Choose Your Experience

Employer. Job Search.

By: Matt Coulthard

If hired for some of the positions I applied for, I could have experienced the following:

  1. Loss of Income: A long time ago, my grandmother said to me, “Never let anyone tell you what you’re worth—only you can determine that.” As I think back, too many times I’ve allowed someone else to determine my worth. In some of the jobs I didn’t get, I would have been forced to accept pay that was not suitable for what I wanted to achieve, all because the company determined my worth. That would have meant missing out on potential income in other positions that recognized my true value.
  2. Being an Absent Parent: Baseball, basketball, soccer, scouts, parent teacher meetings, and field trips are all things I could have experienced missing due to scheduling. Being a parent is a gift, not one I take lightly. While any job demands sacrifices, some jobs demand too much. You have to find the right balance between work and family.
  3. Missing a Pay Raise/Promotion: Numerous times I have heard stories about individuals missing out on or being passed over for promotions. Now, whether this is merited or not is another topic, but why leave it to chance? If you’re the most deserving, you should be able to prove it and move up in your career. But unfortunately in a lot of jobs, no matter how hard you work, you never get that much-desired raise or promotion. How frustrating!
  4. Not Realizing Your Full Potential: Many hit the “glass ceiling” at a company and get dragged into a monotonous life that they regret later. Lucille Ball once said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” If you’re at a job where you quickly max out your opportunities and have no further room for growth, how can you realize your full potential in your career? If you’re at a job that doesn’t pay enough or demands all of your time without significant benefits, how can you realize your full potential in life?
  5. Negative Associations: Some positions have a unique ability to corrupt the minds of those performing the tasks. Just look at how many people are miserable in their jobs and blame all their problems on the boss or workplace. When you hate your job, it has seriously negative impacts on your entire life.

Because of the opportunities I “missed” due to my lack of experience, I’ve had time to think about what experiences I really want out of life:

  1. Travel: I often ask people why they don’t travel more. The most common answer is lack of time and money. If you’re in a job that doesn’t pay well, doesn’t offer travel benefits, and takes up all your time, then chances are you’re going to miss out on some awesome travel experiences. But the world is amazing, and I want to see it all! With the right job, world travel is possible. Where would you want to go? Europe, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Australia, Asia—or maybe there’s a place you didn’t even know existed that you’ll end up visiting.
  2. Family: Time is something we can never get back. I want to spend my time with those I care for most. To see my son cross home plate with the winning run is priceless. My wife and I eating lunch together mid-week is irreplaceable. I don’t want to take a moment with them for granted. The right career has to allow me time for my loved ones.
  3. Fulfillment: I need to know that what I do matters and adds value to others’ lives. If I can improve another’s life in any fashion, I want to do it. Living a relevant life is what I seek, in both my personal life and my career.
  4. Relationships: In addition to spending time with family, I want to have time to communicate and connect with individuals. I want to see in others what they do not see in themselves and help them achieve success.
  5. Faith: A lot of times, work gets in the way of our relationship with a higher power. This might be because we’re too tired to connect with our faith at the end of the day or because we work through our important holy days. I don’t want to have to worry about getting time off to practice what is important to me and my family. I want to be able to visit the Vatican and other religious wonders. In short, I want to be the man God made me to be, and I don’t want my job to keep me from that.

I’ve chosen carefully who I should listen to, but one of the most relevant messages I’ve received is this: “If it’s important to you, why leave it in the hands of another?” Why leave where I live, how much I earn, who I spend my time with, and ultimately everything I do up to someone who really has no vested interest in what I want? Everything in life comes down to choices and who is making them. I seek options—the option to do as I choose, with the people I choose, when I choose.

Steve Jobs said in a commencement address, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

So now, I would like to thank those individuals who once told me that I didn’t have enough experience, because they were right: I didn’t have enough experience back then doing the things I most want to do, and I still haven’t gotten enough of that experience. I don’t have enough experience spending my time with those I care about most. I don’t have enough experience seeing all the world has to offer. I don’t have enough experience earning a dream income. Because I didn’t have the experience those jobs would have chosen for me, now I’ll have all the experiences I choose for myself.

Matt Coulthard is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency in Oxnard, CA.

Matt Coulthard is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency in Oxnard, CA.


Memorial Day

memorial day blog
by: Sharon Lefler
With another Memorial Day behind us, I can’t help but wonder if we as Americans are slowly losing some of our long held traditions. Could it be possible in this fast-paced world with so many distractions that we don’t spend time just pondering the past or that we don’t take the time to listen to the stories passed down from one generation to the next? If we did, maybe we would understand that freedom has a cost and that others have paid that price willingly for us, asking only for respect in return.
Words like selflessness, sacrifice, duty, and honor come to mind when I think of our military men and women who face death or at the very least put their lives on hold to protect you and me. They give us the power of choice–who we become, how we think, what we say, how and to whom we pray–and that is something that can’t be taken for granted, or it might be taken away.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
–Edmund Burke
I believe it’s time for us to stand up and be proud to be Americans. We have had our many moments of glory and a few of regret, but I have no doubt that we will continue to fight the good fight to keep America the greatest nation on earth!
“As long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours. And something else we learned: Once you begin a great movement, there’s no telling where it will end. We meant to change a nation, and instead, we changed a world.”
–Ronald Reagan
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work to keep this country great for generations to come. It will require change from all of us–and it starts in our minds:
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
–Philippians 4:8
Let’s think on all these uplifting things this year. Let’s take the time to be thankful for what we have and to honor the soldiers who make our American way possible. Let’s reflect on our nation’s past so we can ensure its future.
God Bless America.
Sharon Lefler
 Sharon Lefler is a Marketing Director with People Helping People Insurance Agency, LLC in Bakersfield, CA. To connect with Sharon please call 877.788.4366 or visit for more information.

The Three Options for Employment

Characteristics of a great entrepreneur

by: Magda Vosgueritchian

There are three employment opportunities out there. Option one is to get a low end, unskilled, entry level job and stick with it–that is if they don’t lay you off, since such positions are easy to find replacements for. This option will most likely never help you achieve all your goals and dreams.
Option two is to go back to school and get a higher degree with the hopes of landing a better job with greater pay. Unfortunately, this will put you in more debt without actually guaranteeing steady employment. On top of that, there are many graduates with higher degrees who are settling for minimum wage because they are overqualified for most positions today. All of that hard work might not help you achieve your goals.
Option three is to become an entrepreneur. Think of the wealthiest people you know. Do they work for someone else, or are they an entrepreneur? I bet you said entrepreneur! So out of these choices, the best fit for me is option three.
Like most people I got my first job at eighteen working retail. I worked there for four years, and although it was fun and I gained some valuable experience, I realized that there was a limit to my income. I decided to go to Woodbury University in the hopes of making more money. I graduated with a Bachelor in Arts. For the next six months after graduation, I couldn’t find a job. Every door I knocked on, all people were asking for was work experience. No one cared about my degree. So here I was with a higher degree, no job, and about $100,000 in student loan debt.
Finally, I got lucky when a friend of mine was able to get me an internship. And here we go again! After four years of hard work I found myself capped out financially again. No matter how hard I was working or how much extra time I was putting in, my income was not growing.
By this time I was married with two energetic boys. After long and careful consideration, my husband and I chose to become entrepreneurs. Our ultimate goals in life are to retire our parents, give the best possible lifestyle to our kids and future grandchildren, travel the world, never have to worry about money, and be able to give back to others who are in need.
Being an entrepreneur mom comes with many sacrifices. Running your own business has no time clock. You are in charge of all areas of the business. You have many long hours at work away from family. No matter how much you try to balance business with personal life, it will never be perfect. Spending time away from your kids is probably the hardest thing to do for moms who find themselves running a business. Regular daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, staying in shape to make sure you look amazing, working on personal development, helping kids with homework, going basketball practice, and let’s not forget taking care of your relationship with your husband on top of a full day of business–it’s exhausting just thinking about it.
But I’ve got to say it’s all worth it!
There is no limit to how much income you can make as an entrepreneur. Being able to set my own schedule where I can take care of the kids or household needs and then go back to business is the ultimate freedom. The ability to travel whenever and wherever I want is priceless. Being able to retire our parents is incredible gratifying. I’m looking forward to the day when I will be able to give back to the less fortune people of the world. Lastly being in a financial services industry I am able to protect families and help them reach their financial dreams and goals.
If you want to achieve your dreams, don’t be afraid to make the switch to option three. Great success awaits you!

Magda-CardMagda Vosgueritchian is a Senior Marketing Director at People Helping People Insurance Agency LLC (PHP). For opportunities information call 877.788.4366


Stress and Small Businesses

Woman heaving a headache

by: Kehinde Thomas

When I started my business three years ago, I was feeling stressed, even though I had been in the same financial services sector for over sixteen years. The fear of not making it combined with raising children got to me. The biggest worry of all was that I’d have to let other aspects of my life fall by the wayside in order to efficiently run my business. If you are a small business owner, missing the kids’ games or school functions is no fun, but it’s probably a familiar scenario for you. You probably can relate very clearly to me.

Three years later, I have a better grip on this issue. So how does a small business owner deal with stress while raising a family? Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Make Sacrifices. Accept the well-known but ugly fact that building a business is a sacrifice, a commitment that you must be willing to make with the end goal of success. Be prepared to give up comfort for growth as you start your business. I traded two hour workouts for thirty minute sessions. In my mind, thirty minutes is better than no exercise at all!
  2. Isolate the Real Tasks. The reality is that the majority of the stress a small business owner encounters comes primarily from lack of proper guidance or mentorships from other successful business owners. Experience has shown over time that there are revenue producing activities and non-revenue producing activities. I had to map out my sales and business expansion strategies to specifically engage in the activities that would drive my initiatives. It took me over a year to be more strategic in this approach. Once I realized that I had two hours to prospect a day, one hour to call, and four to seven hours for different presentation appointments, my real tasks became my focus. Consequently, this focus on my revenue producing activities boosted my business.
  3. Set Reasonable Goals. A business without a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual goal is like a basketball game without the score. How much fun is that? How do you find leaks? How do you improve your skills? Setting reasonable, attainable goals is the initial step, to be followed by more challenging goals. This strategy increases the believability factor, creates momentum, and collapses achievement time. I’ve found it very helpful to have someone who can keep you accountable and call you out if necessary in a spirit of improvement to meet your goals.
  4. Hire Help. There is absolutely no reason why you should be your own tax accountant secretary, or even cleaner. Yes, money is always tight at the beginning of a venture, but why save money on a menial task when you could be engaged in something worthwhile that will grow your business? Getting distracted by other tasks is one of the biggest reasons why most businesses don’t get off the ground more quickly.
  5. Exercise. A sharp mind requires a healthy body. Physical exercise and healthy eating are key to reducing stress for anyone, especially business owners. For all small business owners out there, your most crucial asset is your brain. Protect it, keep it sharp, exercise it, and reduce your stress!

Stress is a major part of our daily lives, but it doesn’t have to be crippling. Manage your stress and watch your small business succeed!

kehinde-php-agency Kehinde Thomas is a Senior Marketing Director at People Helping People Insurance Agency LLC in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

What Nun Cristina and Entrepreneurs Have in Common

A 25-year-old nun of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy has shocked the world with her beautiful voice, which has gone viral on youtube. The first time I watched the video, I got goosebumps all over my whole body. Besides her great voice, she has a message to share with all of us–and that message is about hope and greatness.
From the heart of the Catholic Church in Italy, Sister Cristina comes as an underdog, a misfit, someone who is a little bit different than the majority of people that you would see singing on the show The Voice. She knew she would be seen in a different way, not only in her religious world but also in the entertainment world. “Hello, my name is Cristina, and I’m a nun,” she says in her video, “and I want to show the world the gifts that God has given me.” Not the usual introduction you’d expect!I can imagine Cristina practicing “No One” in the convent, going against the ideas that would never allow a nun to sing a secular song. I can imagine all the nervousness she must have felt when she decided to dress as a nun and not as a civilian, revealing her true self. I can imagine the critics. But against all the odds, she decided to do something extraordinary.
That is the reason why I wanted to write this blog, because as entrepreneurs we have to fight our battles against other people or maybe against ourselves. All our lives, we have been exposed to the stories of extraordinary people who against all odds followed their dreams and achieved greatness. From Bible stories like David and Goliath, to movies like Rocky, to real entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, we get inspired because in the bottom of our hearts we know we have something special to give as well.
As entrepreneurs I believe we have a lot in common with Sister Cristina and can learn a lot from her courage. Here are some points that I found valuable:
1) Use your own strengths.
You can tell that Sister Cristina is an excellent singer who enjoys doing what she is good at. As business owners we are familiar with the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule. I believe we should spend 80% of our time doing things that require the use of our greatest gifts and abilities. When you decide to be an entrepreneur, find exactly what it is that you are good at doing. The strength of David fighting against Goliath is the use of the slingshot; the use of the slingshot is his strength, and he is going to win because of his gift. If you enjoy working with people, start a business that requires customer service. If you are good at computers, choose a business that requires that. If you are a natural leader, choose a business that requires you to work with a team.
2) Enjoy the journey.
When you watch the video, you would agree that Sister Cristina is enjoying singing and the journey she is on. As entrepreneurs we get stuck with a life of stress. Sometimes it is difficult to enjoy the journey when we have a client complaining or a big sale that didn’t go through. But Sister Cristina made a decision to do her best and give the world her all, and so should we.One of the questions I like to ask when I see myself in the middle of a problem is this: Is this a 5-minute problem or a 5-hour problem? Many of us get stuck with 5-minute problems–burnt toast, a client complaining over small stuff, lost keys, etc. We lose our joy over a 5-minute problem too easily. We need to decide not to lose our peace or forget to enjoy the journey over problems that won’t be there tomorrow.
3) Don’t judge too quickly.
In the video you can see the face of the judges when they first see something they are not expecting to see. In business we tend to judge too quickly. I recently had a great conversation with a luxury car salesman with 30 years of experience. He told me how he learned to never judge by appearances: Many times the person who looks the poorest or dresses very sloppily is the one ready to buy without hesitation, he explained. In business we tend to judge too quickly based on appearances, and because of that we might be losing a lot of opportunities.
Many of us have watched Messi play in Barcelona. I’m one of his biggest fans. Messi is one of greatest players to ever live. But if you see him outside of the field he looks normal and ordinary. He is short, skinny, and doesn’t talk too much. I can imagine that when Messi went to play for the first time in Barcelona nobody probably thought that he would become the greatest. Messi will go in the history books because someone decided not to judge him by his appearance.
4) Have a masterminded support system.
In the video you can see a group of nuns cheering for Sister Cristina. I imagine they were her best friends and her support system. I also believe there were other groups who didn’t want to go to the tv show because there were going to be criticized as well or maybe because they didn’t believe she was going to be able to win.As entrepreneurs we need to have our elite circle. This is the group of people who we can trust and who we can ask for advice. This is our masterminded support system. This elite circle has to believe in you and be there for you when you need it the most. They need to be preferably from different backgrounds and different strengths to give you a more diverse perspective. This might take some time to find. Once you do put together this group of people, care for them and treat them with respect.
5) Take some risks.
Sister Cristina risked her profession, her reputation, her friends, even failure by putting herself out there the way she did. There is a concept I learned when I started as an entrepreneur: Every time you decide to do something big, you will have to encounter many risks. Winston Churchill says it better: “If you are doing big things, you attract big men. If you are doing little things, you attract little men. Little men usually cause trouble.”Too often people will tell you not to take any risks and to live your life in unrealistic safety. They think small and they are afraid of the big risks. To win in business, we need to take calculated risks, the same risks that Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak took when nobody believed in personal computers and when they competed against IBM. The greater the risk, the greater the gain will be.
6) Dream big.
Even though Sister Cristina knew she had a great voice and loved to sing, she could have said, “I’m just going to sing once in a while and I’m just going to be a normal, ordinary person.” Instead she decided to dream big and show the world her talents.I truly believe God has put the seed of greatness in every single one of us. Maybe some people have told us that we are not capable, or maybe there are some people who are constantly saying our dreams are impossible. As business owners we need to decide to show these people the door and let them leave our lives. Many business owners think that thinking big is only about making millions. In part it is, but it is about much more than that. It is about making a difference and leaving a legacy. When Apple became a company, they not only decided to build computers–they decided to make history and change an industry. When you think big you will be able to introduce your products and services to the world. David decided to fight the greatest fighter from the philistine army, and look where that landed him!
I hope that when you watch the video again you make a decision to go after your goals and dreams, like this wonderful 25-year-old nun did. I’d like to believe that we have an assignment on this earth and that we have God-given talents that we have to put to use in service for others. Like Sister Cristina, I encourage you to find the reason why you were created and to share those talents to inspire others who need you. I know that when you find your strengths as an entrepreneur, your products and services will help the planet to be a better place to live. One day we will turn to youtube and we will see your own video going viral, because we are all looking for the next David, the next Rocky, the next Messi, the next Steve Jobs–the next Sister Cristina.
Watch the video here:
Rodolfo Vargas is a Marketing Director with People Helping People Insurance Agency, LLC out of Houston Texas.

Spring Forward

by Latasha Cooper

Spring is great time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  Taking the time to experience the beauty created in this world, appreciating where you are, and paying attention to what it is going on around you are all essential to being able to spring forward in life.  I love spring because the flowers are so pretty and colorful; in California, the weather is fantastic; and the thought of fun-in-the-sun summer activities are just around the corner.  Having a moment for a little spring cleaning is so refreshing!

This spring as I stop and smell the roses, I am reminded of the 80/20 rule.  If you are not familiar with the 80/20 rule, it is also known as the Pareto Principle.  It has a general meaning that refers to the phenomenon of 80% of effects or results come from 20% of causes. For example, 20% of workers are the cause of 80% of the success of a company’s sales.  It is said that the way that Pareto developed this principle was by recognizing how the peas in his garden grew: He found that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. Why is it that 80% of the pea pods did not produce peas? Maybe some were not formed correctly, not watered enough, or got too much sun.

Although the Pareto principle refers more so to a group dynamic of how a small group (20%) can make such a difference in results (80%), I also feel that 20% of what we think and do can have influential results. To me the observation made by Pareto regarding pea pods is a reminder that we can’t underestimate the 20% is.  While we always need to put in 100% and go all the way, it can be the 20% that ultimately propels us forward and yields results.

I would like to suggest that you not to get overwhelmed or overly concerned with the 80% that is not growing into what you’d hoped for.  In Pareto’s case it was peas.  In your case, it may be a book or poem that you are in the process of writing, a degree you are seeking, or a business that you are creating.  Take a look at the following examples that are purely my opinions of how we let the 80% get in our way and clog our thinking:


Fear: 80% of the time we let fear rule us. We get overwhelmed by the fears we face Faith: While it would be nice to have 100% faith 100% of the time, most often it’s about 20% of the time that we are guided by faith. But that 20% is what gives us the success and results to keep us solidly resolved to press through any fear the creeps in.
Low Self Confidence: 80% of the time we don’t believe in ourselves. We let others negative opinions of us take over our thoughts. Positive Self Confidence: 20% of the time we activate the belief in our self.  The belief in oneself is so powerful that even a small portion can contribute to 80% of a person’s success.
Procrastination: 80% of the time we wait too long to act. We let distractions take over our time. Action Oriented: 20% of the time there are those activities and projects that we get started on right away. We complete them first, and before we know it, we see positive results due to our diligence of getting started right away.

Faith, self-confidence, and being action oriented are areas that I have personally struggled with.  I have found that these are areas that a lot of people struggle with as well.  The great thing is that we only need a little faith and self confidence to start with.  We only need a little courage to become more action oriented to start off with.  The combination of these three constructs work together in such an amazing way.

As mentioned above, we get overwhelmed with fear, low self confidence, and procrastination.  True, these are areas to improve on in our life.  But to give more credence to them than is necessary can be detrimental.  Focus more on realizing that you don’t have to be perfect all the time to achieve success.  Continue to plant the seeds that will make you successful and know that it is the 20% that can help you spring forward.  Most of the time, all we need is to achieve some success, and that will give us the encouragement to keep going.  From there, our faith will increase.  The belief in ourselves will no longer be an issue.  Negative opinions of ourselves will begin to matter less.  We will become self starters and be more action oriented on a regular basis.

The 20% is much more powerful than we think.  We will increase our opportunities for success greatly when we reflect on that little percentage of positivity.



Latasha Cooper is a Marketing Director at People Helping People Insurance Agency, LLC out of Riverside, CA. 877.788.4366

Life Insurance for High Net Worth Clients


by: Chris Philp

When I was first educated about life insurance, I thought it was a product designed solely for the middle class families of America.  Growing up in a middle class family, I thought life insurance was solely there to provide for the costs of burial and final expenses, with maybe just a little bit left over for other needs.  When I entered the financial services industry I initially took that way of thinking with me.  What I didn’t know was that I was in for a really big surprise.

I had been in the industry for almost a year when I stumbled across my first multi-six-figure client. Up until that point I hadn’t realized they existed; I had only heard about them and thought they were a myth.  I was just finishing up helping a friend with some coverage, and at the close of this appointment he advised me that I should go see the gentleman who owned the store next to where he was working.  I didn’t think much of it, but I decided to go for it. I spent the next three hours building a relationship with a local business owner who became my first seven-figure life insurance policy sale.

This case opened my eyes as to why life insurance is so important to not only middle class families but also to those who have high net worth and own businesses. It also showed me why life insurance is important for those who are seeking to become high net worth individuals. Life insurance is the foundation upon which wealth and the security of that wealth are created.  Most well informed high identity business owners, entrepreneurs, and earners know this.

My first high net worth client is the owner of several retail stores, and his business has been family owned for several generations.  In order to pass this business and legacy on to his children, which had been done by his father, we use life insurance to mitigate the cost of estate taxes. This ultimately allows the family to pass this business on from generation to generation without accumulated debts.  We also utilized life insurance to plan for income replacement should anything happen while my client is still running his business.

More than just life insurance benefits, how about retirement supplements with minimized tax burdens? If you are planning on having a decent retirement, the need to save—and save well—is essential.  For most Americans, 401K and IRA are what they know.  But what if you have already maxed out those vehicles and you’ve maxed out other tax sheltering possibilities?  Cash value life insurance can be used to grow a retirement supplement, and when structured correctly it can do so virtually tax free.

Maybe you yourself are a business owner or have a high net worth. Maybe you’re still working toward your first million—or maybe you’re just working toward your first paycheck. Whether you’ve already accumulated wealth or you’re still building your financial foundation, life insurance is key to maintaining and growing your assets.


Chris Philp is a Marketing Director at PHP Agency, People Helping People. PHP is a financial services marketing organization. For more information please call 877.788.4366 or visit