I’m in the backroom of my old warehouse where I’ve created a makeshift office. Finally, I’ve built up the courage to go out on my own, for the freedom to lead a team to serve my clients the right way – and to better protect my family in the long run.
Three hours earlier, I’d passed my resignation letter across a fancy desk after fifteen years with a large,
well-known financial firm.
Now, I’m hurriedly searching the White Pages for phone numbers of my former clients to announce to them that I left my old company. “Hi Rob, I’m not calling as your advisor, I’m just calling as a friend because I wanted you to hear it from me first…” And then I’d pause knowing ethically and lawfully I could not say a word to solicit them as a client. The whole thing feels like the scene in Jerry Macquire when both agents are racing to call people.
I’m thinking, I cannot fail. This is my freedom… This is the freedom for all the people who are going to come after me. This is my personal and professional revolution.
So far, the first three calls have gone awful… “Hell no, Scott! You shouldn’t have left!” These are the exact words of one of my very best former clients.
By the call’s abrupt end, I feel annihilated, alone, and panicked.
My two long-time assistants, Amanda and Lou-Ann, approach. They’ve been overhearing my conversations, and they give it to me straight:
“Scott, we won’t have a job if you keep making calls like that! You sound down, defeated, horrible. Pick that phone up and be who you are! You are great at connecting, so do it.”
They’re right. I need to be who I’ve been for as long as I can remember.
A particular event in my childhood shaped one of my deepest internal drivers.
When I was three, I was in bed when I heard someone enter the house; I thought it was my parents coming home from their date.
I opened my bedroom door and immediately saw a man grabbing a big knife from a kitchen drawer, and walk into the living room where the babysitter was sitting.
I walked out and said, “Dad?” He turned towards me, and I realized it wasn’t my father, it was a stranger!
The stranger was shocked to see me. Startled, he chased me to my bedroom. A thought rushed through my young mind, What can I do to help her?! I picked up my mini-baseball bat and ran out to protect her.
He was beginning to assault her as I ran at him swinging the bat. But I couldn’t stop him. He chased me back to my room, where this time I pushed a chair in front of the door.
I don’t have a memory of how the babysitter was saved. What I remember is being next door at her house later that evening, with her, her mom, my parents, and the police. It was my description of the assailant that helped them arrest him.
That fateful night instilled in me a life-long desire to protect others and lead people to safety.
It is the Why behind my work.
I remembered this childhood incident as I took in my administrative assistant’s urgent advice to, “Pick that phone up Scott and just be who you are. Protect and Connect!”
And that’s what I did. I shifted from panic to purpose. Before making my next call, I recentered on my vision. I was building something bigger than myself, a business that would serve clients, and shape the course of many other advisor’s careers in the future.
The rest of the day went great and that was the start of Freedom Street Partners. I was on my way to a successful company that was bigger than myself. And I was free to build a team that leveraged my strengths and relieved me from having to try and do it all. I was able to do far more of what I love.
Later, as Freedom Street Partners grew, I found myself beginning to shift course yet again…
I kept seeing the people I was working with, other High Performers, struggling with things I always struggled with- managing too much, feeling misaligned in their job, chasing things that weren’t delivering on their promise, being too afraid to show up fully as themselves in their work and personal life…
I began to realize that these people were coming to me for so much more than financial advice. They were coming to me for LIFE advice. And it was always the very best part of my day delivering it to them.
It was then that I realized that my deepest fulfillment was not in merely supporting businesses’ growth, but in supporting
Wealth Optimization is where I started.
And yeah, I’m pretty good at that.
Combining my love of deeply connecting with people with my instinct to protect and help them build more fulfilling lives.
A CEO, entrepreneur, coach, consultant, and LIFE Optimization specialist, he is the author of the Amazon best-selling book Freedom Street. He hosts the podcast The High Performance LIFE for high performers in any profession.
As founder & CEO of Freedom Street Partners, Scott knows firsthand what it takes for entrepreneurs to serve their clients and make an impact in their communities while also ensuring their own freedom and happiness.
Although a high income is often the by-product of success, Scott encourages high performers to focus first on L.I.F.E. (an acronym representing love, impact, faith and energy), and understand that, from there, the money will follow. He believes we all can make a greater impact when these four critical components of our lives are focused on and in symmetry.
Scott is the cofounder of the Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival, which has donated more than $2.5 million to local charities. He and his wife, Adrienne, a kindergarten teacher, have two teenaged sons.