It’s Still Who You Know – The Accelerated Entrepreneur

When I attended Blacksburg High School with the Class of ’77, I appreciated my classmates as equals, but I looked up to one of them:  Bobby Hill.

While most of us focused on the things of high school, Bobby looked outward towards service as an adult.  I remember the first time I saw him in the zipped coverall of members of the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad.  I felt pride and peace that a person of such integrity and character would be “to the rescue.”

I remember Bobby as a determined, full-out-effort Blacksburg High School football player.  The football programs listing his name with Sidney Snell’s and Scott Worner’s, the yearbooks with their pictures and mine, and WJJJ and WVVV, the radio stations to which I manually twirled my tuner, all were sponsored by L. L. Brown Insurance Agency.

When I met with Lindsey Eversole, Member Services Manager of VT KnowledgeWorks, to learn what business services I would need as a brand new VT KnowledgeWorks company, business insurance was on the list.  Have I mentioned to you that my first attempt as an entrepreneur was unsuccessful?  Anyway, I didn’t know I needed business insurance.  Where would I begin? 

Lindsey showed me the page protector full of business cards given to new VT KnowledgeWorks companies.  She pointed to the card from Brown Insurance.

Here I am–supported on each side–by Christy Brown, Personal and Commercial Lines Sales Agent at Brown Insurance, and Bobby Hill’s mother, Norma Hill, Office Manager at Brown Insurance.

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Insights:

  • Consistent, sustained support by businesses of programs a community values can result in authority and credibility for the business and intense loyalty from customers and clients–even three decades later.
  • Mike Drzal, attorney for LeClairRyan, warned me of “dabblers,” of those who do a bit of this and that, rather than who specialize in the services I need to protect and grow my business.  When I learned I would consult with Brown Insurance, I felt excited and relieved.  Working with a company founded in 1927 certainly works for me.
  • It’s still who you know. 
  • I was very happy to hear from Bobby Hill’s mother that he is now a veterinarian in a five-person practice specializing in large animals, is married, and has three children.
  • And, although according to John Brown of Brown Insurance, Blacksburg is the largest town in Virginia, it’s still the smallest town on the entire planet. 
  • It is definitely a special place.

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