Team Layr: TJ in Customer Success
By Margaret Manning | 09/25/2020
Before he joined Layr in late 2019, TJ worked on the traditional side of the insurance industry. His wealth of insurance knowledge and experience makes him the reliable go-to for customers and Layr teammates alike. TJ builds #BetterBusinessInsurance by tirelessly ensuring every customer gets the coverage they need and their questions about their policies are answered. On the backend, TJ the working dad blesses our team with guest appearances from his littlest coworkers.
Life at Layr Customer Success
Q: What convinced you to take your job at Layr?
A: The belief that I can be a part of something awesome…in insurance!
Q: What does a day “in the office” look like?
A: A family affair.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Layr, like many other small businesses, has altered operations. My working wife and I navigate the home office dynamic with newborn in the mix!
Q: What is the biggest victory or aha! moment you’ve had in your role since joining Layr?
A: Getting $5 million in series seed funding.
It’s crazy that 0.05 percent of startups get venture funding, but Layr did it! Closing the funding round successfully was a huge confirmation of the hard work and effort our team has put in to grow and develop Layr.
“According to data compiled by Fundable, only 0.91 percent of startups are funded by angel investors, while a measly 0.05 percent are funded by VCs. In contrast, 57 percent of startups are funded by personal loans and credit, while 38 percent receive funding from family and friends.”
>Sourced from Entrepreneur.com
Q: What’s the greatest challenge you’re still trying to overcome or solve at Layr?
A: The complexity of the insurance industry.
Each and every day, I’m challenged by the nuances, peculiarities, and complexities of matching unique businesses with the right insurance for their needs.
Q: What is the most surprising or interesting thing you’ve learned about insurance since joining Team Layr?
A: How simple getting covered has become.
When I was an agent in Ohio, insurance carriers were just coming out with their rating platforms and it was a much slower process. With updates in technology and super-smart people behind the scenes here, our site at Layr makes it so easy for a business owner to get great insurance for their small business–in most cases the same day!
Seeing ? is believing–see a tailored quote in about 10 minutes when you start our online proposal.
question_answer TJ on Background
Before he joined Team Layr, TJ earned his insurance stripes with deep experience in the more conventional side of the industry. When we asked TJ to share some of his takeaways before jumping into startup #withLayr, he credits his experience in the traditional world of insurance with grounding his drive to innovate it. “Working from both the carrier and agency side of insurance has given me a broad perspective on how a successful agency should be run and what to avoid to prevent failure,” said TJ.
[customer_quote quote=”Don’t think ‘if’, think ‘when’.”]
When it came to actually take the leap from traditional insurance to insurtech TJ was motivated by the desire to be a part of a team where he could affect change. “I was tired of working for the big, corporate insurance carrier who didn’t have much time to listen to the ideas of their individual employees,” he admitted.
As a startup, we’re in the business of growth, and we believe that open idea-sharing is what facilitates development and improvement. Ensuring that each team member has an affective voice is part of how we continue to move the needle and accelerate innovation.
Now that TJ is waist-deep in startup life, we were curious to know how he goes about surviving the rollercoaster of triumphs, setbacks, uncertainties, and surprises that are part-and-parcel of the startup experience. TJ’s words of wisdom were short and sweet: “Don’t think ‘if’, think ‘when’.”
psychology Behind the Scenes with TJ
We couldn’t do without TJ’s knowledge and resourcefulness when it comes to helping Layr customers each and every day. But what we’ve come to discover about our small team is that who TJ is outside of his role as Head of Customer Success is just as indispensable to our team dynamic. In fact, this stands for each member of Team Layr.
We want to share some of what we love getting to know about TJ as a team member–and what we would want to know about any new hires at Layr. ?
Q: If you were to take a snapshot of your workspace/desk, what would it look like?
My at-home desk aesthetic is pretty clean. If you took a picture of my workspace, you’d see lots of black and white, wireless devices, and lots and lots of screen space.
Q: Latest obsession?
A: Playing tennis and getting to bed by 10 p.m.
Q: What’s your secret superpower?
A: Being pretty good at most things.
I may not be super at any particular thing, but I’m pretty good when it comes to most everything. Whether it’s sports, drinking games, or spitting contests, I’ll give anyone a run for their money!
Q: Do you have a quote or mantra you live by?
A: …all of them!
Here at Layr, we’re looking for people to join our team who are passionate about insurance and motivated to change the game by consistently pushing the boundaries of a traditional industry. Like many of our teammates, TJ certainly spends a lot of time thinking about how Layr can build #BetterBusinessInsurance, but there’s a lot to off-duty TJ that we love hearing more about in our virtual coffee breaks and happy hours. From dream vacations to serious opinions on sparkling water, TJ tells-all.
When we asked TJ what he would do with an unexpected day off from Layr, he told us he’d be the first to “hop in the pool with the kiddos and relax.” Give TJ a week without insurance? He’d head right to the beach to soak up some sun in the sand with friends. We wanted to know what TJ-going-big would look like, so we asked him to share his best billionaire splurge purchase. The answer? “A lake house–and all the toys that come with having one!”
Q: What emojis best describe you?
Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being get that watered-down, carbonated fruit water away from me and 10 being put it in an IV bag and hook me up, please, how great is LaCroix?