DMV CEOFinancesI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1764 – Advisor Focuses on Financial Planning for Families

Podcast Interview with Cortney Heykoop

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In episode IAM875 of the CEO Chat podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Cortney Heykoop, a financial advisor and founder of Cloverleaf Wealth Strategies. Cortney is passionate about financial planning for families in Loudoun County, Virginia, with a focus on the special needs market. Her passion for this market grew after adopting a special needs child 14 years ago and experiencing firsthand the isolation and lack of support parents felt as they struggled with daily challenges and complex issues.

In the interview, Cortney talks about the importance of having a trusted advisor when it comes to financial planning, especially for families with special needs. She shares her approach to financial planning for families, which involves understanding their unique needs and goals and creating a personalized plan to help them achieve financial security. Cortney also discusses the challenges of being a financial advisor and the rewards of making a positive impact on the community.

Cortney shares her CEO hacks and nuggets, which include networking and building relationships with other professionals in the industry. She also defines what being a CEO means to her, which involves being a leader, innovator, and problem solver.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the importance of financial planning for families, especially those with special needs, and the role of a trusted advisor in helping them achieve financial security. Cortney's experience and passion for helping families make this episode a must-listen for anyone interested in financial planning or working with families in the special needs market.

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Transcription:

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Cortney Heykoop Teaser 00:00

In independent living, whatever the case may be, those are always extremely difficult times. Having a resource there of people that get it, I always say sympathy is not the same as empathy, right? I can empathize with these parents. I know what it feels like.

Intro 00:19

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Or what I like to call the CB Nation architects, those that are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focusing on knowing thy numbers. I could hear the phrases from Mr. Wonderful on Shark Tank, and if you understand or don't understand exactly what numbers is, think finance, economics, accounting, capital, investment, funding, bootstrapping, anything that's around numbers. So, We have to understand how important it is to know your numbers and how important that is for you to forecast, make decisions, and to be able to truly strategize around your business and do that successfully.

Things are gonna be a little bit different, obviously, this month. So look for CEO hacks and CEO nuggets and interviews that focus around this. But more than everything else, make sure that you know your numbers because they're extremely important to the life of your business.

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Cortney Heykoop of Cloverleaf Wealth Strategies. Cortney, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Cortney Heykoop 02:12

Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 02:14

No problem. Super excited to have you on as well. Before we jumped into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Cortney so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

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Cortney focuses on financial planning for families in Loudoun County, Virginia with a passion for the special needs market. This passion grew after adopting a special needs child 14 years ago. With the arrival of her daughter, she experienced first hand the isolation and lack of support parents felt as they struggled with daily challenges and complex issues.

The importance of a trusted advisor has never been more evident. Courtney works daily to be that trusted advisor and a resource for the families she works with within the community. Cortney, great to have you on. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Cortney Heykoop 02:56

I sure am.

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Gresham Harkless 02:57

Awesome. Well, let's do it then. Cortney, I truly appreciate you again for being on, and just to kind of kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take us through what I call your CEO story, what'll let you get started with your business?

Cortney Heykoop 03:11

Sure. So my business is only two years old, however, I've been in this industry for over 20 years. I'm not gonna say exactly how many are over, because then you'll know my age. But I started doing finance work for a local bank, and there I did everything from savings accounts to 401ks, commercial lending, and mortgage lending. I've done it all. The investment side, the financial services side is definitely where my interest lies. But really the goal for me starting my own company and being a CEO, is that desire to be a true fiduciary.

So in this industry, we are fiduciaries for our clients. But working for a corporation that has its own profits or has its own partnerships with different companies, a lot of times I was restricted to offer the clients only what was available to me, but as an independent, I'm able to go out and find the best products for my clients. That way I can truly meet those fiduciary standards that are asked of for our industry.

It helped make me be able to go to sleep at night knowing I did the right thing.

Gresham Harkless 04:21

Cortney, I definitely appreciate that. You mentioned the word fiduciary, and correct me if I'm wrong, fiduciary means that you're not necessarily beholden to one specific I guess product or service. Because you have that expertise, you're able to kind of have the full treasure chest that you can choose from.

Cortney Heykoop 04:35

Yes. So fiduciary means I'm legally bound to do what's in my client's best interest, right? So if I'm working for a company that has their own products, there's going to be some type of incentive or requirement for me to sell their products only or their products first. But as an independent, I can go out and get my clients whatever they need and can structure my business to be able to meet those needs.

So when a client needs life insurance, I can see who has the best product for them on the market, and I'm not beholden to just one company or my investment client. You know, if one money manager is better for them than another, I'm not tied in any way. So that was the real big push for me to go independent plus wanting to be my own boss. A lot to say for that as well.

Gresham Harkless 05:30

Exactly. There's a lot to say for that indeed. I appreciate you for doing that and I know you touch touched on being able to kind of make sure your client's needs are being put first.

Could you take us through how exactly that process works and how you serve your clients and some of those I guess, solutions that you provide for them?

Cortney Heykoop 05:49

Sure. So I'm a registered investment advisor, a financial advisor. I do financial planning for clients. When we go through that process, sometimes clients need to kind of start from the bottom of their financial house and get the, you know, life insurance or disability insurance, long-term care insurance. Something like that. Or, you know, we may be looking at focusing on their retirement goals or educational goals or wherever they are in their financial journey, on their financial path, and making sure that those plans are in place and that we are working them through that.

So depending on what they need you know, if it's insurance or investment or financial planning, I do that in-house, you know, if they need a mortgage loan or something like that. Although I can help assist them with questions, to ask things to look for, I refer that type of stuff out because that's not what I do anymore. But my holistic approach, I take a look at everything. I'm not just looking at their investments, I'm looking at their whole financial picture and working on a plan for them. Like you said earlier, I do have a large amount of clients that are special needs families which adds additional levels of planning for them.

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I work for special needs families, individuals, families and businesses, whether they're special needs or not. With small businesses, I can help them with their group benefits and group retirement plans as well. So it really comes down to that holistic background. You know, being able to talk to them about the CDs they have at the bank or the home equity loan that they have or don't have, or how we need to structure things. That background really helps me as I work on their financial plan with them.

As a special needs parent. I I know firsthand how isolating it can be and how challenging it can be. It can also be incredibly rewarding as well. I mean there's always that silver lining, but especially for parents that are either in the beginning or working through some type of transition, whether their child is transitioning into school or out of school or in independent living, whatever the case may be, those are always extremely difficult times. Having a resource there of people that get it, I always say sympathy is not the same as empathy, right? I can empathize with these parents. I know what it feels like. You know, I have a toolbox for my clients.

You know if you're looking into group homes and have you talked to this person, or, you know, there are other resources within the community beyond just my services that I can help connect my clients to, and it's kind of vice versa. They've connected me to things that I'll need for my child or that I can think of that I can refer to another client. So it's an incredibly supportive community. I really enjoy, I've had some young families that have come to me and they're just starting out, so they don't have all of those resources.

I'm able to pair them with people in the community that can help them find the resources and the support they need, and that's just as rewarding as helping them with their financial plan, you know.

Gresham Harkless 09:23

Yeah. So would you consider that to be like your secret sauce? The thing you feel kind of sets you apart is that ability to bring all those things together.

Cortney Heykoop 09:31

Yeah, so I think my biggest differentiator is this special needs aspect and my ability and desire to work within that community. I mean one of the biggest keywords is holistic financial advisors, right? Well, how many financial advisors have worked in all of those different sectors versus just know of them and ask of them, right? So I think that I do truly have the ability to provide that holistic approach to whether a client needs help with budgeting or debt management or their home.

I can guide them beyond just what you learn in a textbook as you're studying. I've done that and I've worked in it. So I do have that holistic approach, but within my community here in Loudon, I think it's my special needs aspect that really brings people to me specifically versus another advisor, because that's where I'm in the pocket. That's where I operate best and really enjoy working with those families that are in unique circumstances, you know?

Gresham Harkless 10:45

All right, Cortney, I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Cortney Heykoop 10:56

So, you know, when I was thinking about this before we met today, I think the easy answer would be to be to say my CRM. Right? I mean it keeps everything in order for me. I love it. I can't live without it. I say if it's not in the CRM, it didn't happen.

But really, I think what makes me the most successful business owner, mom, and financial advisor is actually prayer and meditation for me. Taking, you know, those few minutes in the morning to stretch and do some yoga and kind of go through and center myself and get myself kind of in that right place. The same thing at the end of the day. I cannot suggest meditation if you're not God-fearing and you don't feel like praying. Meditation is amazing. So whatever that form of centering is, I think is really what makes me the most effective.

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Gresham Harkless 11:56

Absolutely. Absolutely. I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. This could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Cortney Heykoop 12:10

Very early in my career and even now, I was following up with some people that I sent letters to, you know, so there's still that element of cold calling or warm calling follow up, whatever you wanna call it that we do in the sales environment. I was working with a gentleman who was my assistant. Years and years ago, I brought something back from a training class for him because he hated to cold call. Like, it just like made him so nervous and just reaching out to people and not being willing to face that rejection.

This quote that I brought back from the seminar I'd been at is some will, some won't. So what, who's next? Right. I hung that in the back room of my bank at the time. That was like our mantra. I mean, if we have to do cold calling or asking people about things, you just have to be able to let the rejection roll off your back because they're not rejecting you. Right?

Gresham Harkless 13:15

Right.

Cortney Heykoop 13:16

So, Years later, I went back to see him. He was a branch manager on his own, and his license plate was SW, SW, SW next, or N next. It was like, oh my gosh, you know somebody listened, right?

Gresham Harkless 13:33

Yes.

Cortney Heykoop 13:33

But I think that's the golden nugget that for anybody getting into sales, you know, I mean, some people are gonna say no and just being able to come to terms with that being okay.

Gresham Harkless 13:48

Awesome. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question and it's the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on the show.

So, Courtney, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Cortney Heykoop 13:59

I started at the beginning and when you asked, you know, what is my story? I use the word independent, right? But for me, being a CEO, Is about independence, not just for my clients, but also for myself.

Gresham Harkless 14:14

Truly appreciate that, Courtney. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Cortney Heykoop 14:29

So you can find me on Facebook under Cortney Heykoop, a registered representative, or you can find me online at www.cloverleafwealth.com. We are launching this week our updated website and hope to have a lot more content on there for our special needs families. As well as businesses who have questions on retirement plans or group benefits and individuals looking for tax saving strategies and 401 ideas.

So the website's probably best way to reach me and to find me. That's cloverleafwealth.com. But thank you so much for having me. This has been a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your I AM CEO podcasts.

Gresham Harkless 15:16

Thank you. I definitely appreciate you as well, Cortney. You're doing phenomenal work, so I appreciate you for taking some time out. We will have the links and information as well on the show notes so that everybody can get ahold of you and get in contact. But I appreciate you again for all the work that you do, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 15:31

Thank you for listening to the Im c e o podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts, subscribe and leave us a five-star rating.

Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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