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Hard Times Make Great Leaders

coaching entreprenuer leadership restoration small business Nov 22, 2022

 Hard Times Make Great Leaders

Fatigue and Burnout from Fighting to Get Paid by the Insurance Companies?

I want to talk about something that I believe many of you will resonate with and relate to. 

I speak to a lot of people in restoration and remediation with small and big companies. And a prevalent theme that I'm seeing is fatigue from the fight of trying to get paid by the insurance companies.

Unless you have been in hibernation for the last decade, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the insurance processes and procedures have become harder over time. It’s like year after year and job after job, the same thing happens and it’s causing a lot of people to get tired and burn out. 

Check out this weeks episode of Disaster Podcaster 

Video Version

Audio Version


Take Time to Rest and Work on Things

Every year, I take one week and go to a pretty remote area of Montana. It's a humble place.

I go there with the pure intention of disconnecting myself from the fast-paced world, working on myself where I'm currently at in my headspace, and making a plan for next year.

In fact, I'm either working on a new business, or I'm working on improving or growing one that already exists. 

You know what? That's hard to do on the battlefield. 

It’s hard to do when you are in the middle of your hectic schedule, attending meetings, answering calls and emails, preparing presentations, and whatnot. 

Consequently, I’ve come to realize the importance of knowing when it's time to rest and time to shut down and go away and work on things. 

Well, that's what I did. 

The results from my week away usually set the outcome of my actions for the next year. 

If you want a tip, come back with a list. Two columns. 

One of what I WILL DO. Habits, tasks, etc. 

The other of what I WILL NOT. Bad habits, time wastes and harmful to my mindset. 

Try and Explore New Things

I've had one of the hardest years of my life. I pushed it through and overcame it. In fact, I can consider it one of the best years of my business so far. We tried some new things and they almost all paid off! 

As a result, we were given a lot more opportunities and a lot more visibility of our success in what we do. 

Currently I own Restoration Advisers. 

I also have a new company called CATX. You'll be hearing more about it in the future. It's going to be all around commercial divisions in your company doing catastrophe work. Training as well as consultant support. 

Fatigue and Burnout

I’ve seen so many people out there who talk about fatigue and burnout. These people are professionals who have invested a lot of money into their own personal development in this space, attended lots of shows and conventions, joined many networks with colleagues and friends, and even taken different courses for business growth and development. 

As you can see, obviously, there's just been so much investment to build something. 

However, when your journey gets tough along the way, you tend to see and hear any manifestation of negativity on a daily basis. 

Then, over time, you may almost convince yourself that everything never gets better.
Hopelessness sinks in. 

Moreover, you're getting burned out because you take it personally. When the insurance company or adjuster calls and cuts your bill and tells you they're not going to pay the homeowner who keeps his check, you take it personally and run out of answers.

You might be thinking that they're robbing you. 

But they're not doing it to you as a person. It’s a process. Nothing more. 

In addition, if you've ever listened to me speak before, you'll hear me say that only 8% of the people in this industry deserve a really good title of being called professional and excellent. 

Make sure you tune into Disaster Podcaster in December. I will be doing a Four (4) part series on what earnes you a title of PROFFESSIONAL

Some people tell me that the percentage is too high, which really worries me. But when I say that, it doesn't mean that there's not another 40% who are trying, and that is the reason why I do what I do.

However,  I'm noticing that the 8% dwindles and this means a lot of things. 

Everything you do, you are being watched. 

Your staff, 

Your team, 

Your company 

The Industry are watching you as a leader. 

So when you get into that space where you want to fight the insurance company, you tend to forget that you're there to serve a customer. Make sure you keep that navigational beacon front and center. 

I know it's necessary. I get it. But it's consuming people.It is consuming YOU.

Getting Paid By the Insurance Company

We get calls from people and clients who ask how the insurance company pays them.

GUESS WHAT? Insurance Companies don’t pay you.
The may send the check to you with approval from the client….but the policy and your contract are ALWAYS with your client. 

I know how it feels and I know the industry has TRAINED everyone this way. 

So if you are pursuing payment from the insurance company, you're doing it wrong. 

You work for a customer. 

You work for a consumer. 

And these people purchased a risk insurance policy in case they had a loss or tragedy of their home. 

And that insurance company is expected to reimburse them for what's fair and reasonable. That's the phrase they use and we should repeat that. It is fair and reasonable to set your rates and charge the same thing each and every time. Then you have a process. 

But we know how most of these insurance companies work. We are all aware of the delay in the entire process and procedures. 

These companies know the power they yield. 

Guess what? As an industry, we know our rights and everything we’re entitled to. 

Let’s help teach the public. 

I'm teaching onboarding classes. Check with me and get signed up for the next version of our Client Onboarding. Get in front of your clients, and onboard them to know that they are in charge, that they are the one that owe you, but they should also be holding their insurance company accountable to pay them and reimburse them.  

Teaching By Modeling

As a  business owner, you need to be aware of how you openly talk to other professionals.

Don’t forget that your staff and the other employees who are under your supervision can see what you’re doing. They can hear the tone of your voice, the demeanor you show to the people you talk to, and the way you handle the conversation. 

So as a leader, the best way to teach your team to become as good leaders as you is by modeling. They might talk to other professionals like the people working in insurance companies. 

Hence, if there’s a need to talk to these people, please do it properly and professionally, especially if you’re in front of your team or employees. 

Keep in mind that adjusters are not your enemies. They're just doing their job. So let's stop taking it personally. 

Let's shift our focus to the clients and let's help them through their losses. 

Identify the Right Customer

In my onboarding class, the most important thing that you should do is to learn the best strategies that will help you identify your customers. You can ask these questions to yourself to guide you with your search. 

  • Is this a customer that needs the service I have? 
  • Do they value the quality that I do? 
  • Will they agree to the prices that I charge?
  • When they sign a contract, will they fight for themselves to get reimbursed? 
  • If their insurance company does treat them horribly, will they own up to their obligation and pay you the difference and fight their insurance company? 


If the answers to these questions are no, walk away. I know it’s hard but that’s the best thing you can do. 

Walk away and find someone else who is best in what you offer.  

Seeing my peers and friends feel like this bothers me. 

These are the same people who joined me in the industry events and worked in our industry as a tribe. They're less available for that when they're burnt out. 

They don’t have the capacity and ran out of passion and dedication to what they do. As a result, they're hurting their own staff and the growth of their people knowing that they're following a leader. 

Just remember these things:

  • When you are slandered by anyone (yes, it happens), just remember the positive reviews you have as validation that you help the community. 
  • Look at your estimating/ scoping practices and make sure you are actually being fair and reasonable. All companies need to cover their costs and make a profit…..but remember you are in this for the long haul. 
  • Learn your numbers. Know what your costs and corporate overhead are. Find a system that helps you identify job costs. 
  • Always train. Improve. Doing great work isn’t cheap and it’s easy to stand apart when you are 100x better than your competition. 


You're not the bad guy. Keep that front and center. 

But when they're trying to talk bad about you, and accusing you of being unprofessional….ask what makes them say that.
A properly on-boarded client will already clearly see your pedigree. 

So if your passion is not in what you do now anymore, I certainly think you should be looking for an exit strategy. 

But if your passion still is intact and you feel your company is worth fighting for, let's work on this together. 

You and me - let's continue to do what you love and find the best resolution possible. 

Reach out to us at and let’s take the industry and your company back. 


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