This March marked my tenth anniversary as a Financial Advisor. To celebrate this decade milestone, I’m taking a look back over the years and doing some retrospective write-ups. I’ve decided to start by looking at the people in my professional life that have been most important to me. The list started out quite long, so to thin it down I focused on the folks who not only had the most immediate impact on me, but also the most long lasting. When looking at those criteria I landed on these three.
First, is David Pfotenhauer. Dave was my Supervisor when I started training to be an advisor. He was with me on my first appointment, he was there on my hardest appointment, and he was there at my biggest appointment for a long time to come. Dave taught me how to really listen to a client to find out what was important to them. He taught me how to read a room so I could better understand someone and know what made them tick. Most importantly Dave taught me how to speak as an advisor, all the way from structure right down to word choice. Dave took a shaggy haired kid with a decent amount of knowledge and made him look and sound like a true advisor. Thank you so much, Dave, I still use what you taught me each and every day.
Next is the inimitable Richard Risley. Rick is fond of telling how I started in the closet/study room next to his office and five years later I was still in the room next to him, only now in a private office of my own. On those first days studying in that tiny room, hearing a successful advisor calling his clients, making recommendations, and loving every minute of what he did gave me a goal to aspire to. Perhaps more importantly Rick has been a teacher, mentor, and friend. My first business plans copied heavily from the Book of Risley, and his imprint is easily recognizable in how I run my practice today. And when I started having children and working to balance being a father, a husband, and an advisor, Rick’s knowledge and experience helped me navigate that delicate balancing act. Thank you, Rick, I don’t know how I could’ve made it this far without you.
Last, but certainly not least, is Curtis Wiggins. Curtis is my manager and recruited me to be a financial advisor, so in a very real sense I wouldn’t be here without him, but I would be doing a great disservice if I left it at that. There are two moments that stand out. First, Curtis was with me at my lowest ebb. At one point it all came down to one appointment or I was out of the business. Curtis went with me and showed me I had it in me to succeed, I just needed to relax and trust myself. It was exactly what I needed at the exact right time. The second moment is at the end of my second year. I was starting to get somewhere building my practice, but still had a long way to go. I sat down with him and shared my far-fetched idea of where I wanted my business to be. It is to his extraordinary credit that rather than laughing or putting down the idea he said, “Great, now you know where you want to go. Now, let’s figure out how to get you there.” That led to me building my business with a purpose and vigor I’d never had before and Curtis has been with me right up to today always providing an honest and frank view of where I am, what I’m doing, and where I’m going. Curtis, without your help, guidance, and saintly patience I would never have gone from surviving to thriving and for that I will always be grateful.
As I said at the top, a shameful number of folks had to be cut to keep this relatively short. I would love to tell stories and give thanks to Travis Meyers, Dean LaPrade, Richard Blodgett, and Ben Mitchell, but those are stories that will likely have to wait for my 20 year retrospective, or maybe my retirement speech, who knows. For now, thank you again to everyone mentioned here and to my clients. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the past at a small sample of the people behind the scenes who are so important to me.