Brittany Heard, RP®

Joan of Arc, Sacajawea, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Princess Diana, Mother Teresa, Oprah, and many other women have influenced history greatly, because of things they accomplished and who they were. When I see these names, I feel discouraged, because I don’t see myself doing anything extraordinary like these women.

I recently listened to a podcast that interviewed a woman named Dr. Kristy Archuleta, who went to college to become a marriage and family therapist but also studied business and took accounting classes. As she studied, she realized one of the leading causes of divorce is money and determined to study both therapy and financial planning. As she went on to complete her master’s and Ph.D. programs, she worked with the schools she attended to create ways she could study both topics.

Dr. Archuleta created her own education throughout her schooling and eventually went on to help create the Financial Therapy Association, an organization comprised of professionals dedicated to the integration of cognitive, emotional, behavioral, relational, and financial aspects of well-being. She helped create this organization to unite professionals from multiple disciplinary backgrounds.

Listening to this podcast inspired me to see myself more than purely a financial planner. As I meet with clients, I realize my career is so much more than just numbers and a balance sheet. I have not been trained in therapy, but I constantly meet with clients who are experiencing relationship issues, the death of a loved one, health issues, and many other issues. Because Dr. Archuleta was so passionate about merging these topics, I am encouraged to pursue more study to be the best financial advisor to my clients in multiple aspects.

When asked how to define success for herself, Dr. Archuleta said, “At the end of the day, it’s important to me that I know that I’ve done the best that I can do. And maybe I will never see the direct effects of the work that I’m doing, but is the work that I am doing impactful and helping change, better, and improve someone’s life? So, in the end, am I still helping someone?”

Perhaps becoming a woman of influence is not accomplishing a great task, becoming famous, or winning an award, but improving my skills and using my strengths to help or encourage those around me.

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