It’s very cool for me to interview my own husband and showcase his amazing journey of passion in the financial industry.  This is perhaps not the first industry that comes to one’s mind when hearing the words creativity and passion, but having watched Nadir first-hand navigate this route taught me a lot about what it means to be living one’s purpose.  The way Nadir does everything in life is always with a plan laden with goals, and with his heart on his sleeve.  This inspires me to do only the things I want to do whole-heartedly.  Career-wise, I have watched him jump in leaps and bounds from bank teller to branch manager, within 9 years, collecting awards and accolades along the way.  As a son, husband, brother, father and friend, I have seen him give of his time and energy with enthusiasm.  It is actually quite an honour for me to be able to share him with you on this blog – a dream of mine that he has been instrumental in supporting. 

Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Nadir to Let ME Out!! 

Photo Credit: Alan Newman Photography

Nadir, one of the things I ask my clients and readers to do when they’re trying to remember their passions and purpose is look back at their childhood.  What were some tell-tale signs from your childhood that you were going to pursue a career in finance?

Well, a couple of my favourite board games were Monopoly and Flutter – Flutter being a British stock market game.  When I played Monopoly, I always had to be the banker.  I played these games with friends and family – and even when I couldn’t find someone else to play with me I’d play by myself!  I got my first job delivering papers when I was 13 years old and I’d always look to save first, spend later and with the money that I did save I was always interested in the concept of compounding investment returns.  But because I was too young to invest into the market I asked my mom to invest for me into mutual funds.  Then every paycheque, a certain amount would be invested and saved and the rest I would spend on hockey cards and candy.

Around the same time, I always used to drag my poor little sister into brainstorming sessions on how to drive higher returns or start new businesses to increase revenue.

My first business venture was my grass-cutting business by the time I was 14, but I quickly realized that this was a seasonal business.  Therefore, I needed to expand even further!  I diversified into newspaper delivery, grass-cutting and working for a neighbour, putting together sprinkler parts for their business.  So by the time I was 16 it was clear what my direction was.  Finance.  I just didn’t know what particular area was my specialty.  It’s funny because as I write this, I can clearly see how my specialty was also business.

That’s awesome!  It sounds like it would have been hard to convince you otherwise even at such a young age.  I’d like to note that when we have family get togethers you still prefer playing Flutter over any of the word games that I enjoy! 

Can you tell my readers about some of the challenges you’ve encountered in your career?  How have you overcome them?

I didn’t always know exactly what my niche was.  I was working in finance, enjoyed parts of it and couldn’t stand others.  I worked in finance for 14 years in a variety of roles.  I had to dig deep to self-discover that when I was having the most fun was when I was doing investment management and financial planning.  When you’re working for somebody else there’s a lot of top-down influence on how you carry out your advice-giving to your clients.  Even as a branch manager, I had to follow bank protocol and in my opinion, that’s not always what’s best for the client.  I was managing a very successful, growing branch with a lot of great people working with me and fantastic clientele but I still had “Toronto” trying to push their agenda.  So I found myself not being able to do what I really wanted to do which is put the client first and do full financial planning:  implementing long-term financial concepts and adjusting as the client’s life evolved.  The question weighed heavily on me:  do I leave a salary management role to start my own business in financial planning?  In the end, I chose to leave my cushy branch manager role and a career with so much potential for promotion as I knew staying would take me further from my passion.

Yup – I used to see how drained you were coming home from work but now that you’ve found your own groove and the right fit for you I can see how your work energizes you more than drains you.  Even after a really long day, or string of long days, you might be tired but never drained.  That makes your move rewarding for me and the kids, too! 

I’m really proud of you for taking that scary leap into the world of self-employment – I remember how unnerving that was for you.  I’m sure a lot of my readers can empathize with that. 

Nadir and the kids on his birthday.

Besides financial planning and of course me and the kids, what are your other interests?  What are some challenges you face in balancing it all? 

I enjoy sports like basketball, soccer, and golf – playing and watching.  It’s challenging to engage to the level that I’d like in each of these sports but I play on 2 soccer leagues and I’m lucky enough to be able to take my clients golfing and to hockey games!  One day I’d love to coach basketball – maybe even at the high school level.

Balancing all of this and my family life can be challenging but I have a fantastic wife who understands the importance of this balance and we support each other.  *wink, wink

Haha, yes! *wink wink!  It’s true, though.  The balance can be tricky but I think if, in a partnership, there is that understanding that we each need to be doing what fulfills us then our relationships and family life also thrive.  Often people think that by taking care of their own needs they are taking away from the family.  You and I had talked this through awhile back – we wondered how we could balance it all and still make time for ourselves and each other.  It’s working out though…and any dips or slides in this balance is easier to catch and rectify now that we are more aware of it.

In your opinion, what’s the difference between a career and a career of passion?

A career of passion is something that you wake up for and you’re always thinking of ways of improving, streamlining and growing.  And you find all of it fun.  It gives you a thrill of excitement in the pit of your stomach.  Even when away on vacation, enjoying time with your wife and kids, a part of you still misses the business and from what I hear from people that’s rare.  In my spare time, some of my personal interests are built around that – the shows I watch, magazines I read and even a lot of my friendships have grown from this common interest.

A career has similar traits where you want to grow with promotion and accolades.  However, you don’t have that excitement in the pit of your stomach and you’re doing it more for the paycheque and the benefits than anything else.

In conclusion, because I know you probably want to go check in on Bloomberg or something, do you have any words for my readers who are trying to find their career of passion?

Be patient.  Finding the exact fit might be right under your nose but it can take time to get there.  Talk to people, seek guidance from people who can help you.  They can be your peers, friends, mentors (formal or informal), your significant other, and professionals that support career development or discovery.  I used all these channels and found a very rewarding career in finance that I love.  You never know where these conversations will take you.  Right now I have a growing financial planning firm and, one of the key colleagues that I talked to about wanting to make this move years ago, is now my business partner.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  It’s been a pleasure!

Thanks for having me!  I’m very flattered that you thought of me for your blog! 

Nadir is leaving Let ME Out with a gift for a lucky reader!  This gift stems from his love of basketball and from the childhood beginnings of his passionate career.  Salt in His Shoes is a young reader book by Michael Jordan’s mother and sister, Deloris and Roslyn Jordan that illustrates Michael’s pursuit of his dream despite his fears.  It’s a fitting book for a young person that YOU know who could use some inspiration.  Thanks, Nadir, for this thoughtful gift.  

All of Let ME Out’s subscribers are automatically entered to win!  For extra entries, share this post on facebook and/or twitter.  If you do one or both, please leave a comment here letting me know that you did.  If you share a comment here about any of the content in this post, you will also earn another entry!  All of the entries will be thrown into the proverbial hat (i.e. and a winner will be contacted by email.  THIS CONTEST CLOSES FRIDAY JAN. 13, 2012 at 5 PM PST.

*Nadir and his amazing team can be found at 

*No, he’s not on facebook or twitter, and yet somehow we manage to communicate!