CJ has always been a curious person and became interested investment markets at the age of 16. CJ worked from an early age, earning income with his musical talents while he took high school classes online. Once in college, his passion for all things finance grew and he graduated with a degree in finance from the University of South Florida. CJ met his wife in middle school, but they didn't end up dating until after high school. They quickly fell in love and were married at age 20. Their daughter was born the very next year. After graduating from college, CJ knew he wanted to work in the first he was passionate about, but he struggled to find a firm that took planning to the highest level possible for their clients. Once he found Westshore Financial, he began his career as a Financial Advisor and has never looked back!
The fact that I have the freedom to live my life and run my business the way I want is incomparable. I love the team that I work with and find true joy in serving my clients. I don't ever worry about income since as long as I do everything I can for my clients, the income always takes care of itself. The bonus is that I've been exposed to so many ideas every day that I end up making good decisions with my own finances as well. Not only am I helping clients achieve great success, but I am able to help myself do the same.
Discovering that people didn’t care what I knew. I thought people would be excited to see the spreadsheets and financial models I built along with all the careful planning I had done. In fact, they mostly don’t care about any of that. In a sense, they do, but it seems what they really want is an advisor they can feel comfortable with- someone that feels like a very close friend or relative. This might seem obvious to most, but I thought people would have cared more about the effort that I put towards making them successful. The best part is I get to be both the close friend who potentially learns more about them than their own family, but also create incredible plans to help them accomplish what they really desire. From a business perspective, I was surprised our job wasn’t sales-based. In fact, I would say that we mostly consult with clients to improve, monitor, and maintain good financial habits. I love that about our firm and our process because it sets us apart from others. Knowing what to do is one thing - showing people how to implement strategies effectively is taking planning to a whole new level.
You must embrace being a people person! People want to connect with you, so don't try to be something you're not. Be professional, but don't be "stuffy". They want to connect with you as much as you want to connect with them. Your client relationships are going to last a lifetime - embrace that. Enjoy every day that you get to work with them and for them. You will be one of their most trusted contacts when they experience all kinds of milestones in life as well as the storms that are inevitable to come during their lives.
I really like the creative leadership side of our business. I see myself in the future serving the public in some capacity in the future. I see myself adding value to people's lives over the internet and creating content that can change their lives. I also see myself building a team that can execute our process and provides outstanding service to our clients. This way I can "multiply myself" to expand my impact beyond just me.
Originally, I had planned to be a litigator (attorney), but I’m glad I didn’t go that route. If you're an attorney reading this, sorry! I look at people who are my age in those positions and they make a lot less money, they work more hours, and they have very little control over their career path - at least for the first few years. More importantly, I would have missed out on the creative part of this business which is probably the most enjoyable part of the job for me. There is also a lot to be said being a financial advisor for this firm and not any other firm out there. There are a lot of downsides working for other firms that make me feel lucky to be here.