Episode 4 of the COVID19 Special Episodes.
The podcast was recorded with Elisha Cavanaugh and Erin Nutting and we discussed life inside and outside the agency in this new temporary norm. We give great advice about drinking more wine and how we are all dealing with our new profession as a school teacher.
I am sure no one is dealing with this right? Sit back, hit play and put a smile on your face. We got this.
Jason Cass 0:00
Hey, Hey, Hey everybody. Welcome to Agency Intelligence podcast where we do bring real agents inside real agencies, bringing you the real agency intelligence and not the artificial that they try to make you believe out there. Today is another special episode. The COVID special episodes, I guess you could say. And just to rehash what we’re doing here, we’ve got a lot of agents who reached out, different agents that are in different positions. I’m talking to some agents right now, that life’s easy for them right now. It really truly is. I’m talking to some agents who you’ve heard me say before, literally are telling me they’re about ready to lose it, not just their mind, but their agency on some of the changes that are drastically happening to them. And so in those situations, we’ve all been in those situations, those who are not affected right now have been affected at some point in time. And so what we’re doing is we’re just trying to gather that information, put it together into a podcast injected into your ear, and if for some reason you don’t like the headphones, then we’re going to put it into an e-book that’s going to be due out. I’ve challenged my team to have it out by April 8th. But I think we’re going to probably have it out before that. We’re taking all these we’re transcribing them. We’re doing some really cool things with them, and we’re going to deliver it. So in case you don’t listen to podcasts, at least you have something that you can read and the way that my team has found a piece of software that transcribes. It’s really, really good. And it’s kind of unique, so I’m excited to use it for the first time as well. But anyways, today on Episode 4, we’re going to kind of bring everything together in a lot of different ways. Inside the agency, outside the agency, get some personal stories, some true-life things going on. And today I’d like to introduce as you guys know, been a long, long time, many. many. times been on here. Miss Erin Nutting. Erin, how’re you?
Erin Nutting 1:49
I’m so I am so good. In this new normal Jason. I am here for it.
Erin Nutting 1:57
I am good. I’m trying to you know, I think everyone right now is very like. “Let’s just take it one day at a time” and I’m not gonna say those weird, standard, one-liners today by any means, but I’m doing very well. Thank you.
Jason Cass 2:12
Well, good. Thank you and I’m glad that you came and that you joined us here. Elisha Cavanaugh is also joining us so as best buds also had them on a podcast the last time Erin was on last time, Elisha was on together. I didn’t want to do two of them. I wanted to have you two together because your guys’ friendship just makes the listeners really, really enjoy our conversation. So Elisha, welcome to Agency Intelligence again.
Elisha Cavanaugh 2:38
Thank you always nice to be here.
Jason Cass 2:39
Sometimes I wish it was under better circumstances. But as I said to some people, I have to tell you right now we’re getting like 20 to 25 calls a day. Like none of those are…and normally it’s around 40,45,50. So our calls are way down. Our commercial clients don’t want to see us. We’re giving them information. We put in phone calls to our non for profits, we volunteered to drive where the elderly did before, and we need to do it now. But I want to be honest, there’s a lot of cleaning going on at my office. A lot of files are being done. We’re preparing, I don’t know if we’ve ever been more prepared for the next 3,4,5,6,7 months than we have right now. But that’s not what I’m hearing everything from everybody out there. Erin, what is your day? What’s your life looking like? How’s it changed?
Erin Nutting 3:29
You know, the biggest thing for me and I’ve talked about this, the most phone calls I’ve gotten in the last two weeks actually have to do with my sister company, Arizona Wedding Insurance. And, it’s just kind of crazy because on that side of things, a lot of people aren’t thinking about the fact that the wedding insurance industry has been completely disrupted right now. And I know that sounds like small potatoes for a lot of people because like all in all, like if you’re not getting married or you don’t know somebody getting married, it’s probably not very important to you. But in this world, I’ve spent more time telling people “I’m so sorry, I cannot help you”. In the last couple of weeks and I think I’ve ever had in my insurance career. Mostly because well moratoriums have put in place to where you actually can’t write special events, policies or wedding insurance policies, and to be open and honest, there is no coverage for anything viral in a wedding insurance policy. So it has been, needless to say, I’ve had brides, grooms, who are just like, hundreds and thousands of dollars just gone because they can’t have their wedding. So it’s been interesting in the last couple weeks, it’s been sad, you know, it’s been, that is a very emotional I mean, I got into that company and I started that company because it was, it allowed me to be girly and emotional and those kinds of things. And I think I never really had the opposite side of it until now and where it’s-the emotion is just a very sad emotion. It makes me want to do things and I just, I can’t. My hands are tied, of course. So it’s been a little interesting as far as the main company is concerned like I actually had a record month last month. And I hate to say that because I know people are really struggling and hurting and going through all these things right now. It’s just, and I’m sure we’ll talk about it a little bit more. It’s just my business started as a digital agency. So I’ve never had anybody come into my office. I’ve never had any customers who knew where I was. So for me, this is kind of like business as usual on the agency side, but we’re making up for how, you know, devastating it’s been on their wedding insurance side.
Jason Cass 5:38
Wow, interesting. And Erin, I’ve heard some stories of some of the things people are doing out there like people are having, they’re taking their wedding online, like because they’re just like, have you heard any wild and crazy stories? I was just hearing these last night.
Erin Nutting 5:53
I did. But I’m going to be really open and that I was supposed to get married in like, two weeks. So…
Jason Cass 6:00
Oh, sh** fire
Jason Cass 6:04
This directly affects you. Oh my god.
Erin Nutting 6:08
So like, Elisha’s like booking plane tickets and coming out and all these things. And we had to make the huge decision a couple weeks ago now to say you know what, like, I don’t think this is- now we’re very fortunate in that we kind of go with the flow seat of your pants kind of people anyway. So it’s okay, I think I’m more bummed about our honeymoon trip than anything else. But the reason I’ve heard about these crazy things is because now that we’ve like postponed, like the ceremony and all that jazz, everyone has all these great ideas. So everyone keeps sending me these articles. And, in fact, we’re just hiking at the other day and we were talking about how when you’re incarcerated, you actually can get married when you’re incarcerated. I was joking around like there’s gotta be a way. I don’t want to rob a bank right now. There’s gotta be a way.
Jason Cass 6:57
This is awesome. I mean, you’re really thinking here. Unbelievable.
Erin Nutting 7:03
I’m gonna go on a limb and say I don’t think I want to look back in 20 years and be like, Hey, remember that time we got married via Skype? like that just doesn’t sound like the right thing to do.
Jason Cass 7:12
No, it doesn’t, man it’s gonna be parallel to your story, your whole life of when you got married, right? Or when you’re talking about the virus. It’s Oh, yeah, well, I got married, you know, I mean, wow, it’s gonna be parallel to it. So that’s not such a bad way. It’s a unique way. Elisha, how has life been for you? How’s things been?
Elisha Cavanaugh 7:33
Different. I mean, I do have a brick and mortar office. It’s not that we have a ton of people coming in. But I think there is something about culture that’s been my biggest shift is like the culture change and making sure that I’m still connected and know what’s going on and that we’re touching base. And then sometimes I’m on phone calls and I have a toddler in the background. So that’s obviously a change.
Jason Cass 7:58
It’s called the real world.
Elisha Cavanaugh 7:59
Little easier with a 9-year-old but, so that has definitely been just different, you know. But I think that’s what makes a good entrepreneur right? We adjust and we’re adaptable we figure out okay, game plan, you know, so yeah. My husband just brought me my slippers. For those of you, that’s “working from home life.” during the podcast.
Erin Nutting 8:25
So like this, to get like an idea though of how the severity of each one of our states, I know Elisha has been on complete lockdown for a week or so now,
Elisha Cavanaugh 8:34
But it feels like seven years. No. I think it’s been about 10 days that we’ve had a stay at home order.
Erin Nutting 8:40
Okay. So Arizona has been like a self quarantine order for roughly about the same time almost two weeks but tonight we are going into shelter mode at 5pm. So we will get that effect where the only thing that you’re going to be allowed to do outside of your house is medical and grocery store. How about you, Jason?
Jason Cass 9:01
Yeah, that’s me too. We’ve been that way since I don’t think not this Monday. The Monday before, maybe the Monday before that. It’s been about 10 days or so. Something like that. Yeah, it really has been and it started to slow down really, really fast for us. And before Illinois put the order out because they found a couple in St. Louis. cases and that’s 5-10 miles from me. And so that was kind of a big deal. But we only have like two in our county. So it’s not bad. But I think everybody is going to be seeing a different tune in 14,15 days, the people that are very impatient right now. I get why you’re impatient. But if these models are anywhere close to what they’re saying, and like, you know, I just read this morning they ran 12 models. Trump said they gave him 12 different models and they were all so out of whack. It was like immediately like yeah, okay, gotta move it to April 30th. And you’ll notice what he said also, we’ll be getting back to normal around June 1st, which you know, and we’ll go into that later. And we don’t have to, I don’t want to, but I really don’t see how Brainshare can happen. I just can’t see. They’re talking in August that we’re still going to be having deaths, we won’t be at our Apex we will still be having deaths then. No one’s going to get on a plane two months later and then they say during the fall, that it’s going to come back. So I’m just trying to be real in the whole situation, and I don’t want to do virtual or whatever. That’s just not me. That’s not the same. It’s a very personal, intimate thing with us. And so and like I said, it’s a Mastermind meeting that we invite other people too, so those Mastermind members are good. And then Elisha, what state are you in?
Elisha Cavanaugh 10:49
Jason Cass 10:50
Oh, well, I was way off. I was thinking you were like in North Carolina. Sorry about that. I have no idea. Because you guys had some early outbreaks?
Elisha Cavanaugh 11:02
We did. Yeah, we had the I’m pretty sure we had the first case in the country. So, you know, we’ve been social distancing for longer. But it’s, you know, it’s definitely, it’s interesting and a lot of flexibility I think. Like I said before adjusting and just figuring out how to keep going and how to make things work. I say everything has a solution. I saw some I think it was back posted that said, “Every problem is figured out. And if it’s not figured out, it’s not a problem. It’s a fact of life.” And I thought that is so good. And that’s true, I always say that. I say that to my kids all the time. Every problem has a solution. You just have to figure out what it is. I say that to my employees. Like we just have to figure out what steps we need to take to fix this.
Jason Cass 11:49
Right. That’s what the clients calling us for. We’re trying to make it too complicated. They just have a problem. They need some solutions, right? “Just help me fix this problem”. Sometimes we get way too in-depth in that. You know you said something also Elisha that was really good about being an entrepreneur, and then you use the word being flexible figuring it out, you know, accepting facts as when they are facts. Those are really good things. One of the things my mentor told me a long time ago is one of my favorite sayings. And his name was Mike Beard. You loyal listeners know, his name is a Beardisms is what I call them. He said a good entrepreneur is always flexible. And he said, Jason, always remember that. “Blessed are the flexible for they don’t get bent out of shape.”
Elisha Cavanaugh 12:31
Hey, I love that.
Erin Nutting 12:33
That’s so cute.
Jason Cass 12:37
Did you hear that, loyal listeners? They’re saying that it’s cute. It’s cute. So they’re saying it’s cute. So Erin, so I mean, in your day to day life because you have your kids home. Elisha, you have your kids home. My kids are home. I mean, what a trip. I mean, it’s not like they’re just home like sick right? Now we’ve had to become teachers. I don’t know how it is in your states, but now we have like, so like my wife said last night. She’s like, “I really don’t mind this.” She was like, “but I didn’t know that all of a sudden I was going to be a teacher for the whole month of March in a row.” You know what I mean? Like we’re supposed to be on vacation. Actually, we’re supposed to be in Key West, like last week. Oh, I’m serious. So I mean, and no, my wife’s teaching. How’s that been for you guys?
Elisha Cavanaugh 13:17
It’s a challenge for me.
Erin Nutting 13:20
Yes.I will say, I want to be very upfront because I feel sometimes like really not alone. I have a tremendous support system at home. But like, I called Elisha yesterday, we like couldn’t connect but like, I cried yesterday. I want to be very upfront with people who own them know, like, I found out yesterday that my-so Matt and I together have six kids, okay. Two of which are teenagers. So they’re pretty much self-sufficient in doing their own thing. But I want to be very upfront and letting you know that my four youngest that are six and under. I was just told yesterday they’re not going back to school for the rest of the year. Meaning I have four different curriculums, four different login Google classrooms, four different like pre-k-kindergarten. I have two kids who are more like, I have to do my schoolwork, whereas my preschoolers really don’t have to, but they’re kind of feeling neglected. And then because we thought it would be a really great idea this was semi apparent win, semi apparent fail, we thought, let’s get them a PlayStation4 because they’ll share, right? So yesterday, I think when finding all that information out, and then coming back on a typical like Monday for my digital agency and having, you know, 200 plus emails, which mean that probably is not a lot for a lot of agents. But for me, it just felt really overwhelming. And I just remember coming to the top of my stairs and just like losing it, and just saying, I think I’m maxed and I need to figure out a way to kind of unravel a little bit and what I’ve found in the last 24 hours is being open with your clients about it who, this is the first time in my lifetime. I don’t know about you guys, but in my lifetime where it seems like everyone in the entire world is on the same page. Like we all are doing the same thing.
Jason Cass 15:06
Erin Nutting 15:08
So telling somebody like, hey, by the way, I realized that you have this happening right now, like they can’t pay their insurance bills, which I’m just going to do a quick little segway for anybody, any agents that are watching this because I know you’re trying to release these quickly. If you have not talked to your carriers, or your reps or anything like that yet about how you can help your clients during the time with like pushing premiums or like waiving cancellations, like do it, because I’ve had probably about 65, 70% of my carriers say that they’re doing it. So if you don’t have the information yet, do it because there’s nothing like being able to tell somebody like let me see what I can do for you. Instead of a policy being like, “Oh, I’m sorry, you’re gonna lose 100 million dollars on your Swan fountain you had to have at your wedding.”
Jason Cass 15:51
Progressive even had the thing that if you pay with cash, we don’t have it, but I saw it in the email if you pay with cash, those people who come and do that, that you can have them call Progressive and Progressive has a program to help those people as well. Now, I don’t know what the program is, but like, is that not awesome? I mean,I don’t know how they’re doing that. But they’re either letting them slide or they’ve worked. They have a third party that they can go pay through or something like, I have no idea like maybe teamed up with CES that’s still open, right? So I’m like, I don’t know, it’s pretty crazy. I was like, holy cow. I mean, these companies are bending over backwards. We talked about that in the Brick and Mortar with Wes, and the fact that we have to, if any time is the time to challenge your office and working outside and having to deal with staff in different ways. Or the employees are, excuse me, the clients and prospects. What you just said is so important. Like, they’ll accept you messing up right now. They accept you trying new things. They accept you being transparent and saying, “Hey, I don’t have that answer, because we are in weird times.” And what you said is so good, Erin, everybody’s on the same page. It’s not like you start talking to someone, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t watch the news.” Like everybody knows what’s going on, you know what I mean? And there’s power in that.
Erin Nutting 17:08
Even if you think about, like, the holidays, for example, not everyone celebrates Hanukkah or Christmas or anything like that. So like, your office is closed for Christmas, and someone’s like, you can’t be like, as much as you have that reason like, Oh, hey, we weren’t open. There is not a – every single person in the world is experiencing this one thing right now and is it’s like such a huge powerful thought when you think about it,
Jason Cass 17:31
Erin Nutting 17:34
You know, I’m sorry, I need to get I’m on a for hour whole time with Travelers, which God Almighty, right?
Jason Cass 17:43
And then then most of them are doing it from home. You know what I mean? And what you’re also noticing about some of your companies, even their systems suck, they’ll be like, “well, I don’t know how to transfer because I’m working at home and dada-da-dada…” Ah, you know. One of the things I want to talk about something that Wes brought up this was so good, I did not know he was going to bring this up. Wes said that some of the people are having the hardest time working from home because their work is their refuge from their home. And so we have to understand that we’re putting our employees in a spot that’s not -as Wes said, that’s messy. Right? It’s like they don’t really have much control, their life is dominated. And we’re not saying in a negative way, it’s just that our kids, our kids become the priority when when we’re around, right, and they can make life really crazy. Maybe we do have a butthead spouse or something like that right. I mean, maybe that happens too. But I had never thought about that. Like, like those people that are being put into those positions, and then they’re putting work on front of them with new processes and procedures. Erin, as you stated, there’s a lot of stress going on there, Elisha, I mean, you got any thoughts on that Elisha about? I mean, I had never thought of that before.
Elisha Cavanaugh 18:57
So I think this is really interesting. I hadn’t thought of it either. And then A girlfriend of mine said, What about women who have like abusive partners, and I’ve never been in that situation. So I didn’t even I never would have even considered that. But she has been there. And so she thought about that. So now she’s stuck at home here I’m like, it’s not as mentally stimulating to work from home. That’s how I feel. I’m, like, I’m not as stimulated. It’s, even though I’m doing the same thing and I’m having the same conversations. I’m just not as I’m not as stimulated. And there are other people who may literally be, you know, having emotional, I mean, there’s just all kinds of terrible things that happen. And I think if we’re not in the situation, sometimes we forget that that’s happening right now. One of the things that I’m trying to do and I know we’re not getting into logistics, you know, that much, but one of the things I’m doing this working is people who have an easier home life like I have somebody, one of my producers, she’s in her 30s she lives alone, she has like animals. She does have a spouse, just how many kids guess what she’s answering the phone more and without any, And it’s just an expectation. It’s like, Hey, you don’t, you don’t have anything to attend to, except for a really cute dog and some male faces. So like, we’re gonna do more work right now, because we’re a team. And that’s what’s gonna happen. And then build little tiny little incentive to that. But I think when you have a good culture and a good team, you can do that. You can do some shifting and makes more sense for somebody to not answer the phones and do work after their kids go to sleep. That’s fine. You just make adjustments.
Jason Cass 20:28
That’s exactly right. That’s good stuff right there, Elisha. Were you gonna say some, Erin?
Erin Nutting 20:32
I was just gonna say that I love that idea. Because I think not only is it going to actually probably keep her culture in tax during this time, because she’s still giving value to that one person who probably feels I’m going to go on a limb and say, maybe even a little alone during this time since she’s quarantining by herself. So it’s probably a really great thing, not even her knowing that this person actually has more responsibility, more things to do and feeling more valuable in a time where Elisha is not 100% available anymore, because she’s got Emery asking her for fruit snacks every five seconds, you know those kinds of things?
Jason Cass 21:08
Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. It’s it’s really, really crazy. The things I’m, you know, I try to think about these in business, I think about these in personal life. I think in business, we are way more technically advanced, and in this in this realm of…what I mean here is that I think that there’s people who have never eaten Uber Eats, who have now ate at three, four or five times or not eating it, but using the service, right? There’s people who are not using their apps and other different things that now they’re doing that stuff. They’re doing a lot of things differently. And I think we’re going to see two thirds of those maybe go back to doing what they were doing, but the other third are going to be like, Hey, I didn’t ever think I would just have Walmart delivered my groceries but I’m going to you know what I mean? That is actually easier. Now that I’m stuck and forced to do it. I’m trying to look for those things in business. And I think it’s not so much the tools we use. But I think it’s the expectations are now going to be sped up by the consumer. We’ve already been experiencing them coming along. And now it’s like, wow, I can do all this stuff like, like a lot of people, I guarantee you have probably went online to look at their insurance information, because not only because they’re bored, but they need to make their bill and they don’t know how they’re going to make the payment. But they finally locked in finally went online, and realize, like, oh, man, I always call and I could go right in here. And this is what my son or my daughter has been talking about, right? There’s those things. And that’s only going to create more of that great separation. Because it’s not like it’s, this is this thing I want to say I want to get your guys’ feedback. There’s not going to be, the normal that’s coming up is going to be, I don’t wanna say drastically different but some of our clients is going to be drastically different than the norm we just left. It’s going to be you’re going to start realizing, you know, they say that if anybody does anything for 21 days it becomes a habit. We’re going to be like an alcoholic for like 45 days doing the same things where there’s a lot of habits that are going to be broke. What’s say, you Erin?
Erin Nutting 23:18
Well, I can’t help but think if you don’t follow Elisha on Instagram, you need to do this because people who follow her are gonna get this right away. Elisha has this thing on her stories and it says chapter one of what’s in my elevator today kind of thing. She has this public elevator that she rides on her ramp to her office and every I would say at least once a week there are some questionable situation happening in said elevator. So I ..
Jason Cass 23:47
Erin Nutting 23:50
And like you said, like, even simple things like I was watching a movie the other night and there were people on a subway like an I am like the anti germaphobe. I never have questioned anything like I wash my hands as much as the reasonable person does, etc. But like, I’m not somebody to go above and beyond and be fearful, right? Be fearful of the germ or like, feel like there’s something else. But I can’t help but think about like just something as simple as Elisha’s elevator. What our world is going to look like after this happens is, in my opinion, I feel like eventually, people are going to go back to what used to be our normal, it’s just I think it’s just bound to happen, people go back to what they know etc. But I’d like to think that during this time, people start developing a little bit more empathy for each other. So that way maybe we can kind of take that into our new normal. In that you know, being appreciative it’s really easy and I joke around about this all the time on my Instagram it’s really easy to I’ve been stuck in the state, not stuck but like someone says, like “I’ve been stuck in the same place.” Well, “no, you’re safe in the same place” like maybe taking like a little bit of a different mentality during this time because I think when we really good like imagine what happens when we’ve been home with our babies, right? like we’ve been home with our babies for gosh knows how long this is gonna go on for. We have to send them back to school and they’ve been used to being with us for six months. I don’t know what that’s going to look like. Like is it going to look like kindergarten day one again? Is it going to be like, what kind of things is it gonna look like for us to go back to work? I think everyone in the grand scheme of things really wants to think we’re going to go out for champagne and mimosas when this is all over, but I do actually think our new normal will be a little bit more in touch with humanity.
Jason Cass 25:40
Elisha Cavanaugh 25:41
I do too. And I always say before I say that I feel a little bit like Susie sunshine like Okay, enough already positive Patty, but I think that there will be a new normal where we’re a little bit slower, right? Like we always have all the sports and all the activities and we’re trying to make sure kids are well balanced and well rounded. And they’re doing all the things. And I, I definitely agree with you that I think that this will slow things down a little bit. And whenever I’m at my wit’s end, I try to remember like, this is a time where we’re really getting to spend time together as a family. And how often does that happen? Where we’re really playing board games every night and charades and Jenga and all the silly things. I think that when this is really far gone, we’ll look back on it with a fondness that life is slower. And I think you’re right I’m, I’m hopeful that some of this will carry into the new normal, but to Jason’s point kind of circling back. I’ve had gotten more online leads in the past three weeks. Shout out to the Advisor Evolved than probably ever, probably ever. I mean, it that’s definitely, definitely doing that.
Erin Nutting 26:53
Yeah, so awesome. I’ve, I don’t know how your voicemails have been. I’ve basically been now ever since. We’ve gone my team’s gone home base, I’ve basically been 100% answering service. So like somewhat my phones get answered, but they get answered by a carrier. So I’m not answering the phones anymore and neither is my, my team, my producers who at whoever, and we’re being directed, but there’s like a little advisement that says, hey, during this time we realize everyone is (…) like this is you know if you need immediate, all-you-know, all the good stuff no one needs to know about. But I am finding that people are emailing more like this has been the craziest thing because normally people will never email my service email. But I’m noticing more firstname.lastname@example.org emails than ver experienced in my life.
Jason Cass 27:43
Absolutely. And those go to our VA. So we’re so happy about those. That’s not a phone call interrupting our time, and it’s actually going directly to the person who’s going to be doing the work anyways. So this is better for us. This is better for the client, and your Oh, Erin. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. These characters, these changes of the ways that our consumer works and the way that they normally, you know, are cool with us. And the more that they use email, right, the better that is for us, you know, because then we can collect our message with them. I love what you said though, because I actually wrote it down much probably might need to be the title of this. You’re not stuck in the same place. You’re safe in the same place. Is that what you said?
Erin Nutting 28:22
Yeah, I honestly like I think that’s been kind of I was the worst like, the first week of quarantine. I was literally every day I was like, Oh, this is terrible. I, what am I gonna do? Matt and I are literally working on a table together like and I don’t know if you’ve ever had like two CEOs of a company in the same space trying. We joke all the time that like this is true. Marriage counseling …like this is it’s almost like, the quarantine was like, whoa… Wait a minute.
Jason Cass 28:55
Are you sure?
Erin Nutting 28:57
Sure. We’re good.
Erin Nutting 28:59
But like, it’s been the most. And he’s like, and I think Elisha, Elisha’s husband is very, very similar and maybe your wife, Jason, they are very, like positive, optimistic, very supportive. And sometimes when you’re not that way, which Elisha is, but I tend to go the other route. It’s like, almost like, Oh, it’s so annoying. Why are they telling me it’s all gonna be fine? Like, I just want to, I just want to be so upset about this. But when I started taking that mentality this week of like, How awesome is this, that I’m in complete control of my children’s health? I’ve never felt that way. I always have sent them to school and they have that quote, like when you have a kid, when you when you become parents, you like physically take your heart outside your body, and they just like run around. How cool is it that we get to like, keep them so as soon as I took that mentality of like, I’m not stuck here. I’m safe here. I think things have changed this week. Now. I’m not saying that my snack intake situation has changed. But my mentality has changed.
Elisha Cavanaugh 30:08
I’m gonna gain the “COVID-15” by this, you know the “Freshman 15?”.It’s bad!
Erin Nutting 30:17
What are you snacking on right now?
Elisha Cavanaugh 30:18
All the kids’ snacks. I never eat that stuff but the kids are like, “Can I have a fruit snack?” And I’m like, “sure Me too. Me too.”
Jason Cass 30:26
“I have nothing else to do. Yep I’ll take some”
Elisha Cavanaugh 30:28
“Somebody bring me a fruit roll-up while they’re in the pantry.”
Jason Cass 30:35
Yeah, yeah, you’re right about that. The things that they’re doing too. Wes was talking about it they have an Olympics, they found out the Olympics had been postponed. And he told all of his kids that they’re all Olympians. So they’ve been having like these Olympic games and stuff like that.
Elisha Cavanaugh 30:51
That’s so cute!
Jason Cass 30:52
Yeah, they brought out the mattresses and they had wrestling and you know, they’re doing trampoline things and that’s the thing. He said it so well and it’s what you guys are alluding to in a way that they’re it’s stressful now, but our kids are probably going to look back at this and say, Man, Mom and Dad, I remember when for that, like two or three months, we were home from school, and that was so much fun, you know? And it’s like, wow, that is really, really amazing. I do believe that there is, I see how life… I don’t want to say it’s so much slowed down for me. I just seem like I almost appreciate it more because so many other people are appreciating it more. I mean, walking, we have a lot of white bike trails and stuff around here and walk. I mean, they’re actually too close. Like there’s so many people on the walking trail. It’s like, Man, you guys are still, you’re you’re not distancing yourself, you know, I mean, so it’s like, but it’s just really, really, really unique. And I and I think that there’s a lot that’s going to come out of it. Not to mention, there’s still a lot of people working right? There’s still a lot of people that are still working and all we’re doing A sit around saving our money. I mean, cuz we really can’t. You can only buy so many rich so many movies off Netflix and prime video, right? I mean, you just can only do so much. And so like whenever we’re set loose, holy sh**. I mean do you know how busy the hair salons are gonna be? I mean, the salons are gonna be so busy. It’s gonna be absolutely ridiculous. The restaurants.
Erin Nutting 32:26
I’m not even prepared to talk about my nails. I am not ready for that.
Erin Nutting 32:33
The other day Matt was like, “Oh my gosh, I can see your natural hair color.” I didn’t even realize what color was. “Excuse me. what? What was that you saying? “
Jason Cass 32:40
Now let’ss be real about something. Okay, let’s be real about December and January. Everybody says there’s a lot of divorces that are going to happen and I’m saying no, we’re seeing the opposite now. Come talk to me in 30 days my wife wanna kill me. But like, three days, they had power outage in the New York North Eastern area and they couldn’t handle the babies in nine months. Three days. Three days. Were like 45 days cooped up in sub there ain’t nothing else to do a lot of times but like, go take a nap. Right? And so there’s gonna be some kids. Yeah. Just doing the air quotes, but you know what I mean? There’s gonna be some kids we know just
Erin Nutting 33:34
No Jason. I do not know what you mean. Did you hear that I have six children now? Elisha Is the one who is going to quote-unquote air quotes -“know what you mean”?
Jason Cass 33:49
You know, the people who are in the stage of doing that, let’s just say that I and Elisha you may be I don’t know. Are you gonna have any more kids Elisha?
Elisha Cavanaugh 33:56
No, my husband has been like pushing for a third baby for a while , and so we’re cooped up inside I mean it might be a good time to make a baby.
Erin Nutting 34:09
I feel like I need a side- like a side bet like come like July or August.
Jason Cass 34:15
Yeah, you know I mean that’s why I’m saying December and January I mean this is gonna be a lot of babies born. Like they’re not going to need to take down all these hospitals just leave them up because December, January, there’s gonna be some babies coming. I’m telling you.
Erin Nutting 34:35
New business opportunity. drive-thru Doulas. Let’s get working on that.
Jason Cass 34:39
For real and that life insurance. I mean, this is this is Dude, this is gonna be once again it’s gonna echo through time there’s all these babies will be called the corona babies.
Erin Nutting 34:50
That’s gonna be terrible.
Elisha Cavanaugh 34:52
Jason Cass 34:53
Haha “The Coronilas”! And you gotta think the millennials are the largest generation right now right? And they’re the ones creating all the Corona babies so it’s like an explosion. Yeah.
Erin Nutting 35:08
I have been a little disappointed in… I feel like anytime I read an article or anytime like I read like a third-party article like one that doesn’t have like a lot of, let’s call it a lot of like weight when it comes to like, I don’t want to get like political or anything like that because I believe that there’s enough of that in the world right now. And the last thing we do is infuse that. But I will say that I have been extremely disappointed in the representation that people think that millennials are the ones who are making it difficult to get rid of the coronavirus. I’m going to go on a limb and say that I have been in yoga pants for two weeks, doing my duty, keeping my kids at home and it is not me that is making this worse.
Elisha Cavanaugh 35:49
It’s the other ones. What are they called? Are they Generation Z?. Okay, we’re all like in our 30’s now we’re not in Palm Springs or in the beach, in our bikinis, drinking.
Erin Nutting 36:01
We’re all watching the Tiger King on Netflix okay?
Elisha Cavanaugh 36:04
That’s what the Millenials are doing…buying all the wine..
Jason Cass 36:11
Staying inside yoga pants, it’s very simple. Very, very simple. I am telling you, the Tiger King. Can we, Elisha, Erin, you’ve obviously both seen it right?
Elisha Cavanaugh 36:21
Erin Nutting 36:22
I’m only on Episode Three. Don’t ruin it for me.
Jason Cass 36:27
Oh okay nevermind. That’s why I asked. No, I really can’t actually ruin it for you because it’s just that freakin crazy. I mean, it’s just, it’s just a wild sh** I’ve ever seen in my life. So anyways, I will not ruin it for you because it’s fantastic. My wife and I finally decided, alright, let’s watch this on Sunday. And it was like Next one. Next one. Next one. Next one next one.
Elisha Cavanaugh 36:46
That’s what me and my husband did on Sunday. Jason, same thing. I was like, we can’t turn this off.
Jason Cass 36:51
My best friend and his wife did it and we didn’t know it either. And I’m like, I guess Sunday was like Tiger King.
Erin Nutting 36:56
We have to finish it. I don’t know what’s more entertaining, watching our faces while we’re watching the show because there are things that I’m just like are you, is this happening right now? I just it was… and this is the insurance agent geeking out on me. I don’t know about you guys but how did his insurance policy cover that dudes aren’t getting ripped off or that I don’t get it?
Elisha Cavanaugh 37:20
It couldn’t happen.
Jason Cass 37:24
That was crazy there was some crazy crazy stuff yeah and man there’s something else I was gonna say which was…
Elisha Cavanaugh 37:31
We got off topic cuz we got excited I know.
Jason Cass 37:34
Crazy cuz I believe there’s some other crazy people and wild cultures in the world. But they got the rest of the world’s gotta be watching this going, “What the heck is wrong with these guys?” Oh there you know. And don’t get me wrong. There’s probably some worse but I’m just saying it’s just wild . I mean, in the fact that we got to see inside that culture of that Zoo culture met these other people. It was just like, there’s like Wow, okay.
Elisha Cavanaugh 38:02
Part of this I’m going to sort of tell you guys something and circle of trust here. And I’m going to trust all the people listening here. I say, I cried at one point during Tiger King. And I’m not going to say when because Erin not caught up. My husband looked at me and said, Are you crying?
Elisha Cavanaugh 38:23
Like, yes, that’s sad. And he was like, What? Luckily he knows me. He knows like cry like a Pampers commercial. But yeah.
Erin Nutting 38:34
Oh my god, I’ll probably end up crying than to I know that I cried. And one thing I really want to say is that’s really cool right now is if you have kids, and you don’t know this yet, or you do not have like Amazon Prime firestick, or not an Amazon Prime member, now’s the time to invest in that because you can actually rent those movies. Or you can buy the movies that are supposed to be in the theater right now that you can’t see. So onward was a movie that we just recently did for the kids and maybe it’s because I have like sensitive like brother and dad stuff in my life I’m not sure but I cried like a little baby in that movie.
Erin Nutting 39:14
Onward. excellent movie for the kids and family.
Jason Cass 39:18
You know one of the things you said earlier about looking at each other your facial expressions during Tiger King. I have never deterring. you’re so right and I’m just thinking of this. So many times I would like in the middle of the show, I would just turn around and look behind me because Andrea is sitting in a chair over there just look at her like, “what the hell is wrong with these people? Is this real?” You know, and so as I’m watching it, I’m searching Google. I’m like, this has got to be some bullsh**, you know? It’s like The Blair Witch Project. Remember that when we were younger? Yeah, that bulls***. Thought it was real and sh**. And I’m thinking this has got to be the same thing. And well, I mean, I mean, I’m like what hell So anyways, anyways. Okay, well, we really got out of topic but this is COVID-19.
Erin Nutting 40:02
I did want to say one thing though that I was searching on. I’ve been, I’ve been looking at like everyone like the insurance feeds and like Instagram and Facebook and stuff. And I do want to say that there’s been a few insurance companies that have done in fact, our good friend Denisse Bravo, who’s also here in Tucson with me, I want to kind of give her like a little highlight because I was really impressed. By the way, she has turned her business page into somewhat more of like a highlighting local, other local businesses page. And I was really impressed because she’s like, “hey, while we can let’s eat local.” And then she was like telling people to give their recommendations in the feed. I wanted to highlight that because I think if all of us could do just like a little bit of that in the community, and like eating out local takeout, things like that, that would not only- this sounds like horrible, but that would not only be awesome for the community, but it would also be really great to continue to put your insurance company’s name out there with being affiliated and that you actually want to help the community. So like little stuff like that. I’m going to tell insurance agents right now and you guys can back me or leave me alone in this alley. But shame on you if you are using COVID-19 to sell product.
Erin Nutting 41:20
I have never been more disappointed. I’ve unfriended people I’ve been, it is like emotional for me to watch that go down. But there are other ways like follow Denisse Bravo, follow other insurance agents that do this. I’ll find a few that I can send you Jason that I know have more in there. But follow that if you want to like actually be useful in the community.
Jason Cass 41:44
Josh Witt who does commercial insurance in Knoxville, Tennessee. He has um, he told his staff two weeks ago or three weeks ago, don’t worry about lunch for the next however long we’re going to order lunch. It’s paid by the agency and we’re buying it from local communities and or clients as a way to sponsor them. And that was great, that was something great that I know a ton of agents inside the Mastermind are doing now. And it’s like that little bitty thing of saying, Okay, I’ll buy the lunch. Let’s do it. Any other things like that are fantastic. But I want to talk about something before we wrap it up. And I’m not saying we have to now but I want to talk about this. I think there needs to be a talk about we always talk about this being the greatest industry God ever created. And I think that right now we’re seeing yet and again, we are very, very speaking with a broad brushstroke here. We are very, very immune to some of the stuff that’s other business owners are going or that are going through right now. I mean, you have to literally think about this to yourself like, they don’t know exactly, I mean, I told Andrea. I said if we owned a shoe store like right now we wouldn’t have sold shoes for two weeks we’d be freaking out what in the hell we are going to be doing? There are business owners who have been legitimate problems. We’re about ready to get paid. And we are going to grow, you know. 5, 10 percent this month like we have been. And it’s comes to that. And I think this is the time that we should remind our employees of this great opportunity because this is the time where you can say, “Hey, I know you always think it’s great because you get to leave whenever you need for a kid’s appointment.” or something like that, that becomes the norm. This now is the time where we can capitalize on it and say, “Hey, listen and think about what everybody else’s world is, versus the security you have. Not only are you still gonna get paid, you’re probably working a little bit less than you have been in the past.” You know. What say you about that, Elisha, with you and your employees and culture?
Elisha Cavanaigh 43:45
I absolutely agree. So I have been in the industry for almost 20 years, which is scary to say. But so I was around for the recession in 2008. But I didn’t know when my agency then I didn’t start my agency till 2012 and I think that’s a good reminder, Jason that from an employee perspective, I didn’t really realize how great it was that my job is secure. And I do think this is a good time to not only remind our employees how great this is, but also appreciate them because they are. My team has been phenomenal. I don’t know how you guys are experiencing and what the people who are listening, I don’t know what they’ve experienced, but my team has really stepped up. They’ve, you know, even to the point where they’re doing little things like buying themselves a new mouse versus like me saying, Oh, no, I’ll order it for you or I’ll drop it on your porch. They’re like, No, no, it’s fine. Or, you know, they just stepped up and made it work. And I think so not only do I feel like they should be grateful to be in a recession-proof industry. I think that we should be grateful for our teams and what they’re doing and how they’re making this work too. Like Erin said, we’re all in the same place right now. We’re all experiencing the same thing. But not everyone handled it with grace and my team has been freaking fantastic. So I think reminding them like, “Hey, your jobs not in jeopardy.” This is why this career is so great. And I also think appreciating them and doing what you can for them right now, financially or otherwise is really helpful. Some people’s spouses are really affected by this. So if, you know, I’ll put this out there. If you normally give a bonus in November, December, like maybe consider doing something sooner, maybe considered quartering it changing that to a quarterly bonus.
Erin Nutting 45:36
That’s an excellent idea.
Elisha Cavanaigh 43:37
Whatever we can do for now I think is awesome. And even sometimes, what I’ll do is if I feel like somebody needs help, I’ll put something out there. I’ll say like, Hey, I know you need help. Here’s what I need you to do to get you that help. Or they come to me and ask for it.
Jason Cass 45:52
No, that’s that’s really really good stuff. I got like three things in my head now from all that. Anything. Any thoughts on that?
Erin Nutting 45:58
No, I love, I wouldn’t even thought about the bonus idea. I love that idea so much. I think that is such a great way to just say hey, like, “I got you.” and to create that trust, that continuous trust, not just like during the holiday season, which I think is easy to have assumed to trust during the holiday season. But during the year, sometimes people struggle at different times of the year. I know for me, I have rough months, I have better months like that’s like the cyclical business of insurance. I am incredibly grateful, especially being on the opposite side of like, the sad phone calls. Of the ones who are the business insurance like people who have a lot more wedding vendors than probably the normal insurance agent would have. And a lot of those businesses don’t really know how they’re going to survive because all of their events have insurance. So I do find it incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to be like, you know, basically recession-proof. But the other piece of it too is I just am reminded to be so humbled by even though it has taken, like, it has taken us a long time to start building renewals and to start building our new business and all that like referral relationships. There is a reason why we choose to spend the time and invest in that. And it’s because of reasons like this. It’s really, it’s humbling though because when people ask you like how you’re doing, you need to be very careful. Like when you’re, who you’re talking to, or who you’re, you know. Like, maybe change your comments of like, you know, we’re really, we’re really in a good spot to be able to help our community and we’re grateful for that. Like things like that to where you’re not like, Oh, well, you know, I told you guys that like, I had like a record month and it was great. But that’s because we’re all in the same industry. I would never ever, ever say that to anyone outside of our space, especially right now. Just because I think sensitivity and being humble about what we have is like the number one thing we can probably give back right now and being completely empathetic to other people.
Jason Cass 47:54
Yeah, you’re exactly right. That’s why we do have that obligation because we are numb to immune to some of these things. So we have to step up in a greater way. You know, something that you had made me think about Elisha, is, is there has to be recognition on the fact that we want our employees to understand how great it is that the industry they’re in, and then you say that we need them, we need to understand how great they are. I say that a lot. Our employees are our greatest asset. It bothers me so much that we actually list them as liabilities on our profit and loss statement. Their payroll is a liability. And really, you think about that, I mean, I understand why that is for accounting reasons, but really shouldn’t be on the asset side. But anyways, so the thing is that I think that’s important, though. What I want to get to here is is it comes down to Elisha, that you as a leader of your organization, decided to dovetailing into what Erin said, decided to do to work on this in this culture before now. I understand there’s a lot of people that are reading this ebook, listen to this podcast and they’re trying to put it together right now. And I feel for you. That’s why we’re doing this though. 100% compassion. But I think there’s something to learn as we go forward that, you know, those conferences that those people go to, and they learn from each other. Those might be something of value to me. I now have seen how something like a virus, not an army, not a nuclear weapon, not a tornado or a hurricane, not a… no a virus that no one can even see a shut down the world. I think I might want to start taking how business is done differently. And that kudos to you, Elisha, right. Kudos to you to be able to make that investment. And you at the time you didn’t even know like, well, I got to make this great culture. So in time of viruses, you know, no, you just knew this is what we have to do. We are going to have what my pastor likes to say seasons, right? We have seasons of life and we have seasons in our business and you prepared for that. And I hope that people listening are understanding that this is a time to make a plan. You know, here’s the thing. In the stock market, a lot of people aren’t freaking out as much because they had a plan. And they knew that there’d be ups and downs. And if they’d stick to the plan, they’d be okay. But yet, we don’t have those same plans for our business. And kudos to you and other people out there who have actually taken that plan in that time. And those who didn’t make that plan in time I’m not here to beat you up. But I’m saying, Do you now see the importance of this. This is very, very important. Start listening, start getting involved in groups and committees and conferences and associations or whatever, to where you’re going to learn this stuff. Because it’s going to become more vital in every day, as the Great Separator says. Anything you want to say to kind of close up. Erin and Elisha. Erin, I’ll have you go first, or Elisha. Did you say some?
Elisha Cavanaugh 50:50
I just wanted to add one thing to what you just said. I think sometimes when we talk about culture, it seems like huge and seems like this big thing and you’re like, I can’t give unlimited PTO and I can’t do the types of things that person is doing. And I think I’ll just add a few sentences to that if you just make small incremental changes, you don’t have to do all these things that other people are doing. If you just make small changes. And before, whenever I talk to anyone else in the business that want an opinion on an employee thing, or how to do things, I always say what do you want your culture to look like? So if you just know what you want your culture to look like, and maybe make a few little changes.
Elisha Cavanaugh 51:26
I think that’s helpful moving forward and less overwhelming.
Jason Cass 51:29
Mm-hmm. And this is the one time that even if your team doesn’t always like each other, they all like each other right now. We’re all on the same page. Erin what about you, any thoughts?
Erin Nutting 51:39
I could not agree more with Elisha and I will comment on the other side of it because I tend to be more like Elisha is so great with the business aspect of doing what is needed in the right time. I just, I can’t even like tell you that. I’m going to take the bonuses into consideration. All those things like those are just things that I’m going to start implementing. On the other side of things as far as you being the business owner, and your stability and your mental health during this time. Like, I think it’s really important and I know sometimes I fall victim to this too. You go online and you see like all these like Pinterest moms who are like making time blocks and schedules. Before this all happened, I went into time blocking mode that actually worked really well for me, and I had a very hard time throwing it out the window when we got quarantined. And I just want to implore business owners out there, whether you are a mom, whether you’re a dad, whether you’re a grandparent or an uncle who are now taking care of children every day, or whatever the case may be. I think the best advice that I got during this time was to don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Stop paying attention to social media. Stop paying attention to what you should be doing. And it is completely okay to not be okay. And that is something I’m trying to focus on every day as I’m you know, fighting the battle too. And that we all look like we have our lives together. And everybody’s cute on social media. But the reality is, is right now everything is unknown. So do what you can to control your culture, like Elisha said because that’s within your control. And then just know that everything else will eventually find a new normal.
Jason Cass 53:20
That’s good. That’s good to say. Elisha, anything to add as we wrap up?
Elisha Cavanaugh 53:25
Yeah, I just wanted to say, you know, when you originally sent this, you said that you thought the title would be “Flattening the Curve or Spike Your Drink” you know, you’re kind of playing around with that title. And I just loved it because that’s true, right? We still know that there’s going to be a curve where things are different. And, and we have to just say, Okay, these things are going to be different a little bit. And then also Yeah, the key to success here is, drink some wine, buy your kids some moon sands, give them as many fruit snacks as they want. Something last night my kids had macaroni and hotdogs for dinner.
Erin Nutting 53:58
Yeah girl. That’s it!
Elisha Cavanaugh 54:00
I told my husband, I’ve never felt so white trash, but that’s what I’m beating our kids for dinner.
Jason Cass 54:05
Oh dude, and as a kid used to love macaroni and hotdogs, you know, I did, so it’s awesome.
Elisha Cavanaugh 54:11
I mean, it’s delicious. But you know, this is what our normal is. We’re just doing our best. Our kids are fed, our businesses are running. It just doesn’t look the same right now. And that’s okay.
Jason Cass 54:22
You think that you wanted to do the macaroni and hotdogs with the white trash because you watch Tiger King the day before?
Erin Nutting 54:35
She’s like, you know what, it could be worse. I could be snuggling with an eight foot long book instructor but you know what? Hot dogs and mac and cheese sounds way less versions. So I’m gonna do that.
Jason Cass 54:48
I agree. I agree. I agree. Thank you, everybody, very much. You loyal listeners. Thank you, Elisha. Thank you, Erin, for joining us. And thank you, just just for everything. This has been a great conversation. Been on almost an hour.It seems like not that long, but it’s always good having you guys on. And I look forward to seeing you guys I thought I might see you at Brainshare, but I don’t know if that’s gonna happen. If Sarah and I and me and the team have decided we are not making a decision until April 15th no matter how high it goes, we’re not making a decision til then. And I really don’t mind it’s just that if that infectious disease Dr. Fucci or whatever his name is, he keeps saying it’s gonna come back next fall. I mean, I ain’t getting any registrations, you know. So I’ve got around 53 I think right now, so we’ll see what we’re gonna do.
Erin Nutting 55:39
But you know Jason using this time to create some awesome like content that… you never know. It could take a total turn, and that might get more membership because people are not going to have those kinds of meetings available to them. Everyone’s on the same playing field. So maybe creating the value in the content and talking about things other people don’t talk about. Dude, this could be a game-changer for you too.
Jason Cass 56:02
Good call. Good call. I feel better. No, I know what all loyal listeners feel like for last 55 minutes I’m amped up, I’m ready to go. Let’s rock and roll hoochie coo. This has been Jason Cass with Agency Intelligence podcast where we give you real agents, Elisha and Erin. Inside real agencies, their agencies. Giving you the real agency intelligence and not the artificial that the industry tries to make you believe. This has been Cass, Elisha and Erin, and we are out.