Kids in Business: The Insurance Adjuster Wins
Our first Kids in Business meeting—with spur-of-the-moment guest Lyla Lindquist—was awesome. Lyla is an insurance adjuster who runs her own business, and since she wasn't waylaid by any recent disasters, she made time for us on short notice. By the end of our meeting, I said I lost five pounds from all the laughing (and now we are thinking of how we might market Lyla as a weight-loss solution).
Besides hearing stories of old men who pretended to get run over or who lived in sub-zero trailers that got ransacked in the middle of nowhere, we learned about the relativity of correct business attire. (Jeans for burrowing under houses. Khakis for above-ground investigations of floods with left-over mold. Slacks for meetings with distressed parents whose children have been bowled over by rogue domestic animals.)
Pajamas, we learned, could potentially suffice as home office attire if they are t-shirts and sweats, but for reasons of focus and a basic sense of professionalism (and to avoid the overwhelming desire to nap between calls), we were told (and mostly agreed) that it is not a bad practice to actually get dressed every day (especially if you have no curtains on your windows).
Though every business is ultimately unique, and this was so evident in a discussion of insurance adjusting, one of the main takeaways from our time with Lyla was the idea that most businesses will be more profitable if you have:
1. knowledge in your area of interest
2. professional contacts (or an effective way to quickly obtain them)
We also discussed what makes a business different from a hobby:
1. it's not something you can just stop doing, because you are trying to make money from it
2. it's not something you can just stop doing, because you have spent money trying to make money from it
Of course you could walk away from a business. Instagram just did that, right? Okay, yes, for $1 billion from Facebook.
As for the business of insurance adjustment, we learned that it helps to be:
1. braver than the mailman (German shepherds are not uncommon in the field)
2. faster than the mailman (scary and sometimes dangerous situations occasionally arise)
3. really funny or at least appreciative of found-humor (otherwise cynicism about old men who pretend to get run over might turn you into a grouchy person)
I figure it was a rousing success, because my girls would love to talk to Lyla again—about business or anything else she'd care to share. After all, both girls agreed that as far as story-telling goes, J.K. Rowling has got nothing on Lyla, except maybe a few more movies and a few less German shepherds to her name.