Pick Your Hard – Robin Corrow

“Sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing. Just because we haven’t figured them out yet, doesn’t mean we won’t.” – Richard Castle

It’s been said that helping and serving are always in fashion. Fashion is something that Robin Corrow knows a great deal about, after all, that’s where she entered the world of business.

“I am from Omaha, Nebraska,” says Robin. “So born, raised there, and then moved to Minnesota to go to school and went to school for fashion. The fashion industry was going to be my career, it was working for me. I love it and I still love it. It doesn’t really matter which side of the industry you’re in, but I was working on the corporate side, and I knew all of the people that I was working with and could see where this was going. I could see I’m not going to become the owner. I could start doing my own thing of course, but that was back when I was 25 years old. I also knew the buyers, so I could do that, but that takes a long time to build a career. To even become a junior buyer is something that takes time and you don’t get paid very well for that either. And money has never really been something I think about in the context of why I’m going to do something, but I would like to be rewarded for my efforts, and thought how do I get there?”

Realizing it would be a long and winding journey on the runway to a successful fashion career, Robin decided to pivot. Recently married, she and her husband Bo decided to move to Texas to be closer to family. So Robin decided to put her resume out there and got a call from someone at USHEALTH Advisors.

“I had attended school in Minnesota. I went to the art institute there because I wanted to be in fashion and don’t even ask why I moved to Minnesota, because I am not a fan of cold weather,” laughs Robin. “So I moved from a cold state to a colder state, which makes no sense. I still to this day, have no idea why I did that. But I knew to be closer to my family I would soon be moving to Texas. I got my resume out there and when I got the call I was surprised, because I wasn’t applying for insurance. I interviewed with Becky Romo from USHA at a Starbucks in Allen, Texas. It seemed interesting and all of the other pieces were coming together, but I still had to decide if I was going to make this work or not.”

“I had grown up in a very normal middle class household,” says Robin. “My parents both went to work every single day. My dad’s an engineer, and my mom worked for Girls and Boys Town, in Omaha. They live here in Texas now. So it was all just about whether I could believe in myself and be able to go into a commission-only sales position. I am sure some people at this company have faced this hurdle as well. This is my experience, half the people in my life were telling me no, and half the people were telling me yes. So I had to make a choice, and I’m so thankful that I did. But it’s not easy. And if you don’t have the right support system, you can have people saying to you, “Why would you do that? You have a job, you have a salary, you’re in fashion. Why would you go into insurance?”

It was a tough call. A decision to step outside the box takes courage. But Robin looked behind her – at the fashion industry and ahead to where she wanted to go – which was to be rewarded for her hard work, and soon realized there was something more.

“I thought about the people I was talking to about this move,” says Robin, “and evaluated what they do for their positions, for their jobs. I really tried to speak with people of all ages as well, because you’re going to get different answers there. Fortunately, one of the most important, my husband Bo, was on board. He’s so supportive in everything, almost to a fault, but you need that. And then my brother-in-law who ran a business, told me to do it. I wanted to trust somebody who was running a business, not someone who’s just really working for somebody else. My parents were also supportive, in fact one of my father’s friends was in veterinarian-type sales, and he told me, “Do it!” For the ones who told me to play it safe, that’s a different mindset of, it’s very black and white, don’t go outside the lines, stay put, stay with what’s safe. I’m glad I didn’t though.”

Taking the road less traveled and listening to others who have been there before. History is a great teacher of what’s possible, if others have done it before, why not you? We tend to get caught up in the stories we tell ourselves of what won’t work, instead of thinking of what life would be like if it did go right. Believe it or not, most times things do work out the way you want… if you do what Robin did, believe in yourself. Although Robin never “fashioned herself” as an insurance agent, she was now ready to take a chance, to have a strong backbone and also one other “bone” she never realized she possessed.

“This is all really just about helping people,” says Robin. “I mean, that’s one of the reasons I decided to come to USHEALTH Advisors. But when I started, I was like, I’m not a salesperson. I really don’t think I have that bone in my body. But I quickly realized that a sales bone can be a helping bone. And if you’re good at helping people, then the sales will come. And I also think, or maybe I just tell myself this, but I think I’m a really good listener. Listening is it and I tell my agents that all the time. You have to listen to people. They will tell you everything, but you’ve got to listen and you’ve got to listen from the beginning all the way to the end, especially in the beginning.”

“But so many people don’t do that, they don’t know how to listen. And I’m just talking about people in general. I’m sure everyone has those people in their lives. I mean, the ones who instantly cut you off because they’re thinking about what they’re going to say next. And that’s not a good listener. That’s somebody who’s truly looking to either one up you, or they’re just not comfortable with the listening. They’ve got to be talking. And I feel like a lot of what we do, and if we are doing it well, is to be silent.”

While listening is one of the main skills of a top salesperson, so is another skill, one that Robin says she picked up during her years playing sports… do whatever it takes.

“Growing up in Nebraska, softball, was my main sport,” says Robin. “And I played that until I think senior year, or junior year of high school. I decided to stop playing, not because I didn’t like it, but for other reasons of just wanting to be too social, which my father would tell you was he was not happy about at all,” she laughs. “But when I was playing, I was really in it. I was in travel, and played on varsity in high school. When you’re in high school, and you play sports, at least in Nebraska, you have no life. You had to be at practice. If you went out, you had to be home by a specific time. The coach went as far to call and check to see if we were home.”

“I was a pitcher for a long time, but that was because I started when I was four or five. I pitched for years, but then when I got to high school, I couldn’t do that anymore. I played second base because I was not strong enough, big enough to pitch. I would have to bat left-handed, even thought I’m not left handed and do all the pinch running because I was fast, and I wanted to make the team. I was a freshman, but I knew I had to do these things because I wanted to be on varsity. I didn’t want to be on junior varsity. I always have been that way, I want to learn from people who I need to catch up to. And I think a lot of people are like that in sports as well. You want to learn from the best.”

Just like learning to do things she was unaccustomed to on the softball field, is one of the reasons Robin made the leap of faith to join USHEALTH Advisors. For too long, life had been… predictable.

“I always had structure,” says Robin, “never without that. And I think that’s probably why I chose to get into something that I had no idea what I was doing because I also had just always lived that way. I wanted to learn something new. Now I know what I’m doing. You can quickly figure this out. But at the beginning, you don’t know. You don’t know if you’re going to be good at it. You don’t know if you are or who you’re going to be talking to. I didn’t know anything about insurance. Seriously, not one thing.”

“But I also know that consistency is critical in anything. And I think with anyone who plays sports, you almost have this mental toughness that sometimes people who don’t play sports, haven’t experienced, or developed. In sports in general, you want to win. I wasn’t playing to just play, sure I was having fun, but I didn’t want to just have fun, I wanted to win. I wanted to win every game that we played. I wanted to do well. I wanted to help my team. That was a big thing. So when I started in insurance, of course, again, you don’t know until you try, but then you realize that it’s much bigger that you thought. You’re doing things as a company, as a team – small teams, big teams – but you’re a team, all moving in the same direction.”

Knowing and feeling you are part of a team is important, but you also need someone to look up to, a mentor, someone who has traveled the winding road you are now taking. Seeing others succeed and learning their stories, (what these blogs are all about), is just as important.

Like I said, I didn’t know anything, especially about insurance like most people who come here say, but I believed my leader, Allison Ellis,” says Robin. “So when I went to her house, when I met her husband, I thought, okay, this stuff is real. And then I listened to her stories, which are true stories, and that’s what kept me going forward. So I try and help everybody understand that blind faith is a good thing if you can put your trust in someone, and trust the people that you’re listening to. I got all of that and more with Allison. If I didn’t have her to call and lean on it would have been tough. She never wavered, never put me in a negative state of mind. She helped me so much.”

“Also give yourself some grace, because not everything is always going to go well, and not everyone is going to come out of the gates swinging. Some people just know people to reach out to for business, which is nice. I knew no one, and I wasn’t calling my close family to sell them because I was scared. And I get that is what it is. So what I would tell people most, is be sure you believe in you.”

Belief has Robin on the brink of one of the big milestones at USHEALTH Advisors, issuing $5 Million in personal insurance policies. She’s also continued to produce the past six years while learning to balance her time as a wife and a mom. Robin and Bo welcomed Emma into the world in 2018, and neither stopped their careers or became stay-at-home parents to make it all work. Just like laying down a good bunt in softball, Robin knew there would have to be sacrifices to have a great career and a great family.

“When Emma was born, you don’t really know what’s going to happen’” says Robin. “You have this plan, and my plan did change pretty quickly because once she was born, I’m not the type of person that loves to sit around and do nothing. It’s not like after you have a kid, you’re not doing anything, but everyone’s different in how they want to handle things. I wanted to work. So pretty soon after having her, I actually brought Emma to the office and had a nanny or a babysitter sit at the office with her. Everyone at work loved that, so it was exciting.”

“My husband Bo was super supportive. Like I said, even back before having a kid, he was just so supportive with everything. We also have family here now as well, my parents live down here in Texas, and my husband’s parents also moved down here from Minnesota. So we have help.”

“I’ve heard so many people say this and I really think it’s so big in in any business, but if you’re going to start a business, somebody has to make the sacrifices, Bo has been great. With Emma being born our schedules changed, but my work didn’t change as much and I still wanted to work and be able to help people. And once we went virtual we could really work from anywhere, so that helped. And honestly, thinking back a few years, I think people are a lot nicer sometimes when they know you’re pregnant,” she laughs. “That was actually a fun time back in 2017 and 2018, just before Emma was born. When you’re talking to people and they find out you’re pregnant, it’s like instant sale!”

Having been in sales and part of the USHEALTH Advisors experience for quite some time now, Robin has advice for new people coming in and stepping out into the unknown.

“What’s worked well I think, is keeping the belief that our business is very simple,” says Robin, “and always going back to basics. I remember when I was with my first Regional Leader Kevin Farrell, he would always say, “This business is nothing except for setting appointments and talking to people.” “Of course, there’s more that goes into it, but it’s so true because if you get back to just having conversations with people, everything else works itself out. I feel like over the years that has been the one thing that gets you back on track, picking up the phone and talking to people. Everything else is just busy work.”

Do the work. That four-letter word is synonymous with progress, because if you’re truly doing what you need to do, then you’re moving forward, toward something bigger than just yourself. Work is not supposed to be easy, which is why they call it work, but it can be meaningful, especially, as Robin has learned, when you work with a company like USHA.

In the world of fashion, you have to get up, dress up and show up. Is that any different than in any career where you want to be super successful? It means making a choice. Choosing to become the someone you’ve always wanted to be, by doing the things you never thought you could.

“I think I would want people to pick your hard,” says Robin. “We can all think that something is, what we’re doing is hard, but what does that mean? It’s hard to do a lot of things, but if you do something else, it’s just going to be a different kind of hard. So if you stick with it and you listen to people and you always want to learn, you’ll win. I hop on every training I can still to this day, and I’ve heard a lot of them. But I haven’t heard them all, right? Because there are new ones, new ideas and I always want to grow. Never think that you know everything, because no one knows everything. And don’t be complacent. I want people to remember me as not being complacent either, I try and be consistent and work at getting better, all the time.

It’s not easy, if it was everyone would do it. Nor would it be as rewarding.

So as Robin says, pick your hard. Then get after it, and get what you deserve!

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Your Storyteller,

Mark Brodinsky

Recent Posts

What Others Don’t Want To Do – Karl Curran
What Others Don’t Want To Do “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”...
Read More about What Others Don’t Want To Do – Karl Curran
A Caring Loyal Person – Heather Blocker
Toss a pebble in the water, and make a wave. We all may think the smallest effort or gesture goes...
Read More about A Caring Loyal Person – Heather Blocker
Man In The Mirror – Mark Brodinsky
There comes a time to share your own journey. So I’ll keep this intro brief. Everyone has a story, including...
Read More about Man In The Mirror – Mark Brodinsky