Surround yourself with a team of people you can trust and rely on; treat the people in your business a part of your family.
Giuseppe Mauro is the owner and founder of MIG Insurance. Located in Rockville, MD, the firm offers a great range of risk management and insurance plans. Giuseppe holds licenses and can help personal and commercial clients in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.
Giuseppe was born in Washington D.C. to immigrant parents who arrived here from Italy in 1968. He attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School and later graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in History. After graduating, he spent a few years working for the Food and Drug Administration. He then went on to bartend for a chophouse in Rockville, and later moved up to manage a restaurant in D.C. called Oya. Despite his success in the service industry, he chose to follow his passion and make the jump into the financial world.
In 2008 Giuseppe began his work in finance as an Office Manager at State Farm. After finally finding his calling, Giuseppe quickly began to flourish in his new field. He was the number of over 2,700 insurance producers in the State Farm network to issue 78 life insurance policies in 60 days, during the spring of 2009. In order to obtain this award, one must receive a 10-out-of-10 rating from all 78 of the new clients.
In addition, he was voted top business of the year in 2012 by World Advisory Company.
MIG Insurance was listed in the top 50 places to work in the Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. area by Washington Magazine. Giuseppe Mauro also achieved both a bronze and silver award for being in the top five and one percent of life insurance premiums by Erie Insurance Company.
Where did the idea for MIG Insurance come from?
Honestly, I was completely inspired by my parents. They came to this country and they each started their own small businesses, despite not being able to speak the language. Throughout the years I’ve seen their determination and the passion that they have for their careers and I saw the courage it takes to turn a passion into a successful business. Even now, my parents are in their 70s and 80s and they’re still doing it. Seeing them and seeing how fulfilled their lives are was all I needed to know that one day I would start a business of my own.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Being the president of MIG Insurance, I like to spend a few hours in the morning reading and responding to emails, returning phone calls, and getting myself up to speed on the day to come. I also spend about an hour a day reading the news and going over other materials to keep me updated on the changes in the insurance world. Later, I might find myself with three to four meetings with clients to review their files and make sure they’re covered from the unexpected. If my clients haven’t been able to come into the office I will often make home visits, even if the only days they are free are the weekends.
The best way for me to stay productive is to keep in close contact with my incredible team. My company at its core is a family business, and I consider everyone I work with to be a part of my family. In order for me to really connect with my clients and to do what I have to do, my team is constantly there to support me and make sure that we provide the absolute best service possible.
How do you bring ideas to life?
There are sometimes where I really feel like I have a dozen ideas a day and that every one of them is a home run. I always have some new idea bouncing around in my mind, but the best way for me to actually bring an idea to fruition is by bringing that idea to my team and having them go over it with me. I’m lucky to work with a group of very honest, very transparent people and they have no problem telling me if an idea won’t work. Most importantly, they all bring their own input to the table, and with their help we can really do some amazing things.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I would say, for a lot of different reasons that autonomous vehicles are really exciting. The insurance industry just does not know how to handle them yet, and in the near future they are going to be extremely important. It’s an interesting challenge to change the relationship of the human and the vehicle and then work insurance into that equation. I guess only time will tell.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a very avid reader, I truly love to read. My perfect career choice, if I didn’t have the passion for risk management and insurance, would have been a librarian. I would be a librarian in Ocean City at the library on the Coastal Highway that almost overlooks the ocean.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would without question tell myself to get into the industry sooner. I’m very happy with where I am in my career, but I can’t imagine all the things I could have accomplished if I had started sooner. Sooner and younger is always better than later and older.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Larry Bird is easily one of the top five best basketball players of all time. If were talking about truths in business though, I think one of the most important is that you must be genuine, be true to yourself. An example that comes to mind is that after three or four years with my company, I decided I wanted to be a spokesperson in a television commercial for us. I got a lot of criticism for my decision and a lot of people told me it wouldn’t work, but I was true to myself and I went with my gut and we did it anyway. At the end of the day that commercial was very valuable to our company and we reached a niche clientele that we may have never reached otherwise.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Something that I think we can’t do too much is show appreciation. I try to show my appreciation for everything in life, big or small. Whether it’s on this earth or in business or in anything, no one knows how long we’re going to be here, and no one knows how his or her words might impact a person. Showing your appreciation might inspire someone to do something great and as an entrepreneur you always want to inspire the people around you to be the best they can be. If the people on my team at MIG Insurance feel appreciated, they are happier, our customers are happier, and the business in general is more successful.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My most important strategy for growth is to be accountable for my words, my actions, and my intentions. Too often, people want to take the easy way out and point the finger at someone else, so they don’t have to face the consequences. Even when it’s difficult, I try to look at what I could have done better and try to learn from my mistakes. By learning from my mistakes I’m able to grow, and by setting this precedent for my team they become more accountable, and they can grow and learn as well. When all of us as a team are accountable for ourselves, the customers are more satisfied and more confident in us and our business prospers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In 2014, MIG Insurance was growing quickly, very quickly. I thought because we were growing so fast, the best decision we could make was to open a second location. I realized the hard way that decentralizing the business is a lot more complicated than it seems, and that instead of expanding, we should have been working on making our current location more efficient. That was a painful, but valuable lesson and now the location we have is more efficient than ever.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think someone needs to create a platform where people can go to read all the reviews and feedback for any specific business. Right now, there are a lot of different platforms where you can go to write a review or read comments, but I think it would be a lot easier if that process were more streamline. Regardless of it’s a business the size of Amazon or a Mom and Pop shop down the street, you should be able to see everything anyone has said online in one place.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I’d easily say it was for health insurance for Valentino, the dog that my wife and I rescued. He’s a part of our family and I can’t imagine what we’d do if something ever happened to him. Not long after we got the policy he we found out he needed some major dental work that was going to cost over $6,000. Because of that policy, we didn’t have to worry about it.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I really like Penzu. It’s a note taking/diary service that’s totally encrypted. It’s easy for me to access on my laptop or my desktop or my phone, and it uses an iris or fingerprint scan, so I know it’s secure. It helps me to jot down any ideas that randomly come to me during the day, or any pressing things I need to remember like deadlines and commitments. It also helps me reflect at the end of the day and just get all the ideas out of my head.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of the best books I’ve read in years is called Arguably by Christopher Hitchens. It has a lot of incredible insight into political and cultural changes in America over the past 50 years or so. He writes in a way that keeps the book in your hands and teaches you a lot of interesting and important facts about our history.
What is your favorite quote?
Oh, that’s easy, it’s also by Christopher Hitchens. “Suspect your own motives and all excuses.” I have a poster with that quote on a wall in my office for motivation.
• Sooner and younger is always better than later and older.
• Show appreciation for everything in life, big or small.
• Surround yourself with a team of people you can trust and rely on; treat the people in your business a part of your family.
• Always be accountable for yourself, even when it is difficult to do so.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.