Meet Cory Nichols
Cory is the co-CEO of Yes Life Companies and operates Yes Life Financial, a non-traditional financial coaching firm that offers one-on-one advice in a subscription format for just $25/month. Cory is the go-to for just about everything. Retirement planning? Check! Student loan questions? Got it! Building a deck? He’s done that, too. Cory brings an MBA, Fortune 500 experience and small business executive experience with him.
What should I look for in a financial advisor?
When you're really working with a financial advisor, I always tell people we want to be clear about where compensation comes from. Financial services, one of those odd ones, to me, it's kind of like health care. We don't necessarily know what we pay for. Don't be afraid to ask the question of your advisor. How do you get paid? Where does it come from? Is that in my best interest? I think that's always a great place to start when finding a financial advisor.
What is the best way to ensure that I stick to my budget?
Well, first, get rid of your budget. I know that sounds odd. The issue with budgeting for most people is they only include the big items, housing, car, gas. They never consider the fact that it's always somebody's birthday, or it's a holiday or something is going to break in the car, the house or a medical bill. And so what I encourage people to do is actually look backwards, do an expense tracker and say, hey, look, if I'm going to start fresh today, what do I spend on average, every month. And let me do that by looking at the past three months worth of expenses. I think it helps people have a little bit more of like a personal realization about where they spend too much money.
What should I do to prepare for a possible recession?
So this is one of those ones where in my opinion is less is more. But the reality is, a recession is probably coming. It's not really a matter of if, it's just a matter of when, but that doesn't mean that you need to be doing anything else or anything different. If you've got your emergency fund, you're good there. If you've got your, retirement set up and it's invested appropriately, don't change anything. It's really stay the course.
Can you share with our listeners your most successful or one of your favorite networking experiences that you've had?
I met an individual who owned a business, gave him a tour of my school's campus at the time and it was a relatively casual conversation but ended with here's my card and that was it. We walked our separate ways. I think I saw him like once or twice the rest of the semester. But other than that we didn't really interact at all. And then I graduated from school, went to work and one day, like two years later, I got a phone call from this business owner and he said, I'm looking for somebody to run a branch of my business. I'd like to hire you will you relocate back to Richmond? And that's where I'm from now.
How do you stay in front of or nurture your network in your community?
In the last couple of years, social media has become more prevalent than it used to be. And so as a result, you can do a certain amount of nurturing by just staying top of mind by constantly engaging with them on social. So it might be as simple as a like or comment on some of their posts. And then I made a much more conscious effort to identify strategic people inside my network, and really make an effort to actually spend one hour with them maybe once a quarter.
What advice would you offer business professionals looking to grow their network?
You got to get out there and be authentic and just do it a lot. And so that's hard work. Like I think some people just think networking comes natural to some people but I don't know anybody who networking comes 100% natural to them. They may be good at it, but that doesn't mean it just came naturally. Like it's probably just that they put themselves in a position to do it enough times and eventually they just get better at it. And so like anything there's kind of this art and the science of it.
Digital networking or traditional networking - which do you find more value in?
I think if you'd asked me like 24 months ago, I probably would have said, traditional in person shaking hands networking. But I have really focused my attention from a business perspective on social media networking and I really think I've like started to see just how powerful it is. And so there's a balance between both but I think if I was forced to put a vote into one category, I think I would say I have to go digital. Because I think the power of it is just going to be astronomical going forward.
If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of, less of, or differently with regards to your professional career?
I would tell myself to take a lot more risk. I was kind of raised to think to go the corporate route, you get your nine to five, make your 401k and make your contributions and 40 years later, you're able to hang it up and enjoy the good life. And I went that route. I went that route for about eight years. After I was terminated from a job, I went down the path of going on the entrepreneurial route and going into finance.
We've all heard of the six degrees of separation. Now, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you can do it in the six degrees?
Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National. That is like the dream place to play. It's the only thing I know to be on my father's bucket list. And so I have it on my list, like I got to get myself and my father to be able to play Augusta National Golf Course. Whatever it takes. So if it's just six degrees, then yes, I would. I should be running for it like tomorrow. Find a way to get get the old man and myself on Augusta National to play around a golf.
Any final word of advice for our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
I think the biggest one is just around being authentic. And I say that, knowing that I still struggle to be my authentic self. And I think that changes over time as we evolve and grow as people. But there's a great book that I recently read, which is called Own Your Weird by Jason's Zook, and I think he just does a really good job of demonstrating that when you are your authentic self whether odd or weird that as that is you attract people who find you enjoyable and those are people who are more likely to support you and to recommend you and to do business with you and all those things that you want to have from networking.
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