As a former sales executive/top performer, I understand how difficult it can be to manage both your sales goals and personal finances. It’s a daunting task to be fiscally responsible when you are in the thick of closing deals, prospecting, managing cross-functional teams, traveling, fine-tuning your sales skills, and corporate meetings.
When I was in sales myself, I seldomly thought about my financial plan. I was so exhausted from the sales cycle, that I didn’t have the bandwidth to learn or even think about investments, deferred compensation, tax planning, cash-flow management, college funding, etc. I figured I’d keep making a lot of cash and as long as I didn’t overspend, I would be alright. I’m not sure how long this (non)plan would have lasted, but luckily, I was soon introduced to the idea of financial planning and hiring a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®).
Looking back, it wasn’t a lack of time, but my ego that didn’t allow me to ask for help in this area. I was closing multi-million dollar deals, was at the top of my game and certainly didn’t feel the need to hire anyone. I read books and was relatively informed when it came to finance, but I was struggling. I think many sales people struggle with delegation of any sort, because they are so used to controlling the sales cycle, and with their paycheck on the line it’s understandable.
One of my past employers, LearnVest, provided their employees with financial plans by a fiduciary fee-only financial advisor, which forced me to sit down with a CFP® and, well, get my shit together. It wasn’t until I met with my financial planner that I realized there were some tough questions I needed to ask myself in order to get started. This was life changing!
Here are some examples of the questions and considerations that came up as we started to strategize.
- What if I had a down year, could I sustain my current lifestyle?
- Am I overspending?
- Could I be saving more, if so how much?
- What if I didn’t hit my quota, did I have enough saved for emergencies?
- What if I hit quota, but didn’t earn the accelerators, could I afford my car and house?
- What should I do with extra cash and commissions?
- Should I buy real estate, fund college (for parents), contribute more to retirement, pay off debt?
- What can I do to protect and grow my new found wealth?
- What if I lose my job or my compensation plan changes, how will this impact our situation?
- What if something happens to me, will my family be taken care of?
Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself. Are you in a good place, or could you use some help? If any of this resonates with you or you’re interested in learning more about how to get your plan together, please feel free to reach out to me.
Eric Rodriguez, CFP®
What is a CFP®?
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners are trained to be experts in all areas of personal finance. This can include cash-flow, insurance, tax, investments, retirement, estate, college funding, and much more. CFP®’s study for 6+ years, have 4,000+ hours of experience, and pass a rigorous 6+ hour exam to be approved.