Andrew Stewart

Owner of DF Insurance Solutions


Adjusting negative perspectives and the relationship between race and entrepreneurship with Andrew Stewart

In this episode we are so fortunate to welcome Andrew Stewart, who shared his experience finding the right career not only through the lens of identifying the perfect fit, but also through his experience as a Black man navigating a predominantly white industry, and how that impacted his journey. James and Andrew have a timely and frank conversation about defining success for Black men in the professional industry and the impact race has on the entrepreneurial path.

One of the differentiators that sets Andrew apart from your typical financial advisors is the emphasis on digital services. Now more than ever providing financial services remotely and harnessing technology is critical to the sustainability of businesses. Andrew shares how DF Insurance Solutions has always been ahead of that curve, meeting clients where and when was most convenient for them.

We talk about the "suit and tie" image of the financial sphere: the persona of the sales person and the lack of authenticity. Andrew breaks down how people's buying habits have changed and how he has repositioned himself and his services based on those insights. DF Insurance Solutions emphasizes making business an enjoyable experience for clients, and that focus has allowed him to grow his business and overcome the "negative" stigma around insurance salesmen.

The other interesting take away from this episode was how Andrew shared that he hasn't really had to "pivot" despite COVID-19 because he was already working digitally, and already had experience operating and running sales and business that way. Andrew shares how critical those phone skills were in times like this, and how they are truly learned skills. He shared that this model was how he had wanted to do business a few years ago, and the work from home movement has finally caught up.

James digs into the topic of life insurance and the negativity around it. Andrew makes the point that life insurance has always been sold as a liability - something you pay for and never get to use, and how these perspectives or external myths have given life insurance a bad reputation. He unpacks those myths, sharing that life insurance is an asset and the value we add by having life insurance, breaking down the tangible ways policies can benefit us.

Andrew also comments on the importance as a business owner to bring value every day to ensure success. He examines how both James and himself do that in their respective businesses in a fascinating conversation about how we define value and how we prioritize how we serve our clients.

Finally. we touch on the fundamental impact not having a mentor that looked like him had on Andrew's career, and his development as a Black professional working in the finance industry. In response to that, he's starting his own online course to recruit and train digital advisors, geared toward people who want to work remotely and serve clients digitally, in various levels.

Whereas being truly inclusive you have to sort of remove that end goal and try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. As a company, you have to say "Hey, I truly want to understand the challenges that any ethnic person...goes through in dealing with a white predominantly owned business entity. How can I understand that?" Then you start asking the questions about how we limit or solve those issues.

Andrew Stewart

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