What is your background, and how did you get into finance?
I graduated from OSU with an MBA and concentrations in Marketing & Finance. I owned several small businesses and then decided to own and operate my own financial planning firm. Started in the back door as an insurance agent.
Were you successful initially, or did you experience obstacles in the beginning? How did you keep motivated and pushing forward?
I was not very successful for the first few (maybe 10?) years. It was a challenge to learn the profession and try to establish my own practice at the same time. And being a mom to 3 daughters definitely slowed things down. The reason I was able to persevere was that I really enjoyed financial planning, my clients, and being self-employed. The secret is to like what you are doing!
Do you have any secrets for balancing being a mom with being a great financial professional?
Whew! Just perseverance. Be creative with finding time!
What advice would you give to a busy mom who is interested in diving fully into the financial field?
It helps to have a very strong interest so that you can find those extra crannies of time to devote to learning. If you can join a firm that practices in the way you would eventually like to (i.e. fee-only), that would be ideal. Even working there part time in a support, back-office role would be helpful. A smaller practice which allows you access to more areas of the business would be ideal. Unfortunately I always had to reinvent the wheel and learn things the hard way . . . just struggling and figuring out things on my own.
What keeps you going and motivated?
Same as #2 and then finding new ways to change and improve my practice. About a year ago my business started doing very well, but some of the joy diminished because it had become routine. In fact, it’s hard to believe that I struggled so hard for close to 15 years, finally had success, and then had to struggle a bit with boredom after only 1 year!!!
Recently I engaged a practice management consultant which has opened up whole new opportunities to improve and grow my business. It seems positive change is also an important component for me in remaining motivated.
Can you share a little about your family with us?
I was originally married to a pilot and we had 3 daughters. Since he was gone 50% of the time, I really did have the child care burden. We were divorced several years ago.