Set goals that you can persistently pursue while balancing the four (F’s), Faith, Family, Friends and Failures.
As the corporate liaison with several multimillion dollar corporations Craig has established himself with a variety of corporations, agencies and professional’s industry wide. During his career he has provided oversight and management of funds in excess of $300 million.
Craig specializes in provided technical support, guidance, leadership, coaching, and motivation to career professionals as well as in his personal time to those in need. At home he is a husband and father to four beautiful children. Two boys and two girls ranging from age twenty to three months. Yes, three months is correct!! He wasn’t a surprise as Craig and his wife planned for him in advance.
Craig has received a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from North Carolina Central University. He is presently pursuing a Master of Divinity from Grace School of Theology as he has been led by God to help others spiritually as well as financially obtain freedom.
Being able to provide financial stability to his family has been a major focal point for him as he continues to develop specific strategies catered to success. Dedication, hard work, and faith in God that life will always work out in his favor are a mindset that he has adopted. What sets Craig apart from the other wealth and financial management professional? Simple. Being well rounded, passionate about life and dedicated to serving others. He believes that all men and women are created equal and should be given equal opportunity at optimizing success.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
As an associate of Shirley Luu and Associates, the idea came from Phil the CEO of First Financial Security and my mentor Shirley Luu.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Start out every day with prayer and reading the word of God. Once completed I see what’s in the news related to financial services and retirement that requires my attention. Afterwards, my wife Jamila should be up with the children. I give her and the children a kiss and out the door I go looking for new business opportunities. If I have an event scheduled, then I have prepared the day around that event.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Ideas are like living organisms that require attention, love and care. Bringing it to life requires the same as an entrepreneur. Lots of attention, love and care and you will see it grow and develop into something amazing.
What’s one trend that excites you?
More hard working Americans becoming aware of retirement at an earlier age. This is my passion for being licensed in this industry. I can help one person, one family, one situation at a time and change lives forever. Wealth building and not just working for others is now a trend that is rising very quickly!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Persistency. In this industry and in life being persistent pays off. You want to set goals that you can persistently pursue while balancing the four (F’s), Faith, Family, Friends and Failures. Your faith directly correlates to your family and friends as well as your failures in life. Most successful people will tell you that they failed, and sometime badly before becoming successful. Persistency over adversity is key in entrepreneurship.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Sell everything you own and buy Amazon stock by the boatload! Laughing out loud!!! On a serious note, I would have started to save and invest more in retirement in my 20s. We all live for the moment in our 20s but when you hit your 30s, 40s, and above you start thinking about your spouse, children, health and ensuring that you have everything covered in the event that you are no longer in the equation. Life happens, so I would tell myself to plan 20 years in advance financially.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe and have spoken to several clients and friends about a financial shift that’s about to occur in Baltimore MD. I believe that the housing industry in that area in the next five to ten years is going to be unbelievable. Now, for those of us in the insurance industry this is going to be major as we know insurance has been financially stable for over 130 years. Now these new homeowners are going to have to plan for retirement and unfortunate events that life brings. I believe that a shift in the financial services industry will take place in a major way in the next five to ten years. Some of my colleagues disagree.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Praying and believing! Daily you have to pray for wisdom and spiritual guidance to make good financial decisions. You also have to believe in yourself when no one else believes in you or your idea. Noah building a boat when there is no rain in sight is only a good idea to the architect. Until it begins to rain, rain, rain…………
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Treat every customer as they are the first customer. This way you treat everyone as a VIP. Doesn’t matter if you have a deal that nets a minimal profit or one that you have a money truck backing up to your house, treat them all the same. Being truthful, courteous, and catering to their needs has always led to success.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was working with a company and had negotiated a deal to work with them as a sub or prime contractor. I started the business and had everything set and ready to go. About a year into the venture I realized that this was not working out. After I left the company to start something new and become a partner I realized it was failing. The relationship was slowly deteriorating and the conveyance that was provided as an employee was not required as a partner. I then started with the financial services industry and have not looked back since. Believing, investing, and planning have helped me to be successful and to overcome a tough situation.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Start a financial services business that can offer your clients risk free investing. I know you’re like there’s no such thing. Well I have to say that there is such a thing. There are financial products that do not risk the challenges of the market daily and give you the ability to invest properly without pulling your hair out every time the Dow Jones or S&P go up or plummet downward. Insurance based products for retirement have survived every major crisis to hit the United States and will continue to do so.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
On Offer up my wife and I bought a play set for our children that was originally $500 and we purchased it for $100. I was so pumped I felt like I was about to go down the slide myself. Until I saw that I couldn’t fit in the tunnel. Bad for me, but perfect for our 3 young children who are enjoying it to the max.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Zoom is an app that I use that is very productive for having meetings with one or multiple individuals. It gives me the ability to set up something quick and be able to interact face to face virtually anywhere. I believe that it’s one of the best options for those of us who are consistently on the move.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Shirley Luu “I.U.L. Asap”. Great book that talks to every person and every situation about wealth building, tax free retirement and how to get the bank to frontload your retirement. This book is amazing and it will change your perspective on have money really works.
What is your favorite quote?
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you – Maya Angelou
Be the first in your family to do something that hasn’t been accomplished. Go to college, go to the military or just be what God has intended for you to be, and that’s great! Everyone has greatness in them, but it need to be activated in order to blossom. It’s never too late to change something that hasn’t happened!
- Prioritize what’s most important so that you are well equipped to handle unexpected circumstances. Never feel like you have left a task incomplete if it’s not high priority.
- Learn from those who have travelled similar paths. They can assist in avoiding pitfalls or things that could delay success. Successful leaders breed successful leaders.
- Always remember to ensure financial accuracy and accountability. In the financial industry providing accurate details can help to avoid mistakes that can change someone’s dream into a personal nightmare.
- Whatever life brings, make the best of it! Failure in life is not an option unless you choose it. If you are alive and have to start over from scratch, remember that you are still winning because you’re are a fighter and are still alive! Be blessed and stay in the race!!
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.