The last line I wrote was “MY 3:59 is to run Life’s Better Together full time, and I truly hope I am able to sooner rather than later!”
Our Impossible Story for the week features Danette Idlett from Life’s Better Together – a nonprofit that is very special to us.
Danette is from Bowling Green, KY where her, her husband, and their four children live. We are excited to share her story because it shows that a 3:59 does not have to be a “physical” one every time. Danette took a leap of faith with the support of her husband to pursue her dreams and passions. Scroll on 👉 to watch + read the rest!
Q: What was your “impossible” – the thing you thought you would never be able to do?
A: My impossible – to leave my insurance career with Farm Bureau after almost 13 years of building my business and become the director of our nonprofit, Life’s Better Together, on a full time basis.
Q: Why did you think you’d never be able to do it? What was standing in your way?
A: I guess ultimately I was the only one standing in my way, but the thought of losing my income, giving up my book of business which I’d grown over the years and then ultimately letting down my clients who entrusted me with their insurance, it truly felt daunting! I never thought I would be able to do it because of my own pride in a way and the fear that I would not be pulling my weight in our own household because leaving my business and running Life’s Better Together is not a paid position. So this leap of faith came without pay! Matt and I have four kids together and the cost of cars and college are just a few years away. We often talked about when the kids are out of high school and starting college, how that would be the perfect time to make the change from the insurance world over to the nonprofit world.
Q: When and how did you end up achieving it?
A: Matt and I started LBT in January of 2015 and for the next couple of years I was juggling my insurance and nonprofit work, and probably not very well to be honest. I was rushing into my office at Kentucky Farm Bureau, shutting the door and responding to emails from families and creating sponsorship requests for sponsors. It wouldn’t take long before someone would ask me to do a quote and I realized I was having a reaction of pure frustration. It was like my paying job was getting in the way of what I truly wanted to be doing.
In May of 2017, while at a Kiwanis meeting one Wednesday for lunch I met Dan and Claire Klein. Dan was the speaker for that meeting and it was the first time I had heard his story and learned about the My 3:59 movement. Later that afternoon I sat down to write a quick thank you note on behalf of the club, as I did with every speaker, and the last line I wrote was “MY 3:59 is to run Life’s Better Together full time, and I truly hope I am able to sooner rather than later!” I sealed that envelope, put a stamp on it and dropped it into the mailbox. I immediately texted my husband and told him I needed to talk to him and was heading to pick him up from from his office. I am sure he was truly concerned at this point! But I had an overwhelming feeling that this was my calling and the time to make the move was now. Matt never batted an eye. He never hesitated in fully supporting this transition and I am forever grateful for his unwavering support because truthfully it wouldn’t have been possible without it.
In June of 2017, not much more than a month after that conversation with Matt in the front seat of my car, I was closing the door to my insurance office for the last time and officially opening the door as the Executive Director of Life’s Better Together.
Q: What piece of advice would you give to those who may be feeling like they have an “impossible” they want to conquer?
A: The biggest piece of advice I can give is to let go of the fear of failing. And that is something I still struggle with to this day at times, especially right now after we have spent the better part of the year unable to host events and fundraisers. But even if we fail, we learn from it and are able to apply that experience to the next idea. I have found that when I get back to the core of why we started Life’s Better Together and use our mission to navigate these difficult days and sometimes difficult decisions, things work out for the good!