From the boardroom of Australia’s biggest banks as a leading Financial Advisor to qualifying three times for the Ironman World Championships despite health issues, Amanda Thompson has never been afraid of a challenge.
As an Award-winning Financial Advisor and Founder of Endurance Financial, Amanda has, for the past 17 years, specialised in offering strategic financial guidance for individuals and businesses with complex matters requiring more than textbook advice.
As a dynamic keynote speaker Amanda is able to captivate audiences with her intelligent wit and real life stories. She is particularly driven to help men and women overcome the gender biases that stand in the way of personal achievement; lessons learned after thriving in typically male dominated environments.
Whether delivering financial advice or inspirational anecdotes, Amanda’s philosophy is to provide unique, accountable and comprehensive information that leads to successful outcomes. Her areas of expertise in business include investment strategy, wealth creation, self-managed superannuation, personal insurance and retirement strategies. Her areas of focus in life include resilience, determination and dedication to something bigger than self.
”I am a romantic. Not the fairytale type who believes a knight in shining an armour is going to come and whisk me to a perfect world. I am someone who believes that love will conquer all and good things will happen to good people. Over the years, my resolve has definitely been tested but as I always say, if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you. With change comes growth. This is how I have seen the last 20 years of my life (at least) – a journey of growth.
Throughout my life, I have experienced my fair share of challenges and lots of changes. From a brutal sexual assault at the age of 24, enjoying the rise to the top as one of the youngest leading Financial Planners within a major bank, becoming a single mum and business owner, to qualifying three times for the ironman world championships despite health issues, it has been a wild ride, to say the least.
It’s always been my mantra that if you get knocked to the ground, you have to get back up again. Through my personal stories and experiences, I hope to inspire others to find the power of resilience, determination, and dedication to something bigger than myself. Most of all, I hope to help others realise that love really does conquer all. Adversity is a given, but it is courage that is our choice.” Amanda Thompson
Can you give us an idea of who your clients are? How would you describe what you do?
“I create holistic blueprints for financial security that reflect the financial objectives and core values of my clients. My aim is to always deliver cutting edge advice in a way that resonates with my personal values of transparency, integrity and collaboration.”
At this young stage of my business (2.5 years), I am quite lucky that all of my clients have come from client referrals. When someone asks me who my ideal client is they are usually gauging how much money someone needs for me to take them on. It isn’t how I work. My ideal client is someone who is willing to pay a flat fee (not linked to the value of funds etc) for an ongoing relationship and individual advice. My greatest joy comes from seeing my clients achieve their financial goals and move with them onto the next one.
What is most challenging about what you do?
I always struggle with difficult conversations. Because I approach (every single) my clients as if they were family (that is I don’t give advice I wouldn’t to my nearest and dearest), I will always be emotionally attached to the clients I choose to take on. I feel their pain as well as share their joys. I recently had to discuss what a deceased client would have wanted for his two sons with his still-grieving wife. I had tears in my eyes as I did so (because I miss him greatly). Losing more clients as they get older (because my aim is to retain my clients for a lifetime (both theirs and mine)
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
Still many people, businesses included believing that they do not have a need for a Financial Planner as “my accountant does that”. Many accountants can offer business planning and strategy (proactive) but most arrangements are tax only. In a perfect world, you would have all professionals working “together” on and for your business. I am lucky that I have a great relationship with many of my client’s accountants and the results of our strategy show it.
What was your background before you launched Endurance Financial?
I worked in Business Financial planning for two of Australia’s big banks for 10 years. Much of my *corporate life was spent as not only the (gender) minority but also the youngest.
I was provided with so many opportunities and learnings but I was exposed to a sales mentality that never sat right with me. Like parenting advice, I have carried the behaviours and strategies that resonate with me throughout my career and have dedicated myself to not having to plan in ways that I don’t agree with again.
What’s the best business advice you were ever given?
Not just business advice but advice for life. My direction in life was gifted to me by a blind man – my grandfather. A successful barrister, who also happened to be fully blind. The advice was a simple “Don’t be defined by how others see you”. He was a man who refused to be defined by his disability. In fact, he was a man who refused to be defined by anyone at all.⠀ So, Amanda Thompson and Endurance Financial are both unique – because they are “ME” and the only way to truly appreciate it is to come and see for yourself.
How do you balance work and life?
No such thing for me. I absolutely love my job (always have). There hasn’t been a single day since I first started being a Financial Planner that I have not wanted to go to work. So work is a part of my life. Add being a single parent to two girls and engaging in the (ever so time-consuming) sport of Ironman triathlon and the word “balance” can not even be defined. HaHa
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out? At what point did you know you it was a right time to work for yourself?
When you know what you want, when you can FEEL it, you will know what to do. Define your own “Happily Ever After”. We all have that “go to, we just know the feeling”. Some will say they know it in their heart, for me it is a mix between butterflies and sharp pain in my tummy – I call it that gurgling feeling. And it is at that point that I “just know”. In the case of my business, it was (yet again) debating with my (you guessed it – male boss) on the strategy for a (terminally ill) client. I just knew that I was right and it was then that I believed in myself and my thoughts on servicing clients with specific and individual plans. I spent two days planning financially that I could make it work and deciding on what I was willing to go without to ensure that I could make ends meet for my two girls and me.
Busy startup entrepreneurs have lots of demands on their time and are often pulled in lots of different directions, do you have any tips for effective time management and what to focus on first?
I have always and still do, make a to-do list before I finish for the day. I go to bed knowing exactly what my day requires and wake up ready to go. The joy of physically crossing something off my list has not diminished over the last 20 years. Ensure that your to-do list has a mix of “too hard basket” tasks as well as the low hanging fruit (easily ticked off) otherwise your too hard basket will grow and stress you out.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
I truly believe that I am a role model to women (in my industry and other single mums in particular) including the two girls I am trying to bring up to be independent and true to themselves. In order to do this successfully, I need to be the very best version of myself I can.
How do you stay motivated?
In every aspect of my life, I am responsible for my achievements (or lack of). If you are looking for someone else or something to motivate you – you aren’t ready. I set myself goals. Both immediate and long term. Every time I reach the goal, I set a new one. In essence, I am quite competitive by nature but none more than with myself. I am always challenging myself to learn and grow.
Given that I am a “one-woman show” at the moment – I am a member of the Busines Club by Business Chicks which provides me with a regular avenue to ensure that I am accountable for my own actions. The women in this group are also my daily support and are all open with their time and care. It was a great investment I made and won’t let it go.