When you hear the word “confessions,” automatically you think, “Oh boy, this is going to be good.” Don’t get too excited as my confessions are pretty GEEKY. I’m often asked, “How did you get started as a planner?”
That is actually a long story, but I will point out a couple of characteristics or quirks that work as an advantage in my profession. Having a degree in business administration and having experience in banking, insurance, and the investment field for more than ten years has contributed to my success, but the roots of that success go back even further.
When I was a young boy, my dad encouraged me to start a lawn mowing business. I went around to all of my neighbors and established accounts with a few of them. I soon had more work than I could handle so I hired some of my friends in the neighborhood to help. I was eleven years old when I started and moved from that neighborhood when I was twelve. When I was eighteen and just about to start college, I reconnected with a friend and found out the lawn mowing business I had started was still going strong. That was my first business, so watching it grow and knowing that it continued to thrive after I was gone was and still is an inspiration. Thanks, Dad.
I’ve always been a bit obsessive about my finances. When I would get my crusty dollar bills after mowing a lawn, I would take them home and wash them in the sink. I would lay them out on the counter and blow-dry them straight. I would bring them to the bank and deposit them in my savings account. At the time, that savings account was earning 10 percent. Ahh, the good old days.
I am also obsessed with numbers and counting. When I am driving down the highway, I count the number of tires on the vehicles driving in the opposite direction. Now this is pretty easy when you just have cars and trucks with four tires each, but when there are a lot of motorcycles and semi-trucks, it can really get your brain working quickly, not to mention that I am messing with the radio, wiping one of my kid’s noses, handing the ChapStick to my wife and drinking a cup of coffee … just kidding.
One last little confession, and this one works into personal finance. I love budgeting. I know this really sounds weird to many of you, but I am the dorky guy in the checkout stand at the grocery store who has to input my debits into my iPhone and categorize the expenses. Let me tell you, this little quirk isn’t very popular in the express lane. But when tax time comes, and my CPA asks me how much I spent, I just love pulling out my computer and giving her the exact number down to the penny.
Okay, you may be thinking I’m a bit quirky, but you need to keep track of your money, monitor it, and help it grow. You also need to make your money work for you so you don’t have to work for your money. Keeping track of your expenses and investments as well as planning for the future will help you focus on what you enjoy. You don’t have to become a financial advisor, just someone who takes an active interest in his or her finances.