As a journalist for Forbes magazine, I was surprised when they sent me to Atlanta GA to sit in and document an interview by Art Williams, the founder of AL Williams and Primerica and Ann and Greg Walls. Mr. Williams wanted to recognize Ann and her husband Greg for their unique and tremendous success with the company.
The couple was dressed in linen, lavender and purple, their trademark colors. Art was in his usual polo and khaki’s. We were all treated to a beautiful feast at his home and then we retired to the patio where Art shared some of the companies back story. He explained that the reason he wanted to meet with Ann and Greg was to find out how they have been able to work together as a fully licensed partnership and adapt an old school industry into a new type of Financial Service business while maintaining the original mission of helping people in middle America reach financial independence.
Art recognized that Ann and Greg had successful careers as a pharmacist and a bricklayer, respectfully. He was impressed that they decided to switch careers much later in life than most of the agents in the company. Mr. Williams shared that “most people don’t succeed because they can’t get out of their own way long enough to become the people they need to be to truly reach the massive goals the ultra-successful people have here.”
Ann explained that for the first few years they worked together, both at 40+/week jobs, raising teenagers while getting licensed and learning how to work for themselves. As expected, they were both very conditioned employees but desperately wanted to work together and have freedom of their time. They loved everything about the business but were only mildly successful as they worked out their roles and improved their skills. Once they were proficient and began building a team, Ann knew something was holding her back, but she couldn’t identify what it was.
Ann shared “over the first 5 years, we read 140 books about business, mindset and believed wholeheartedly in the power of the universe, positive mindset, affirmations, visualization and abundance. But it wasn’t until I decided to enroll in a 6 month course, called the MKE, (that Greg said I didn’t need because I already had everything I needed), that things began to change quickly. Week by week I began to change, and Greg noticed. By the 5th week when I wasn’t allowed to express my opinion for 2 weeks, Greg was in also.” Art Roared with laughter!
“As our income soared and our team exploded,” Greg said with excitement, “I realized my wife is intuitive and brilliant.” The couple shared they learned social media from their children, their team and by taking marketing and other courses. The adopted technology to this traditional profession to attract the driven, positive leaders needed to take their business to the next level. “Our momentum and our daily habits, which Greg began adopting into his routine as well, created an enormous wave of success that we were recognized for nationally”, Ann added, beaming with joy!
Ann then told Art the story about when they first started in the business and Greg realized he had a fear of speaking in public. “Greg looked at me straight in the eye and said, “if being successful here means we have to get up in front of people and give talks… I AM NOT DOING IT, PERIOD!” “I knew then and there I might have to do this alone, if he doesn’t change that attitude.” Eventually, Greg developed the self confidence that he needed to take it to the next level. “Greg was AMAZING on stage in July at our 2024 convention when we were recognized for reaching our goal of our income of over $500,000/year and our goal of over 200 teammates by 2/1/2024! I shared with 50,000 people what 2 things helped us change our business were that we: #1 made a decision to get it done and #2believed with everything in us that we would do it! Then I introduced Greg and he had the stadium chanting and shouting!”
Art mentioned that most partnerships in the company consist of one leader and one “partner” who often never works in the field and holds a supportive role. He asked the “power couple”, as they are referred to in the company, how they managed to work together so seamlessly and yet both be such incredible leaders. Ann and Greg looked at each other and laughed out loud!
“Well, we each went through some growing pains, in different areas and then came together when introduced to the MKE”, replied Greg after he stopped laughing. Ann agreed and shared that their passion for each other and for what they do, kept them moving forward even when they lost sight of the goals from time to time.” Once we began to re-program our subconscious, we became unstoppable.
Art announced during the interview that the company had chosen them to travel to various events and offices over the next year to speak to other partnerships and share their success with agents and partners in the business. That is when Ann became overwhelmed with emotion and did her famous expression of excitement, tears streaming down her face!
The Walls shared with Art how thankful they were to have the opportunity to meet the legend and spend time with him. They told him how much they admired him for having the courage to go up against the industry and not let anything or anyone stop him! It is because he was willing to give this business EVERYTHING he had, that it is possible for us to do the same. Ann shared, “honestly Mr. Williams, as we watched your early speeches and read the news articles, we could feel your passion. We knew we owed it to you, to our children and our children’s children to give this all we have as well.”
With a few more tears, Ann hugged Mr. Williams and Greg embraced him as well. The Walls left the compound more motivated than ever to reach their next set of goals.