The beginning of my career in finance was an uncomfortable phase of my life for many reasons. In the words of my Saskatchewan born father, transforming from a "self employed hairdresser" to someone who was supposed to know all about money was "ballsey".
Scary Moment #1: My clients might think less of me after I share this story with them.
This is why I didn't share this until now.
Scary Moment #2: My son might look back on his childhood and feel ripped off.
My son was in kindergarten when I changed careers. Kindergarten was only three hours a day Monday-Thursday, and quality child care was (and is) expensive, so my son watched a lot of Disney movies while I studied. Five to ten times a day, I'd think to myself (or sometimes vent to my friends or strangers in the grocery line up), "starting a new career would have been so much easier a year from now - when my son will be in full time school." Building my career meant less mother-son time. Plus, I had a hard time being present during mother-son time. My mind was full of course deadlines and financial jargon definitions. Each day I pushed through the discomfort by reminding myself of this one fact:
"My son will be happy I took this opportunity to learn and share how to create financial success."
I calmed this fear by also reminding myself that my hairdressing career had allowed me to spend tons of time with my son while he was a toddler and preschooler. That's more time than many moms get with their young children.
I'll ask him when he turns 20 if he wishes I had remained a hairdresser and let you know what he says.
Scary Moment #3: I could fail.
This crossed my mind about once a week, but at that time my definition of failure meant not succeeding at the particular role I was in, which was all about Sell! Sell! Sell! This definition of failure was not actually mine. Large corporations are great at teaching brand-new employees that success and hitting commission targets go hand in hand. After a few years in the finance industry, I decided two things about my definition of success:
Success is about changing lives for the better, and success without failure is less fulfilling.
The good news is, I didn’t fail the financial exams, and I was hired by the investment firm. Although I wasn't meant for this role, I am thankful every day for the opportunity the investment firm gave me.
Scary Moment #4: My job title is a sham.
After being hired by the investment firm, I knocked on hundreds of doors in my community introducing myself and my new business. This resulted in meetings which resulted in new clients. It was during this process I realized my title was BS - I wasn't a financial ADVISOR. I was a financial product SALESPERSON, compensated only when I sold stocks, mutual funds or life insurance. This led to more scary moments...
Scary Moment #5: I will have to work for free. A lot.
Many times people asked, “What do you charge for a financial review?” but I was unable to charge a consultation fee. I could only be paid if they invested their money with me or bought life insurance from me. Thus, I did a lot of work for free.
I'm not saying I hate working for free. I present free workshops and seminars at libraries. I broadcast live interviews with money success experts. I share my best money management strategies for free in articles and on my YouTube channel. But gathering data, crunching numbers and building a customized action plan is valuable work. I believe that most people don't truly value services they get for free. Plus, most people don’t need a new "financial advisor" or new financial products. They just need someone they like, trust and believe in to help them see what's really going on with their money and show them a few strategies they may want to use to improve their financial picture.
Scary Moment #6: I can’t help the people who need it most.
The “financial advising” industry is geared towards serving wealthy people because - yep, you guessed it - that's where the most profit is. It's not that some financial advisors wouldn't love to help non-wealthy people become wealthy, but they can't. Well, they can, but they'll probably get fired. So don’t blame financial advisors for focusing on the already rich folks. Blame the folks at the big banks who decide how financial advisors get paid.
Scary Moment #7: The only way I can help the people who need it most is by becoming an independent consultant.
This was scary for only three days, so it was the least scary moment of this entire story. But after those three super scary days, my fear was replaced with this excitement:
I finally get to do what makes me happy: help those who like, trust and believe in me, no matter how much money they have.
This meant removing the name of a large, international investment firm from my business card and replacing it with an unknown, but very awesome name: Barrie Financial Consulting Inc.
Scary Moment #8: I just hired a business coach. I have no idea how I will afford to pay him.
At that time, I had spent all my savings getting my new company up and running. But somehow, month after month, I found the money to pay my business coach. I made sure to practice what I preach by saying no to (most) vacations and (most) evenings out, but trading those experiences for business coaching paid me huge returns (without the hangovers).
The number one reason why I hired this particular business coach was because he is an author. He took me through a book writing process that began with analyzing my clients and realizing my financial conversations with my mom clients are having the most impact. He told me it was my moral responsibility to share my financial knowledge with as many moms as possible.
Throughout 2016, I worked hard to reach more moms by blogging and publishing articles on LinkedIn.
Scary Moment #9: My son read my goal out loud to me.
The day my son came home from school and read my goal board aloud, “I will complete my book by July 1st 2016” followed by questioning me about the number of pages and what my book will be about was a very scary day.
The thought of looking like a failure to my child was terrifying. So I ran away. Fast.
As you can see, this LinkedIn post from June 2016 went bezerk (34,659 Likes + 167,739 Comments = BEZERK!) The thousands of people who participated in my book cover vote and the many messages I received from people excited to read my book showed me that, although my son was the #1 person I was writing this book for, he wasn't the only person. Thanks to each and every one of you who liked and commented on this post. You helped get my book in front of the eyes of almost everyone on LinkedIn, which helped me land new dream clients, hundreds of moms wanting my latest creations in their inbox, and my book in Calgary's biggest Chapters Indigo store.....THANK YOU LINKEDIN!!!!!
After much help in the editing department, my blogs and LinkedIn articles became a published book, 39 Keys To Money Success For The 39 Forever Mom. It took about 9 months from start to finish, and I missed my deadline by two months, but in the end, I had achieved my goal. And I got to experience a day a lot like my son's baby shower, except (sorry son) it was better because my clothes fit and I wasn't tired and everyone got to take a copy of my baby home to enjoy!
Since publishing my book, my next big goal was to create a workshop for moms in both live and virtual formats. The live workshop was presented to a group of moms in front of a videographer. Then the videos were used as part of the virtual workshop. In October 2017, The Money Success Web Workshop for MOMS was born. (70% off for my Money Success Moms.)
The moral of this story is this: It's good to be scared.
Since I'm most productive when I'm running scared, I'm going to share with you one of my goals. It’s going to be difficult to achieve, and I might not even pull it off, but here it is:
Before I’m 40, I’ll buy land in the middle of nowhere near a creek and build a solar powered cabin, chicken coupe, garden, cold room, shooting range, many tree stands and I'll raise the best chicken guard dogs in the world. My cabin will host retreats where moms will learn how to declutter their lives to make room for the most important stuff: relationship skills, money management skills and wilderness survival skills.
Thank you for holding me accountable to achieving that goal. I hope you, too, will push past your fear and put your biggest goal out there for the world to see. After all, that's how this hairdresser turned financial consultant achieved writing a book!
No matter what your goal is, you'll find some inspiration in my brand new Money Success Web Workshop for MOMS. Get more info here.
You deserve to achieve your biggest goal.
Don't let any form of discomfort stop you. Use it to drive you forward, like wolves chasing at your heels. Plus, discomfort & scary moments make great stories later!
Do find the right people to support you through the difficult times.
Perhaps I can help.
Let me know your #1 goal and your #1 obstacle and I'll do my best to help you.
With personal service and #supermompower,
P.S. Please share a scary moment story in the comments below and what you achieved, or will achieve, by not backing down from your fear.