Bring on the love.
For James Sackos, Regional Sales Leader for USHEALTH Advisors, this one word, family, is it and it is larger than life.
“My family, the one that Michelle and I put together is everything,” says James. “It’s the most important thing and always will be. My wife and my kids are absolutely everything to me as a husband and father. I’ve never said to my kids,’ I’m too busy to spend time with you.’ “As a husband, I want to be the person who always says, ‘I love you no matter what, completely, top to bottom.’”
Coming from a large family James learned what it was like to share the love. “I’m the youngest of six, all boys except for one girl,” says James. “Being the youngest it was a rough household to grow up in. I was good at sports, and that came from my siblings. Now we are scattered all across the United States, it’s why my immediate family now is so important to me. The most important thing.”
In life, “like attracts like” and James’ focus on family has led him to a place where family and love play a huge part, USHEALTH Advisors. USHA is a subsidiary of USHEALTH Group, offering affordable health coverage and supplements to individuals, families and the self-employed. James says he employs the same philosophy with his own family as he does with his business. After all, you can’t be one thing at home and another thing at the office, you have to be consistent to be real and trusted.
“The love I feel for my family, I feel for my extended family at USHEALTH Advisors,” says Jim. “I want to be remembered as the person that at any level, regardless of the hierarchy, that I love you and I’m there for you, and I’m going to help you in this business. I’ve helped people who are not on my team or in my region. I really don’t care about that. If someone feels they can learn from me, I will sit down and teach them.”
For James it’s that spirit of giving and of surviving – for in sales, as in life, it’s never about the ease – it’s about the effort. And never forget, when things get tough, it’s all about the comeback. When you fall, land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up.
James has been selling since he left community college early, deciding school was not for him, or the stepping stone on his path to success. “I was at Florida State, but I dropped out and went into life mode,” says James. “I couldn’t sit in a classroom and study and do all those things. I was not the best student. I’m a more real-world kind of guy, and so I started working, and that made me a lot happier.”
James’ first job was for a Florida company called Merita, delivering bread and working ten to eleven-hour shifts, many times until 2 am. In fact, that’s where he met his wife, which ended up being perhaps his most magnificent sales job.
“It’s kind of a funny story,” says James. “My wife was the manager of one of the stores I was selling to, and we really didn’t like each other at all. She ruled with an iron fist, and I was the guy who would laugh it off. We really didn’t care for each other and several weeks or months went by before things changed. She was the person who had to pay me when I delivered the bread, so she had to deal with me. One time I finally said, ‘hey, do you wanna do something tonight? She gave me the weirdest look, but ended up saying yes.”
That look eventually turned to love. James says he and Michelle have been together for close to a quarter-century now, with two children, their daughter Kaytlynn and son, Brock. Brock is a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Engineering School in Daytona Beach, Florida and Kaytlynn is a student at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
And while higher education is serving his children, James knows his “life-mode” journey still led him to the right place. Nearly a decade ago, James worked with the same leadership team which now runs USHEALTH Advisors and USHEALTH Group. So when he got the call from CEO Troy McQuagge to come lead a team at USHA, James says he jumped at the chance.
“I got the call from Troy, and he said he wanted me to come over here,” says James. “It was kismet (fate). He flew me down to Dallas, and during what was supposed to be a 3-day trip, I only needed one day, I signed the contract with USHEALTH Advisors the first night. I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted to do it with. I love working with Troy, Travis Yoder, and Jim White, they are fantastic. This is absolutely the greatest opportunity in American business, it really is. And I get to work with one of the greatest people to be in business with, Troy McQuagge. Troy is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. You give him all you’ve got because he’s the same way with you.”
Wrapping up his second year as a Regional Sales Leader and with the company poised to break the Billion Dollar Mark in sales for 2018, James knows this is the place to be, and he is keeping true to his promise to always be there for his family, by bringing them along for the ride.
“My wife Michelle is licensed and contracted, and this time last year she wrote a ton of business,” says James. Michelle has been my right-hand ever since I started with USHA. When I stepped up to be a Regional Sales Leader in 2017, my wife helped me to recruit, and she helps to fill the room for all of my offices. We are one of only two regions this year to hit their recruiting goal. I owe it all to Michelle and incredibly, to my daughter Kaytlynn. Even though Kaytlynn is at school, she helps to recruit as well, putting in 40-to-50 hours a week outside of her studies. Kaytlynn gets it done! As Travis likes to say about Kaytlynn, ‘she is the casting net, the rest of us are just using fishing rods!’”
But fishing rods are important… because it’s fishing and spending time with his son Brock that is James’ respite away from the business. In fact, it always has been. “I remember being part of a discussion panel with USHEALTH Advisors a few years back,” says James. “And I made a comment that I think surprised some people. I told them I always take time during the week, to ‘NOT’ work. I told the group, ‘my son is still in high school, and there is only so much time on this planet, with your kids.’ “So every Thursday, at 2 pm, my boat was in the water, and I would take my son, and we’d be out there fishing, every week. Now that he’s in college it’s different, but we still make time to get together and get out on the water. You should see that kid fish and hunt!”
Here at USHA, James feels like he’s hooked a big one, and he’s ready to take it to the next level. “What I’m looking to do is take my small region, and I want to grow it over the next few years, into a region that is top three in the company. This is going to be my home. This company has given me so much, including the ability to provide for my family and to set my kids up at great schools. Even with that all of their higher education and learning, I’d be honored if my kids want to do this in the future. That’s what’s great about this opportunity, it’s a place you’d be proud to have your kids call home as well.”
There could be a day in the not too distant future where Jim could bring his whole gang under one roof again, this time in his business.
After all, it’s family that matters.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.