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Carving Your Own Path To A Successful Career With Somtip Brunner

What are important defining principles you need to be aware of as you try to build a successful career? Here to share hers is Somtip Brunner. Somtip is an insurance professional serving ultra-high net worth clientele with over 15 years of experience serving families of significant wealth in real estate, hospitality, and private wealth management. She is the Vice President, Alliant Private Client at Alliant Insurance Services. In this episode, she joins Rosie Zilinskas to detail her journey stepping up the ladder of success in the industry, especially as a woman of color. They talk about what it means to have your voice when entering a career and why you shouldn’t be afraid to use that voice. Somtip also shares career growth insights that she’s learned and gives tips for anyone aspiring to switch lanes. Stay tuned.

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Carving Your Own Path To A Successful Career With Somtip Brunner

We are talking to a professional insurance leader who shares that someone else’s opinion should not be your reality, and I agree. Somtip Brunner is an insurance professional serving ultra-high net worth clientele. She has several years of experience serving families of significant wealth in real estate, hospitality, and private wealth management. Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, she pursued her MBA with Magna Cum Laude distinction from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She has been working in the insurance industry for years and is a Vice President at Alliant Private Client, which is one of the top brokerage firms in the country. She is a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance, which is a designation program by the Wharton School. Somtip talks about how she dealt with challenges in her career, which I think you are going to be able to relate to. Stay tuned.

Somtip, thank you so much for being here. I am so excited to talk to you because I know that you have a ton of knowledge, expertise and leadership. I’m going to start by asking you. We know that oftentimes women don’t use their voices, and it does not necessarily impact one industry. It’s pretty much any industry. I want to ask you right off the start. Why do you think women don’t use their voices? What recommendations do you think women can do to make a change for that? We have all been told, like little girls, that you need to be nice and sweet. I hope that message is changing. In my space, I deal with a lot of successful producers, both women and men. You don’t see that on my side. On my side, the higher they get, the more experience they are when you are in the room. A lot of women will be the first ones to answer or raise their hands to ask the question. I hope that will change over time. Maybe this happened at the beginning of their career when a woman is younger, and they still do not quite identify themselves. I hope that will change, but I believe they have been told that you need to be nice. You stay quiet, so you don’t get in trouble. I hope that’s not the case. It was never a case for me. I felt that they need to understand that asking a question or making a statement, or sharing an opinion does not make them rude or not nice. It’s the way you deliver and approach things. I love the fact that you made it a point to say that using your voice comes with experience. When people are starting their careers, they are not going to be as experienced. They are going to be afraid to use their voice and ask for what they need. I do like that you pointed out again that you are a little bit more experienced in your career and especially as a producer for you. I’m so glad to know that you notice women using their voices and speaking up. That’s very telling for the experience as you acquire it. I also have noticed a lot of people say, “I have a question but stupid questions.” That drives me nuts because no question is stupid. Those questions have nothing to do with gender, experience or age. Many years ago, I was in the board meeting of my condo association. I remember one gentleman who must have been the VP of a large investment firm. This is at the condo. One of his complaints is there’s not enough sun in the pool. I did not think of anything. I turned around and asked him, “Do you want them to move the building or the sun?” That is a stupid question. People said, “It’s because they don’t believe it, they don’t think it is.” I felt that if you have a question, you speak up. Maybe sometimes, when you are younger, you are more anxious and nervous. You don’t want people to laugh at you. I hope they can get over that. I hope the school system, and the way it’s changing now, will make them speak up more. I have noticed that this generation, the early-twenties, is a group of young people that are vocal and quite passionate about what they are doing. I am hoping that translates to when they step into the workforce that they can continue to use their voice. I always tell people, especially when they are newer in the industry, that the more you use your voice, the more you hear yourself. Use your voice, and the more you hear yourself speak up, the easier it is as time goes on. Let me ask you a second question. What kinds of things did you struggle through as you are coming up in your career? No question is stupid. – Somtip Brunner Click To Tweet I have been doing this for many years. I’m still working in the workforce. I think it’s different at a certain age. In the beginning, I started my career in the brokerage financial side. I have been told at the time you look too young. You want to look old. When you look older, you want to look younger. It’s all in your head. We emotionally mature over time with the experience that comes over time. You have to go through the high and the low. The struggle I had, in the beginning, is when you are a woman, you are young. You had people who would say something or make comments about you that it took you a long time to understand and believe that their opinion is not your reality. You need to create your own reality because otherwise, they would create it for you and would not like it. It took me a long time to put my foot down and say, “Your perception is not my reality.” There were times when I said straight to them that they could make whatever comments they liked. A nicer person who has better value would not make that comment. You probably had a similar experience. I still have that struggle until this day. I never think I’m good enough. That’s what made me fight for more and try to do more. People made a comment that, “You have a successful career.” I never thought I would be successful, maybe because I’m not there where I want to be yet. Sometimes I wonder, what do I want to be? One of the questions that I want to share with you is one of the reasons that slow me down, which is, “What are the three career goals that you have?” It stumped me because I don’t know. If you had asked me this several years ago, I would have had it. In each different stage of your career, you set a goal and accomplish that and make another goal. Sometimes you carry on and don’t make another goal. I felt like I got to the level where I wanted to be more than I ever dreamed I would be. Maybe less than I think I could be, those kinds of balance. I had to think about it for a few days. I’m excited that I stumped you a little bit. It stumped me for a few days because I have life and career goals. When you are in the level that I’m in at this point, it’s much easier to have a career goal when you are younger and coming in. You can say, “I want to be a VP or a manager. I want to run the corporation.” 10, 20, 30 years into it, the experience would tell you that maybe when you get to where you are, that’s not what you want to be. I managed the team in Florida and the Thai division for about eight months that I did not have a life. I thought I wanted it and did not enjoy it at all, even though I feel that it expanded my role or horizon. I used to think it was everything. When you do that, you realize it’s not everything. Being in sales is a portion of the operation, marketing, and everything else. You have to get there to experience that. I realized that managing people was much harder than being in sales.
NWB 14 | Successful Career
Successful Career: We emotionally mature over time with the experience. You have to go through the highs and the lows.
Managing people is very hard. I want to go back to a couple of things that you said. First of all, I love that you said, “Someone’s opinion of myself is not my perception of myself.” Tell me a little bit more about that because I’m interested in how you divide those things. First, you see where it comes from. I think we have people who try to make that statement all the time, make an assumption, and are judgmental of others. You need to pay attention to where it comes from, “Does that person matter in my life or from someone I met?” One time in my career, I had a superior who made a comment about me. This is my first year in insurance. She commented, “You look like someone, and that if I gave you a referral, you would not be able to close it.” I turned around and asked her, “When was the last time you gave me a referral?” Her answer is none. She never did. That, to me, is like, “You can make that assumption.” If she had given it to me and I never closed it, that’s a different story. I also had someone to that I was married. When I first started my career many years ago with a large investment firm, he turned to me and said, “You only got a job because you are a woman and a minority.” I’m like, “This is a spouse you are married to.” You are like, “Really?” I don’t want to say anything to him because that’s not my personality. I believe that there’s no need to be mean to others. If it does not come out right, we might as well not say it. This person has never been applied to any career. He worked for his family’s and his father’s company. The last job he applied to was at McDonald’s in his high school. I can use that person’s comment to say, “Do I get into this career because I’m a woman and minority?” That’s a very ignorant comment, but you have to see where it comes from. Once you identify that, you can let it go. In both of those situations, people made assumptions and judgments about you, not even giving you credit because of your abilities. They are judging you because of how you look, a woman and a minority. Unfortunately, that is the world that we live in. I give you kudos because it takes a certain person to be able to recognize that. A lot of women or people, in general, are offended by things that other people say to them. For you to be able to say, “That person and their opinion does not matter to me. I’m going to brush it off and move on.” I think that makes you a better person in your life overall. I want to pay attention and focus on things that matter in my life. That’s already a lot, with a child, work, and everything else. If I pay attention to the comments everyone makes about me, I will be mad 30 times a day. It’s similar to driving, and somebody cuts you off. I look at it that way. I know it exists. Do I take it to heart and prove that’s not me? I don’t. You need to see where it comes from. I also want to go back to another thing that you said when I first asked you about your challenges. Not being good enough is a general human feeling. How do you handle it when you feel that you are not good enough? Their opinion is not your reality. – Somtip Brunner Click To Tweet I had that happen regularly. You acknowledged that’s the feeling. I can do two things. I can let them destroy me and tell me I’m good enough, but I’m getting nothing out of it or using it to push me. At the end of the day, the minute I think I’m too good or already good, maybe that’s when I will not have the drive that I have as of now. That’s how I’d spend it. I have bad days when I’m like, “I’m not good enough.” In general, I think when you ask people deep down, this feeling is very common to anyone. When they get rejected for certain things, people feel like they are not good enough. This is a loss, but in reality, it’s a part of the complexity of being a human. I do agree that it could be one specific situation where maybe you did not do well in one thing. We need to also look at our limiting beliefs. If it’s a common thing that’s happening over and over in your life, what happened maybe when you were younger that makes you feel or believe that you are not good enough? That’s when I say that people need to go back and look at their limiting beliefs to figure out where that thought is coming from. It’s coming from somewhere. Do you see that often since you are coaching other women? I believe men have the same feeling. I was talking to somebody that has been in leadership for 30 years. I was asking her about women and not being good enough. She said, “A lot of men have that same feeling, those thoughts, and emotions, but they don’t articulate them as often.” I was like, “That makes sense.” It’s nice to see that men are now starting to understand or realize their limiting beliefs as well. They are able to articulate some of their emotions as well. I do see it very often. I recommend people to go back and look at their limiting beliefs as an example. I think you and I spoke about this a little bit when we met. Women don’t apply for jobs and think that they need to have everything on the job description. It comes down to them not believing that either they deserve the position or they are not good enough to get that position. That’s when I go back. Where do you think in your past did you believe that you were not good enough to do something or be something? We start peeling back the onion. It’s a little bit of a process to understand why you feel bad, but it’s common amongst women. I have found out that it’s common amongst men too. I know that you worked with a mentor. Tell me a little bit about how working with a mentor benefited you. How was the process? Did you drive that relationship? Tell me a little bit about that. I have had many people in my career that claimed to be my mentor. The only one that stepped up was my previous boss in my previous company. He was the reason why I started the insurance career, succeeded, and stayed in it. The difference is a lot of people say, “I want to mentor this or that person,” but that’s not their passion. Only a handful of people have a passion for doing it. They get the joy of teaching and developing someone, most people don’t.
NWB 14 | Successful Career
Successful Career: Your opportunity will come if you continue to do the right thing.
This person, in particular, believed in me so much. It’s a man that developed me. I don’t think he could see the gender difference. What he saw in me when I first came to insurance a few years ago is that I came from the background of working with ultra-high net worth families. The career that I’m in now is servicing the high-net-worth families. A few years ago, what I did not have was insurance experience. He was the one who said, “I can teach you everything about insurance. What I can teach you is how to handle the clients.” In the beginning, the learning curve is so steep because you end it, so you understand it. It was so technical. There were so many rules, underwriting, and things that it took a year or two for you to question yourself every day. He was someone who believed in me so much to the point where I stopped believing myself too. I think that’s what sets the good mentor apart from the rest who claim to be a mentor. What I would suggest is if someone is looking for a mentor, find someone who has joy in developing others. That person is not easy to find, but you will see it because you will see the support. You will see the leadership. The good thing about it is once you experience that, when you get to a certain point in your career, you want to do it to other people as well. It’s like kindness. The relationship is both ways. I think we met each other because he happened to be my boss at the time. I want someone to lead me, so anything he told me to do, I do it. I took and appreciated it. I followed it. I came in with a very humble opinion that I know nothing about it. Teach me everything I need to know. Even though we no longer work in the same firm, we are best friends. I will still reach out to him when I have issues with work. He will always tell me everything I need to hear. I start doing it to others because I believe that’s how you breathe, succeed and change. Everything we do includes you right now, and you are trying to transform the world into a better place. You build the strength of women and support, something that hopefully, one day, they will need. Women and men are the same, and the woman support group is gone because what you have done is already accomplished. It’s a similar thing with a mentor. That’s how I felt about it. Thank you for those kind words. I appreciate that. I think I have told you this before, but my mission is to eradicate the gender gap. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, I understand that the gains that we have made over the last decades have eroded because of all the women leaving the workplace and things like that. They needed to leave the workplace to attend to their families. Now more than ever, this work is important because we need to get those gains back so that women and men are equal. Hopefully, someday it will not even be a difference, male, female, race or gender, any of that stuff. You are a vice-president. What are some of the things that you focus on in your career to make it to a vice-president position? First, as I told you before, I questioned myself every day about whether I was good enough. One thing I always tell myself, I’m not going to give up. I have so many people who jumped the career so fast. They left it right before it was about to become fruitful. I saw that happen way too many times, especially in this generation. I think I believe everything you do. Don’t make a rash decision when you’re not mentally healthy. – Somtip Brunner Click To Tweet Your opportunity will come if you continue to do the right thing. What I have done is I had made the decision when I switched to an insurance career years ago that I love that relationship aspect of this. This will be my last career. Once I’m done with this, I’m out of the workforce. Once I made the focus to stay on that big picture, it made me volunteer to do more things. It made me give 100% of what I wanted to do and maybe another 10% more than what I normally would have done. It made me focus on doing the right thing to the clients, finding a good partner within the firm and the industry, and building a relationship. I have not seen this in a lot of people in my service team that they become their enemies. Sometimes people felt like, “I’m too good to do this.” Especially in our industry, in insurance. Sometimes that tedious work like issuing an ID card or typing in the buyer is something that nobody wants to do because you do that in your twenties. The time you turned 40 or 50, you felt like, “I’m too good to do this.” That is their own enemies. I never had that issue. I will jump and do it when I can. To me, as long as my clients are taken care of, I’m done. That mentality is what lead me here from what I believe in. I could be wrong, but that’s how I believe that. I believe in the company, the industry, what I do that I do the right thing for the clients, and what I do matters. When I stuck in it, after years into it, my promotion kept going up and up. That’s how I felt. I hear that you pushed yourself because you are not a quitter. What did you do when maybe you were stuck along the way and were not moving forward? How did you handle that? I would say, “I will quit tomorrow,” and that tomorrow never comes. When you quit, it’s so easy. You end. It’s done. There’s no turning back. What you are fighting for and staying in is hard. My world is in sales. Anyone who reads this who’s in sales can relate. Our nature is up and down. It’s always that way. It’s like the people who do service. The world is not pleasant as you think. They deal with complaining clients all day long. Nobody would ever be happy. I keep my eyes on the big picture because I know that if I quit it, it’s almost like I’m putting a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but this could be a cycle. That’s how I have been doing. I think, “I will quit tomorrow,” but not really. I don’t think about quitting. I’m more about, “I will find something else to do eventually but not now.” You push that away. When that thought comes, you know where it’s coming from. I don’t think you should make a rash decision when you are not mentally healthy. You are not always struggling at work. It does not work that way. I have had many friends who went through a change in superior, and now the boss was not so nice. If you stick long enough, that person gets changed. Sometimes you end it, and now you have been through the fifth boss. You have to keep your eyes on the big picture. That’s resiliency. People have to continue to do what they are doing. Eventually, something will change. Even if it does not change it within their department, maybe it could be another department and their division, their company, whatever the situation is, but keep going. Something will change in your career to make that significant move. Hopefully, it dislodges where you are and continue to move up the ladder.
NWB 14 | Successful Career
Successful Career: Ask yourself the hard questions first. Why are you here? Why are you doing what you do? What do you really love about it? Do you really love it? When you don’t know the answer, you have no direction.
I’m not saying that if you are being abusive at work verbally or emotionally, to tolerate that. If you know your worth, your goal, what you are capable of and what you are capable of handling, and have your own self-worth, you will not tolerate that. It’s very different, but if you know that it’s a bad week or day. It’s a struggle. This is me. It’s your responsibility to fix that. I got to this part of my career. If you asked me several years ago, I never thought I would. I want to. I don’t know how we are going to get there. All I know is that even doing the right thing eventually comes when you put on the hard work. In my generation and other generation, too, I have a fifteen-year-old son who I felt that in his generation, he felt he’s entitled to things. I don’t go off with that mentality. Everything I do is earned. Every trust we have with the clients is earned. We closed a large account from another broker that we did not do anything besides the fact that they screwed it up, and the client has trusted me and thinks I can do that. That trust is earned every day by doing the right thing constantly and doing more than what is expected of you. I think that’s what gets me here. It does not mean I will be here for the next ten years. That’s why going back to when I say, “I don’t think I’m good enough,” I try to spend it to be something that I’m pushing, and this is what you can do to be better. That’s the mentality I have. I agree with you on how we grew up versus how our kids grew up. They think that they had it so hard. I want to go back to one thing that you said as you were answering the question. You said, “Know your value.” Can you talk a little bit more about that? What do you mean by that? If someone is reading this and they are in the position you described, where they are trying to move up the ladder, continue to evolve, and advance in their career, how do they determine their value? What does that process look like? Going back to what we talked about people’s perception is not your reality. You need to determine your reality. What is your reality? What are you good at? What are your strengths? Who are the people that better fit with you? As you could probably agree to this, you are not going to fit with everyone in the organization. There are some people you don’t want to be a good fit with because they have a different approach to doing things. In my industry, there are producers who care about clients and some producers who are there for the numbers. You might see one successful faster, but they don’t last. It does not last. Clients left them. You look at them as successful now, but in the long run, they are not successful, but you need to determine that. I sometimes think, asking yourself the hard question first, why are you here? Why are you doing what you do? What do you love about it? When you don’t know that answer, you have no directions. I determine my value by knowing what I’m good at, what I’m capable of, and what I can do to service the clients. I am willing to walk away. I have done it multiple times for the people that I don’t think it’s a good fit for me because this is my world. I have to guard it. If I did not guard it, someone else would throw everything my way. It’s the same thing as when you build a house. You build a fence for a reason. It’s similar to that. That’s how I feel. Please share with me what your thoughts on your values are? People's perception is not reality. You need to determine your reality. – Somtip Brunner Click To Tweet I think you hit it right on the spot. First of all, know what you like, especially if you are in a job that you are not engaged in. If you know that you are not engaged in it, you are bored or dreading going to work, and it’s probably not the right fit for you. It’s going along with knowing your worth. You might be completely in the wrong job. When you go back, what do you like? That’s when you can start figuring out that position or job that you would be better at. They always say that if you love your job, you don’t work at a day in your life. I think that’s huge. I think there’s a difference between someone just doing the job, and someone doing the job because they are trying to help people, service people, or whatever the job is. I think knowing what you like, what you are good at, identifying your knowledge skills. For example, knowledge skills are like a doctor needs to know medicine. A lawyer needs to know the law versus transferable skills. Are you able to prioritize, organize, all that stuff? That can transfer to any job. Doing a little bit of soul searching and trying to understand what you bring as value to an organization, I think that’s when you start finding out what your value is? What are you worth? You also have to learn, and maybe you can come and do this. How do you articulate that when you are trying to have a conversation with your manager? I made it very clear what I’m good and not good at. I’m very honest and pretty open as much as I can because I feel that I want to draw the same type of people into my life. The manager that I have now is a very strong woman. Before I came to her, I chose between three different companies. She was the one I felt like a person could lead me because you are going to be at a certain point where only a handful of people can lead you. I felt like we were a good fit. I made it very clear to her if this is what I’m determining and managing. I’m not sure I like it. I’m good at sales and relationships. I don’t think I’m managing people long enough to find out whether I like it or not. I was in an unusual position where I was on my own for a long time. I don’t think working eighteen hours a day is sustainable. I think it’s very hard to love that part. Coming back to sales is very easy for me because this is easy. It has up and down, but I love the relationship. I know what I’m doing it for. I know enough about the process. I can negotiate the best term for the clients to find the best placement for them. That part, I do know. It took me years to get here, but I realized that now, how can I find out and everyone works together? It gets better. In anything you do, that’s the benefit of being young. When you are coming in, you are young, and you don’t have anything to lose. You climb up. It will hit the point when you climb up, and you realize, “I climbed the wrong stairs. I need to go back down.” Do you have a willingness to turn back and say, “No, I’m not doing this and do other things?” A lot of people don’t. It’s like driving. If you don’t know where you are going, you are not going to arrive at your destination. You need to know where you want to go first. It could be wrong, but if it’s the wrong place, you need to be willing to turn it back and say, “Been there, done that. I don’t like it. Let’s do this.” That’s how I felt. The way I communicate with my manager, I’m pretty direct with her about where I’m at. I’m coming back to build the book for the sales again, and build the team. I want to build a strong team. My goal is, in the next 5, 10 years from now, I want to build someone who will become a second me, so I can leave the workforce and retire happily. That’s where I’m at, at this point.
NWB 14 | Successful Career
Successful Career: You need to find who you are. If you don’t do that, someone else will do it for you.
We have covered a lot already. I want to ask you a little bit about your career. How did you get to where you are now? How did you even get involved in insurance? Tell me a little bit about your background. My background is I start my career in wealth management. Let me backtrack. I am a minority. I grew up born and raised in a different country. I was born and raised in Thailand. When I graduated, it was the time when the economy collapsed. It was when a lot of people were jobless. They can’t find jobs. The only way to even be considered for a good position you have to have an advanced degree. I happened to skip two grades in high school. I graduated at twenty. At twenty years old, you are clueless. I came here to the US for my graduate school. After I finished, I went to the Wealth Management Financial Brokerage Site. I did that for a year and a half, two years in total. For personal reasons, meaning that my spouse at the time did not like what I was doing because I was the only woman producer in the world of 150 men producers. This is in the financial service. You would see that a lot of men are intimidated by that. We were talking several years ago. He made me choose between a career or a marriage. As a young and naïve woman, I chose marriage. I loved that industry. I went into hospitality, which is the private club industry, where it’s a private city club where I deal with the judges, the top lawyers, and the CEOs day in, day out. I did that for a good 5 to 8 years. I had two years that I took off when we had our child. I knew that I love working with this type of client and resonate with them well. To me, they are easy to work with. The higher and the wealthier they are, believe it or not, they are very humble and easy to work with. They are not priced. They are not looking for the cheapest thing. They don’t want to be ripped off. Nobody does. That private club shut down because in 2008 where real estate market went down, and it was also the time when the iPhone came into place. The need for a private club to be able to fax, use a computer, and you can’t turn on your cell phone is no longer applicable at that time. A lot of private clubs shut down at the time. I spent about 2 or 3 years trying to find out what I wanted to do. I tried the nonprofit. I don’t think I’m a good fit for that. It needs a different type of personality. I went to real estate development, which I like, but it does not resonate with my life where I have a child to raise because that is a demanding job. That’s when I start thinking, “I’m open to looking for other careers, but I want to work with the high net worth industry.” That’s when the insurance comes in place. The more I’m getting into it, the more I love them. I’m able to deliver what I want to deliver, what we do, and you can agree to this. We protect the assets. We are important trust advisers as CPAs, wealth managers, and trust attorneys. The relationship is very significant. You have to stay true to what you believe to who you are. It requires a lot of trust because they are about to reveal to you everything they have. They have to. Otherwise, we can’t place insurance for them. I found that a relationship is valuable. I finally got to where I could say to others that trust is everything. You need to earn that trust every single day. That’s how I got to this career. I started with basic training to be a producer. Being in that, this will be my last stop. After this, I’m done. I think what that shows is that you as a human being, not you individually, but as human beings, you might have to get into 3 or 4 different types of careers before you find what you love. That’s okay. I think you had said while you were talking previously that sometimes when you are going down a path and realize that it’s the wrong path, you have to turn around and be willing to go down another path. Otherwise, you are going to find yourself stuck in a career that you don’t like. You are going to be miserable, bored, all that stuff that you don’t want to do. It’s best to be in a career of 2 or 3 years and think, “This is not what I thought it was going to be.” Make 180 and do something different. I think it all speaks to that. If you don't know where you're going, you're not going to arrive at your destination. – Somtip Brunner Click To Tweet Somtip, this has been a great conversation, but I do have one final question for you. I would like to know if you can provide two actionable recommendations to the readers that they can apply in their careers. I want people to have ideas that they can apply to their day-to-day. Do you have two recommendations that you can provide us? First, what we discussed before, you need to find who you are. You need to identify it. You create a solid room person because if you don’t do that, someone else will do it for you. You are not going to like what they have to say. I believe that when you do nothing, it’s also doing something. When you do nothing, things will change. It does not work that way. When you don’t act, that’s also an act of no. That’s also an act of wanting to let other people drive the course for you. I don’t think you should do that. I don’t think anyone should do that. Sometimes it takes years and does not come overnight. Sometimes you have to go through a different path that we talk about that you won’t like. Another thing I would say is what we discussed in the beginning. You don’t let other people’s opinions determine what you want to do in your life. Create your own reality and stay true to it. Even to one thing we discussed, I have had people probably make a comment to me, “You are very strong.” Sometimes when you listen to that, you can take it as strong in a good way or in a bad way. To me, it does not matter. It depends on who says that. If it’s from the client, I would ask more like, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” If it’s from a person who’s irrelevant, I don’t care. I say, “Thank you.” To me, I don’t care whether you mean well or not. I will say, “Thank you.” That’s something that I feel when you know yourself and you will not let other people make change because it’s already hard enough to fight your own demon every day. To me, once you have that solid, I believe that it will get you somewhere. To add to that, sometimes we think our own thoughts are always reality, but that’s not necessarily the case. That’s the whole thing of if you have a thought that says you are not good enough, challenge your own thoughts. That’s not necessarily true. I want to add one last thing. What I found very successful in my operation, how I’m able to operate, is you find a good support group, coach or partner. I am in the position where I’m partnering with another person who has the same personality as I do. That person could be a man or woman. It does not matter. You find a group of a support group where you can share someone who gives you a non-biased opinion of you, critical feedback or coaching. You would be a perfect example for many women who should come to you and take advice. Question your thoughts. Is that even valid? This is a part of going back to know your values. You build a strong support team. There are a lot of people who would try to take you down. Don’t associate with that. I could not agree with you more. Somtip, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. We had a great conversation. I hope to have you on again in the future.

That was a great conversation with Somtip. I do believe that Somtip is someone that you can look up to and relate to as she talked about her struggles, and how she overcame some of those struggles. The last thing is I do want to recap two tips that she provided us. Tip number one is that you need to identify who you are because if you don’t, someone else is going to label you. Tip number two is don’t let other people’s opinions create your reality. I think those are two excellent recommendations. If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you would like us to cover, please email me. With that, remember to be brave, be bold and take action. Until next time.

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About Somtip Brunner

NWB 14 | Successful CareerInsurance Professional serving Ultra High Net Worth clientele with over 15 years of experience serving families of significant wealth in real estate, hospitality, and private wealth management. Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand prior to pursuing a Master’s Degree in the United States, Magna Cum Laude graduate MBA from Nova Southeastern University, Florida. I have been working in the insurance industry for over 8 years, currently Vice President at Alliant Private Client, one of the top brokerage firms in the country. I am also a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI), a designation program by The Wharton School.