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Getting to Know You: Kasen Van Fossen, Insurance Professional

Kasen Van Fossen was born in Brandon, Florida. Regarded by his teachers and peers as an intelligent and diligent student, Kasen was rewarded for his excellent work in secondary school by being named valedictorian of his graduating class at Strawberry Crest High School.

He was then accepted into the University of Florida, where he studied hard, working toward his goal of pursuing a career in medicine. After earning a degree in biology, however, Kasen Van Fossen’s ambitions shifted, and he changed his professional focus to the insurance industry, eventually settling on sales. He is currently in the process of becoming a full-certified and credentialed insurance agent, and one day hopes to follow in the footsteps of his mentor and uncle, establishing himself in the arena of group benefits.

What inspired you to go into the insurance industry?

I was drawn to the ability to control your own success. Sales is the best, if not only, way to control your own income outside of creating your own business from scratch. I’ve spoken to and learned from many experienced people in the insurance industry, and I’ve come away with the conclusion that the most appealing aspect of insurance to me is sales for this very reason. I’m told that when operating in sales there is a feeling like you are running your own business, and you can focus on productivity rather than just getting through the day.

What are the keys to being productive for you?

I achieve productivity by starting early each day and adopting a ‘get it done’ attitude. When I have a project or an assignment due, if I can get started early in the morning, it drives me to work hard and complete it. Procrastination is the enemy of productivity.

What is one long-term career goal that you are looking forward to?

I hope to get into the field of group benefits insurance and start to build a career in it. My uncle is a group benefits representative, and he has always been someone who works very hard. He is extremely successful because of that work ethic.

How do you measure success?

I primarily measure success by the achievement of a desired lifestyle. Success is attained when you work the number of hours that you want and earn the amount of money you want. That’s the main reason I chose to get into insurance. From everything I’ve learned, as an insurance salesperson, you have the necessary time off from work to enjoy your life so long as you make enough sales. And on top of that, the remuneration is great. 

As somebody just getting started in Insurance, what steps are you looking forward to taking in order to accomplish your goals?

I am most looking forward to gaining sales experience in order to build a strong foundation of knowledge that will give me the skills needed to be a successful insurance agent.

Do you have any mentors in your field, and why did you select them?

My uncle, Brian Shane, is my mentor. He is a group benefits insurance representative and I have had a close relationship with him throughout my entire life. Watching how he strives for success and the way he controls his lifestyle is something I’ve always admired and wanted for myself.

What are your favorite things to do outside of school and work?

My favorite thing outside of school and work is to take the jet-ski out at my parent’s place. They live near an island in Tampa Bay, and jet-skiing is incredible there. The fresh air and splashing water is always a good distraction. It’s a fun way to blow off some steam.

How would your colleagues/classmates describe you?

They would say I’m motivated, but still easy-going. I don’t let little things bother me. I focus on the goals I have and accomplishing them one by one.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?

As I mentioned before, I start early to encourage productivity. I get more things done when I start early and when I have a plan. That’s why I write out a to-do list for each day. Once I complete the items on my to-do list, I am better able to enjoy the social and recreational aspects of my life. My overarching goal is to meet my obligations and requirements early, then enjoy my life and savor my free time. 

What has been the hardest obstacle you have already overcome?

When I was studying for my exams in college, I had to begin studying quite a long time in advance. In the past, I’ve experienced difficulty staying on track when there’s a lot of lead time on a goal. Having a test date that was far off was a difficult thing for me, as there wasn’t the added pressure of a tight deadline to keep me motivated. Under such circumstances, it’s an effort for me to maintain the needed focus to achieve high results. Thankfully, I was able to conquer that little problem of mine. I passed all my exams with flying colors. I overcame the mental obstacle that I mentioned by forcing myself to understand that, even though the exams were months away, there was still a lot of pressure to do well on them, and that kept me motivated and focused.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

My dad has always been a big advocate of doing what you can in any given situation and then moving on with your life. That is to say, if a problem comes along that you can control, handle it as best you can, and then move on to other matters. If the problem is something you can’t control, move on anyway. Let whatever it is just be whatever it is. If you keep moving on, everything will work out. That advice has always stuck with me.

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