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The Health and Wealth Power Hourwith Harlon Pickett
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The Three Qualities That Healthcare and Entrepreneurship Have in Common
What do running your own business and the healthcare industry have in common? More than you’d think, actually.
Jason Setzer is the host of the Local Talent podcast, where he interviews San Antonio-based entrepreneurs about what they’re doing with their businesses and what they’ve learned from starting out on their own. He spoke to Harlon Pickett, a health insurance broker and the founder of Eagle Healthcare Solutions, about his life as a business owner.
Harlon laid out some of the challenges that he’s faced since he left the 9-5 life.
Being Prepared For Change
Harlon has seen a lot of change in his life. He cites one of his biggest mistakes as “Putting all his eggs in one basket too many times.” This narrowed his focus and made him slow to adapt when the industry changed. It is a common problem that a lot of new entrepreneurs face because it’s tempting to shrink your vision to one single goal, but in reality a better strategy is to keep your eyes open, stay nimble, and always be ready to switch your game up.
Likewise with healthcare, Harlon points out that since the introduction of Obamacare, the healthcare industry has shifted dramatically and there’s a lot more administration and regulation. This affects everyone from doctors to insurance brokers to everyday people who depend on the system. These new regulations place a lot of the burden of thinking about healthcare onto healthcare users.
Determination: It’ll Take You Places
Determination makes all the difference, both for the entrepreneur and for a customer shopping for healthcare. Why? Harlon says that there are so many times on the road when he could have given up. In fact, it would have been far easier for him to give up his entrepreneurial dreams and go back to the 9-5 life. But he was able to dig deep and push through, which got him to the successful, thriving business that he has today.
Shopping around for healthcare deals is the only way that you can bring down the cost of your health insurance, according to Harlon. He points out that we’re educated consumers about many other goods. So just apply that same attitude to healthcare. “People spent hours and hours in front of their computer…shopping for cars and TVs and washing machines and dryers and all these other things, and they spent virtually no time shopping for health care.”
You Gotta “Just Do It, Man”
In life, you have to be ready to shoulder a certain amount of risk in order to reap a reward. One of the healthcare plans that Harlon sells is not insurance but a healthshare plan, which isn’t the same thing. With healthshare, you’re not guaranteed coverage in every situation, but you can substantially lower your healthcare costs. Harlon estimates that about 80% of the U.S. population is a good fit for a healthshare plan, as long as they’re mentally prepared to leave the comforting label of “health insurance” behind them.
Looking at the pool of would-be entrepreneurs, you find the same story. Harlon’s spoken to many people who say they’re ready to leave the rat race behind them and start their own business, and his advice to them is always “Just do it, man.” He encourages them to make a business plan and to think things through before they quit their job so that they’re not jumping into thin air but says that “I really think that most people can do it.”
If Harlon’s advice has taught you something about healthcare or starting your own business, then make sure to subscribe to Local Talent: The Entrepreneur’s Handbook podcast to hear more funny and interesting interviews on Texas entrepreneurship with Jason Setzer and his special guests.
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