Jeanette Ramnarine and I share very similar passions for helping people (particularly young people) become the best versions of themselves through demonstrated leadership and learning from experiences. I’m thinking I now know what my youngest niece and nephew are getting for Christmas!
I am honoured to feature such an incredible Bay of Quinte Entrepreneur in this latest installment of the “My Day” Interview Series!
Question 1: Describe yourself in 3 words only.
- Creative, Curious and Compassionate
Question 2: Tell me more about your business(es)? What kind are they?
- My husband and I own two local businesses.
- Four Piggies Publishing began to teach children about money and budgeting. Our children’s book The 4 Little Pigs is an award-winning children’s book telling the story of how our son Caleb learned financial responsibility using 4 piggy banks for SPENDING, SAVING, SHARING and SCHOOLING. We developed a financial kit for kids which included the book along with the 4 Piggy banks. The books and financial kits sold throughout North America through our website as well as contracts with book stores and toy stores and were recognized with a Quinte Business Achievement Award winning Business of the Year in 2009.
- Having a love for the financial industry, we partnered to create a “parent company” called FORWARD FINANCES. Through our company we work with clients in the Quinte region seeking out the best investment and insurance strategies for our clients. We are independent licensed financial advisors and I am also an insurance broker.
Question 3: Where does your entrepreneurial drive come from? What are your sources of inspiration?
- I was very entrepreneurial from a young age. In high school I took a course in Entrepreneurism and was hooked! I remember receiving 98% in that course and thinking, “this is what I want to do!”
- At 20 years old, I became the youngest trained teacher with Music for Young Children (MYC) and opened my first music studio in Quinte West. I loved running my own studio and teaching the MYC program to families. This experience led the way for several more entrepreneurial pursuits including a daycare, publishing company for our 4 Piggies book and financial kits and most recently my partnership in Forward Finances along with my husband.
Question 4: Considering how fierce competition is among your industry, what are your business(es) competitive advantages? What makes you stand out in the crowd?
- Our main focus now is on our financial company –Forward Finances. We have a unique edge being that the average age of financial advisors in Canada is 59 years old. Being in our early 40’s we have the advantage of understanding the financial challenges of both the millennial and baby boomer demographic.
- We incorporate the latest trends in technology and use easy to understand terminology and technology to educate our clients on our investment portfolio recommendations and insurance solutions.
- As philanthropists, we are always looking to align with companies that have added value for our clients in being socially responsible and do more to give back to our community.
- Having an award-winning financial book and kit for kids is another unique advantage over our competition. We pride ourselves in understanding the unique challenges of families and finding innovative ways to help them define and ultimately reach their financial goals.
- We are also active on social media which is unique in the financial industry. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram @forwardfinances.
Question 5: No two days are often the same for an entrepreneur, but what does a typical day look like for you?
- On a typical day I am up at 6:00 am. I work best in the mornings and respond to emails and those connecting with us on social media first thing. Over tea, I read up on news in our industry and share out information that I think our followers and clients could benefit from.
- I like to get in a yoga workout (which sometimes gets skipped) before beginning the day prepping for client meetings and reviewing files for the clients we will meet with that day or in the upcoming day or two.
- Our days also consist of meeting with our branch in Kingston and scheduling regular meetings with the fund companies and portfolio managers that we invest with. We gain valuable information on the economic and market outlook which helps us make informed decisions and recommendations to our clients.
Question 6: What do you do daily to grow as a person?
- I am an avid, lifelong learner and enjoy keeping up to date, sourcing out and researching new information and trends in the investment and insurance industry.
- I’m passionate about giving back and philanthropy is an integral part of who I am. I love to volunteer my time at local charities and help out.
- I also try to get in regular yoga workouts for both the exercise, strength training and focus that this time gives me.
Question 7: What tricks have you discovered to keep you focused, productive and achieve a decent work/life balance?
- As mentioned before, yoga has been a great activity to help me stay focused and centered in my life.
- I “time block” my days in google calendar which my husband and I share so that we are able to achieve a balance between work and life raising two busy and active teenagers.
- Drinking water throughout the day and eating right helps and we try to prepare a healthy meal and eat at home with our children most nights to connect as a family.
Question 8: What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/disagree with?
- Always do what is in the best interest of your clients as this will help you grow. A valuable referral is the best kind of business.
- Create definitive and achievable goals.
- Be patient – it takes time to build a business – celebrate the short-term success but keep your eyes on the long-term goals.
- I love the concept of the “12 week year”. We set 12 week goals for our business and work towards achieving those in the short-term. This helps us move along to reach the long-term goals.
Question 9: What’s your favourite metaphor to describe entrepreneurship?
- My favourite movie is The Wizard of Oz. A writer that I came across, Dayne Shuda, wrote: “In The Wizard of Oz there is the famous scene where the house crashes down from the tornado and Dorothy opens the front door and everything is in beautiful colour…..Entrepreneurship is like opening that door and seeing a whole new world. Many people, like Dorothy, just want to get back to Kansas. Entrepreneurs can’t imagine ever going back.”
Question 10: What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
- Great question and ironically, the tag line for our business –Forward Finances is “move ahead with us!”
- The toughest moment occurred to us after realizing that the financial office that we worked for was not moving in the same direction that we wanted to go and breaking free to work independently and start our own company and practice.
- We knew the only way we would succeed is by creating an honest and achievable business plan and doing the best work we can, gaining one client at a time. This has led to multiple referrals and we are currently ahead of the goals for our company’s growth that we have set for ourselves.
Not included in question count: If someone wants more information, what is the best way to contact you?
- You can email Jeanette at: email@example.com and find out more information about her companies below
- Forward Finances: www.forwardfinances.com
- Four Piggies Publishing: www.fourpiggies.com
- Instagram: @forwardfinances & @four_piggies_publishing
- Facebook: @forwardfinances & @fourpiggies
Want to be featured in an interview series that mixes local and national entrepreneurs who provide words of wisdom to the (young) entrepreneurs who follow my blog? Send me a message! This series is getting more popular with every post & share!