Raise the bar and set the standard, then show others how to do it and revel in the joy of their success. This is how Shai Hatuel is focusing his work and his life and it’s working… because Shai works!
“I’m in the office by 7:30 am during the week and work until 10 or 11 pm,” says Shai. “On the weekends I’m right back in the office, working from noon until 7 or 8 pm. Sundays are my favorite day to work because everyone is home, not working, you can reach them, speak to them, help them.”
For Shai, it’s all about helping and serving, himself, his agents, his family, his girlfriend… and once he found his home at USHA, his entire life changed.
Shai started his career at USHEALTH Advisors in July of 2017, and in just two years has become one of the top producers in the country, finishing last year in the Top 20 as a personal producer and now right back in the same spot with his team in the role of a Field Training Agent. USHEALTH Advisors is a subsidiary of USHEALTH Group, offering flexible health coverage, supplemental benefits to individuals, families, and the self-employed.
“When you love what you do, it is not work,” says Shai. “But you’ve got to put in the work. Just the other day I had an agent from Indiana reach out to me to ask me what I am doing, what’s the secret sauce? They are always asking me what I do differently. I tell everyone the same thing – the only thing that I do, that leaders like Jason Blank and Jesse Fabricant do is we put in the hours, we work the hours others don’t want to work. This is our business. Too many people think if you do the dials, 9-to-5, 40 hours a week, you’ll be successful. But it doesn’t work like that. If you are trying to contact someone who is a night person, early in the morning, you’re not going to reach them, or the other way around. You’ve got to be prospecting all the time. If you were a handyman you would tell people who you are and what you do, and do that as much as possible. This is our business, we have to make it work, it doesn’t work by itself.”
If you think Shai’s days are long, his nights used to be even longer. To appreciate what you have and be inspired to make the most of it, many times you have to look at where you came from. Life is about perception.
After graduating from FAU, Shai jumped into the hospitality industry. “I wanted to own my own restaurant and bar, but the business got tiring. So then I was working at and managing a nightclub in Fort Lauderdale. I’d go in at six or seven pm and get out of there around six or seven am! It drains your life and drains the life out of you.”
The silver lining and the shining light from those long, dark nights at the club is Drema, who Shai calls his dream girl, the woman he met more than four years ago.
“She came into the club for an interview and we just started talking,” he says. The two recently purchased a home and now it’s Drema who makes Shai’s long days that much better. “Thank God my girlfriend is 100 percent on board. She cooks all of my meals, lunches, and dinner and does so much work around the house. Every morning she gives me a beautiful smile and a cup of coffee that she’s made for me. I wouldn’t be able to do this without her. She has a busy life too – she is finishing up her doctorate program for clinical psychology. She is about to start her internship. So she goes to school, she works, and she is there for me. Drema is incredible.”
To build your dream life, you’ve got to live the reality of the grind. Shai comes by his desire to “hustle hard” naturally since he’s seen it in action from those who love him the most. Growing up, Shai saw the example his father provided. Children don’t always listen to what their parents say, but they always watch what they do.
Actions trump words every time.
“I have an amazing family – my parents and my two brothers – who I’m very close with,” says Shai. “My parents are the world to me. I wouldn’t be anything I am without them. They have given me and my brothers everything to succeed in life. My parents came here from Israel. My dad had just a few bucks in his pocket. He built himself up, worked hard, and always did so much. When he came to America, he opened up his own garage. Then, for a long time, he finished pools for people. He was doing really well until the recession hit. Things went downhill at that point. However, we are putting all the pieces back together, and my career here at USHEALTH Advisors has allowed me to help them as well. My mom even helps me in the business, creating spreadsheets so I can stay in touch with my clients, especially on their birthdays. When people ask me why I work so hard, this is why. My number one priority is to make my parents proud of their son.”
Shai says it’s so important to be able to give back to his clients, to his agents, to his family, to Drema… to be there for all who need him.
“I always have an open-door policy,” says Shai. “I had that in Orlando and now in our West Palm office. In Orlando, I sat in an office and just ground away and told anyone who needed help to just come in and ask me. Now, I work out in the pit and in the cubes with my team. But I will help anyone, even those on another team if they need anything at all. I might not be their FTA, (Field Training Agent), but we are all one team. It’s not fun being successful if you can’t be successful with the people around you. I love being able to see other people succeed in life and be the fuel to help them succeed.”
Shai says helping and building a team is fun, but it’s not easy. Nothing worthwhile in life ever is.
“A lot of people come here looking for a job, having just lost theirs and only want immediate income. Some people view it as a pump-and-dump to make a quick buck or see it as a job, not a career. They don’t understand. But once they learn the process, the products, and experience the culture, they are hooked for life.”
Shai continues, “When a person comes in for an interview, they have no idea what to expect. I didn’t know the first thing about health insurance when Jason Blank brought me on (Jason is a Satellite Division Leader, one of the top in the country). He had told me about the opportunity before, that he was selling health coverage, but I just shrugged it off. Jason and I went to high school together. I hadn’t seen him in a few years. He invited me to his house, and I went just because I thought it would be cool to see him. Instead of revisiting the past, he showed me what he was doing, told me about the process, and highlighted the opportunities. Not surprisingly, I contracted that day. I took the leap of faith. I had help all along the way, especially from people like Mara and Seth Dorne, (Mara is currently a Regional Sales Leader, and Seth is a Divison Sales Leader), who opened their arms and their doors to me. Early on, Seth walked me through a ton of obstacles that I ran into. He barely knew me but he helped me anyway.”
Now, as a leader, Shai is doing the same for others. It’s about the purpose and putting others in a position to succeed.
“I don’t mind putting in the work,” says Shai. “I want to continue to grow and eventually move into a higher leadership position. I want to continually share this opportunity with as many people as possible. As a leader, it’s about keeping my fire going and then seeing that same fire in other agents’ eyes. It’s not about the money. I don’t even look at my paychecks anymore.” Shai found joy in their success.
Shai channels some of his inspiration and competitive spirit from his sports hero, Jason Witten, whose signed jersey hangs in Shai’s office. An 11-time Pro Bowler, Witten is the former tight end for the Dallas Cowboys and after less than a year of retirement, he will recommence that former position. He certainly doesn’t need to make a comeback for the money, it’s all about the passion to perform at the highest level: “The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” says Jason Witten. “This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”
Whether it’s in the dirt, or in the trenches with his team, for Shai it’s all about winning, making a difference, and having fun.
“I would say it’s just about paying it forward. Whether it’s a client that needs the right guidance and needs more time to have the plan explained to them, or helping agents who might be struggling with the opportunity. Some get it quick and some struggle, but if you can help in any manner that’s the ultimate responsibility, and the true measure of success, to pay it forward.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.