We had the good fortune of connecting with Tran(g) Trinh-Byrd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tran(g), what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Being a State Farm Agent, people think all we do is car and homeowners insurance but we do so much more. My career allows me to help customers evaluate and mitigate risk and plan for financial security. As an active member of my community, I also pay it forward through charitable work and acts of kindness.

Life insurance in particular is something so important that is often overlooked, and people don’t think they need it until it’s too late. I’m a big advocate of life insurance and taking care of your family, leaving a legacy, and being a responsible citizen so you don’t leave debt or a burden on your family or society.

Additionally, State Farm has nearly 100 products to offer between personal/business insurance and banking products. I am also a Mortgage Loan Originator through State Farm’s partnership with Rocket Mortgage so I help customers with mortgages and refinancing. I like to think of myself as one stop shop for my customers.

My husband teases me and says everyone asks me about everything or “Just Ask Trang” as he likes to say. I know a lot of people and I know how to get things done. Or if I can’t, I usually have someone I can refer you to.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The most successful entrepreneurs take their passion and turn it into a career. For me, my passion is in helping people. Being a State Farm Agent means I get to help people every day by educating them about insurance and financial products. People tell me I’m good at sales, but I don’t think of it that way at all. What I’m good at is educating customers and allowing them to make their own decisions on what works best for them and their families. Insurance is not easy to understand for the average customer, so I break it down and make it easy for them.

You have to know a lot and continually learn in order to be successful in insurance; it’s not easy. What’s easy is having integrity, and doing what’s right for my customers so we are both in it for the long game. I’m a true believer in customers for life.

Another key part of being a State Farm Agent is actively engaging with your community. I love mentoring kids, organizing volunteers to feed the homeless, and just teaching those around me the importance of paying it forward. One of my main goals in life is to leave the world a much better place than I found it.

Life and my career weren’t always this easy though. After coming to the US from Vietnam, my parents divorced and I grew up in a single parent (sometimes no parent) home on welfare. My Dad had the financial burden of taking care of 6 kids along with an extended family of aunties and grandparents that joined us when we fled the war. His ex-wife abandoned the family, and is still pretty much estranged from us. I know what it’s like living without hot water, food, and heat. I remember getting ready for school and having to heat up the water on the stove, then taking it into the bathtub to bathe myself because we didn’t have money to pay the bill. Those were some tough times.

I also knew there was little chance I was going to be able to afford college unless I got good grades, played sports, and took part in extracurricular activities. I did all those things and was able to get my Bachelors Degree from Gonzaga, and won a NCAA Scholarship to get my Masters Degree from Long Beach State. I walked away from Gonzaga with student loan debt of $12,500 thanks to soccer and academic scholarships, and my part-time job.

Following college I worked as a Marketing Intern for the San Diego Padres. While I was getting my Masters Degree, I worked full-time for Nissan and then Toyota at their corporate offices. Shortly after, I got recruited by an automotive group and become their first female Partner/General Manager. After learning how to run a car dealership and body shop, I got that entrepreneurial itch. I told one of my friends, “I’d rather work 14 for myself than 8 for someone else”, so I left that company and started my own social media and marketing company. After that I was recruited by State Farm via LinkedIn to be an Agent. The rest is still unwritten.

What I want the world to know is if you believe it, you can achieve it. Nobody ever told me that refugee kids from Vietnam aren’t supposed to go to college and grow up to be business owners. I just wanted to do it so that’s what I set forth and worked hard to do. When I hear kids say they can’t go to college because they don’t have money, it breaks my heart. You can do it if you persevere. Just ask my Dad.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Besides my own kitchen? Because I love to cook! So if they want a good home-cooked meal, I’d say they have to come to the Byrd House. The menu ranges from Vietnamese Egg Rolls and Turmeric Fish to Cast Iron Steak and Gumbo.

If they don’t come to my house for Vietnamese food, I would take them to Little Saigon in Westminster which is the closest thing to Vietnam, outside of Vietnam itself. I get my Bánh mì sandwiches from Bánh mì Cali and like to enjoy family style Vietnamese food from Thành Mỹ on Bolsa Ave in Westminster.

I love the outdoors so I would make sure we take the hike behind the Hollywood sign or in the Santa Monica Mountains, and catch a sunset from Bruce’s Beach in Manhattan Beach. I would also go skip rocks at Abalone Cove in Palos Verdes and play in the tide pools. If they’re up to it, I would invite them to my gym, UFC Gym in Torrance, for boxing/kickboxing, spin, or a DUT (bootcamp) class.

I’d take them for flights to one of many Tap Rooms for local beers such as Common Space or LA Ale Works in Hawthorne. If they are really special, I’d take them on a never-ending search to find the city’s best Old Fashioned and craft cocktails, making sure we stop at The Sherman in Sherman Oaks. If it doesn’t have a beautiful, solid ice cube we’re leaving. We’d likely end up back at The Byrd House with a nightcap of Oban 18 or Macallan.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am a Daddy’s Girl at heart and my Dad, Tin Ba Trinh, was a Vietnam war hero. One day I will write a memoir about him and his courageous feats during the Vietnam War, where he fought (and was shot, but survived) on the frontline alongside American Troops.

My “Bố Tin” (Dad in Vietnamese) as we called him, pushed me to get good grades in school and be the absolute best I could be. He inspired me to be top of class and to never give up on reaching my goals. I always wanted to achieve at the highest level, because in doing so I would make him proud and he would tell me so.

He was there for all the major milestones in my life; Bellingham High School graduation where I delivered the class speech, Gonzaga University when I graduated Summa Cum Laude, and he was most proud when I was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Detroit with the Young Leadership and Excellence Award.

My “Bố Tin” taught me perseverance, one of the the most important traits I use to this day as an entrepreneur. He never gave up on getting us out of war-torn Vietnam to the United States. My Dad gave my family and I a new life and opportunity in America and for that I am eternally grateful. He lost his battle with cancer in 2013 and I miss him every day.

Additionally, I credit my husband Curtis for his unconditional love and support. He is unbelievably solid. I’m convinced my Dad sent him from the heavens. They were/are both drummers after all.

Website: www.insurewithbyrd.com

Instagram: @insurewithbyrd

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trangtrinhbyrd/

Twitter: @insurewithbyrd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/insurewithbyrd

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/trang-trinh-byrd-state-farm-insurance-agent-torrance

Other: google reviews https://g.page/r/CfSq2714h-m1EB0/review

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