Make goals for yourself to achieve.
Born in Iowa Falls, Iowa, William has an interesting resume to say the least. He is now a consultant who works with people in all phases of their financial process. He is as comfortable helping the Iowa farmer or teachers, as he is titans of industry or physicians. His journey in the field began over forty years ago, after serving in the Air Force branch of our military and graduating from college. He is a member of FSP (Financial Services Provider) association and NAIFA. He is also a member, and in good standing of The National Ethics Association. A strong believer in education, William still attends focused classes on tax law, Social Security changes, or anything else that helps him better his knowledge to share with others.
William Bitters is a professional when it comes to tax-free retirement planning and his focus has always been discovering the best solutions for his clients. He believes there are no small goals and if it is important to you, it is important to him. While traditional retirement plans like 401k and 403b are outdated and highly taxed, William offers education on better options that leave more money in the hands of people instead of Uncle Sam.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
One of my friends in college was in insurance and estate planning. He suggested I give it a try and I found I did very well with it. Initially, I thought I would become a lawyer after I graduated because I felt a strong desire to help people. However, after dipping my toe in the insurance and advisory industry, I knew the effects would be far reaching. There is so much that people don’t know about the world of financial planning. I wanted to make a real difference.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
By nature, I am a planner and I am goal oriented. I have appointments set up in advance whether they be with clients or associates. I consistently accept referrals from my existing clients and appreciate their willingness to recommend me to people they know. I do not take the trust they have in me lightly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The way I bring them to life is to just start talking about them. I bounce ideas off people I know, who are in the industry. I enjoy the energy that comes from not being afraid to strategize, brainstorm and tweak. Not every idea gets used of course, and some just need work, but I’d rather try something new then not be challenged.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The changes in the retirement market are exciting for me. The 401k market is a trillion-dollar market but is entirely outdated. One of the new things that is available now is an insurance contract with no management fees or downside risk. It’s a slow mover now since it’s still relatively new, but it is a tax-free option that I think is a great idea for people to investigate. Other advisors don’t always want to share some of these newer options to their clients because the compensation to that advisor could be less. The more that people are educated on the options that are available to them, the better choices they can make for themselves.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am tenacious. I never give up. When someone has a challenge or a problem, I will not give up until I find the right options for them to consider. My goal when working with someone, whether it be an individual or a company, is to provide education on the best instruments for what they need. If one idea isn’t the best, I will continue until I find the better fit.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Knowledge is power. It doesn’t matter what field you are working in, whether you’re a mechanic or a cardiologist, you can never stop learning. I think most people know that, but not everyone keeps wanting to grow after they become established. I would also tell myself to be a little more forgiving in the wrong turns I may have made. Everything works out if we keep believing we are doing your best.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think more people are coming to the realization now, but the idea that 401k and 403b are not the only ways to prepare for retirement is something I have faced again and again. They are the most popular because that is what companies usually offer to their employees. Many times, people would be more cautious about the other options because there hasn’t been as much information about them in the public arena. Now that people have more access to more knowledge, they are starting to understand and educate themselves on what else is available.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I read a lot and try to learn something new every single day. It doesn’t matter what it is, just challenge yourself to learn something you didn’t know yesterday. You never know when that knowledge will help you out. Education is key.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Again, I have to say education. When people are looking for help with their financial future, they want to know the person they are listening to knows what they are talking about. For me, it’s not just the time I’ve spent in the business, it’s the quality of the effort, communications and solutions offered. That is why I continue to learn to this day. I have met people who have great wealth, but no will or trust set up. They just aren’t educated on how to properly plan for their future. A surgeon can be the best in the country but know nothing about setting up a tax-free plan because it’s outside the box for him or her. I provide that education.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Just one failure? I have had many I suppose by the standard definition. However, to me failure is giving up. Failure is not trying. There have been times when business has been slow, or life has challenged everything I thought I knew. But being an entrepreneur means you get to wear all the roles and one of those is to be a self-starter and talk yourself through it. There is always risk, but each time when something doesn’t work out, you must take advantage of that experience and know it will enable you to make better choices in the future.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have thought about several things I wanted to start, from a lawn mowing service to developing retirement homes. One thing I had considered for quite some time was a laser tag facility geared for younger kids. It just seems like a fun idea that I would love to help set up.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Money is at its most valuable when you can share it with someone you love. So, the best $100 I’ve spent recently was on my grandchildren. I didn’t just give them money or buy them things…we spent it together, going to dinner, enjoying a movie, eating popcorn with m&m’s… making memories that I hope they will carry with them forever.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I like to utilize software that does comparisons between taxable and tax-free instruments and additional software that looks at additional benefit services for people applying for social security benefits. They are fantastic tools that allow people to see their circumstances in multiple options.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The one book I would recommend is Patrick Kelly’s Tax-Free Retirement. It explains how mutual funds and stocks and bonds work. It also highlights the difference between taxable and tax-free dollars.
What is your favorite quote?
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- Keep learning and growing.
- Make goals for yourself to achieve.
- Enjoy your success!
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.