Kimberly Niedfeldt always wanted to work with people. She worked toward this goal by getting a business degree at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, and working an internship with Beloit Memorial Hospital for prepare her for a role in human resources.
She thought she’d found her dream job at Danfoss, an international company with a local manufacturing facility in Loves Park, Illinois. She felt she was really accomplishing her goals of recruiting top talent, people development, coaching, and training. This led her to begin work on her masters degree at NIU in Human Resources Development. Although she truly loved her job – traveling the world, the stimulation of learning, managing people, and enjoying her family – her body wasn’t. It all came to an abrupt halt in late 2008 when she suffered a serious illness that left her physically and mentally drained.
Although she eventually returned to work, internal and external company changes and her well-being caused her to re-evaluate her life and career. She left her job, and decided to take some time to analyze her job and lifestyle needs before jumping into another opportunity.
Shortly thereafter a friend introduced her to World Financial Group (WFG) and the possibilities of retirement planning. As an independent consultant, she is her own boss and feels the sky is the limit. She is very passionate about her company’s mission – “no family left behind”. She works with individuals, couples, companies, a broad range of clients. We talked further about being an independent contractor and its benefits:
- You can work as little or as much as you want. WFG is one of the few financial planning companies that encourages part-timers. You can keep your day job if you wish, and work around your lifestyle needs.
- You can write off business expenses, such as % of house space as office, phone bill, mileage, equipment, etc. License, group memberships are tax-deductible, for example.
- You have a business of your own that will continue to produce income. Many companies who use independent sales persons offer a commission plan that gives a % of sales continually for as long as you have that client’s business.
We also discussed other considerations of being your own boss:
- Must always be networking for new possibilities. Kimberly says 90% of her business comes from her connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. More people now text than call. She adds people to her networks continually. You have to stay plugged in!
- Take advantage of webinars, conference calls, other training. This means effectively managing your time to allow for this, yet still making contacts for business. You can’t sit at your computer all the time and expect sales to come to you.
- Study to obtain any certifications or licensing needed. Kimberly studied online, and her company asks for LI series 6, series 63, and series 65 is recommended. You don’t have to be a CFP as many financial companies require.
- Above all, you must believe in your products and be passionate about it. It’s easy to see why Kim is successful. She says she doesn’t cold call, but presents her program to her friends and acquaintances. Her goal is to get middle class families back on track financially one family at a time. Her company only offers products that are “continually managed funds”, and are from several sources, not a “captive” company.
Most individuals who go into this type of career didn’t wake up one day and decide to do it. Analyzing your abilities is key in any career change. If you’re interested in learning more about retirement planning, contact Kim at [email protected] . To research your abilities and job opportunities, you can do internet searches for various types, or go to sites such as http://www.onetonline.org/ to learn more about various careers and skills assessment.