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In Hindsight – wise money lessons I wish I could tell my younger self

Recalibrating for midlife and beyond

My Transition into a career where purpose and work collide


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Kim Potgieter

Kim Potgieter

October 30, 2023
You may not know this about me, but way before I became a financial planner, I owned my own catering business. Although I absolutely loved my business, I sold it 22 years ago to be a stay-at-home mom when my second child, Josh, was born. It took eight years and many hours of reflection, personal growth and studying to re-enter the working world. From catering to financial planning – who would have thought!

This month marks a significant milestone for Chartered as we celebrate our 20th anniversary. As I reflect on the 15 years that I have been part of Chartered, I realise that I’ve gained so many valuable insights while navigating a new career, joining a new business, and contributing to the financial planning industry.

Finding a new purpose

Even though my husband Gys was incredibly supportive, and I loved being a home mom, looking after Josh and then Gabi, when she was born, I felt uncomfortable being dependent and not earning my own money. My money trigger points went into over-drive! I was afraid of being controlled by money (like my mom was), I was not living to my full potential and allowed myself to feel less than – a watered-down version of myself. I knew I had a lot of inner work and healing to do if I was going to find a new purpose, heal my relationship with money and share these learnings to help others improve their money relationship.

At Chartered’s 20th anniversary celebration with clients, Colleen-Joy Page (far left) and my husband Gys (on my right)

Sometimes we need a catalyst for change

A catalyst moment was when my friend Jean pointed out that the “old” Kim had somehow disappeared. This conversation sparked a process of reflection and digging deep into my soul. Fortuitously, Colleen-Joy Page came into my life and after reading her beautifully written story Apple Tree, I embarked on a year-long journey with her exploring ways in which I could use my experiences positively going forward.

You won’t have all the answers at first

My calling to work with people and money started in my 20s, attending retirement conferences and dealing with planners – being disappointed that I was sold something only to find the planner disappearing. Here I was in my 30s, starting out with a degree in Clinical Psychology. It was during my Honours year that I realised that psychologists aren’t really meant to offer advice, and that people talk to planners about money, not psychologists.

Crystalise and then visualise your goal

I realigned my focus and ended up with a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning (2007) and my Certified Financial Planner® status in 2008, still unsure about my career path, despite my qualifications. I was however clear on my vision: I wanted to change the industry! I wanted to be part of a business that helps people understand and heal their relationships with money, change the way traditional planning is done and reposition the role of money.

Life does not happen by chance!

Fortuitously, Andrew Bradley (the then CEO of Acsis) introduced me to Barclay Hoar and John Campbell, who agreed to hire me as an administrator. My salary was irrelevant – what was more important was that I finally had a foot in the door! We soon realised that I was utterly unsuited for this position – for one thing, my computer skills were sadly lacking! I resigned from my paid position but continued going into the office every day, not sure where my future lay, but quite sure that this was where I belonged.

My business partners, John Campbell (far left) and Barclay Hoar (far right)

Trust the process

My unpaid days at Chartered focused on sharing my passion and helping people with their relationships with money. Recognising that I brought something different to the business, something that makes our offering distinctive, Barclay and John offered me a shareholding in the company (2008), and I was finally working full-time doing what I was meant to do.

Looking back, I know my decision to study in my 30s and start a new career in my 40s was never about the money. It was about finding my purpose to help people with money.

What I’ve learned from changing careers in my late 30s

#1 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It took a huge amount of courage to call Andrew Bradley to ask for guidance. But this call led to meeting John and Barclay!

#2 Never stop learning (and sharing)

The year 2008 changed everything for me! It was the year that John won the Financial Planner of the Year award and while attending a conference in Boston, he came across the book Financial Planning: The Next Step: A Practical Approach to Merging Your Clients’ Money with Their Lives by Roy Diliberto. John immediately knew that this book was meant for me, and after reading it, I contacted Diliberto and Mitch Anthony (a life planning expert featured in the book), who agreed to share their insights with me, Barclay and John. This changed the course of our business and was the start of our life planning process.

#3 Take advantage of menterning relationships

I’ve loved partnering with younger planners – not only do I get to teach, mentor and share my knowledge with them, but I learn so much every day.

#4 Steady business growth

I’ve learnt that businesses that grow too fast often cannot support their clients. Good, steady growth builds a sustainable business.

#5 Give back

I’ve always believed in the power of giving. Not only does it fill your heart with joy, you receive so much more in return. I am proud of our articled planner programme at Chartered and for starting the Women in Finance Network (WiFN) in 2013, and that Chartered does so much to help uplift and support our communities and causes.

#6 Be authentic

Trust me, it’s not always easy – in my early industry days, I was often met with blank stares after mentioning the concept of adding value, connecting with clients, coaching, holistic planning and using money as an enabler.

#7 Be clear on your values

Knowing your values is a powerful tool to live in alignment with your true self. My top two values are authenticity and inspiration, and I constantly check in and ask myself whether I am being authentic, if I am inspired and whether I am being inspirational.

If you’re wanting to change direction at any phase of life, I do recommend taking time out to pause and reflect on your path going forward. So often we are caught up in the rat race of life that we forget to self-love, do the inner work required for healing and find renewed purpose.

Always remember, when it comes to your money and your life, be inspired, be brave, and be on purpose.

Kim

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