Milestones… Celebration… Success… Growth

Milestones, they give us a reason to celebrate, reflect, sharpen the saw…and did I say celebrate?!?  2021 marks our 12-year anniversary as a company (thank you for keeping score LinkedIn) and to be honest, I had no idea.  From the beginning, it’s always been about the work; finding it and doing it at a high level.  In fact, since embarking on this journey “number of years in business” has never a part of our thought process.  It took a random electronic notification to get me to pause and reflect a bit…I’ve got an abundance of gratitude flowing through my veins today and you can bet we will celebrate, we will reflect and we’ll no doubt sharpen the saw.

Celebration…that’s a word to unpack.  Done differently by everyone, very personal, achieved, avoided THE ultimate crescendo.  Celebrating success is important…so I’ve been told…and is something that hopefully comes better with age because we are not very good at this as a group.  OK, that’s a complete fabrication.  Said in a different way, I’m not very good at celebrating as a leader.  It makes me uncomfortable because celebration tends to follow an event that’s over/complete/done/finished and I never have felt that the mission is complete.  From the beginning, my focus has always been on the mission; :  survive & advance.  It’s taken 12 years and a reminder from LinkedIn to look up and look around – the view’s not bad.  I’m proud of what we’re building here as a team.  We have an identity, we have values (Genuine, Honest, Trustworthy, Reliable, Fun) that have become part of our DNA, we’re a tribe of insurance nerds who want to be better tomorrow than what we were today and I’d take this crew into battle any day of the week.  So, while we’re still hard at work building, improving, advancing…this makes me want to celebrate. 

Success…another word to unpack.  Defined differently by everyone, very personal, achieved, avoided, THE ultimate milestone.  It’s also my favorite 7 letter word 😊.  Companies can be in the same industry, in the same town, chasing the same customers and all define success in completely different ways.  Achievement is in the eye of the beholder.  The process of defining success is my favorite part of being an entrepreneur!   This is where we get to dream and ask big questions…if God gave us a magic wand…any process beginning with this statement is one that I need to be a part of in some capacity.

What do we want to be as a company in the next several years? 

What do we have to do in the next year to bring us closer to each one of those dreams? 

What can we do today to make this a reality? 

I love everything about the planning process.  I love crossing things off “the list”!

Even in the beginning, this planning, defining has been a part of our culture.  Although, early on, defining success was a much simpler process and in the micro looked something akin to:  Close a deal. Every week.   Our more sophisticated, long term outlook resembled:  Year 1 = Survive.  Year 2 = Survive.  Year 3 = Scale.  Year 4 = This might actually work, but Survive.  Year 5 = Survive…while we celebrated each of these milestones, those first few years were lean.

To be very clear, we’ve got a long way to go to realize our own definitions of this word and this isn’t meant to be a dialogue about how we’ve made it…not at all…close—not yet—we’ve got growing to do!

Growth.  The final word to unpack.  Low hanging fruit when discussing growth always points to business metrics; revenue, profit, human capital…not today.  This is personal.  Growth in terms of, being a different human today than the day this journey began.  While this was not the goal (at least I didn’t think) it has become the critical part of the trek and the discovery process in any personal relationship is always the best part.  Learning about people, where they come from, how they started their business, why they started their business, white or wheat, etc. it’s all interesting and I’ve always been genuinely curious about people in general.  Getting better acquainted with the man in the mirror, now that was a surprise and is bound to be an ongoing discovery.   I’m seeking to understand if this was the plan all along, growing personally.  While the intention and mission was to grow a business, something bigger and better is happening along the way…wait, the intention wasn’t to learn something, this was about winning…right?  😊   Maybe understanding blind spots is a more appropriate conversation to have some day.  Like many people, I’m surrounded by a strong inner circle of high performers who vibrate at a different frequency…this is the tribe who have helped me in this discovery process.  Much gratitude!


There is still much work to be done.  We are bound to get better along the way; survive & advance.  This is how God made us and my promise going forward is to stop and look around more often, celebrate a little more and let the world know how grateful I am.

The international free database tells me an average blog post consists of between 1000-1500 words and tradition tells me the appropriate gift to celebrate 12 years is silk…as a child of the ‘90s this warms my heart and I’ll be unpacking my a-gamer from 1994 to celebrate in style tonight!

Here’s to much success!  Cheers!


Joey Hinke


Books that have changed the game for me personally and my business:


The Secret (Rhonda Byrne) – 6 months after reading this book, I started this business

Traction (Gino Wickman) – game changer for MFH and our Leadership Team (thanks Todd)

Predictable Success (Les McKeown) – helped put a fine point on our progression as a company

Relentless (Tim Grover) – just a great book…read it

Legendary (Tommy Breedlove) – practical action items that move the needle

The Greatest Secret (Rhonda Byrne) – this is a deep dive into spiritual awareness