Sindy joined the team fresh out of college.
In Her Own Words
I am not one to shy away from a challenge. When I was only 16 years old, I moved to Florida by myself from Venezuela to go to school to learn English.
My mom had her own business, and I always admired that -- managing your own time, getting compensated for how hard you work. After studying English at a community college, I transferred to the University of Central Florida and majored in business with a specialization in sales. After looking into several companies, I joined Northwestern Mutual in 2007.
Making the Career Change
I liked Northwestern Mutual’s great reputation as a company that has been around for so long, one that is focused on comprehensive planning; and I liked the opportunity to build my own business.
At first I was concerned about getting referrals because my friends here were all my age and I couldn’t sell to friends and relatives in Venezuela. But the managing director of the Orlando office helped me see the business as a service I was providing, rather than a product I was selling, and that made it easier to grow my list. That first year can be overwhelming, so having someone who supports and helps you is so beneficial.
The biggest reward for me is being able to do the things I want to do, both financially and in terms of having personal time. This is a perfect career for someone who is willing to work hard to make a living but wants to be able to enjoy time with the people he or she cares about the most. It’s about quality of life, not just about money.
The career freedom can be a double-edged sword, but if you have goals − both business and personal – you will be more motivated. When you reach a goal, you feel great. I tell people coming into the business that there will always be ups and downs, but this is a long-term career. You may fall, but it’s what you do when you get back up that’s important.
The professionalism at Northwestern Mutual − that we’re ethical, fair, and honest − for me, that’s huge. I love the fact that we recommend what’s best for the client, not what’s best for the company.
At the end of the day, people don’t work with a company, they work with a trusted advisor … a person. Hispanics are very loyal, and once they find someone they trust who understands them and will work with them, they’ll refer their friends and family.
Making a Difference
Now that I am a field director with Northwestern Mutual, I have the opportunity to help other representatives just like myself. I not only produce to continue to build my own business, but I help mentor and develop future leaders. When I started, I was the only Hispanic in the office, and I often had to translate for prospects who preferred to speak Spanish. Now I mentor four people who are Hispanic. Watching them succeed is satisfying. I enjoy helping people grow professionally and see how great this career can be. I also assist other representatives who are active in the Hispanic community but don’t speak Spanish.
Now I have a more targeted approach to my business. I enjoy working with business owners and doctors. I can bring value to Hispanic small businesses because many don’t offer benefits such as life insurance, a 401(k) plan, disability insurance; I work to help protect them. By showing clients how to save, I have helped many grow their businesses or buy an investment property or have the assets they need to expand.
I also believe in giving back to the community. One of my goals is to create a Hispanic women’s professional organization since women in Hispanic households often are the ones who pay the bills and are worried about saving. Being able to show Hispanics that a company is working in their language and supporting their community makes them feel more comfortable.
Learn More About Sindy Canizales
To learn more about Sindy Canizales, visit her website.