Celebrating Twenty Years—Thank You!


Very few people have ever asked how I got started in the financial services industry. It’s not a story I generally volunteer unless someone asks, but now that I’ve survived this industry for twenty years, I thought I’d share it for those of you who haven’t heard it before.
Twenty years in business is no small feat. The financial services industry isn’t a forgiving one: 95 percent of those who start in it don’t last three years, and 98 percent leave within five. The odds are truly against you. With odds like that, you have to be a little off-centered to get into the field in the first place…or you just don’t know any better. I started out with no idea what the heck I was getting myself into, with no clients and no income. I left a good corporate job with paid vacation time and a nice paycheck every two weeks. But I wasn’t happy working in corporate America, and I had no plans of going back.

(I used to want to be a stockbroker, actually, but I’m glad I’m not today. I prefer to plan and create investment and financial strategies for people, rather than simply purchase a few stocks and hope they do well. This way, I get to participate in the joys and tears of each of our clients. How can you beat that? But back to the story…)

There was a video at church called “What’s Your Story?” It showed three or four people who couldn’t meet their tithing obligations they had made to the building fund. The church board had made financial decisions based on those commitments, and now they were coming up short. In the video, the loss of a job or other change in their financial situation caused these people not to fulfill their financial commitments.

Something just went through me that day: I knew that I could help these people manage their money so they would never have to miss their important obligations. I could help them change their lives. That realization started me on a twenty-year journey that continues today.

If you are reading this, I want to thank you. Thank you for continuing to place your trust in me. It’s not something I take lightly or for granted.

At the risk of leaving someone out, I would like to point out a few people who have impacted me and contributed to my continued success over the past twenty years.

Terry Townsend – He took this city slicker and turned me into a gun-totin’ outdoorsman who freezes easily in this cold tundra. He’s included me on so many adventures.
Ross Vass – I’m not making this up: he almost killed me trying to turn me into the great outdoorsman I’ve become. (Surprisingly, he’s still on Mrs. Anderson’s approved list of people I can hang out with. I think she wants to collect the insurance monies.)
Jeff Redmon – I learned so much from him about being a business owner myself and adding value to other business owners.
Ben Flottemesch – He’s extremely knowledgeable, and I enjoying learning from him.
Christopher Burns – My legal resource guru, even when I have dumb questions.
Tim Bohannon – I would never have read so many books in my life if it weren’t for him. Every book he brought up, I read it. I learned a lot from him in my first ten years in business, even though I disappointed him daily with my fashion trends. (My poor fashion trends continue today.)

These are the people behind the scenes. You don’t always see them, but they contribute to your success and mine, every month and every day.

Brad Lewis – He’s been my right-hand man for the last seventeen years. (Even though he rolls his eyes at me a lot, and it kills him when he has to admit I was right.)
David Montgomery – When you want to geek out on investment analysis, he’s your guy.
Drew Dewitt & Lee Heidgerken – When it comes to insurance planning, no one knows it better.
Rebecca, Sarah, and Ejaz – I’m always a work in progress, and they do the best they can to make me look good.

And most importantly, Mrs. Anderson. It wasn’t always easy for the first few years, since she was supporting our family financially. (Hey, nothing wrong with being a kept man! I must say I enjoyed it.) She’s always helped me to follow my dreams.

Despite the bumps in the road, I have the best career anyone could ask for. I get to impact others on a daily basis. I get to help people reach their goals, some days even stretch their goals. I get to educate people about their money and help them make better, more informed decisions in their personal, professional, and financial lives.

Thank you—all of you—for the first twenty years. God willing, I have another twenty in front of me.

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