Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our EDTP Graduate- Delores Corbett

Posted on 10/23/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Delores Corbett is the owner and CEO of Secure Benefits Group LLC, which offers services to employers who need the best group insurance plans for their employees, as well as, seniors who need assistance understanding and purchasing Medicare plans. She is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with Delores Corbett to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Yes, entrepreneurship is extremely challenging. It literally means that you work, plot, and plan nearly 24 hours a day because you alone are ultimately responsible for every aspect of your business. Your livelihood depends on your willingness and ability to constantly convert a series of key daily activities into successful business transactions. There are no paid sick or vacation days; nor is there a matching 401k retirement plan.

However, I have found that entrepreneurship can be extremely rewarding as it is both liberating and empowering to invest your time and talent into working for yourself, rather than allowing others to use your talent to fulfill their business goals. Depending on the circumstances, this can feel like an unequal exchange. However, taking the leap to go it alone takes remarkable faith and courage. Being an entrepreneur may come with a few detours and obstacles; however, I have learned to embrace the concepts of failure and success with an understanding that neither truly define me. It can be difficult, but I practice placing setbacks in the proper perspective understanding that failures serve to sharpen wisdom and strengthen resolve. Any measure of success that follows a setback, is simply a byproduct of the growth gained from a seeming failure. I once read a quote from a businesswoman, which in part stated, “Failure is a powerless concept, as long as I fight for a righteous cause.” I love this quote because it reminds me to keep things in perspective.

As I reflect on it, I believe I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit because of a yearning to be in control of my time and income. In my early twenties, I embarked on a number of business ventures, including qualifying for the Chick-fil-A Business Internship Program where I was slated to be one of the famous franchise’s youngest franchisees. That venture was ultimately unfulfilled, however, I continued to invest in businesses for a number of years as I developed my career as a human resources (HR) professional. I was led to become a full time business owner following a personal loss in 2010.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

After working in HR management for several years, I reached a personal and professional crossroads when my mother passed unexpectedly. Needless to say, I was not prepared for the devastating emotional impact of losing my mother. In addition to being sidelined emotionally, my mother’s passing took a huge financial toll as well. I found myself unable to work while being solely responsible for fulfilling her last wishes. Unfortunately, my mother did not have adequate life insurance. Like many, she was the victim of a greedy, unscrupulous insurance agent who preyed upon the poor and elderly in the black community by selling them overpriced, virtually worthless burial insurance plans. As a result, the expense of her funeral and burial fell on me.

I was outraged at how unscrupulous insurance agents could mislead and rob vulnerable consumers. These unethical practices not only rob consumers and families of their hard-earned money but also of the dignity, respect and peace of mind that comes with having proper insurance when a loved one passes. My anger led me to further educate myself on life insurance and its power to offer families financial freedom and choice. I became a passionate advocate for educating others on the importance of life insurance. In 2013, I decided to combine my twenty years of knowledge and experience with employer benefits, senior Medicare products, and life insurance into a new career as an independent licensed agent, and I launched Secure Benefits Group, LLC.

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

The EDTP is designed to ensure business success. I found it to be a highly valuable, yet an intense undertaking that forced me to thoroughly examine my competency and capacity to become an entrepreneur. EDTP teaches students to be realistic rather than idealistic about embarking into business. I learned two important lessons. The first was to identify and understand your target market/customer. The second lesson was learning the importance of measuring the expenditure of my time spent cultivating business versus the financial return, especially in consultative sales. EDTP taught me exactly how to quantify the old adage, “Time is Money.” This was big for me because my passion to help others often outweighed practical business decisions and I lost the precious resource of time. Admittedly, there are times that I continue to struggle in this area because I am truly an advocate at heart.

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

My business journey has been challenging at times as it took a while to find footing and gain a reputation as a high caliber broker in the competitive, ever-changing insurance industry. There are times when the constant chase for new business and the ongoing need to maintain existing customers, can be exhausting. It took time to become consistently profitable and, to remain so, involves constant networking and marketing. That said, I would say that one of my shortcomings has been a slow and reluctant entry into social media.

Success occurred when I began more strategic marketing efforts to target customers of seniors and their families who need planning for Medicare benefits and small to mid-size businesses that offer employee benefits.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

Today, Secure Benefits Group, LLC is stable and continues to enjoy growth with our Medicare & Senior Services. However, we are seeking growth opportunities with small to mid-size employers to help them offer the best group insurance plans and ancillary benefits to their employees.

(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future- (or existing) entrepreneurs?

I would simply tell aspiring entrepreneurs that they will need to be prepared to work much harder as a business owner and operator than they ever would as an employee for another business. I would also advise them to fully consider and explore with LAEDA what it would take to scale their business model for future growth and profit. This is key and can be challenging for some service driven businesses.

Congratulations to Delores Corbett for completing EDTP and recommitting to her journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Her company, Secure Benefits Group, LLC was founded in 2013 in Eastampton, New Jersey. Secure Benefit’s mission is to provide outstanding service to everyone - whether you are protecting your family or business family, it help you find the right insurance for your specific needs. Call today for a FREE consultation at (800) 551-1595. Services include:

• Medicare Supplements
• Medicare Advantage Plans
• Life Insurance
• Final Expense Plans
• Long Term Care Coverage
• Employer/Group Health, Life and Ancillary Benefits

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com.