People of Monday: Sean Green
“Just think of everyone in the graveyard. They had dreams, families, wins, losses, and had opportunities to make a difference. Some did, some didn’t. Considering the inevitable future, the flow of time, and mortality gets me up off my butt and relishing the moments in front of me. I’m not interested in regrets.” – Sean Green, Agency Principal at Cedar Ridge Insurance
Every week, we tap into the minds of good people doing great things in our communities through the weekly People of Monday post. This week, we interviewed a Cedar Falls, Iowa entrepreneur who inspires our team to keep improving every day. We think he’ll do the same for you.
Sean Green is the Agency Principal at Cedar Ridge Insurance – a Cedar Valley insurance company committed he started to help small businesses and individuals succeed. Sean has been involved in numerous entrepreneurial endeavors and has developed a deep expertise in sales along the way. His passion for entrepreneurship, life, happiness, and sales radiates from him with every conversation we have with him. You’ll understand just what we mean after you read our interview with Sean Green below. Enjoy!
So Sean, how do you spend most of your time?
For my business, it’s sales and marketing. The administration stuff and the product development is always there and needs to get done but sales cures all. Sales allow you to get cold, hard, cash which in turn that’s what it takes to make opportunities work. It allows you to add services/products that add value to your clients, which in turn adds value to your brand.
What drives you to be an entrepreneur over something else?
I’m unemployable. It’s in my blood. I can’t imagine a life where no matter how talented and hardworking you are, your income and overall growth stays relatively stagnant. A story where you can see the beginning, middle, and ending before you begin isn’t worth watching. The mystery, highs, lows, and overall struggle are where the enjoyment is, for me at least.
Why will you always win?
I make it a point to add a ridiculous amount of value to whomever I come in contact with. We all have people in our lives that leave you feeling drained after an encounter with them. I never want to be that person. With so many people breaking things (and people), we who are capable of making a difference need to step up and start fixing what’s broken. If an opportunity is just a seed for a win and I’m still able to water seeds, in fact everyone is, I will water all day. I’ve invested so much physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional capital in the Cedar Valley, I can’t imagine a world where there is no opportunity for me. There is always a need for people who take little and give most.
In your opinion, what makes and breaks a business?
Successful businesses need good direction as well as the means to move people in order to thrive. I see the amount of emotional intelligence (EQ) company leadership possesses as the limiting factor in both direction and motivation. Leaders and innovators who have great amounts of emotional awareness can move people while understanding their own limitations through introspection. Focusing on knowing your strengths and weaknesses with brutal honesty and seeking to know more about yourself every day is key. I triple down on my strengths and hire out my weaknesses and it allows me to succeed. It’s business owners who try to be everything to everybody that fail while those who make it known what they’re better at than 90% of people.
What are your thoughts on Mondays?
I know this is People of Monday but Monday starts on Sunday for me. I use Sunday as sabbath to rest, spiritually renew, and mentally prepare for Monday. If I’m in good mental shape on Sunday, my thoughts on Monday are usually ones of joy and peace. Honestly, Mondays can kill me without a proper Sabbath. I’m not who subscribes to working seven days a week. Spending a few minutes sharpening your saw cuts the tree down in short work.
What’s your mantra?
Nobody owes me anything but I owe everybody everything. Servitude is a lifestyle that produces a happy and fulfilling life. I don’t want anyone to confuse this with codependency, which can be crippling. I’m talking about serving everyone out of the abundance we’ve been very blessed to have just by living in this country. The amount of opportunities and knowledge available at our fingertips is almost immeasurable.
Where do you seek inspiration from?
Graveyards and old people. Not to be morbid, but it gives perspective. Perspective isn’t easy when, in most situations, we see the worst in ourselves and the highlights of our peers. The elderly will tell you how fast it went and how little most things mattered in the grand scheme. Kids, jobs, relationships, it all happens so fast. If I’m ever feeling uninspired I just think about how many days I have left in the current age I am and how much closer I am to being in the dirt. It helps me have a sense of urgency while also zooming out to see the bigger picture. Just think of everyone in the graveyard. They had dreams, families, wins, losses, and had opportunities to make a difference. Some did, some didn’t. Considering the inevitable future, the flow of time, and mortality gets me up off my butt and relishing the moments in front of me. I’m not interested in regrets.
What impresses you?
The roses among thorns. I’m impressed when I see something beautiful or pure come from a difficult place. I can think of a few examples of great people who break the cycles. It means that anything is possible with the right agents of change.
What emerging space interests you?
The automation of financial services. There are a few disrupters in this growing area like WealthFront. It is fascinating to me what products will come of this and how it will change the financial markets as we know it. Our country’s reliance on the traditional financial markets has gone on for a very long time so any major disruptors in this area will be interesting to watch.
Top 3 books… go!
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
What routines/habits have you built that aid your productivity, happiness, etc.?
I think that productivity is found in the right habits and routines while happiness is found in unique and atypical experiences. I try to balance my life to have both spontaneity and structure. Both traits help you with the other, but the absence of one reduces the other. For a specific application to the readers; I try to take time every day to be generally introspective. I also try to do something physical strenuous and something mentally challenging that isn’t work to keep me sharp and healthy. I do the NYT crossword daily for instance and I usually build something or work with my hands.
What do you have to offer to the world?
Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely life. Nobody knows what it is like to start a business until you’ve done it. I really enjoy meeting up with people and listening to what their challenges are and try to help them with whatever struggle exists. I’d be glad to have any readers reach out and connect to bounce ideas off each other. Sometimes we need a second set of eyes on a problem to find the solution. We were built to be in community.
Thanks for listening!
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