Making Resilience and Growth a Team Sport Featuring Amanda Piper
Amanda Piper recognizes that no one gets very far in this world on their own. For her, resilience and wisdom are things you can develop by engaging with others, learning from their experiences and teaming up to overcome challenges.
That has been key to her success as a financial advisor—which was not even her first career. In fact, she worked as a successful engineer for 8 years before making the switch. “I was not used to the feeling of not being confident in myself, in my answers, and in my education in the new field. It was a leap to go back to basics,” Amanda recalls.
So how did she do it? She surrounded herself with other women, in what she affectionately describes as “study groups,” comprising people who shared both similar and disparate views. That way she could be sure to maximize her learning opportunities and continuously improve in her own job. That’s precisely what she recommends to other women looking to build resilience and who are just starting out in the business. “It’s all about people and all about your network,” she says. It means finding a safe space to share challenges, ideas and tactics with other women, other financial advisors and other entrepreneurs. Another piece of advice? Befriend your local wholesaler, who can be a great connector to other financial advisers for your network.
It’s all about people and all about your network.
Amanda attributes her success to good old-fashioned hard work. She notes that her success today is not a result of her actions yesterday, but rather of every little thing she’s done over the past 10 years. This attitude reflects her life-guiding precept that “It’s the little things that change the world.”
Along the road to success, Amanda has learned many valuable lessons, chief among them that diversity drives results. “My eyes completely opened up,” Amanda says, when she saw how much she could learn from working with people of different backgrounds and expertise.
It’s the little things that change the world.
10 years as an FA has gone by quickly for Amanda, but she vividly remembers how it felt to make the switch from engineering to financial advice. That’s why she devotes part of her free time to an organization she founded and currently chairs, Women in Finance (WIFI), which helps women who are changing careers. Eager to encourage more women to get in the business, Amanda also works with local high schools in Maryland to build awareness of financial advice as a career option.
As for the future, Amanda is still building resilience as she takes strides to grow her business. She’s diving into more digital marketing, including making videos and podcasts, both of which she calls “terrifying,” but are reflective of efforts to try new things. Most of all, Amanda wants people to know that “I’m here and looking to serve.”
Q+A with Amanda
What is your hometown?
“I grew up in Clarksville, Md. I now live in Hanover, Maryland.”
How long have you been in the financial services industry?
What’s your theme song?
“‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor. This was my CFA instructor and friend’s theme song when he was studying for the exam, so I adopted it myself. There were many replays of this song when I needed to get pumped up studying before an exam.”
What or who inspires you?
- “Small victories or small changes inspire me. I have said many times that ‘little changes change the world.’ It could be a thank-you note from a client or deciding on a new tool for the office.
- My colleagues at Raymond James also inspire me. I aspire to be like them every day. When I get to know someone that I admire and get a real peek inside their lives, it’s very meaningful to me.”
What are three charities close to your heart?
- “Worthwhile to Help High School Youth (WORTHY) Program.”
- “Discover Engineering.”
- “Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.”