Aubrey Mills: Teaching Others to Live Life on Their Own Terms
This month, Finance Monthly caught up with Aubrey Mills – a mother, Ms. California Woman of Achievement 2018 and a Business Development Leader at World Financial Group. Below, Aubrey tells us about her passion for educating families, individuals and businesses in ways to make money, save money, and stay out of debt. What does […]
This month, Finance Monthly caught up with Aubrey Mills – a mother, Ms. California Woman of Achievement 2018 and a Business Development Leader at World Financial Group. Below, Aubrey tells us about her passion for educating families, individuals and businesses in ways to make money, save money, and stay out of debt.
What does your daily work consist of and what do you believe you bring to your clients?
Most of my time is spent building relationships with clients and associates. I don’t want to just hire people and have them work for me; I want them to build careers and lives they are proud of. I want to get to know my clients so that I can best guide them on financial decisions. Learning how people work or what makes us think differently was important, not just so I could be a better saleswoman, but so I could better serve my clients. I studied Human Nature and Communication, so I could better understand people. I’m currently learning to better understand other cultures because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to be educated financially. I teach free classes to the community and I want to be as effective as possible.
What attracted you to the insurance field and what drives you to push further the boundaries of your work?
I never wanted to work in finance. I came from a low-middle income family and had always assumed that finance people were older men. I once heard a woman speak about finances and I remember two things about what she said: she was raised by a single mom (I’m a single mom) and how hard it was for her growing up that way, and the Rule of 72. It was one of those awakening moments. I didn’t want my children to feel deprived growing up. The Rule of 72, or compound interest, showed me how little I needed to save for retirement and my children’s college fund and how fast my debt was doubling. I have had friends whose spouses didn’t have life insurance and they suddenly passed away. I couldn’t stand to just sit by and continue to watch that happen. Money doesn’t bring a spouse back, but it allows the family to properly grieve.
You commonly work with military families; what challenges are presented for these clients, particularly in the insurance sphere, and how do you help them overcome these?
My biggest obstacle is conveying to them that the insurance they have will not necessarily remain the same when they exit the military. Most of our service members are young and they get a basic ‘money talk’ when they enter, but this is not sufficient. I believe strongly in doing whatever we can for our service members, not just to equip them for keeping us safe and free, but to have a rich and full life after they leave the military. I don’t feel like we are doing enough – not even close. Many of our service members join right out of high school and they now have an income they didn’t have before, so of course they want to spend it. I know when I was aged 18-20, all I did was work, so I can then shop. But this wouldn’t have been the case if I had known what I know now, 13 years later.
Education and getting young people to see the value in saving are two of the most important things I can provide them with.
What have been some of the most difficult issues you have dealt with alongside clients?
Anytime I have an older client with multiple investments, it gets tricky. They have a fear of losing money and a fear of change. Even if they aren’t in guaranteed accounts, they have a hard time switching. That’s where the friendship and rapport that was built comes in. You really must know who they are and how they communicate. You want to build trust, so you can have those hard conversations.
As a thought leader in this field, what would you say must change to ensure a fair and just future for your clients when it comes to insurance?
First of all – be you. Whatever that means. People like you need help from you. When I first started in the industry, I thought I had to fit a mold. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to be unapologetically me that things changed. I love to laugh. I use humour to ease tension and those hard conversations. I’m a bit goofy and I’ve learned that it makes it easier to help others learn as opposed to being uptight and rigid. So just be you.
Secondly – integrity, 100% of the time. I see people come into the industry and they get so blinded by the amount of income you can make, and they chase it. The business that pays is the business that stays. You can’t keep clients and agents if you don’t have integrity and heart.