Brittany Wolff, CEO & Founder of Wolff Financial, is Everything But Your Average Financial Planner
This blog post is part of our “Shop Talk” founder series, which celebrates Word of Web clients as we dive into what drives them and how they embrace the entrepreneurial spirit.
We had the privilege of sitting down with Brittany Wolff, a Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Wolff Financial headquartered in Greenville, SC. As a 20-something woman in a male-dominated industry, she’s carving her own path to success — and transforming the culture of the Upstate’s financial landscape along the way.
Tell us about Wolff Financial. What’s your elevator pitch?
Wolff Financial is a newer financial firm, founded in June 2021. We work as a fee-only fiduciary for clients who are primarily young, busy parents who just don’t have time to worry about financial planning and want to delegate that to a professional. We equip women and couples with the financial tools they need to live the lives they imagine.
Tell us about your journey.
I started out in the industry shortly after college, but didn’t plan to be in the finance industry! I actually have a psych degree, but went into finance to essentially get a job and discovered that financial planning checked all of my boxes. I started working my way up, getting all of my licenses, taking all the tests, and joined a team to become a financial advisor. I came to a point where I could either stay on board with my previous team, or I could go out on my own. I was at a crossroads, but I’m passionate about working with people that aren’t your traditional client base so going out on my own made the most sense.
What sparked the idea behind your company? How did it come to fruition?
There’s a whole untapped market of people who aren’t your traditional clients — people who don’t have millions of dollars in assets. I discovered a real need for approachable financial advice. The financial industry has been around for a while, but it has not changed very quickly. Now, there’s a group of financial planners that have decided to take a leap outside of the big, more traditional firms. So, I started researching, learning, even listening to podcasts and discovered that it was much more reasonable and doable to start my own company than I first thought!
How have you gotten your message out to the world?
It’s a little bit of everything at this point! I speak to lots of groups of women and find that they are usually very community-oriented. I’m able to really tap into those markets and get referrals that way. I’ve also started tapping more into social media to reach the younger generation, as well as reaching out to my natural network now that I’m able to really fit what they need.
What are the most challenging and most rewarding parts of being an entrepreneur?
The most challenging part is wearing all the hats! In my prior world, I was the financial advisor — and that was it. Now, in addition to being an independent financial advisor, I’m the Chief Marketing Director, Chief Financial Director, Head of Compliance, administrator — I have to tackle all of these things to make the business work on top of just the services that I offer.
The best part is having flexibility, which ironically can also be the hardest part! I have the freedom to choose what I want to do, who I service, how I price those services — but that can also create a sort of vagueness because it’s almost like, is there any specific way you have to do this? And, there’s not, but in the end it’s great to have the flexibility to mold my company to serve my clients the way they want to be served.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of running your business? How do you handle burnout?
One of my biggest things is that I want to be able to be active throughout my day! Wellness and mental health are a big priority for me. Especially going through 2020, I think we’re all focusing more on mental health and finding what we can do to provide everyday joy. I also really love to cook…and eat!
Where would you like to see your company in 5 years?
I definitely want to establish a go-to brand for women and really create the idea that financial planning can be approachable — so we are really going to have to modernize things. I’d also love to have a small team of 3-5 women with a supportive company culture. I can already service clients across the country due to virtual meetings so the hope is to build the brand and team to be nationwide.
I also want to not only provide that one-on-one financial advice, but create a course or program for people coming out of college to use as a central resource. I would definitely love to have that up and running in 5 years — it’s in the works!
How do you stay motivated?
Currently, I’m involved with a mastermind group of independent advisors. We meet every week and talk through wins and losses, or about any ideas for the week. It really helps to keep me motivated within the industry. I also tap into my community and friends who own small businesses — it just helps to be open and sit down and talk. You can really get a lot of support that way!
Best advice and worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
I think the best advice I’ve gotten is to always view something as a learning opportunity. Failures, difficult jobs — you can always try to take something from any situation!
The worst advice was to basically do things the way they’ve always been done — and not challenge anything. I was told to do all things the "old boys' club" would do, essentially, just not be unique!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your company?
I would say how important it is to have a niche and target market. It’s ok to say no to people who don’t fit that. That’s been a challenge that I’ve had so far — if you have a very set target market, that not only helps with marketing, but also helps with your daily processes. But it can be hard, because most of the time you want to cater to everyone — so I’d say learning just how important having a target market is.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs just starting out?
If they’ve already taken that leap, I’d say you need a support group! You need people around you because even more so as an entrepreneur, your highs are way higher, and your lows are way lower. So, having people to celebrate the highs and also to rally around you on those low days as well is important.
What about your company are you most proud of?
I’m really proud to be unique in the industry myself. Less than 20% of financial advisors are women, so that’s huge. I’m also in my 20s, so that's something that is typically not seen - most advisors are a bit older. I’m also very proud to have my CFP®, which is a Certified Financial Planner certification, which is the gold standard for our industry. So, all of those things together make me super unique in the industry as a whole, and I think that allows me to talk to all the people who might not feel comfortable working with a more traditional advisor. I’m okay not being your “picture” of a typical financial advisor.
How can people follow your journey? Website, social media, etc?
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