When you don’t know someone well, and you don’t take the time to get to know them, it’s easy to underestimate them. For example, last week someone judged me to be a crazy cat lady who cared only about the animals, and didn’t understand business or politics. Just some crazy person, kinda’ overweight and getting up there in years. Obviously if Facebook is where your career culminates, you can’t be taken seriously, right?
Wrong. For nearly two decades I worked in banking and finance. No, I wasn’t a teller. I was the Vice President of Operations. I was responsible for internal audits and working with the US Treasury on embezzlement investigations. I was responsible for emergency response – bomb threats, bank robberies, board and stockholder meetings. I was there when the Bank President had a sudden heart attack and died and when the stock market collapsed and bankers were throwing themselves off buildings downtown.
I was part of a bank holding company that was on the FDIC short list when other banks failed. I worked in the secondary mortgage market, learned skip-tracing, studied at AIB, and helped establish a de novo (look it up). I was a licensed Real Estate Salesman and worked with a local developer and custom builder. I worked downtown in a fancy building with a fast elevator and a 5-star underground restaurant. I was one of the first people to ride to the top of the green building when it was built.
Eventually I opened my own small business consulting firm and my customers ranged from lawyers to real estate agents, developers, doctors, and building managers. I met some interesting people along the way, many of whom are well-known in business and politics today.
But one day I was contemplating my own mortality and I decided I didn’t want to be remembered as a corporate banking/consultant. I wanted to be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of animals in Dallas. And I’ve done that. More on that later. My point is this – don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Social media isn’t the culmination of my career. It’s a choice I made to help animals. And never, ever, ever accuse a former banker of manipulating the numbers. If you do, you make an enemy for life. IJS.