When I first became a “corporate dropout” and went out on my own in 2001, friends were alternately envious and incredulous. They wondered how I could give up a regular paycheck, and they came up with a lot of reasons why they couldn’t do the same, despite wanting to. I got accustomed to saying things like, “Well of course, you’ve got kids, I understand why you can’t do this. Some day you’ll be able to.”
I’ve had some rough years since then, but I’ve never regretted it. I make my own schedule, take time off whenever I want, and have the privilege of working with many different companies in vastly different industries and learning from every one of them.
Last week, a dear friend of mine took the same plunge. He did it after months of agonizing indecision. Every Sunday night Jeff would call me and tell me he was going to give notice on Monday morning; every Monday afternoon I would call him and find out that he’d gotten cold feet. Unlike me, Jeff has a spouse and a hefty mortgage, making the risk a little more significant. But last week he finally did it.
I’m proud of him because he did it at a great time and for a great reason. He started a new company called Anchor Planning Group, a consulting firm dedicated to improving the financial health of middle and lower income employees across the country. As a senior human resources executive for many years, he knew that financial worries have a tremendous impact not only on an employee’s own piece of mind, but also on a company’s bottom line. And in this economy, there can be no better place to make an impact as a consultant.
Anchor’s primary offering is a workshop called “How Money Works”, which he offers to all the employeees of a client company at no cost to either the employer or the employees. Of course, Anchor also sells various financial products, including insurance and retirement plans. But the workshop is truly designed to be an educational tool rather than a sales pitch, and it is linked with a free financial needs analysis for each employee who requests one.
Research suggests that a company can benefit from a financially educated workforce in a number of ways: reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, reduced health care and workers comp costs, increased 401k contributions, reduced employee theft and workplace violence, and decreased costs related to wage garnishments and other payroll-related actions. It may also increase an employee’s allegiance to the organization.
To learn more about Anchor Planning Group, you can contact Jeffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 669-0954. And if you’re one of those people thinking about taking that plunge some day, we can only say…go for it!