Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lucas Siegel, CEO of Harbor Life Settlements & Harbor Life Brokerage, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Harbor Life Settlements offers the world's most advanced life settlement auction site and the first-ever AI-powered life settlement calculator. For those who aren't familiar, a life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy to a third-party buyer for a lump-cash sum. Our company is reimagining an asset class by helping seniors and the chronically ill sell their life insurance policies for the maximum cash value so they can comfortably afford their long-term care, medical expenses, retirement, and more. Harbor Life is a full-service shop when it comes to the sale of a life insurance policy, from getting medical records and price predictions to facilitating auctions and more.
Harbor Life recently built the world's first AI-driven life settlement calculator, where consumers can get a policy valuation instantly and make the best financial decision for themselves and their families, whether that's selling the policy and reinvesting the money or keeping it active. Harbor Life is taking the mystery out of life settlements through increasing awareness and transparency for policyholders and their families.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Lucas Siegel, and I'm the CEO of Harbor Life Settlements & Harbor Life Brokerage. Since its launch in early 2020, Harbor Life Online Exchange has listed hundreds of millions in life insurance policies for sale and has been pivotal in transforming the industry standard. I've always been captivated by finance and passionate about disrupting traditional verticals such as the life settlement industry. Being originally from Colorado, I graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business in 2013. After spending several years in private equity, I transitioned to running Harbor Life in 2017, where I've actively shaped and influenced the future of finance out of Austin, Texas.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is becoming a better leader. Growing up, we're programmed by our parents, school, and life experiences on how to handle certain situations but not all of that is transferable to leadership. Through running my business, I've had to deeply refine how I approach situations and how I lead my team. I've learned how to successfully invest my time and energy into coaching the right people and running an organization that helps people thrive both professionally and personally.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the greatest challenges I face as a business owner is constantly having to prioritize and deprioritize projects to align with our current goals. Understanding what your business needs at a given time is an evermoving target and often means choosing between short-term wins versus long-term investments. For instance, if the company is at risk of not meeting our revenue goals, we might prioritize finding the best life settlement cases and moving them down the pipeline versus spending time developing a scientific process for filtering out the best cases and incorporating that into our business model. Prioritizing long-term investments is always more sustainable, but sometimes will have to be put on hold to meet your short-term goals.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- For those looking to start a business, ask yourself: what is the problem I'm solving? A lot of entrepreneurs get infatuated with starting a business just to start a business. But the reality is, if you want to make money and achieve success, your product or service must address a critical problem that hasn't been solved.
- In order to build a successful company, you and your business must be aligned. Build a product or service that is reflective of your strengths and professional experience. By the same token, create a product or service that aligns with what the world wants and the direction it's going. For instance, with the creation of Harbor Life's AI-powered life settlement calculator, we created something that would give people the instant information and transparency they crave when evaluating their financial health. We reflected on how we could expand the life settlement market and better serve its customers in order to deliver the best product possible.
- Do the math first. Entrepreneurs are naturally enthusiastic people, which is why we start businesses that no one else wants to do. However, one of the most important things I've learned is to back my enthusiasm with numbers. That moment of stepping back and checking the math can save you decades of work in the long run.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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