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From Teacher to Multiple Business Owner in Her Early Twenties
Savannah Dawe is a retired teacher turned World Financial Group multiple business owner and financial agent. Here she shares her journey to entrepreneurship, her top business tips (which are fantastic by the way) and her advice for when who are new on their journey to entrepreneurship.
I had Savannah on to the blog because I believe there is immense value in women learning from other women who are 6 figure income earners and to hear their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and women who are wanting to achieve that 6 figure income level.
Tell us about your journey to entrepreneurship
Wow! What an honor to be featured on this beautiful blog. Social media has become such a large platform for success in businesses and ideas, and out of all the business owners, bloggers, and business babes I follow – Mandyy is by far my favorite!
To introduce myself, I am a 24-year-old entrepreneur in the financial industry. But I definitely did not start out this way! As a child I daydreamed constantly about my future aspirations and what I wanted to be when I grew up. To be honest with all you ladies, I wasn’t the greatest student. Not in a behavior kind of way, but I just didn’t feel that smart! It seemed to take me longer to grasp onto ideas, memorize theories and calculations, and pay attention long enough to understand what teachers would be talking about!
I attended a high school in Victoria, BC and while I was there I was introduced to a teacher named Mr. Wismer. He totally changed my perspective on learning. He was passionate about helping all of his students succeed, he did not judge them for their results and instead focused on their efforts. He took extra time with me to show me that I could be successful as well. From that class forward I had decided that I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be that advocate for students in the classroom who were like me. I wanted to empower our kids who might feel helpless, that they can be successful as well.
I went on my journey to become a teacher at the University of Alberta, and every semester I took, it re-assured to me my position as a teacher. All throughout my post-secondary education, I was encouraged, praised and recognized as a fantastic fit to be a teacher. I became more and more excited as I neared the end of my degree. The last piece of the puzzle was completing an advanced practicum. Unfortunately, the mentor teacher I was assigned to had other opinions. Day in, and day out he made sure I knew that he did not believe in me. He made sure I knew that I was at risk of failing based on his opinions and teaching styles. And he helped me realize that I was never going to be in a position again where somebody would have their thumb on me and be the deciding factor if I was going to be successful or not.
And that was when I decided that entrepreneurship was the path for me! I began to channel my passion for teaching and being the advocate for the “underdog” student, towards the path of teaching financial education and being the advocate for the “underdog” consumer. The financial industry in Canada largely focuses on high net worth clients, and I believe that this is putting our society further behind. I believe that everybody, whether they have a small, large or even no net worth, deserves financial education and options to begin building their wealth!
Tell us more about what you do
There are two parts to my role in our company. I service clients and help them achieve their financial goals in building wealth, having proper protection, and get their money working as hard as possible for them. My second role is being the primary trainer for our agency of 72 licensed agents. We have five offices across Canada right now, and we are still rapidly expanding. With my teaching background, I am extremely passionate about helping others be successful in this industry and effectively help their clients.
When I sit down with a client, I first chat with them the basics of the financial industry. I ensure that they understand the different areas that we as Canadians have to build wealth. I educate families on how we can help them save money in their home by reducing interest rates. If our client does not yet have a home and would like to purchase one, I help them put a plan together to achieve this goal. We discuss the different savings options, help them obtain a mortgage, connect them with real estate agents. Whatever they need, we are typically able to help them!
I help families who would like to set up Registered Education Savings Plans for their kids, and of course help them get those government grants. There are a few different options for RESP’s, so first making sure that we are setting up the right kind of plan for their family.
The next area is in the wealth accumulation. I first educate our clients on the different accounts we are able to utilize to build wealth. And based on their specific scenario, we will pick together which accounts make the most sense to use. We are able to help people set up RRSP’s, Open accounts, and TFSA’s. The type of account we choose will determine how they will be taxed on their withdrawals in the future! I have found that there has been a blanket recommendation that everybody use RRSP’s. This can be a great option for some people, but it is not the best option for everybody! The education is most important. And lastly, we are able to help people obtain the proper protection for them. I believe that there is some confusion in the insurance industry. We first help people understand how insurance works, and help them pick the proper types for them. We can help in all the insurance types you could possibly think of!
My primary role now is to help our agents expand their business, and train them in this industry. I am most passionate about helping people, help people. There is a beautiful chain reaction that happens in our business. Every day that I get to work in the field with an agent that has started with our brokerage, I get to see different families receive financial education and the proper options. And it scares me that if we weren’t expanding across Canada, these families wouldn’t get the same service and options! People laugh at me because when I am notified that agents I work with make an extra $1000.00 or $2000.00 I get so excited! Not only are they helping people with financial education, they are also serving their own family and getting ahead financially!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I guess I kind of just mentioned that in the above question! I am SO passionate about helping our agents make extra income to supplement theirs, and/or to transition out of their job and running their business full time. Helping the families that we sit down with is extremely exciting, and it is infinite times better when I have somebody with me who is learning to be able to do the same and help people as well!
After being in this business for just about five years, we are able to live a lifestyle that I never truly thought possible. This is a great by-product of being an entrepreneur. I have traveled more in the last couple years than I did in my life before being in business. We’ve visited Mexico, Australia, Fiji, The Big Island, Maui, Vegas, the mountains on numerous occasions and many more places! While Adam and I do not have kids, we love to take advantage of adventuring whenever possible. It is so exciting to know that when we decide to start a family, our kids will be able to experience these same once in a lifetime experiences. It is also extremely rewarding to know that when we decide to have a family – both Adam and I will get to choose if we stay home with our kids, or go to work. Nobody will be dictating that for us!
Mandyy popping in here! Want to join a supportive group of women as you go through your money journey? Join my Confident Everyday Money group on Facebook!
- From Full Time Teach to Full Time Online Health Coach & Double Franchise Owner
- She Sold Everything She Owned Including Her House, to Travel the World & Now She Lives Somewhere New Every 90 Days
Why is it that you do what you do?
My biggest passion is teaching. I love when a family walks out of the office and texts or emails my agent expressing gratitude, and relief that they are receiving our services. People in Canada are at such a disservice by our industry. Every family that I am able to have a positive impact on whether it’s on the client side, or on the career side, I know that I am making a massive difference.
What is it that you attribute your success to?
I originally started out in business as a solo, independent woman! And when I started out, one of the biggest contributors to my success was having a mentor in business. You don’t have to be alone in business. I recommend finding somebody who has already been successful in what you are building a business in, and follow their footsteps. Remember that you do not have to re-create the wheel! Anytime I think about exploring any new business opportunities, I make it my number one priority to take people who have already been successful in the industry out for coffee and interview them about their trials, triumphs, and their learning lessons!
Second, the best secrets are always found in books! There are too many books that have been influential to me in my career, but to name a few of them…
- Entrepreneur Rollercoaster – Darren Hardy
- How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie
- 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – T. Harv. Ecker
- The Power of Full Engagement – James E. Loehr
These books have influenced me greatly all for different reasons. I couldn’t put Entrepreneur Rollercoaster down when I started in business. It was incredibly insightful into entrepreneurship, as well as quite hilarious! Every great business owner should always be getting better at dealing with people and treating people right, so How to Win Friends and Influence People is a must read. 5 Second Rule was an incredible book about the courage to take action before letting your mind tell you otherwise! There are many things that we may not want to do in business, but if we use this tool – it will help tremendously. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind will teach you the principles of creating a mindset around building wealth. As I’m sure you already know through Mandyy’s teachings, it is first important to fix our minds into abundance before we can expect to start creating wealth. And The Power of Full Engagement was one of the most powerful books for me. The funny part was my boyfriend (at the time, husband now!) was trying to convince me to read this book for over a year before I gave it a shot. Once I cracked the book, I could not put it down. It taught me many lessons about being engaged and practicing balance while being a successful entrepreneur.
The biggest part now would be my amazing new husband! He is my rock. My personality in business is once I get up and get going, it is very difficult for me to slow down in the day. He keeps me grounded, reminds me of balance, and when I need down time will pick it up for me. Two years ago we decided to merge our businesses and with our different strengths have become the largest & fastest growing broker dealer in Canada for financial services.
What are you most excited about in your business right now?
I am most excited about expansion across Canada. We have a vision of opening 100 offices across the nation. I see every day the impact that we make for people in Edmonton, AB. And I can only imagine as we continue to grow our brand and mission – we will start to impact thousands of families all over Canada. Second, this might seem a little bit funny, but I get most excited when I see that our agents are growing their income and getting paid. I thrive off of helping & watching people become successful, and start to buy their life back.
What piece of advice do you have for a woman who is just beginning in her business or up against obstacles right now and questioning whether she should keep pursuing her dreams or not?
This might seem overdone in terms of advice, but just keep going! There is no such thing as failure. There is only quitting. As long as you do not quit on yourself, you can achieve what you want to achieve!
Remember that when there is a will, there is a way. Your results will largely come from the way that you think. So, if we think that there will be a negative result, then there will be! If we think about positive results, we will get positive results!
Make your personal growth plan your top priority. We as humans are just like any other living organism, if we are not growing, we are dying. Focus on your personal development, professional development and constantly sharpening your axe.
An analogy for you to think about: There are two women both chopping down their own tree. They have the exact same axe. The first woman continues chopping without stopping for hours upon hours. The second women takes breaks every hour while chopping her tree down. Who do you think chopped their tree down faster?
The second woman! Why, you might ask. Well, every time she took a break she was sharpening her axe, which allowed her to be more efficient in her task at hand. As my wonderful mother in law would say, sometimes we must go slow to go fast. And part of taking that time is taking care of yourself first!
You can follow Savannah on Instagram at: @savdawe
Follow me on Instagram: @mandyythomas
Do you have any questions or anything to add? Leave me a comment and I will respond back to you!
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