It's tough to be in finance these days, no joke. Whether you're a planner, advisor, consultant, coach or whatever it may be called, there are usually three responses you hear when you try to talk to someone new. "I've already got someone," "I'm not interested," or you probably just don't even get a hold of them. So why do it? For me, it's all about the impact that I can make on the lives of others. My family was not wealthy growing up, and we had done little to no planning. After my father passed away this past August, I realized how bad things could have been if he died when I was a little kid. Or if I didn't earn an Academic Scholarship to W&L, how I might have extraordinary student loans at probably a less superior school. I've even seen how my grandmother did some good planning with her husband before he passed away, and now at 94 she still has plenty to live on! I want to help people in that way! So how do I do it?
The most important thing in my eyes is to truly make a connection and care. I do this by meeting with people, as many people as possible. Through these meetings usually people enjoy it, and are willing to connect me with some other people they know. I can't tell you any magic words or special tricks, but the saying "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" comes to my mind. It is not always easy. People have had bad experiences, or they are not comfortable connecting with others, so sometimes that doesn't work. Networking events can help, but usually just meeting people on a genuine level like a sporting event is how I connect most with people. Cold calling is tough, and usually not well received, so I try to stay away from it.
This job isn't easy, but I can say that with how much I can help people it is truly worth it. I can help send grandchildren to W&L in 2070 or help someone retire with dignity whom never thought they would. Funny enough, a W&L grad Garret Clark moved up to MN, and he'll be joining my team in January! If you're a financial professional, or you're looking for one, the most important thing that I can say is that it's all about trust. Finances are confidential and sometimes tough to talk about, so having someone you trust is clutch. It's neat that our honor system ties in really well with what I do, and I think people can see that. If you have questions about either side of things, don't be afraid to reach out to me and ask!
Isaiah Goodman grew up in Richfield, MN. He attended the Academy of Holy Angels before graduating from W&L in 2009. He now works at Northwestern Mutual as a financial planner and resides in Columbia Heights, MN. He lives with his wife Sarah and their two dogs Lambeau and Lucy.
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