If you are going to spend a lot of time on something it better be something you are passionate about.
Jan Gleisner is long-time financial services professional with over 16 years of experience in his field. He currently serves as President of Carmel Valley Insurance Agency, Inc., an independent insurance agency that he founded. He is also part of the registered investment advisor, Hermes Econometrics.
Jan brings a logical and unconventional approach to the financial and insurance planning process. He creates customizable plans for each client he works with. He believes that great guidance and advice enables those who are making financial decisions to see clear choices paired with informed choices. He creates individualized strategies that use best practice solutions and are easy to understand for those who are not active within the field.
Carmel Valley Insurance Agency, Inc is independent of any insurance company, which affords Gleisner and his team the flexibility to take a consultative approach with each client. The solutions they offer are geared to create financial independence so any client can see a path to relaxing and affordable retirement. Other than his responsibilities at Carmel Valley Insurance Agency, Gleisner serves on the advisory board for the Denmark-based international toy company Moover Toys.
Jan Gleisner also serves as an advisor for Hermes Econometrics, a registered investment advisor based out of California. They focus on both investment management for other firms and advisory services for private clients. Hermes Econometrics focuses on risk management and liquidity, which allows Gleisner and his team to clearly navigate today’s unexpected markets in a more smooth manner.
Gleisner began his career with GE Financial Assurance, where he was consistently the top producer for the San Diego region. It was at GE Financial Assurance where he received his the essence of his insurance and financial related training. The reason for his departure was to create a regional wealth management firm called CA Wealth Management. He ran this firm until he founded Carmel Valley Insurance Agency, Inc. and has continued as an independent financial advisor through different firms.
Where did the idea for Carmel Valley Insurance Agency, Inc. come from?
I founded the company to truly have access to all the best solutions for clients. Often insurance agents are limited by the agenda of the company they are with. If you truly want to offer the best solutions to clients, you have to own the channel.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically have 3-4 meeting with clients. I do analytical and research work to stay current, as well as follow ups and planning. Every week I have set time aside to also work on the business to optimize processes.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In my constant search for a better way of doing planning for clients, ideas come to me by reading articles, discussing relevant information with other people and learning from clients with how they think. It is definitely a process.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Time management. Without being able to prioritize, your day gets eaten alive by tasks. It’s important to focus on what is relevant and what is urgent but at the same time allocate time to projects.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The focus that comes along with good time management can never be overestimated.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
People are often not comfortable with something that is new to them. Some of the better solutions are not mainstream by the big firms as they make less money on them. I call them too client friendly. The irony is that it takes a lot of education to make some potential clients understand that there are other solutions available to them that will help them. In these instances I turn to my teaching skills and persistency. I go down the path of helping clients with what they need more than what they want. It’s a much better outcome.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
If you do something more than three times in meetings, document it and make it part of your process.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Restructure the business or processes when I run out of time constantly.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
You have to choose your business partners wisely. Even if you do choose wisely, you can reach a point where a breakup is necessary. I had a bad partnership once and should have exited sooner.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Do what you love and be good at it. If you are going to spend a lot of time on something it better be something you are passionate about. I know that was just advice. But how about creating a solution that makes people more efficient? There is always room for a company doing that in a better way.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Personally. I had ceviche in a restaurant in Mexico with a person that is very dear to me. Great time. Professionally, I purchased a scanner that can scanner front and back, 50 pages a minute (ok, it was $500). Saves me so much time.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
CRM system that tracks all my activities.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Creature from Jekyll Island. You have to understand how the monetary system works and how it was built.
What is your favorite quote?
How do you expect different results if you keep repeating yourself? – Anonymous
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.