On Friday, a friend and I took a group of seven teenagers to a bank to show them some careers in finance. The bank hooked us up with pizzas and three speakers who explained their current jobs and how they got into the job.
The bank did an awesome job finding speakers who came from disadvantaged backgrounds who are still having career success. One speaker, a branch manager, had lost her 5 year old son just a year earlier. She had taken a step back in her career to free up more time to be with her remaining children.
Another speaker, tried to graduate from college three times before she finally matriculated. The final speaker got into banking because he wanted an NBA basket briefcase. He stayed because he got to teach home buying seminars to lower middle income people. His passion? Educating people on the biggest purchase they'll make, and how to be sure it won't sink them.
I was incredibly impressed by the passion that each of these people showed for their careers and their customers.
The teens seemed more impressed by the pizza. But I don't think the field trip was for naught. I'm convinced that the first step in any career or financial goal is to see what is possible.
What is possible?
When you're teaching teens about careers, it's easy to say, "Everything is possible for them." After all, they are smart, young, and eager to learn. When we look at ourselves, we don't believe the same thing. Whether you're in your 20s like me, your 30s, your 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s, it's easy to think that your life course is set.
But I don't believe the course is set. Adults are allowed to have audacious personal goals and audacious financial goals. However, like teens, we won't set big goals if we believe they are impossible.
So what is possible?
Is it possible to earn $1 Million Dollars in a Year? Michelle proved it.
Is it possible for a Family to live well on less than $25K? Pete thinks so.
Can you pay off $109K in credit card debt with three teenagers? Brian says yes.
Can you live a rich life with a disability or depression? Abigail proves it.
I love looking around to see what is possible.
I love seeing the struggle and the triumph.
A lot of people ask me for financial advice. I used to ask what their goals were. But I don't do that anymore. Now I ask, what do you think is financially possible? And I try to convince them that the world has a huge array of achievable goals.
I think that getting unstuck financially starts with believing unstuck is possible. I don't know any way to prove that you can get unstuck. But I can point to story after story where people have done it.
To every person who shares their story online... Thank you. I probably use it to help other people see what is possible.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.