When Gary Williams says he helps his clients from all angles – he means it, and he has the experience to back it up. A lot of people may not know, but Gary has a lifetime of experience before his work in financial services, a storied past that includes foster care, juvenile hall, and placement facilities all before he was eighteen years of age. With mentorship and guidance from the right support, however, he was able to turn his life around and obtain his higher education, including two real estate certifications and two associate degrees, one in Business Administration and another in Social and Behavioral Science.
All this experience makes Gary an incredibly well rounded businessman, and one of the most uniquely placed accountants and bookkeepers available today. On top of his personal financial services, he also specializes in credit repair, life, accident, and health insurance. Gary also works with his clients to structure their businesses in order to help them obtain business credit and loans to fund their future endeavors.
“What inspired me to get into financial services was watching my mom work incredibly hard, yet watching it not pay off. We are taught to go to school and get a job or a career, but being in this industry showed me how most people who took that route often have no retirement because they lacked financial literacy and the necessary tools to set them up for the future. I told myself I will learn how to become knowledgeable so I can educate my sons on financial literacy since I was not taught that in school or my home growing up,” Gary outlines.
Aside from his sons and the desire to learn financial literacy, Gary was also motivated by the desire to run his own business, and therefore his own life. His work history has been less than traditional, as he admits he’s been fired from almost every job he’s ever had.
“Being fired led me to start my own business. I also feel if I have a successful business I can leave a legacy behind to my two sons, Carmello and Cameron. And I want to do something I love and build my own business instead of someone else’s,” Gary remarks.
Even with all the motivation behind his business, Gary admits that it’s not all smooth sailing when you work for yourself. Like any entrepreneur, it was a struggle to navigate the high start up costs and lack of capital. Finding the funding, as well as learning to market and brand the business, and therefore yourself, is always difficult in the beginning. Doing so, however, allows you to find your target market, gain customers, and find trusted clients.
“Some of my biggest challenges were listening to people who never opened or ran a business tell me I couldn’t be successful and I would fail. It can be hard to leave people you thought would be in your life forever so you can be successful,” Gary says.
With the proper support system, something Gary knows inside and out, you can get your mind in the proper place for success. Beyond having others believe in you, Gary believes the source of success comes from inside.
“If you don’t believe in yourself, why would anyone else believe in you, your ideas or vision? No one sees what you see. These are your goals, dreams and visions. Get away from the people who tell you you can’t do it, your business will fail and those who are trying to bring you down because they’re scared to start a business because they fear failing. I would tell them to fail forward,” Gary says.
In the coming months, Gary is branching out into the nonprofit industry, centered around a new clothing brand that brings awareness to mental health and autism. With his own diagnosis, Gary knows that he is the one who can break the stigmas around these areas.
“I will show everyone even though society deems mental health and autism as a disability, I didn’t use it as a crutch for people to feel sorry for me, and ultimately, I am not my diagnosis,” Gary says.