Feature Member of the Month: Julia Chung

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Can you please share a bit about yourself and your background?
I have been in the financial services industry for 20 years (my, that makes me feel ancient!), and head up an independent advice-only financial planning firm, JYC Financial. In April, we changed our name to Spring Financial Planning, as our team and mandate have grown. I also lead a virtual business services firm, Admin Slayer, which provides administration, bookkeeping, and social media services on a by-the-minute basis. I created Admin Slayer because I really needed it for the financial firm!

I’ve co-authored two ebooks, Women & Money and The Art of Delegation, and am in the process of creating two more with my partners. I enjoy writing, and have written for West, Gazette, and Powherhouse magazines. I volunteer about once a year for Junior Achievement BC, going into classrooms to teach children about finance and business.

I’m also a mother to a 21 year old young man, who is almost entirely independent. I love music, particularly live music of all kinds, and attempt to get to concerts whenever I can stay up that late.

What would you say is your biggest personal or professional success to date?
I’m really proud of the work I’ve done in both my companies. My goal is always to help the people around me find success on their own terms, whatever that looks like. Refining that goal and creating resources for people who want to grow their business, improve and understand their finances, become great financial planners, or just have a flexible job that helps them support their family in a way that works for them – that is where I am doing my best work, every day.

Can you tell us something about your industry that most people don’t know, or that you wish they knew?
I might be hard-pressed to tell TCC members something they don’t know about financial services – I see lots of industry folks here! Advice-only financial planning is pretty rare, however. The one thing that many people don’t realize is that when I say I’m a “Financial Planner”, it doesn’t mean that I work at a large financial institution, that I manage investments or insurance. It means that I provide just planning, what some might refer to as “advanced planning”, working through cash flow, income planning, tax efficiency, legal and estate matters, behavioural finance, and more. The management of wealth, insurance, tax and legal strategies are handled by external advisors the clients choose.

On the virtual business services side, sometimes people think that I run a team of robots – which is far from the case. “Virtual” simply means that the team member is not physically in front of you, but they’re definitely human beings. When people question how they can work with a business without being in the same space as the business owners, I often ask: What part of the job involves touching you? It’s usually not as much as people think.

What motivates you?
This is a pretty “Pollyanna” answer but it’s true: helping people achieve their version of success motivates me. I do believe that we all have something outstanding to do here and helping people figure out what that is and how to do it really gets me excited.

What is your vision for success in your own life?
When I’ve built up my companies to the point that they mostly run themselves, the people within those companies are empowered every day to achieve, and I can choose to work however, whenever, and wherever I want (or not!), that’ll be success. Oh, and a rescue goat farm on the Sunshine Coast. Probably managed by other people because I don’t know a thing about raising goats. I just like them.

How do you spend your time when you need to relax?
I’m still working on that one…

Why did you become a member of Terminal city Club?
My office is in South Surrey, but many of my clients and colleagues are downtown. I generally spend 1-2 days a week in Vancouver attending meetings. I became a member after I kept finding myself in coffee shops and office lobbies, checking emails and trying to be somewhat productive. The Club is a home base for me when I’m downtown. I can take a break, spend an hour writing, take phone calls in one of the phone rooms, grab a lunch, have a coffee with a colleague, and even pick up something to take home for dinner.

What have you enjoyed the most about the Club so far?
Having the home base is great. Everyone at the club is welcoming and friendly. I feel very comfortable there. I’ve also hit the gym a couple of times on Saturdays (so inconsistently) and look forward to getting some kind of routine going. Eventually.

Do you have advice for our younger TCC members trying to make their way in the world?
Ignore the “find your passion and you’ll make money” line of thinking. What if your passion is reading fiction? It’s one of mine but so far I haven’t found that it earns me money (although I do spend money). Find out what you’re good at. When people seek you out, what are they asking you to help them with? That’s where you’ll find your thing. Also: sadly, spending less, and saving more really works. All the other stuff is window dressing and does nothing for you. ■