James Brummett got his start in the insurance industry after reading an interview with insurance agency owner Phil Kessler in the Kansas City Star newspaper in 1989.
“Phil’s motto was, ‘Get out there and replace the business you lost yesterday!’” said Brummett. “And the rest is history.”
Brummett was convinced. He quickly obtained his property casualty and life and health licenses and joined Kessler’s agency. He has been working in the industry ever since.
“A key change in the trajectory of my career was leaving my job as an employee of an agency to start my own agency.”
Brummett said the decision to leave and strike out on his own was a difficult and scary one at the time.
“I was leaving an employer, Mike Klehr, who was also a good friend and mentor.” Said Brummett. “I wanted to start my own agency and did so with Dominic Duchene. We have watched our agency grow year after year!”
When asked what he enjoys most about working in the insurance industry, Brummett says “Things are always changing and it is fast paced.”
This is the way James Brummett of Auto Insurance Discounters works.
Kansas City, Missouri
Our agency is Auto Insurance Discounters and we have three locations in the Kansas City metro area. We have been working and growing the agency for 18 years.
One word that describes how you like to work.
Fast! I used to have a Fitbit, and I get way over 10,000 steps daily because I like to stay up and moving.
Current mobile device:
I currently have an iPhone SE. I’ve been told by my family that this isn’t a cool device, but it works for me!
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
We are currently working on growing and expanding the agency.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
I was nominated and received a Volunteer of the Year award with Hillcrest Ministries (supporting homeless families to self-sufficiency in 90 days). The award was a total surprise and I received it at the Hillcrest charity dinner with family and friends in attendance.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
To grow through new technology and expand the agency. There is so much companies can do to maintain a strong presence on the internet.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Technology and keeping up with it.
What do you like most about your job?
We have a great team at our agency and they make each day fun and exciting.
What technology, apps or tools can’t you live without?
I use my computer and iPhone every day, but I’m happy to set all technology, apps and tools aside when the work day is done.
Describe your workspace.
My office is filled with sport memorabilia and tons of papers! I have a large framed poster of Muhammed Ali, a collection of opening day baseballs from Royals games, and a few autographed Chiefs photos.
How do you manage your to-do list?
I go over my to-do list every morning at my desk and reprioritize what needs to get done that day.
What do you do when you finish a project?
I look forward and see what else needs to be done. If a project is done it’s time to start a new one!
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
Always make coffee. Coffee in the morning is a must!
What’s your best everyday habit?
Praying in the morning and having my V8
What do you listen to while working?
I listen to a local radio station called KTBG The Bridge (90.9). It is listener-supported and features local artists. I’m always hearing something new on this station and it keeps me listening.
Coffee or tea?
No question – Coffee
Night owl or morning person?
Morning – Get up and get moving!
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
How do you decompress?
Going on a boat ride on our pontoon boat at Longview Lake. I also like yard work – Mowing at home or our church yard.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I arrive at work around 7:30 a.m. then make coffee for the office and review my to-do list. I help customers in the office and usually go visit with car lots and other contacts to support and grow our business.
Who are your business idols and why?
A former boss, friend and mentor, Bob Maines of KC Life, taught me the importance of hard work, but to also enjoy life. I keep in contact with Bob and meet him at Knuckleheads periodically to enjoy live music.
Another former boss and good friend, Mike Klehr, taught me by example to “Work hard and play hard.”
My uncle, Laurence Pressly, is 88 years young and still working as a realtor. He has had an extensive career in business and service. He is a role model for how to live my life.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
“Today’s the day!” I borrowed this moto from the famous treasure hunter, Mel Fischer, who found a large Spanish treasure at sea in 1985. I liked this motto so much we named our pontoon boat Today’s The Day!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If someone is insisting on paying for something (like dinner) – Respect them and let them.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
Mark Cuban – I love to watch Shark Tank and it would be fun to be a Shark.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Larry Klehr with Key Insurance