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Jay Buckingham of Buckingham Advisors: “Communicate and listen to the client”

When becoming an entrepreneur, the first thing is not only learning to delegate but learning to walk away from that delegating and let the person do their job. And when they don’t do their job the way you would have done it, but the job still gets done, accept it. And yes, go ahead and […]

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When becoming an entrepreneur, the first thing is not only learning to delegate but learning to walk away from that delegating and let the person do their job. And when they don’t do their job the way you would have done it, but the job still gets done, accept it. And yes, go ahead and volunteer your ideas, but that doesn’t mean they have to implement your ideas. It’s important to learn how to compromise when you delegate.


Being a founder, entrepreneur, or business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur” we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay Buckingham, founder and CEO of Buckingham Advisors, who has seen a lot of ups and downs over the past 34 years as an entrepreneur. In the early days, he knocked on doors and used a converted attic as his office. Today, he and his team provide professional financial planning, investment management, tax strategy/preparation, and business services for clients in Ohio and beyond. Jay established the firm in 1987 to provide client-centered advice, commission-free products and tailored solutions rather than the typical cookie-cutter, sales-oriented approaches used by competing entities. He has built multi-generational client relationships and a team of next-generation leaders based on the principles and philosophies revealed below.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I always wanted to be involved in finances. I liked the creativity of finances in financial planning, tax returns and investments. Early in my career, I was working as an independent contractor for a marketing company in the community. I was able to work with different organizations including a large financial planning company. The financial planning company contacted the marketing company and wanted to buy some advertising. I went out to meet the organization. I had high hopes. It was a good company and I learned a lot more about them. As I was talking to them, I showed an interest in going further. So instead of me presenting marketing ideas to them, they turned around and presented me with financial planning ideas. As I said earlier, I was always very interested in finances and in the concept of tax planning and so forth. So fast forward, I became part of their organization. That’s how I got started in the business.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

At the very beginning of my career when I was working for that large corporation, we were using their products to achieve the client’s financial goals. I was producing forecasting illustrations based on their product’s qualifications and it dawned on me very quickly that the purpose of those illustrations was primarily to sell more products, which I didn’t like. I wanted to be more on the consulting side of the business. At that particular time, I was going door-to-door, meeting with current and prospective clients. So I did not really have to meet with too many of them in the office. I can remember sitting around the kitchen table with two of my now-long-term clients, going over their financial plans and their investments. One of the clients made a comment that although they had more money to invest, they believed they had enough money with our corporation. Yet, they said they wanted to continue working with me and wondered if there was any solution. I indicated to him that at that particular time, legally, there was no solution. But I told them I heard what they were saying and I would look into it to see what I could do. About six months later, I decided to leave that large corporation and become independent. That’s how I really started the company. The “aha moment” was the desire to move forward in a way that would allow me to satisfy my clients. I’ve always said that you don’t work for an individual or a company, you work for the clients. That’s true to this day.

In your opinion, were you a natural-born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?

I don’t believe that I was a natural-born entrepreneur. I believe that rather than being a natural-born entrepreneur, I’ve had to grow into the position. I had to learn entrepreneurship and how to be a business owner, hiring one employee at a time, learning from the mistakes that I made, not having a budget in the beginning, learning to understand the necessity of a budget, dealing with cash flow or lack of cash flow (because many times when you start a business you run negative), and so forth. Along the way, I figured out how to keep things going — even during difficult periods of time. So I can’t say I was a natural-born entrepreneur, but I can say that I have, and am, continuing to grow into that role, even today.

Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?

I actually had three people who helped and inspired me. When I decided to start the company, I was still going house-to-house but I realized I needed an office front. Money was very scarce. My goal wasn’t to build a large organization, my goal was to take care of my clients so my clients wouldn’t have to look at other individuals or other companies to do their financial planning. I actually found an office space that was inside of a law firm. They had taken an old building and remodeled the first floor. The upstairs floor was an old-style attic where you had to duck your head when you walked through because of the slanted roofs. I can still remember to this day my long-time clients laughing about how they had to duck their heads walking into my office during those early days.

There was an attorney there that was very, very successful in estate planning and he actually took me under his wing. I was probably four or five years into the business. He educated me and taught me a lot about estate planning. I would have to say he inspired me. To this day, I still look back on some of the things that he went through with me.

There was another attorney that also inspired and helped me get started on the business. He was more of a general practice attorney.

I would meet with these two attorneys separately, and the meetings would be like strategy meetings, where I would ask them questions and they would give me examples. Sharing their war stories and so forth. They knew they were mentoring and helping me.

A third individual, who has unfortunately since passed, was an accountant. I can remember getting a phone call from the accountant and the accountant said, “Hey, you’re doing some investments for a client of mine.” I thought instantly that this accountant was upset with something. So I acknowledged that, yes, I knew the individual and I had done some work with them. He went on to say he’d like to talk to me about some more clients and also his own personal investments. Well, you talk about making my day. The accountant’s son became a junior accountant in the business and his son is still with me today.

I developed great business working relationships with all three of these individuals that go back about 25 years ago — or more. Those three individuals probably set the trend for a lot of my own personal education I’ve gained and are also the reason for a tremendous number of the clients that we have achieved over that period of time.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

It’s our financial professionals and how they work together. They’re not competing. They’re working together. We’ve got Certified Financial Planner™ professionals (CFP®) who are the first-line client contacts. Our planning includes tax forecasting and strategizing. So, we’ve got CPAs and accountants who work closely with the CPAs, the CFPs and also with the clients. We also have the investment professionals, CFA® charterholders, right here in the house. During our strategy meetings, we discuss the client’s situation: anything and everything from retirement, estate planning, generation planning, grandchildren’s education, or trying to sell a business.

There is a wealth of information that comes from our team of professionals, and when you put them all together it is astounding. Looking at an issue from different disciplines, we will continue to debate until we’ve reached the best approach for each client situation. What makes the company stand out are the working relationships that have been built in this office and how all of our professionals strive to take care of the client, without having to worry about whose idea it was or where it’s coming from. It comes together from a group of people, a team.

As a business, we are independent and that has been a big part of our success in this financial world that we work in. The ability to listen to the client and not have to be worried about selling a product. In the structure that we’re in, we’re a financial planning consulting firm. We do a lot of charging by the hour and so forth. All the people that I just described and their qualifications, they’re not sitting there worrying about making the next sale like a commission-based person. They’re sitting there thinking only about giving the best advice they can to the client.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Trait number one is the ability to push fear aside. When you start out as a business owner and you’re doing it one step at a time, there is a fear of failing. You do not want to fail and that’s a big driving force behind me. Failing was never a possibility when I looked down the road. You always have the fear, but you couldn’t permit it to take hold.

Trait number two is team building — it is at the core of our organization structure and is something I pass on to everyone in the firm. I have focused on building a team that is expertly coordinated, all in one place, and knowing that the entire professional team has each other’s backs. Having an effective team is what allows us to align the solutions our clients need and to help them achieve the best possible outcomes.

Trait number three is client service. We continue to emphasize staying in contact with the client, making sure that the client is being taken care of. We’re here to answer their questions and concerns, and then support them in their decision-making.

Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Back when I was involved in a large corporation, I was taught about specific investments that were suitable for the clients. That’s advice that I wish I would not have listened to, but in the beginning, I was not in a position to build my own in-house finance department. It was suggested that we use certain investment products, but I came to find out those products were not being used for the purpose they were designed for and were not appropriate for the clients. It was not following suit with what the clients needed or what I thought was the correct solution for the clients. I quickly decided that I had to eliminate that problem. That’s why we have our own investment people in the firm.

There was a similar situation on the tax side. When I was doing business with the accountant that I referred to earlier, I was also doing business with other accountants, probably three or four others in the community. They would send their clients to me and I would help put their tax returns together and discuss the client’s situation with them. One day, it was shortly after the April 15th deadline, I got a phone call from one of the accounting firms and they indicated that they were going to get into my business — financial planning and investment management. Without giving it much thought, I responded that I appreciated the information and I wanted to let them know that I was going to hire some accountants. This is when I started bringing accountants into the firm.

I’d have to summarize by saying I listened to people and I thought I was getting good advice. But from some of them, that did not prove to be true. If I had known that some of these things were taking place, I would have moved forward a little bit quicker to what the company is today.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?

You first need to show your honest, authentic side to your staff and clients. You want to treat them the way you would want yourself to be treated. There are ways for employees to thrive and it builds on an enthusiastic response when you see success in a business situation.

Burnout is always going to happen. One of the things that I do is to make sure I have contact with the employees. You can sense when they are a little burned out. Sometimes it’s worthwhile for them just to walk away from a case. If you set the example as the entrepreneur, as the business owner, that the purpose of the firm is to not just take care of the clients, but also their own families, their own goals and objectives, it helps them move forward. Other times it’s when things are not going right outside the office that burnout comes. Take COVID as an example, or when there’s a big market correction that requires explaining to the client who is ready to jump out of the window that there are better alternatives.

If that continues on for a while, you can sense the burnout. And when that happens, we often have office meetings, particularly in a depressing time, when we talk about the outcome we want for a situation and what we should be doing today to get us to that point. So communicating with the employees helps take care of some of that burnout and the feeling of being overwhelmed.

What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and authority in their industry?

Communicate and listen to the client. Competition is as strong today, if not stronger, than in the past. We have the internet and have people who are focused on making a sales quota. The biggest part of that kind of approach is that it’s not personal. You have to bring that personal touch into a relationship with the client.

And don’t sit there and try to sell them. Listen to them. The best salespeople sell with their ears. They don’t sell with their mouths. That is absolutely true. Even though we have access to data and information at our fingertips today by just clicking a couple of buttons, people still want to be able to reach out and discuss ideas and strategies with somebody, particularly in the financial world.

When you hear clients’ ideas, don’t insult them. If you feel like the client is going down the wrong path, you give them an alternative. You’re building trust with that and you’re building your credibility. You’re not sitting there and saying, “No, I’ve got a better product for you to put your money into.”

Stay in close contact with clients. During the COVID shutdown, when that first hit, as soon as we were able to get everybody in a position working at home, we had virtual meetings. We discussed the situation and what was going on. We talked about our clients and how many of them were confused and worried. Each financial planner reached out and contacted our clients and discussed things. We did more than just discuss their portfolio. A lot of times they just wanted to discuss current realities and wondered how long are these difficulties going to be. So communicating with the client is not just about finances but being a person that can just share ideas and listen very closely to them.

Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?

Communicating and listening is what clients desire from their advisor. We’ve got the internet, they can come back and get quick answers. But they want an advisor that they can build a relationship. Here’s an example: I was probably fifteen or so years into my business when I realized that a lot of our clients’ family members were also becoming clients. At that time they didn’t want to work with somebody my age or my age today. They wanted to work with people younger who were going to be around. So somewhere about twenty years ago we started setting the stage of hiring people to work with the family members in the second and third generations. Once we build that trust and that credibility with the client, they can see that they’ve got a continuation of the family that can grow with the company now and not worry about what’s going to happen if someone at the firm decides to stop working the next day.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

How about if I turn that question around and share the common mistakes I’ve made in starting the business and what can be done to avoid those errors?

First of all, you’re shooting from the hip when you’re starting the way I started the company. I did not wake up one day and say I’m going to start a company.

I will say hiring was the biggest problem and one of my biggest hurdles. Money was tight and I wanted to hire the least expensive person I could, but I was expecting the most professional job out of them. Well, that didn’t quite work out for me.

So I learned very quickly that if you pay a little bit more, you get perhaps what you’re looking to get back. Another big mistake is you don’t want to staff up in hopes of businesses coming. It’s a gradual thing. I’ve seen myself and I’ve seen other business owners go out and hire a group of people because they expect in a year or two that this big flow of business is going to come in.

We’ve all heard the saying “build it and they will come.” I don’t believe that is the best way to run a business. I do believe you have to have a plan, which again, I will confess I did not have in the very beginning. But to this day, I have a plan and I continue bringing it out, looking at it on a quarterly basis and making adjustments.

Each of the directors in the office has to submit a financial plan for me and we review it. I had one director, just a couple of hours ago, who wants to hire a new person. I’m giving them the green light to hire that person. But I said, before you hire the person, I want to see how that person’s going to fit into your three-year plan that you have for your department.

Another mistake that I’ve made in the past is I’ve gone out, hired the person and then developed the plan. Well, you don’t fit a plan to a person. You develop the plan, then you find the individual for that plan.

I also have to say that even though we really feel that we can work with many different clients and handle their financial needs, occasionally you have to say to yourself that a particular client just isn’t a good fit. And that is a very difficult thing to do. In the beginning, I would never have said that. But to this day, when I realize we have a client that wants services that our company just isn’t equipped to handle, like day-to-day stock trading, it’s better for both the client and the firm to say, “I’m sorry, but we’re not the right firm for you.” In the beginning, it took me a while to learn that.

Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?

When you’re an entrepreneur, when you’re in charge of the company, you own that final decision. No matter how you get to that decision, whether you consult with others or you make it on your own, that decision is yours and you have to live with it. In the highs and the lows of running the business, it can be very troublesome to come up with those final decisions.

Sometimes decisions come easy. I’ve been accused many times, particularly when working with a group of CPAs, that I make business decisions too quickly. I explain to the CPAs that they take too long because they have to analyze everything so much and we have a good working relationship because of that.

If you have the luxury of taking your time and analyzing the situation, that decision is yours. If you don’t have that luxury and you have to make a quick decision, you still have to be able to stand behind that choice.

If things go wrong, you can’t try to pretend that you made the decision. You have to come back and explain it. You have to say, “I made a mistake and we need to correct it.” If it was a regular job situation, nine to five, a person punching the clock, that decision would be passed on and someone else would have to work with the consequences. But when you’re running the company, you own the outcome.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

When you walk out of a client meeting after you’ve provided solutions to that client’s situation from a team of people in there with you, and you can see the happiness on the client’s face. That’s one of the highs in the business. Those are the rewards that come with being in the business we are in, seeing the client, the family and individuals happy.

Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.

It goes back to hiring the wrong individual. With all the family planning and tax work that we were doing through second and third generations, I wanted to have on staff a full-time attorney to consult with and to work with on a daily basis. The concept was good and as CEO I made the decision to hire. However, our clients quickly explained to me that I had the wrong individual.

We meet with clients for a lot of quick appointments in the office — and we try not to make the meetings too long because we don’t want to overwhelm or tire the client. Also, with today’s internet and email, we can send messages, ask questions and so forth and stay in touch and always keep communications open with the client. So the client then always feels comfortable calling back.

Well, this particular person that I hired, they were spending two or three hours with a client and the client was just exhausted. And then afterward, they were writing a book about it. Well, it dawned on me that this person came from a profession where they got paid by the hour, not by the results. So that was one of those lows in the business. I had to make good with a couple of the clients. Sometimes it happens.

Another example is an older client that has been with me for quite some time now. This client lives on the East coast and is extremely successful. Part of what we do for them is their tax returns. With their tax returns, we do a tax forecast and sometimes it’s difficult to get the exact information from the client, even though we request this and we put it in writing and so forth. In this particular tax preparation work, new data came in that the client failed to mention. They did not fill out the proper forms to change this data. And as I pointed out to the staff, no matter how much good we’ve done for that client over the long period of time, from the first day that I started working with them to where we are today, this one little problem and a lack of communications is something that they’re always going to remember. So I got involved, realized where the problem was, and I was able to point out to the client in a polite way how to solve this solution. I didn’t point it out as, “Hey, here’s the problem.” I pointed out a solution to the problem. When you have everything in-house, like what we do: the tax preparation, the investments and all the personal financial and/or business planning, you’ve got to make sure that it’s all coordinated because one very important client could be upset over a very minor thing, but it affects all the parts of your business.

Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?

I bounced back by taking what happened to the client and making it a learning experience. Before I jumped into the situation, the accountant and the planner came in to see me on this issue and the department manager was kept informed.

I walked through things with the manager to say, “Well, here are my steps that I’m going to do, and here’s my solution,” but first I purposely asked their opinion. “Do you think this is going to be appropriate? Do you feel this and that?” What I was really doing was teaching the manager how to handle this situation instead of going straight back to the client explaining how the problem happened. We needed to find a solution to the problem before bringing it to the client. Otherwise, we could very well offend the client. That was a big learning curve for the manager.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.

When becoming an entrepreneur, the first thing is not only learning to delegate but learning to walk away from that delegating and let the person do their job. And when they don’t do their job the way you would have done it, but the job still gets done, accept it. And yes, go ahead and volunteer your ideas, but that doesn’t mean they have to implement your ideas. It’s important to learn how to compromise when you delegate.

The second thing to consider is to hire for the experience; don’t be cheap. In the communities where we work, our staff is probably paid higher wages than other people here in our industry. And I’m happy to do that so that people do not get wandering eyes. We also find ways to promote without a financial element, for example giving them more authority, inviting involvement on special projects, and so forth.

Third, be cautious of how much time you spend on cases. In the very beginning, I was guilty of this, particularly with a new client. I would spend an hour or two with the client walking them through all the subjects such as, “How much do you want when you retire?” Well, if you asked me how much I want when I retire, I’ll tell you I want as much as I can get. So in this office, we’ve reversed this a little bit. We gather the asset information and we create a net worth statement. We use a hypothetical situation, then compare it to the tax returns to see if we have a deficit. If so, how much? If there is a deficit, we explain it to the client. So instead of spending two hours, we’ve cut down the time and don’t overwhelm the client.

We have to respect the client’s time, too. People are busy today. You hear them complain when they go to the doctor’s office and they have to sit for two hours. Well, that’s the same thing coming into a financial office. So we notify the client that their appointment is scheduled, here are some of the topics we’re going to discuss, and here’s what we’d like for them to bring in. They know when they come in here, typically for 30–45 minutes, that they are in-and-out, so they can get on with their day. What we don’t get finished in that meeting, we follow up on through email. We ask them if they want another appointment and so forth. And that is another area that we do very well in the office. If we do have the need to set the next appointment, I don’t care if it’s a year in advance, that client gets that next appointment before they walk out the door. Because if not, sometimes you never get around to setting up that next appointment. Then we continue to let them know they’ve got an appointment coming up and the topics that are going to be covered.

Fourth, build a group of professionals with knowledge expertise. In the beginning, I had to be the expert in everything. Then if I didn’t know it, I had to go find the answer. That’s why I acknowledge that the people who influenced me the most were the attorneys and the accountants when I first started my business because I relied on them giving me education and giving me knowledge on topics that I didn’t have. One of the highs and lows of the office has been being able to learn that you can’t be an expert in everything. And so for all the financial planning needs that we work with here in the office, we have people who are assigned to certain components, and it’s their job to keep track of things such as the tax laws during the election, what the politicians are saying, what state laws are changing, and so on.

Fifth, being an entrepreneur requires a shift in responsibility. It’s been difficult coming from a person who works with clients, holding their hands, developing the plans, seeing the young child grow up to be an adult that you’re suddenly representing, to becoming an individual sitting behind a desk and making sure all those components are constantly moving, constantly working. Making sure no one’s being overlooked, putting systems in place so that we can double-check, making sure our clients have been contacted and served three or four times a year. It’s the shifting of responsibility. That was a big low because I had to walk away from a lot of that client contact and realize that the buck stops with me. So I had to start putting procedures together to make that shift.

We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?

The drive to succeed is one trait that makes individuals resilient. If you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning and going to work, you’re not an entrepreneur. You’ve got to have that built-in drive to succeed, to be the kind of person who sees nothing but success ahead and that’s what you’re shooting for.

When I got started in the business, I had no idea where I would be today, but I had a dream of the type of person I wanted to become, the kind of house I wanted for my family, and so forth. I hung a picture of that house on the refrigerator. Even though the house I live in today and the farm is nothing compared to what I was looking toward back then, hanging the picture of that house on that refrigerator demonstrated my desire to be successful. Success is not only having money. Success is building a reputation for people who can come to you and trust that they’re going to get good, honest information and professional help. That’s success too.

Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?

Lessons from my early years taught me that when you get knocked down, you have to find ways to rebuild and spring back. It’s the fear of failing, of letting your clients down. Part of the reason we have the firm today, with the multiple generations that we have working here, is because of the responsibility that I felt we took on when we started working with those clients. Particularly when they started referring their family members to us; it wasn’t something that I wanted to walk away from without an option for them to stay with the company. So, a big part of what we built today is to take care of the clients in the future.

In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?

You’re the entrepreneur, the CEO. You’re the head person responsible for the clients and the employees. I don’t care how much of a bad day you’re having, you can’t express it in the office. That negativity runs through so quickly and so fast. If I walk through the office in an extremely negative position because I had a bad day or I got yelled at by somebody, I can just about assure you within the hour, I can be walking back through that same office and finding other people having a bad day and negativity.

So you’ve got to dig down, you’ve got to pull back, even when you walk into that appointment in the office, in the conference room. I’ve said this to the team at Buckingham Advisors: “If that client’s in a bad mood, it may not be because of you. That client may have just gotten yelled at by their spouse because of the way they were driving a car or something. So you’ve got to be the one who’s upbeat.”

COVID is another example. The world became negative when the United States and the world had to shut down because of COVID. We had to look beyond that. We had to bring that to the client and had to have a positive outlook. This was one of the first down-markets that we’ve seen that we know was not necessarily caused by some major economic situation. It was because of a disease. We know that we can see down the road and know we’re going to be coming out. We just don’t know for sure when. So we had to bring that positive approach to it. That’s another reason why a focus on client communication was mandatory. Every client was called to make that positive comment, letting them know that we had cash available in this down-market, letting them know that we’re going to take opportunities and buy in this down-market; plus, bringing them up-to-speed on the relief packages as they developed.

Prior to the pandemic, we were all set up to do educational meetings in one of our large conference rooms, in one of our buildings that can house a lot of people. Well overnight, we had to find a solution to that. So we had to go positive. We started doing update webinars for our clients on a regular basis. The number of people who attended them rose dramatically. Even when we had a CPA talking about the PPP loans or we had the CFA talking about the portfolios and markets, the number of people who watched those webinars was far greater than what we could ever have put into the room originally designed for that.

So you have to keep a positive attitude. You’re looked upon as the goal-setter, as the individual that people are going to look up to. Okay, there have been times that I’ve had to shut the door until I could get a positive face on before I could walk out there. But you can’t walk out negative. You’ve got to remain positive.

Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?

This was a quote from my divisional manager of that large corporation that I started out with. Later in life, I found out that the quote is an African proverb. To this day I still use it. The quote is interesting and it’s been said throughout the office: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Every once in a while we get somebody who wants to do all things at all times, and then we remind people that we’re a team and we’re in this for the long run. We’re not in this for the short term.

Another quote that we’ve used that has caught on quite a bit at the firm relates directly to our business: “Financial planning is a process, not a product.” Our business continues to go on day after day after day. And that’s why this office will never do a financial plan, hand it to a client and not see the client again. We take financial plans and we break them down into segments. We figure out the most important parts in it and we continue to evolve the financial plan. So it’s a working relationship between the clients and us. It is a process, not a product.

How can our readers further follow you online?

They can follow me through our website, www.MyBuckingham.com. But, really, it’s the company that people need to follow because what I’ve built today is not just my ideas. It’s the group of people at our company coming together to continue keeping the business alive and keeping the business growing with the different levels of management that we put together. On our website (and on our social media accounts), we post lots of great information and links, including our video library, weekly market recap, monthly newsletters, events and more.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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