Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®)
Being raised by a single mother, you learn the value of a dollar pretty quickly and how important it is to understand personal finance. Money and anxiety around money were always top of mind in my childhood home. I knew it was not normal and I knew early on I was destined for greater opportunities than the little small town I was raised in, had to offer.
After completing my Accounting/Business Information Systems degree from Illinois State University, I began working in Corporate America as an IT Programmer.
I'm incredibly thankful for those early years as a programmer - my peers taught me how to look at money from a different perspective and offered help when it came time to select my benefits package at work. Many of those conversations and discussions led me down the path I'm on today.
The worries and concerns about money were behind me with my degree in hand and a corporate job. However, the natural-born learner in me wanted to know more about how to manage my own money and build wealth. A mentor of mine - challenged me to read two books: Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I still recommend both of these books to anyone defining or re-examining their own financial belief system.
I continued learning about personal finance from peers, mentors, and ultimately, through The American College where I earned both the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designations.
Being driven by the entrepreneurial spirit, I knew my next move would be away from Corporate America. Establishing what my financial base was after reading those books meant I was going to need to make some significant changes in how I wanted life to play out.
In May 2014, I said goodbye to Corporate America for good and began my journey into entrepreneurism by opening an insurance agency.
Insurance and Financial Services go hand-in-hand, after all, the basis for insurance is risk management and understanding what assets you are protecting for your clients. Fortunately, the insurance agency I started also offered limited financial services products and allowed me to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to connect with clients and help them in significant ways.
The next season or phase of my life centered around some pretty significant life events: divorce, caring for a parent, and career change.
When significant changes happen, there is typically the initial shock and awe of the moment, followed by a period of adjustment that begins to define your new normal.
I knew immediately my new normal required extreme flexibility.
My father who I had little to no relationship at this point in my life, had a massive stroke in October of 2016. Suddenly, I found myself thrust into being his primary caretaker and care manager. The only problem - he lived in Illinois and I live in Texas. So, being able to move about the country was now a priority.
The traditional brick-and-mortar agency I owned and operated did not fit my new normal. And, in early 2018, I gave up a permanent insurance agency contract to become a financial advisor with ultimate freedom and flexibility in setting my own schedule.
After spending a few years with a captive carrier and a large brokerage, I knew it was time to marry this concept of empowering women through personal finance and my desire to build a financial planning company to serve women in a way I would be proud of.
Women Inspire Wealth was born out of my life experiences, passion for personal finance, and desire to serve women in a larger capacity.
My husband, Byron Wilkerson, and I reside in Dallas, Texas with my bonus son, Caleb, and our daughter, Stella.
Why I Do It
Meet Caleb and Stella!
Financial literacy is not a term I ever heard growing up. While my mom did her best to provide for our family, she lived paycheck to paycheck. Money and anxiety around money were always top of mind and I knew it was not normal. Seeing her struggle inspired me to aim higher. I never wanted to be in a position where I would have to tell my children no because I could not afford it.
My mom would have been in a better financial position if she would have had access to someone she felt comfortable talking to about money. She did not have that someone in her life. So, I became that woman - for me, for her, and for the strong women everywhere who should have access to someone they feel comfortable talking to about money and to help them define what wealth means for them.