January 16, 2024

Episode #115: Jill Trimmel – Elevate + Deskimate

Jill Trimmel is the Founder and CEO of Elevate Claims Solutions and Deskimate. Both provide professional claim services in the property and casualty insurance industry. After a range of leadership roles within the industry, Jill took the leap to entrepreneurship. She is married with two children, residing in Indiana.

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you’re listening to the self-made is a myth make a difference together show with your host coach Tim campsa where we talk with successful business owners to hear the stories of their Journeys in building their successful businesses and more importantly we recognize the folks who help them Excel because we know that achieving business success is not something we can do on our [Music] own hello everyone this is coach Tim campel and I’m excited to have a fellow business owner with us today from Indiana my guest was the Wells County hog calling champion of 85 and 86 we’re GNA learn a little bit more about that here uh for sure I’m intrigued in her downtime she enjoys relaxing with family including her dogs and she’s most proud of her authenticity so we’re going to test that today we’ll see how uh how real she is with it’s my pleasure to welcome Jill to the show Hello Jill hello Tim thank you for having me absolutely well hey I am interested in starting with you giving us a a bit of a a backstory of yourself tell us uh your personal story where you were born where you live about your family and your hobbies well uh I was born in bluon Indiana where I was the um Wells County hog calling Champion the 4 fair and um um then I went to Ball State University and came back to Muny just a few years ago and that’s where I live with my husband and two sons and three dogs and actually my parents moved here too so now we’re all just nestled in now what is a hog um calling what is that what what does a hog caller do well you know and the reason I got into that because I lived left in is um a farming community and a lot of my friends were in 4 and I was not and I was reviewing the paper to see if there were any categories that I thought I may be well suited for and I didn’t see because I don’t I didn’t sew I don’t I didn’t cook I didn’t have any crafting skills but I could tell a story and there was this hog calling competition and my grandma grew up on a hog farm so I jumped on my bike went down to her house had her teach me how to hog call and then her and myself and my great aunt her sister um came up with a little story that I rehearsed well had a lot of fun I’ve never I’ve never had a hog caller on the show today so I feeling pretty uh pretty blessed thank you Joe is there a funny story that your family likes to tell you about you that you’d be willing to share today you know we had I I listened to your um podcast and I had a feeling this question was coming up and when I thought about it I couldn’t help but share that I was voted the least fun mom um years ago we were uh with another family and uh and I we still friends with them and vacation with them but this was 12 years ago and he said to my husband why don’t you get rid of Jill and get a more fun wife and and I said it’s because I’m risk adverse so I’m always like don’t do that get off of the top of the I mean I think I made them get off the top of the um shed roof in the middle of their uh Nerf gun war because I fall off and so I got voted the the least fun month I love it it’s it’s good that you added that you’re still friends today because I was I would have asked that otherwise oh yeah he just spent the night Friday night that young man at our house so tell us how did the business come about and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business um well I’ve had a few businesses and um be my first businesses were more in as an individual entrepreneur and I didn’t um I didn’t care for that because I realized that I enjoy teams and I also realized that at that point in my career there were things that as a a single or a very very small entrepreneur that you have to do that I’m really didn’t like doing anymore and therefore wasn’t good at it it took me a really long time it created a lot of frustrations so um I kind of sat some of those businesses assigned closed them and then had an opportunity to start elevate I’m sorry excuse me it’s getting dry outside with these negative temperatures I hear you so yeah uh yeah I was approached to start it and I’ve been in the insurance industry for decades and Leadership WI a variety of roles so I was pretty confident I could do it I had um a fair amount of respected relationships and knew how to build uh the operation so tell us more about the company what’s the name what do you guys do how do you help people so Elevate claim Solutions is an independent adjusting firm within the Property and Casualty Insurance industry with a focus on property claims Elevate also has um it’s about 60% commercial so we do a lot of kind of larger higher exposure property losses and we operate in 12 States throughout the Midwest we um also handle like small Regional catastrophe events where we have a team of roving adjusters that we can mobilize into an area that may be um well that could have a rash of frozen pipes uh if you don’t keep your uh facets dripping during these times of frigid cold weather um yeah and then I started another company after that and they’re both in existence operating um as CEO within both and desate is more of a catastrophe driven response adjusting firm um where it handles um wind hail hurricane losses coastal areas um so it’s a bit different where the type of personal lines business it can scale with is um really vast compared to the traditional model in the industry a model like Elevate so it’s a little different kind of A New Concept within the industry fantastic so you’re you’ve got two businesses that you’re running so earlier you said that you’re risk adverse so tell me how how you how a risk adverse person is uh starting all these businesses yeah well um I’m also a confident person there you go right and I don’t think that investing in myself and my capabilities and the people who I am fortunate and have been fortunate enough to surround myself by as a leader um I don’t see that as much of a risk yeah that makes sense I love that what a great answer so for folks listening uh check out the companies in the link in the description and go visit Jill on LinkedIn and let her know that you watched her interview thank you Jill share a story where someone um pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn’t think that you could and the impact that that person had on you well um after I I went uh my last corporate role I was senior vice president at QBE and um they went through a 20% premium of Revenue reduction and I was reduced if you will and which was one of the greatest um opportunities in my career and lifetime so at that point part of The Parting package um I I worked with a coach Trisha Fox she’s actually from the Indianapolis area you may know her Tim and I was really trying to figure out what the right corporate next corporate move would be for me and I had um I had started a CBD company the revenue was increasing with that and had opportunity to it’s just there was a lot of opportunities and and I’m a very curious person I had a lot of interest and she was like well why don’t you do a multifaceted career you know why do you have to go get this corporate role or why do you have to you know take this next step that is you know your natural Next Step according to who now I’m not sure because I’m not try to figure that out anymore um yeah and so I embraced her coaching and her guidance and really started to flow through life in a more um it’s on because almost I would say more intentional but then also at the same point just handing my handing things over more if you will to the greater force yeah yeah I love it so being open to the oh I really rambled there I’m sorry no not at all what what I heard is you know being open to um taking control of what you want to do but then you know keeping that open mind to you know it’s not necessarily linear right and those of us who have you know everyone listening who’s a business owner we know that the path is almost never linear right so being to what what what doors are opened and what doors are closed and and using that to to guide and direct us yeah and that’s where you know once I started through really um embracing the entrepreneurship journey I realized that it um is just so fitting for my personality and my appetite for connections and information and change and so I’m I’m really thankful that she helped me take that um step that’s awesome you also mentioned you know the the greater you know being open to the greater force so we all have different interpretations of what that might be right the universe God but the law of attraction is true right it’s real it’s what we set our our mind to right it ends up being what we attract and what we manifest and and uh there’s you know tons of studies have shown that when you set your mind on something and you keep working towards it again it’s not a linear path but but it’s going to happen because of the fact that we’re so intentional about it right and you just if you I believe in the yeah force of energy right even yes as you said God physics I mean it’s really the same because it’s energy yeah absolutely if folks have um they’re listening if you’ve uh you haven’t read you know the law of attraction book or Think and Grow Rich those are two great um books that talk about this whole idea of what you set your mind to what you set your energy on is what you’re going to end up attracting so so Jill tell us what’s been your uh biggest learning as a business owner well I would say [Music] um my learning isn’t well it has been like one learning thing after another learning thing after another learning thing I realized that um you know ancillary services that a lot of entrepreneurs startups specifically that are who are scaling quickly um you know one company is a year and a half old and the other’s three and a half year old and we in eight-digit Revenue this year or last year so that’s a pretty fast growth rate and you depend on Professional Services um Partners we carve out different pieces you know the it the HR the accounting the finance the and um as a CEO and I I feel like that has been my greatest area of opportunity is not even though I’ve put intentionality and put my project management spreadsheets and interviewed and checked referrals that not being services not being delivered as outlined in service level agreements and the way that it has absorbed my time as an entrepreneur and a CEO has been something that I would encourage everybody to get in hold on because it’s been exhausting yes and frustrating because you’re trying to get a handle and manage aspects of the company that you’re paying somebody else to do and you know I think that Outsourcing those functions when you’re a startup and you’re fast growing startup is a great way to get there yeah and but I think that the hurdles have been a lot um denser denser there’s a lot more hurdles than I had originally anticipated sure yeah I think the the phrase um higher slow Fire fast that typically applies to employees also implies to Outsourcing right if yeah you know we’ve gotta take but you can’t but when you have one Tim you can’t hire slow and Fire fast because then you got a gap right yes yeah yes I hear you yes and guess who fills that Gap right yeah and there’s a reason that you outsourced it right because you don’t want to fill the Gap yeah and and you know I think that also in all fairness to the partners that we’ve had I think that when you articulate um as a startup your growth to your vendors and I’ll be honest I don’t think that um I don’t think they believe me uh I think that I don’t honor sometimes what I say I’m going to do and what I do is not common it’s an outlier I mean I think 4% of female owned businesses generate over a million dollars Revenue a year so sure I don’t I didn’t I didn’t consider like maybe just you know the oh okay sure you will yeah you got you you know aspect of it and then well the reality is most most startups don’t scale that fast so it would you know if they’re looking at it from their experience it would make sense that maybe you’re just being ambitious like everybody else that they’ve met with right right totally makes sense hey Jill we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us one of your biggest challenges um over the years of of owning several businesses and and maybe give us one of your biggest ones and and a fellow business owner or or a colleague who came alongside of you and helped you to get through that well um I have a a business partner um Margaret who she is my business partner in both Elevate and desate um she came along in elevate a little bit after we had started because the nature of her non-compete but um nonetheless she is what I would call like the Ying to my yang you know she’s and I think that when you find somebody like that in your career um you you need to glue to them and you need to lift them and you need to um do what you can to stay with them because it’s Unique like our brains just the way that work you know is very differently we think about things differently and we’re both very comfortable with having confrontation and I think the nature of us being leaders in meetings and disagreeing and having healthy confrontation creates a culture of vulnerability and accountability yeah there’s typically um two general types of of folks who are needed in a business one is the Visionary the ideator right the the internal Optimist the one who keeps pushing the organization to the next thing and the next thing and then generally that person is not very good at Landing the plane right the the dot in the eyes the cross in the tees the operational excellence of making all of those great ideas work and so to your point you know awesome organizations are when there there’s two different people that have those skill sets and know how to work together in a way that’s productive and healthy and good conflict and right good debates but then a decisions made and and we move forward so that’s awesome that you’ve been able to find that I very very fortunate so which one are you are you the uh the pie in the sky ideator or are you the plane Lander oh I am the pie in the sky all right awesome yeah that’s great yeah um yeah there there’s but that being said last week we landed our third company um which is a software company it just went live so that’s very exciting Good Cong I can Pie in the Sky Map it down but I’ll tell you what Margaret is phenomenal at like you said she can sit there in front of her computer and fill out like all the nest because I think a lot of times business owners don’t realize how tedious all the licensing the insurance the compliance the everything is and she can she can grind that out endlessly and says she enjoys it I can’t even imagine anybody enjoying does yes yeah I’ve I’ve worked with folks who um the ideator will right enjoys brainstorming and whiteboarding and coming up with all these ideas and then the poor operations person’s like they just told told me a hundred things to do I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do all that but the other person no no no we decided on one person like which one like we just talked for an hour about a hundred things so so be that right to line on that and get that Clarity before the meeting’s over is is huge in terms of you know again dividing and conquering and leveraging each other’s strengths and yeah she’s we’re good together we use dis um the dis assessment with folks to help to help pick that apart and understand different people’s you know the way people think and process information to help them be you know higher performers and working together so Jill I’m gonna um put you on the spot here and ask you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that have been um there for you to help with your business’s growth that those folks that you’re most grateful for who are they who are the three people and how’ they help you well that’s very hard um I mean Margaret definitely and then Dave Smith is another gentleman who um helped lift Elevate and then when we started desate transitioned and literally did the same grip process mapping you know all that stuff all over again helps stand that up does it with so much grace and patience and kindness and um truly an inspiration and then Brandon my partner with Des mate um he’s a good uh offset to my personality as well um he’s still the Visionary dreamer Margaret without Margaret we would we need our Margaret but um I just I appreciate having lost um or having had to part ways with a partner already in my entrepreneurship journey I value the Partnerships I have now and that I know they have integrity that I know that they care about the people we is a very you know short tenure companies H that that should be looking to drive our profit margins our we lift a 401k in March we provide health insurance benefits you know we go out of our way to create a good lifestyle for human beings and that’s important to all of those people and that’s something I’m extremely thankful for what a again what a great success story that you’ve been able to you know introduce these benefits so quickly in your in your uh business Journey congratulations thank you thank you so as you think about the next three to five years what’s the biggest challenge that you see that you’re going to face or the company’s going to face in reaching your goals and who are the types of people you’re going to need to solve those well I think that um one of our biggest challenges as we scale is going to be managing cash flow um the only debt we have is a line of credit um outside of that we have none so to be able to scale at that rate with that methodology is very challenging and I would like to continue on that path it’s something beyond my ability to manage um very quickly I’m have to tap out so so I need that and um I’m searching uh I I truly need just kind of on that same level I need um a a attack strategist you know I need somebody that can really understand the nature of um multi-level entrepreneurship um and how to set that up and ensure that you know I’m protected and my family is protected my partners are protected um all of that wonderful so last question here Jim ran awesome business Guru uh one of his quotes is we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that Jill and um think about the business owners who uh aren’t uh reaching out to others or not leveraging resources that you know they feel like they should do it on their own what advice would you have for them don’t do it reach out to other people and I you know I will say like I I withdrew um in these last two years cu because it’s taken so much time and energy uh and the only thing I had left was my family and they give me energy and I needed that but I was thankful that I had Quay my CEO group because that was kind of my lifeline to other Professionals in the network of entrepreneurs and leaders uh without that and their guidance and just strength and um I that was a Lifeline truly and and now um kind of I feel like I’m coming out on the other side and taking a deep breath and that’s one of the things that I’m truly focused on is rebuilding my my networking um like aspect of my my career and truly my personal life too I need to re-engage I just starting to do things with friends again I’m like a I think we’ve come out on the other side and I’m still alive I need to reintroduce myself to the world that’s how I feel right now I love it that I like that take a deep breath and then re-engage Jill it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some awesome people in your journey uh so far if they were all on the show here today what would you want to say to them oh that I love them that’s it I mean I think that speak I think love is very powerful and radiates and that’s what I want them to feel because it’s the essence of I think joy and I want them to live with joy it’s fantastic Jill such a pleasure speaking with you today thank you for so much for being on the show thank you Tim thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach Tim campaw please help spread this Movement by liking and subscribing to our show and following us on Facebook and Linkedin or wherever you listen to your favorite podcast to join our movement go to bead together.com okay folks that’s a rap please pay it forward and be sure to tune in next time to the self-made is a myth podcast