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Charlie Smythington graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism. Like many students, Charlie’s real degree was in having a good time, and at that, he excelled. At journalism, he didn’t.

After graduation, he had to find work. After applying for all the newspaper positions that he could find, he realized that he didn’t really want to be a reporter. He wanted a profession where he could meet a lot of people, explore a wide variety of businesses, and never have the same day twice. Variety, new people, new places, new businesses, new situations, new personalities… He discovered that he wanted to be self-employed.

While that decision was a step forward, it was a short step. He had an old, beat-up car, but no money. And he had no products or services that he could offer anyone. It didn’t sound like a successful situation. And, most importantly, he didn’t know how to sell.

One day, while studying the postings on an internet job site, he found a position selling business insurance. He wasn’t sure what business insurance was, but the listing promised to teach him, help him get licensed, and show him how to sell insurance to businesses. They indicated that the average income after three years for their agents was substantial. If he qualified, they would start him with a minimum wage income as an advance on actual earnings. Charlie applied with Halvorson and Milhouse, multi-state insurance brokers with offices from San Diego to Seattle, including Portland, Oregon.

Charlie worked part-time jobs for three months while getting licensed in all forms of business and personal insurance. He didn’t see any reason to only be licensed in one or two. When he found clients, he wanted to be able to provide for all their needs and be their one-stop resource for insurance.

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