“One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford
It’s not about the setback, it’s all about the comeback.
It was in the 7th grade when Marina David figured she’d try something new. Successful at soccer and several other sports, Marina figured why not try her hand at volleyball? “I gave it a shot,” says Marina. “I went to the tryouts and at the end of the week they announced who made the team and they called everyone’s name, one-by-one. I waited, and the very last name they called was mine. I was so happy I made the cut. Then, at the first practice, the coaches sat me down and told me they made a mistake, ‘We meant to call someone else’s name, not yours,’ they said. “So, they cut me. As a 7th grader, at that time in my life, I was crushed.”
It might have been the first time in her life Marina felt like she failed at something, it wouldn’t be the last.
Anyone feel a connection here? Of course, we all do. Life is not a quiet road of success after success, it’s a collection of failures, each one with a lesson, and then the necessary belief that failure is merely success deferred. The only thing worse than failing, is not trying.
Marina’s never fallen short on trying. Just because volleyball was an “epic fail”, there was soccer and tennis, and cheerleading, all at which she excelled. It would teach Marina an important lesson, not just about her love of competitive sports, but the power to adapt and to change. A power that’s so necessary for finding your true path in life.
Besides sports, Marina’s other talents led to her desire to go after a career in graphic design. “One of my biggest challenges in life was going after what I wanted in college,” says Marina. “I went to the University of Central Florida and my goal was to get into the school for the arts. But it’s such a competitive school, it’s like a school within a school. After two years at college, I was able to apply to the specialty school, but I’m more graphic design and tech-savvy and for the art school you have to be drawing and painting, and that’s just not my thing. The school only accepted about 700 students, but 2000 people would apply, it wasn’t easy.”
For Marina it wasn’t easy at all, twice she applied and twice she failed. Time to adapt and to change.
After her second attempt, Marina started paying closer attention to the suggestion of one of her best friends, Kaley Kallman. Kaley was experiencing great success in her career with a company called USHEALTH Advisors. More than once Kaley had tried to persuade her close friend to come and join her. Now, with another unsuccessful shot at art school, Marina was willing to listen and to find out what it was all about.
There was just one obstacle, albeit, in her mind, but Marina couldn’t picture herself in this career. “I didn’t see myself as a salesperson,” says Marina. “I’m very passive, not aggressive. But Kaley was persuasive and offered to allow Marina to just get her feet wet, to see what the career looked like from the outside, looking in.
“I started off doing some administrative work for Kaley,” says Marina, “and got a taste of the office atmosphere, as well as made some money on the side. But after a time I got too busy, between helping Kaley, going to school, and bartending, I had zero time to do anything else. But by working with Kaley and being in the office I saw the possibility of great success with all the agents working together and making a great income. I made the decision not to re-enroll in school and instead decided to join USHA.”
Marina says her dad wasn’t happy about that turn of events and even Marina initially had her doubts. “It was scary thinking you were going to go in one direction and then being in a place you don’t know what you are going to do with your life… especially starting a new care.”
Since joining USHEALTH Advisors in 2018, Marina has sold nearly $1.5 million in personal business and is building a team as a Field Training Agent. “The number one thing about this company is the support,” says Marina. “That’s so important to have. I don’t know of any other company where a new agent can get the support you get here. It’s been a slow progression for me. My worst attribute is that I am too hard on myself. If I don’t do well I will get down on myself. I’m working on that. You can have a bad week and feel like you are failing, but having someone constantly telling me I’m doing well and to keep going and to keep re-evaluating what I am doing, makes all the difference. Many times I’ve realized I’m not giving myself enough credit for what I can do and what I can and have accomplished.”
And Marina says she must give credit to the person that has been so supportive, her leader and best friend, Kaley. Marina says it’s hard for her to put into words how much Kaley’s leadership and mentorship have meant to her.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without Kaley,” says Marina. “She is such a huge part of my success. Kaley is proof that if you surround yourself with people you aspire to be like it is natural for you to develop into the person you have always wanted to be. Kaley is that person for me, I wanted to be like her.”
But yet even while there has been great success, there have also been significant challenges. It’s part of the ride in business and in life.
2020 was a year where Marina needed to adapt, pivot, and change again and it wasn’t just because of the pandemic. It was early in the year when Marina and several other agents got a message from Kaley, asking if they’d like to make a move north, from Orlando, Florida, and open up an office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“It was very random,” says Marina. “One day Kaley texted me and a few others and asked, ‘what do you think about moving to North Carolina?’ “I don’t think any of us hesitated. We were all in and then we asked everyone else to join us. It was very shocking, but no one who could make the move really had any objections to doing it. Six of us decided to go, then two more of our team moved up there as well.”
The relocation to a new town, however, was nothing compared to what would happen next. As a good part of Kaley’s team moved up from Florida, their hopes came crashing down. Corona was also moving in as well.
“We were here in Charlotte for a week, then the pandemic hit,” says Marina. “Everyone had to stay home and the process of finding and closing on a new office became a major headache. We had found an office that needed so many renovations, it would have taken forever to complete them, but luckily during the shutdown, another office became available. Even then it took a while for the contract to get approved.”
Marina says while the pandemic kept people sheltered at home, the new Kallman Satellite Division got busy – making the most of their forced solitude – to make sure new agents and those who needed training and some reinforcement got the same thing that Marina said had meant so much to her, support.
“We wanted to make sure the agents had access to all that they need,” says Marina. “As a leadership team, we decided to utilize the time at home to record new training videos for the agents, build the website for the office, and to make sure the new office could be up and running when we were allowed back there.”
Once the pandemic started to pull back and the agents and leaders in the Kallman Satellite could return to the office, (a few agents are still remote), it was time to set the standards and create the weekly system for success. Marina says she has her own schedule mapped out each week so she can efficiently help those on her team.
“We want the agents in the office and on the phones by 8 am each day,” says Marina. “I try to do as much work as I can before the agents start coming up to me in the morning to ask questions. I tell them to wait until about 10 am so I can also make calls, then help them with their needs. We also do check-ins a few times a day for the remote agents on the team. After the call session, I normally eat some lunch and then get ready for training. We have leaders switch off for training every afternoon. If I’m not training I’m doing some recruiting or marketing, then end the day working with the agents again, making calls and answering questions. I usually stay in the office until early evening, then I’m back in the office before 8 am the next day.”
The hours in the office can be long, but Marina has also managed to make it a more beautiful place to be, by putting her talents and creative skills to work.
“I still get to use what I learned in college nearly every day,” says Marina. “I created a lot of the logos around the office, decals on the walls, the team logo, and more. Kaley didn’t have to pay someone, instead, I got to contribute my other talents as well… at least college wasn’t a complete waste of time,” she laughs.
While Marina says her career at USHEALTH Advisors has given her the ability to design a better life, it’s also been a creative way to get her family some much-needed support, by joining the company!
“I have a sister, Taylor, who is three years older than me,” says Marina. And a brother, Grant, who is 6-years-older than I am. I am very close with both of them. Grant and his wife worked for Disneyworld in Orlando until the pandemic hit, and then they both lost their jobs. They already have one daughter and during the time they were unemployed Taylor found out she was pregnant. My brother needed income, and I ended up getting him appointed at USHA to make the money to keep his new family afloat. He’s still doing it and now he’s been able to perform as well on the side, as an acrobat for Universal Studios. Although he enjoys it we all know his body will give out on him eventually, so he will have this insurance career as a foundation and build up his residual income.”
“Also, my sister’s husband, my brother-in-law, Jordan, simply didn’t know what to do with his life. He had tried different things but never stuck with them. He comes from a wealthy family, but he wanted to find something he was passionate about, a way to help, so now he’s got it – he joined USHEALTH Advisors in Orlando. It’s amazing, this company has not only changed my life but my family’s life as well.”
With nearly everyone else on board, it appears the only members of the David family missing from USHA are Marina’s parents, but she says they are too busy doing what they truly love, being out on the greens and the fairways in Florida. “My parents play a lot of golf,” says Marina. “And they are really good. My mom was the Women’s Champion at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando! My dad gets angry when he plays her because he can never beat her, it’s pretty funny.”
Maybe Marina’s dad can take a lesson from his daughter. There was a time Marina says she focused too much on the things that she couldn’t do. “I grew up in life thinking, ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it…’, but then I found USHEALTH Advisors. And by jumping in and saying, ‘Yes, I can do it, I’ve surprised even myself. The bottom line is you don’t know what you can do until you try. So don’t limit yourself.”
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.