Extraordinary Story by Ordinary People: Clytha Hollins, Insurance Broker & Stay At Home Mom
Clytha’s Social Media Links:
Ken: Clytha in insurance. What in the world is this? Like where did this start?
Clytha: Insurance just kind of fell in my lap, Kenny.
Ken: So what was you doing before insurance?
Clytha: Before insurance I was working full-time in the classroom, part-time at red lobster or bartending or doing whatever it was that was going to bring me money. But the way … I was always looking for something different. I always knew I was supposed to do something more than work a nine to five, so I always kept my options open, looked at jobs, and it’s this one ad that just kept flashing in my email.
Ken: What was so attractive to the ad that made you respond?
Clytha: It was about being self-employed. I knew that that’s the journey I wanted to take, and actually, the ad didn’t even say it was life insurance. It was just one of those, are you looking for a part-time opportunity to make full-time income? If so, call blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s one of those types of things. And usually I shy away from those, but this one just kept popping up for some reason.
Ken: So what was your thought process when you began to see these ads at the time?
Clytha: You know, I was just in a place, Kenny, where I was tired of struggling. You know? Like we were getting by, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want to just get by. I always knew it was something more to life than just working nine to five and making ends meet. I wanted to go on multiple vacations a year if I wanted to. I wanted to buy my kids things that they wanted. I wanted to buy the things that I wanted. I just knew that it was more to life than working this type of job or working for somebody.
Ken: So were you getting any kind of fulfillment from education? It was good?
Clytha: Yeah. I love education. My bank account didn’t like it. My pocketbook hated it. You know what I’m saying? I love helping people. I have a passion for helping people, and especially working in the special needs community, it gave my heart … It made my heart smile. I loved it.
Ken: I feel like education is the most demanding job for anybody, and is no gratification financially for … It doesn’t match.
Clytha: Yeah, think about it. Teachers are the root of all professions. You know, you had to be taught to be able to do whatever it is that you do, whether you’re a doctor, a lawyer, you work in some high-end company. You had to have a teacher first. So they should pay teachers more than they do.
Ken: It is what it is.
Clytha: It is what it is.
Ken: So when you left the education sector, did you have separation anxiety?
Clytha: No. I miss my students. I did. I still do, I miss my students. But as far as everything else, no, not at all. Not at all. Sorry. Sorry, not sorry.
Ken: All right. So when you took that move to leave what we call a safety net, where others look at as security, guaranteed check, what type of effect did that have on your family, making the decision to be a business owner?
Clytha: I would not have been able to do this without the support of my husband. Okay? But I started off part-time, so I was still working full-time but started doing this part-time to see what the money would be like. When I realized that I could make a full-time income working part-time, that’s when I went to my husband and was like, “Yo, let me quit my job, babe. I can do this.” You know? So initially it was not … It wasn’t this big effect on us. Actually, it was much better. So once I finally did quit my job, I was still … I’ve never made less money than I typically made at my job for that month. You know?
Ken: Okay. Okay. If you had a piece of advice to give any married couple, which ya’ll been married for how long now?
Clytha: Fifteen years in August.
Ken: All right, so y’all got a little cloud in the game, right?
Ken: Definitely respect that. So if you had any advice to give newlyweds who want to do this whole business ownership thing, like just straight out the gate, what would you advise?
Clytha: I would advise to start part-time first. Don’t quit your job. You never know what’s going to happen. And to be real, being self-employed is tough. You got to have thick skin when it comes to the different dynamics of it. You know? You may have a really awesome month, and then next month maybe not as awesome, so don’t quit your job. Ease into it, build up some money, grow, continue to be a student of your business.
Ken: Most times it happens the other way around. Most of the time it’s the fellas that got to show and prove that this business idea, babe, going to be good, right? Most of the time it’s the ladies who keep the security, so these roles are a bit different than the norm. So was it different for y’all? Was it any drawback, any kickback?
Clytha: I think my husband is used to me being the person that’d be like, “Hey, babe. This is an awesome opportunity out here. If we want to make more money, we got to do something different because we not going to get rich just by working.” Like I was always the one that was saying that, and he’s just the one that’s like, “All right, babe. Try it and see what happens.” You know what I’m saying? So for us, it’s just that’s always been our life. My husband like to say I have a hustling spirit. He been saying that since I met him. “You got a hustling spirit, girl.” So yeah, that’s just how it always been for us.
Ken: Most people, when they think about business ownership, they run away from the multilevel marketing idea. How did you feel about it? It’s your first time in multilevel marketing type setup, or you’re used to it, you’re accustomed to it? What’s your thoughts?
Clytha: I’m an insurance broker, so I go out, I write business, I help families, and I get paid.
Ken: If I understand you correctly, you ain’t doing this to build this big, burly team of individuals who out doing the same thing you are. First and foremost, you did it because of your financial freedom and financial success, maybe?
Clytha: Yeah. My main focus is to do what I do, which is help families protect themselves, and in the process, I am open to bringing people in and teaching them how to do what I do. I didn’t initially get into this business with the thoughts of, “Oh, my goodness, I got to build this huge team.” I got into it like, “Oh, my goodness, I can continue to help people and help myself at the same time.”
Ken: You’ve got a passion for what you do.
Ken: So the passion of helping people hadn’t changed.
Ken: That’s Clytha.
Clytha: That’s Clytha. That’s who I am, and I feel like Clytha finally found something where she can help people and bring in an awesome income too.
Ken: I love it. I love it. All right, so that leads me to the next question is, what part of your journey uniquely defines who you are? Right?
Clytha: That is exactly what uniquely defines who I am. You know, if you would have asked me years ago if I would’ve sold insurance, I would’ve been like, “No, who wants to sell insurance?” But you know, this opportunity was presented to me, and I saw that it can … I can continue to be myself, I can continue to help people out, I can continue to educate, because what I do, a lot of people don’t understand what it is. They don’t understand the importance of having quality insurance coverage. So I go and I teach them and I help them, and when I leave them, they are happier.
Ken: Oftentimes in church we hear stuff like, what’s your purpose, what are you here to do? Nobody really has the answer until you really know. Even when you feel like you know what your purpose is, you still question it in the back of your head like, “Am I supposed to be doing this or am I just going throughout life?” I guess what I’m trying to get to is, what advice would you give the person out there who is seeking purpose, who really want to know what they supposed to do with their life?
Clytha: I know that feeling all too well, and I remember having conversations with my husband over and over again like, “Babe, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. I just know what I feel.” You know? So my advice would be to go with what you feel. What does your heart tell you? You’re not going to know right away. It’s going to be something that happens to make you understand after the fact, like, “Dang, that’s what I was supposed to be doing. This feels good. This feels right for me. It feels like my normal.”
Clytha: Just go with your heart. Go with what you feel, and don’t let nobody tell you what you should be doing. That is the worst thing you could ever do. And to me, that’s the hardest thing that I had to get over, so many people saying, “Girl, you better stay in that classroom. You better keep that good job with them good benefits. You’re good at what you do. We love you here, Clytha.” You know what? That’s cool, but Clytha don’t love herself here. You got to tune out the rest of the world. You got to tune out all these people telling you what you should be doing and start listening to yourself.
Ken: Wow. But you how old, though?
Clytha: I’m 39.
Ken: You 39.
Clytha: I’ll be 40 in January.
Ken: All right, so you thirty … You 40. I’m going to say you 40. You old.
Clytha: I’m 39.
Ken: You got a child-
Clytha: Shut up. I’m 39, dog.
Ken: … about to be in 12th grade [inaudible 00:09:23]. So I think the most important key to this whole journey thing is just to stay the course.
Clytha: Stay the course.
Ken: Just keep going.
Clytha: Appreciate the journey, yo. Appreciate it. I’m telling you, it’s easy to give up, but you’re going to regret it. And I’ve even had people tell me I’m too old. “Clytha, you’re too old to change jobs,” and this is family, now.
Clytha: “You’re too old. Just keep doing what you doing,” but I don’t like it. I’m not happy. Man, appreciate the journey and appreciate the failures, because that’s what makes you grow.
Ken: I love it. You got some inspiration from somewhere.
Ken: Who or what did it come from?
Clytha: Honestly, I would have to say indirectly from my kids, and reason being, I looked at how I grew up … And don’t get me wrong, how I grew up wasn’t horrible or anything, you know? It was just my normal, but I knew that I wanted something more for them. I wanted them to see my journey. I wanted them to see what it’s like to build your own and be self-employed and to not listen to what other people tell you you should do. So everyday when I look at them and my life, and it’s like, I want them to do better. I want them to see better, and they’re only going to do better if I do better.
Ken: So do you have any mentors or anybody that you look up to outside of the business?
Clytha: Man, I mean, I spend a lot of time … As far as outside of the business, I spend a lot of time motivating myself because I can’t get that from other people. You know what I’m saying? So I can’t put it on a person, Kenny.
Ken: That’s big.
Clytha: I just got to be real. I can’t put it on a person. Not saying that other people haven’t said something that motivated me, but I put it on myself. I get up every morning and I’m reading because sometimes I don’t feel like I want to get up. I don’t feel like I want to do anything, so I got to motivate me. So nobody else can be responsible for that.
Ken: Man. I love it. I think one of the biggest challenges that I’ve had in the past, even in my profession, is having so many mentors, and this goes back to what you said about people telling you what you should do. People just think mentors is everything, mentors are the end all, be all. And in addition to having a mentor, I think what they do is their viewpoint and perspective is subjective. Their way isn’t the only way, and some mentors come off as if, if you don’t do it this way, you’re not going to be successful. And that’s not true.
Clytha: That’s not true.
Ken: I’m glad to hear somebody else say I ain’t got no mentors, and it doesn’t make you honorary. It doesn’t make you full of yourself. It’s just like, bruh, can’t nobody motivate me like me.
Clytha: Nobody can motivate you like you. You’re right.
Ken: So you talked about the kids, you talked about the hubs. I know you guys are doing fantastic 15 years in the game.
Ken: Hold on, that … Hold on, hold on. Y’all was together before y’all got married, though, right?
Clytha: We was ghetto before we got married, what does that mean?
Clytha: Oh, I’m about to say, what are you talking about?
Clytha: We were together before we got married, yes.
Ken: So how many years total y’all got in the game [crosstalk 00:12:29]?
Clytha: About 17, 18.
Ken: Good God Almighty, bruh.
Clytha: Yeah. That’s a big deal, right?
Ken: I love it. Is there anything outside of your kids and your husband that is your why?
Clytha: Outside of family … That’s it. That’s all I got as for my why. And it’s not just my kids though, because I also go back to my parents. You know, my dad. My dad is so proud of me. He don’t really understand what I’m doing. He saw my little video, my commercial that my work and organization did and he was like, “Wow, that’s so awesome.” And my dad never tells me stuff like that, so he think I made it. He don’t know the struggle, though [crosstalk 00:13:04].
Ken: Wow, yo. Where do you see yourself in the next months, years to come? Anything major you want to accomplish? I know I said off the record you guys are making some major power moves very, very fast.
Ken: So where do you see yourself in the next few months or in the next years to come?
Clytha: Even though I’m not working full-time for someone else, I’m still considered part-time in my business, so I’m in the process of making that transition from being part-time making a full-time income to being full-time making six figures or more. So that’s my journey right now. It’s important to me to remain humble and remain a student of the business. You can never stop learning, Kenny. Nobody knows it all. So I just want to get to the next level. I’m ready to get to that next level of this business, and eventually add in another stream of income. My husband and I are on this journey to add in at least seven streams of income in our household.
Ken: So I mean, I’ve always heard that the average millionaire has about seven streams of income.
Clytha: Yeah, I got it from a book, a book that I was reading called You, Inc. You, Incorporated. And the book is basically about teaching you how to tap into your inner CEO and start your business. So having seven streams of income was kind of like something that stood out to me and my husband when we were reading the book, so.
Ken: I like the fact that ya’ll on one accord, man, that ya’ll are in sync with this thing.
Clytha: Yeah, we’re a team, yo. We always been, though. Like you know our history. It was always me helping him or working with him at his job, because of his career or whatever, and now he is trying to do the same for me, you know? So that’s why he was just so easy to go ahead and agree with me doing the business because he’s like, “Yo, you helped me out for 15, 16 years. So you want me to join you? I got it, let’s do it.” So we motivate each other. We both want more for each other.
Ken: I love it.
Ken: So I’m about to go off the script here for a second because this is a now pressing issue with … I don’t know if it’s just the black community. I don’t know if it’s the younger generation, if it’s our generation, whatever, the old or whatever. But what I’m noticing is, biblically, the Bible talks about a help meet way back in Genesis, right? I mean, I don’t expect you to have any kind of knowledge of this or whatever, but I’m just saying. What it looks like has taken place in your marriage is that you have helped your husband unconditionally with … You probably complain behind the scenes, but you know what I’m saying? We all do. It’s natural, it’s normal, right?
Clytha: I do.
Ken: But you got the job done. You know what I mean? You saw him do the band thing and you saw him come home day after day with whatever frustrations he had to deal with, whether it was with the students, the administration, it was whatever. You saw that kind of stuff and you stayed in there and you stuck in there for a long time before you was like, “All right, I’m about to do …” Not your own thing. Right? You ain’t completely turn your back and was like, “I’m about to forget you. I’m about to do me,” but you did something different to contribute to the whole pie.
Ken: Where did that come from? Were you taught that? Did you just feel like you should do it? Did you do it because you was expecting something at the end? What has been your thought process of however many years of being a help meet to your husband?
Clytha: It was just natural. Nobody said, “Make sure you help your husband all these years. Put your dreams on the side.” You know what I’m saying? Not saying that’s what he told me to do, but it just felt natural, like that’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what we’re supposed to do for each other. And yes, I complain.
Ken: Sure, of course. We do, we all do, right?
Clytha: I still complain, and you let him tell it, oh, my God. But he knows I’m going to be there.
Ken: Sure. The GoonSquad podcast is all about extraordinary stories by ordinary people. So what do you believe makes your story extraordinary?
Clytha: I think that my story is extraordinary because I took a leap, Kenny, okay? At this point in my life, being 40 years old and trying something new, becoming a student again, just jumping out on faith, like yo, that takes a lot. Okay? It takes a lot because I could have just stayed in this space and just every day just daydreaming about what my life would be if I did but too scared to go, going to that nine to five job or going to that classroom or whatever, and then go and bartending on the side. Just making that decision and taking that leap, yo, that was a huge deal for me. Have I arrived? No. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m on the path, yo, and that’s all I wanted for myself and for what my kids to see, you know?
Clytha: And I want other people to see that. After I’ve been putting myself out there on social media, I’ve gotten so many inboxes and messages. I’m thinking my story is nothing. Like I’m not making these six, seven figures like some of these other people. But it’s people who saw me, who they related to my story and they saw an ordinary person. Like, “Yo, ordinary people are doing this too?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” They’re like, “What advice can you give me? What can I do?” And it was kind of overwhelming for me because I was like, “I don’t get it,” but now I understand. People saw an ordinary person, a 39, 40-year-old person with kids and a person of color, a woman of color at that, taking care of business, yo, and doing her own, so.
Ken: And I think it also stood out too, man, because in a time like this where everybody’s looking for stay-at-home jobs, I think that made it much more attractive because you look like them.
Ken: So speaking of insurance, I am particularly attracted to the GoFundMe prevention joint, right? I think that is the funniest thing, but it’s so real.
Clytha: It’s real, Kenny.
Clytha: How many GoFundMes you see a day?
Ken: Bruh, I can’t even begin to tell you, man.
Clytha: Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the GoFundMe where people are asking for donations for this and that. I’m talking about the ones where somebody passed away and we got to figure out how to pay for that funeral. First thing people do is go to that GoFundMe, but you can prevent that. You don’t have to do that. For pennies a day, for a little bit of money, you can make sure your family do not have to get on social media doing a GoFundMe to pay for that funeral.
Ken: Yo, you sound just like the commercials.
Clytha: It’s real.
Ken: For pennies a day.
Clytha: Yo, listen, this is so real. Maybe it sounds like the commercial, yo, but now I get it. Listen, selling fish plates because they got to put [Pooky 00:20:20] away, or you see the airbrushed rest in peace T-shirts and they selling them for $20 a piece so they can at least have him cremated. You can prevent that. I educate people on getting quality life insurance coverage, getting it while you’re young, getting it before, God forbid, something happens where you become ill and other companies will tell you you’re uninsurable. Get that coverage, protect your family, protect yourself so they won’t have to be on GoFundMe. They’ll be able to grieve in peace without the financial burden on their backs at the same time.
Ken: I love it.
Clytha: Kenny, you know I’m going to ruffle some feathers with this, but there’s too many people in our communities, in our communities, that’s not covered, or they don’t have adequate coverage, or they got something that they saw on TV. Alex Trebek got a commercial on TV saying, “For $9.95 a day, you can get coverage.” That’s bull. They got our senior citizens think they can pay $9 … I mean, excuse me, they said $9.95 a month.
Ken: Oh, okay. Okay.
Clytha: My bad. I’m wrong.
Clytha: They saying $9.95 a month. You cannot get life insurance coverage for $9.95 a month for your 65-year-old mama. So-
Ken: Sixty-five … Oh wait, wait, wait.
Ken: So he trying to insure the old folk.
Clytha: They’re targeting … Yeah, they’re targeting our seniors. My dad, let me tell you, my father sat there and watched … He watches those commercials all day. He’s retired. He sits home. And he’ll call me and he’ll say, “Alex Trebek said on TV that all I got to pay is $9.95 a month and I can get coverage to bury me.” And I’m like, “No, dad. You can’t do that.” And he said, “But he said it.” Like he’s fighting with me now like I don’t know what I’m talking about, right?
Ken: Now Alex Trebek got more credibility than his daughter, huh?
Clytha: Right. Right. So I’m going to tell you what I did. I sat there with my dad, I said, “Daddy, we going to call them. I want you to call that number, and then I want you to tell me what they say.” He called. They ended up telling him that of course it’s going to be more money than what the commercial said, and it was actually more than the coverage that I had gotten for him a couple of years ago. You know, so … I know I’m getting of track.
Ken: No, [inaudible 00:22:31], you on track.
Clytha: I’m passionate about this thing, Kenny. But the real is this. It’s important that you are covered with adequate quality life insurance to protect your family from the financial burdens of you passing away, or, there’s another thing, Kenny, they have what’s called living benefits now. Living benefits mean it is life insurance that you can use while you’re still living. You suffer from a chronic illness, a critical illness, a terminal illness. Now there’s policies where you can access funds to take care of your bills when you can’t. You just had a stroke and you can’t go to work for six months.
Ken: So what’s the problem though? Like why are we so apprehensive on stuff like this?
Clytha: You know, Kenny, it’s hard, it’s hard to answer that. I don’t understand it. Car insurance is just in case insurance, but it’s … By law, you have to have it.
Ken: It’s mandatory though.
Clytha: You got to have it, so you got to get that car insurance because you don’t want to get that ticket or you don’t want to get in trouble. But you get insurance on your phone just in case that phone break.
Clytha: You know what I’m saying? You got to have your insurance on your phone because you got to have your phone, but people will put life insurance off, but to me that’s the most important insurance to have because just in case your phone break, you got this phone insurance, right? Just in case you get in a car accident, you got this car insurance. But what is definite? You’re definitely going to pass away-
Ken: You will.
Clytha: … and we do not know the day nor the hour. You know what I’m saying? So I still don’t understand why people don’t see the importance of it because we are going to leave this earth one day, and the last thing I want is for [Dorian 00:24:09] and [Jaden 00:24:09] Hollins to be suffering because I did not spend that money every month to make sure that they had something, you know?
Ken: All right, so with the stigma of people in our community being so apprehensive about life insurance and even health matters, how do you continue to be successful while breaking down those kinds of barriers? This is your full-time job, this is what you do to provide an income for your family and you still got a break barriers. How in the world do you do it?
Clytha: It’s easier when you’re in front of people, we’re looking face to face. And you’re my client, Kenny. You get it right?
Ken: Right. Yeah, I get it.
Clytha: You’re looking face to face and you’re talking to them. “Listen, Mr. Branson, let’s just be real. You know, you’re not going to be around for a long time, and yes, you’re healthy right now, but the person who woke up and got diagnosed with cancer today didn’t think that that was going to happen to them yesterday.” You know what I’m saying? Or I’m sitting with a husband and a wife, and I looked directly at the wife and I say, “Listen, Kenny died today. Where are you going to do? Can you still make the mortgage?” You just got to sit with them face to face and be real, heart to heart, you know?
Clytha: So to me, that’s what makes me be able to be successful at what I do, is I reach out to them and I tell them the real. People don’t like for you to jerk them around. They want you to be straight up. I don’t consider myself … I’m not one of them people that go out knocking door to … excuse me, knocking door to door on random people’s doors selling and stuff like that because that’s just not me, but I am that person that will sit down with this person and educate them first. People understand when you teach them, when they learn. So to me, that’s what makes me be successful, is I educate them first and tell them what’s real.
Ken: Have you been taught what to say, when to say, when you sitting at a coffee table with somebody, or is this the passionate Clytha who just sincerely likes to help people?
Clytha: For one, yes, you are trained. You’re informed on how to do your job. I like to do it the way that fits my personality and what’s real for me.
Ken: Right, and the people that you talking to.
Clytha: The people that I’m talking to.
Clytha: Everybody don’t relate on the same level. When I go into my communities, you know what I’m saying? I’m sitting talking to somebody, I know how to connect with them on their level, and then if I go into another community that may be of a different status or a different type of person, I know how to connect with them on their level, but the one thing that remains the same is Clytha likes to help you. Clytha is going to help you, and we’re going to make sure that you’re covered.
Ken: I think the bad thing about this thing, man, is that we get sold to every day. Somebody always selling something, and if you don’t take that approach where you really passionate about it and what you’re doing, I don’t think you would be successful in it.
Clytha: Right. People don’t want to be sold, they want to be educated. They want to understand it, and that’s my goal. I want my clients to understand what they have, what they don’t have, and even if I go in your house and you show me what you have and it’s better than what I can offer you, I’m going to tell you straight up. I’m going to be like, “Yo, Kenny, this is great. Don’t touch this. Keep it.”
Clytha: You know what I’m saying?
Ken: That’s fair.
Clytha: So, yeah.
Ken: So have you had that happen before?
Ken: Word up.
Ken: I think that’s fair man. You can’t ask for much more. I’m excited to have you on board as a GoonSquad, [inaudible 00:27:37].
Ken: I mean, I think it’s freaking amazing the stories that we have to tell, our journeys. I think a lot of people are attracted to it. So I mean, that’s what we aim to do every day. I want to tell somebody’s story so that people that look like us, who aspire to be like us, can say, “Oh, yeah. I really can do that.”
Ken: Any closing remarks that you got for the people out there, any moms who want a stay-at-home job? Any closing remarks, period, to anybody?
Clytha: The best advice I can give to anybody, Kenny, is to stay the course. Take that leap. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you’re going to get bruised. You’re going to fail. It’s okay. Get back up and take that journey for what it is. Don’t quit. Keep going. I know it may sound cliche, but it’s real. It’s so real. You can do it, yo.
Ken: I love it. We done, [inaudible 00:28:34]. That’s it.