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Steve Ash - Insuring his Future in Business
by Angela Johnson - Black to Business - Summer 2002 - Number 20

At age 14, Steve Ash's mother asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He answered, 'A weatherman or in business for myself.' It would be several years before he realized one of those dreams.

After graduating from High School, Steve enrolled in a typing course and studied advanced accounting. His first job was keeping the books for a housing development organization in Halifax. Following this, Steve had the obligatory casual positions.

In 1983, he was holding down two jobs, one as a Front Desk Clerk Trainee at a local hotel, the other, a Counselor for the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. He says he didn't see a future at either job, particularly the children's home, "I didn't have a Child Care or Social Work degree, so I knew I wouldn't go far there", he explains.

But it was there that the seeds of his future career were planted. A friend of the family introduced him to the insurance business and Steve was intrigued enough to do his own research on the subject. While working his two jobs, Steve studied the insurance material and other insurance criteria. After passing the appropriate insurance examinations in 1984, Steve quit his jobs, obtained his license to sell insurance and signed a contract to be an agent with Trans America Occidental Life Insurance Company. When Steve informed friends and family of his new career decision, several asked him, "Why do you want to do this? If you don't sell any contracts, you won't make any money!" To this he replied, "I'm good witht people and I believe in myself!"

But starting out wasn't easy. Steve, literally had a long road ahead of him and he didn't even own a car. "I would rent a car every week for four days, from Budget-Rent-A-Car for $69.00 and would travel to the Annapolis Valley, selling policy after policy", he remembers. Prospecting in those days, meant pounding the pavement, looking for new clients door to door as well as preparing a direct mail list to both local businesses and residential homeowners. This process was repeated on a semi-monthly basis. After three more years, Steve knew he made it over the hump.

Steve is now a licensed Broker, selling insurance products for several companies with products that include, Life Insurance, Disability Coverage, Group Insurance Benefits and Segregated Funds, to name a few.

Since June 22, 1989, Steve has had a partner, and re-located the business several times. An established business owner, with a strong client base, Steve says, "I don't take my clients for granted!" He still spends a considerable amount of time on the road, but now it's more about maintaining his current clients and prospecting for new ones. These days, Steve relies mostly on referrals and word of mouth.

Steve incorporated B&A Associates Insurance Agency Limited in 1989. Since February 1, 1992 Steve has run the business single handedly occasionally hiring part-time help. He says, "the insurance business has been very good to me" and plans for the future involve another office move and possibly obtaining a CFP - Certified Financial Planner designation.