Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in financial services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeff Brown, Founder and President of BWM Financial, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a wealth management company located in San Diego, CA. We assist busy professionals and business owners with financial planning and investment management to guide them between the two guardrails of preserving money and maximizing their quality of life. Through an honest and committed approach, we guide clients through a real paradigm shift in how they view their money– by empowering them to live the life they want without being stuck in the details. We equip our clients with intentional financial plans tailored to their life and goals.

Tell us about yourself

I began my career in 1995 after completing a Master's in Finance at San Diego State University. While I had originally intended to be an Investment banker, I realized that I wanted to remain in San Diego to surf and enjoy the fantastic climate while still utilizing my skill set. Since I was unique in having the ability to solve complex mathematical problems as well as connect with people well at an emotional level, I moved into financial planning and investment management.

I worked at large firms for most of my career before venturing out on my own in 2015 with 4 other people to start our firm. Now, just 7 years later, we are a firm of 22 people helping over 350 clients and managing over $1.2 billion as of 12/31/2021. My biggest motivation is helping to change people's lives for the better, whether that is our clients, the employees of BWM, or the people close to me. At 52 years old, I realize that life is short, and it feels good to help others maximize their time on this planet.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When we left a large firm, I had no idea that it wouldn't be long before we had 4x the number of people working for us as a firm. I feel like my biggest accomplishment is helping so many younger individuals enter this profession and providing them with an excellent and rewarding career path.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Just as helping employees is one of my favorite things to do, it can also be one of the hardest things to do as a business owner. The more people that you have on a team, the more dynamics are at play, and the skill set required to manage those dynamics changes. I think taking an approach that focuses on the team as a whole vs. any one individual or situation has become one of the greatest lessons I have learned in the recent past.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know what you want for yourself, your company, and your clients and customers. Write it down and use that as a guiding post. It can be changed, but too many times, business owners only focus on one or two of those three and then find themselves out of alignment down the road.
  2. As you grow, understand that what gets you to one place successfully likely will not get you to the next place. In other words, you need to be flexible with everything and adapt. You also need to consume as much knowledge as possible along the way (books, coaches, podcasts, etc.) to make sure you are on the cutting edge of your industry.
  3. Build it like you are going to sell it. One of the biggest pitfalls I have seen in working with our business owner clients is that they never think they are going to sell their business until they do, and they end up leaving a lot on the table. If you build it like you are going to sell it, you can put the systems, people, processes, and strategy in place as you grow the business. Even if you never sell it, this will help you optimize along the way for an efficient organization that can run without you someday.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.