Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- For Jeannace Burnett-Bentley, life insurance and investments are a calling, and this Park Forest business owner makes money in her sleep. She says can show you how to do the same. Her job of two decades in banking led her to pursue a career in finance after she went to a convention hosted by Primerica Financial Services.
As part of our series on small business owners in Park Forest (there are more of us than you might realize), we spent time speaking with Ms. Burnett-Bentley. Her sister, LaMaudia Bentley, drew over 50 Park Forest small business owners to leave URLs for their websites in a Facebook post, earning her the first spot in our series on business owners in Park Forest.
Now, it’s her sister’s turn.
Jeannace has a bachelor’s degree in business. She worked in banking for 20 years before venturing out on her own.
“I do life insurance and investments,” Ms. Burnett-Bentley told eNews Park Forest. “One of the reasons that I got into it is because I realized that even with the background that I had. I have a lot of certifications like a project management certification. I have a bachelor’s degree in business. I worked in banking for about 20 years. I had all these certificates but I didn’t have an understanding of life insurance and money.”
She learned the value of life insurance and the value of money from her business. She also learned the value of making money in your sleep.
Owning a business “gave me a different perspective on how business is done and how most people will get a job versus entrepreneurship.”
“When I first got in the business, I ran up a credit card. My husband said, ‘I’m not helping you pay it,’ and I had to figure it out. We had a teenage daughter and she was in a lot of sports and things of that nature, and I didn’t want to work overtime because I was already missing out on a lot of things. So, I was looking for something that I could make additional income but didn’t kill my time. And I just happened to run into Primerica Financial Services, the convention, one year, and I got sold.”
While at the convention, she saw a friend who told her, “My boyfriend made $100,000 last year.” She responded, “Yeah, right. You know, show me some pay stubs.”
And he did show her the pay stubs. “I said, ‘If he can make $100,000, then I can make that $10,000 I needed for my credit card.'”
And she did.
She took classes from Primerica to get certified, earning a life insurance license.
“I realized the magnitude of what I actually got a hold of. I actually started talking to friends and family and I’m like, ‘Hey guys, do you have life insurance?’ They’re like, ‘Yes, I’ve got it through my job,’ and I realized how uneducated I was about life insurance.
Jeannace said she learned much from her “humble beginnings.”
“My parents had me when they were 17. They didn’t finish high school. My dad got a GED, went to the army. My mother got her GED and went into the workforce. And so, I am the most educated person in my family. I realized if I was the most educated, if I didn’t have that information [about life insurance], that my family didn’t have that information, and if my family didn’t have that information, my community didn’t have that information,” she said.
Jeannace holds a BA in Business Administration from the Western Governors University, a Project Management certification from Comptia, and Life Insurance licenses in 4 states.
“I went on to really make it a passion of mine to educate everyone about life insurance and also investments. A lot of people have no idea about how to invest and I was definitely one of those people. It definitely became a passion of mine to be able to help people build a portfolio.”
That was more than three years ago, and Jeannace hasn’t looked back.
“I love what I do. I love helping parents save up for college for their kids, start a college fund. I love helping people lift the burden of life insurance. I know a lot of times that I talk to people and they think life insurance is so expensive but I’m able to sit down with them and give them some education about it, give them some options, and then I’m definitely able to help a lot of families get covered and take that burden off of them,” she told ENEWSPF.
Her business has changed over the past six months given the pandemic. Like many people, she uses Zoom. “We’re not going into households. We’re not, as we call it, kneecap to kneecap with people. We’re not meeting people in Starbucks. We’re actually doing everything on Zoom.”
And Jeannace turned her changed circumstances into opportunity. “It empowered us. Now instead of driving to everyone’s home, now we can do more appointments because we’re on Zoom. So, it’s actually helped our business model and it’s actually propelled me to make more money in the business.”
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Burnett-Bentley has lived in Park Forest since 2012, and she began by growing her business in town, “My husband has a lot of family in the Park Forest area, so we definitely talk to a lot of his family members. The one thing that I was able to do for some of the family members and some of our friends that lived in the area as well is maybe they were too old or didn’t qualify to be able to get life insurance, we were able to help them get mutual funds. Everyone doesn’t always qualify for life insurance, but everyone can get a mutual fund.”
What sets Jeannace Burnett-Bentley apart from anyone else selling the same?
It’s the personal approach.
“The difference with me and other life insurance people is that I customize every life insurance policy,” she tells ENEWSPF. “I just don’t give you figures. I just don’t say this is how much you need. I actually have a conversation with the client. I try to get to know them and see what you need.”
“I always make sure that my client understands why you need life insurance and the purpose of it, and I explain that life insurance is income replacement. So, we discuss how much they would need as opposed to just giving them a figure. And also, I customize life insurance policies to how much my client can afford. I want to make sure that they’re able to continue to make those payments and so, you want to make them affordable for them as opposed to just giving them a figure.”
Ms. Burnett-Bentley uses her Facebook page for her business. Her personal page is completely accessible.
“My Facebook page is actually open, it’s my personal page and that’s Jeannace Burnett-Bentley. I’m big on people actually getting to know me. I think that when you do business with someone, you should know a piece of their life and so my personal page is my business page as well.”
She finds this open-book approach to be crucial for the way she wants to do business, “If you’re doing business with a person, wouldn’t you want to like them? Wouldn’t you want to know something about them? You’re giving them pertinent information about you and trusted information about you and you’re trusting them with something that will help your loved ones even after you’re gone. Wouldn’t you like to like that person? And so, that’s why I do it.”
Finally, if you’re very curious, if you want to make money in your sleep, if you want to choose entrepreneurship over a job, Jeannace can show you how.
“I teach other people, not just how to obtain life insurance and investments, but also how to do the business,” she said. Why teach the business? A lot of times…especially for me, there was a time when I was a single mom and I couldn’t afford life insurance. But if something happened to my daughter, she would be in a really bad position. And so, I needed life insurance.
“But what I needed more than anything was additional income. So, another thing that we do is we teach people about business and how to have a life insurance company as well in addition to all of the other things that we offer. And so, that’s another thing that we do that I love because as I said before, we teach people not only just to get those things and how to obtain education, but we teach people how to actually do business. And it’s important that people understand that real business is when you get paid in your sleep.”
If you want to learn how to do that, make money in your sleep, you need to call Jeannace.
“I’m available to speak with anyone during regular business hours and I’m here to help everyone.”
You can reach her at (330) 962-8469.