After being a Financial Advisor for over 9 years, I have often asked business owners and families What’s Your Why? (Why do you do what you do?) Some may wonder why in the world does a Financial Advisor want to know this? Well, knowing your “why” can tell me a great deal about you, your family, your personality, your character and your motivating factors. All of those, I feel, are very important to your overall financial well being, your plans, your goals and how you keep and maintain sanity in your family-and remember to focus on the family.
For example, if you are not happy and you are just doing your job for money, that affects EVERYTHING! On the other hand, if you are following your passion and on track towards what you feel your purpose in life, then a lot will be flowing in your favor. Now, don’t take this as you need to quit your job tomorrow…take this as a reason to sit back and reflect-What’s your why?
To help you, let me answer that question. Yes, I am going to open up my life and my character for you as an example on why I say I am following my purpose and hopefully it helps you connect with yours.
Before becoming a Financial Advisor, I was in consulting and business operations management. Things were going well for my new bride and I, but I felt a tugging at something bigger. I knew I wanted to break out of the cycle of just going work, helping businesses make more money and then coming home. To me, that wasn’t fulfilling. I was good at it, but not fulfilled professionally or emotionally. Then, in 2004, I left my consulting gig to help a family friend rebuild their small business. This was a great opportunity in that it was challenging my system and my ability. It was challenging me because I wasn’t chasing the money. In fact, I took a HUGE pay cut. However, it was the purpose: Can I take what I was doing for Fortune 1000 companies and implement that with a small business?
Well, not to bore you with the details, it was a success. I helped them grow tremendously and it connected me with a skill that I was very good at…networking, business building and focusing on a purpose. That was it! I now had a bug to start my own business-which I knew was a goal all the way back to college in the 90’s. But, I had some criteria…it had to be a business where I was helping other people and utilized my God given talents in a positive, productive way.
Now, let’s combine that factor with some other important life events. My father died at the young age of 52. I was 20. He died of cancer 62 days after diagnoses and 1 year after having a quadruple bypass open heart surgery. I grew up in a modest, middle-income family. When he died, he at least had group life insurance provided by his employer, which was a redeeming factor for my mom, brother and I. It was a small amount, but enough to allow my mom not to have to make difficult choices.
The other saving grace was that we were blessed through tough situations. My grandparents had passed when I was quite young, allowing us to get a great deal on their house. We moved into their home right after I graduated 8th grade. That was the crux of my family starting to make it more in “the middle”. That was all well and good, but from my point of view my questions always were why there wasn’t a better plan in place? Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the course of events, because they could have been quite different. But, in my perspective what if…
What if someone would have sat down with my parents earlier, before my dad was uninsurable? What if there was a better way that circumstances could have played out? What if their own personal plan was to augment what they had at work with insurance and 401(k) and pensions? What if they had someone focusing on their family and not just selling products? What if….
You see, that what if and my passion for building a business helping people collided in 2005. Just as Phineas and Ferb (My kids love them!) say…I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to build a business where I was helping people plan for their family and build a financial foundation and strategy so that I could solve their what if before they need it and their kids don’t have to ask what if at the end.
You see, that’s my why. What is yours? Please leave a comment, shoot me an email, follow me on Facebook and let me know. It’s my pleasure to serve you.