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Dawn Trent: A Health Insurance Agent Reflects on the Importance of Honesty

Most people are content with one successful career. But then there are those for whom the next challenge holds special allure, for whom one risen star isn’t enough. That’s Dawn Trent. After becoming one of Dave Ramsey Ministries’ top salespeople, she knew she wanted to make a difference in another avenue – health insurance. The change was a big one, but timely. “I didn’t see the longevity of that lasting forever. I was thinking, ‘I’m in my late forties. What am I going to do when I grow up?’” She figured it out. 

Dawn Trent has operated in Nashville, Tennessee since October 2017 and is licensed in 23 states. “Health insurance is a big money pit,” she says. “There’s a need for people to be helped in this area from someone who’s honest. People don’t know what they’re getting. No one educates them. It’s a big deal.” She makes sure that what they pay for is what they need. “It’s like a car,” she says. “the older you get, the more likely you are to break down.” Dawn helps her clients mitigate the risk of those breakdowns.

Of course, all of her clients want to save money, but she gets to know a lot of them well in the process. “The people I talk to are anywhere from eighteen to 64. The biggest demographic I work with are people who are self-employed, people not eligible for a subsidy on Obamacare. There’s a lot of people now who have to self-insure. They have to figure it out on their own–families, individuals, small businesses. A lot of jobs have stopped offering health insurance.”  

Health insurance has become more and more complex and Dawn helps her clients navigate what can sometimes be rocky waters.  “It’s all about asking the right questions. Like, ‘Do you have critical illness that runs in your family? And how important is it to you, if you get a critical illness, to have a lump sum payment?’ I let them decide that, but then remind them that, if they do come down with a  critical illness, they might not be working for a couple of months. Are you going to be OK with that?’ You kind of help them think about it.” And the system works for us both. “It’s not rare that I can save someone at least a few hundred dollars a month.”

Of course, saving money and getting what they pay for makes her customers happy, but something more is going on, too. Dawn reaches her clients on more than one level.  “I’ve had people on the phone just weeping with me about life, sometimes even asking me if I would pray with them. I love that part.”

Of course, all this has to work with her home life. A wife and mother of four children, Dawn has learned how not to allow her business to shortchange her family. “I calendar everything. I schedule family time and work time. I work really, really hard, but when it’s play time, I’m gonna play.

You know how it is when you start something…it can just consume you and take all your hours. I have a map of life that helps me stay true to what I want to do. I know which day I should do bills or laundry. It helps me get into a rhythm that’s healthier.” 

Photography by Rebecca Supalla

Dawn is soon moving her home and business to nearby Fairview and, characteristically, she is looking forward to the change. “The Nashville area is saturated with agents like me. Once we get over there, I want to get involved with the chamber. Everybody’s been super friendly and I network a lot. The guys who do auto/home/life don’t do health insurance and they refer people to me. We expect to be there in the fall and we’re so excited. I’m excited for the next stage of life.”

Finding the balance between past and present, work and family, leaves Dawn free to be successful on both fronts. She knows clearly who she wants to be through her admiration for the people closest to her. “I look up to my husband—he’s such a good person and he loves people so well. It’s so genuine and he’s so great. And I look up to my dad because he lives what he believes. I like people who stand up.”

Dawn’s partnership with Northgate came at just the right time. “I know that social media is a great reach, but I have no passion for it, no desire to learn it. It’s been this thing in the back of my mind—it nags me all the time. I feel like my business could be so much better if I just had a clue here. It’s good that I can delegate it to somebody and it can bless both them and me.” So far, Dawn says her new social media face represents her well. “My girls say, ‘Mom, your Instagram is so cute.’ It’s awesome. It totally reflects me. What David and his team wrote and the pictures…they get a good sense of me.”

Now Dawn likes what she sees, the future looks bright, and she knows where to aim her efforts.   Even with all she has accomplished, the most important thing in her life is “what Christ wants me to do. I want to make sure I’m in His will. If you have peace vertically, the whole world around you can look pretty awful but that’s all that really matters.” In the end, she says all she needs to do is to “Stay put and be patient.” For a woman like Dawn, that’s a tall order.

About the author

JoAnne Potter, a freelance writer for nearly 40 years, bakes bread and makes wine in Southwestern Wisconsin.

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