Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peace of the Season to You! by Diane LeBleu

Aren’t they sweet? Hard to believe that only moments before the agonizing annual event that we know in our home to be ‘sit for the Christmas pic’ there was bickering, shouting, missing shoes, muddy shoes on the clean floor, discarded bows from perfectly coiffed hair, tears (Sabrina’s) and chest pains (mine). Why why why do I do this to myself every year? And the photo always looks the same – us smiling in front of the same Christmas tree, decorated with the same ornaments, since we bought it eleven years ago. We should just Photoshop a new head on the same body template and call it a day. It would save everyone an afternoon of absolute misery.

I recall my sister telling me upon my announcement of my pregnancy with our third child ‘Wow! You really know how to make things hard for yourself’ or something along those lines. Travis was three at the time, out of diapers, and things were starting to get a little easier on the child front. And we were going to be starting over again in the spring. Diapers, bottles, sleepless nights. You can’t imagine how she reacted to the news about our fourth child.

Perhaps she was on to something. Perhaps I need to more often seek the path of least resistance. I just started back to work pursing a career as an insurance and financial professional. I cannot use the term ‘Financial Advisor’ until I am properly licensed having passed the Series 7 securities exam. Until then, I am to use the vague term ‘Insurance and Financial Professional’ which really means I assist individuals and business owners in meeting their financial goals through risk management (using insurance products) and planning strategies for events like college or retirement. As I said, I am just getting started in a business that is entirely commission-based. Which means, I am working hard, hemorrhaging money (for child care, business start up expenses, additional valium) and getting no pay. I know that this type of work is extremely difficult in the early years and that I am paying my dues. That if I continue with this, making a name for my services and slowly building a sound client base, this will be a good career. I know this academically, but it is hard on the wallet and the family, as I am the household manager in addition to my numerous other roles. I don’t want to fail with a casual ‘Seemed like a good idea at the time’ but I also don’t want to kill myself over a job. I already had something trying to do just that this year.

I am working on my marketing plan, my tag line, my ‘ideal referral’ as I boldly go forward in this new enterprise. I have the complete backing of my husband who is growing weary of my daily doubts. My own Yoda tells me ‘Do or Do Not! There is no try!” And he’s right, or course. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. And if this profession were easy, everyone would do it. The bottom line is, as I have come to realize over the course of my many years of professional dabbling (Bus/IT consulting, bookkeeper, lawyer’s assistant, spouse of business owner, marketing and practice support for high-net worth financial advisors, and of course, SAHM), I have found these truths about myself. I love helping others achieve their objectives with my knowledge and experience in all capacities. I’m a planner, bringing multi-tasking and work effectiveness to a new level. I love order – wanting everything in it’s place – so one doesn’t have to worry about so many things so one can enjoy the real joys of life – family and friends. I appreciate the value of a plan – things just don’t happen without one. I recognize the value of insuring your family against the worst. It will not prevent bad things from happening, but it will cushion the blow. Tom’s mother lost her husband, Tom’s father in a tragic accident that claimed his life when Tom was only five. Because he had put his family first, had enough life insurance to take care of his family so that they could continue to live as they were accustomed, they were able to go on. I know personally that cancer happens – even in people in their 30’s. Maybe my tag line will be something along these lines ‘Putting families first. Don’t be paranoid. Instead, be prepared.’ I also love to write and marketing my skills and services through a variety of channels will challenge me in new ways to creatively craft compelling thoughts and messages.

We are planning to enjoy a quiet holiday this year. Just our small family to spend Christmas and New Year's enjoying each other’s company. Bickering, shouting, annoyed at Danielle’s constant flute playing, but at peace in the love and support we all have of each other. God bless you and have a wonderful holiday season!


Denise Burks said...

You have an amazing story to tell. Best of luck in your new career. It won't be easy but it sounds like you are doing all of the right things. People will invest with you if they feel like they can trust you. Even over the internet, you come off as a sincere person. That will bode well for you!

Warmest Holiday Wishes,

Denise Burks

Michele Harris said...

I am quite certain you will do anything you do... Very well. As for the family photos, I recommend a tequila shot. LOL. Michele