MERRILL-Amy-2015.11.16-683x1024Amy Merrill | Wife, Mom, Community Leader & Advisor at TrueWealth

Learning the Art of Business at a Young Age

As the owner of a production facility, Amy’s father mandated that all of his children know how his entire plant functioned.  Because of this, Amy spent her summers working at the plant and got to know many of the employees by sharing their lunch break together. Each day, the break whistle would blow and everyone would have 25 minutes to eat lunch before it was back to work again.  During her rotations at the plant and these lunch convos, she developed a deep understanding of how all workers and jobs were valuable for making the entirety of the company successful. She realized that each person’s job was important no matter if they were paid by the piece, made minimum wage, or were a manager.  Everyone’s skills were needed to build and ship their products, thus making the business a success.

When the bookkeeper unexpectedly quit, it was no big deal because Amy knew what to do in her absence and handled the company payroll that week.  Did I mention that she was nine years old at the time?  Yes, NINE. This overall plant experience, especially at such a young age, would be valuable throughout her life in numerous leadership roles.

An Early Intro to the Stock Market

Another pertinent part of her 1970’s childhood that would later affect her career was her parent’s investment club.  Several couples would get together monthly to invest in stocks together. They’d meet in her family’s living room with each couple throwing in $25 cash.  They’d smoke cigarettes and drink bourbon while discussing which stocks to buy and which to sell. Amy would absorb as much information from these meetings as she could and was fascinated by the whole club and experience (as am I).  Little did she know that the knowledge she gained from her parent’s investment club meetings would be so integral in her career life one day.

Amy’s Philosophy

Even though her resume says she is a Certified Financial Planner, Amy is really in the relationship business.  Her clients have become her friends and she values this trusted privilege. They call her with prayer requests, invite her to events, support her faith, and share so much more than just financial conversations.  She seems to have the perfect balance of love of people and knowledge of investments.

Amy is a big believer in being real and not living a facade.  As a result, she is open with others about her successes and shortcomings which in turn allows them to do the same.  Being understanding is so important as its the support of her team that helps make her successful. She believes in hard work and working as hard as you can, when you can, so that you don’t always have to be working.  This allows her to not hesitate about leaving work for a few hours one afternoon to go to a school performance, meet friends for lunch, or take her son to the orthodontist.

Enthusiasm and her zest for life draw people to Amy.  She is always smiling, nodding and laughing with everyone she encounters.  She has learned that excitement can be contagious. If she is excited about something, she wants to share it with others because they will often become excited too.

Last fall, she put this realization to work to build a team for the Atlanta 2 Day Breast Cancer Walk.  She had recently lost one of her best friends to the nasty beast that is breast cancer and was ready to do something about it.  Her first year was a huge success but she took that momentum to a new level this fall with a team of over 60 women raising $140,000 of which she personally raised $42,000!  Her passion, energy and sense of camaraderie brought so many women together to walk, raise money, and put so much positivity into something that started in a dark, sad place.

Leadership Characteristics

Amy is a natural leader in her workplace, community and church.  In these roles she has witnessed other leaders: both strong and weak.  In her opinion, good leaders are “credit givers, not credit takers.” They take the time to pour into others and are more focused about the end game than about themselves.  Solid leaders see life about doing for others versus being focused on what others can do for them. A prideful leader sticks out like a sore thumb. Instead, good leaders are self effacing and handle a compliment by saying thank you, but this wasn’t possible without  _______ (insert others). Amy credits her success to leaders like Mose Bond, Jim Heard, and Zoe Hicks.

Foundation Built on Faith

I’d be remiss to not mention Amy’s solid faith.  When she began growing in her faith after college, she went from “knowing about God” to “knowing Him”.  Overall, her faith has become “less about Sunday and more about how I live my life.” This tweak in perspective caused her to not keep track of wrong doings and made her less ruffled.  She is quick to point out that she still has her faults but that her relationship with God has a strong impact on her priorities.

Cheers to you, Amy!

Thank you for being a well respected leader who lifts up others and is a constant source of encouragement to everyone you encounter.  Congratulations on your many successes in life and for praising those who help make them happen. Thank you for inspiring me to bring people together, keep a positive attitude, and remembering to spread excitement.  I am grateful to know you!

For more info: Amy’s Business Profile

 

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