Every other month, I showcase a business owner making a difference in their field. I hope this gives you a bit of inspiration—I know it keeps me inspired to work hard! Here’s my Q+A with Judy Ramsey of 21st Century Financial.
Judy is a financial adviser who loves helping people learn about how money really works by creating a strategy that enables them to shape their future the way they want it to be. A native of snowy Buffalo, New York, she holds a B.A. in Social Work and Psychology from Michigan State University as well as an MSW from Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. After practicing in the field for 8 years, she went on to get her MBA from Boston University, enabling her to apply business principles to the non-profit sector to serve more people.
Why are you passionate about living a healthy lifestyle?
I’ve been active all my life, playing sports (field hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball), but I was a hefty kid, weighing about 50 pounds more than I do now. In my junior year of college, I decided I was tired of being unhealthy so I lost weight through healthy eating and a lot of walking.
At age 28, I was diagnosed with a giant cell tumor in my right femur. I was lucky enough to be living in Boston where an orthopedic surgeon was doing experimental surgery grafting cadaver bone to the healthy bone after the diseased bone was removed. I was the 28th person in the world to have the surgery. If not for that, I would have had my leg amputated. It made me think a lot about how lucky I am and made me very cognizant of the fact that we only get one body in this life, how important it is to take very good care of it, and how important it is to be grateful for what we have.
What motivated you to start your business?
Post-MBA, I worked in Corporate America in financial planning and eventually strategy development and implementation, business analysis, operations, and human resources. After going through a difficult divorce after 22 years or marriage, I decided I really wanted to build my own business. I purchased a franchise and things didn’t quite go as planned. Some additional soul-searching led me to financial advising, where I could leverage the skills and knowledge I had gained in my circuitous career journey.
What is unique about the services you offer?
From a personal point of view, the combination of my training and practice as a social worker, my training and varied experience in corporate America, as well as owning my own flooring business gives me a unique perspective. From my process point of view, I look at all the pieces of my clients’ total financial life to make sure all the puzzle pieces fit together efficiently and effectively to create the overall picture they want. I work with them to create a strategy unique to them that can be tweaked as life happens and in which failure is not an option. My relationship with them is a long-term one in which we are in regular contact (typically quarterly) to keep up-to-date with all life’s curve balls.
Tell us about the clients you work with and the type of transformation they achieve.
My clients come from all walks of life. Most are either in the phase of their lives where they are starting families and planning their adult lives, or they’re starting to think about retirement. However, I have clients at all stages of life. There are plenty of financial advisers who choose to work with folks who are very well off. For me, I love working with people who are “middle America.” My clients are always able to relax and breathe easier knowing that they have a strategy that leaves them in a much better position and a person who really listens to them and has their back.
What has changed in your life since you started your business?
My life has been so full of changes all along the way. I love working for myself and being 100% responsible for my own success, being able to operate my business according to my personal values and having flexibility as to how to manage my time.
If someone wants to learn more, what is the best way to get in contact with you?
Email me at email@example.com or call/text 614-563-5645.
What is your favorite thing to do that automatically puts you in a good mood?
Talking to or being with my daughter. She lives in NYC and I miss her so much. We talk every day. In many ways, we’re best friends and just hearing her voice always lifts my spirits!