Written by
Ruzanna Queenan, CFA

Have you ever given up on a dream?

Everyone deserves to live a life they love.  Everyone deserves the right to dream and work hard to make their dreams come true.  This is a belief I’ve held since I was old enough to have serious conversations with my mother about life.  Her story is an example of someone who was denied that chance.

My mother grew up in Armenia with two older brothers and a strict, overbearing father who showed little outward affection for his three children.  It was a traditional Armenian household where the boys got the freedom to choose what they wanted to be and the daughter was supposed to go to college, get married and move out.  Armenia had entrance exams for college in those days and parents hired tutors for their seniors to prepare them.  My Mother desperately wanted to pursue her dream to study at the Academy of Arts in Leningrad; she spent months working with a tutor learning art history.  She loved it.

Around this time, her older brother happened to be in Leningrad and visited the school my Mother wanted to attend.  He didn’t like what he saw.  He came back and told my Mother she would not be going to Leningrad.  No reason or explanations given, just a fact.  Given my older Uncle’s authority in the family, it was pointless to object.  End of story.

My Mother gave up on her dream.  She got a different degree and her life took a different path.  She’s told this story many times and I can feel the pain it still causes.   It never fails to bring tears to my own eyes.  I keep thinking, could she still find a way to pursue her life’s vision for herself later in life?  Being a single mother with so many responsibilities, is it even possible to change course mid-life and pursue your dreams?

I believe it is.  Once you take the first bold step of looking inside your heart and defining what you want, you can organize your financial resources much more intentionally to make your vision a reality.  This process is called Life Planning and it is your surest path to freedom. Life planning gives you:

“the freedom to find your dreams, and to bring them alive. Life Planning helps you reorganize your relationship to money, so that your financial resources support your values and purpose in life.”

(Quote from georgekinderinstitute.com)

Life planning has had a transformational impact on my life and I have adopted it in my work with clients.   When we follow the life planning process, we create financial plans that truly make a difference in the way money is valued and spent.  My clients know exactly why their money is managed the way it is and they are confident their money is serving them well.

Unfortunately, I cannot change my mother’s story.  But I feel very fortunate to be helping turn my clients’ stories into ones with purpose and no regrets!

Ruzanna Queenan, CFA

I am Ruzanna, the President of Queenvest. Like many women, I wasn’t always good with money, but I learned through many years of work in the financial industry how to use money well. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to help strong, ambitious business owners and executives take control of their money and ultimately, their personal success.