[tweet_box design=”box_10″ url=”https://buff.ly/2G7QkQL” float=”none” excerpt=”Screw the mold. You know?… For me, that took a lot of courage, to go out on my own, embrace this vision that I had burning inside of me, to talk about money in a way that I wanted to talk about and relate to. It wasn’t always easy, but actually, by being more of myself and connecting more to the things that I am naturally interested in, I realized that it just made for a better business. It made for better conversations. @Brittneycastro on #YAFPNW e135″]Screw the mold. You know?… For me, that took a lot of courage, to go out on my own, embrace this vision that I had burning inside of me, to talk about money in a way that I wanted to talk about and relate to. It wasn’t always easy, but actually, by being more of myself and connecting more to the things that I am naturally interested in, I realized that it just made for a better business. It made for better conversations. – @Brittneycastro on #YAFPNW[/tweet_box]
Hannah: Well, thanks for joining us today, Brittney.
Brittney: Thank you for having me. I’m excited, Hannah.
Hannah: Yes. I’m excited, too. It’s so fun looking at your online presence and all that you’ve done in financial planning. You’re a financial planner. You’re a firm owner. I would say you’re a media personality. You’re a host, a speaker. You’re the Chase financial education ambassador. You have all these credentials. You’re really shattering what I would say people view as a traditional career path and what financial planners do or the mold that financial planners should fit. But I’m curious. How would you describe your role in the financial planning profession?
Brittney: That’s a good question. I’ve never really thought about it. I do feel, though, just at this stage, that I am more of a thought leader and a visionary. Not that I’m trying to brag or anything, but I think the way that I always viewed financial planning was from a holistic point of view. From day one when I started this company that I have now, I really didn’t follow any traditional model. I basically built the business I wanted by taking the pieces of financial planning that I really enjoyed, which is the fee-only planning, speaking, media content, and building that out. I think just being more of a thought leader in this industry is probably how I would describe myself.
Hannah: Yeah. Just looking at … I follow you on Instagram, so everybody can go follow you on Instagram. How you talk about what you do and how you engage with clients is distinctly different than most financial planners. What is that different filter that you have in looking and processing with your clients?
Brittney: Yeah, I think the filter in working with our clients has always been to come from a place of empowerment and education and really embrace money from a holistic point of view. That really just stemmed from my own experience. When I graduated college, I got a job at Ameriprise Financial, where I really learned how to do financial planning. I specifically remember learning financial planning from this more life vision aspect and personal growth angle. That really always resonated with me more so than just the investment portfolio reports or standard deviation of their portfolio. I always embraced that. When I developed this company, I wanted the messaging and the content to really talk to that. You know? Because I knew there were other people, obviously, who were wanting this type of advice and service, and if I could specialize in that, I would be happier and I think have more success, because the right clients who gravitated toward that way of working together would naturally start to come our way. That’s exactly what has happened.
Brittney: Just in terms of how I think, which I know a lot of financial planners think this way, as well, that it’s not just money. It’s people’s lives. Their visions, their goals, how they want to live. Even embracing a wealth consciousness is not about accumulating millions of dollars in the bank. It’s: Are you living wealthy? Are you happy? Are you enjoying your money? Do you have peace of mind? Do you feel empowered with your money? Are you confident with the decision you’re making? All of these things that money can help bring to people’s lives, but it’s not just money. It’s really people’s life goals that we’re talking about.
Hannah: Looking at your Instagram, I mean, you bring in meditation to how you’re framing conversations around money, and visualization, and these angles that I really haven’t seen any other financial planner really take on like I’ve seen you take on.
Brittney: Yeah, thank you. I think that just stems from my own personal spiritual journey and really embracing: How do I live a good life? How do I become the best version of myself and help inspire others to do the same? For me specifically, meditation and my spiritual practice has defined how I feel about my life in terms of success. I feel super successful because I have a very balanced life, I guess. But it’s not just all about work. It might seem I work a lot, but I really put in a lot of systems and structure and healthy boundaries so that I have time to do other things in my life, which was meditation and being with my family and friends and being active and healthy and traveling, that help me live a wealthy life. I think the spiritual angle is something that is just very authentic to me, and I live in Los Angeles, so also, I think there is this … Maybe just being here in this larger city, an awareness of people wanting More. It’s not just about, like I said, having the money, but how do you enjoy your life along the way, too.
Brittney: I think the meditation practices are key, especially now more than ever, we live in a very fast-paced world. Technology is all around. How do we incorporate that centered calmness, peace of mind, so that we feel good about what we’re doing and we’re not constantly falling into that stress or overwhelm or anxiety state that I think all these things can bring if we don’t have awareness to not let ourselves go there.
Hannah: It’s interesting you talk about how important meditation and your spiritual practice was to you personally, and then you brought that into your company. I talk to a lot of planners, especially newer planners. There’d be a lot of fear in doing that, of bringing that personal side of them into their business or their professional life, because it doesn’t quite fit the mold. What would you say to them?
Brittney: Screw the mold. You know? There is no such thing. Do what you feel is going to make you happy. For me, that took a lot of courage, to go out on my own, embrace this vision that I had burning inside of me, to talk about money in a way that I wanted to talk about and relate to. It wasn’t always easy, but actually, by being more of myself and connecting more to the things that I am naturally interested in, I realized that it just made for a better business. It made for better conversations. It’s obviously made me a lot of money. My company is very successful. I’m happier.
Brittney: To me, there was no other option. I just tried the other way, and it didn’t work. I had success, but I wasn’t happy. I just view life as … It’s very precious. Life is precious. It takes courage to do things outside of the norm or what society tells you to do or be. But once you really embrace that, it can be so rewarding. I just really encourage it for a lot of planners, whether it’s meditation or working with business owners or new parents. Whatever your thing is, embrace it. Honor it. Share as much as you want. Even though I share a lot on social media, I’m actually very still private. There’s a lot of things I don’t share on social media, because I don’t want to. It doesn’t mean you’ve got to divulge everything about your personal life, but you figure out what your angle is going to be. What are you going to stand for? What is your comfort level of sharing within your content or whatever it is you’re delivering to clients or your customers? Go do it.
Brittney: Because I think now more than ever people want that personal connection. They want to know you’re human. They want to know that you can relate to them on these things that they, too, think about. I think, yeah, you need to be an expert, and you need to be good at what you’re doing, but also, you need to be a human and say, “Look, I get it. I understand you.” People really vibe with that.
Hannah: One term that I’ve heard thrown around over the years has been this idea of a personal brand. Whenever I would think of personal brand, you would always come to mind as somebody who’s really embraced that. Do you see that as almost an essential thing going forward for new planners? Do we have to step into this space? What are your thoughts around the idea of personal branding?
Brittney: I think it’s really important to develop a brand, because it’ll help you stand out in the marketplace. If you look at just financial planning. If you look at just financial planning, there’s a lot of financial planners out there. By developing a brand, people are going to be able to recognize you within the marketplace. Why are you different? Why should they go to you? Whether it’s the fact that you’re helping younger clients or baby boomers or people who have inherited money or who are recently divorced, whatever your brand is. It just helps you develop yourself as a specialist for that specific niche. I remember when I first started, I really was focused on women, financially wise, women. All my content was around women and money, and I taught all these workshops, attended every women’s event in L.A. to develop my network and put the word out and meet people. Since then, we’ve expanded, and the company is now just financially wise, because we do serve a lot of men and couples. It was just part of our brand evolution. But I will still always have a soft spot for women, because I’m a woman in finance, and I think there’s a lot of unique things that I can talk about that women can relate to. Having that niche really helped me. I really recommend this for a lot of planners. I remember the question of, “But don’t you think you’re turning away customers?”
Brittney: I said, “Well, maybe, but maybe those customers are people that wouldn’t be a good fit for me anyway, right?” I think in the beginning you really need to brand yourself and have that personal brand, just so people understand where you fit in that and what your unique thing is going to be.
Hannah: You talked about the brand evolution for you from financially wise women to just financially wise. Can you talk about that journey and what really sparked that change for you?
Brittney: Yeah. I think for us it was last year, we were looking at the company … The company is now six years old. It was like five years old. For me I just thought, “You know, we serve a lot of men. We serve a lot of couples. I’m doing a lot more corporate wellness workshops talking to men, too.”
Brittney: For me and our team we just felt, “You know, we want to be able to unite men and women in the conversation. No longer just say women, women, women, but really say, no, men and women, and we’re here to help you.”
Brittney: I think it was just part of expanding to the next level in our content, in our outreach, in again, leading the way. Obviously there’s a lot of women focused companies, which I think are great. But also, for us, in the bigger conversation it’s about, “Okay, well, great, now how do men come in?” You know? How do we unite men and women again so everybody is thriving and everybody is doing well. That was really what sparked that.
Hannah: If somebody is following you and wants to work with you, or a client wants to work with you, are there different tiers of service? Or how do you work with people who need help?
Brittney: Yeah. We now do a few levels. We were strictly fee-only financial planners, which just means we charge flat fees for our services. I have a financial planner on my team. We have a power session service, which is a more or less a one-month initial set up, where they would get their budget and strategy up and running, and then there’s ongoing routine after that. Or if they need a more comprehensive approach, because there’s a lot of moving parts, then we have a more comprehensive financial planning, which is an initial three-month period and then ongoing thereafter.
Brittney: We offer the free 30-minute call on our website. Most of the … That’s how we get clients and lead generation every week, we just get meetings on our calendar booked all the time. The first call is really to determine who the client is, what they’re looking for and see which service would be best for them.
Hannah: Do you do online classes as well for people?
Brittney: Yeah. We have an online money class, which is a six-week curriculum to teach personal finance. That’s really earmarked for women who want to get more of an understanding around personal finance. It’s basically the finance class none of us received growing up. Then, also I’m working right now … We’re launching next month a new program, a membership program. It’s going to be an online membership to provide … It’s going to be a lower level than our private clients in terms of a monthly fee … but to provide live video training, templates and resources to help you build your budget, or understand investing. That’s because we just have a demand, and there’s only so many private clients we can take on. I really just wanted to be able to help more people. I think the online membership … It’s like we all know what we need to do, but still having that accountability and ongoing resources, it was really important.
Brittney: I think for financial planners, there are so many ways you can leverage your expertise and to really think outside of the box is so key, especially now with technology. How are you constantly providing value? How are you staying in front of your clients on a regular basis? Even if you don’t want to grow. I’ve talked to a lot of firms who have enough clients, have enough money. I think that’s great, but then how are you going to make sure that you sustain those clients and then you also get the next generation of clients when they start to pass away. This is a growing concern. I think at any level leveraging technology is so important.
Hannah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You talked about shattering the mold of financial planning and what’s expected of you. But I’m curious, who has influenced you? What brands have really stood out … I mean, outside of financial planning … that you hope to pull things from or help inspire what you’re doing with Financially Wise?
Brittney: Hm. Good question. Yeah. Actually, I mean, now more than ever, I’m probably looking at what other people in the financial industry are doing. But I’ll tell you, most of the time, I don’t. I just put my head down and work, and we launch our own ideas and things I heard from my clients and what they need, or when I’m out speaking, what do they need, and I just work and create those things.
Brittney: A lot of the brands that, initially, I think we were inspired by were more wellness brands. Maybe health or fitness, or women focused brands, because they were talking to women in an empowered way. Like I said, I actually don’t keep up a lot with other financial brands, mainly because it just helps me create my own thing. I can’t even tell you any brand names off the top of my head, but … Yeah. I mean, I think getting inspiration from companies outside of what you do is always good.
Hannah: Yeah. I’m looking at your website, and in preparing for this interview, one thing that stood out to me was you have … When you look at your staff, there’s you, there’s a financial planner. Then you have a creative director. What’s it like working with a creative director?
Brittney: Oh, it’s the best. She actually happens to be a really good friend of mine, too. But when I launched the company, she helped me create my first website. At that time, I was writing all my content, producing all my videos, everything. I mean, everything that I ever published has always been organic. Every year, she took on more. I would say, okay, in the first year, she helped create the website. Then, in year two, I said, “You know what? Could you help me create the money class?” Then, in year three, “You know, I really would love for someone to help create the emails with me so I don’t have to write them every week. Then in year four … You know what I mean? Every year, she took on more and we expanded her role. Now she’s very much in charge of all things creative. That means all our content that goes out, we work together on to create, but she publishes it and makes sure it goes up and is broadcasted on the blog and the emails and the social media, she works with my partners, Chase, Entrepreneur.
Brittney: For any content that we’re producing together, she helps put together proposals for workplace seminars that I teach. She helps maintain the editorial calendar. Everything that we do in terms of marketing, like she’s helping me build the new membership program. It’s really fun, because now, after six years of working together, she knows. You know? The other day … I’ll tell you, because we have a meeting … or we have a team meeting every Monday, but specifically her and I meet for an hour every week just to go over all the marketing stuff. I was saying, “Okay, Jessica, here’s what I want, this thing.” And giving her my vision. Then, I said, “You know, if you need help writing whatever that specific thing was, she … you know, let me know.” She goes, “No, no, no. I know how to talk like you now.” You know? She knows. She knows my voice. Luckily, we hang out a lot. She also knows what’s going on in my life and incorporates that into our content. It’s really fun. I mean, we have so much fun together. It’s a great partnership.
Hannah: Oh, that’s great. Well, and I just loved it. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a creative director on a list for a financial planning firm before.
Brittney: Yeah. I think it’s really important. I mean, I guess more or less it’s the marketing director. But I call her creative, because we come up with things, too. It’s not just implement it. She’ll have ideas for me of how to expand the brand. Recently this year, we’ve been talking a lot about a team. It’s like, what are we talking about this year? What’s our new angle? Right? What are we going to stand for? What are we going to help our clients with? How are we going to expand people’s consciousness around investing and wealth? It’s even coming up with how do we make our content more engaging, more valuable, more provocative to stir up that conversation. It is a creative director role. I think it’s really important for financial planners, because as creative as I am, having someone else on the team who understands my brand, understands our ideal clients, understands the vision and business plan, and can bring in their ideas to hep me execute is so important.
Hannah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I just have to ask you, because just listening to you, you talked about what do we stand for. I’m curious, what do you see your firm, Financially Wise, what does it stand for?
Brittney: This year, I’m really inspired to take people to the next level in their wealth journey. What I mean by that is, a lot of people that come to us have things. They’re making money. They have accounts. But how do you enjoy that money anymore? How do you have more peace of mind and less worry with your investment portfolio? How do you make money and not be overworked or feel greedy about it? This is a wealth consciousness. It’s no longer just about, great, let’s help clients invest more and save more and budget better. It’s no, how do you enjoy wealth? You know? That’s really what we’re embarking on this year. I’m really excited about it, because I think, for me even … Okay, great. I’ve hit a point where I’ve reached my goals. Great. Now what? Now what do I do? Oh, maybe there’s more I can create. Maybe there’s more wealth I can have for myself, not just how much in my accounts, but how I feel every day. You know? I can feel more generous, more at ease with my money, more joy during my days. That’s the conversation we’re really embarking on to really help men and women just embrace this wealth consciousness. It doesn’t need to be the top 1% of billionaires in the world. It’s … How do we all live a better life and use money as the tool?
Hannah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I loved how you framed that in the next step in their wealth journey. I think that’s just such a cool phrase and a really cool picture of how we work with our clients. We’re walking with our clients through their wealth journey. But I’m curious, what have you learned that can help our listeners as they try to help clients change or progress through that you call the wealth journey.
Brittney: I think just really listening to clients is so valuable. I know it sounds pretty basic, but if you really listen, you can hear things beyond the words they’re saying. This is a lot of what I do and where I think my value comes from, because clients will tell me what’s happening in their situation, and I could hear their fear, or I could hear their deeper desire that they’re not saying, or maybe they’re not even aware of. For example, I have some clients who are closer to retirement age, and the woman was telling me how she wanted specific … one of the accounts, a joint account, in her name only. Now, they’re happily married. There’s not going to be a divorce, or anything. What she was saying was just tactical, “I want to change the account into my name.” But what I heard was, “Oh. She inherited this money. She wanted to feel she had her own money.” That was important to her, to feel like, “Okay, this was my money. Because maybe I didn’t work all these years like my husband did, but to have ownership.” As a woman, there’s something very empowering that can come from that.
Brittney: I heard the deeper thing, desire from what she was telling me. Then I was able to give her what she needed, and also give her extra words of encouragement or … I don’t know, praise. Right? I think there’s just so much you can listen and hear from your clients. It doesn’t need to be so engineered of a conversation. Just listen to people. They’re going to tell you what they need and what they want. Really, I always think our job as a financial planner is to listen and guide them. You really don’t need to talk all that much a lot of times. It’s nice, because then clients really get value out of that.
Hannah: Well, and I love the topic of listening and hearing you say that. What’s fascinating and what’s so cool for me, just knowing what I know about you is that you really use those conversations and listening deeply and well to your clients to really shape your business.
Brittney: Yeah, we do. Even listening … We do surveys. What do people want? What do you need? Because even building new services, like we developed the power session service, which is a one-month service versus three-month because we were listening to what our clients were doing and saying. Even three months seemed like too much. They would reschedule meetings. They wouldn’t show up. I thought, “Oh, my god. Why are we forcing them to do this longer service model, when really maybe they don’t need the longer service model?” Right? It’s also being able to pivot to address those different needs as they come up.
Hannah: I love that so much. I hear so many conversations out there right now about how do we serve clients … not necessarily fee model, but what are the services that we provide clients? It’s like, are we starting with ourselves and what we think is best, or are we starting with what our clients actually need?
Brittney: Yeah, I think that’s a hard one, because I think a lot of professionals, not just finance people, but we want to do what we want to do, but I just have learned … okay, yeah, have some sort of outline of your service and what you’re offering, but be willing to refine it and correct it and hear feedback from your clients and change it to better serve them. Luckily, we work with really amazing clients that tell us, “Oh, we would like the budget tool to have this feature. Or, you know what? It would be better if we could have this.” We listen. We openly hear what they have to say, because it is about taking that feedback and filtering, of course, and determining if that’s something that makes sense for the business.
Hannah: I mean, you mentioned the budgeting tool there. Do you guys have your own budgeting tool, or …
Brittney: Yeah. We’ve developed that. It’s part of our service model. It’s a Google sheet we designed to help clients track their spending. It’s pretty complex, though, so it’s nice. We teach our clients how to use it. I mean, of course there’s lots of apps that they could use, as well. But there’s something very specific about our tool that is important as it relates to the rest of the plan that we’re developing for them.
Hannah: You also … Well, let me ask you and Charlie will edit some of this out. Do you mind sharing what that is, or is that proprietary, you don’t want to share?
Brittney: The budget?
Hannah: Yeah, the budgeting tools. What’s unique about your budgeting process or what that piece …
Brittney: Oh, yeah, yeah. I can share. The budget tools really … We create the master budget, right? Then, we follow the 50/20/30 rule. We obviously split their fixed, and then their fun, and then their savings goals. Then we have them track each month their spending, and then it does a year to date calculation so they could see their trends. We have a debt reduction tab. If they’re working on debt reduction, there’s a whole part of the budget just to help them calculate if you put an extra X amount per month, here’s how much faster it’d be, here’s how much interest you would save. But I think the important part about our budgeting system is half automatic, so the data that you’re putting is automatically added up and totaled, but then the manual part is clients actually have to manually input their spending for the month. Though some clients have figured out how to do that from a download from their bank. But most of them actually, I tell them literally pull up your bank or credit card transactions and enter that into this budget. The reason why I like them to do it manually is because it gets them connected back to their money.
Brittney: I think a lot of times these apps or automated systems take away everything so people don’t pay attention anymore. They don’t even have a connection to the money or spending anymore. Part of our budget system is to teach people, “Oh. I’m inputting all of this data, so therefore, I feel more connected to the fact that I’m overspending in X, Y, Z category.” Right?
Brittney: But I think it’s a little bit of that old school method versus technology and making our lives simpler.
Hannah: Very cool. I’m always curious, especially in the granular, of how people work with clients and on their budgeting. I’m hearing a lot of mindfulness.
Brittney: Yeah. A lot of mindfulness. I still do it. You know? Even with my business, even though I have a bookkeeper and a CPA, I still do it on my business, because I still like to know what’s happening. I like to be connected. I think that’s a big part about being successful long term.
Hannah: Yeah. Now, what does your typical client look like? I mean, do you have a certain minimum assets or net worth or payment that somebody has to work with you?
Brittney: No, we don’t have minimums, but we have flat fees just based on single, couple, or business owner. Our typical client is usually established in their careers, six figures above in income, have cash flow that they can save, have money saved in their retirement accounts, probably have a first property or are pretty close to buying their first property, but still unsure as to how it’s all working.
Brittney: Most of the times, our clients come to us, successful professionals or business owners and say, “Look, we have this stuff, but I still don’t know, are we saving enough? Do we need to save more? We’ve maxed out our 401ks, now what do we do? Or you know, we want to buy another property, or we have these stock options. We don’t know how to best manage them.” It’s really about helping them get clear about the numbers and confirming the things that they are doing right and then bringing awareness to the opportunities that they can execute on to make their financial lives better. Even their budgeting systems, how do they make it better so day to day they feel good about that? Yeah.
Hannah: I’m curious, because you do a lot of financial literacy, as well, how do the core concerns, questions,… questions similar to the clients that can afford and are right now willing to hire a financial planner. Are they different than what you work with in the financial literacy space?
Brittney: Yes and no. Lately with the financial … It depends. For example, I do financial wellness programs, so companies hire me to teach their employees money management principles. Most of the times, those employees are just starting out in their career, a little bit younger. Some maybe not as much in terms of cash flow to save or invest, but the idea here is to give them budgeting tools and how to even set up their savings account so that they’re getting ahead of the game. I guess maybe with the financial wellness programs it is more of that.
Hannah: More of that piece?
Brittney: Yeah, just starting out, versus our individual clients are a little bit more established.
Hannah: Yeah. I had this general question. Thinking about this interview, I was just curious what your thought would be on this, especially about that listening, because I feel like you’re such a good listener to what people are looking for. But what is it that the public wants or needs from financial planning, our profession?
Brittney: Oh. Such a good question. Honestly, they just need transparency. I think it’s honesty, transparency, education. I don’t know. I’m a big believer in everybody can get this stuff. I mean, the internet has all the information we could ever need. There’s books, there’s courses, there’s everything you could want. But people are looking for a professional that they can trust to help guide them to make those right decisions, to filter the options, and be transparent about it. How do you get paid? Are you selling them a product for commission? Are you charging a flat fee? Are you taking a cut of their portfolio? People are becoming savvier, which I’m so happy about. They’re demanding that, which I’m so happy about.
Brittney: Because that was always my biggest thing. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t stand the fact that if I asked somebody how do you get paid, and they couldn’t tell me, it just feels like I’m getting scammed or something. We’re very transparent. We say, “These are our fees. This is how we get paid. You either work with us or you don’t. Doesn’t … ” You know? But I think transparency is so key. Everybody needs to earn a living. I mean, it’s not like clients are going to hate you for earning a living. They just want to know.
Hannah: Did you have to work through some of your own mindset around money asking for fees for clients?
Brittney: Yeah, of course. Yes, of course. I think, though, when I first started at Ameriprise Financial, I always charged flat fees for planning services. I mean, that was like, you had to go get your own clients. I always knew the model of getting my own clients. I didn’t really know another way. When I started this … Every year, I look at my fee structure, like we just increased our fees for this year. It really just comes down to every year I look at the value you bring, I look at, okay, we want to be able to do more. This is the rate that we determined based on our experience or value. It works. You know? But yeah, of course, there are always things that I have to work through, in terms of feeling good and confident about what I’m charging.
Brittney: But it’s also a lot easier than I think a lot of people think.
Hannah: Yeah. I just heard a number of conversations recently where people are trying to make it more affordable, but then you’re… where the line is between making it more affordable and then asking for what you’re worth and having those distinctions, because I often see two camps. The one camp is just trying to, how do I make it as affordable as possible. The other camp, a lot of the financial planning coaches that are out there are saying you need to have a minimum of five figures for every client that walks through your door, things like that.
Hannah: I was just curious to see your thoughts on that.
Brittney: Yeah. I think it’s always good to look at your fee structure. Then that’s also probably … For me last year, I remember, I said, “Okay, well, you know, I just looked Up the numbers from a business point of view, and I said we can only work with these many people privately, so we need to increase our fees. And then why don’t I create another program or service to be able to scale more and help people at a lower level. That’s always how I think. What is our time worth? We can only do so much in this category, but maybe there’s a opportunity for me to help more people by launching something in a lower service model that can be scaled.
Hannah: Yeah. Well, what do you see as the future of financial planning?
Brittney: I really have no idea. I just worry about myself. I really don’t know, but I will say there’s always going to be a need for personal financial planners. I think, no matter how much technology comes out to manage budgets or spending or investments, people always are going to need some sort of personal connection to help guide them. The more value you can bring in the consulting and accountability, I think the more longevity you will have. Especially, clients are becoming more and more savvy about fees. They’re paying investment managers. There’s all these robo advisors that can do investments for us. There’s insurance websites that can help us get the right insurance policies. There’s a lot of things we can cut out, but I think there’s always going to be that need for, “I want somebody on my team who I can literally look at, or a person I can call directly and they’re going to help me.”
Brittney: I really think the future is going to be we’re going to move to more and more technology, but the level of personal connection is going to be stronger, I think, the more technology we have.
Hannah: Yeah. What would you tell the listener or the new planner who was just starting in financial planning. What do they need to know or what do they need to do if they’re starting from zero?
Brittney: Oh. Find a mentor, for sure. Find somebody who’s doing what you want to do, and either pay them for their advice or follow them and see what they’re doing or read their content. But you do need experience. I mean, I didn’t just start a financial planning firm. I worked at a firm, and then I built my independent practice, and then I launched this. All of that experience helped me do what I’m doing now. Experience is good. I would also just say really know your brand and what you’re going to stand for, so that when you do launch your own practice, you can just go and dominate that segment or that niche that you’re going to specialize in. I think that will bring you more success in the short term.
Hannah: I’m curious. With everything that you’re doing and everything that you have going on, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Brittney: Love you, Hannah, between I don’t know. I haven’t a clue. I’m sure … Look, I feel I will always be involved in the financial planning industry in some capacity. I’m sure I’ll still be owner of this business. But I do also have a lot of other ideas that I want to execute on. I want to have a family. I want to actually launch some things completely outside of finance that relate to other personal passions of mine. I don’t really know. I mean, like I said, I’m going to continue to build this company. I’m going to extend more of myself in real estate. That’s some of the business ideas that I’m working on next. Hopefully just continue living a good life.
Hannah: Yeah. Oh, that’s great. Well, is there anything else that you want or listeners to know about?
Brittney: Yeah, I would just say please follow me. I have a lot of stuff, as know, Hannah, that I push out. Follow me on Instagram. Then also, if you are a financial planner listening, and you’re interested in just hearing more about what I did … I’m definitely able to help a lot of financial planners and also learn from all the mistakes I’ve made along the way, which have been a lot. I have these mentor sessions that I can do with advisors, specifically. I think that’s valuable, even if it’s just a one-hour mentor session with me. If you’re interested, you can just email me directly. I’m sure you’ve got that email, but it’s [email protected] Then I’ll send you the link to schedule the mentor session.
Brittney: But I tell you, Hannah, a lot of my success has been putting my head down and working hard to create my vision, but also connecting to the people who helped me. Mentors, whether it was in the financial industry or outside of the industry, who believed in what I was doing, who helped me overcome a lot of the challenges that I faced and continue to face as a business owner, as an entrepreneur. It’s so valuable to have people who can cheer you on and support you and who have done what you’re trying to do already. I think invest the time and money into that, whether it’s working with me or someone else. But as much as I’d love to help everybody … I get a lot of emails about, “Can I pick your brain?” I say, “I would love to, but I just … you know, I can’t do that for free forever. Otherwise, I would not be able to do everything else.”
Brittney: I have these mentor sessions, and it makes it more, I think, legit when you pay for something, because I think you will take it more seriously.
Hannah: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. Well, thank you, Brittney, for joining us today and sharing all of your perspectives on everything. All of your social media handles are in the show notes for the listeners.
Brittney: Wonderful. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad we got to do this.
Hannah: Yes. Well, thank you, Brittney.