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I grew up in Idaho Falls and have lived in Eastern Idaho most of my life. I didn't realize it when I was a kid, but looking back I can see that I have always been very entrepreneurial. One of my first business ventures, when I was about 8 years old, was selling homemade cookies. I have to admit, at that time in my life my business knowledge was limited, but I enjoyed selling those cookies in the middle of winter in my parents' driveway. I think the success I had was based more on pity by the passersby who saw a kid freezing in his front yard with a poorly-made sign and cold, crispy cookies rather than a well-thought-out marketing plan; but it wasn’t a bad start.
At a young age I loved participating in scouting. I was taught valuable life-long principles by the many leaders who volunteered their time and talents to help me. As a Boy Scout my ultimate goal was to earn my Eagle. There were of course challenges along the way, but I never doubted that I would earn it. I learned how to be persistent until I achieved my goals. I discovered that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. I was focused like a laser and earned my Eagle at the age of 14. It was a big accomplishment for me. Looking back, I realize that the journey was as enjoyable as the reward. My life was forever changed, and I am grateful to the many people who taught, helped, and inspired me along the way. Today the scout oath and law still serve as a guiding compass.
After high school I served an LDS mission in Santa Rosa, California. It was on my mission that I discovered that I had a real talent in relating to others. I enjoyed speaking and working with people of all ages and backgrounds. I cannot say that these skills were entirely natural. My dad helped point me in the right direction in the 5th grade when he encouraged me to read Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. That book literally changed the course of my life.
There have been a lot of great authors and people who have inspired me over the years, many of which I discovered through my courses at BYU-Idaho. Since graduating I have continued to love reading good books. I usually read two to three books at a time; I enjoy business, classic literature, religious, history, and finance.
While in college, I supported myself by working in a family-owned phone card business. I loved the flexibility it gave me and enjoyed the growth opportunities afforded through hard work. As a high school student, I had always wanted to own a company. That desire was intensified in college. Shortly after getting married to my amazing wife Katy, and while we were still in college, she and I began coming up with ideas to start a new business. Not long after starting a very small company, we were introduced to opportunities in the financial industry. Being a financial advisor seemed like the perfect career path for me, so we went for it.
Katy has been my biggest supporter. She has had the courage and faith that is necessary to start and grow a business. Every financial advisor will tell you that money is tight, and there is a lot of stress in the early years. It takes a lot of sacrifice to be successful. Throughout my career, I have aligned myself with like-minded businesses to provide the best products and services. Our system has been developed through extensive research and experience. Our unique insights have greatly benefitted our clients in Eastern Idaho and surrounding areas in the Pacific Northwest. This provided the catalyst that has grown my firm. Helping educate my clients about effective wealth management strategies is one of the best parts of my job. I could honestly talk about investments all day long with people; I just really enjoy the many components of investing.
In the last couple of years, I have had the pleasure of learning how to play basketball, and it has become one of my passions. I still have a lot to learn, but as far as I am concerned, it is the best sport ever created. A lot of my growth in this area has come from a good friend who has become my own basketball mentor.
Katy and I have also been blessed with two amazing daughters. My oldest daughter Kylie, age 10, is smart and funny, and is constantly making us laugh. She started violin lessons in January 2015; it has been rewarding to see her make a little progress each week. My youngest daughter Kelsie, age 6, thinks every meal should begin and end with a sugary snack. She loves playing with her big "sissy". In the evenings she always wants Katy or me to read her stories. I love coming home to my daughters because they attack me with hugs as soon as I come in the door.
I feel very fortunate and blessed to have such a great family that inspires and motivates me, and because of my great clients who allow me to work for them doing what I love.
Russell J. Paskett