Stuffed folders (Photo: Thinkstock) (Photo: Thinkstock)

A great number of the producers I’ve talked with over the past few years are either doing all their own paperwork and administrative work or have much less help than they need. All of them tell me that the more money they try to make, the more time-strapped they feel.

Most freely admit they hate that part of the business. With each new case comes paperwork, follow-up, underwriting issues and other administrative jobs that don’t make them money and are tedious.

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I often tell these producers to hire and pay an assistant, even when it seems like they can’t afford it or take the time to train someone, etc.

Imagine you’ve opened a convenience store and decided to save money by not hiring help. Forget the long hours you’d be working by yourself, because as a producer you can control that. But imagine that you’re at the register, handling the lottery machine, taking in orders at the back door, helping customers on the floor, stocking shelves, doing the books, and more — all alone.

That’s what it’s like when you try to grow your insurance production without adequate help. So, there’s a logical business reason to get yourself help, even if you think you can’t afford it. But there’s also a side effect of getting help. When you use your hard-earned money to buy yourself more time, you end up with a greater sense of well-being.

That was the primary finding in a series of studies by Professor Dunn and other researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study’s authors surveyed 6,000 individuals at diverse income levels in multiple countries. The surveys asked participants about whether they spent money on a monthly basis to hire others to take care of unpleasant or time-consuming daily tasks or chores, and if so, how much they spent. Respondents were also asked to rate their “satisfaction with life” and report demographic information, such as their income level and whether they were married and had children.

“If you’re spending your time doing things that you dislike, then your minute-to-minute happiness and overall happiness is likely to be pretty low,” said Dunn in an interview about the research.

Hiring the help you need may be difficult when you don’t have enough production and you have bills to pay, but if you can find a way — even if you have to stretch — spending money to save time will help your business grow, and provide you with immeasurable returns in the form of overall well-being.

Promise yourself that you’ll find one new client for every 10 hours that you’re paying someone to do that administrative work, hire the help you need, and then keep your promise. You’ll be more successful — and happier.

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Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel has been a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals for the past 20 years. He is an approved MDRT coach and has served as the national sales training director for First Investors and Foresters. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients.