My Story: From Assistant to Advisor to Coach
Growing up the thought of being in the financial industry was the furthest thing from my mind but when a job was offered to be a Sales Assistant to a million-dollar producer I jumped on it, heck just out of college I would have taken anything. Ten years later when I was presented with the opportunity to become a financial advisor with Smith Barney in Newport Beach, California I couldn’t say YES fast enough. After years as a registered assistant working for a variety of million-dollar producers I knew what I was getting into, knew what I had to do to build a successful practice and knew that as a financial advisor if I made it I could comfortably provide for my three children on my own, as a single mother this was HUGE. By then, I understood investing and products, I had the discipline and motivation to make it happen but more importantly I knew WHY I wanted to do it.
The day I started into production I focused on marketing to women, it wasn’t popular at the time and I was one of only 3 women in a 40 person branch but I knew this was what I was meant to do. I had my personal story and shared it with everyone I met, even men. Hosting events and workshops for women was my primary business building tool, as a former speech communications major public speaking was in my blood. I was passionate about helping women, loved inspiring them and as their confidence grew so did my purpose. It was the money management side that held me back. To be honest I really didn’t care that much about the markets but using the structure, programs and tools laid out by Smith Barney I was able to perform this aspect of my job adequately but it certainly was not what I enjoyed, it only added more stress, pressure and anxiety to my day, that combined with the constant push back from compliance it’s a wonder I succeeded at all. But succeed I did.
As the only advisor focused on women I was happy to let other advisors piggy back on my events. I was open to sharing my marketing program with any advisor and relished the opportunity to coach new advisors. I found I loved the coaching, training and educating more than the financial aspects of my job so I began focusing on moving into management which was not an easy path at Smith Barney. To be considered management material, you had to have at least 3 years of experience, be at the top of your class in terms of production and then go through an extensive assessment as to your skills and ability to manage others. Within 3 months of starting the assessment process my three children and I were moved to Hartford, Connecticut where I became the 3rd women to ever become a National Training Officer for Smith Barney.
While I loved what I did, with 3 kids at home, the demands on my time and energy was grueling. Living up to the traditional industry protocol “He who works the most hours is the best NTO” was killing me. Over the next three years I worked long days, commuting hours by train to NY and worked under intense scrutiny. To be honest I felt boxed in and micro managed, while I had developed a fabulous team it was if all the creativity was being squeezed out of me, this was not what I wanted.
So I quit and had no idea what I was going to do but I knew it was time for me to spread my wings. Within 3 months I opened the doors to my own coaching and consulting practice, that was the day that changed the quality of my life forever. I now had the freedom to teach from my soul, inspire and motivate other advisors using the methods and strategies that worked for me. I created a schedule that worked around my life allowing me to feel good as a mother, wife and woman. And within one year I was making over 6 figures, who would have thought.
I realize being an entrepreneur, opening your own coaching and consulting practice is not for everyone but for those who have a burning desire to do something that makes a difference, where you feel good about yourself and the impact your making. Working with a schedule that revolves around YOUR life and what’s important to you than perhaps this is the opportunity you have been waiting for.