BUSINESS LEADER PROFILE
Freddy Terrazas, Terrazas Auto Insurance
Freddy Terrazas says his business is able to give each individual customer exactly what they want and need. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / February 16, 2012)
300 S. Imperial Ave., Suite 3, El Centro, CA 92243
Tell us how you ended up in this line of work.
I became a broker at 18, and after 10 hard years of being the best of the best with another agency, decided to go out on my own. Being my own boss means that I can now help others out a lot more than before. Helping people save on their auto, home and SR-22 insurance is a huge plus in this economy, and nobody does it better than me.
Describe what your business does.
Shops around for customers, and puts them with rated “A” insurance companies, at lower rates than your typical “high-end” companies. I basically work for my customers. In my line of work you have to really love helping people out, and putting a smile on their faces. Brokering out insurance is not easy, especially when everyone thinks that “broker fees” all run around $200, and in some cases that’s true with other agencies, but not with me. Every down payment is negotiable here in my office, and I always make sure I give the customer exactly what they want, and need.
What are memories from your career that stick out with you the most?
Hearing peoples’ struggles, worries and problems and how they all relate. We as a people really all suffer in an almost identical fashion, and life knocks us all down, but it’s how you stand back up that matters. I’ve met so many great people here in the Valley, and that’s something that I’ll keep bottled up as one huge memory.
What do you most like and least like about your work?
Most — has to be helping others, I love putting a smile on peoples’ faces.
Least — honestly, I can’t even think of one thing that I don’t like right now, everything has been great.
What makes your business unique?
I don’t follow the typical “business owner” image, and I sure as hell don’t try to fit in where I know I don’t. I’m who I am because of me, and my life experiences. People love that they can walk into my office and talk to me about anything in life. They don’t have to hide who they are, and mainly because I don’t hide who I am, or was.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to open a business?
To be successful you have to be willing to fail, and you have to hate to lose as much as you love to win. Life is hard as it is, why not make the effort to at least make it hard for a reason, and that reason is you and your family.
How do you give back to the local community?
By helping out absolutely everyone that walks in my door. Like I said, every down payment is negotiable, and everyone receives the same great discounts that I have to offer. While other companies only offer them to law enforcement, teachers, good students or military, I offer them to everybody. Sure I appreciate everything that those people do for us, but being that I have some power now in helping others, I make sure everyone gets that same opportunity regardless of their background, title, or career in life. In the future, I hope to open up a boxing gym to keep kids off the street.
More about Freddy Terrazas
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 10 years; one on my own
HOMETOWN: El Centro
FAMILY: Wife and three beautiful kids
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