Under The Advice Of My Public Relations Department…

So, here’s the thing. I’m kind of a raw personality. Some people pretty much hate me instantly. Most don’t, but some do.

I once had a person tell me they wanted to punch me in the face, as I walked by because I was smiling. Some of you banker types may know what I’m talking about.

For me though, it’s just always been this way.

I also attract crazy. Maybe because I’m a little crazy too.  I don’t mind. Crazy sometimes just needs to be around crazy long enough to remember what it’s like to not feel judged — I get it.

Babies & kids? Have always loved me. Which in turn has made women think I’m adorable. It’s a quirky quality to have, but it’s worked for me. And babies & kids — well, I’ve never minded them. Which also comes in handy since I’m a dad now.

You can ask my wife if she thinks I’m still adorable.

Here’s the real mind bender though: none of these outcomes, no matter how much I try to change them, have ever been affected. They have a permanence in my life I’ve grown to accept. I don’t know what that energy is. I also don’t know why for the hundreds of other people I’ve met during my life; I fully remind them of their “best friend” from their hometown or “brother.” Or, why my alter ego twin is usually named Steve or Mike. Maybe you have that same karma but they call you Tina or Frank, which would probably be weird to mostly everybody except my cross-dressing readers.

I’ve learned to just accept what is sometimes.

As it is, I’ve realized that life is a riddle. An enigma; which is actually not as cool as it sounds frankly. It leads to a lot of confusion, and inner turmoil. And usually the people who stick with me, watching me work things out, as a result, truly are the ones who love me in the sense of the verb.

The good thing is, I’m usually fast enough, just smart enough, and I care enough to usually pull myself from the claws of absolute failure or death — sometimes simultaneously. And I’m a good person, which in this day and age, seems to be a harder commodity to find than rare earth material outside of China.

But under the advice of my PR department (of one) here’s what I’m also accepting: If I want to get to the goal line… If I want to make my company’s latest efforts shine… I’ve got to start thinking more specifically about my rants here. Because as it is right now, it’s our first iteration of a website & some services we’re offering. We’re small, but quickly growing. Technically we’re already #1 in the online wealth management space, before we’re even getting started. But there’s nothing revolutionary in that.

So, is it funny when I say Financial Advisor websites have too many white people? I think so. Most of you did too. And are we right? Abso-freaking-lutely.

And, should I keep typing words to garner attention? Abso-positively. 

But is it going to get me that New York Times or Businessweek profile I want to show my wife & kids? Well, results may vary.

And according to my PR guru  — if I’m going to show you how we plan to change the face of finance, I guess I’d better make sure I’m a bit more PG. I guess I’d better start making jokes about pirate movies being rated ‘Rrrrrr’, instead of using explicatives. And, no more cartoon $%#! words either.

The truth is my tact hasn’t been thoughtless. I’ve always tried to model myself a bit after Dan Lyons take on Steve Jobs. Do you remember Fake Steve Jobs? Please, tell me you do. A CEO gone off the rails. I always loved how we, the readers, always felt like we were getting an insiders view into this very controlled, very polished message — a world where the people were actually very raw & real, quirky and quick. And of course, it was also hilarious. I loved to let my imagination go wild about such things.

I’ll let Mr. Lyons tell you the story…

And I thought/I think the world of finance really deserves much of the same treatment.

I mean, sure we have Tyler Durden tearing down the walls at ZeroHedge. And Goldman’s elevator is always good for a laugh. But we really never had an off the rails advisor. With stories about the morning elevator ride. Stories about why Advisors leave firms & what can happen. Maybe even when I shared that story about the worst business advice I ever took. With each post that’s what I tried to deliver, even though I’m not a blogger

But maybe reality is better than my attempt at art.

If you read Will Alden’s piece over at the NY Times Dealbook about the former Bank of America Wealth Management President, Sallie Krawcheck, joining Twitter, you’ll see someone classy, vulnerable, human.

And, I figure I’ve been pretty vulnerable & human here for a while now. And, 2 out of 3 is pretty good, isn’t it?

My PR person knows I’m a project.

As it is, before we met I was following three simple steps: 1) get press 2) clean up messes 3) tell our story well. It’s been a work in progress. Especially steps 1-3.

And it’s tough for my PR person, because frankly our site still needs some work, our message isn’t crystal clear yet, and our product offering is muddled. Some of the wizardry I wanted with the scrolling of the website and photo galleries had to be cut, because we’re bootstrapped right now and if we keep waiting for perfection, we’d never launch. It’s okay, I love the challenge. It’s the entrepreneurial reality everyone should have a chance to face if they want. But as I grow, I’m learning some things around here have to change.

So, I’m not sure how things are going to be different from here. Maybe this is just more of me telling you what I’m going to tell you to get you to watch for the next post. What I do know is this: I want to be real. I ultimately want to show you that people in finance aren’t all super villains trying to add to their elephant foot collection or remodel the gift wrap room in their 400 room mansion at the Hamptons as their next conquest.

I want to show you that the solutions we all need, investors & advisers alike, the real solutions... they exist. Today. Right now. In various forms & stages of development. All someone needs to do is put them together. Because the reality is what we’re trying to put together at our company isn’t some insurmountable technological moat. That’s actually not what Wall Street needs.

Quite simply, Wall Street needs design & execution. By people who truly care about making a difference. Made by people from within the industry, not outsiders with an outsider’s perspective. And it’s not going to be solved with technology alone. With easy knobs, and fancy graphs, that’s really more of the same treatment. It’s going to take heart & soul to re-imagine everything, right down to how you sign your forms.

And, with my hand in my face after the conversations with our incoming Public Relations Department head, I’m fully realizing that if don’t get to tell my story to more people than my readers, what’s the point in the grand scheme of things? What are we sacrificing for? To stop when we’re just beginning?

So, I guess I need to go back to the drawing board here at I heart Wall Street & think more about things. And, maybe shave. At least, under the advice of my Public Relations Department…

And in the meantime, you can always come say hello.


4 thoughts on “Under The Advice Of My Public Relations Department…

  1. Joe Calhoun


    You don’t need to change the style on the rant posts. You just need to add more posts that are on topic about the service. You need to add more content that directly relates to investing. You can even rant in those if you leave out the extras you add to the rant posts. Anger is good but it needs to be channeled. I can write a great rant and never use a curse word. I still use weird cultural references that only some get and I still use humor, but its safe for mainstream. You know I link you whenever I can but some things definitely make me pause. Give me an angry post about standard Wall Street practices that is still serious and you’ll get better results. Just my two cents; you know I love you, brother….

  2. iheartWallSt

    Thanks, Joe. I hear you completely. Now, tell me — Talladega Nights is off-limits in this world? Because that could be a deal breaker… 🙂

Comments are closed.