How beating cancer taught me the real value of risk advice.
In November 2010 I was diagnosed with leukaemia. My health had not been 100 per cent for a while, and in May 2011 I started chemotherapy.
Less than two years earlier – after a long career as a small business financial adviser – I had semi-retired to rural Victoria. The plan was to spend more time with my family.
For eight months I stopped work completely and endured the ups and downs that come with chemo.
To top it off, in November 2011 I was hospitalised and diagnosed with pneumonia, which required even more months of recovery.
I’m now in remission and feeling fit and well.
I currently have follow-up tests every three months and will eventually need more chemo and a bone marrow transplant.
But the most lasting legacy of the whole ordeal is how it changed my feelings about my work.
In the 16 years I sold life insurance, I focused mainly on the financial benefits and security the work provides – being able to pay the mortgage and provide for my family.
But since becoming a claimant myself, I now know it’s about much more than just protecting your financial situation.
It’s about being able to not worry. It’s about peace of mind. That should not be underestimated.
When I claimed, I didn’t need to say to my wife ‘What are we going to do?’, I just needed to focus on overcoming my illness.
In the hours after my diagnosis, we talked about many things, but luckily money wasn’t one of them.
That is what we do for our clients.
We are not protecting their mortgage, we are providing them with the ability to not worry about money at the worst time in their lives.
After I recovered from my health issues I set up a business with my brother, Risk Sales Tools, to help advisers specialising in life insurance and pass on the knowledge our father – a 33-year adviser and genius life salesman – taught us.
In 2014 I went back into the field and established an advice business in north east Victoria.
I am loving being back out there helping others.
As my Dad once told me:
“What a wonderful job we have, at the worst times in people’s lives when everyone else has their hand out for money we come with care and cash.”
Ben Day is a specialist life insurance adviser at Fitzpatrick Financial Services and a director of consultancy Risk Sales Tools.