I have been in the industry for 13 years now working for a small independent firm and have focused most of my time on the Compliance side of things. I have my 7,63,63,24, Life and Health and CFP and I am 36 married with 5 kids. I am at the point now where I feel it is put up or shut up. To me the value of being in this business is the unlimited growth potential by building your own book of business. Of course with all things the bigger the reward, the greater the effort and the bigger the risk. At this point I have one of three options:
1.) Stay at the firm I am at, work the 60-70 hrs of work necessary to build a book, and see where I am 3-5 years from now to see if this option will work.
PROS- Build a big enough book that adds to my value as rep, Independence, Income Potential Unlimited
CONS- Long Hours (Family/Work Balance), Low Income for first few years, High Fail Rate
2.) I have been offered a job at Valic or look for a job at Bank
PROS- Clients, Quicker Income Growth, Bigger Firm (More Support),
CONS- Build a book that is not mine (Lose Book if I want to leave), Limited Product, Could be a lifetime regret of not trying option #1
3.) Look for a top end Compliance Job with a bigger company
PROS- Steady Income, Look for Executive Promotion
CONS- Limited Income Potential, Don't Love Compliance, Never Gave Production a shot
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
At the end of the day, having those "I wish I would have done xxx when I was 36" regrets really suck. Ask yourself what you would tell yourself if you could talk to the 65 year old you. What would he say is really important. What would he say he regretted not doing. What would he say is important and not important.
My vote is to give it a try. If you fail, you can always go do choices #2 or #3 and be more marketable at both of them with the experience you would have gained.
At the end of the day, your money goes back in the great monopoly box of life and someone else reshuffles it out to the new players. All you have is your family, your faith, and the experience of it all. Don't just survive. Don't just get by. Love your work. Work at what you are born to do. If you are born to do this, then do it. If you love compliance, then do it. But don't sell out.