A Family Story, shared experiences and values
In this interview, Samantha shares her story of leaving a well-paying corporate job to pursue her dream of being an entrepreneur. She explains how she was able to build a successful business that feeds her soul, and allows her the flexibility to raise her kids, build community, stay active in her church, tend to her marriage, all while running her business. This interview was close to my heart, as Sam is my cousin and we have both been in the insurance industry.
The Struggle for Many Women Balancing Work and Family
Sam’s story is one many professional women can relate to. She was climbing the corporate ladder and doing very well financially. However, it came a steep cost and that was time away from her family. There was a moment at my grandfather’s funeral (her great uncle) that changed her direction and life. Sam and her husband decided to make a massive change and build a business. This was a decision reached over her deep prayers and faith, and involved her husband Rob and kids. She left that high paying corporate job and started an independent insurance agency with Goosehead Insurance.
The timing of starting the agency also came at a difficult time. Within the first 6 months of starting her business, there was a major medical issue with her daughter and a global pandemic. Not the optimal time to start a new venture. In typical fashion, Sam moved forward with commitment, passion and her deep faith.
Sam shares some of the lessons and benefits that she was gained over the first three years in business. There are challenges and moments of joy. Rob switched from his stay at home dad responsibilities and went back into his profession of trucking. Rob and Sam set the goal that Rob would be able to able the agency in 3 years. They accomplished this. The importance of prayer, community, meditation and family support comes through in her actions and results.
Sam continues to share her wisdom, faith and infectious smile with so many. She started the “Wherever You Go” podcast. You can find her online at https://www.goosehead.com/agents/pa/saxonburg/samantha-bauer/
Josh Meeder 0:00
Welcome to the great things LLC podcast. I’m your host, Josh Meeder. Welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, I’m really excited because it’s going back to the roots. It’s actually going back to my family’s roots. My guest today is Samantha Bauer, who is my cousin, Sam, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me, Josh. I’m excited to be here. I have a great, great affinity for this story because one, it’s, it’s my cousin. She is absolutely amazing. And just to put it in perspective, we are connected through her great grandfather to a Kennedy. So on the Kennedys and Demeter side. They was Western Pennsylvania, big farm family and DeWitt Kennedy was a lot of things. He was a farmer. He was a cattle trade, or he was a pool hustler. He was a great man. But we have a very, very large connected farm family and our family reunions, Uncle Bob and Joe and you they could be 150 people. And I remember those days really fondly say I’m with swimming in the pool and doing the egg toss and water balloons over the house. Yeah, yep. Some of my favorite memories. Think about it and not smile. No. In DeWitt Kennedy, he was my great grandfather. I was the firstborn great grandchild, child. So I actually got his middle name and was born on Father’s Day. So had a real connection with a great, great pap, and we’ll get back to that. But just put in perspective, we’ve come from a long line of entrepreneurs and self made people. I know your folks were real estate agents, and your dad’s done a lot like our family has a big community presence in a long history of entrepreneurialism.
Samantha Bauer 1:42
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, pastors, farmers and small business owners. Right.
Josh Meeder 1:48
Right. And so one of the things that really excited me to share your story. So let’s just talk about what you were going because in a way, you represent a lot of things, professional women, moms, wives, church and community members. And let’s start with sharing a little bit about where you were in kind of what made this change to bring you where you’re at today.
Samantha Bauer 2:14
Yeah, I’m glad you kind of shared that backstory, because I think our roots are definitely, they’re deep, right. And so they’ve kind of led me where I am today. But I was climbing the corporate ladder. And that was where I thought that God wanted me to be I thought, you know, for sure, okay, I’m going to break the glass ceiling. And I’m going to be the president of some big corporation, and I’m gonna show my kids that Mommy can do that, too. And that it’s not just a place for you, no old white men. And so I was climbing the corporate ladder, and I was getting pretty close to the top, and I realized it’s pretty stinky up there. Maybe not conducive to the life that I wanted to have. And one of my, probably one of my biggest turning points that helped me realize that it was time for a change was whenever I was at Uncle Howard’s funeral. So my uncle Howard is Josh’s grandpa. And he lived a really long life when he was 101. When he passed away, he made it to 101. Yeah, yeah. So so my grandfather uncle Howard passed, and I think Uncle Tom passed after. So anyway, it was just like this, this couple years span where I lost a whole generation. Yeah, that ration. It was a big thing for your family. Yeah, it just in there. They were to Josh’s point when you have a big family like that the big farm family big, big close knit, I mean that you lose kind of like the rock right? They kind of kept everybody together. And the Christmases you know, I remember Christmas spending at my my grandparents house, but I also remember being at Josh’s grandparents house, like we just kind of traveled around and it was literally over the hill to Yeah, yeah, like it was less than a football field away. And so, so anyway, so that had kind of all happened in this period of time. And then when I was sitting in uncle Howard’s funeral, though, or Yeah, funeral service, though. I mean, it was beautiful is very similar to my grandfather’s where everybody was just telling these amazing stories about like these memories that they had with uncle Howard and things that he had done and ironically, he had own an insurance agency in his life and it gave him the opportunity to serve his community really well and to serve his church. She very well and to be so present not only in his children’s lives, but in his grandchildren’s lives and in his great grandchildren’s lives. And just sitting there hearing all of these stories is so heartwarming, but at this time, right, I’m working a corporate job, I hadn’t really seen my kids, I mean, grow up from age zero to three or four, because that’s
Josh Meeder 5:23
about it. And let’s talk about that corporate job to put it in perspective, because it wasn’t insurance. So if you talk about glass ceilings in a typically predominant, old white man field, that’s, that’s really where it was, in my background is I also took over my dad’s agency, and I was licensed to sell. So we have, you know, a lot of similarities there. So you were in a pretty big corporate insurance operation. And you were, I mean, just share about like, the hours you were putting into, because this is important. A lot of people grow in the lab are going up the ladder, put in a lot of time.
Samantha Bauer 5:55
Yeah, yeah, I mean, I was working 10 hour days, Monday through Friday, and then Saturday is about, you know, eight to three, because that’s when the, the agents that I manage, were working, and I needed to be there for them. So I managed a team of at insurance, sales agents, and five, insurance, sales managers, that all kind of reported through me. And so it was a lot of hours, it was a lot of time, I was expected to be on all the time, and I traveled a lot. So I mean, it was a lot. And it wasn’t an environment where I could like, bring my kids in and have lunch with them, I probably I don’t even I can’t even imagine the looks on their face. You know, had done that on Saturday, sometimes, because I was the only one in the office that day. We’d bring them in, and that worked out really, really well. But you know, my husband was a stay at home dad at the time, which was a huge blessing. But it still didn’t help me to get to spend more time with my family. So so that’s the setting I was at. And so I’m sitting at Uncle Howard’s funeral listening to these beautiful stories, and it was as though I mean, people talk about these moments where they feel God speaks to them. And it might sound crazy, but I felt in that moment that God is like, KCM, what are they going to say about you at your funeral. And, I mean, I sat there and cried, because I was like, this is not the path that I’m supposed to be on. Like, God didn’t give me kids, so that I never see them, like me kids so that I can help be a part of their lives. And so it was then that I realized I really needed to make a shift. You know, I wasn’t active in our church, we went to church, but Sunday was my only day off. So I wasn’t able to, like, volunteer or, you know, I really wanted to sing as part of the choir or whatever, at my church. And I wasn’t able to do that, because I couldn’t go to practice, like, it just was, it was not fun. But I thought I was there, you know, and I thought I thought that maybe that’s what God was using me was to, like, you know, show my kids that this was okay, so I would justify it. Go and making a lot of money. You know, my husband gets to stay home with the kids. So they’re having a good, comfortable life. But I’ll tell you what, since I’ve made the change, and went from a really big fat salary to like nothing overnight, I would take no money and time with my family again, over and over and over again.
Josh Meeder 8:22
It’s amazing, those big shifts that we’ll get into the process of going through that, but those big shifts, just break your your patterns and your assumptions. Like, oh, you got to do this, you can get by on so little. And while we all strive for abundance, it’s not the end of the it’s not the end all be all, like having the priorities and the quality of life is where you really move to. And you did it really quickly. So let’s jump into this story. Because this is really, really impressive. One not just from doing it, but to have like the faith and the trust and how the way you unfolded it involving the entire family in supporting abuse. So you have this little aha moment. And what happens next, like how do you go from there to starting your own agency?
Samantha Bauer 9:15
Yeah, so a lot of prayer. And a lot of looking into different opportunities. You know, it’s it’s Josh was also a part of this, because I’ve always admired you for your business sense and your ability to you know, find success wherever you’ve gone even when it’s been hard for you. And so I was thinking about buying a bed and breakfast and I met with Josh and he was like, yes, yeah, um, you’ll make like, if I they forget what the numbers were, but it was like if it was like 80% occupied, I would make $400 At the end of each month or something like that. And I was like, okay, that’s not sustainable.
Josh Meeder 9:55
Also, we’re, you know, the funny thing was in like the hospitality or those industries It’s just as much time and that was one of your big things you’re like, I want more time, I’m like probably wrong business to start,
Samantha Bauer 10:07
possibly don’t want to be in a business that you have to live in. And and so it was you like at the end of that dinner that we had you were like Sam, why don’t you just opened an insurance agency? Like that’s what you know, that’s what you’re good at. It’s lucrative, long term, it’s a great, you know, thing to invest because of residual income. And I was like, I want to be insurance agent for the rest of my life. And then continued prayer, right, if things started to line up, so I own a franchise of a large and the biggest independent insurance agency in the country. And they have been reaching out to me actually, for like, a year before this. Me being me, I was like, oh, cool, I’m recruiting to for my corporate position. So let’s be friends. And then if people don’t work out for what you’re looking for, you can refer them my way. And if people don’t work out for what I’m hiring, they can refer them your way. And, you know, maybe we can work out that way. So I kept this relationship with the lady that was trying to recruit me. And after you and I met, and Rob, I reached back out to her and said, Hey, what is this opportunity, because I’ve never heard of this company before. I’ve been an insurance for a really long time. So it’s odd that I hadn’t heard of them before. But it was because they’re pretty new. I mean, Goose has been around for, I don’t want to say for sure. But it’s been like, within like 15 years, like it’s not an in Pennsylvania, I think for less than 10. None of
Josh Meeder 11:40
the things to help just bring the awareness a little bit to the audience to in insurance, there’s exclusive carriers. And then there’s independent agents. The difference is like the exclusive carriers are the ones you might know is like an all state or a State Farm. So when you’re an agent, you can only sell their products, and an independent agent can represent a lot of different companies and give your customers different choices. There’s pros and cons to each the one big challenge, starting an independent agency, because I went from an exclusive to an independent agency. The one big challenge is actually getting the appointments, because you have to bring enough flow of business to justify them putting you into their systems, and given you all the licenses. And it’s, it’s a and that is a pretty big barrier to entry for a lot of people going into insurance. So this company that you found, already did all that, and they take on. The other part is staffing an insurance agency, because you have to have someone to take all the calls and do all the policy changes. So those are the two big ones, this company goose head, actually solved that for you where they have the carrier appointments, and they do the service servicing, so you’re really just allowed to sell. And that’s how you set it up.
Samantha Bauer 12:53
It’s an amazing business model. And quite honestly, had I been 25, I would have just started a scratch agency on my own and done it by myself. But being 38. And going from $150,000 salary to zero, I needed to figure out what was going to help me grow the fastest. And get me back to, you know, something that we can live on, and help my husband then move because Robin back to work. When I opened my agency, he was a truck driver by trade, he went back to work. And we knew that we didn’t want to do that long term we wanted to work together, which I know sounds crazy to like, probably 75% of the people out there. But for us, it’s it’s a blessing that we’ve been kind of like looking working towards. And so this, I mean, I gotta tell ya, you know, in just over three years, we’re almost at a $2 million book of business and there is no way that that would have happened if I would have started from because I would have had like, like you said, I would have had like two companies to sell. You know, I have 56 companies that I can sell for. It allows me to work for my clients, which is cool. Yeah.
Josh Meeder 14:03
So it’s been three years. So you started and you got rolling. Let’s talk about some of those challenges in those startups because I mean, that’s quite a transition and to put it put it in perspective to with the whole global pandemic in child care I mean you you not only jumped into like you dove off the deep end in in faith that it’d be okay but you got you got hit with some big family things you got hit with the global pandemic, you had a you know, career change and now you’re doing it all and in through this you and Rob and the kids are all working together because you had an understand it so let’s talk about those that first starting it up, not the greatest timing.
Samantha Bauer 14:45
Yeah, so I was doing this for about six months before. Well, so my daughter got, like, deathly ill at the end of 2019. She got a complicated pneumonia. that quite honestly Almost killed or we were in children’s hospital for 14 days over Christmas. So we weren’t home for Christmas that year. But this happened when my business was six months old. So my business was the baby was just starting to like, get leads and really starting to like, become something substantial. And she got sick. And I mean, even though we were only in children’s for two weeks, this was like a three month ordeal because she was sick before we went in. And then once we went in, and she had three tubes put in her chest to get the drainage out. And so like we had a long recovery after that. And then right after I can I’m laughing not because it’s funny, but because I sometimes you don’t know what else to do. Right after we got out of the hospital, I had a miscarriage. So we just thought like, well, we saved you. We’ve got, you know, God allowed Andy to have her life. And then we thought we’re out of the woods. And then we actually lost a baby. And it was just like what is happening. But during this time, and then so and then that was January, the beginning of February 2020. March 2020 is when the kids came home from school and never went back. So yeah, it was crazy. But I will say like, I was able to work when Andy was in recovery in the hospital, I was selling policies, like I was going saw policies while she was in there. I was bedside with her the entire time, you know, Robin, I would trade off nights sleeping there. But had I bet at my corporate career, I can’t even imagine the stress that I would have felt. During that time. I don’t know if I would have had a job to go back to in all honesty. And so this, this shift came, it had I waited, you know, and I can’t even imagine so. So then COVID happened, my kids were home. And I worked from home. And you know, we just figured it out. And they did school and I did work. And I think while the rest of the world kind of went on auto drive. And I decided that I wasn’t going to do that I actually read an article on Facebook that somebody had posted. And it was talking about how women can’t do both they during a pandemic, I mean, no different than what they say out of a pandemic, right. You have to choose your family, or your career and women are having to quit their career because of COVID. And with the kids and it infuriated me like it takes a lot to get me riled up. But I was so mad at this article because like, why would you post an article that people can’t do something what you know, we should be rallying each other, supporting each other and telling each other how you can do it, you know, it might be hard, might be ugly. But if you really want to do this, you can. And so I drove my I mean, my business grew 90% year over year, obviously it was my first year. So that’s not like a huge bar that was into year two. And then the next school year, when they came back and said the kids have to wear masks all day, I just wasn’t ready for my daughter who had lung surgeries a few months prior to be in a mask all day to restrict her breathing even more than so we just prayed on it again, because that’s what we do and decide decided to homeschool them. So that second year of COVID. I don’t know how we like put a timeframe. But that’s fine, because I guess we’re still kind of, I don’t know it. But that second year of COVID I homeschool them in my office. So I would teach them from eight until 10 every morning. And then they would do like independent work for most of the day while I was in here on the phone and selling policies. And it was crazy. But like, I could have never done any of that.
Josh Meeder 18:52
And at the end of the year you shared with me when we were speaking like at the end of the year, the performance, you know, those kids had to be tested and share about how they did with it too.
Samantha Bauer 19:03
Yeah, so I’m not a teacher. I am also not God did not make me to be a stay at home parent like the way that I was built. So I was super nervous about it. And I had no clue what I was doing. I bought this Montessori program that actually is amazing. I never even really knew anything about it. And that’s what we use. But during the year I’m thinking like, I think we’re really learning anything. Are we just having fun because it definitely felt like we were just having fun. We did science experiments and played games and I turned math lessons into like nerf wars and like we just had a good time doing it. But yeah, at the end of the year, it was amazing to see how much they had learned. And we put together these folders to show the evaluator and we had all kinds of photos in there and it was just really neat to look back and see like wow, we accomplished a lot you know and even then to look at my business numbers and to see like, you know, I never got out of the town. About 10 in the state for my franchise that whole time, and it was just like, Okay,
Josh Meeder 20:09
you’re doing the thing? You’re Yeah.
Samantha Bauer 20:13
Yeah. So, huge blessing and again, had I not taken that leap of faith entrusted, you know, what I felt God was calling me to do. And I don’t know I, I’d still be miserable at that corporate job and not very present.
Josh Meeder 20:31
One of the things that’s really impressed me about you is, first off, you come from a very rock solid understanding and guidance with your own faith and your connection to your faith. And you’ve, you and Rob have cultivated that in your relationship in your family. When we were talking earlier, the thing that I absolutely loved is I’m gonna take a quick aside here, like the, the the image that’s put out there, especially on women, that you can be professional and this or you have to pick between home and family. It’s not about it. Oh, for for the stay at home dads as well. Yeah, it’s not about picking, it’s actually finding the right balance. And it’s the choice but you you as your family unit really did that together, you know, can you share some of those discussions, because I know, three years, going back to the earlier point is, you made the commitment, you had the agreements, Rob picked up what he needed, went back into his work. But the goal was to get back to working together and building this together. And so talk a little bit about how you worked out with your family, because that’s beautiful. And then, you know, also what’s happening today with Rob and his shift.
Samantha Bauer 21:45
Yeah, yeah. So definitely, I will say to in the last three years, since I’ve done this, my faith has grown exponentially, I’ve grown closer to God. And it’s just been, I think, when you take these leaps, and you trust Him, you see that he’s like, really going to support you. It allows you to trust him more. So taking, you know, taking the small leaps, and then like, Whoa, this is working out doors are opening the right people, you know, are coming into my life, and then you continue to trust more, more of that comes like it just and I don’t I don’t know that it’s like a reward because I got doesn’t really work that way. But I do think that when you start to really lean in your faith and trust that you’re gonna get caught in that you’re kind of listening to the Holy Spirit inside of you to guide your steps. And you take action on it. It just, I mean, it just works. So one of the things that we do constantly as a family is we pray together, that’s just, you know, what we’ve always done. And when we made this leap, the kids were pretty little they were? Well, it would have been five and six. Whenever I opened the agency, and we Robin, I had prayed about it a lot before we kind of made the decision. And then once we made the decision, we prayed with the kids. And we talked about the differences. You know, daddy was a stay at home dad. And now he’s going he’s going back to trucking. Like he’s gonna be gone a lot. It’s gonna be mommy. And we clearly have different I’ll never forget the first time I stayed home with them. And they have like, it was breakfast and they had come in and gotten these like powdered sugar donuts and went and sat on my brown like couch in the living room to eat them. And I was like, what’s happening right now? One that’s not breakfast to you’re eating powdered sugar donuts on my couch. And they’re like, Daddy, let us do it. Like, oh, and not that Rob is not I mean, he.
Josh Meeder 23:38
He’s an excellent dad. It’s just the funny like, the little things that you don’t see when you were worth it. You know?
Samantha Bauer 23:45
I’m like, This is why we have a table. So anyway, just certain things that with kids that little like it’s important to eat at the table because they need to get used to eating at the table and having good manners. But my husband is also very structured, and I am not so like I swing by the seat of my pants. Rob like literally sets timers to like take out the trash and like whatever it is he needs to do. And so it’s it’s a huge difference having mommy home versus daddy home because we’re like polar opposites. But they they did great with it. Andy probably want to get the hardest she She’s emotional. So she miss Daddy every day. And she also liked to tell me what he liked it better than me. And
Josh Meeder 24:28
he does little reminders as you’re stepping into that.
Samantha Bauer 24:31
Yeah. But I mean, the cool thing is, I run this business so far and I plan to continue to run this business this way that it is a family business and my kids are a part of it. And they’re welcome here. And it’s their second home. I’m so sorry. I thought I turned this off but apparently not. But so they in my office they have if I could like turn the screen you’d see there’s a futon in here. You’re there’s all kinds of like markers and kids, I mean, I homeschool them in here. So all that stuff’s in here their games in here, because they spent a lot of time here. But they also helped me do things like they’ll help me with my social media marketing, I’m sure you’ve seen posts with them in it. They helped me put together goodie bags that I take out when I meet with lenders, they, they are a part of this business. And it’s kind of a neat, because I’m transparent with them, you know, we’ve had to shift our budgeting for our household based on our income. And so my kids understand like a budget doesn’t mean you’re poor. A budget just means that we know how we’re spending our money. And so like, I’ve had those talks with them, because I never want them to feel like oh, we, you know, I never want them to feel worried about money, I want them to understand, mommy and daddy have control of our money. And we’re making decisions as a family. And we’re choosing not to, you know, go to Disney World this year. And we’re gonna go to Deep Creek and set like, whatever, you know, those different levels of things are that we’ve had to do over the last three years, they’ve been a part of that decision making. And they know that we’re growing because they’re seeing a difference in our budget. And they know what our goals are for long term. And we talk about big dreams we talk about, you know, I lived in Japan for a year after college and I talked to them about I can’t wait till we I’m taking you guys there and we’re gonna eat ramen in the streets under a tent, like buy ramen, Chuck. And so they know that stuff is coming. But they know it takes a lot of work and dedication to get there and they’re watching it happen
Josh Meeder 26:33
to see it happen. That’s such a that’s such a gift. And, you know, we do have so many parallels in our lives, big family and in the same industry at different times. Yeah, and I remember one of the big lessons that was so important to me is dad was an insurance and he sold investments and, and he talked about talked about the investments with me, I really appreciate how you shared the process. And in teaching your kids that hard work and savings and having a plan will get him there. But the gift that I got from Dan, was I knew from day one, that when I went to college, I had to pay for half of it. So he’s like he can get scholarships. I’m like, not getting athletic or academic for sure. You can take loans or you can save. And I started in seventh grade, and I clean his office, you know, talk about the family business, right? So I go in and he’s like, Okay, you gotta take half of whatever you make and put it in a mutual fund. I’m like, Oh, I was really bummed that I had to give up this money. But it was in the 80s, when the market was doing really well. And I saw it growing he she taught me about investment. So then I saw how it worked. And I’m like compounding interest. I’m like this little eighth grade investor and I’d put my birthday money and my Christmas money and, and literally from seventh grade to 12th grade, I was able to save and invest enough to pay for half my school. And I had $770 left over which I bought my first two suits. So instilling like the not just work ethic, but the financial awareness and budgeting and, and showing how sacrifice at one time can lead to bounty later is such a such a gift. And I think a lot of our kids out there don’t get that opportunity to see basic money skills or finances. So what you’ve done there is amazing. Now Now you also mentioned three years ago, you know, Rob went back to work. And the goal was to bring him back in. So let’s share a little bit of excitement acknowledgement for what you and Rob have done together.
Samantha Bauer 28:37
Yeah. So our goal was that at the three year mark, he would be able to quit his job and join the agency. And so I open in May of 2019, may 31 of 2022. He quit his job. And so he took the summer off, I mean, off, he was really getting relicense because he he actually had been license and insurance like years and years ago, but let it lapse. So he had to get re license. So he got re license. And then he was home with kids all summer, which was I think more than he bargained for. But um, but yeah, they went with they went back to school a couple weeks ago. He’s in the office with me now, you know, all the time. And we’re starting to build together, which is really exciting. Because when we set that goal, we kind of, you know, when you’re starting something new, you’re kind of like, well, I hope this happens. And we’re going to work hard. And you know, when you set goals, you put down the numbers and I need to do this, I need to do this much action to get this many leads to sell this many policies and get us there. And when I realized that it was happening, I was like, Oh my god. This is really cool, because that was our first big hurdle. Like that was our first big goal was him coming into the agency. And then our next big goal is scaling. So over the next you know, 10 years I want to hire two producers a year and you know, get to a point where Are we’re able to share this with other people, so that they too can have a life that they really love. Maybe, you know, help some people get out of those corporate positions where they, they do have to choose
Josh Meeder 30:14
just to show them that there’s option there. And you’ve done some really cool things on on on your marketing and how you’ve gotten your business to grow. But without going into the real specifics, one thing that you’ve always been amazing at is your networking and your literally love of people. In so part of the great things podcasts is dream, collaborate, create. So you, you had the dream, you’ve created it. But let’s talk a little bit about the collaboration. Because you work you found markets, that would be good referral sources, you know, you got into this business because of those relationships. And what I’m going to tie this into what you’re doing with wherever, your your your podcasts now. So Sam has started a podcast, wherever you go podcast. And this really, I think talks to the spirit of who you are, because you want to show and share the gifts and the blessings that you have and show people that there was other other options out there and ways to do it. So talk a little bit about that place. And there’s the other thing I’m gonna throw I know, just throwing like 80 things at you. But you’ve done it in a way with some grace, you know, you have the importance of self care. And while there’s still anxiety and challenges, you have a daily regiment, there’s meditation and prayer, and like, those are the things that I think are just amazing. So let’s talk a little bit about your collaboration. You’ve involved different mortgage brokers, you’ve been active in the community. Let’s just touch on that a little bit. And then how are you bringing your mission forward to with collaboration with others?
Samantha Bauer 31:56
Yeah, so I love people, I think you hit the nail on the head, it drives my husband, sometimes crazy how much I love people because like, can’t get me out of a room. But I just I love hearing their stories. I love helping them grow. I love figuring out, you know, what can we do for each other that will result in success for everybody. And so this business model is so natural to me, because it’s a my whole business is built on partnering with loan officers and realtors. And as they have clients that come through their buying a home and they need homeowners insurance, they have them call me and then I help them out, you know, save money on their home and auto insurance. It’s actually quite simple. But I think I’ve had so much success with these partnerships, because I don’t just like ask them to send me leads. Like that’s not to me, that’s not fun, you know, and I don’t ever want to be like that person is just always asking for things but not being able to give back. So I’ve really built partners with people that I like, first of all, like I’m pretty picky about. I mean, I wouldn’t say pretty picky because I do generally like everybody, but if I get that feeling from somebody that maybe they don’t do business the same way that I do, or maybe their values aren’t the same, that might not be a good partnership, right. So I’ve, I’ve, I’ve been blessed by a whole bunch of partners who are just amazing people, they want to grow in their business. And so I think in any business that you’re in, you need other people, like you can’t know anybody who says they’re like self made. And that’s Baloney, right, we’ve all a product of like the relationships that we have and the people that we choose to associate with. So I’ve really looked for ways to help them network. So I’ve found out that I’m kind of a freak, and that I totally have no problems walking into a business, introducing myself and trying to make friends with people. Most people hate that. And I’ve learned that through my franchise because I train actually new franchise owners on how to do this, and they’re all terrified of it. But my lenders also don’t like it, and they, how they build their business as they build relationships with realtors. So they’re super uncomfortable doing this and it’s something that I love to do. So I now do it with them. Like I’ll call me lenders and be like, Hey, you want to go visit realtors and we’ll go do it together. I did trainings last year for them on how to goal set because I’m finding out that a lot of them don’t have structure within their organizations that help them set their goals you know I share their stuff on social media I do everything that I can for them and it’s not just because I get something out of it it’s just because like that’s the right thing to do right
Josh Meeder 34:32
where you love educating I mean even in your marketing which is brilliant is you’re sharing information and it’s not about like hey success or buy this or save this it’s about the people and what you’re doing for them which is you know a little piece of advice from dad he’s like never worry about Commission’s if you do the right thing, success follows and it’s the greatest greatest advice I’ve ever gotten and and you’re doing that in also Unlike the piece that you had, with the clarity of not all partnerships are going to be aligned and it’s okay. Doesn’t have to be judgment around it. It’s just just not a match and you move on
Samantha Bauer 35:12
realizing that was a game changer for me because I’m not gonna lie like my first few like months, I would get like, butthurt if people didn’t want to work with me and like, what, I’m really good at my job, and I’m really nice. Like, why wouldn’t you want to work with me? But then I realized that the sooner I let that go, and I’m like, okay, that’s not my person. God’s gonna put 10 more people in my path that are my people. And so you know, if you sit around dwelling on that relationship that like, That person doesn’t want to work with you, or there’s something that doesn’t jive, right? that’s holding you back from what is for you. So the faster you can let that go and move on. Like, I learned it, and it’s so much less stressful. Right? That person’s not my person, I’m gonna move on and find the next person here with my person.
Josh Meeder 35:56
That’s, that’s right, because they’re waiting out there for you to find them. The The other thing let’s touch on this, because it’s really important is you do have, I know, you said, you don’t have a routine, or you’re not good at structure. But there are some things that are important to you in big on the daily habits and the rituals that we create the success for our days. So what’s a day look like in Sam’s world? Yeah, so
Samantha Bauer 36:21
I definitely this is another thing I’ve learned. I’m telling you, I’d like found myself in the last few years. I really have had to figure out what what’s important to me and make sure that I make time for that for myself, because that’s how people get burned out. Right? And we kind of talked about the stress of feeling like you need to do self care. And like, Well, does that mean I have to like go, I don’t know, do something special. But for me, self care is just making sure. Every morning I get up, I do my Bible study, I do some yoga, you know, stretch my body, eat a healthy breakfast. And I just maybe spend I try to I try to meditate for at least two minutes. And I know that sounds ridiculous, because it’s a very short time.
Josh Meeder 37:05
But for you just sit still for two minutes really is a monumental achievement. You’re going
Samantha Bauer 37:11
and there are days that I’m like, sitting there. And in my head. I’m like, Man, I still get this. Again, and again. This is not what meditations like not to tell you yourself that you stink in
Josh Meeder 37:24
a competition. Yeah, exactly.
Samantha Bauer 37:26
Exactly. And so but when I do when I do all those things, which I have now made, it’s just part of what I do. You know, I get up, I do that Bible study, I spend those silent moments. I stretch my body. I make sure I eat something healthy in the morning. It gets me going and it gives me that me time. You know, it’s probably only 30 minutes total, maybe 40 in the minute in the morning. But it gets my day started off right. So I’m in a good headspace, you know, going into the day. And every time you know, when I sit there and meditate. That really is my time of silent prayer. I know different people believe different things and So meditation is different for everybody but for me that’s kind of like alright, I said my prayers God I told you what I’m grateful for and I’m gonna sit here and listen, see if you tell me anything. In some days, he does some days like it’s very clear that like oh yeah, this is the direction I need to be going or whatever it is. Some days it is crickets. And those are the days usually that my mind wanders and maybe I’m not in the right headspace for it but it does I you know, I used to think that stuff was like so woowoo and so out there. But it’s really made a difference in my life. And it’s given me like I said even those two minutes like that’s my time for me before my kids are awake. For the dogs like breathing right in my face. You know, the stuff that happens when the House wakes up. I do all that in the morning and I journal too and journaling has been huge for me.
Josh Meeder 39:00
You’re doing all the right things. I mean so such such a game changer if you can get into that morning routine and a lot of people just fall into it. And I’ve single dad essentially and like I know some of those routine mornings like oh gosh, you got to get up gotta get everything done. Got them get them out to school, but it doesn’t take that much time or commitment even taking 10 minutes to start with in the morning for yourself to have that quiet reflection. Really really is a game changer. So listeners out there if you’re not good on your morning routine, pick one out it can be anything you know I like walking you know you talking about moving your body like that is the quiet time and reflective reflective time for me. So yeah, good on you for that morning. And you talking about you know, the big things in self care a lot of people like well that looks like a vacation or a spa and we talked about that which is really kind of funny. So you stress yourself out for half the year to save up the money to pack everything up to go for For a week of intense relaxation, then you’re stressed to come back to the stuff that you didn’t get done for the last week where the daily in the small things are where the self care really comes in. Yeah, and
Samantha Bauer 40:11
I mean, we haven’t done a big vacation for a few years, just because you know, of our financial situation with opening up a business. And we actually love weekend trips, like, we’ll go to OB for the weekend, or we’ll go to southern springs for the weekend, or we’ll just go up north, you know, and, you know, maybe camp or just for a day, you know, we might just go fishing or something like that. And like, that stuff is so filling for your soul, that and it’s not stressful, because you just did it. And so we have a lot
Josh Meeder 40:42
of other things you can do. affordably, too. Yeah, there’s so many state parks, there’s all these things. So getting away, doesn’t have to stress the household finances out, you can get real creative.
Samantha Bauer 40:54
Yeah. And it’s like, like you said, you’re not saving up forever, and then spending and then like, all the stuff, and when you get back, it’s only been a day, you just feel refreshed. So it has been it’s been really, I’ve enjoyed this journey so far. And I’m, I’m excited, you know, to keep it going. See where it goes?
Josh Meeder 41:16
Well, I’m excited to watch you in kind of wrapping this up with with the journey and where it’s going. So your business is growing. You got your family, you know, on on board with the new doing that. Well, what is next? You’ve started a podcast, you’re getting back to active in the church. So what has all this created? And what’s next for Sam?
Samantha Bauer 41:37
Yeah, so I a couple things, I guess growing my business is super dear to my heart. Like you said I, I feel a responsibility that once you figure something out, you share it with others, right. And so my goal for my business is to have 20 producers on board, including a babysitter that’s here all the time. So people can bring their kids to work because that’s what I did. And I don’t want to not give that opportunity to the people that work for me because it it was such a game changer. So So working on the culture and the environment is huge. For me, we kind of talked the last time you and I spoke about the whole like, quiet quitting thing. And as a business owner, that’s terrifying to me. Like, I do not want to create a culture that people don’t want to work their hardest in or that don’t want to come in and be a part of it,
Josh Meeder 42:29
and feel valued for their commitment and know that they’re doing it for a reason.
Samantha Bauer 42:34
Yeah, yeah. And so I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. And what are the things that we’re going to make sure we do that make people want to work here, and Rob and I both have worked for corporations and work for places. And we’ve learned a lot about what we did not like about those places. And so I we actually started writing them down, because we’re like, we’re never going to make people feel this way. And so, so anyway, that’s kind of where my business growth is going. I did feel called to start this podcast about a year ago. And I had no clue where it was going, or what I was going to do with it. And then one morning in my Bible study, that’s Joshua, one nine popped up, and I was like, Oh, this is perfect. You know, God is with you, wherever you go, you know, don’t be afraid. Don’t be dismayed. You know, don’t and and it was just like, the perfect thing I’m like, this is exactly what I want to encourage people to do is follow the dream that’s in their heart that might be hiding under there, tucked away, covered up with self doubt, or every person that’s ever told you that you’re not smart enough, you’re not man enough, you’re not you know, you’re to mom enough, or to mom, whatever the whatever, all those things that the world has told you why you can’t do it, that dream is still tucked under there. And it’s in there for a reason it didn’t, you know, it didn’t. It’s not there for nothing, you know, God put dreams in our hearts so that we would pursue them. And I really want to encourage people mums and dads, you know, I I lean towards female because I am one and I’ve experienced in that, but I definitely don’t discount men. And I think that, sadly, society has just accepted that men are gonna work and not be as as big of a part of the family. And I think that’s almost worse than telling women that they have to choose. It’s the acceptance that like, well men are going to like so. I want men to feel empowered to to follow the dreams that are in their hearts, because I know, you know, for my husband working those 12 hour days for the last three years, it was hard for him not to be part of things. And so anyway, so the podcast is is growing. I just kind of do it and they’re, you know, 20 minutes long and it could be a tip on goal setting. It could be a tip on growing your business. I just did a series on boundary setting. Because back to that whole quiet quitting thing I think if we can teach people how to set boundaries. Me Maybe they’ll have more integrity about not quite quitting, but actually setting boundaries and working really hard on the hours that they’re working. And from
Josh Meeder 45:09
the employment side, you’re also creating that container or that space where you’re not putting anyone past their boundaries, like, hey, we want you to work hard and be successful here. And you also respect the downtime. I think that’s the backlash is from that corporate culture where you’re just expected to be on call all the time. And then employees can’t set boundaries. So it’s, it’s kind of a two part there. And you guys are taking care and ownership from the other side, say, Hey, we’re gonna give you an environment where you can be really successful, we want the best from you. And when you’re not here, that’s your time. So I love that it’s that two part connection with it.
Samantha Bauer 45:46
Yeah, yeah, in teaching them like, Don’t give your cell phone number out. Like we have Office phones, like that’s what you use, because otherwise, your clients aren’t going to respect your boundaries. And they’re going to be texting you at on Sunday afternoon. And it’s going to drive you bonkers. So we really like that’s one of the things I really am going to be implementing as we hire is like, here’s how you set boundaries. And I actually just started with Rob yesterday, sharing some of the things with him. So anyway, that’s that. And then my next thing is, I want to write a book. And so that’s kind of, hopefully in the next year or two shouldn’t say hopefully, in the next year or two that will happen.
Josh Meeder 46:24
I know when you say hopefully it means it’s, it’s just on its way. So you’ve gotten you’ve gotten some time for yourself to your your singing or you’re active in the church again.
Samantha Bauer 46:34
Yeah, so this, this is just, you know, goes back to that funeral service, right, like thinking like, Man, I would, God gave me a gift, and, and a voice to use, and I hadn’t used it. And so I have I’ve been singing in our praise band at church and in the choir. And that’s me time too. So when you talk about things that that are self care, or whatever, I love singing, I love practicing with the band at church, I love being a part of that. And so for me, that’s like a hobby that I allow myself to do. And Rob knows, like, Sam’s got practice at eight o’clock on Thursday nights at the church. And that’s what she does. And that’s awesome. And he has his stuff, too. He does karate. And we know what nights he does that. And if I can find somebody to play tennis with me, you better believe I’m out on the tennis courts playing tennis. So it’s, it’s making sure you’re doing things you love to because it’s so easy as a mom or a dad to get sucked into your kids lives. And you kind of lose yourself, right? And unfortunately, they’re gonna be around forever, they’re gonna get if you’re doing it, right, they’re gonna grow up and move out and become, you know, contributors to society. And when that happens, you know, you want to still know who you are,
Josh Meeder 47:50
ya know who you are, have the health and the vitality and the connection and relationship to enjoy that so well, I will check back with you here the next year and be looking for your big book release party. I’m sure that is already in the works. Sam, thank you for taking the time today. If you are if you’re interested in learning more about Sam or you’re in western Pennsylvania for insurance needs, check out the links in the bio and definitely check out her podcast so it’s always great talking to you cuz thanks for being on and we will see you again soon.
Samantha Bauer 48:25
Thanks for having me on Josh. I appreciate it.
Josh Meeder 48:31
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai