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Growing A Company: Mindset and Strategy

Season 2 Episode 19

Growing A Company: Mindset and Strategy with David White and Rick Eaton

Season 2 Episode 19


Intro/Outro: Welcome to the Insurance Leadership Podcast, the podcast designed to bring you perspectives and principles from leaders in the life and health insurance industry. We trust you'll enjoy today's episode.

Ryan Eaton: Good morning, and welcome to another episode of the insurance leadership podcast. I am Ryan Eaton, your host, and honored to have you listening in today. Today we have two guests who are gonna be talking about how they grew their company from 2 million in capital and surplus all the way to a hundred million in capital and surplus.

It's going to be a great episode that you don't wanna miss, but it's also extra special for me because we have David White, who is the CEO of our company and Rick Eaton, who is the COO of our company, also my father on the show. So it's extra special for me today. And I thank you for listening in. So, guys thank y'all so much for being on the show.

So, David, why don't we get kicked off today with you giving a little overview of what AmFirst looked like 20 years ago? What it did, and what products? All the good things that kind of give everyone a background.

David White: Yeah. Well, 20 years ago, AmFirst, the holding company was just getting started because before that we just had an insurance company didn't start until 1999.

And so AmFirst holdings was AmFirst insurance company. Mm-hmm . That was really all that was in it at that point when it was written, we didn't have any, we called it a holding company, but it really was just one company itself.

Rick Eaton: Yeah. Yeah. Wasn't much to hold. Yeah.

Ryan Eaton: Well, Rick, why don't you give us a financial picture of kind of what the size of AmFirst at that point, kind of give a little overview.

Rick Eaton: Well, you know,

when we first started, we had minimum capital and surplus. We had $2 million, the holding company, which is all in the insurance company at the time, but we didn't have very much to play with. I mean, we had to be very careful with everything we did, because if you weren’t careful and didn't things didn't go right, you could be in solvent from a that's right. Regulator standpoint in pretty short orders.

David White: I think the required capital and servers was $1 million. It was. So, we had two. So, you couldn't make a very big mistake.

Ryan Eaton: So y'all were basically at a spot where every decision mattered because one bad decision could have a significant impact on the financials. Correct?

Rick Eaton: Correct.

David White: You know, you didn't really think of it like that, but, but that is the case, you know, for some reason you, you knew you had to make the right decisions, but you didn't think that every decision would cause you to go out of business, but it could have.

Ryan Eaton: No, you could not. So, looking at where you guys have come to now looking where the company's grown to. Now we have over a hundred million in capital and surplus on the books, looking at that. Did you see at that point, did you have a roadmap to get to this spot? Did you know you would be here one day? What was kind of the thought process 20 years ago?

David White: Yeah. I'm not sure that we had a roadmap that said, okay, this is how you get from 2 million to a hundred million. But I, I think that, that we talked about how to be successful every year. We talked about how to make our underwriting profit, you know, a lot of. A lot of larger companies, even in those days, had over a hundred percent loss ratio and expenses.

Ryan Eaton: Right.

David White: But they could earn six, seven, 8% on their investment income.

Ryan Eaton: That's right.

David White: So, they didn't, they weren't required to really make an underwriting profit. We had no investment income because everything we had was capital and surplus. So, we had to make a profit in, in with the product itself. And that's the way we started and, and its way it's always been.

That's a very positive for the company for the last 20 years, I think, don't you?

Rick Eaton: It was, and we spent the early years on a weekly basis looking at claims because if things went south, we had to be able to catch it quickly. Yeah, exactly. Or else we would be out of business. And so, we had to look for the results that we had every week.

How much, how much were the claims? How much was the premium? Because if things started going south, we had to catch it in a hurry.

Ryan Eaton: So, this is what's fun about interviewing people, you know, and the company you work with is cause I knew there was a Christmas tree report that we talked about, which showed green and red based off winnings or losses.

And I remember at one point. It looked like it was on fire, and it was not a pretty report.

Rick Eaton: Remember that well?

Ryan Eaton: I do tell the story. I think it's fun just to give the audience perspective, the story of how our number one product now, the premium saver, what it was like at one point probably nine months in, and that that report was on fire and it got canceled three times in a drive from, from Jackson to Oxford. I'd love to hear that story.

David White: No, no. We were driving Jay, Jay Brooks, and I, who was a sales manager at that point. We're driving from Jackson to Birmingham to meet with Delta dental. I remember that very well. And, and so Sigrid Wells had generated this Christmas tree reported basically if it was green, those particular groups were making money.

And if it was red, that particular employer was losing money. And, and on this particular trip, I mean, it all looked red to me, there was very little green on the report and I said, well, Jay, if we, if we lose this much money, we're, we're gonna, the company's gonna be outta business. And I said, tell him to stop writing new business, stop writing new business.

And he said, okay. And he called back to Ed and said, don't write more new business. And then we talked a little more and. Well, maybe we could make it another 30 days and try it out. And so, between the four-hour drive from Birmingham to, I mean, from Jackson to Birmingham, we stopped and started three times, and finally, we got to Birmingham, and we said, okay, what we're gonna do is we're gonna go another 60 days.

We're gonna see what happens. And if it doesn't get any better, we're just gonna shut it down. We're not gonna keep writing this product. Well, what we didn't know was the large, A plus rated carrier. They'd probably be happier if I don't mention their name. We thought surely their actuaries could have done a great job pricing this product.

What we didn't know is, we were losing about $200,000 on 2 million. Well, they lost 9 million on $24 million. And right after we made this decision, they raised their rates 45%. We raised our rates 42%. And since then, we had never had to raise those again. that's right. So that just goes to show you if you're a small company and you see a large company doing something don't necessarily believe that theirs is the right formula.

Ryan Eaton: Well, it's funny you say that. Cabe Chadick was on the show, and he said the exact same thing and, and coming from the actuarial side

David White: Yeah, well,

Rick Eaton: He had the same advice.

David White: It's, it's probably a little easier from the actuarial side than the living good side.

Ryan Eaton: That's right. Having to, having to look at the report.

So, look, let's, let's walk it back to kind, what have been some of the success principles that you've seen over the years. Or the reasons for success, obviously, great people and there's other things like that that have helped the organization. Kind of walk that third, Rick, why don't you get us kicked off with that kinda what you've seen?

Rick Eaton: You know, David would be embarrassed for me to say this. And he may not look or act like it, but he's one of the smartest guys. I know.

David White: I agree. Agree with everything you say, Rick

Rick Eaton: David has an idea and it's really, it's hard to keep up with David, but he is the best I've ever seen in terms of designing insurance products.

Come up with new ideas. And really the reason that we, one of the reasons that we are, where we are today is because David really stays in, in touch and involved in the product designs. Exactly. And in watching the results of those products. And we've been, we were so small back at when we first started.

And we're still relatively small, but we can make changes overnight. If we see something, a product that's not working or a product that needs to be tweaked, we don't hesitate to make changes and we can make 'em very quickly because we're nimble and can do that. And that's kind of been David's philosophy.

If you got a loss cut those losses quickly. All right. And so that's what we learned through the years. And I think that's how we operated during the first few years is that since we couldn't afford to have a loss, we reacted very quickly, and David really gets the credit for that because he was staying on top of that and making changes where we needed to make 'em.

David White: Well, I think that, that the other thing that, that we did is we look for niches. We can't compete against the Prudentials and the MetLifes of the world. Because we have to do it a little different and we have to be able to be in a place where we could make a better profit than maybe they could because their volume is so big.

Ryan Eaton: Right.

David White: And I think, you know, you, and I've talked about this before, Ryan, what Zig Ziegler says is, is every great idea is just a slight variation of someone else's idea. The premium saver is which is our flagship product is exactly that. And I think over the last 20 years, we have tweaked it a number of times, but it was the tweak of someone else's product that we took.

And we said, you know, this could be something that could really fit a marketplace that no one else is in right now. And so, I think what I was able to do in that case, Find that niche and design a little bit differently to fill that niche. And, and that's what it's come to be. And. It's a product that a lot of people write that's right.

I don't think they do it as well as we do it, but there's other variations. That's, that's it that people have tried to use.

Ryan Eaton: So, let me ask, y'all this kind of jumping from successes over to big decisions in the company over the years, have you ever made any big decisions that at the time they felt like huge decisions, but maybe they were very pivotal for the organization.

From my side of it, I can think of a few that you've made, but I'd love to kind of hear. Maybe someone at the time you might have been puckering a little bit wondering if this was the right decision to make, or, I mean, it might have a big, big impact one or the other. I'd love to kinda see how you handled that decision thought process.

Rick Eaton: I can tell you one right off the bat and it was the pivotal decision or step that we made in the, in the organization. David, I remember the day David came in and, and said, you know, we had formed a foundation back in 2005 for other reasons, to, to be able to give to people that were doing charitable Kingdom work that's right.

That were not non-profit organizations, but in, in 2008, David came in to my office and he said, you know, Rick, I believe that God wants us to start contributing to our foundation or giving at the rate of a million dollars a year. And at the time we were, we were doing well, but, you know, but we weren't things had really not taken off in the organization, but that was a pretty big chunk yeah.

To, to, and that meant $87,000 a month that we were gonna take out of our budget and give away to ministries and orphanages and other organizations. But it turns out that that was probably the greatest decision or the greatest step of faith that we ever made. Because from that point when we decided that we were gonna partner with God and get involved in God's business with the profits, from the insurance company, God got involved in our business too.

That's right. That's that was the pivotal point in our organization. Don't you think David did?

David White: I do. I do think that was the, that was the profitability part. I mean, I can think of other not decisions, but when we ended up selling Morgan White to the Marshall Ratner company, which enabled us to get the $2 million to start the insurance company, but from a profitability point of view, I think 2008 was the pivotal time.

And, and you can go back and look it's interesting. The premium saver does better. When the economy's not so good because that's right, because our biggest problem is getting the broker to even show it to the employer, because it you have to use two cards instead of one card, and that's right.

All the things that is required. But. It saves the employer money on his major medical costs. So, in 2008, the economy sort of fell apart. You remember that was the bust and all that. Yeah. And people were flipping houses and there's all kind of stories about that. Well, that economy shrinking caused employers to say, Hey, I want to know anything that can help save me money on my major medical costs.

So, all of a sudden brokers were required to. Showing this and our business went up exponentially. At that point, it was, and this all happened in 2008, you know, people would say, well, that's a, that's just a nice, just a coincidence is that is not really. Yeah. But. It just happened that way. And we can look back at the point where we made the commitment to do that for God and, and give that money to those, those orphanages and, and kingdom work all the way around the world.

That's right. Maybe it is a coincidence, but it's an awfully good one.

Ryan Eaton: No, that's right. The impact y'all had through that, and I can say is being someone who's on your team. Your leadership to that from, from the leadership side, your leadership and, and working for a place of purpose, Rick, as you said, and having an impact, you know, the achievements are great, but the, the impact you're really having on other people is, is the main goal.

At the end of the day, we, you know, we love what we do.

Rick Eaton: Yeah. And we believe that we're called. We may not be. Pastors or preachers, but we believe that we're called in this financial world to make money so that we can be a benefit and help to those that are, that are preaching the gospel around the world and doing good for the kingdom.

And that's why we've got outside in our, in our sidewalk. We've got a plaque that says a place of purpose because we're, even though we are in the insurance business, that's right. Our purpose is really to serve God. And, and I think because of we're doing it through our profits, that God has gotten involved in our business too.

And so, we enjoy, we love what we do because you know, it's not just how much money you can make. It's the people that you can help as a result.

David White: Yeah. I think there's a lot of books that talk about this. You know, there are lots of people that are successful, but that success doesn't satisfy you. You've got to do something significant.

And the difference between success and significance is what do you do with the money that God has blessed you with you? I mean, you know, you see people that got billions, but what are they trying to do? Earn more billions. Yeah, but that still is not the thing that's gonna satisfy you. It's that's right.

It's realizing that, that you're here for a reason. And what is that reason? And are you accomplishing that task? Because just making a lot of money doesn't satisfy you? Mm, no,

Ryan Eaton: I like that. And, and, you know, talking about a place of purpose and you know, I, I feel like for, for the majority of the people who work at Morgan white, where you call 'em team or employees, we've seen growth, right.

Since 2000, from 50 now to close to 300 people here working at the offices and they love working. That is a place of purpose, but how did you guys decide when the company was growing? Hey, we need to hire more people or, Hey, we don't need to hire more people. Or what mistakes did you make in hiring people maybe that you didn't need to bring on or they weren't quality people.

What's kind of the, what's kinda the secrets there that kind of got you to where you are from a employment, an employment.

David White: Well, that success in 2008, wasn't taught us a lot of lessons because we were so success. and we needed more you know, our service was not as good because we had so much more volume.

And at that point we didn't even have a HR director and we finally hired an HR director. And then we thought, well, if we just throw more bodies at it, that will solve the problem. And you realize that if you throw more bodies at something, Then you don't train 'em right. Then the service doesn't get any better.

In fact, in some cases it gets worse. You did . It did. It did at that point. But, but now we have a, a plan. We have an HR director, we know that when people tell us they have these skills, we can test for those skills. And we have a great training program that takes the people that come in and trains them on our processes and our system.

And I think it has been a lesson. That was in fact, those days when we threw the put had hired a lot of employees and they weren't trained and a lot of them didn't do what couldn't do, what they told us they could do.

Ryan Eaton: They were proficient with Excel and they didn't know which icon was Excel when, after they were hired.

David White: that's exactly right. And, and from a service point of view, we call those the dark days. That's right. but, but people remember that. And so we never want to go back there. But I think our process now is very good. Our HR department is very good and you grow all these things as you grow, but when you have a surge, like we did.

And we didn't have the experience we made mistakes and the idea you'll always make mistakes. If you're an entrepreneur, if you're growing a business, there will be things that you do wrong. The key is don't do 'em again. Yeah. Learn from those mistakes and make it better. And I think that's one of the things that we've been able to do very well.

Ryan Eaton: So how do you know when it's time to. Hire compliance, officer hire sales manager hire the specific positions. Is it, it becomes too much of a headache. That's pulling your time where it's not the best return on investment of your time. Is it, Hey, we have the money to do it now. Now we can do it or is it, Hey, we need extra.

What what's that look like?

Rick Eaton: You know, Ryan. A lot of what we've done in terms of growth has been driven by what the regulators required. You know, we get lumped into. Big publicly held companies. When it comes to regulation, they, they have certain requirements that, that they apply to large, publicly held companies.

And so we have, from the early days, we decided, well, early 2008 forward, we have decided that we needed to have compliance folks. Just like the big boys did. Right. And, and that's really served us pretty well because when we get reviewed by am best. Or even our state regulators and they see we've got these programs in place for risk management and for compliance that it was a long way with satisfying the regulators, but it also has been a big help for us internally as well.

It's made us do things that we probably wouldn't have done without encouragement from from regulat. Along the way.

David White: And then as we formed other insurance companies now we have four of them, all of that compliance that we have in Morgan white can be done for all four of them. So that makes it more efficient.

Ryan Eaton: That's right. That's right. You can spread it out. Exactly. So what does you've. Seeing the growth, you're optimistic about the future. How has leadership changed to you over the last 20 years? What have you seen now that you're like, yeah, I probably didn't look at that. Great back then or, Hey, I made this great decision back then.

I've kind of held that principle through what are some things for both of y'all that which you've learned.

David White: Well, we have such great management in, in our organization and most of it has grown up in the organization. But I think the the thing that we took from our friends at Crum, and Forsters probably been as good, a, a decision that we made, we, Rick and I were visiting them and trying to understand what they were doing.

And, and the lady I remember very well, she said, she said, yeah, we're flattening. Our our org chart. And we said, what do you mean by flattening your org chart? She says, well, we're elevating. Certain people so that we can bring other management under them and have better training. And, and when you're a family owned organization, like we are, and the top people in the organization are all family members.

You know, if you're not a family member, you look at it and you say, well, where am I gonna go? And these are your people that you want to keep because their talented, but they're looking. Well, I'm doing the best I can do. So what we did, if you remember, I don't remember how many years ago it is now probably three years, three years ago.

So we brought all you guys up to an executive vice president level. And then we moved all of our department managers to a vice presidential level. Well, that made people under them be able to be promoted too and made them see that there was a place to go. And so, I think that's helped us a lot in, in management per se, and it's helped our organization because people look at where they are and they say, You know, if I work hard and I do a good job, there is a way that I don't get blocked from going any higher.

So I can, I can be promoted. I can get to the managerial level. There's a way to do it. No, that's good.

Rick Eaton: And because, you know, our organization is so dependent on technology and if you're gonna stay on the forefront of insurance business, you need to be heavy in the technology side and state of the. And we've got people now like yourself and Jason, Ryan Tripp, those, those that are in key management positions that are very familiar with technology David and I, you know, may have come up when everything was paper and may not.

We may not be on the cutting edge ourselves, but we've got people under us that that are yep. And you've gotta have that. Right. You've gotta. New blood in that that understands programming and understands how this world operates now. And people are buying stuff off their smartphones now.

David White: And, and you have to make a commitment to the investment in technology do well.

Ryan Eaton: That's one of the questions that I asked earlier about kind of the investments that you saw had big impact. That was one of the things, even in my mind, because I remember back in 2008, 2009, we. Said, okay. We're gonna commit to this. I remember we got rid of all the paper in the office, right? We went everything electronic there, and that was just a small piece, but now we got Azure and all these different things.

We're paying millions of dollars a year in technology to make everything secure and stable and investing so heavily in programming and, and outside programmers. And it, it's a, it's a big pace of what we're doing. And you know, I think that's great though from leadership

David White: gives us an advantage over the large mainline companies, because so many of them have these Have these systems that have been with them for so long.

That's right. So we, we are a PC based company, so we don't, we are not dependent on mainframe computers and, and we were able to move to the cloud very easily. That's right. And so I think that that is why we've been able to do lot of work for insurance companies because they see that we've done the security, they see that we've got the technology and they need what we.

And really it it's almost when you got a really huge organization, it's hard to do a lot of innovation. You're right. Well,

Ryan Eaton: there's just so many layers to it. So many people have to prove and walk through all this. I'll say this too, from watching y'all I love how we can still come to you with ideas. And, you know, typically within five minutes we'll have a yes or a no.

Right. And then I go do it, go knock it out. And that's one of the things I think that makes aAmFirst and the Morgan white group companies. So strong is that it's not just a, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You know, we went to that meeting with an insurance company, and I'll leave names out probably three or four years ago.

And we were telling 'em, Hey, look, these benefits are a little outta date. We need to update them. And they told us it was gonna take four years before they could update and refile the plans. And it's like four years to make a change. And it just blew our minds, and you know, and you've seen that carrier lose market.

Because of some of those decisions. So, I think that's been

David White: big. I think that's one the, of the downsides of getting to be a really giant company. Yeah, I agree is that the people who are, who are in the marketplace and see the need for changes are so many levels removed from the persons who, or the per or the person who actually makes a decision.

And so you've got to come up with a recommendation. You've got to. A whole proposal together and go, go present this to him. And then he's probably gonna take it to somebody above him. And then it goes to the finance committee. And by the time all that happens, it's the, the marketplace has moved on to the next thing.

Ryan Eaton: That's that's right. You missed your opportunity. You missed the whole missed your opportunity all. So, tell me out here, what pitfalls do you think you get in more often now? Because you're at a hundred million then maybe. When you were at 2 million and you might not say anything, but I I'm thinking, I'll give you an example.

Kind of one of the things I thought in my head was, you know, our a hundred thousand dollars decisions right now are not as big of decisions, obviously as when it was 5% of our capital and surplus. Obviously, that's a huge change, but what do you think are some of the pitfalls that you have to keep your eyes open for now that you've grown to this level?

Is it maybe an employee based. Is it financial-based? Is it, you know, what does that look like?

Rick Eaton: Well, you know, I just to respond to that, I think. You have to be careful to bring people up as this flattening, of the organization takes place and give people more responsibility. Yeah. Because you're overseeing a lot more that's right.

And a good example of this is I used to be the chief financial officer and grant Gardner was our controller at the time and we elevated those guys. I moved up to a different spot and grant moved grant up to chief financial. He is so much better than I, I thought it was pretty good. He sharp but you, you bring in young blood people that understand how things work and they, you need to be able to give them authority to make decisions.

Yes. And, and to highlight things that come up that we need to know about that we may miss because of the size of the organization. And if you bring in good people that are talented and give them some authority and responsibility for managing that kind of mitigates. The problem you have with, with maybe not looking at the detail that you used to look at, somebody needs to still continue to look at loss ratios.

We still do that. That's still kind of the, the key to everything is we look at loss ratios every month. And if there's a. There's an uptick we need to, we say, what's wrong.

David White: What do we do? What's happening? That’s what's messing up.

Rick Eaton: But somebody has to look at that stuff later. That's right. That's right.

David White: I think that what Rick is saying is so important.

If you're a type of personality and you're kind of a control freak, if you would. as you get larger you have to make the decision. Am I gonna limit this growth of the company to what I can look at? Or am I gonna delegate to somebody who may not do it exactly the same way I do it, but if I leave them alone, they'll get there.

Yeah. And that's hard for somebody who's used to doing it yourself. And making those decisions, but it's the necessary thing. And that the only way you grow management is letting them make the decision. Right. And they may not make every decision. Perfect. But you gotta let, 'em make the decision.

Ryan Eaton: I'm not sure if you've heard this, John Maxwell says that if someone can do something to 80% of the capacity that you can do it delegate it.

David White: Exactly.

Ryan Eaton: And he said, let it be at 80%. So

David White: Yeah, I, I think that's a big number now that

Ryan Eaton: If that is so looking back from a rearview mirror standpoint, What lessons have you learned that you can share with the company that's listening in or the agency that's listening in right now, that's trying to grow their business at the next level?

They're trying to get from a million to 2 million or 2 million to five or five to 10 or 10 to 25, and trying to hit those new levels. What would you say from a growth standpoint, from an impact in your organization standpoint, there's a million things you could say, but what would be your favorite lesson that you've.

Rick Eaton: That's a tough question. Cause it's pretty broad, but it is. But you know, we, we talked about this earlier that, you know, we just keep coming to work. We just show up every day, you know, it's one of those things and. We love what we do, cuz we're called to do this and you gotta make sure that whatever you're doing, you gotta be happy.

You gotta be happy. You know, if you're called to do something and you do something else, you're not gonna be very happy now. Right. And, and so first of all, for those agencies out there for those companies that are small out there, you gotta love what you do. Right? You gotta know that this is your purpose.

And if you do that, That keeps you in the game, engaged keeps you engaged and it moves you to the next level. But if you're not committed and you don't feel like this is what you're called to do, then you're gonna struggle all your life with, with that. And so I think that's the key initially is just to find out, is this what I'm supposed to be doing?

Is this my purpose? Yeah. And once you've established that, you know, that provides the. For growth.

David White: Yeah. I think the other thing is, is whatever you decide to do, do it with excellence. You can't shortcut and expect people to see something really significant or somebody they wanna do business with. If you're trying to do it on a Reduced basis.

Mm-hmm, I think quality of product and quality of people is what draws the, your customers to you. And I think that you've, if you're, especially if you're small, like we're talking about trying to grow it, you gotta find niche markets. You cannot, you know, I used to be in the heavy equipment business before I got in the insurance business.

I often look back now and say, what gave me the idea that I could compete with caterpillar or, or Komatsu, right. Or John Deere or any of these big companies. Because the only thing that we could do is fit little places where they were not. Yeah. And trying to do exactly the same thing they're doing is just a recipe for disaster.

You can't do it because they got so much more capital. They can bring so much more resources to bear than you could. So, you have to take where you are and say, okay, let's take the next step. And then once we get to the next step, then let's look at the next one. I mean, you could have a grand plan. That's gonna go all the way.

But right now, technology's changing. So fast things that you and I look at now are saying, wow, I can't believe that they got that valuation didn't exist three or four years ago.

Ryan Eaton: Isn't that the truth. So, look that wrapped up my questions. I got one in this morning, though. Funny. I came to the podcast and I thought I'd throw it in here to you guys, cuz y'all have both done a great job at this, but when you're growing a company like you're doing, you're working as hard as you are.

And I mean for you guys, you didn't say it, but y'all are in 42 countries. All 50 states. There's I think I heard the banking team the other day say there's over 92 bank accounts. and I think there's over 49 different companies set up. That's a lot going on and then not to include the mission side, the foundation side of the organization.

And y'all both have kids in the business and grandkids in the business and extended family in the business with that. How do you make sure you continue to push forward from a business standpoint? Then also make sure you don't put your family on the back burner. And I thought that was a really good question.

And I thought both of y'all could probably answer that.

David White: Well, I, I think from our point of view, we make the, the family, since all the families in the company, it's a great thing. Yeah. Cause everything. We do we do together. So that's right. So, from our point of view, it's not having to make time for the family as much as it is, how what's the next thing our family's gonna do together.

Ryan Eaton: Yeah, that's good.

David White: I, I, I love that our family all gets along with each other. I think that's right. That's a gift from God too, because you don't, you like you. Yeah, that's right. That's that's, that is a huge gift because so many families really don't enjoy being around each other all the time. We do.

Ryan Eaton: That's good.

I love too that saying this from outside life. If I was asked the question I love too, each year, typically on spring break. A lot of the family gets to go to different places and take kids and other things like that too. It's another kind of special, special moment. I think even for my kids I got a son now who's 16, just started driving, which y'all both know that, but that is lessened to my load in the mornings, which is a fantastic, but I heard him say the other day, say buddies were in the truck with them and, and they said, what do you wanna do when you grow up?

And they were asking kind of everyone, and you know, I wanna be a doctor. I wanna be this or that. He said, I'll probably go do the insurance stuff with my dad. and I heard that and I was like, oh man, that's cool. But he's also seen the trip side. He's seen the fun side of it too, which has kind of engaged him at 16 years old.

Rick Eaton: See, that's what we're hoping for. You can't make people want to do something that's right. But if they're around it enough and they see, you know, maybe the benefits that, that you, that you enjoy as a result of being in business together. I mean, I think that's a great thing. Nothing's better than being able to be in business with your family.

No, that's right. You like each other, you can spend time together. That's right. And reap

David White: the benefits together. And you know, I think the insurance business lends itself to that. You're in marketing. Jason's doing administration trips, doing graphic design. Allen's doing investments. I mean, grants over here, the CFO.

So all of us, all of all of Jean is our general counsel. So, all of the people in the family are doing different things, but it all relates to insurance. That's right. You gotta have all of those various talents.

Ryan Eaton: Everyone's running different lanes. Exactly. It's. It was very nice. Well guys, I, I can't thank y'all enough for being on the show today.

This is it's been fun having it has been fun. My father, my uncle or family, and also talking about the success of the company and what you've seen. I just wanna thank y'all for y'all's leadership. You saw your time, it's you. I appreciate it. Well, that wraps up another episode of the insurance leadership podcast.

I wanna say, thank you. We are so humbled to be able to have you listening in and the emails and the requests and the shares, the likes, everything else you've been doing. Thank you so much for doing. And remember a good plan today is better than a great plan months from now. Thank you very much.

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