Welcome back to the 340th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Melissa Joy. Melissa is the Founder of Pearl Planning, an independent RIA based in Dexter, Michigan, that oversees more than $175 million in assets under management for 251 client households.
What’s unique about Melissa, though, is how she originally built her career following a path of becoming a partner in a large ensemble firm, but when she finally got the opportunity to make partner she still had an external lawyer review the partnership documents and the company’s operating agreement like a prenup – hoping for the best and that it would be a relationship for life, but ensuring there was clear documentation of what would happen if the relationship didn’t work out in the long run – which proved to be important as ultimately she and the business did grow apart in their vision for the future, and the legal work Melissa did upfront allowed her a pathway to be able to start over again when it became clear that she and the firm needed to part ways.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how, while Melissa was being considered for partnership at her former firm, she decided to have outside counsel review the firm’s operating agreement (with its provisions and limitations about what happens if the partnership were to be dissolved) so she could be clear on what that would mean for her if she ever had to leave the practice, why even though Melissa began her career in operations and didn’t intend on changing roles, she was inspired to acquire her CFP marks because of advice that her mentor gave her that she could advance her career even further and bring value to the firm if she also brought in assets and had her own clients, and how despite having a 30% share of her former firm as a partner, Melissa decided to leave and launch her own business because she recognized that she enjoyed working on the development and growth of a business but her current firm was reaching a mature stage where major growth and rapid expansion was no longer the main focus.
We also talk about how Melissa set up her firm as a DBA under the firm of her close advisor friend so that she could have support and the time to focus on business development instead of working on achieving her Series 24 to operate as her own branch before launching, why Melissa is a big proponent of business operating systems and implements a combination of EOS and Small Giants in her own firm so that she can focus on company goals, create career opportunities for her employees, and streamline processes, and how Melissa grew her firm by developing hundreds of marketing touches through social media, networking meetings, sponsoring local events, webinars, and newsletters… and then rebuilding her firm’s website so that prospective clients could more easily schedule meetings when they were ultimately ready to reach out.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Melissa shares why she intentionally went through the ZingTrain management training so that she could become a better leader and boss, why Melissa feels her next natural step in her business is to take the role of CEO as she recognizes that she is a visionary and has become more confident in her leadership qualities which can help take the business to the next level, and how Melissa struggled early in her career with imposter syndrome but ultimately found that she had more success when she figured out how to speak up and started trying to get noticed instead.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Melissa handled transitioning into a role as a business owner, why Melissa purposefully chose to find a mentor outside of her former firm so that she could gain unbiased advice, or why Melissa engages in self-development training and continues to seek ways to improve in her career and personal life, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Melissa Joy.