Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Three Priorities For 2014: 2 - Growing Businesses - Legal Shield

I'm talking about growing businesses - I have three that I am working on now. Well, four, but one barely counts.

That's Capital Synergies. I say that it barely counts, because its was created purely to be a holding company for other entities. A couple of years ago, I decided to make it the home for my practice as a representative for Legal Shield.

So what is Legal Shield, and why am I a Legal Shield representative?

You may already know about Legal Shield without realizing it. For decades, the company was known as PrePaid Legal. After its sale to private equity firm MidOcean Partners, the new owners renamed it Legal Shield.

What does Legal Shield do? It provides affordable access to the legal system by providing basic legal services for a small monthly fee. It also offers the opportunity to earn an income by selling memberships to others, and/or by enrolling them as associates who in turn sell memberships.

I think I first became a member and an associate in 2007, when my friend Dan Jendrey, himself a new associate, signed me up. Back then, I did it primarily to help him get started. The idea of being able to call a law firm for an unlimited number of matters for a small monthly payment made sense to me, but I had no interest - NONE - in selling anything.

That reluctance was due to three things: 1) my job at the Post-Gazette paid well; 2) I had other business ventures in mind; and 3) I was totally turned off by the whole multi-level/network marketing thing.

By "thing," I mean both the structure that network marketing employs, which often leads to companies placing more emphasis on recruiting one's "downline" than on actually selling a product/service; and the culture that seems common to network marketing companies, which revolves around what I call "rah-rah."

"Rah-rah" is a way of presenting the business opportunity as a way to get rich - as signified by portrayals of a glamorous lifestyle - with little effort. The lifestyle generally portrayed never appealed to me - I'd rather die working. I'd rather work for free than for money, but I'd rather die working than have a luxurious retirement.

It is only within the past year that I have made any sincere effort - ANY - to sell the service.

What brought me around?

My belief in the value of the service. My desire to have time freedom. My desire to establish a residual income.

A residual income - that is, money that comes in month after month without working for it - is as close as you can get to having a money tree. If I had $50,000 a year in residual income, my wife and I could live quite comfortably, and I could devote myself more freely and flexibly to working on things I care deeply about (including for-profit and not-for-profit ventures).

The final thing that persuaded me to begin working as a Legal Shield associate (as opposed to lying completely fallow) was the availability of a program which can shorten the path to $50,000 in residual income, and which does not rely on "Rah-Rah."

That program is group sales, which is the company's name for employers offering membership in Legal Shield as an employee benefit. Unlike other employee benefits, it costs the company nothing; the benefits to the employee are a discount on the monthly fee, and having it paid automatically from their paycheck. When I learned about group sales, I immediately liked the idea of presenting to groups much more than that of doing one-on-one appointments - first, because I enjoy public speaking; second, because I would rather make sales 10 or 20 or 50 at a time as opposed to one at a time. The fact that group enrollments focus entirely on selling the service, without reference to recruiting people as associates, made group sales even more attractive to me.

So I became a certified group specialist. I haven't made any group sales yet; I'll share more about my journey toward that milestone as I go. For now, suffice it to say that if you own a business with at least five employees, and you would like to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and reduce expenses - and come off as a hero/shero to your workforce in the process - then you need to check out Legal Shield's employee benefits program. Then, let's talk (even if you're not in Pittsburgh: I love to drive, and I bought a Toyota Prius in October, and need to practice my pulse and glide).

Three Priorities: The Complete Series
Three Priorities For 2014 - And Beyond
Three Priorities For 2014: 1 - Encouraging The Body Of Christ
Three Priorities For 2014: 2- Growing Businesses.
Three Priorities For 2014: 2.5 - Why Build Businesses?
Three Priorities For 2014: 2 - Growing Businesses - Legal Shield
Three Priorities For 2014: 2 - Growing Businesses - Homewood Capital Partners
Three Priorities For 2014: 2 - Growing Businesses - Luminaria Productions
Three Priorities For 2014: 3 - Redeveloping Race Street
Three Priorities For 2014: Closing Thoughts

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