The latest installment in our regular Q&A spotlight session where we sit down with members of the FJY team to find out a little bit more about what exactly they do here and what makes them tick.
This Month: Senior Financial Advisor Alexis Grason, CFP ®, RICP ®
What is something that your colleagues and clients can count on you to bring to FJY Financial?
Vulnerability. One of my most treasured and humbling approaches to life is just “showing up,” a coined concept from Brené Brown. I strive to be present in all moments- comfortable ones and uncomfortable ones. When the commitment is just to show up, then you release the pressure valve. There is an opportunity to be authentic and unattached to a specific outcome. Whether it is just showing up for a 6 AM Bootcamp class to get my butt kicked, for a feedback session with my new team, or opening up to new relationships with clients, I am engaged. It may result in a triumphant success, bloody failure or something in between. Either way, I am exposed, insecurities and all, seeking connection, collaboration, and growth.
When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you great up?
Pediatrician or teacher. My mom was a teacher for almost 40 years. I grew up playing teacher in her classroom, standing at the blackboard, chalk in hand, in front of a class of pretend students. Imagine my rude awakening when I was a camp counselor and had to control a room full of energized kids. I quickly learned to enjoy smaller groups and babysitting! Then came my pediatrician dream, which came to a halt when I suffered through college chemistry and barely made it out alive. That was right before I discovered financial planning and how it combined two fulfilling disciplines: relationships and analytics. And then the REAL journey began…
What have you always wanted to try, but have never done?
SKYDIVING! I tried it indoors, but that only made me want to leap into (or out of) the real thing even more. A favorite client once told me, cross off one item each year rather than waiting for the typical bucket list approach at retirement. THAT is how I am living my life!
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Quiet by Susan Cain and so many others! Reading is an activity to stretch my thinking and challenge existing paradigms. It fuels my endeavors for growth. Quiet was one of my most memorable reads because it clarified why I seek and savor solitude, reflection, and uninterrupted focus time. I am an ambivert, which means fulfillment to me is a cadence of extrovert and introvert traits. My husband is one of the most introverted people I have ever met, and this book helped me understand myself and him (and half the population!) better. I also enjoyed Susan Cain’s writing and overall ability to challenge trending patterns of thinking. For example, data supports the open office concept not really being better for collaboration. Maybe I will get another spotlight to share my top 10 books!
Where is your favorite place to be?
My new three-season porch. It is not finished yet as plywood still lines the floor, but we dragged in the lime green Adirondack chairs from the deck. Time sits still out there as I enjoy the cool breeze of the summer nights or the fresh morning air. It has become my new favorite place, combining two joys for me: being outside listening to birds and crickets (without the bugs!), and relishing quiet time of solitude to read and reflect. Enjoying a cup of coffee out there with my husband before my daughter wakes up is the best way to start a Saturday morning!
Before working at FJY, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
At 15, I got a worker’s permit to obtain employment at Kings Dominion. My mom drove I-95 every day of the summer to take me to and from work (45 minutes each way). I committed to working all summer long, as summer employees received a bonus if you made it to Labor Day. I have been a babysitter, a waitress, and a retail clerk at various stores, but this job was the toughest for me. They bumped me around from place to place, and the summer sun on the black asphalt was fierce. What could be worse than the heat? The embarrassment of an insecure 15-year-old girl adorning a required uniform of navy-blue shorts down to her knees (gasp!), a white polo shirt, hat, and white Keds. I made it through the summer, but tried something else the next year!
What is your favorite part about working for FJY so far?
First and foremost, Jake’s competitiveness (though he doesn’t always win!)
Laurie’s graceful balancing act of wearing multiple hats.
Jon’s transparency about the business’ structure and strategic plan.
Marjorie’s dedication to passing on her wealth of knowledge to the next generation of planners.
Larry’s healthy respect for compliance…and his accent.
Jon Ludwig’s “I just got out of college and know how to make you feel old” sense of humor and slang.
Jessica’s love for all things process oriented (this comes straight from the heart!)
Alan’s ability to go off on any tangent and come up with a good idea about ANYTHING.
Onari’s enormous union jack flag behind his desk…and his accent.
Kelly’s understated confidence in all things FJY.
Evan’s love of traveling even if he does pack the night before for a two-week trip!
Paulette’s energy and willingness to always help (or compliment my shoes!)
Matt’s dry sarcasm about “Alexa.”
Angie’s ability to take FJY to the next level.
Shelley’s warmth and talent to make anyone feel comfortable.
Matt Lazor’s sincere curiosity for ALL questions.
PS – I will miss the interns!