Many insurance and financial advisors savor their independence. That’s why captive agents often go independent as their skill, knowledge and client list grow. But even as a free agent –a lone cowboy– how independent are you, really?
Are you subject to the influences of other entities in your professional life? Do you let those influences affect your decisions — and your ethics? Do you let them call all the shots? And most important, can you truly be an independent and unbiased professional when your hide is branded by industry “ranchers” with huge stakes in your success, but little ownership of your mistakes?
Maybe these questions are quaint. After all, the days of the open range and noble cowboy are long past. In today’s Internet society, we are all to some degree wired to each other. We want to know what others are thinking and saying. We rely on the professional input of people who are smarter than us. This is fine and proper. And maybe it’s OK to let others own small bits of us, so long as there’s grubstake waiting at trail’s end.