At an age when most young people can barely think beyond their plans for Saturday night, Randall Gerber was plotting his path to entrepreneurship.
Gerber had been working as a financial advisor for two years when he wrote the business plan for what would become Gerber LLC. His goal was straightforward but lofty: to be the premier wealth management firm for business owners.
“I was in my early twenties at the time, and I guess I thought it would be a cool idea, ” says Gerber, the firm’s founder and principal. “But, now when I reread the plan, I’m a bit surprised at how intuitive, or simply lucky, I was at 23. I laid it all out, the company as it exists today. I didn’t say how we would get there, but I knew what type of company we would be.”
Gerber −which relocated from Worthington to downtown Columbus in July− is built on the premise that entrepreneurs require holistic wealth management plans, that every aspect of life is intertwined, meaning there’s no real battle for your time.
“Your work, home and personal lives aren’t in competition with one another,” Gerber says. “For this reason, we can’t just focus on your wallet. We need to know your life goals. Do you want to pay your child’s college tuition? Visit every continent by the time you’re 50? Buy and remodel the home your grandfather built?”
While those might seem like financial decisions, they’re not rooted in money, he says. They have more to do with living the life you want, and it’s Gerber’s job to help entrepreneurs −specifically first-generation entrepreneurs− identify and meet those goals.
To learn more about how Gerber does just that, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: What’s the first thing Gerber does when a new client comes in?
Randall Gerber: From the start we want them to begin thinking about their lives not from a day-to-day, obligations-based perspective, but from a long-term, “where do I want to go and why?” view of life. We feel strongly, and help our clients come to understand, that if they’re living their lives deliberately and with purpose in line with that long-term vision, the decisions they make in business and life will almost always be the right ones.
[M]: How does your process differ from those at other financial planning companies?
RG: What you often find is that a lot of financial advisors are concerned with “how much”— how much you bring to the table, how much your investments make, and how much stuff you want to have. Instead, we focus on the “how,” as in how you got here, how you want to spend your life, and how we can help you achieve your goals.
[M]: What would you say to an entrepreneur, especially a young one, who doesn’t think they need to be concerned with financial planning?
RG: It’s important to distinguish between what Gerber does and a traditional view of financial planning. We want to help all our clients delve into the reasons they’re entrepreneurs, and aid them in managing their relationships with their spouses, children, friends, and colleagues when they’re experiencing the high-demand growth stages of their business. Financial planning is just a small piece of that process.
[M]: Do you see the same issues or challenges across clients?
RG: No two clients are alike, but some face similar issues. In many cases, entrepreneurs aren’t making integrated decisions between their lives and business, and if they are, it’s accidental. Our job is to help them see that these areas of life are linked, and remind them that in making purposeful decisions they’ll benefit across it all.
To learn more about Gerber LLC, visit GerberFinancialAdvisors.com.