Millennial Magazine - Features - Entrepreneurs - Chad Willardson Book Launch

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Chad Willardson, a prominent figure in financial advisory and the President of Pacific Capital, introduces a compelling notion of what he calls the “freedom entrepreneur.” This concept is about more than just financial success; it embodies the liberty to create, experience, and manage one’s time with autonomy.

In an interview with Millennial Magazine, Willardson shares, “Having that ability and creating that opportunity to do awesome things and really do it on my own time with the people that I care about, that’s what being a freedom entrepreneur means to me.”

A Day in the Life of a Freedom Entrepreneur

Willardson’s day is a blend of structured productivity and spontaneous activities, reflecting his commitment to maintaining a freedom-centric lifestyle. “I like to wake up early and exercise, read a little bit, write down my goals, and talk to my team to review the goals for the day,” he explains.

Despite a busy schedule that includes managing a large family, client meetings, and frequent travel, Willardson ensures each day varies, keeping Friday as a rejuvenation day filled with personal activities like reading or beach visits with his family.

Innovating Financial Management

A significant innovation by Chad Willardson in the realm of financial advisory is the “financial life inspection,” a comprehensive service that thoroughly assesses all financial aspects of a client’s life.

This service was inspired by the home inspections he use to do in 2008, and is designed to provide detailed feedback on areas needing attention. “It really creates a process where they know our advice is coming directly from what their goals and concerns are,” he remarks.

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Building Trust with High Net-Worth Clients

Pacific Capital, under Willardson’s leadership, doesn’t rely on traditional marketing strategies to attract its clientele, who typically possess a net worth significantly higher than the $10 million investment minimum required.

Instead, the firm leverages word-of-mouth, strengthened by Willardson’s public engagement through podcasts, books, and articles. “Often it is somebody asking their friend who they trust with their money decisions,” he shares, underscoring the importance of reputation and reliable networks.

Discussing investment strategies, Willardson highlighted that while the firm handles typical public market investments, they also look into private equity and venture capital for their clients.

The focus is always on aligning investments with the client’s long-term financial goals, often involving detailed discussions about risk management, growth opportunities, and strategic financial planning.

Chad Willardson also addressed broader economic concerns, particularly the financial challenges faced by younger generations. He argues that despite these challenges, opportunities abound, especially with the advantages provided by digital technology and the internet. “You can literally create a business in five minutes using technology and AI,” he stated, encouraging proactive and innovative approaches to entrepreneurship.

Looking ahead, Willardson sees personal branding as crucial in the financial industry. By positioning oneself effectively, financial advisors can attract the right clients and forge meaningful relationships. “People don’t do business with businesses, they do business with people,” he emphasizes, reflecting on how personal connections drive business in today’s world.

Elevating Entrepreneurship: The Chad Willardson Coaching Program

A significant initiative by Willardson that exemplifies his dedication to fostering entrepreneurial growth is his “Elevate” coaching program. Launched at the beginning of 2024, this program is designed to mentor 100 entrepreneurs seeking substantial development in both their business and personal lives. Willardson aimed high from the onset, expressing initial concerns about reaching his target, yet he surpassed expectations by filling all spots rapidly, which speaks to the demand and trust in his expertise.

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The Elevate program is structured to offer more than just group coaching; it involves a comprehensive support system that includes weekly one-on-one accountability calls, small cohort masterminds, and biannual in-person sessions. These gatherings are not just about imparting knowledge; they also facilitate a vibrant community where entrepreneurs can network, share insights, and collaborate on new ideas. This year, Chad Willardson enhanced the coaching service by allowing participants to bring guests to their Laguna Beach retreat, which was well-received and added to the communal spirit of the program.

Willardson’s networking extends beyond his coaching program. He recently received a personal invitation to join a private, exclusive mastermind group led by Tony Robbins, a testament to his standing in the entrepreneurial community. This group, consisting of only 50 members, offers an unparalleled opportunity for Willardson to connect with other high-caliber professionals and thought leaders.

Participation in such elite networks not only enhances his personal learning and growth but also benefits his clients and the broader Elevate community by allowing him to share unique insights and cutting-edge strategies.

Through the Elevate program and his involvement in high-level networking groups like Tony Robbins’, Willardson is actively shaping an environment where ambitious entrepreneurs can thrive. His approach ensures that participants not only gain valuable knowledge but also become part of a supportive network that fosters continuous personal and professional growth.

Cultivating Growth and Opportunity

As “the freedom entrepreneur” Chad Willardson teaches his clients to not just achieve financial freedom but to also influence others to pursue and manage their own wealth effectively. His approach combines strategic financial management with a genuine commitment to personal and professional freedom, offering a blueprint for others to follow in the complex landscape of wealth management.

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