Hogan O’Dowda, WPA Healthcare Practice plc
Hogan is one of the youngest people I know to be running their own business. After completing his business studies at university and in his very early twenties, he rejected the graduate job route, striving instead for self-employment and franchise ownership.
During his final year of study, Hogan started looking at his options. WPA offered the opportunity to be different through non-profit, but also structured, in that they franchise their advising teams for a genuinely personal approach to health insurance and care. Hogan bought into the ideal that clients should be able to ask all the questions and have them answered at any point in the process.
Hogan has been my client for almost a year now, so he was happy to chat with a member of my team and share his experience of my one-to-one business mentoring.
Hogan, how did you find WPA and why on earth did you start a business at 21?!
“I knew I wanted my own business but didn’t know it would happen as quick as it did. I was fresh out of uni and feeling like a high-risk option for business ownership because of my age, but I had no financial commitments at home and a strong desire to avoid the corporate lifestyle.
With no real-life experience of business, I thought I had to get really good at something and then build my business around that, but WPA fast tracked me on my dream.
It instantly felt right; the way they spoke to me, their honesty, their support. It felt a very genuine company.
The journey has been interesting because my knowledge at the start was zero and WPA taught me everything. I’m still learning and believe it’s vital that this is a part of my life. WPA helped me grow my confidence. I like to be hot on the facts and be informed before going in to any scenario.”
So, you embrace learning and you’re not scared of putting the hours in to be an expert in the services and benefits of WPA, but how did you identify that you needed a business mentor?
“I was so focused on learning my products, being compliant and customer relationships, that I knew everything I thought I needed to know, except how to run my own business: the sales process, lead generation, analytical mindsets, data analysis…
What was it that made you pick up the phone to Mike?
“I needed a consistent process to follow, to understand where I could improve.
I wasn’t sure how to react when someone came to me saying, ‘Hello, I need health insurance’. What should be my first step and how should I record the journey and measure the effectiveness? For example, at what point did someone’s interest drop off and why? How could I mitigate that?”
Tell me about the steps you worked through and what stage you’re at now with your business.
“The thing with Mike is that he essentially lets me run my own agenda. We initially looked at the sales process, which I wanted to learn about. There were no tools and strict agendas, it was fluid, and the direction was guided by my needs. I was given the task of writing down the things I was doing with each customer, so it was plain to see. We then got to analyse that and refine it.
Mike asks me lots of questions, but never pushes me too far into self-analysis, recognising when I need him to give me the answers.
I’ve been working with Mike for 11 months now. I was really hot on my product knowledge, but I just lacked the business persona. I’m significantly more confident in my processes these days but I know there is always work to be done!”
And finally, in as few words as possible, can you summarise how Mike has been the biggest help?
“I trust Mike. I know I can phone him up and say, ‘I want to find a large corporate client’ and he’ll tell me what has worked in the past and that I won’t be spending a lot of time answering questions about why I want to add or change something.
He’s straight forward and a valuable sense-checker.”
And one of my favourite questions is, what do you like to read?
“I like to listen rather than read – ‘12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson’, is really good. It makes me question why I act the way I do and how I can be a better person. I’m at the part which talks about parenting now, which is interesting even though I’m not a parent.”
Ask for a complimentary mentoring session
Hogan chose me to mentor him through his first years of business in the question of ‘what to do next’. He draws on my experience to advance his own, and to help him understand what it is he doesn’t know that he needs to.
As a result of working together I have felt no small amount of pride in watching him grow and succeed, building his client base to 35 clients. If you’re not sure if you need a business mentor, or whether we’d be the right fit, I offer a free one-hour session. Simply click the button and select a date and time that suits you.