Carter and I met in 1995 during our freshman session as legislative aides in the Alaska State Legislature. Spirited, adventurous, honest to a fault and fun as the day is long, we quickly became great friends. When I opened my practice in 2002, Carter was one of the very first people to put their trust in me. Gently, we consolidated his existing holdings and began our advisor/client relationship. Back then, advisors were still “brokers” (or “stockbrokers” if you really wanted to get under my skin) and technology wasn’t very advanced. Retirement and financial planning were done with a series of calculations without the benefit of any fancy software. Enter fancy software…
During an annual review in 2005, we put the fancy software to work. For the first time in my young career, I was inspired to ask, “What other cool things do you want to do between now and retirement?” Without hesitation, “I’ve always wanted to build a cabin on a remote lake, here in Alaska.” Turning a dream into a goal and then taking that goal and making a dream come true is an amazing experience. Here’s my Special Recipe: Strategically combine a Practical Budget and an Accurate Timeline with an Appropriate Investment Strategy and a Committed Funding Mechanism. Add delayed gratification, grit, patience, and lots of hard work, stir vigorously. In 2013, I left Alaska for more sunshine and an opportunity I could not refuse and in 2014, Carter finished his cabin. From then on, every time we talked, I got to hear stories about the cabin that made me smile from ear to ear. He shared stories about celebrations and long weekends with friends and family that made me giggle out loud. I was SO proud of him. Year after year I became more intrigued with his slice of heaven. I so thoroughly enjoyed seeing his fb posts and text pics, living his best life ever, at the cabin. It brought me so much joy to watch him enjoy his dream, like, a ridiculous amount of joy! You know, joy: that silly smile that starts in your tummy and works its way up, lights up your face and reveals your secret gold-capped molar? Yeah, that kind of joy. JOY?! Wait, what’s that all about? This is my business we’re talking about here. Where does “joy” fit in? I’ve always liked helping my clients, but this was different.
For my whole existence as an advisor, I had been focused on meeting the metrics set by my company. Secret: I’m an over achiever. I slayed the goals laid out for me regarding running their branch and in return, I made a very nice living and traveled the world. It was amazing, and comfortable and calculated and I had it completely dialed in. At the time, 15 years into my career, looking forward to the second half, just “making more money” wasn’t doing it for me anymore. It wasn’t going to cut it going forward, I wanted more.
What if I could add more JOY to my practice? What IF, I could design my practice so I could orchestrate this glee more often? What if I was paid in joy? What would that look like? What would I need to do to accomplish that? Well first, I need to hire people I give a shit about. That sounds harsh, but when you care about someone and they do something fantastic, it brings you joy. Life is too short to work with people I don’t enjoy, so there.
This revelation caused me to pause and reflect on my position as an advisor in the most introspective and intimate manner. I needed to figure this out. I sat down and dissected my business by joy. With no judgement whatsoever, I penciled out who I LOVE working with. Who is intrinsically drawn to my practice? Who can I help the most and how can I make the biggest impact in their lives?
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to commence on a project of my own, a word project. I was about to articulate some truth bombs and crack the code to engage women and their finances like no one’s ever seen before. And so, began my journey to Serendipity Securities. More joy please. And Carter, thank you, you are the original, unicorn, Savvy Mister.
Any opinions are those of Serendipity® Securities and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected.