Do what you love

This post is courtesy of a former TSG employee. We thought we’d share his experiences to give everyone a taste of what TSG is all about.

It seems that wherever we go we are always being told to “do what we love.” Seriously, how many times have you heard this throughout your life? While it’s generally sound advice, few people actually live up to this exhortation. Given that, let me tell you about a time where my team and I did live up to this standard.

One year ago, I joined The Shepherd Group in a sales support role. At the time, I had no insurance experience. My leader Neil and the rest of the team took a chance on me as I learned an entire industry from the ground up because TSG is the kind of place that is all about giving people the tools they need to succeed. One of those tools was continuous personal and professional development.

As a Relationship Manager, I provided customer service and supported the team in various administrative tasks. A few months later, I secured my RIBO license and was on my way to becoming an insurance broker. Things were moving along.

But something was missing.

At the time, I was unaware that I wasn’t doing what I really wanted. But as I continued to learn and succeed at TSG, I realized I needed to make some changes in my life. My insights eventually congealed into action and I made a choice to leave TSG to become a teacher – my true calling.

Let me be clear: TSG was a tremendous opportunity for me. If I hadn’t come to TSG, I may not have gotten the chance to sort out and set myself straight. But as some of the profound discussions we were having at TSG started percolating into my consciousness, my life changed.

I was forced to peer into myself and figure out what I really needed to do.

I’ll be honest, I was scared telling this to the team. My mind was blown when I found a receptive audience for my thoughts, ready to support my transformation and development.

When I told Neil and Cris that I needed to be a teacher, their first question was what they needed to do to support me. They helped me create a plan for all of us to manage this transition smoothly while being transparent with one another and fulfilling our obligations.

Not only did we collaboratively create a smooth exit strategy to ensure business would go on as usual, but they’re helping me hold myself accountable to my commitments. This was in everyone’s best interests to make sure the fruits of our labours and insights do not go to waste.

Leaving in this way was the cherry on top of all the fireworks of insight popping up in my head. Since then, I’ve been sharing with my friends and family the way TSG has treated me and everyone’s been equally stunned. For their part, Neil and Cris have been sharing my story with their own networks. We’ve even had a few friendly laughs about the best story out of TSG in recent memory being one of someone leaving.

It seems ironic that a team so committed to each other’s development would let me go that easily, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. TSG is a space for people to develop themselves. We’re here to help each other figure out what we want to do with our lives and if fulfillment lies outside our walls, we will happily support each other’s success beyond TSG.

It’s okay if I leave TSG if it’s the right thing. In fact, it’s the best possible outcome for TSG when it’s able to help people figure out things in their lives and create better futures for themselves. And of course, this is not a final goodbye. I will be staying in touch with this organization and the people who really make it what it is.

I don’t know if I would have managed this breakthrough at another organization. I do know that TSG gave me room to spread my wings and take flight. This organization helped a 27 year old kid figure out what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. That’s an immense treasure that I must tend and cherish to live up to TSG’s commitment that everyone wins!

“Everyone wins” is more than just a catchphrase or marketing slogan. It’s a way of living your life and doing what you want and need to do. It means that everyone who has been here, who is here and who will be here in the future has to do exactly what they want to do in life and be great at doing it or no one wins.

If we’re not living this way, can we really call it living? More like zombies stumbling through the murk of our daily lives.

That’s not to say there won’t be new challenges down the road, but I have tremendous incentive to tackle them. At any other job, I may have been willing to tolerate a certain amount of being stuck, but I will not tolerate anything getting in the way of my passion.

Imagine missing an opportunity like this and potentially going through the rest of your life not knowing what you want to do, or stifling that little corner of your being crying out for acknowledgement.

As a teacher, I will be taking chances on my students, just like TSG once took a chance on me.

I’ll be paying this trust forward to transform people’s lives. TSG gave me the the opportunity and tools to figure things out and supported my choice and I will directly pass on this benefit to everyone I meet.

This is the future and the impact that I am committed to.

-Cole