Updated: Jan 4, 2019
I felt compelled to write this article because lately I have been engaged in a spirited conversation on Facebook about the “real value” of a college education. My personal feeling is that a college degree is no longer necessary to be successful in our society. Especially, if you plan on owning a business someday, you don’t need a piece a paper from some high-priced university. What you need is to devote a passionate effort toward discovering your path in life and learning from others who have traveled the path you want to take! This article is an attempt to explain my journey.
Also, before I talk about my career in the finance industry, I want to state that I did not grow up with money. My family would have been considered “lower middle-class.” My parents divorced by the time I was in high school. As the oldest of four children, I saw first hand how poor financial decisions, a lack of communication between spouses, and an unwillingness to accept one’s economic reality can have a detrimental impact on a family. Fortunately for me, I saw a different path towards creating a “first generation of wealth” for myself and my future family.
As a kid (Ages 5 to 14)
From an early age, I wanted to be a professional athlete. My two sports were basketball and baseball. I loved them both but I always thought baseball was a better fit for me. Why? Because I realized baseball had more players on the field, a bigger team roster, and a deep farm system. I figured “the odds were in my favor” even though it was probably 1 in a million chance! Actually, there’s a 0.015% (1 in 6,600) chance of a high school baseball player to play major league baseball and I didn’t have anyone in my family that played baseball passed pee-wee league!
I spent most of my childhood on a ball field. In my backyard playing pick-up games from early in the morning until dusk. But I also played basketball, football, soccer, or any other sport with a ball. I loved winning but I also just loved the competition. Getting better every day at something and being able to share the game with teammates and friends. Of course, I could play sports all day when I was young because I wasn’t old enough to get a job! As I got into my teenage years, I quickly realized my responsibilities needed some balance. Money in my pocket would only occur if I joined the workforce.
As a teenager (Ages 14 to 19)
As I look back on my teenage years, I realize I learned a very important lesson working various part-time jobs at this time in my life. And that lesson was this – sometimes it’s just as important to figure out what you DON’T WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP! Whether it was my stint as an umpire/referee, a restaurant bus boy, an intern at a law firm, or a line worker at a factory, it was clear to me that I didn’t like being told what to do from people I did not respect or admire. Don’t get me wrong, these people were not bad people. But I just felt like when I did things well, my efforts were only rewarded if I sucked up to a manager or the person in charge. As a teenager, I struggled to put effort into something I saw myself doing for only a short time frame. These were not “forever jobs.”
It also seemed like my school experience had the same effect on me until I really figured out what my true passion in life would be...
As a student (High School and College)
I went to a private, all-boy, Jesuit high school with a rigorous class schedule and strong extra-curricular activities. I got straight “A’s” in grade school but this high-school thing was an entirely different meaning of bringing my “A-Game” to school. Now, I finally felt challenged! For four solid years, I put extreme expectations on myself because I knew the rewards would be substantial. I studied two to four hours each night for four years straight while also playing sports two of the three seasons year in, year out.
The life skills I learned at this stage have stayed with me and they’ve become the bedrock to my daily activities as an entrepreneur: time management, perseverance, people skills, handling setbacks, focusing on progress not perfection, and above all else, building my self-confidence!
I managed to finish 12th in my class out of 220 students with a 4.0 GPA (on a 4.5 scale) and played two sports at the varsity level. I ended up getting academic and athletic scholarships to play baseball in college. With those scholarships, some grant money, and the rest in student loans, I graduated with only $12,000 in student debt. My efforts were also rewarded with two awards – the top finance student in our business school and the athletic department’s senior student-athlete of the year. And while it seemed like my career would be destined for a successful corporate career, I knew by the end of my junior year that I would take a different path.
An internship changes everything
When I entered my junior year of college, a light bulb went off in my head. I realized I wasn’t going to play professional baseball for a living and that I needed to focus on getting a “real job!” The good news was that I knew a lot about what I DIDN’T want to do in life and that self-awareness led me to a finance internship with a small business owner. That summer I began learning about investments, insurance, and income tax strategies, and realized most people were not being properly educated about ways to take control of their personal/business economy. What also became apparent to me was that I had already spent three years in college learning none of these important life lessons and that Corporate America was no place for me! I wanted to learn how to become an entrepreneur in the financial services industry and be in business “for myself but not by myself.”
This career was commissioned based but at its core, the opportunity hinged on building relationships and having the self-confidence to figure out ways to add value to others before you would be compensated. Because of that internship, I started my career in the finance industry right out of college. The only problem was that I didn’t know anyone with money! None of my friends, family, neighbors, etc… had money to invest. They all grew up the way I did – with little money and even less education about how to make money and finance related decisions! But instead of giving up and going to “find a job” with a company to get a salary and structure, I decided to devote thousands of hours towards developing “my craft” as an entrepreneur.
For five years of my career, I worked with other advisors to add value to their practices. I participated in several apprentice-like roles gaining valuable experience. I learned good habits to emulate and bad habits to avoid! All the while, I made sure to find opportunities that allowed me to participate in compensation by playing different roles serving other advisors’ clienteles. I was in the “big leagues of business” and my role on the roster was one of a valuable “utility player.” But I wouldn’t stop there. I always aspired to continue growing personally and professionally.
Becoming “the guy”
After five years in business, I was able to start building up my own clientele and in 2003, I created my own firm, e3 ConsultantsGROUP. Within the next 10 years, I built a personal practice that was generating seven figures annually in revenue. I started hosting a radio show in 2010 to build our local media presence around our message of “thinking differently” about your money. Then in 2012, I started acquiring tax practices in order for us to truly create our “family office” business model. But even with the growth I was experiencing, I realized that I can only do so much as one person. If I wanted to build something substantial that would leave a legacy and serve millions of clients, I needed to think bigger!
Next Level Thinking
In 2014, I turned Age 40 and my journey as an entrepreneur went into hyper-drive. That is when I joined forces with our managing partner, Joe Quartucci. Together we created e3 Wealth and in less than five years the business model has expanded from a local to a regional footprint (with sights on a national platform). e3 Wealth operates with three main locations (St. Louis, MO/Austin, TX/Scottsdale, AZ) while also serving clients in at least a half a dozen states. With over 30 advisors representing e3 Wealth at this time, our firm embodies the “grow or die” mentality I have lived my life by and our leadership team continues to grow so that we have more people to spread our “next level thinking.”
Because I was finally able to see past just my success as an entrepreneur and build something bigger than my personal practice, I started creating valuable content that showcased e3 Wealth’s value proposition. Since 2014, I have authored three different books to assist “e3 Nation” on challenging the status quo in the financial services industry. In 2017, I began hosting a podcast called “Mind Over Money” to share my experiences with anyone who was looking for that next level thinking they were hungry for!
My perspective today
All of the experiences in my 23-year career have allowed me to reach the exact point in my life where I sit at the moment – where I now prefer to talk with people, rather than atthem. I prefer to educate people who are open minded versus convincing people that our way is the only way. Today, I want to build confidence in people’s mind in order to help them take action. I love this type of process because I am able to earn people’s trust and manage their expectations.
I am truly blessed. I truly have a wonderful life. I've been happily married for 16 years with two awesome kids (ages 14 and 11). We live in the fantastic community of Webster Groves, Missouri - our little version of "Pleasantville." I've traveled to amazing destinations, played bucket-list golf courses many times, dined at world-class restaurants and sampled fine wines and spirits. My wife and I do not fight over money while feeling comfortable spending it to have memorable life experiences. And while I say thank you for my blessings every day, I am fully aware that the level of hard work, dedication, and daily "grit" I've put into my business for 20+ years are key contributors to my current situation. I have the quintessential "work hard, play hard" mentality. No one is going to make me feel bad for enjoying the life I've built and I am not going to let anything from the outside world impact the path I have laid out for my wife and children as well as multiple generations to come. This First Generation Wealth will not end when I pass away. Future generations will be tasked with the responsibility of stewardship and challenged to expand the way our wealth can positively impact the community around us. The future that I envision is massively opportunistic and can only be accomplished with a commitment to being a life-long learner. In my short lifetime, I have transitioned from WORRY to WEALTH. It is now time for me to travel the path of WORTHINESS. I am ready for this challenge!
Early on in my grade school days, I became fascinated by the “Show and Tell” method of learning. To me, it just made so much sense. You learn from those people who already have something you want or they are doing things now that you want to do in the future! 18 months ago, I publicly announced to my team that going forward I was going to focus my time and energy on working with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Why? Because I realized that I have so much to learn from them and I have so many things I can educate them about. You see, besides operating e3 Wealth and e3 Tax, I also provide consulting to real estate entrepreneurs (e3 Real Estate), serve professional athletes with all of their financial needs (e3 Sports) and I’ve personally invested in several other types of businesses (e3 Enterprises).
So, I invite anyone who is a business owner or an entrepreneurial minded person to reach out to me after reading this article if you have a “grow or die” mentality and you are willing to participate in some “Show and Tell.” I want to learn from you as much as I hope to educate you about the “little known secrets” that #e3Nation has discovered in the world of money and finance. To learn more about our firm, our books, or watch our videos, go to http://www.e3cg.com
Thank you for reading.
About The Author…
John E. Moriarty, ChFC is the founder and president of e3 ConsulantsGROUP. e3 operates a family office model that serves individuals, families and entrepreneurs based on their mindset, not based on the size of their net worth. If you desire to learn more about our our organization's services, please visit www.e3consultantsgroup.com or email at email@example.com.
Providing financial guidance to the public is challenging. It becomes more challenging as you begin to factor in things such as individual needs and wants. This is compounded by variables such as unique personal circumstances and ever-changing regulations. This book reflects the author’s opinions, which are not endorsed by Kalos Capital. These opinions are not intended to provide specific advice and should not be construed as recommendations for any individual. This white paper is published with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering legal or tax services. Investments involve risk including the potential for loss of the principal amount invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please remember that all financial decisions should be based on an individual’s goals, time horizon and tolerance for risk. The services of competent legal, tax and financial professionals should be sought prior to executing any strategy. All examples provided are hypothetical in nature and are intended for informational purposes only.
This information is for educational purposes only. The information contained in this presentation was obtained through independent research of articles, books and internet websites. This is not an endorsement for any specific product or service offered by e3 ConsultantsGROUP or e3 Wealth, LLC. When making a decision regarding your financial future, you must weigh the benefits and costs of each alternative to come to an appropriate conclusion.