Starlett Henderson is a freelancer who has a created a work life that fits the needs of her family and those whom she serves. She provides life skills services to nonprofit organizations, government contractors, and individuals based on their particular needs and timing. Starlett began her journey with AFCPE as a 2011 recipient of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship. Today, she’s a practicing AFC® and is currently serving on the AFCPE Board of Directors.
AFCPE: What inspired you to enter this field?
Starlett: Finance has always been a go-to for me. I started earning and saving at an early age. Earning, saving, and losing! Once, I lost a whole week’s pay, in cash, on a family vacation. This set me up for understanding that fiscal responsibility is a big responsibility and key to confidence and stability. My first grown-up job was as a Finance Specialist in the Army Reserves. When I realized that this skill doesn’t come naturally to everyone, I knew it was something I eventually would like to do on a grander scale.
AFCPE: As a FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship (MSF) Fellow, how has the MSF program and AFCPE community supported you and your career?
Starlett: I wrote about this once in a blog for AFCPE. The MSF program and AFCPE community is a great place to network for support.
“Support comes in many forms. Mentors can come from inside or outside the industry, but a good mentor is one who has accomplished goals and can help you accomplish yours. Role models are other individuals who have already been through the program. Buddies are going through the program just like you.”
The connections I’ve made have referred me for a job, saved me time and money, and encouraged me on bad days to fight another day.
AFCPE: The AFCPE community is really an incredible asset! And thank you for sharing the blog post – I knowmany of our candidates will find this information helpful.
You are currently serving on the AFCPE Board of Directors. What are you looking forward to the most in your first year on the board?
Starlett: I enjoy getting glimpses of “behind the scenes” and “setting the standard.” The Board seemed a good place to do both. I’m looking forward to working with the team of professionals and the AFCPE members to make the community even better than it already is. On the board, I know I can speak about the pros and cons of the process I experienced and help shape future learnings and experiences for others.
AFCPE: What advice do you have for fellow AFCPE members looking to get more involved?
To those on the fence about getting more involved, I’d ask, “what’s holding you back?”Many times we believe there is plenty of help. There isn’t. We believe we have to do all or nothing, but there’s an in-between. We believe we don’t have anything special to offer, which is wrong again. Grab a buddy and dive in, or dive in and find a buddy on the way!
AFCPE: Very true! All AFCPE professionals have something unique to bring to the t community. Your advice of “Grab a buddy and dive in, or dive in and find a buddy on the way” is one we should all apply!
What’s next for you? What has you most excited?
Starlett: Military retirement! I can taste it. I know my husband can. We are under two years, and then it’s my turn to work full-time for a while. Because of the opportunities the AFC® has afforded me, and the network I’ve built along the way, I’m confident in our transition. Then, I’ll be able to do even more of what I want whenever I want FOR REAL.
Starlett Answers the Friday 5:
- My Why: A rising tide lifts all boats. The better I get at my finances, and the better I can help you get at your finances, the better fiscal shape we’ll all be in. And, I don’t mean better as in richer with more money, but better stewards of the money and resources we do have for improved confidence and stability.
- My Favorite Quote: Actually, two come to mind. “Perfect is the enemy of good” and “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t compare yourself to others, and that includes you comparing your real self and your most perfect self. It’s a good recipe for a joyless, bad existence.
- My Hero: Mother Theresa, a true woman of simplicity and significance.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: Real stories of people who have turned their financial situations around. The author, Mary Hunt, is a tried and true example and has a great many books filled with stories. Fellow board member, Ellie Kay, has shared her story through books to inspire others as well. I’m a big fan of books and stories and usually have one that will speak to whomever I’m counseling.
- My Best Advice:
- For someone starting the journey to financial wellness: Be at least as grateful as you are ungrateful. It’s easy to think about all you don’t have (yet), but that truly keeps you down. Count your blessings, find a way to bless someone, and live as if you have everything you need – shedding what you don’t need to make room for more “wellness.”
- For a new professional entering the field: Find a mentor, role model, and a buddy. Together, everyone achieves more.
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