Some Background on Prosperity Wealth Strategies
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Prosperity Wealth Strategies and Founder, Nicole Wirick. The company was created to help clients define and achieve prosperity. Nicole seeks out to meet with clients to understand their goals, their fears, their trajectory and how to build a plan for them to follow to reach their goals. Prosperity WS believe that the building blocks of a successful advisory relationship include open communication and mutual understanding coupled with compassion and tenacity.
Creating from scratch
Nicole founded her company in 2019. Prior to creating her boutique firm she had worked in a consultant role which allowed her the opportunity to come across many financial advisors during her time there. These experiences resonated with her and she truly enjoyed the relationship between advisor and client. Ultimately she made the leap because she couldn't find what she felt in her soul she could provide. Nicole mentioned that there are plenty of independent boutique registered financial firms providing financial services to families, but she believes that their approach makes their firm unique.
The boutique approach of Prosperity WS are individuals who desire a more personalized experience. As Nicole told us, "Folks that resonate to our company, are interested and want to learn." Clients of hers typically don't just want to be sold stuff, products for example but rather interested in the process and options. Her clients are more hands on in the design and implementation of their goals.
She credits Prosperity Wealth Strategies for having great planning tenacity. The firm loves to lean in to the work, truly understanding each client and how they can best reach their potential and performance. Nicole admitted she loves the harder challenges as well. The second component of their approach is compassion. While it is compassion across the board, she highlighted their initial conversations with prospects before they are clients. Prosperity WS strives to understand what makes them tick, but more importantly why. Nicole mentioned she believes the why is just as if important if not more. "If we can't understand the person how can we possibly put a plan forward to financially plan for their life?", Nicole explains.
Before jumping into financials, the company wants to learn about the individual. Understanding the prospect first is crucial prior to determining what path is best for them. Nicole explained it takes a lot of time to do that work up front, but fit is really critical. Nicole didn't feel like she found a firm that was doing what she wanted to provide. So she decided to build it. Even though it would've been much easier to join an established firm, she wanted to chase her goal of creating her vision and bringing it to life.
Her goal is to get her clients to lean into their finances, as she explains, "You are the CFO of your own household." Individuals need to be empowered with the foundations and building blocks of the decision making process. Her company creates the environment where they collaborate to break down barriers where people feel comfortable to ask questions and understand the building blocks she references.
Starting a business prior to the Pandemic, the traditional ways to network weren't possible once the world was being shut down. Nicole told us she had to pivot, and had to figure something else out. She took it upon herself to go through a media training course. While she may not have felt fully prepared she made a promise to herself to take any press opportunities that came her way. Over time she has remarkably developed as a thought leader in the space.
She explained to us that she learned that she had a talent or skill that she might not have realized prior to the Pandemic. Nicole also mentioned that it is rare for wealth management to be active in the social media space. The Pandemic created new opportunities that she took advantage of, opportunities that historically were not present.
Opening a brand new boutique firm prior to the Pandemic certainly provided challenges for Nicole. It started with zero clients and not getting any calls or emails. "I was wondering every day if I made a mistake and this was going to fail.", Nicole explained. But that led her to finding her way through the work which would remain a pillar of her firm today, lean in. She made a list and made sure to accomplish one thing each day. She would not let herself stop moving forward. This led her to the realization that owning a business you wear a lot of different hats. The CEO is also the janitor at one point she joked. But the beginning being extremely humble, was exactly what she needed to keep moving forward.
Over time traction began to accumulate and Nicole started seeing her vision come to life. She said that along the way she had learned from every experience she had. When given the chance to watch others in the role she studied what worked and what didn't. How she could implement tendencies, approaches, and deliverables meshed with her personality. Once she knew this was her path she utilized all those lessons to finally feel ready. As Nicole told us, "Everyone's timeline is different."
The connection and authenticity between clients and Prosperity Wealth Strategies is part of that critical fit Nicole previously described. She said their ideal fit are clients who don't just want to see their wealth grow for the sake of it growing, but rather the individual who wants to know when and understand how it helps them. Typically clients of her firm are complex in that they need the planning tenacity that Prosperity WS excels at. Complicated tax situations, high income, or legacy planning is when the boutique firm is able to display all of their offerings to their fullest ability. Working with clients who care about the next generation or charitable transition of wealth are the complexities that Nicole truly enjoys.
The culture was described to us as an environment where people embrace who they are and what they believe. Open dialogue is a foundational piece for Prosperity WS. Nicole explained if there is an opportunity to explain something isn't going well, empowering her staff to share their thoughts, feelings, and suggestions. Nicole said it is paramount to hire people who are the best people they can find who crave the opportunity to rise. Their culture empowers best ideas rising to the top regardless of position.
Nicole explained her favorite aspect of working there as the clients, but more importantly the relationships developed. She shared they have turned into life-long relationships that have been built over the 4 plus years of being in business. Helping clients realize their goals are possible and then creating the path for them to achieve their version of success has been so incredibly fulfilling to her.
While her firm is structured to help their clients achieve financial growth, Nicole has also had to work on her growth. One aspect was during the Pandemic when she made a goal for herself to be quoted in 12 publications. She told us she felt it really was impossible. At the time she thought she was writing great media replies, but the feedback she was receiving was of the contrary. Nothing she was producing was getting picked up. Nicole said she needed to do self-retrospection and realized her writing was very technical (courtesy of her lawyer background). She decided she had to reframe her writing. She placed herself in the shoes of a reporter and applied their thinking to her writing.
Once she understood her new approach, she wanted to resonate with the audience. She had found the new approach and it began to build. Once she started to have some success with her written pieces she then wanted to test herself with video and on-screen media. As she told us, "Each iteration I had to learn something new. Why isn't something working, what do I need to adjust, how can I improve?", Nicole shared.
This retrospection with her writing and delivery she was able to apply with her clients and the interactions she shares with them. She leaned into her creative approach and realized there is no "script" when discussing options for a prospect. There are different personalities and Nicole said it is critical to understand how to approach certain topics and the type of person you're speaking to. Again resonating with the audience is the biggest goal. The challenge is getting the same message across through different deliveries. "It isn't about me or our firm, but the listener. The message reaching them and resonating.", Nicole mentioned.
Owning a company allows Nicole the freedom and flexibility to implement change when it is required. If something isn't working there is nothing preventing change. Prior employment did not allow that. She explained how incredible it is to identify and issue and then just as quickly process the change to the policy immediately. That level of adaptability allows the firm to run smoothly and effectively enabling them to focus on client fit. Finding the right client fit allows for a mutual selection process. She also commented on the fact that women in her industry is around 25%, which Nicole is passionate about trying to bring more women into the profession.
With the typical highs and lows of owning a business, which is why we were curious how Nicole celebrates the victories. She told us she isn't great about it, but is trying to work on it. The goal constantly moves as we progress forward as business owners. She did mention there was a moment recently where she was featured through Women's Seen (She met Chelsea Gheesling, Founder of Bundled, from previous feature #73). Going through the process, interview, photo shoot Nicole mentioned she didn't think a lot about it. But when people started telling her they saw her on a magazine it started to sink in how big of an achievement it truly was.
Piece of Advice
The conversation with Nicole ended with her providing her piece of advice:
"The thought of starting a business can be scary. But set goals and focus on tackling them one at a time. Sometimes we can feel paralyzed. Sometimes we do the one thing and that is all we can do, sometimes it leads to doing a second thing. But always moving forward by doing one thing. One thing at a time, keeps you moving forward. Small steps, accountable goals, actionable plan."
“Prosperity Wealth Strategies is a registered investment adviser.”