Stumbling to Success


Napoleon Hill once said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

I am often asked how I ended up in the financial planning profession. The answer is not too different from many others who are in the profession, it was an accident. However, this accident ultimately changed my life.

As a child, I always wanted more out of life. I wanted to escape the circumstances that many people in my community were stuck in and doomed to repeat. Whether that be working dead-end jobs their whole life, sitting on the block all day as life passes you by, or simply going 5 miles away to Long Island (where I currently live) and thinking you are on vacation. I wanted to be somebody, and experience all the world has to offer, because why not me? When I look back and think about the movies I watched, like the wood, the brothers, and brown sugar, they all gave me a glimpse of what a successful black man could look like. This is what I wanted for my life and strived for.

When I got to college at West Virginia University, I chose finance because I wanted to be able to understand money and how to make it work for me. It turns out that many people need guidance in this as well. Now, in the beginning, I was sure that I was going to be an investment banker. Work my way up in a boutique firm on Wall Street, and live the life I always dreamed of. However, this all changed when I walked into my first personal financial planning course. I fell in love with doing case studies on mock families and being able to provide them with the guidance that would allow them to achieve their dreams. I realized that this profession would allow me to give back and help people. It would be able to give me the power to make a difference in many lives all while allowing me to better mine.

After college, I started my career at a large insurance company bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was expecting to be able to come in and make a difference. However, I quickly found that there was more of an eat-what-you-kill mentality and it was a lot more sales driven than service driven. The problem for me was that I did not want to be a salesman, I wanted to provide a valuable service. I just knew there had to be a better way of doing things, so I began to become a student of the profession. I went down what I now call the Kitces rabbit hole. I learned all about the profession and what it means to be a true fiduciary. I realized that the financial profession is truly a great and noble one and realized that it was my time to move forward from the insurance industry and go to an RIA.

My journey to this profession has been one of stumbling, second-guessing, and even bending but never breaking. Although my journey is just beginning, I know that everything has brought me to this moment. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

We would be happy to schedule a time to discuss how we can help you and your family empower the next generation.  Feel free to schedule a 30 Minute Zoom Meeting for us to discuss this.



This article represents the opinion of Mitlin Financial Inc. It should not be construed as providing investment, legal and/or tax advice. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. To determine what may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor.

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