Company Name: Pacific Benefits Group
About the business: Direct to consumer (individuals and self-employed) sales of health, life and supplemental insurance
Location: Beaverton, OR
Owner: Shane Nichols, Steve Scott and Scott Ballard (Now owned by Fortegra Financial)
Year Founded: 1996
Number of Employees: 50
Website: http://pacificbenefitsgroup.com
Achievement: Doubled earning after taxes from $1MM to $2MM. Recently acquired by Fortegra Financial
E-Myth Program: E-Myth Mastery Program

Double or Nothing

by Shane Nichols

I started my own business for the same reason that you probably did. I was in a business working for someone else, and I knew I could do it better.

Since I worked in insurance, I decided to start an insurance agency that focuses on helping self-employed and individual consumers with their health insurance needs.

Fast forward 13 years. Everyday it felt like I was herding cats. The same thing was happening day in and day out. Between my 2 business partners and I, decisions couldn’t be made, everyone had their own agenda and the business wasn’t truly “owned” by anyone. It was chaos.

So I came up with a solution that made the most sense at the time. I hired an outside person to come in and run the business while my partners and I stepped into the background and into our new role as shareholders.

It was great.

We even got an offer from someone who wanted to buy our company for a decent amount of money.

But then, through a series of unfathomable events that would be better left for another conversation, we found ourselves in a previously unthinkable position: we lost our CEO, 12 of our top employees and the offer for our business.

Like Sarah from the book “E-Myth Revisited,” I found myself back in the business without a “Harry” to run the day-to-day operations. I had to start back at the drawing board and this time I knew I couldn’t do it by myself.

It was around this time that one of my partners introduced me to E-Myth. I didn’t hesitate to join the Mastery Program and worked with my coach for the next 12 months to completely restructure my business.

It’s unbelievable how much changed during that year, and genuinely hard to express in such a short amount of text.

It wasn’t easy: I had to take responsibility for what I learned and had to actually implement it each day.

But once I did, things started to change.

We completely changed our system from using contractors and went to an employee only model. We restructured our entire business offering and doubled our earnings after taxes from $1 million to $2 million. And a year later, on October 1st, 2011 we sold our company for 40% more than our original suitor had offered.

Everything that I was told would happen if I just stuck with it, did.

I’m now set for retirement and have entered a new and exciting game with the company who acquired us. They want me to restructure their systems because of how impressed they were with the company we created.

My business and personal life are completely separated. The business is not “me” anymore, and for the first time I am experiencing a quality of life, peace of mind and sense of direction and control that I would not have thought possible just a few years ago.

This may sound a bit overzealous, but E-Myth played the lead role in getting me to where I am today. Working with my coach wasn’t like working with a normal consultant who just tells you what to do and how to do it. It was more like working with a Kung Fu Instructor who provided introspective insight that actually changed my way of thinking. After several methodical and repetitive lessons, you finally have those AHA moments that help you realize you’re actually heading down a path of learning, rather than receiving Band-Aid fixes.

If there’s one last thing I could leave you with, it’s that when people do a program, they usually take it as “Ok, I get it” but they don’t actually adopt the philosophy. Because I actually implemented the E-Myth philosophy in my business, when executives from the purchasing company talked to even the smallest employees, they were inspired by the responses. That’s the difference in just hearing and understanding what you need to do to change, and actually doing it.

If you have any questions about my experience, I’d love to talk to you about it. You can email me at shanen@pbgnw.com

If parts of this story ring true for you and you’d like to learn more about the E-Myth Mastery Program, and how it can transform the way you do business, Click Here or sign up for a free business consultation from a skilled Program Advisor.


"We restructured our entire business offering and doubled our earnings after taxes from $1 million to $2 million. And a year later, on October 1st, 2011 we sold our company for 40% more than our original suitor had offered.

Everything that I was told would happen if I just stuck with it, did."

— Shane Nichols, Owner of Pacific Benefits Group, a Fortegra Financial Company




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