Not one, but two near-death events, have understandably given Jason Black the firm belief that nothing is impossible, no challenge too daunting, to stop him from moving on – and financial advisors can heed his advice.
In March 1999, Black, a rising international opera figure even at 22, had finished his latest performance as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. He and his fiancée Tausha got in his car and drove, admittedly, at “college” speeds along a dark winding road near Los Angeles.
Suddenly, Black’s car hit a truck that was parked without lights on the road. Pictures of the vehicle show it flattened on his side like an accordion. He was extricated by the Jaws-of-Life, but suffered brain trauma akin to a stroke and severely broken bones. Doctors didn’t give him much hope that he would talk again, let alone sing.
Without the backing of his mother and girlfriend, Black told Canada Sales Congress attendees that he would not have survived.
The two were the “why” of what Black said his life is all about and one of the many reasons he was able to not only recuperate but sing again. “When your ‘why’ is strong enough, you’ll find a ‘how’ to move on,” he said.
Two years later, Black and his now-wife were moving a large glass table into their home and a neighbour stopped to help. The table slipped from the neighbour’s grasp, sending a shard of glass so large into Black’s neck that he was almost decapitated.
His recovery was said to be so dismal that it ended up on a television reality show. Black’s right arm was paralyzed and he couldn’t use his voice.
Again, with the help of family and determination, he recuperated to the point where his voice is back and he is using it to tell his story.
He told the advisors that a never-say-die attitude is crucial to everyone’s way of life.
“I know 70% of advisors either go out of the business or fade out in the first two years. … But [you have to tell yourselves] that ‘this is my calling; I am going to present more opportunities to clients and get more insurance contracts – because my ‘why’ is strong enough’.”
Black said he understands that advisors manage to keep going during times when prospects fail to turn into clients – because they know that the next prospect can turn into a yes. “Once you know your ‘why’ that’s enough to circumvent any impossibility.”