The Essence of Diane

Honest ~ Authentic ~  Logical

Gregarious ~ Resilient ~  Determined

I first met Diane Groves while we were both taking one of the courses to earn the Certified Financial Planner designation.    We worked in different companies, but while in that class, we became professional acquaintances. Diane was aware of some grandfathering provisions for the certified financial planner accreditation that I wasn’t aware of, and thankfully, she shared them, thus saving me years of study.

Ironically, one of the fastest growing Canadian companies in the investment world was Investment Planning Company (IPC). They were buying up smaller dealers and becoming quite a force. As it happened, both Diane’s company and ours were bought within months of each other.  We started to meet at company events and, before long, became buddies. Over the past twenty-five years, we’ve had many adventures and pushed limits.  There are many fond memories of great times together.  

We had many heart-to-heart conversations, but one of our most important was about small and large potatoes.  To help put things and life concerns in perspective, we used the analogy of small potatoes versus large potatoes.  It helped to understand that some person’s issues could appear to be small potatoes, but from their perspective, it was a large potato problem. As advisers and confidants, we needed to consider the issue’s magnitude from that person’s perspective. It helped ground us and honour the person’s perspective with the dignity it deserved.

When Diane enters a room, it’s as if the sunshine comes in with her, and the entire room lights up.  She tells it the way it is very frank, making it easy to take in the message.

This story concerns Diane; I will let her tell you who she is.

She’s had a fantastic journey with ups and downs that only she should share. We were inseparable and great sounding boards for each other. Diane is like a sister from another mother now, and we have travelled far and wide with each other, including our spouses.  Diane and her husband Frank are trusted confidants and friends to Donna and me. Frank and Diane’s story is worthy of an article on its own. Frank also deserves a story to be told. I will work on him, too.

I asked Diane to describe a fork in the road that happened in her life’s journey that, when looking back, was indeed a considerable move.  Here’s her description.

In the late 80s, a family friend came to our house and pitched a career with a multi-level marketing company that sold insurance and investments. The information I learned about financial planning during that meeting left me in awe of everything I didn’t know and that other people needed to know. I had a few sleepless nights from the excitement of the opportunity. 

At that time, I was in an unhappy relationship and had three children to support. I was working for Canada Post sorting mail in what felt like a thankless job that was a means to pay the bills.

My passion had been ignited, and I was going on a crusade. I spent the next few years getting the education I needed to become a Certified Financial Planner. I started my own business, and I am still amazed today at the life I made for myself and my children. I travelled to places I had only dreamed of and met many inspiring people. I helped many other families manage their money and went home every night knowing I made a difference. I retired from that career recently, so I am so grateful I took that leap of faith that helped me grow into who I am today. 

Diane and Frank are a formidable team on the lake.  What a pleasure it was to go out with them.

What has been a big challenge that you overcame?

My biggest challenge in life has been managing relationships. Human beings are constantly growing and changing, and as they do, their needs change as well. So, maintaining a quality relationship with another human while you both grow and change takes great care. I constantly struggle to be a good listener and have learned to be patient. Also, sometimes the right thing to do is nothing. 

What nugget would you share with others that you’ve learned? 

My gem would be “Dream big. You set your limits.”

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