The digital consumer wants to be educated. If you can provide them with knowledge, you can earn their trust and their business. This cost us nothing more than sweat equity.
Sean Dudayev is the Co-Founder of InsureChance Inc. An online life insurance agency on a mission to bring simplicity to buying life insurance by combining technology with outstanding service to help consumers understand, afford, and attain the right life insurance coverage to protect their financial responsibilities.
Where did the idea for InsureChance come from?
I joined my brother in selling insurance when I graduated high school. Together we heard horror stories from our clients about the agents out there. We quickly realized we could do something about this and can provide value in the life insurance sector. We saw one big problem with the life insurance industry: it has been slow to adapt. Attaining a policy involves a lot of steps which can take months for an individual to attain coverage. Some people still drive to their local agent to get coverage. The online brokerages that do exist are not consumer oriented and are still using old technology, which require each individual to speak to an agent in order to apply. This can leave consumers getting the wrong policy and overpaying for coverage by working with the wrong agent. The life insurance buying process is lacking simplicity. That’s where we come in. Our model is attractive to the digital consumer and provides an alternative to local agents, lengthy phone conversations and extraneous paperwork. There is a huge lack of a trusted source to go to for life insurance shopping and we were looking to fill that void for consumers by replacing the life insurance agent of yesterday. That’s why InsureChance Inc. was born. The name took some brainstorming, but when we finally came up with it, we couldn’t believe it wasn’t taken, given the fact insurance companies have been around for hundreds of years.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up around 7:30 a.m. every day, start my day with exercise, get to the office by 9 a.m. and work till about 10 p.m. Most of my work revolves around creating content, managing projects and reviewing customer data to improve our process. To stay productive I need my sleep and I make sure to cut all distractions out of my day. As I went, I learned to take things out of my schedule rather than piling more on.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life the same way I come up with them: perspiration. I don’t really like to sit around on ideas. We have a strong culture of work ethic at InsureChance, once we think of something, we act on bringing it to fruition.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The rise in consumer-oriented companies. In the modern day entrepreneurs no longer have to trade their values for profits. The soil is perfect for customer first companies to succeed. The digital consumer knows all and “100% transparency” is no longer a choice for most businesses out there.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m religious about my sleep schedule. I make sure to get my sleep to stay mentally sharp. When you’re tired every mole hill seems like a mountain and 30-minute tasks take hours to do. Cutting out sleep is overrated, all you’re doing is borrowing time from the future because you’re bound to crash. Sleep is my #1 productivity hack, if you can call it that.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I once worked at a call center that didn’t allow the sales agents to say a word outside of the script. They were all about the numbers submitted and didn’t care about the customers. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long. As time went on most of their clientele fell out because they didn’t focus on their client’s needs. This experience provided me the most valuable sales lesson: A good sale is one that solves a customer’s problem, not one that manipulates a human being. This job fueled my desire to put an end to self-oriented business practices in our industry. It was the last job I had prior to starting InsureChance.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I’d hate to be cliche, but I wouldn’t do much different because everything happened for a reason. There is no crystal ball we can look into to see where the other road would lead and I’d hate to speculate. I’m a believer in the fact that all is as it should be, as long as you learn from your mistakes and remain consistent with your desires.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
My partner and I share this trait and it’s reading. I read everything that catches my interest. I’ d recommend people read every piece of knowledge they have time for. You never know when there is that one sentence, on that one page, that can change your methodology from that point on. Essentially the author is providing decades of research or experience to you in a few hours. In my opinion, that is absolutely invaluable.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
For us, it has been addressing consumer questions. We try to be everywhere the customer can possibly be and address their concern. The digital consumer wants to be educated. If you can provide them with knowledge, you can earn their trust and their business. This cost us nothing more than sweat equity.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We left our marketing in the hands of other companies. This had disastrous results. We overcame it by a strong effort on inbound marketing and keeping everything in-house. This way we’re able to control our branding and reach the right customers.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I once had a silly idea for a “2Things” store brand, but I think it can work. I’ve watched many shoppers reading labels, doing searches, and struggling to make a decision on something as simple as toothpaste. With all these options, people always want to know they’re getting the best. So the idea is, only allow two brands at a time for each item in your store. Not only does this help the indecisive shoppers make a decision but you can partake in A/B testing consistently. Over a year’s period let customers pick the winner, then switch out the losing brand with another. I think this can drive competition and increase product quality over time. Plus, if you can scale it big enough, you will have brands fighting to get into your store. I think it’s a good idea to serve the busy shopper who doesn’t have time to look at 10 different brands of something for each item on their list. Let the best product win!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently signed up to a gym and bought a pair of boxing gloves to go along with it. Boxing was my first passion as a kid and it’s this particular skillset that’s tied into healthy mindset for me. Getting back to it has increased my vigor for work and allows me to keep my health in check.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I can’t live without my Scribd and Kindle accounts. Whenever I catch myself with downtime, I use it to catch up on my reading.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Great by Choice – Jim Collins. This is my favorite book by far from recent years. Mr. Collins has a way of doing amazing case studies and introducing concepts that are’t only great for business but can be used in your personal life. This is a must read.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Recently I have been really influenced by Charlie Munger’s philosophies. He has a way of tuning out the noise that I admire.