More than 25 years ago, Justin Costa met a man who was opening insurance agencies in south Florida. He wanted to get involved because he saw an opportunity to learn a new business. He soon discovered that while he enjoyed insurance, what he liked even more was the challenge of building a business from scratch.
Justin describes his career as a series of defining moments when he's had to make ethical and moral decisions. 'These decisions helped define me as a person. They may have cost me a lot of money over the years, but I can surely get up and look myself in the mirror every morning.'
From his time as an agent to now on the technology side, Justin likes the insurance industry because he's always felt like he's helping others. I talked with Justin about his journey in the industry. This is the way Justin Costa works.
Flower Mound, Texas
Carrier Business Development Director
One word that describes how you like to work.
To be challenged. And challenged I am for sure. I love it.
Current mobile device:
Samsung Note 5
Accomplishments you're proud of:
I'm proud that I've successfully worked for others and also had the experience of starting a company and have worked for myself as an owner. Both have pros and cons. But having built your own company, you then garner a lot more respect towards others whom you may work with or for in the future.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Personally: To continue to raise my children to be the best and most productive young adults that they can be.
Career: Continue to improve and evolve the product offerings that I represent at ITC
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?
My wife's not a gadget, but I surely can't live without her. But, when it comes to living without gadgets, I'll adapt. There really isn't one I can't live without. We have a mess of things in our lives now that I didn't have as a child, and I was happy. So I would adapt to be happy again... without.
What's the most recent app you've downloaded but have yet to use?
None. I eliminate apps I don't use unless they just came with the OS.
Describe your workspace.
For me, it is a very diverse place that have all kinds of great people with different life stories and experiences. A lot of good and interesting people at ITC, if you take time to chat with them.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Up with the children at 6 a.m. Take them to school and then into the office and back home 'sometime' in the evening.
How do you manage your to-do list?
My to-do list is very, very fluid. It can change daily or at a moment's notice. Requests for meetings or contract negotiations can randomly come in at any moment.
What's your best time-saving tip or hack?
Just say no.
What is your best everyday habit?
Kiss my wife.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Maintaining ITC's relationships in the industry.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
How can I help?
What do you listen to while working?
Wow, that varies according to the mood I'm in. It can be rock, classical, jazz or big band.
What are you currently reading?
When I have the interest and time, which is rare. But right now I'm trying to dig into Mike Greenberg's 'Why My Wife Thinks I'm An Idiot.' This is unique for me because typically I spend time reading informational or informative books or online information. Not fiction or stories. I'm kind of odd that way.
How do you decompress?
Stay home and be my wife and children. That is where I am happiest.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
Heck, I don't know. My wife chooses all of that. I just go with the flow.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Cold mornings. Especially snowy ones, which, unfortunately, are rare in north Texas. I love them. I enjoy working around the house on cold mornings.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Always be honest regardless of consequences.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
Mario Lemieux, former hockey player and current owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins; Robert Kraft, CEO of the New England Patriots; or John Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Aaron Gander of Stalwart Insurance and Sean Willoughby-Ray of Scott Insurance.
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.
About the Author
As senior vice president of sales and marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s sales and marketing departments. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and driving the overall company sales and marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder