Each month, Sowell Management will be shining a light on one of our advisors. Sharing a bit of their success and insight with us all. What makes them standout? How do they differentiate so as not to become a commodity? And along the way, learn a little bit more about them, too.

Taking center stage this month is principal advisor of Simonet Financial Group, Bill Simonet, CFP®. This 40 Under 40 honoree has nearly 10 years of experience in the financial services industry and is committed to helping empower individuals, businesses, and families to take the financial steps necessary to live their dreams. Here is what Bill had to say:

You served as a U.S. Marine and are a decorated Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. Do you think this has helped you succeed in the financial planning world? If so, how?

My service in the Marines has absolutely contributed to my success in the financial planning world. That experience has helped me focus on finding solutions to problems and break things down to their most simple parts. On the operational side, being a Marine means having the discipline to follow through. That is extremely important in this business because the decisions we help our clients make will have a profound impact on their lives.

You hold the prestigious CFP certification. Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to get their CFP certification?

Study, Study, Study! Also, take the process seriously. The coursework to become a Certified Financial Planner® professional provides an advisor with a wide breadth of knowledge and the ability to help clients in a myriad of situations. It is incredibly valuable and – in my opinion – necessary to have a successful long term career in financial planning.

What is it about this profession that truly motivates you each and every day?

Having a real impact on people’s lives. I have strived to find meaning in all aspects of my life. This has meant working in all spaces and seeking experiences to help me learn what kind of person I am. I have always been drawn to being a helper of others and motivating my friends and family to live their best life. The financial planning profession is a career choice that allows me to do that every day. There are difficult days, but there are also the most amazing opportunities and stories from the people that I work with that makes it totally worthwhile.

Any “must do” tips for success? How did you find a way to standout?

When I started out, the big thing to do was to “find your Niche” and become a specialist in one area. While I think that is important, I think there are only four must do things to truly stand out:

Get the Education – Becoming a CFP® is the starting point. You MUST keep learning to be relevant. That can mean seeking more designations, getting a graduate degree, or participating in a financial planning mastermind group

Pick a Path – That path isn’t necessarily service model or niche focused (doesn’t matter how you get paid or if you are the best financial planners for triathletes). What I mean by “Pick a path” is determine whether or not you want to be client-facing; focused on Research & development; or operations. I think this is an important step because there are many careers in financial planning that don’t require working directly with clients. Spending time to figure out where you want to be will go a long way to ensuring your success.

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable – this business changes all the time. Clients goals, planning strategies, investment philosophies, etc… being comfortable often means you are no longer growing. If you aren’t growing, you’re dying.

Don’t Quit! This business is hard. It will take time to figure it out. Those who can weather the storm will eventually see the sunshine!

Outside of the office, what do you love to do?

I enjoy spending quality time with my family and watching my kids grow! I’m working on teaching my 4 year-old daughter how to ride her bike now. In addition, I love to cook and grill. I try to grill something every week! If money was no object and I could do absolutely anything- I would open a Caribbean restaurant and feature new dishes every week. On the more fun side- I am an avid dancer and you can find me at our local karaoke spot almost every Wednesday!