Born and raised in Arkansas, Paul Harrison got into the insurance industry as an intern at Midland Risk Insurance Company in Memphis. After he completed his MBA program, he joined Midland Risk full time and has been in the insurance industry ever since.
Over his more than 25-year career, Paul has worked for and owned several insurance entities in Memphis, Shreveport and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Aspen MGA, which he founded in 2015.
Paul enjoys the chess game of insurance management. “You make decisions today to find out in the future if you made the right move. I enjoy that challenge, and I enjoy it even more when you make the right call!”
This is the way Paul Harrison works.
Flower Mound, Texas
Founder and President of Aspen Managing General Agency
One word that describes how you like to work.
Current mobile device:
iPhone 6S 64 GB
- Office: Dell Quad Core I7 SSD; triple monitors
- Home Office: Dell Quad Core I5 SSD; triple monitors
- Travel: ASUS Notebook PC SSD
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
- Professional – Launching Aspen in record time and the success we are having
- Personal – Awesome wife and three beautiful daughters
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
- Professional - Make Aspen the absolute BEST in the industry
- Personal – Be the BEST husband and father I can be
What do you like most about your job?
The autonomy to do what is right and the people I work with.
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
- LG HBS 750 Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Headset to stay hands free while on the phone, which is a lot.
- Readers (I had to put them on to read the LG model number!)
What are the top three apps you use on your phone?
Outside of mail, calendar, and messages it would be
- Facebook –To keep up with work, family and friends
- Twitter – For news
- Snapchat – To keep up with and have fun with my girls
Describe your workspace.
Our Aspen offices are somewhat modern but very lean. We are focused on Aspen so don’t come by and expect any extravagant decor. What you will find is a group of dedicated people working together to make Aspen better. Every. Single. Day.
How do you manage your to-do list?
Outlook and making an old fashion to-do list in my notebook. I will say I am experimenting with a new electronic to-do list but am not fully sold at this point. There is still something special about writing out a to-do list.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
- Top off the coffee tumbler (Yeti or Rtic) – I am a coffee snob
- Read news feeds
- Review production and leading indicator reports
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
I like a good gadget as much as anyone. They can help. However, nothing really works without focused effort. So my answer is be like Nike… Just do it!
What is your best everyday habit?
I have put a great effort into a better diet following the Whole30 plan. This has worked very well for me, and I try to stay close to this plan and add exercise when I can.
What do you listen to while working?
Varies – I don’t always have something playing but when I do it will vary from The Ticket, a local sports station, to a variety of music. When I am in the office, I do enjoy listening to what is happening in the office. At the home office I tend to have something playing in the background.
What are you currently reading?
Let me say this first… I wish I had time and made time to read more. It is so beneficial. I have a reading habit that can have multiple books goings at a time. A book has to grab my attention or I move on.
Currently in the hopper:
- The 4:8 Principle
- You are a Badass
- The Magnolia Story
Recently completed: Swine Not, Outliers, Strength Finders 2.0, In Search of Excellence, A Passion for Excellence, Think and Grow Rich, The E Myth (Revisited).
How do you decompress?
I think the first key is never get that stressed about what you are doing. There is always a solution to things you can control. For these situations: analyze, plan, and make it happen. Why stress over things you cannot control? That said, I do enjoy spending time with my wife because we don’t get to as much as I would like. Yes, I enjoy my kids too, but my wife has been such a trooper with me in my career allowing me to focus on work, especially in the past year launching Aspen. I cherish the time we get to spend together, and I am ever grateful for the awesome mother she is to our great kids. When we get to enjoy a glass of wine together, even better! Add Colorado to the mix, and it is heaven on earth.
What’s your sleep routine like?
This is a lesson I figured out early in life for how I operate. I would like to run on four to six hours of sleep on a regular basis, but I cannot. My optimal minimal sleep time is 7.5 hours. For me, quality rest time translates to a quality day. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I want today to be better than yesterday. I can’t win at life staying in bed. Let me elaborate. I try to end the day reviewing what happened and how I could have done it better. (I have the uncanny ability to provide myself plenty of improvement opportunities!) That makes me plan and pray for the next day and make a mental list of what I want to accomplish tomorrow. I usually wake up before my alarm. I enjoy watching the world wake up. I get to see my family wake up, which can always be an adventure. I enjoy starting the day with my family and focusing on making today better than yesterday.
Oh and don’t forget the coffee! Black.
Who are your business idols and why?
There are several people that I respect and have learned a great deal from. That said, I have only one true business idol. That would be my Dad. He taught me at a young age that you must work hard and work smart. He taught me how important it is to be a Godly man. He taught me that when you fall down, you get back up. Every. Single. Time. He taught me too much to list here. I wish he was still with us today. He did not get to see me start Aspen. I would love to tell him about it. Most of all, I would love to tell him thank you.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
TCB: Taking care of business. Thanks to Elvis for this one.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
No one. I like who I am and what I do. And, I would not trust Aspen with anyone else.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Scott Upfield, CEO of ITC
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.