I'm writing this on the 7th of January, 2021.
It's been quite possibly, one of the hardest weeks in my entire life.
As I type these words out, there is a meeting my firm is holding, with some of the people that I care and respect the most in this industry.
At a certain point, there would have been slides and awards and prizes meant to recognize me, the firm's top performer of 2020.
With a Court of the Table award that puts me in the top 3% of consultants in the world, amongst numerous other achievements and accomplishments.
Things that I'll be honest - I was really looking forward to. Being honored in front of the people I've learnt from and competed with.
But I am not there.
I am here. On this bus.
Because I already resigned.
Part of me is still really asking myself this question. I've never resigned from anything before.
It was so difficult.
It hurt a lot. I watched myself grow up here. Nobody mistreated me and disdain for me was kept at a respectful minimum.
I didn't stick around for anything once I'd finalized my decision - there was plenty to stick around for a few weeks. Prizes. Glory. Money.
But it would have been pretty unfair to the future of the firm...and I'm not in that future. More importantly...
1) I Didn't Like Some Of The Decisions Made
I think it's common amongst millennials to see that you have ideas that go beyond the scope of your job scope and how painful it is to be unable to apply them.
For me, I couldn't take it anymore after 2 years of enduring it. I think many of you can understand what I mean, so I'll end off this point.
2) I Didn't Like The Person I Was Becoming
Because I was desperate to be self-motivated here all the time, I found that I'd been becoming gradually quite ugly and ruthless , consistently thinking about how to maximize my time and often at the expense of someone else if I could afford it.
I don't think an 'Us Against the World' mentality is necessarily wrong. I've always put family and clients first to the best of my ability and while it wasn't perfect, they've mostly benefited from it. It's just that I've learnt over the last few months, and this month in particular - that I should avoid stepping on someone else for my own side to gain something - just because it's particularly convenient or within my power.
3) I Was Getting Sloppy
A lot of juggling clients, business and my personal life has been largely unsuccessful in the last 4 years.
I burnt out and screwed up in my largest capacity when all of it came together at the same time once earlier this year, and thankfully the prospect involved was magnanimous enough to call me and talk to me and forgive me.
I hadn't been that ashamed in years.
That particular incident, while I shan't elaborate - led me to realize that I was getting sloppy. I needed help.
4) I Needed Resources for My Kids
That's why I started recruiting. I needed help, and I got it.
It's not perfect yet, but they're all getting their licenses or new licenses - including Kerri, and I'll be able to get a lot more done for my existing clients especially.
New clients will also have a much better user experience with the ideas that I've used to benefit hundreds of clients now efficiently dispensed, with added new specialty areas for more holistic financial planning. READ ALSO: Some Things Financial Consultants Might Not Have Quite Gotten Yet
It's really REALLY exciting.
But my kids need space and resources to operate, and I realized that I pictured something else different for them than myself. Each of them is important to me, and they need better than what I alone could give them.
ERDEM: Pride and Loyalty
Erdem ultimately decided to resign as well, forsaking some money and glory like I did. We'll be jobless awhile and he intends to go where I go, while making sure the clients are being taken care eventually. It moves me.
It's not something you can force someone else to do, so I'm grateful that he did so of his own volition. It speaks to the depth of trust and loyalty he has towards me, especially because there are financial consequences for doing so.
I can't really express how grateful I am beyond this.
Like how any parent views their firstborn son, he is my pride. JOYCE: Affirmation and Appreciation Joyce found me through Money Maverick, becoming my client, my friend, and now my understudy. I haven't met a lot of people who put their faith in me like she has, and I've made a promise to reward her in kind with a fruitful career. The weight of it can sometimes feel like too much.
But she always shows me how much she appreciates what I want to do for her. I don't know how to measure up to the faith she has in me, but I have to keep trying, because she affirms me.
It makes me believe I can keep going when I don't believe in myself.
Kerri: Service and Accountability
Kerri has been indispensable in the last few months. I have no clue how I'd deal with many things without her (or how I dealt with them before she arrived). She is generous with her time and does things properly.
When I work with Kerri, I am often reminded that how she serves me in her capacity as my full-time administrative staff, I am in service to my clients.
This may seem awfully 'duh': but I can promise you that even though I never bought a Rolex, a Condo or a Car (in my hasty pursuit of FIRE) - sometimes the success gets to your head.
Kerri's existence reminds me of my accountability to both her and the clients -that I want her to have a good job and a good boss - even though this is so new to both of us still.
Chris: Intelligence and Effort
I've known Chris since we were teenagers and have watched him go through a lot of personal ups and downs for love, education and career. His resilience has always amazed me, and I always thought he would be a good fit for Financial Consultancy.
Even before getting his license, I'm seeing him put so much thought and effort into the future. It reminds me a lot of myself when I started, but with a lot more precision.
The kind of precision that wouldn't have you slog for 2 years acquiring information and credibility before attaining career milestones and doubling, tripling client money - only to eventually get MAS complaints everyday or thrown out of Seedly.
(if you didn't get it, I was obviously referring to my own idiocy)
Every conversation with him seems so intentional and committed to the business that it's revived a passion for intelligent effort in me that I long thought dead - especially in an era of braindead (and often false) advertising.
5) It was Time
The people who recruited me - who I either admired or used to admire recruited me - both left. The latter, in particular - made sure I had a solid foundation in Financial Planning - and arguably, I could be the best legacy of her work. Our relationship had become more distant than when we first met, but it was still so painful when she left.
I think that's probably when I knew that someday, I'd have to leave.
I didn't think it'd be so soon, but I always knew.
I cherish the experiences where I worked as a Financial Services Consultant until I became a Director of Sales, Financial Services.
The nights where I stayed here and worked late aren't too different from now - as I sit here alone editing this article days after I first started - in this cold office and do my work and answer clients, reading Finance material in my free time. Of course, I made myself at home more and more as time passed. Things happened up to this point, and I need to change.
I have to leave it, and all the good and bad behind.
I have my license till the 21st - following which I'll be meeting a lot of clients, colleagues, readers and even prospects during this time on a strictly casual basis.
I may even take the opportunity to speak to some Financial Bloggers for the brief duration that I stand on the 'same level' as them.
Thankfully it's not illegal to speak to people about Financial matters as long as I don't do something stupid. Like offer them specific Financial Advice, and specific solutions without a license. That seems dumb.
So I think some prospects will be very grateful for the significant tenure that they can consider/think about various financial concepts presented on my blog.
...And then I'll be getting my license again, ideally before the beginning of March. As you may have figured out by now, my intention is not to leave for good.
Some notable things:
a) Rest: I intentionally resigned a little earlier to prepare myself for a new place, but also to rest. I realized in 2020 that no matter how many staycations I took, I always ended up working. I am not good at resting.
Now that it will literally be illegal to carry out some facets of my work, I believe that I might actually be able to rest a little.
As I mentioned, I will be trying to resume work by March 1st, latest.
b) Talks: I'm in the process of discussing with some firms from Advisors Alliance Group and Advisors Clique again about giving some talks on investments, branding and this industry. I was approached by both some time back last year.
I would have done it back then, but Covid got in the way. I'm actually very excited for it, so I hope it goes well.
c) Relationships: Now is a good time to work on my relationships with friends, family, clients, my girlfriend and God.
d) Reading/Writing: I'm really excited for all the downtime I'll have to read and write in order to prepare myself for my new job. Articles are going to be really different, content too.
Who knows, I might be a completely different animal by March.
To my dear clients - I've made promises to you that I fully intend to keep. I'll be honest - it's been harder to do than I thought because I didn't realize how much is outside of my power. I've been blaming myself a lot for many non-smooth issues, but I'm giving in my damnedest.
To my colleagues and supervisors- I regret that I was not better to you guys. I regret that there are forces outside of my scope - our scope - that allow me to continue to be here. I will miss a lot of you.
To my readers and future clients- I wanted to write that I'm not going anywhere, but I've learnt how much is outside of my power.
Be Back Soon,