When I was stirring the brainchild around that would become this blog I was having a difficult time of coming up with an identity for the blog. I knew one of the things I wanted to discuss was Financial Education, but I didn’t want it to come off boring…because I have to admit, talking about finances can be just plain boring sometimes. I wanted the average person to be captivated to make a change for the better with their finances.
Before we get into exactly how the identity of the blog was born, let me give you a little background on me, the Financial Salmon. In my teen years I started to embody more of a counter culture approach to life. I never fully abandoned some of the more traditional things in life: Jobs, College, Career, etc, but I always had my own flare when approaching these challenges.
My first “professional” job was at a bank disguised as a Credit Union. I was in my junior year of college studying finance and had recently been laid off from working at a skate shop, which will remain nameless (How does anyone get fired from working at a skate shop?). Well even all the way back in college I had a desire to help people with their finances, although looking back I was just a salmon egg read to hatch when it came to financial education. With this desire I thought I would love working in a bank as a personal banker helping people get out of debt and on to a life of financial freedom! Boy was I WAY off; personal bankers are nothing but salesmen. Maybe there are still a few banks out there that care about their customers, but even at my Bank disguised as a Credit Union the sacred cow was increasing profits per customer.
In my first act of rebellion to this knowledge of what banks really care about, I decided I would do things different. If you ask my wife, I can be a bit nostalgic. I love getting together with old friends and reminiscing fond memories. Well my dad was a banker once upon a time and I remember the chic look of dressing up, but at the Bank disguised as a Credit Union everyone was so sloppy. They would wear “Polo” style shirts with cheap Docker style slacks while they tried to upsell you on GAP insurance for your $60K Car Loan. Well you might be pondering “wouldn’t you want to wear what’s comfortable”. Yes, but I wanted to do things different, to swim against the masses, so I started to wear a TIE every day to work.
Well, my co-workers were flabbergasted at this notion. Why would you wear a TIE if you didn’t have to? You see, I was going to do things different. Well the bank customers loved me because I was friendly, pleasant, well dress ; ) and wouldn’t sell anybody anything they didn’t need; while my bosses despised me because my sales quotas were below those of my counter parts.
As you can deduct, I quickly learned banking was not meant for me. I could not change the banking industry standard of doing whatever possible not to help people wisely manage their money so as soon as I graduate from college I decided to move out of personal finance into corporate finance. I would continue to this day to bring a counter cultural approach in every job I have had, but I continued these jobs with a nod to my beginning in “professional” work environments with TIE TUESDAY. Tie Tuesday has left question marks over the heads of co-workers years since.
So what does Tie Tuesday have to do with the identity of the blog? As I said in the beginning of the post, writing about finances can be boring and let’s face it…I can be plain boring sometimes; but fortunately my other half (my wife) is a spunky, creative, cogitating machine. She knows I like to do things different and came up with the idea of Financial Salmon. “Perfect!” Swimming upstream, that is the embodiment of how I try to live my life.
So today, go against the stream with a small financial “Tie Tuesday” in your life and begin changing the way you think about money. Of course, the first step in growing into a full grown salmon swimming upstream is by starting to Give!
*The introduction picture is an actual rendition of an image of me, the financial salmon, working at said Bank disguised as a Credit Union long ago. It was created by the Talented Craig click over to view his work.