When people asked me what I wanted to be when I was a kid I would say, “In charge.” There is a picture of Lucy Van Pelt on my desk behind her homemade booth that says “The Doctor is In.” Of course, there is also a little bronze Buddha statue that keeps me calm. I’m the nerdy glasses and pony tail girl that sat in the front row of class that some people may call bossy, but that many people call when things get bad. And while that may sound a little too strong willed for you (which I would understand), you also need to know that my passion is balanced out with a deep loyalty and strong desire to care take for anyone I love. And because of my high empathy gene, I love just about everyone.
I learned that everyone has a story by watching my two grandmothers, who were both entrepreneurs and bad asses, try to hold up the sky through a time-period when women were coming into their own. While there is luck involved, habit and decisions also determine the outcome of the story. Habit and decisions are easier when people know how things affect them. But as the little Buddha on my desk would tell you if he could talk, “The future is unknowable and constantly changing.” If that is the case, how do you prepare for an ever-changing world where it is impossible to know all things? Core Values. Systems. Flexibility. I could have applied these to anything, I choose to do it in financial services.
I’m not a KC Native. My family moved to Lenexa when I was in high school, after I had lived in New York, Oklahoma, and even Miami, Florida. I chose to stay here. My husband and I share a hope and goal that Kansas City will be where our children want to stay and grow as we have. We love local. I graduated from KU with a triple major in Political Science, Communications, and Psychology- I was trying to learn “everything.” After learning that working in politics would drive me insane (and not slowly) a campaign volunteer offered to hire me as an assistant stock broker. That was not my gig. But as I read, I was intrigued by what this industry could be to people. It was like I could see an alternate future for the industry and just needed an incubator to prove it. And then I met Kel and the world spun a little faster for me. My theories stopped being theories. Since 2002, we’ve created internal systems that allow us to spend our time listening and sharing ideas with our clients instead of droning on about products. To us, investments, insurance, bank accounts, and budgets are all just tools. Our value comes in our approach – The Planned Approach, to life planning, problem solving, and developing strategies that can be habitual and rewarded. It’s about helping clients emphasize their own core values, develop systems that work for them, and maintain flexibility.
I spend my days with my clients and my team keeping everything going in the same direction. I spend a lot of time encouraging, negotiating with or even nagging people to do the right thing for themselves. It seems like most of them thank me for it (although sometimes later). I have no trouble speaking truth to power, so alpha personalities don’t intimidate me. Although, when the discussion is over, I can always use a hug. I am rarely alone, but when I am I’m reading to learn more. We are living in times which I believe are close to the Industrial Revolution in terms of change. Globalization, demographics, technology, and gender roles are all just a few things moving us. I’m fascinated with it at every level. At a macro level, it’s fascinating, but as a Mom, Employer, and Trusted Advisor, the weight of it is staggering. So here I am, the nerdy pony tail girl, sitting in the front row, trying to learn enough to take care of the people I love.