“My greatest challenge is life itself. I’m still working on it. If I’m not failing, I’m not doing it right.” – J. Christofferson
Jeff Christofferson knows it’s all about hard work. His parents taught him this lesson from a young age. Growing up in a family with seven children – five boys and two girls, it was essential to have order and something to keep the kids busy.
Enter, the animals.
Chickens, goats, rabbits, a cow, even several llamas. Not all at once mind you, but all existing at one time or another on only a half-acre of land in Utah. It was an animal farm, without the farm.
“I’m not sure why so many animals,” says Jeff. “I guess because my parents wanted to teach us responsibility and the animals were a great way to do that. We had to milk the goats, feed the chickens, care for the rabbits. Then there were the llamas. I remember my dad had a co-worker who had all these exotic animals. So we traded a goat for a llama. After we got one my sister’s friend wanted one too, but it didn’t work out. So we inherited that llama as well. It was little crazy. They were different genders, so we ended up with even more llamas!”
It was all about engaging Jeff and his siblings in something that demanded attention and responsibility. And as Jeff quickly learned you couldn’t take your eyes off them, or take them for granted.
“Some of the animals were pets, like the rabbits,” says Jeff. “I was supposed to give them water, but one day I didn’t feel like it. Without water, we lost some of them in the hot sun. I was only five, or maybe six-years-old, but I was ashamed it happened. It bothered me. Most of the animals we raised for food. We ate most of the chicken’s eggs, drank the goat milk and what we couldn’t drink we gave away. We even raised a cow one year but we were told he was not going to be a pet. He was going to end up in the freezer. We named him Hamburger, just so we didn’t get too attached.”
A childhood full of chores translated into dedication and discipline in the classroom. Jeff graduated high school with a 3.95 GPA and college with a 3.8, and a bachelor’s in business management, with a minor in banking. “My whole goal was to eventually be an entrepreneur,” says Jeff. “That’s why I minored in banking, to make sure to work on any weakness I had in finance, understanding the books, budgeting and investments.”
Jeff also made another important, life-changing investment…in himself. At age 19 he served on a mission for the Mormon church. “My dad was a bishop,” says Jeff. “We were raised to be faithful and trust in God and work hard. It paid off.”
“My mission service took me to Morristown, New Jersey, where I spent most of the time along the Hudson river, speaking a lot of Spanish and serving others. Doing that taught me a lot of independence, how beneficial faith can be for somebody and what kind of hope that provides for people. I feel like I learned so much, especially how to read people and what to look for and be able to see what they are really looking for.”
Giving always begins the receiving process. And you never know when you might receive. If you’re patient, the universe works in your favor. What Jeff learned in service in his mission was a skill that would serve him well in the not-too-distant future.
But his college years also produced more than a lesson in life and a degree. Jeff also fell in love. Set up on a blind date, he met a girl named Lindsey, the two spent every day of the next two weeks together and ten months later they were wed. That union has produced three children, Shad, Tyce and Brek.
Jeff spent his post-college years working as a branch manager for a medical equipment company and eventually ran three branches. But then the cuts in Medicare forced him to make a decision. “I was probably saving the company $150,000 a year with the different, demanding responsibilities I had,” Jeff says, “but with the Medicare cuts I couldn’t make the bonuses, so I decided to do something different. That’s about the time USHEALTH Advisors moved into Utah.”
It was July of 2016 and in less than two years Jeff has been promoted from agent to Field Sales Leader for USHA. Success always leaves clues and you can trace a path for Jeff back to his days of caring for animals, working hard in school and helping others with his mission work. The ability to help and serve others…and understand their needs, is the secret ingredient in sales.
“Seeing what my client is looking for and providing what they need is crucial,” explains Jeff. “If you are not providing a service, or something that works for them, it’s just not worth it. Helping design a policy that works for the client and in many cases saves them money, that’s a pretty neat opportunity.”
Jeff continues: “I’m happy where I am right now. I see the value in all of this. I’m enjoying building the business and producing, helping individuals and overall having a team that is functioning and growing – and growing past the organic, sapling type growth, making steady progress. It’s all a part of what I am trying to achieve here.”
It’s about thinking big, but knowing it takes the little things done right, every day, to produce big results. It’s also about keeping it “real”. Jeff says if he could have a billboard that broadcast a message the whole world could see, it would read: It’s Not That Big Of A Deal. “People worry about too many things,” says Jeff. “If you can take a step back and look at it for what it is, you can work to figure it out. People see this mountain in front of them, but if they stood up and took a good look they would realize it’s just an anthill.”
With his role now as a leader with USHEALTH Advisors Jeff also knows it’s about showing others the way. “I think my character is so important,” Jeff says. “If someone can’t rely on my character, if I can’t represent myself like I want, then I don’t know what value I have to anybody. When I look back on my life I want to be remembered that I was and did what I said I would do. I am in life what you expected. I am true to what I said I would be.”
The truth, great character, a wonderful family and caring for a couple of crazy llamas. Now that’s a life worth remembering.