Life as a Business Owner

“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” -Simon Sinek

Being a financial adviser is a calling for me.  I didn’t plan on being a financial adviser.  I realize that is an ironic statement for someone who spends their life planning.  When I was in college, I wanted to be a high school teacher.  I actually have a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching.  After I taught for a semester, I knew that I wanted to do something different with my life.  So, armed with a couple of degrees from a well-recognized school and a pile of student loans, I answered an ad for becoming a financial adviser.  I could have just as easily answered an ad for any other profession.  In fact, I’m sure I did but I didn’t get those jobs.  I linked up with a company that provided me with excellent training and then I went on to study for my CFP at Georgetown.  Through the years, I have continued to stay sharp by attending due diligence meetings, study groups, industry conferences and countless webinars.  So here I sit twenty-one years later doing what I love everyday in the service of a fantastic group of clients, helping to change people’s lives.

My biggest wins are great outcomes for my clients, not the professional recognition or accolades.  It’s the children who graduate without student loans, it’s the successful retirements, it’s the secure widows.  At this point in my career, I feel so fortunate to see the outcomes of the decisions that I helped my clients make fifteen and twenty years ago.  That’s what keeps me going.

Of course, like every small business owner, there have been struggles along the way.  In the early days, I had to acquire enough clients to sustain a profitable business.  It wasn’t easy.  I also had to maintain my integrity.  Through the years, I have had ideological dissent from the organizations that I was associated with.  Two times, I’ve had to make a break from the offices that I was working in.  While all this was going on, I had to find a sense of balance between the work that I do and my growing family.   The 2008 market crash started when I was six months pregnant.  Fun times.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve learned from every struggle.  I’ve learned from every client that I’ve worked with.  I end each day asking myself what I’ve learned and how I can improve tomorrow.   Would I choose to be a small business owner and a financial planner again?  Absolutely.  I get to serve a fantastic group of clients who then in turn have an impact on countless other lives.  While doing this, I am able to maintain my integrity, be true to myself, and make every one of my girl’s games and school events.