Georgia Financial Advisors: A Career Conversation with Daniel Raps-Huffman

What motivated you to join Georgia Financial Advisors?
I was looking for a career path where I could help people in my community and make a direct impact on their well-being. I was also highly infatuated with the idea of owning my own business and generating a high income as a young entrepreneur. The biggest difference for me between Georgia Financial Advisors and the other firms I was interviewing at was in regards to client acquisition; I didn’t want to have to solicit my friends and family to earn new business. I love GFA’s model because we provide new advisors with mentorship, training, and lead generation from big companies here in Georgia. Our best clients work at places like Southern Company, Delta, Coke, UPS, and more!

How does Georgia Financial Advisors convey to employees a sense of belonging?
One of our values as a firm is “servitude”, which to us means serving our community and our clients every single day with the same mission: take people to the highest possible level in both their career and in life. It’s simple and straightforward, but we all share the same goal of being a better person tomorrow than we were today. Since we all have common goals, it’s hard to not feel like you belong to something bigger than yourself here.

In what ways has Georgia Financial Advisors supported your professional development and growth?
I have been fortunate enough to hear from top producers and coaches in the industry every week, as well as one-on-one leadership training. I’ve heard from folks worth hundreds of millions of dollars tell the same story as to how they achieved success by having a strong work-ethic, integrity, drive, servitude, and an entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve also learned from experts in emotional intelligence and leadership training which has big one of the biggest influences in my adult life.

In what ways are you supported in maintaining a healthy work-life balance?
In my opinion, you should be very unbalanced between work and life as a new college graduate. As a young person you shouldn’t expect to have a very successful career if you don’t put in the work up front. If you work like no one has ever worked, you will live like no one has ever lived. I put in long hours for a couple weeks at a time, and then I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor with vacations, time off, and once in a lifetime trips. The price of success is paid for up-front, in-full, and in-advance. If you balance life with work, you need to learn to balance work with life!

How do you know that you’re making a difference/having an impact with the work that you do?
I’ve seen it! I’ve helped walk clients across the finish line for their retirement, I’ve protected families against catastrophic financial burdens after a loss, and I’ve refinanced and saved people thousands of dollars in debt. I’ve had too many clients to count tell me how big of a difference I’ve made in their lives.

What makes you proud to represent Georgia Financial Advisors?
I am proud to represent GFA because I was one of the original employees and I am honored to have been a part of our growth. Seeing how we went from 5 employees in a 500 sq ft office to 170+ in 9 offices all across the country has been very special and I will continue to serve this company for the foreseeable future.

In what ways do you feel like you’ve grown since working for Georgia Financial Advisors?
In every way imaginable. UGA prepared me from an intellectual standpoint to meet the barriers to entry in a competitive work environment. However, the emotional intelligence, leadership development, coaching, and training was all a direct result of working for an award-winning organization. I would encourage students to seek leadership and personal development opportunities on campus!

What do you wish you had known about the professional world when you were a student?
I wish I had known how much more the professional world cares about what you do outside of the classroom in order to get ahead in the working world. When I review resumes, I always look for community service, volunteer work, or leadership positions as good indicators of a qualified applicant. I held some basic leadership positions in Greek life, but I always wish I had done more to be involved in my community while being a UGA student.

In thinking about emerging young professionals, what advice would you share to those seeking their first opportunities?
Don’t be entitled to success! Just because you did well in school and graduated with high marks does not mean that your first job is going to be a cake walk. I can almost guarantee that your first year of work isn’t going to be sunshine and roses, so just hang in there! The only thing you are entitled to is an opportunity, you are not entitled to the success that comes from hard working without putting in the hours first. My boss says “do it until you’re good at it, then you can step back and decide whether you like it or not,” meaning that you won’t be happy with a job until your successful at it. Once you can define what success in your career looks like for you, don’t ever give up until you get there! Then you can step back and say what’s next?

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