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Reflections On The Last Five Years (And A Challenge)

July 3rd will always be a special day for me.

It was on July 3rd, 2015, while I was sitting on my cousin’s porch in Pennsylvania, that I received an email from the Secretary of State that approved RL Wealth Management, LLC (now a DBA RLS Wealth) for business as a Registered Investment Advisor in Indiana. It was a complete surprise as they provide no timeline for when registration will be completed. I immediately started calling clients to tell them I’d be back on the 6th and started filling my calendar.

One of my earliest memories of the firm is sitting downstairs in our basement, in my makeshift office, scanning new account paperwork one page at a time through a portable scanner. I elected to get the portable scanner because I thought it would be more convenient for when I was at my clients’ houses and it was cheap—it was more of the latter. I would stay up until two or three in the morning scanning forms and preparing for the next day’s meetings. I tried to get into Game of Thrones, but lost interest. I discovered Ballers, a guilty pleasure. I rewatched old movies to pass the time. I’ve never been so excited to stay up all night doing the most redundant task—feeding one page at a time through a Doxie scanner. Each page scanned represented a brick being laid for the foundation of my new business.

Fast forward to today and RLS Wealth is turning five. A lot has happened in the last five years and it’s been fun to look back and reminisce on all that has transpired. I share some of these memories for myself, but also to encourage others to follow their passion—build the lives they want—do things your way, the right way, but YOUR way.

  • Launching the firm with around 30 clients and about $7 million in assets under management; this is the only time I will bring up AUM because it’s not the best way to judge “success” for a firm or financial advisor.
  • Having Silas join our family two years in. (There’s never the “right” time to take risks—having a baby in the early days of a new business isn’t “ideal”, but I would never think twice about our decision to grow our family).
  • Seeing the subscription model, WealthFusion™, evolve to its current structure—two relationships to serve young professionals and young families.
  • Having the opportunity to speak at various conferences.
  • Having the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at a conference for financial advisors; naturally, this event was canceled, but it was a thrill to be hired and I’m confident the opportunity will come back when conferences start back up.
  • Found my groove with content marketing…blogging, podcasts, video, and more.
  • Started working with other financial advisors to help with branding, strategy, and growing their businesses.
  • Co-founded the AGC™.
  • Grew the team to two in 2018 and now three in 2020.
  • Earned a few accolades from my peers.
  • Finally found a niche for RLS Wealth–individuals and families looking to write their own stories and live their purpose.
  • Rebranded RLS Wealth, established a clear vision for the future, and launched a new 🔥website.
  • Added WealthGenesis™ to how we can help individuals just getting started.
  • Made countless new friends, gained a few brothers, and found lifelong mentors.
  • If the last five years are any indication of the next five years (and beyond), it’s going to be a fun and exciting ride.

Starting RLS Wealth five years ago was one of the best decisions in my life. It wasn’t without risks, but I also knew I would “succeed”—I knew I would be able to grow the business, help more people, and create the life I wanted for Ang and the boys. I was able to leave a situation where I didn’t feel challenged, was limited in how I could grow (and increase my income, to be honest), was unhappy (I didn’t realize this until I left), and would not have had the work-life balance I sought to a situation where I am in total control.

For me, this was the only answer.

It’s fitting that I as I celebrate the last five years of RLS Wealth, I received an email yesterday from one of my clients sharing that she is leaving her corporate job, giving up a high income, and moving out of a city she hates to pursue being a part of opening a volleyball club in a new city. She is following her passion—she is creating the life she wants to live, instead of the life she thought she was supposed to live. She is doing what I did five years ago. And I get to be a part of her new journey. I have no doubt she will be successful—both professionally and personally. She has found her purpose and we are going to make sure she gets to live it; it’s the best “birthday” gift RLS Wealth could have received.

THIS is the type of financial planning I am excited for RLS Wealth to be doing.

If you find yourself “dreaming”…if you find yourself seeking a better life…if you find yourself wanting to finally take control of your life, I want to encourage you to explore how you can make this happen. Maybe it isn’t realistic. But maybe, just maybe it is…and on the other side is a life and happiness you never knew existed.

Pursue it.

Soundtrack: Jay Rock WIN (Explicit Version—warning)

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.

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