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  • Writer's picturemckenzie.rabenn

Plant Your Seeds, Harvest Later

Jake has had an immense amount of success in his short time as an agent. In his first year, he qualified for President's Club in Investment Planning Services (IPS). Every year since then, his agency has qualified for Exotic Travel. Then last year, he qualified for Exotic Plus with over 250,000 travel credits.

On the Grid: Tell me about yourself and your agency.

Jake Johnston: I was born and raised on a small farm in Northern Nevada. I grew up in a very competitive family which led to a competitive spirit. I was big into sports and a Division I athlete. After graduating, I served a service mission in southern Mexico for two years. When I came back I wanted to become an international business attorney but I quickly ran out of money. So, I ended up working at a sporting goods store, Scheels. I broke all their sales records but HATED retail. The long hours, working nights, and holidays were not for me. I wanted to go back to school which was when I was recruited to come to agency. I went into the Agent Aspirant program in 2014. I waited four years for my opportunity and in July of 2018 I opened up my agency in Yerington, NV.

OTG: Your name is Jake and that’s really famous in our world. You seem to embrace it. Can you talk more about that?

JJ: When people ask for advice, I tell them, “Be named Jake. If your name is not Jake, change it to Jake.” I had to decide early on that being Jake in this industry was either going to drive me mad or I could utilize it to my advantage. So I capitalized; I have six pairs of khaki pants, one for each day of the week. It’s been great for business.

OTG: I see you were president's club in IPS. How did you set yourself up as a financial professional in a small town?

JJ: It took time. I always say, “you have to plant your seeds and harvest later.” No one is going to brag about you but you, which is especially the case in IPS. The average customer doesn’t think of us as financial professionals. When you meet with customers, explain what you do. Eventually, the seeds you sowed will start to harvest. You start getting referrals and it just builds and builds.

OTG: Have you always been so passionate about doing comprehensive planning with people?

JJ: No one wakes up one day and says, “I want to be a financial planner.” The truth is it's not a sexy job. My passion really began when I was able to harvest a seed I planted earlier in my career. A customer came in and had 1.6 million dollars they didn’t know what to do with. As a 27 year old with a check for 1.6 million dollars, it really fueled my fire. You know, back when I worked at Scheels I would get excited when I sold a baseball bat to someone. But I knew at the end of the day that bat was only going to be temporarily useful for someone. Being able to help people long term and generations to come sends me home with so much pride.

OTG: For people who are apprehensive to get into this field, why would you encourage someone to get their investment licenses?

JJ: To that I would say learn about the market and the opportunity out there. A lot of people don’t realize that there should be about 50 millionaires per financial planner in the US. The Baby Boomer generation is coming up and a lot of them don’t have “their guy.” Further, many planners are retiring and exiting the industry. All of this together means there is a huge wave of opportunities. If you don’t get out there and start taking advantage of the opportunity, someone else will. We’re already starting to see that happen. In 2018 when I opened my agency, the President Club requirement was ~1.2 million in new money. Now the number is somewhere around 2.5 million in new money. This means more people are getting their licenses. Get in now or someone else will. Don’t wait.

Another reason you get those licenses is that you can do what is in the customers best interest. We’re able to offer financial planning for our customers. Does an annuity make most sense? Or a life insurance policy? Or both? A majority of IPS customers have large life insurance policies with me and those life insurance conversations always start in IPS conversations.

OTG: What are your thoughts on the new IPS software, Investment Pro?

JJ: It’s amazing! The workflow and application process is really simple, I can open an account from start to finish in less than an hour. After using it one or two times I felt confident having it up and showing it to customers during our meetings. Before that was certainly not the case, it was something we needed so bad.

OTG: How about your thoughts on the addition of an advisory platform in the future?

JJ: The only sure thing in life is change which is certainly the case being a business owner. If we’re not adapting, maybe being an entrepreneur isn’t for us. For the last four years I have seen successful people talking about this platform at Million Dollar Roundtable. The sooner we can get that rolling out means the more ways we can help customers.

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