THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM The Career Changes That Brought Me to Financial Architects
As a senior advisor here at Financial Architects, I can’t help but feel a mix of gratitude and regret when I reflect on my past 26 years with the firm. I’m grateful for being allowed to
career. One company that chose to work with me operated several automotive aftermarket franchises. The owner liked my work ethic, and I guess my talent, and offered me a partnership in his rapidly expanding business as long as I could come up with $10,000. My wife and I had to sell our house to make this happen, but we did. This was a tough decision. I loved the advertising business, but it certainly didn’t pay the kind of money this franchise owner was making. Over the next 14 years, we grew that business, opening multiple locations and making a tidy profit. In fact, it got to the point where, as a business owner, I would regularly get cold calls from financial advisors offering their services. I wasn’t much of a fan of this pestering, but I remember feeling bad for the people on the other end of the line. Talking to people about their finances? That’s got to be a hard way to go. Looking back, I’m grateful for these phone calls. They taught me to recognize the kind of financial planner I didn’t want to be. After many years of success, my time in the aftermarket industry was cut short, almost overnight. Our franchises specialized in rustproofing cars, and on Jan. 1, 1988, manufacturers like Ford, Chrysler, and GM started using galvanized, rust-resistant metal to make their automobiles. And just like that, my once-booming business was headed down the drain. Now what?
become a regular customer at one of our franchises. I knew he worked in finance, but he seemed different from the advisors I spoke with over the phone in the past. He founded a firm that took a unique approach to wealth building — Financial Architecture. In my hour of need, I called Ken Grace and asked what it would take to become a Financial Architect. Here we are about 26 years later, and I can say this was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I struggled at the beginning; getting your start in the finance industry is tough sledding. But I stuck with it and found that my old creative juices started to flow freely again. I’d found a career that gave me the best of both worlds, allowing for outside-the-box thinking while also drawing on my experience as a business owner. With the help of Ken and the rest of the team at Financial Architects, I was able to build the most rewarding career of my life. I love helping people make their financial dreams a reality. So, after nearly 50 years in the workforce, my advice is to seek the counsel of your family and friends before you make a career choice or change. Get an outside perspective on what your talents and skills are. Then ask yourself: “What work would I love to do using those talents?” And when you find that love, go for it. Never look back.
help people make wise decisions with their money each day, and I’m regretful I didn’t begin this opportunity sooner. You see, this is my third career. People change careers all the time, whether by choice or by force. I’ve done both and learned some important lessons along the way. If you’re considering — or anticipating — a change in career, my advice is to find a profession you love. The money will come in time. I had to figure this out the hard way. As a student at Michigan State University, I discovered a passion and talent in the graphic design department. Soon enough, I was developing logos and artwork for various advertising brochures and having fun doing it. After graduating in 1970, I landed my first career job at a small advertising agency, where I quickly learned the most important commodity I had to market was myself. The owner had taken me under his wing, having me make calls to businesses that might buy my designs. Making these calls was awkward at first, but with some success, I soon learned to love it.
It was through making these calls that I discovered what would become my second
This led to career opportunity No. 3. A friend I met through my church had since
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