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Take a chance on you

Author: Kim Payne
Originally posted in Vanessa Stoykov’s  LET’S GET REAL ABOUT MONEY blog

Meet Jane. She’s fifty-five years old and a veteran of the corporate world, where she started her career at seventeen. Rather than going to Uni to get a degree, she headed straight to one of Australia’s largest banks, Westpac, and secured an entry-level position. Over the following thirty-five years, she worked her way up to becoming a successful Senior Financial Adviser.

Jane loved working for a large corporate. It provided her with financial security, career options, and personal connections, all things she valued. She grew professionally, experienced different roles, developed new skills, and made lifelong friendships. In addition, it provided her with much needed stability as she raised her beautiful son as a single career Mum. The bank was her rock, her second home.

Then one day, out of the blue, Jane was made redundant.

Although this news came with a lucrative payout (she had been at the bank three weeks shy of thirty-five years), Jane was guttered. Her safe place was gone in one hit. She had only ever worked for the bank. It’s all she knew. What now? What would she do?

After many tears, deliberation, and soul searching, Jane took the plunge and joined forces with four others to establish a financial planning / accounting firm in her local seaside town of Ballina in NSW. This gave her a regular income and the opportunity to be part of a senior team of like-minded experts. Not quite the large institution she’d always known, but a refreshing change that ticked her boxes.

This decision sounded good in theory. However, Jane’s new peers were more traditional and conservative in their approach to financial planning than she was. And there was an expectation that she would conform and follow suit. But no matter how much she persevered, it wasn’t working. The longer she stayed, the clearer it was that she was a square peg in a round hole. It wasn’t for her. What now? What would she do?

Jane now realised the only way she could do what she loved, the way she wanted, was to do it herself.

So, at fifty-three years of age, with the clarity she’d been seeking since leaving the bank, she called it quits. She resigned from the local firm and decided to start her own financial planning business.

Was she scared, absolutely! She was plagued with self-doubt and questioned if she could do it. Others had said she would never succeed on her own as a woman. With these harsh comments in mind, she also wondered if it was a smart move, given she was over fifty. Despite this, Jane trusted her gut, faced her inner fears and the uncertainty of self-employment, and found the courage to set sail on her new adventure.

It was time to make her mark and share her beautiful, unique gift with the world. So she backed herself, embraced her uniqueness, and allowed her brilliant, imperfect self to take the lead. Asking for help along the way, Jane Carr Financial Planning, built the way Jane envisaged, was born. She has never looked back.

Since starting the business nearly eighteen months ago, Jane has not sat still. She completed a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, receives at least two inquiries from prospects a week, signed up her largest client ever, and confidently says no to working with anyone who is not a good fit.

It’s never too late, and you’re never too old. There’s always a way if you believe in yourself. Remarkable things happen when you take the chance. Motivational speaker, Les Brown, says, “If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow, and if you cannot grow, you cannot be your best, and if you cannot be your best, you cannot be happy.” What is life about if you can’t be happy?

Jane’s is a story of true inspiration and taking a chance. It’s a lesson for other women to find the courage and take action no matter what curve balls life throws your way. The universe gave Jane an unexpected nudge by releasing her from the bank, but what she did afterward was all her doing.

Be like Jane. Take a chance on yourself and see what’s possible.

Jane Carr was so generous in allowing me to share her wonderful story. I was delighted to coach her when she started her new business. She is one amazing, inspiring woman.

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