Because life never stands still – especially when you’ve got children and a family! Life is precious, we all know that and sometimes forget about it. But it’s true. We don’t like to entertain the thought that we might become ill, injured or even die unexpectedly, but that is why insurance is something we all need to think about. Having health insurance means that if you need treatment, you don’t need to wait on the public waiting lists and can get help right away. Risk insurance is there to help financially in the event of serious injury, illness or death. It’s a complicated business, but there are wonderful people out there to help you. We spoke to Annette Breen, Life and Health Insurance Advisor at ab Insurance in Cambridge, to find out how she came to have such a business and how it all is going.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Family inspired me. Time is precious
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
The very beginning (17 yrs ago) I ventured into the industry when I arrived home after working in the travel industry overseas. My father was a top insurance advisor for 35 years, so it felt like I naturally gravitated to that.
Fast forward to now, I was working for a corporate franchise for last 10 years and as much as it was wonderful to work under that team, the hours I was working was literally killing me.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough was seeing my family upset from the outside in, and making the emotional decision to choose them over the job. It isn’t a hard decision to choose family over work, but I was so focused on ‘providing’ for my family and was masked by just that. I now see that providing for your family comes in many other ways than just money.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I have opened an office in Cambridge in the last week, and plan to have set hours there, 8.30am – 3pm Monday to Thursday, and have a clear definition between home and work. And I probably will achieve more in this defined time than before.
I lost my best friend to cancer nearly two years ago. This proves to me even more that life is precious and it can strike anyone, anytime. If she was here today I know she would say, “Do your own thing Annette, life is short, just do it.”
The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?
The industry has had a lot of changes, and I am thankful that back when my boys were 6 months old, I completed my Financial Services Certificate Level 5 in Insurance and Lending. This means I can relax a little for whatever more changes come ahead of us.
I was also diagnosed with a severe illness affecting my joints. This was obviously brought on by stress, poor eating, late nights working and driving. I was seeing my kids for less than 2 hours a day and that was breaking my heart and theirs.
Lastly, I lost my best friend to cancer nearly two years ago. This proves to me even more that life is precious and it can strike anyone, anytime. If she was here today I know she would say, “Do your own thing Annette, life is short, just do it.”
See page 2 for the rest of the article…