You have an important story about navigating through your life and landing where you are right now. I do, too.
Currently, I am sitting in my quiet office, surrounded by desk knick knacks, white walls, and my struggling mini cactus plant. Titles like Certified Financial Planner® and Associate Wealth Advisor sit behind my name on my email signature, and yet, they feel slightly foreign. This is where I want to be, but how did I get here? I find myself looking back on the myriad of decisions that led me here, doing what I love: helping people navigate life and find financial security.
My childhood was immersed in the invigorating passion of entrepreneurship.
My father owned a small construction business; I loved going to job sites and seeing his excitement for what he built. I witnessed the direct connection between hard work and fulfillment. I enjoyed talking about the business with my dad and would relish in his enthusiasm when I showed the smallest signs of business acumen. The decision to study business in school was therefore an easy one.
College freshman tend to have an excitement for life and passion for the future that will likely only extend until first semester’s finals.
While still enthralled by my own first semester, I recall a finance professor asking about my career goals, and I spouted off an enthusiastic spiel about how I hoped to find a way to connect psychology and finance. I wanted to help families solve money problems, because solving money problems can help solve other family problems. It sounded so novel!
The professor did not squelch my passion by telling me this novel idea already existed. It is called financial planning.
Underconfident and lacking experience, I accepted a client services position at a fee-only financial planning firm after graduation. It was my way of finding a job that orbited what I loved without stepping too far out of my comfort zone. However, seeing the work of passionate, successful financial advisors affirmed that I wanted to learn more and work in the industry long term.
I soon earned my Series 65 license, telling myself I would just use it to help with back-office trading. After a well-intentioned nudge from my husband, who was powering through his own Chartered Financial Analyst® studies, I admitted to myself that I wanted to be an advisor. Not only that, I wanted to be one of the best.
I decided to pursue the CFP® designation. While I expected to study hard, I did not expect to move to a new town, find a new firm, and buy our first home all at the same time. Life’s challenges always seem to come in threes, don’t they? Despite (or perhaps to spite) my persistent self-doubt, I earned the designation and learned A LOT along the way. Reflecting on the journey, I find myself feeling like that first semester freshman, passionate about guiding my clients.
I love hearing their own stories about how they got here and all they have overcome! I find that most people’s stories seem far more interesting than my own. However, if you are like me and feel like your life has been a cakewalk compared to others, I know you do still have a story to tell! Reflect, write me an email, or pop in the office and tell me your story. Trust me, I want to hear it!