September 20, 2020
There are many truths in life that we can laugh at, cry with, or resonate on. Lately I’ve been fixated on the notion that time waits for no one. I find myself thinking this often and being very contemplative of time and just how quickly it does go by. This may be in part because school just began and this year both of my daughters are in high school. Seriously – when did that happen?! In a very short time I’ll be helping them both plan the next phases of their lives and collegiate careers and, to me, it just doesn’t seem possible. Additionally, the past eighteen months of my life seem to have been a whirlwind as it was this time last year that I launched Birch Wealth Management. I am truly surprised how quickly the year has gone by and what I have accomplished in that time.
Many people who know me know that I have a strong sense of identity. I have always considered this a strength and being convicted in who I am has helped get me through trying times and propel me forward. When you are used to having a fast paced life it can be hard to slow down and be internally thoughtful about how your identity can manifest into what your purpose is, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Who we are lays the groundwork and path to what we want to accomplish. It’s quite possible these thoughts have crept into my psyche since I crossed a new decade during the last trip around the sun, but in the end I think it’s important for everyone to know the answers to the age old questions – who are you and what do you do?
For me, the identity part has always been easy. At the very basic level, I am a wife and mother, which are the two most important roles in my life. I am a sister, confidant, and am fortunate to be a friend to many people. I come from humble means and know the true value of doing the hard work to find success. I did “life” in a backwards fashion as I originally went to college intending to be a doctor only to realize very quickly that was not going to be my destiny and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I entered the workforce first where I discovered my passion for economics and finance and then earned both of my degrees. On top of all of this, I am a huge sports enthusiast (I will literally watch any athletic event, but ice hockey is my favorite), a volunteer to many organizations, a philanthropist, an advocate for people with autism and other disabilities, and a genuinely caring and loyal person (Go Sabres!).
Over the past year I added entrepreneur and business owner to the list and that has been the best career choice I have ever made. Starting a business is the epitome of hard work. I now know things I never thought I’d ever have to know about – things like the differences in paperclips and accounting of payroll taxes, and everything in between. In the process of establishing my firm I spent a lot of time contemplating how I wanted to be seen by my community and the people I serve. I set out to build a fantastic team to accomplish the mission of my company. I wanted my branding and messaging to reflect who I am and I partnered with the best people to make sure that my clients have the best solutions for whatever their goals may be. However, I still am often asked the question, “What Do You Do?”
I do many things, which you can read about here on my website, but what I truly do is help people create and navigate a plan to help them reach their goals. Now you might be thinking, it’s simple – save money and retire one day. Yes, that is the function of an investment advisor. However, as a comprehensive wealth manager I am making sure that all of my client’s goals are accomplished no matter what life stage they are at. I partner with my clients to identify what they want to check of their short-term and long-term lists. I work with them when things arise unexpectedly and how to change the course of their map if it becomes necessary. I serve as a liaison and intermediary when the services of additional outside counsel, such as attorneys or accountants, may be required. I strive to make the complicated more understandable and the goals attainable. Most importantly, I make sure people and families are protected along the way. I get to help people all day long and I truly love what I do.
The old saying is true, when you love what you do you do not feel like you work a day in your life. I have been serving others for the past eighteen years and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else – especially orthopedic surgery! As time continues to move forward, I hope to continue building lasting and meaningful relationships both personally and professionally. I have been lucky enough in my professional life to develop personal relationships. When you are able to work with people, clients and colleagues alike, and they become part of your world, that is truly a blessing. Everyone deserves a financial plan, and they also deserve to work with someone who truly wants the best for them first and foremost. Helping people live the highest quality of life they can is the ultimate goal for what I do, and it’s a privilege to be able to help people write their own stories.
Iris Buczkowski is the founder of Birch Wealth Management (birchwealth.com). Original content provided by Iris is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice.