Friday the thirteenth is not always an unlucky day. Three years ago my life changed on that day. While I can say today that it was for the better, during that moment in time feelings of confusion, fear and anger where off the charts for me. I remember my thoughts that day exactly. I had a bit of a crisis situation going on in my mind thinking: I have given a quarter of a century to this business, this industry and what do I have to show for it?!

During my drive home, my 24 years in our employee benefits business kept replaying through my mind like a movie, a good movie (sometimes rated G and lots of R ratings too). Family, friends, colleagues, clients, meetings, trips, deals — it seemed liked I remembered every moment in time.

As I pulled into my driveway, however, I realized I was actually in a good place. And three weeks later — after talking to Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers’ staff including Rick Guerrini, Bob Klonk, Mike Paschke, Bob Neil and others — I was in a great place. I knew, without a doubt, I wasn’t only going to be okay, I was going to be better, much better!

If you have gone through a life change you know what I mean when I say that you know who your friends are and I will never forget who you are.

Let me make a blanket statement, something I am really good at: Our industry is amazing — those of us who live it, breathe it, bleed it and believe in it. We are special people, caring people and most of all we take care of each other, our clients and our communities. We are family and those who are not in the benefits business have a hard time understanding how our lives (family, friends, work, clients, prospects and networking) all blend together. I think this is something that really makes us different. We are about feelings and emotions. Unlike the P&C folks, we protect health, lives and income, so it’s hard not to make this personal with our prospects, clients and colleagues.

So today I asked myself, after 27 years in this business, what do I have to show for it? I have you, my clients, memories, friends and family. I am so blessed and grateful. Thank you all! I came in and I have stayed for 27 years … because of you. 

I love our business, I love being an employee benefit adviser and I will do anything to help you and our Industry to keep it moving forward, move it along and advance it. We are all blessed to be part of the employee benefits community! 

So on the third anniversary of my life change lets all reflect, toast and be thankful for being on the same team!  

Daboul is vice president national accounts at Employee Family Protection, Inc. Reach him at (800) 229-5129 or

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