“Fear is the No. 1 reason why many women stay trapped in a job where they are not happy” – Beverly Walthour, business strategist
Man or woman, much of your adult life is spent in working. Wouldn’t it be logical to find a career that you find personally fulfilling? This Forbes article urges us to optimize happiness through career choices.
It’s no secret that an employee whose personality traits that are closely aligned with job responsibilities is more likely to earn additional income. Passion and meaning at work (aka calling) leads to greater life satisfaction, too.
Living and Breathing Work
Recently, to better understand the challenges my blog readers face, I posed the following question:
If you were hiring a financial professional to help you, what is the most important thing you would look for?
One person’s response caught me by surprise: “What I'm looking for is someone like me, but smarter. Someone [who] understands that each dollar in my account is not only the result of hard work, but it has stayed there because of sacrifice. I want someone that lives and breathes investing and wealth management as much as I do my own career, not someone that simply does it as a job.”
This makes sense and tells me two things:
1. This reader is committed to his career and has found his higher calling.
2. I am a financial professional that “lives and breathes” wealth management. Let me elaborate below.
Financial Planning as Calling
Advising families on their personal financial matters is my calling. My career has been a mixed bag … accounting, tax, personal financial planning, and investment management. In addition to running WorthyNest®, I own and operate another business called SV CPA Services. When voluntarily leaving Matter Family Office in 2013 to spend more time with immediate family, the hardest aspect of my departure was two-fold: personal relationships and the work itself.
I maintained a relationship with one client, handling personal and business bookkeeping about 10 hours monthly as an independent contractor. SV CPA Services (formerly Statera Vitae) was formed in 2014 when that client introduced me to two business partners who were starting a new hotel development. They needed an accountant to provide controllership-level services for the hotel, and I was chosen. SV CPA Services has grown beautifully since then, both in headcount and the service models we offer.
When my mindset shifted from “self-employed” to “small business owner” in SV CPA Services, I knew WorthyNest® was the next logical step. My desire to help clients in a more meaningful way cannot be done strictly through accounting services.
Adding Value, Step-By-Step
Since launching WorthyNest® a little over a year ago, here are some areas where I’ve added value to my clients’ financial lives:
1) Devised a detailed budget, built emergency fund savings, and established 529 College Saving plans for a dual-earning couple with two children.
2) Consolidated over $60K in student loans and created a plan to pay off the remaining principal balance within 5 years.
3) Refinanced the mortgage of a pre-retiree couple to a 10-year term, saving $15K in interest over the life of the loan and providing peace of mind that there will be no monthly payment during their retirement years.
4) Connected a 40-year old client couple to an estate attorney. The new legal documents explain who will care for their children and how assets will be handled, in the event of premature death.
5) Secured long-term disability and life insurance for a high-earning father of five.
6) Developed a two-step plan to reduce equity exposure in a 401(k) portfolio from 90% to 70%. My client was concerned about missing any further upside of market activity but is also within 5 years of retirement and considers himself a moderate investor.
7) Helped one client family’s financial net worth grow by $100,000!
I am incredibly blessed. Helping clients achieve their financial goals is inspiring and rewarding.
Are You Fulfilled?
Are you in a career that is satisfying, personally and professionally? Or do you find yourself stuck in something that isn’t suited to your personality? Take the 2-minute quiz here.
Deborah L. Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP® is a fee-only financial planner and investment advisor based in Saint Louis, Missouri who serves clients nationally. As the owner of WorthyNest, Deb educates and empowers families to build long-term wealth.