From National Conference Attendee to Speaker: A Look Back With Cicily Newsom

Dec. 10, 2021

At Symmetry, our national conferences are something we look forward to every year. They give us a chance to reconnect while helping our agents elevate their business and celebrate their growth. For many, the impact of attending conference can be life changing. For Senvior Vice President Cicily Newsom, her first conference was the first step on the road to becoming one of the crowd’s favorite speakers on stage.

We had the opportunity to sit with Cicily and learn what it was like for her to attend her first conference and hear about her journey to becoming a mainstage speaker. Conference is an opportunity for our agents to show up, learn and grow as leaders and individuals and Cicily is a great example of that growth.


First conference experience

Cicily’s first Symmetry conference was in February 2013 at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta, Georgia. At this point, she had no intention of becoming an agent herself, but wanted to support her husband Ayres at the event. She says she was hesitant to attend the event as she had recently gone to another one that left her with a sour taste. She recalls that as they were leaving, she asked Ayres, “Don’t ever make me go to one of those things again.”

Coming off the experience of her first time at an insurance conference, her expectations going into her first Symmetry conference were low. She imagined it would be low energy with little to get excited about. However, by the end of day one, she canceled any plans she had for the next day and decided to divide the breakout sessions with Ayres so that they could double their learning experience and learn more about our organization.

First conference highlights

Cicily recalls two highlights from her first Symmetry conference that left a lasting impression. First was her introduction to the personalities of founders Casey Watkins, Brandon Ellison and Brian Pope and the culture they were building at Symmetry. She fell in love with the short spoof commercials that played between sessions. The founders’ humor was one of the key parts of that conference that shaped her perspective of Symmetry and our core value “We have fun and get stuff done.”

The second memorable portion of her first conference was getting a chance to see the panels of speakers. The five or six people sharing their success and journeys to get there had her saying “Oh wow, if that person can do it then I can do it, or Ayres can do it.” Those panels made her realize it was possible to succeed in the insurance business.

Influence of conference

Cicily explains that she was not fully convinced about Symmetry until she attended the first conference and saw the culture and environment the founders were building. By their third national conference, they were both committed to growing their own business. By their fourth conference, they had an agency producing $50,000 a month.

One of the biggest takeaways from her first few conferences was gaining the confidence and belief that this was a viable option to live their best lives while creating a great income. Through those initial events, she learned ways to grow herself personally so that she could strengthen herself professionally. More importantly, her first few experiences at conference gave her peace of mind. They found the right platform, the right culture and at the right time.

Coming back as a speaker

“One day I want to be where those people are on stage,” Cicily remembers from her first conference. She was in the back of the room listening to real accounts of people succeeding with Symmetry and the path that led them there. One of her greatest achievements in life was making that transition from attendee to a speaker and watching the audience grow with every conference.

“People are watching what you’re doing all the time, and it levels you up as a person getting to provide a positive influence on others.” Cicily was no stranger to the stage, having been involved in theater and performance art throughout her life. However, it was the ability to speak and provide an impact to others that truly felt life changing.

Advice for those considering attending conference

When it comes to anyone who is undecided about attending conference, Cicily has some advice: “Symmetry isn’t taught, it’s caught.” She explains that the first cornerstone of Symmetry is belief — belief in yourself and belief in the system. Without attending a national conference, it’s hard (if not impossible) to have that belief without seeing firsthand the impact it’s had on agents and clients.

Cicily believes that the cost of attending is a small price to pay to find out if Symmetry is the right place for you. “If you choose not to go, it will always be in the back of your mind, did I make the right choice?” Without that anchor of belief early in your journey, Cicily believes it’s hard to understand just how impactful and elevating attending a national conference can be.

Cicily’s final thoughts

“Everyone wants to be taken seriously, as partners, as parents and in business.” Cicily believes attending conferences and showing up is a way to show yourself and your peers that you’re taking your business seriously. She sees conference as the culmination of her work all year long. She’s practiced in the field and conference is the time to celebrate her personal and professional growth.

“You have to show up to the game as well as practice. Going to conference is showing up for the Super Bowl!”

Grow with Symmetry

When it comes to attending conference, you can never be sure which part of the event will spark your passion. Whether you’re in the back of the room watching a panel of speakers or on stage sharing your experience with thousands, our annual national conferences are a chance to grow and learn as an organization.

Our Reimagine 2022 National conference in Denver, Colorado is no different. This February, agents can expect to gain experience that will elevate their business in more ways than they thought possible.

As a Symmetry agent, you will have access to high-quality life insurance, disability income insurance, critical illness insurance, and annuity products from more than 30 well-known insurance companies. This gives you the flexibility and reach you need to tailor plans to meet clients' individual coverage needs.

To learn more about how to begin a fulfilling career as a life insurance agent, contact us today .


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