Words from Sam
Open for Business
Whenever you need us!
I was meeting with a client recently that became my client when one of our advisors left the company in 2015. I had never worked with these clients, but I saw them often at functions and in the office. Several months after moving with the advisor to the new firm, he called me and asked if he could work with me. I had gotten to know him well from functions so I was happy to take them as clients. I really think he was more interested in working with Lizzie’s dad than he was with Sam! Liz attended many functions with me in Columbia until she started high school and got wrapped up in all the homework and studying. She attends Ben Lippen, which is a private Christian school In Columbia. It is a phenomenal environment for her, but the work load is somewhat intense! I think Clemson is honored to have more recent Ben Lippen grads than some of the “other” schools. With that being said, Lizzie will not be attending Clemson. Heck, she may stay right there and attend Columbia International University (Ben Lippen is located on the campus of CIU).
So, back to the recent meeting. During this meeting, the clients asked me how long I was planning to continue being an advisor. I suppose that is a reasonable question as I approach the big 5-0 in January. I shared that I was more committed to this business than I have ever been, but it may look somewhat different going forward. As I mature as a person and an advisor, I have realized a few things. I love the occasional opportunity to come to the office dressed a little more comfortably. I often tell folks that I am not sure why I can wear jeans to church but cannot pull it off wearing them to work! I am pretty sure my brain works just the same regardless of how I am dressed! In fact, I may work a little harder when I am relaxed. However, I also realize there are times when the dress code is more formal and casual is not appropriate. A time and a place for everything.
I had a former client call me last week. They moved to a city in South Carolina where I did not have an office. Her husband became ill and passed away. She felt inclined to work with someone “local” so she moved her investments to the local firm. This relationship did not work out the way she had expected, so she called me to chat about the possibility of working together again. I always enjoyed her as well as her late husband. In fact, going to see them when they moved was a pleasure. We parted ways on good terms, which has left the door open for us to rejoin. In a few weeks, I am planning to meet her son for the first time as well as meet with their attorney. I will not be wearing jeans to that meeting.
I keep talking about jeans and attire but that isn’t really the point. Once again, there are times for ties and being dressed up. But the relationships I desire with my clients are very personable and comfortable. David and Mike are no different than I, and they are very much the same with their clients. I realize you are all OUR clients, but most of you meet primarily with one of us and we are all very much committed to doing whatever is required, whenever it is required, to fulfill our role as your trusted financial advocate.
I believe the culture at CWM is second to none! We had three offices and we grew to eight. We are back to three. I can tell you that our culture and the desire to help as many people as possible was the primary driver for expanding and opening new offices. As we grew, David and I realized we did not want to run a large organization of people. We figured out that we preferred spending our time, not managing people, but working with our clients. Looking back, I am happy we did what we did – expanding our offices and growing our family. We had the privilege of developing many talented people who are better off from growing and learning with us, then moving on to other opportunities. David and I feel honored and blessed to have had a small role in the successes of our former employees.
As we both approach 50, we are very focuses on the “second half” of our careers. Our passion is making a very positive difference in the people we serve. We realized we could not be everything to everyone. But we also realized we could be a whole lot to a select few! We want to continue to grow our business. This time, however, the growth will not happen because we have opened a new office. This time, organic growth will happen as we get the opportunity to help the friends and family of our current family (clients).
We are blessed to have such wonderful people to work with and for this, we are very grateful. We are not perfect (we would love to be) but that special place is reserved for one person. We do want to continue to improve, so we welcome your feedback. Please do not ever hesitate to pick up the phone and call us if you have something that you would like to share. We will try to always be striving to do the best possible job for you possible. Our goal is to be around for a very long time to help you! We envision the second half of our careers bringing us joy and fulfilment as we celebrate the good times and face the challenges while standing next to you. We may or may not be wearing jeans.