Shelly Hood never saw herself as an insurance agent. Before representing State Farm, she was running multiple stores for Victoria’s Secret as a district manager. In 18 years, Hood learned how to grow a small business through relationship building, staying consistent, and focusing on how to be the best leader for her team.
In 2016, Hood left Victoria’s Secret and began her next career as a regional executive director at Bare Minerals. She took advantage of this opportunity to create consistency through processes and develop innovative thinkers. Hood also got her master’s degree in organizational performance, which helped her see the bigger picture of how an organization runs from a cultural perspective.
The first week of 2020, Bare Minerals eliminated 40 people, including Hood. Although she was caught off guard, she liked being a part of something bigger in which she could still be innovative. With a passion for sales, Hood met with many retailers until COVID-19 hit. Despite the pandemic, one business continued to reach out. State Farm recruited Hood because it recognized that most successful agents have a background in running businesses and building strong teams. She obtained all licenses and officially moved into her office in June 2020.
Hood takes pride in being a small business owner. She created an all-female networking group that works at building trust and surrounding each other with like-minded individuals. Connecting with other female entrepreneurs helps Hood build her business through different perspectives. “This is my brand; I’m on all the time,” she said. “If I can’t help you, I will find the right person that can.”
With over 50 agents in Omaha, Hood stands out as a female executive with an extensive background in managing businesses and building team synergy. This shows where her focus is and her desire to bring value back into the community. Whether people are working with her or not, Hood wants to be there for anyone who needs help by acting as a connector.
For 21 years, Hood allowed her successful ride in retail to limit her individuality, as she only defined herself by job titles. While she is now an insurance agent, Hood doesn’t restrict herself to that label, as she recognizes her authenticity beyond her work. “My identity was way too tied up in titles. I worked hard for it, but when it came crashing down, who was I?” she asked.
Beyond her role with State Farm, Hood has thrived in many professions that allowed her to discover who she truly is. These defining moments have helped Hood connect with herself at a deeper level. “I said my title more than I said my name – now I say my name. I identify as who I am, not what I do,” she said. “I’m Shelly Hood: powerful, female entrepreneur. My potential is unknowable; I’m empowering other women to believe and be the same way, and I happen to sell insurance.”
More stories like this one can be found at Our Business.