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When I was choosing a college, I wanted to become a photographer. But my parents didn’t want me to be a starving artist. So I wound up studying to become an accountant.
After graduating college I worked for one of the largest public accounting firms in the world. During my first month of work, I got stuck in a revolving door – literally!
I was spinning through the revolving door of a high-rise office tower on my way to meet with a client. As the door spun, my supervisor politely let me go through the door first. He followed me in the next glass-walled door.
As I was entering the revolving door, my shoulder-strapped briefcase stayed outside the door, bringing the spinning door to an abrupt stop and planting our faces on the glass doors before us.
In that moment, something inside me knew I was in the wrong place. It was the first sign of many that I ignored – for 5 years – until I finally got the message to make a change.
During the first 5 years of my career, I worked really long hours and earned my CPA license. While busy working and studying, my personal finances didn’t get the attention they needed. I developed young-adult-debt-syndrome.
I’m fortunate to have parents who paid for my private college education, while I contributed by working 3 of the 4 years as a Resident Assistant, which paid for my food and housing.
But once I graduated, I was on my own to pay the bills. Rent. Car payments. New corporate wardrobe. Furniture. And whatever my social life required. I accumulated some debt as I got up and running.
Before I knew it, I had a negative net worth and a negative self worth.
I was lucky to take advantage of my company’s education reimbursement benefits. I enrolled in the Financial Planning Program at a local university. Those skills not only helped me clear my debt load, I found I enjoyed financial planning.
So I was on a path to the rest of my career.
But, I still wanted to be a photographer.
So, in my early 30’s, while working full-time in my banking job, I went to school at night to learn the trade. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I’d spend the next 20+ years working as a freelance sports photographer assisting some of the world’s best photographers cover high profile sporting events for a national magazine.
Ever wish you’d chosen a different career path?
Maybe you’ve experienced young-adult-debt-syndrome, too.
Maybe it’s even matured into raised-the-kids-paid-for-college-debt-illness. Without treatment you know what’s next? It’s called I-can’t-retire-debt-disease.
Or perhaps you’ve suddenly become wealthy through a successful career, sale of a business, an inheritance or by winning the lottery. Yet you may not be prepared for the surprising emotions, behaviors, and complexities that come with sudden riches.
I’ve helped many people with these challenges as well.
If you’re ready to make a change, you’ve come to the right place. I can help you figure out how to rejuvenate your career, nourish your finances back to health, and move forward with joy and peace toward a happier life.
For those who prefer a more traditional bio:
Deb Finnegan is a Martha Beck Certified Master Life Coach, a CFP®, and a CPA (inactive). She unlocks the barriers within ourselves that hold us back from enjoying our work and maintaining order with our personal financial circumstances.
Prior to starting her coaching practice, Deb spent 30 years in the financial services industry, predominately working with two top tier private wealth management firms, US Trust and Northern Trust, most recently as a Senior Vice President and Managing Director. Her career spanned both the northeast and the west coast of the United States.
During her career Deb led a team of multi-disciplined professionals and advised affluent individuals, executives, and their families on comprehensive wealth management planning strategies that included:
- investment management,
- trust and asset servicing,
- personal and commercial lending structures,
- diversification and protection methods for concentrated stock positions, and
- multi-generational wealth transfer techniques.
Deb worked for BankBoston (now a part of Bank of America) as a commercial lender in the Media and Communications industry. During the tech boom in Silicon Valley she was a High Technology commercial lender, working directly with venture capitalists by financing their acquisitions of private companies. While working for Robertson Stephens, an investment bank, she advised executives as they monetized their wealth, which was often concentrated in a single stock position after an initial public offering or the sale of a business.
Although not practicing any longer, Deb became a CPA (inactive) while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
For more than 20 years, Deb has simultaneously freelanced as a photographer, assisting some of the world’s best photographers cover high profile sporting events for a national magazine.
Deb earned her B.S. in Accountancy and an A.S. in Management from Bentley University.
Throughout her career, she’s served in leadership positions on several non-profit boards with an emphasis on youth development, education and the arts.
Deb resides on the west coast with her husband, John, a sports photographer.