For decades, the insurance and financial planning industries have been pegged as stuffy and antiquated, or even worse, manipulative and calculating. When Stephani Lucas founded The Annuity Consultants more than a decade ago, she vowed to do things differently.
Nearly 20 years ago, Stephani was putting herself through college and working at a real estate company when one of her clients recruited her to join their FMO (Field Marketing Organization) that specialized in wholesale annuities in the independent insurance channel. Although she enjoyed the work, she felt something was missing. So after a brief period, she left the company and posted her resume online, assuming that her career in the insurance industry had come to an end.
However, the universe had other plans as is often the case, and her resume caught the eye of another FMO. She was hired by this new company, and over the next few years, she continued to hone her skills and fell in love with the marketing aspect of the insurance world. By 2008, she had graduated with a dual degree in International Business and Marketing, but the company she worked for was tanking along with so many others in the recession. Stephani decided to move on, and in 2010 she took a bold leap. She set out on her own and founded The Annuity Consultants.
Prior to founding her own company, Stephani had worked in nearly every aspect of the business and had experienced a front-row seat to all the inefficiencies that plagued the industry. With all this knowledge of how not to do things, she approached The Annuity Consultants with a fresh perspective, and with the help of technology and social media, she set out to build something spectacular.
Over the next 9 years, Stephani grew the business and experienced a series of highs and lows in her personal life that challenged, strengthened, and shaped her. Through the process of getting sober in 2013 and all of her deep inner work, she also found her passion for this industry. It was while traveling through Bali in 2019 that she was struck with the realization she wanted to build something that would deeply, positively impact people in the insurance and financial industry.
“I realized how many advisors approached insurance in the financial planning process from entirely the wrong way,” she explains. “Our motivation should stem from the ways we can positively impact others, be the best versions of ourselves, and do what we were put here to do.”
Her 8-part Heart Centered Planning Series was born out of this inspiration. The series was created to help agents and advisors realign with their personal purpose and learn to love themselves, so that they can pour out the same love and compassion into the world and the people they work with on a daily basis. In her words, it’s all about “changing the industry from the inside out.”
“When you have a full tank, you can give so much more to the other people in your life,” says Stephani. “This includes friends, family, and the clients you work with.”
This series is especially relevant and needed now that the new DOL Fiduciary Rule has been finalized and will be rolled out in early 2021. . Regulations and suitability has plagued the industry, taking annuity applications from 1.5 pages to over 40 pages in the last two decades. This is due to agents and advisors doing business in a way that isn’t in their clients’ best interest. It’s unfortunate these changes are happening in the industry, but it’s all the more reason for Stephani to work diligently on spreading the word about the Heart Centered Planning series.
The free 8-part series provides agents and advisors with a holistic approach to living their lives and doing business. They start by explaining the “Importance Of Being Grounded.”
According to Stephani, “This is the foundation of it all; it’s all about community. We are all in this together. We need each other; we have to start by understanding why it’s important to do our own inner work.”
From here, agents and advisors are lead through guides 2 and 3, where they learn how to “Create An Abundance Mindset” and “Nourish Your Personal Power.” The fourth guide, and perhaps the most related to the main theme of the series, addresses the impact of “Leading With Your Heart.”
Stephani explains, “In business, we operate within the analytical part of our mind, not our hearts. If more people could come from the heart, the business could change. If you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, the money will follow.”
The fifth guide encourages agents and advisors to “Speak Your Truth.” Stephani’s understanding of it is that, “This makes a huge difference in your business, even if it means having a difficult conversation, you’re being authentic to yourself, and that will attract the right kind of people.” Guides 6-8 teach clients on these topics: “Live Your Vision,” “Live Your Purpose,” and “Building Community.”
Each guide includes a personal testimonial from a featured agent or advisor who has implemented the principles into their life and business. In addition to the guides themselves, the series also includes webinars with special guest speakers who share the many ways this shift in mindset has changed their lives.
No matter what the years ahead hold for the financial industry, one thing is for certain: Stephani Lucas is dedicated to helping transform it for the better.