Director at Affinitas Capital- Adelaide Australia
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Have you wondered if what you are doing right now for work is what you are truly meant to be doing? Is this what your true calling in life is? Are you passionate about what it is you do, leaping out of bed each day rejoicing to the world how you love every second of your job? Unlikely! For years I have read articles, books, listened to podcasts, and to people who tell me to do what I am passionate about and how if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life.
Sounds so easy right? “I am passionate about food, so I am going to pack up my life and become a chef”, or, “I am passionate about American sports, so I am going to pack up my life, move to the USA and chase my dream job at the NY Jets”. Well, I cannot do this, I have debts to cover, expenses to fund and one day a baby to feed. So, to me, this seems just too high risk.
Outside of work I maintain my interest in golf, gym, running and anything fitness related as I love to keep active, and at this point in my life I just wanted to be ‘shredded’. My knowledge in the Financial Planning industry was growing, my knowledge of fitness was growing. Then, travel comes into my life. The opportunity to move to Melbourne presents itself. Off I go with the idea of accelerating my career and becoming a high flying executive. I settle into Melbourne in my new job, find a nice place to live near the city and locate the best gym near the office. Life was great.
I am working away in an amazing city, training hard and partying hard, then it strikes me, I am not really enjoying this paraplanning caper anymore, I want to be an adviser. But, at the young age I was it never even crossed my mind that I might actually have to work my way up the ranks. I wanted that top job now. I continue to work away not really loving it but doing the best I can to enjoy each day. I met some amazing clients with amazing stories and that is what kept me going each day, the enjoyment in meeting and speaking with great people….hey, wait, is this something I love? I love talking with people, hearing their stories and problems and finding a solution for their problem. Maybe the industry is not so bad after all.
So, I continue working away, and training away with my little gym crew, but I keep getting colds and not knowing why. Maybe it is all the Friday beers? After a period in Melbourne an opportunity comes up to travel Europe with friends. Well, I would be crazy not to right? So I pack up my things, fill up my suitcase with what I will need and jet off to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Thailand, Greece and England.
I stop working in Financial Planning during this period and instead just enjoy life. I am training every day, I am running, lifting weights, eating pretty well but still hitting the drink (as you do on a boy’s trip). What never stops however is my appetite to talk to people and hear their stories.
One day it dawns upon me that I need to get home and get back into work. So I say goodbye to the boys, pack my suitcase and head back to Australia to find work. It is now 2008 and I am thinking this is it, I will become a Financial Adviser and start building my empire. Well, that was not quite how it unfolded. Back into paraplanning I go to assist the other advisers in giving advice to their clients. Now, I knew this was not going to last as I hated writing those 60 page documents and staring at a screen all day. I am now back in Melbourne and I spend the next few years here growing my knowledge and working through the ranks of the industry. What never goes away however, is the love of working with clients.
Fitness remains a side interest, but I am noticing that the love for this is growing stronger. People around me would be saying to me, “You train so much and eat so well, you need to just get fat like the rest of us”. I think to myself, but why? Just because it is the norm in the industry to have big booze filled lunches, to not exercise and to have a heightened level of stress. No thank you! I look around me to see so many people constantly being sick, taking days off work and struggling with the day to day tasks they have to achieve. It dawns upon me that it has to be their lifestyle. It has to be due to the fuel they are putting in their bodies and the lack of movement.
I begin to think there must be a correlation between a healthy lifestyle and success in your work life.
I move back to Adelaide to take up an Associate Adviser role and I continue to keep on working through the journey of Financial Planning. I fast forward to 2011 when I begin working as an adviser at a big four bank in their Private Banking area. I had finally made it, the thousands of hours of writing Statements of Advice had paid off, I am now a full time Financial Adviser.
I begin to grow my client base and to start helping clients along their journey to retirement, or to help them achieve their goal of financial stability. I am loving it. I am loving that I am now responsible for helping clients ‘achieve’ in life. My health and wellness journey has continued to grow and I am now not only making sure I am moving each day and exercising in a variety of ways, but I now want to be a sponge and learn more and more about inner health.
The research begins on gut health, organ health and cleaner ways of eating. I realise that years of taking antibiotics has ruined my gut and I need to re-build. I am lucky enough that my (now wife) partner is along this journey with me. She too has the passion for health and wellbeing. We spend countless hours researching paleo diets, alkaline diets, water filters for the house, the different type of probiotics available, why we should be making bone broths and so many ‘unconventional’ topics. I am now training CrossFit each day which means I am moving better, I am actually working on mobility and combine this with my/our new way of eating, I have never felt better. I am more alert, I can concentrate longer, and the two biggest things:
- I am happier and more positive than I have ever been
- I notice that I am now surrounding myself with like-minded individuals
I look around the office and everyone is sick, they are never at work, or they bring their germs into the office, passing them onto the client. I sit there in client meetings and I talk with clients about their lifestyle, their health and the split between healthy and un-healthy is astounding. So many are still not looking after themselves instead living on coffee to ‘sharpen’ the mind.
So, was this is it, was I meant to work in the health industry and I had ‘wasted’ the last seven or eight years of my life? Is this what I am meant to be doing for the rest of my life? Am I passionate about one more than the other? So many questions and yet zero answers. I could not think of changing careers when I had worked so hard to get where I am. Then I worry, what if I realise the Financial Planning industry is not for me in ten years’ time? Should I make the change now? What if I make the change to health and then realise that was not the right industry either.
It is these thought patterns that I speak about with so many people, it is these thought patterns that keep so many people awake at night. Is it healthy to ‘stress’ about this? Doubtful! But, this is the pressure that is placed on us by people and industries that tell us we need to do what we are passionate about, that we should do what we love. Well, what about the other saying “don’t do for a career what you enjoy as a hobby as that joy or that hobby will become just a chore”.
I keep looking around me at what my day or week looks like. I love my clients, I love helping people, I love finding solutions for people, but I hate the stress placed on us by others, by employers. I hate seeing people around me abuse their bodies and not working to their full capacity. I hate knowing that if people just made a few changes they could be so much more productive in life. I think to myself, I need to be able to do both. I need to be able to educate people on health and wellbeing. Illustrating the benefits to them, their careers and their family life. I need to be able to continue helping people, but why can’t this be both financially and physically.
So, in 2014 I left the Private Banking world and established my own practice. So here it is, have I now found what I am passionate about? Is this my calling in life? I left the environment that stifled my creativity and did not allow me to explore the two things that I really enjoyed, because only one of them generated revenue.
I now am able to service my clients how I have always truly wanted to. To be there for them whenever they need. To have those long detailed discussions. To be able to help them navigate the complexities to help them achieve the big outcomes. What I have always wanted to do. But, I now have the opportunity to educate others in the benefits of health and well-being. I see the direct correlation between success in work, family and day to day living just by implementing a few changes to lifestyles.
We see that stress is so prevalent in society, as is cancer, heart disease and of course suicide. I am positive that there is a direct correlation between how you live, how you eat, how you work and who you surround yourself with and eliminating those listed above.
So, have I found what I am meant to be doing in life? Am I meant to be a financial adviser that also educates and learns about health and well-being? Maybe. Has it opened up opportunities to meet amazing people? Yes. Does it give me satisfaction knowing that if others make a few small changes to their lifestyle they can be more successful in all facets of their life, which has a direct correlation to financial success? YES!
Do I think we all know what we are meant to do for a career? No. What I do know is that if you just take the journey of life, say yes to things that sound interesting to you, pursue topics that you find interesting, and that over time you will find yourself in a position where you feel fulfilled. It may take a year, it may take ten years, it may take thirty years. But if you do what you enjoy, if you work towards only saying yes to things you believe in then that has to take you down the right path for you. I am now thirty five and my journey has only just begun.