Tom always knew he wanted to be involved within the financial industry, so after earning a Finance Degree from University of South Florida in Tampa, he decided to become a financial advisor right out of college. Several years and a lot of experience later, Tom began his career with Westshore in 2013. In June 2021, Tom and his wife introduced their first child, a daughter named Olivia, into the world.
I always knew that I wanted to be in finance but didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go. I joined a firm out of college that provided me with a market because I didn’t have a long list of connections like most would later in their careers. My first job was to enroll people that worked in the public school system into 403(b) retirement accounts. To achieve these objectives, I found myself driving over 100 miles a day for three years. It didn’t feel right, something was missing. I didn’t want to work strictly with teachers or be told to plan for every client the same way for the remainder of my career. This is when I decided that I wanted to make a shift in my career and do more financial planning.
I was surprised about how thoughtful we are with our approach as well as the mentality we bring when working with clients. The conversations and connections that I can create are all towards the holistic planning approach and philosophies we have. It’s not about selling a product but helping teach great habits and behaviors. You can tell that there is a process, a mindset and mentality behind how we work with clients.
I have a consistent process that I can repeat over and over but it’s adjustable to each client. I have the opportunity for a hands-on learning experience as well as support from others with more industry experience. This is different from where I worked in the past. Previously, I didn’t have a flow on how to work with clients, now I am able to bring people through a journey to teach and guide them properly.
The first thing I would tell myself is to build up connections as soon as possible and maintain those connections through school. The earlier you start building these relationships it’s like having a springboard to support you. I would also tell myself to stop second guessing things and just do it. For the longest time I would always try to be perfect but then I finally realized that perfection is only what we believe it to be.
In the future I will have a team of financial advisors, full-time administrative staff, marketing and development team, and an investment and insurance team. I would like to spend more time as a business owner helping it grow and provide support to the team so we can continue to offer high level personal and business planning.
If I wasn’t at Westshore, I would be limiting my own growth potential. Previously where I worked, I didn’t have half of the opportunities that I have been given at Westshore. I felt held back, and now I have been given the tools that help me understand the nature of the business from a much larger perspective. This industry can be tough, it truly takes perseverance and consistency to make it. Westshore gave me the tools and resources that were able to help me refocus and regather my business whenever I found myself in a rut. It takes time to build your business, but once you achieve that there is no looking back.