Have you ever been able to accomplish a goal solely on your own?
Probably not. Whether it was God pushing you through the last mile of a competitive race or a friend helping you ace a test, you’ve likely had some help along the way.
Having an accountability partner beside you can make all the difference between crossing the finish line and getting injured during the messy middle of a race.
It’s taken me a long time to learn this lesson. I wasn’t naturally gifted in sports, so earning straight As in school gave me confidence. Rather than being part of a team, I was always rewarded for individual accomplishments.
Starting WorthyNest in 2016, I thought I could do it on my own. Boy, was I wrong! We each have unique strengths and weaknesses. According to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, my top five strengths are:
1. Learner – wants to continually improve. The process of learning is far more exciting than the outcome.
2. Responsibility – takes psychological ownership of the promises made.
3. Input – enjoys collecting data and uses this information to instruct others.
4. Belief – has unchanging core values that provide purpose and direction.
5. Connectedness – doesn’t believe in coincidences; rather, sees how a series of events are related.
While these positive attributes are great, it doesn’t mean I can live in isolation. My husband’s top five strengths are completely different from mine: adaptability, includer, harmony, consistency, and maximizer. Together, we make a wonderful team. If I have trouble communicating with one of our sons, Bryan can look at the situation, offer a fresh perspective and find a way to get the message across.
Collaboration is Better than Isolation
Likewise, it is important to have colleagues who share new insights and help you overcome roadblocks. When you are part of a larger organization, you are surrounded by other professionals who are invested in the company’s success. That network is essentially gone when you start a solo business.
Marty Brown and I became acquainted with each other through a mutual friend, Andrew, in summer 2016. Marty and Andrew worked together at Buckingham Strategic Wealth several years ago. I felt an instant connection with Marty. His wife and my husband Bryan both grew up in the same small town west of St. Louis, and he also had three young boys. Marty seemed genuine and sincere.
Marty, Andrew, and I were discussing whether to form a partnership within Andrew’s existing financial advisory firm. Ultimately, I decided to strike out on my own and formed WorthyNest later in 2016.
Several months later, Marty and I ran into each other at the grocery store and then at our sons’ t-ball games. We stayed in touch through email periodically. Earlier in 2018, Marty was kind enough to think of me when one of his clients needed a CPA. We conversed about his client and her accounting needs, but also discussed if it would make sense for Marty to join me at WorthyNest. Marty was impressed that I was living in Spain during our calls … that I had the courage and foresight to turn a dream into reality.
My goals for WorthyNest are big. I will continue working one-on-one with clients seeking holistic financial planning and investment advisory services but also want to help thousands of people achieve their financial goals. I’m writing my first book and plan to launch online courses later this year or in early 2019 to serve a larger population.
Marty is on board with this mission. Like me, he wants to help Christian families steward wealth in a positive way. Marty draws on his deep investment background to manage client assets, and I take clients through the comprehensive financial planning process. Over time, Marty may work with additional one-on-one clients as my focus shifts to the book and online courses. Regardless, we both like the idea of having another person available to assist clients if an unexpected emergency arises.
Although Marty’s top strengths are different than mine, we share one commonality: belief. Below is an excerpt from Gallup’s report on what makes us stand out:
“By nature, you occasionally find yourself attracted to people who think about the future. You might be attracted to working alongside possibility thinkers who dedicate themselves to humanitarian or philanthropic causes. Perhaps, like them, you imagine a world without refugees, war, hunger, incurable diseases, or weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes you feel restless when your life lacks great and noble purpose. Driven by your talents, you can sometimes place the needs of others ahead of your own. Chances are good that you often argue that people should be held to the highest moral standards. You insist that those who break the law be required to accept the consequences of their deeds.”
Neither Marty nor I are doing this work for the money. We believe that family and faith are intertwined. When you have a strong faith relationship, you are a better spouse and parent. You’re also able to use your unique gifts to help others (and maybe even change the world).
Want to Bridge the Gap?
If you want to live purposefully and intentionally but need help sorting through the financial aspects, please reach out.
If you’re married and frequently argue about money or feel like the sole financial decision maker, talk to us.
Reach out if you are going through one of life’s many transitions and need someone trustworthy to discuss the financial implications.
Call 636-344-0415 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Marty and I are here for you.
Deborah L. Meyer, CPA/PFS, CFP®is a fee-only financial planner and investment advisor based in greater St. Louis, Missouri who helps conscientious parents achieve their financial and life goals. As the owner of WorthyNest, Deb empowers faith-filled families nationally to grow, protect, and share wealth and is a 2018 recipient of the AICPA’s Standing Ovation award. Find Deb discussing finance on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.