Published on February 27th, 2014 | by thevyne2
#DoWhatYouLove: Shehara Smallwood
Tell us your occupation, What it is that you do and love?
I help families oversee their financial affairs as a financial advisor with Edward Jones.
Was this something you always thought you wanted to do?
Actually, no, it wasn’t. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and worked as a sales engineer after college so, initially, financial advising was far from my mind.
So what was the catalyst? How and when did you decide that that was what you wanted to do?
The catalyst for me was that I just didn’t find enjoyment in what I did everyday. Unfortunately, even while I was in college getting my degree, I knew that the career I was about to pursue when I graduated wasn’t my passion. Over 12 years ago, I read “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren and “What Color Is Your Parachute” by Robert Bolles and these books changed my life. I was eager to discover my passion, therefore I was extremely open to whatever God had to share with me about what I was supposed to do in life. After some soul searching and much prayer, I soon discovered that I had a passion for helping the youth become financially literate and I decided to pursue my desire to launch a career in the financial services industry. I officially changed careers over nine years ago and joined a Global Fortune 500 firm. After four and a half years with that firm, I changed companies and opened a branch with Edward Jones as a financial advisor.
What has been most gratifying about following your passions?
I believe what has been most gratifying for me is that I am doing what I love and what I enjoy: working face to face with individual investors and business owners to determine their financial goals and find solutions to help them reach those goals. Having a sense of purpose in what I do everyday and knowing that I do what I love is what makes everyday worth it.
What advice do you have for women who are afraid or reluctant to follow their dreams?
Whatever it is that you want to do, know that each day you wait there is someone who needs your service or product who now has to wait that much longer. The risk that you take will be nothing in comparison to the reward that you get from knowing that you are pursuing your passion. You may not have all the answers right away and that’s okay. I love the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
I am most looking forward to meetig new families this year. I know that I can help them make a difference in their future and assist them in realizing their financial goals and, for that reason, I am truly excited.
Where to find Shehara: