While I was growing up, Dad was a Zellers store manager. Moves were promotions, and we were transferred numerous times in five different provinces coast to coast and back again. After high school, I left my parents in Truro, where they had settled. Then I lived in Wolfville, Chilliwack, Victoria, Truro and Halifax, before accepting a transfer to Fredericton where I met and married Nancy, the love of my life. All of our children were born in Fredericton before I was transferred to manage offices in Ontario and then back to Halifax.
After the military, I was following in my father's footsteps when the company we were working for sold. The name stayed the same, but the company's values didn't. Gone were the days when the route to profit was taking care of employees and customers and controlling expenses.
The new owners focused on short term profits at the expense of customers and staff. For example, at the time, most of the employees in retail were female, and most managers were male. Assistant store managers like me were transferable. And since most female supervisors didn't want to relocate, they were not promotable. The company's solution was the permanent assistant store manager position. The new owners terminated that policy and gave the female assistants a choice to be transferrable or accept a demotion.
My life insurance agent was a former co-worker, and he told me his company was hiring with performance-based compensation. You offer advice to help people accomplish their objections and get compensated if they take it. With that, I started my journey in financial services. The irony is that six months later, my Dad followed in my footsteps, he in Nova Scotia and me in New Brunswick.
My father has given me excellent advice over the years. The advice given at our wedding stands out the most. He told me that putting your family first means being there for the moments. He had raised to that believe being the best provider you could be was the way to express love. Don't make the same mistake he did was his advice. I remembered how I felt at events when he was not there, and it hit home! One way to spell love is TIME. It became a core value.
Fortunately, I controlled most of my own time. That flexibility allowed me to prioritize and then arrange my work around my family, not my family, around my work. Consequently, even with four active children, Nancy and I did not miss very many events.
On a professional basis, I enjoyed working in Ontario, but on a personal basis, there were concerns. Just like me, our children were only seeing their grandparents once a year. That needed to change before it was too late, it was time for all of us to settle down. It did, however, prove to be quite a challenge to get a transfer back to Atlantic Canada. The irony is that when we finally did, the company I was with sold its Canadian operations in the middle of our move. Let us say that it is a guaranteed recipe for gray hair!
There may be some question if the move back was a success career-wise. There is no question in my mind that it was the right decision to put family first.
That brings us to now. One question I ask clients is, "What does a successful retirement mean to you?" It usually does not mean a complete total stop. Now that I am retired from management, what do I want to do? What are my interests? Following my Dad's advice, while raising four children active in competitive sports, left us little time for hobbies.
So what does all that mean?
Family first, of course, however, the positive impact providing solutions has on people's lives has always been a source of great satisfaction to me. I do not want that to stop. "In retirement," I needed a sustainable process that would deliver exceptional value, provide an enjoyable client experience and not cause burn out. Technology can make that happen! Listening to understand objectives enables planning integration, the discovery of planning opportunities and maximum value for your dollar. (Primary solution delivering additional benefits focus)
I listen to understand financial and retirement objectives to discover potential planning opportunities. Then be positioned to utilize technology to align experience, resources, services and insurance & investment products.
The primary objective is to deliver value by providing actionable options. I realize and accept that I will not always receive business, a referral or even a share on social media. My understanding that satisfaction is also a form of currency helps make the interaction an enjoyable experience.
A win, win that works for my "retirement."