Starting a blog feels like a first date all over again. I’m nervous I won’t have anything to say. Worse yet, I’m scared that you might not like me. What if I say something stupid? What if I share my thoughts, my ideas, my hopes, and no one cares or even listens? Worst yet, what if you make fun of me to your friends about the piece of spinach that was stuck in my teeth?
But as I sit back and think, there’s only one thing to do. The one thing my parents taught me long ago, and that is to be myself. I need to put myself out there. I need to be who I am, share how I feel, and state my opinions. At the end of the day, I have to take a chance. Who knows, you may like what you read (maybe you will even tell me I have spinach in my teeth).
So who am I?
My name is Dan Zajac, and I am 32 years old. My career in financial planning began naively as a newly minted college graduate. Believing I knew it all, I was ready to take the world by storm. This quickly turned into taking a job at my dad’s financial planning firm, making $10/hr… living at home… working at home… humbling, very humbling.
Little did I know my dad had a plan (good thing because I certainly didn’t). He was teaching me the business from the ground up. Making me listen, forcing me to learn, teaching me the basics, and pushing me to ask questions. He encouraged me to make mistakes and to learn from them. He provided me the platform to have small victories and to gain confidence. Eventually, he included me in client case meetings earlier in my career than I likely deserved. He developed me into a financial professional faster than I could have possible imagined. I’m blessed to have my dad as my mentor. I look forward to working with him for many years to come.
10 years later, I’m now a veteran of the financial planning industry, although my baby face will likely tell you different. I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, a senior advisor with SimoneZajac Wealth Management, and a self-proclaimed financial planning junkie. I love this stuff. I love guiding clients through the financial bewilderment of making money and saving money, investing and allocating, and managing risks known and unknown. I love helping my clients prepare for their impending retirement and working with business owners to build, protect, and transfer their company.
And what is financial planning?
Financial planning is a process. One in which we help our clients meet goals by understanding who you are and where you are trying to go. Unfortunately, too many financial planners miss this mark, and they are simply selling investments and products. They do little to no actual planning. To me, financial planning goes far beyond investments.
Financial planning is personal; financial planning is about you, your family, your business or career, and ultimately your future.
Let’s just call it what it is – financial planning is a plan, a road map. More accurately, a road map for your life goals and dreams. Although the course and destination may change, planning keeps you moving in the right direction. Recalculating when off course or navigating around an area with a sign that says road closed ahead, are all factors in success. This is a map that’s developed by a series of educated decisions over the course of many years. You see, that’s what I do for my clients. I help uncover and decode a pathway to financial freedom.
Hopefully you can see I meant when I said I am a junkie: all of this financial stuff gets me going! Much to the dismay of my wife who says I sound like a teacher from a Peanuts cartoon when I really get going. 🙂 However, she will tell you I helped her go from paycheck to paycheck to building up her savings while we dated and eventually got married.
When I’m not reading, researching, watching, and Googling financial information, I am slowly morphing into a family man. I have a wonderful wife (I’ll call her N), and we are expecting our first child. It’s a game changer I hear!
N and I both have a mutual commitment to a strong work/life balance. So when we work, we work hard. And when we don’t, we don’t.
Being fit and staying active is a big part of our lives. We love to be moving. N recently finished her first full marathon and in December 2013. For me, finishing an Ironman is goal I set a few years back. Something I am proud to say I accomplished in the summer of 2012. We are both planning our next adventure (if the kid adventure isn’t enough).
We like to keep things simple. We enjoy the company or good friends, good family, good people, and good beer (well at least me). For us, happiness is about enjoying what we do and being good at what we do. Happiness is having the luxury and the flexibility to have each.
I thank you so much for coming to my blog. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas about all things in the financial planning industry, and from time to time a story with a personal touch. I truly hope you are entertained and educated by the blog. I hope you continue to find your way back.
So as I leave the comfort of my car, and head to the front door for the first time, I can tell you I feel butterflies, and I feel nervous. But more than that, I feel excited about the possibility of great things to come. So I muster up the courage, and all the strength I have. I extend my index finger and reach to the side of the front door….
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