PAUL’S ADVICE FOR OTHER BUSINESSES
No matter what you may believe, no one can ever build a business on their own. We all need good people around us who we trust and who trust us. That’s the number one important factor for me. Without my team the company wouldn’t be here today. It’s also more enjoyable and more fun to share the journey and the success with others. While we are nearly all in a hurry to achieve success, experience teaches us the need to be patient. If you keep your head-down, work hard and make the correct choices it will happen. But be prepared to play the patience game. Sometimes we can let others influence us. If it feels correct to you, then go with it. Be careful who you seek guidance from. Not everyone will know or understand your business, your passion or your dreams. Trust yourself and follow your own gut. It tends to be our best internal guidance system. certified financial planner. With a further seven years under his belt, he decided it was time to gain experience in the brokerage area and joined a brokering company as a director for a year before leaving in 2011 to set up Pax Financial Planning.
“Everyone told me I was mad at the time. We were in the throes of the worst recession. Funds were on their knees. Markets had crashed and unemployment had sky-rocketed,” says Paul.
“However, I was confident that if I could provide a service that was simple, that people could understand, presented in plain English and with no BS or confusing jargon and where we put clients’ interests first, then we could really be successful. Thankfully that’s what we’ve done.”
The following year, he bought a brokerage in Co Limerick with five staff which helped increase his turnover and give him a presence outside of Dublin.
Setting up an internal software system for his own staff around life assurance contracts, to help them compare and contrast different financial products, proved so successful that other brokers began to ask if they too could buy it. Paul then developed a licensed software product with the support of the country’s six life assurance companies. Today that software system, Clearchoice, is used by more than 450 finance brokers around the country.
In 2016, Paul opened his third office in Cork and earlier this year, he set up Askpaul, a free social media-based financial commentary platform where consumers can send queries directly to him on any aspect of their finances.
“My aim was to demystify finances for the masses and to give people a platform to contact a financial expert directly without having to go through an intermediary, bank or a product provider,” he says. “This is proving a great success. We now have 6,500 followers and our videos are regularly watched by over 100,000 viewers.”
Paul has also built up a strong media profile with regular slots on TV3 and Q102 where he answers question from the public on all aspects of financial planning. What’s his long-term plan? “I’d love to see the day when Pax Financial Planning is in every county; every financial broker in the country is using our comparison software, Clearchoice; Askpaul is continuing to educate consumers about their finance; and that we would be employing lots more people. That would be my wish.” pax.ie; askpaul.ie; clearchoice.ie