My Journey from Skepticism to Success: How I Found My Path as a Financial Consultant

Early Skepticism and Initial Hesitation

Back in December 2015, when I completed my military service (ORD), I found myself at a crossroads. Like many others, I had grand plans for my future. I envisioned finishing my university degree, pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration, and landing a high-paying finance job. Insurance or financial consulting was never on my radar. The industry seemed unappealing due to its lack of fixed salary, perceived market saturation, and the stigma associated with being an insurance agent. Moreover, having excelled academically, I had a plethora of career options to choose from.

However, in May 2016, a serendipitous opportunity came my way. I joined AIA’s internship program. Initially, my decision was driven by a lack of opportunity cost. There were no contractual obligations, and I could quit anytime if things didn’t work out. It seemed like a low-risk chance to gain some income, knowledge, and experience.

Navigating the Internship and Discovering New Perspectives

During the internship, I encountered a series of unexpected revelations. I made new friends and dispelled many myths I held about the industry. The environment at AIA was surprisingly supportive and empowering. I realized that the market was far from saturated; instead, it was filled with opportunities for those willing to innovate and work hard. The internship provided me with a head start in a career I had initially dismissed.

By August 2016, as I juggled university life and my internship at AIA, I began to see the potential for a fulfilling career in financial consulting. The flexibility and autonomy allowed me to balance my academic responsibilities and work commitments effectively. This dual engagement helped me understand the value of financial education and the impact of being a financial consultant.

Embracing the Career and Achieving Milestones

As I delved deeper into the world of financial consulting, my perspective transformed. The industry’s potential for personal and professional growth became clear. By the end of 2016, I decided to pursue this path full-time, driven by the following factors:

  • Work-Life Balance: The role allowed me to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.
  • Recognition: The achievements and recognition within the company and the broader industry were motivating.
  • Autonomy and Flexibility: I valued the ability to set my own schedule and be my own boss.
  • Income and Job Security: Despite initial fears, I discovered the financial rewards were substantial and offered long-term security.

These elements combined to create a rewarding career that was both financially and personally fulfilling. AIA’s culture and the support system they provided were instrumental in my success.

Highlights and Achievements

My journey with AIA has been marked by numerous milestones and accolades:

  • 2017: As a first-year agent and university student, I earned $145,000. This achievement was a testament to the lucrative nature of the industry.
  • 2018-2019: My income steadily increased, reaching $297,000 by my third year in university.
  • 2020: Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, I graduated from university and earned $327,000. I also started a small digital marketing agency, showcasing my entrepreneurial spirit.
  • 2021-2023: My income consistently exceeded $350,000 annually. I expanded my business ventures, growing my second business from 2 to over 20 employees.

These financial achievements were complemented by personal growth and development. I became a member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) and achieved the Court of the Table (COT) status, reflecting my commitment and success in the industry.

Entrepreneurship and Diversification

My entrepreneurial journey didn’t stop at financial consulting. In 2020, I ventured into digital marketing, founding an agency that now employs over 40 full-time staff. In 2024, I further diversified my portfolio by acquiring a cleaning company, generating over $15,000 in monthly profits, and starting a business in virtual assistance and outsourcing. Today, I manage over 1,000 clients at AIA while simultaneously running three thriving companies.

Why Financial Consulting?

When people ask why I chose this path, my response is simple: “Why not?” The opportunities for growth, learning, and financial success are immense. Financial consulting offers a chance to be financially educated and start a career with minimal risk. The resources available, from slides and scripts to courses and webinars, provide a comprehensive support system for anyone willing to give it a shot.

Is This Career for You?

This career isn’t for everyone. It demands motivation, a hunger to learn, and a desire to make the most of one’s time in university. If you’re driven and curious, exploring a career in financial consulting can be incredibly rewarding. You won’t know if it’s the right fit until you truly explore it and give it a try.

Let’s discuss how you can start your journey today and potentially transform your life as I did.

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