There’s nothing you can’t do – just look at the Goodwins

By on September 29, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

We celebrated Founders Day at GEICO last week. We spent the lunch hour playing goofy games and enjoyed some light refreshments in the dining hall (yes, GEICO is that kind of company). Hokey? Maybe. But to me, Founders Day means much more than this.

When we launched this blog back in March, I told you about GEICO’s origins; how GEICO’s founder, Leo Goodwin, left a comfortable job with USAA to start his own insurance company.

At the age of 50.

During the Great Depression.

The deck was stacked against him, to say the least. Nevertheless, in 1936, Goodwin and his wife, Lillian, moved Government Employees Insurance Company from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., and went to work. Through their determination, tireless effort and belief in the direct-to-the-customer business model, the Goodwins made GEICO a success.

We’re reminded of this story every year around this time, and I always take inspiration from it. It’s so easy to let little obstacles stop us from achieving our goals. But when I think of the example the Goodwins set for every GEICO associate, I know that just about any roadblock can be avoided or surmounted if I am only willing to invest the time and effort required. And I’m grateful to relearn that lesson every September – with a little cake and punch on the side.

What, or who, inspires you?

2 responses to “There’s nothing you can’t do – just look at the Goodwins

  1. Peter says:

    meh.  50?  Too young to start a company?
    I’m guessing the implication is the reverse, but it seems to me a company marketing financial services would benefit from a founder with years of experience.  I think tech and lifestyle startups have founders with a different profile, but 50 seems about right for starting a insurance company.  Now, the depression, that’s another matter.

  2. Leandro says:

    You can go to all of the major companies illdviiuadny, or you can do multiple quote comparisons. I found this one for Florida, but I think it serves all of the US states. Shouldn’t be too hard once you search around!