Declaration of Independents

Sharon Robles

Principal
Sharon Robles Agency, LLC
Chicago, Illinois

“It’s on us.”

That’s what Sharon Robles says to anyone in the independent agency system who has concerns about the future. “We are only as strong as our weakest link,” she says. “I refuse to be the weakest link and so should you. This elusive change the industry must make is my responsibility. It is your responsibility. It is our responsibility.”

Her energy’s fresh: She’s just one year into an independent agent career after 18 as a captive agent. In her first year, she’s already earned 50% of the revenue it took her nearly two decades to build with her prior employer. “My absolute biggest mistake was staying with my company way past the time I should have left,” Robles says. “After 18 years, I stopped putting lipstick on the pig and I left. I’ve never been happier.”

HOW TO GET BETTER?

Get involved with the people who advocate on your behalf. Find out what issues are threatening our industry. Write to your legislators. Join the Big “I” and talk with other independent agents. Do something, anything. Apathy is our worst enemy.

MOTIVATION?

My children. I’ve always stressed to my boys that if you’re self-employed, you will always have work. I don’t go to work to bring home a paycheck. I get a paycheck from helping people solve problems that they may not even know they had. It’s what makes me love this business.

BIGGEST LESSON?

Humility. Of all the people my clients could do business with, they still chose me. That’s humbling.

HEY THERE, MILLENNIALS!

I want to be your insurance agent, not just your momma’s insurance agent. I feel an odd sort of responsibility for you. You are about the same age as my children. I want to communicate with you on your terms. I will text, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram with you like the best of them.

I’M WITH YOU, MILLENNIALS!

I’m sorry that no one has taken the time to educate you on the importance of having an insurance advocate. Let me help you understand that car insurance policy you bought online and why it’s probably not sufficient to adequately protect you. Now let’s talk about that homeowners insurance policy and how life insurance can avert a financial disaster on top of an emotional one.

SAY THANKS

To succeed in this business, your must have an attitude of gratitude. Have a love for people because to be successful in this industry, you must put yourself and your needs last because you must always place your clients and their needs first. Napoleon Hill said it best: “You give before you get.”