BY PAUL BICKLEY
“We love our community and want to help people,” says Jeremy Goodrich, who, with his wife, McKenzie, launched Shine Insurance in 2013. As part of that mission, in 2016 the two developed a podcast series, Scratch Entrepreneur.
Since then, more than 20 podcasts featuring interviews with local people who started businesses have been posted. “Half the interviewees are clients,” says Jeremy. “Most are business mentors.” All offer tips for starting or running a business.
Some of the podcasts are full-on business lessons. Monroe County Humane Society Executive Director Rebecca Warren relates how her nonprofit organization went from offering low-income clients insufficient veterinarian vouchers to building and staffing its own veterinary clinic, seizing and negotiating opportunities along the way. King Dough owners Adam and Alicia Sweet discuss the ups and downs of using crowdsourcing to start a business, and how their branding led an investing partner to them. AJ O’Reilly, Felt Creative Co.’s owner, enumerates seven steps to effective marketing.
Other entrepreneurs simply recount fascinating stories. Mike Bridavsky explains how, after he struggled to keep his Russian Recording studio plugged in, his cat Lil Bub became big business through a photo on Reddit, national TV appearances, and a book deal.
Jeremy was a teacher for 13 years before joining McKenzie in the insurance business. “That was the impetus for the podcasts,” says McKenzie, who sold insurance for, and then ran, ISU The May Agency before starting Shine. “Other entrepreneurs shared their stories with us, and hearing what they went through was like therapy for us.”
About 200 people listen to each podcast, 80 percent of them in Bloomington.
Shine’s community commitment extends beyond the podcasts. Each year, the company donates a percentage of insurance premiums to three local nonprofit organizations serving the hungry, children, and animals. Shine’s clients vote for the recipients. This year the recipients are Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Girls Inc. of Monroe County, and the Monroe County Humane Association.
You can listen to Scratch Entrepreneur podcasts at shineinsure.com.