Alex L. Vasichek
I grew up in a small community in central North Dakota. My dad was a John Deere dealer. I grew up working on farm equipment as a mechanic for the business. When I decided to be a financial advisor, I still wanted to stay connected in the agricultural community. I felt there was a large disservice being done between financial advisors and farmers. Our objective is to correct that to give the level of service and understanding our clients deserve. I have been in the financial services industry since I was 19 where I interned at Northwestern Mutual. When I was 21, I left NML and came over to mass mutual where I eventually started Elevate Financial. In my five years, I have been Advisor of the Year three times for Mass Mutual Central. My brother and I also do some real estate investing on the side.
Take us through a typical day in your life.
I wake up with my son around 6 a.m. and get him ready for the day. This can be challenging at times but we both love our time getting ready and listening to Drake. After that, I am in the office where I have a quick meeting with my staff to get an update on what needs to be tackled right away. I then return emails and make calls for a few hours. The afternoons are generally packed with meetings. These meetings can vary from simply setting up an IRA to doing complex estate planning to doing succession planning for a business. I generally work until around 6 p.m. when I head home to spend some family time with my wife and son.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Trying to run too lean. I wish I would have hired staff sooner to help me get to the next level.
What keeps you up at night?
My growing business. Making sure we are doing everything we can for our clients.
What would you give a TED Talk on?
Selling relationships. I think one thing that has set me apart from the competition is my ability to build a trusting relationship with my clients. Business has changed so much and become more transactional, which in some ways is great, however, in my business, I think the human touch is important.
How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?
I think there are a lot of different perceptions out there about financial advisors. Some people think of the guys on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange yelling buy and sell orders all day. Some people think we sit and analyze charts. Some people think we really do nothing at all. The reality is a lot of our time is spent in front of clients going over concepts and solutions to their particular situation.
What’s one thing the local business community could do to help you/your organization?
Help get our name out there. Come like Elevate’s Facebook page and Instagram posts. Our goal is to reach as many people as we can.
If you could thank one person who’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question. I have to credit two people on this. The first is my father. He taught me so much in my life but especially in business. He taught me to always keep your word, always think of it from the client’s point of view, work hard, be empathetic and be humble. The second person whom I hold in the same respect is Mark Anderson. He’s been a great friend and mentor throughout my whole career. He taught me how to build a business culture. How to be tenacious when necessary.
What’s your “why”?
My biggest goal in my life is to build this business large enough to keep going after I retire. I want to be the premier agricultural and business planning firm in the area. One day, if he would like, I would want my son to carry on the business.
What part of your job would you use an “easy button” on, if you could?
Back end paperwork! In finance, there is so much back end paperwork. If I could hit the easy button, it would be to have it handled all the time.
What’s one characteristic you believe every great leader should possess?
I think every great leader possess passion for what they believe is right, whether they hold it in our are very vocal. I think every leader has passion.
Who’s a leader you’re studying or paying attention to right now?
Gary V! I am in the middle of his last book. I like his in your face approach and attitude on trying to raise everyone up around you.