Ariell Xavier Arevalo was born in Hong Kong to Filipino parents and his family moved to the Philippines when he was 8. He later moved to Canada after completing a bachelor’s degree in Tourism at the University of the Philippines. Ariell now lives in Chestermere, AB with his wife Dyan, and together they earned the rank of Executive Vice President with Greatway Financial which they have been proudly part of since 2010.
Greatway Financial was created in 2010 in Calgary, Alberta, to be a small Managing General Agency (MGA). In the following years, the business expanded to include many reputable partnerships, 50 employees, and more than 2,500 industry professionals across Canada. Greatway Financial now assists clients with a wide range of financial services such as life insurance, investment, and mortgage.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
We decided to pursue the business opportunity with Greatway Financial when it was introduced in 2010 because I had an innate interest in finance, and I was already working in the banking industry. I believed that I could better serve my purpose of helping more people financially through Greatway.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love the industry we are in because there is always a new challenge, there are always new learnings. Dealing with people every day, training our team, managing egos and personalities including our own, is something that is a challenging but fulfilling endeavor once you achieve a worthwhile goal
What keeps you motivated?
I keep motivated by being eager to see the leaders in our team succeed. My mentor and the founder of Greatway Financial, Marlon Antonio, once told me, “If you are no longer hungry for you own success, be hungry for the success of your team.” I hung on to that and have now dedicated my life to seeing more people become successful. We also now make sure to set bigger and bigger goals that keep us excited every year.
How do you motivate others?
Motivation is merely temporary, which is what makes it extremely difficult to be a motivator. Also, what motivates one might not motivate the other person. What works better is inspiration, and there are lots of sources of third-party inspiration and success stories that could inspire our team members to be the best versions of themselves.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from those in our company who are already living the life that we want to have. These are the people whom I could say “I want to be like you when I grow up!” We try to learn from what they have done, what they have tried and didn’t work, and gain that same frame of mind that helped them achieve their success.
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I would still consider myself to be a work in progress, but the traits I believe I have are COACHABILITY, GRIT, and STEADFASTNESS. A good leader has to be a good follower first. So early on, I learned that coachability is an important trait. Your mentor has your best interest at heart, so just trust them and trust the system, but don’t be afraid to ask if things are not clear. Grit and steadfastness are essential too, because you have to keep going towards your goal no matter what obstacles or distractions lie in your path. If you keep going, your team sees that, and they will do their best to keep going. If you allow yourself to get distracted and stop, then consequently, your team sees that too! That’s why being steadfast to your goal is important if you want to achieve anything big!
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
The Financial Services industry is one with a high attrition rate, but if you get past the 5-year mark, this is an industry that is rewarding if you stay. Be careful who you listen to. There are “dream killers”, people who will doubt you, people who won’t believe in you, people who will put you down. That is part of the deal. The key to your longevity is to intentionally surround yourself with a supportive peer group (not necessarily the people you report to or report to you), be willing to be coached, accept you will be uncomfortable, continuously set bigger goals, and give it your all!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
The one piece of advice I could give is that you should catch yourself whenever you have the urge to go after another “shiny object”. This is the pitfall for plenty of others who “try” the industry and get their first failure or disappointment. They tend to look for something “easier” and “shinier” to their eye. Always revisit your “WHY?”. Always remember your goals. Remember that you have what it takes, and if you stay steadfast to your goal, and are consistently improving, you will get to where you want to be.