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Meet Anton Anderson of Elite Resource Team in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anton Anderson.

Anton, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Although both my parents were in public education, at a young age, I developed a unique fascination with entrepreneurship. My mom retells stories of me picking wild berries from a nearby field and using her Ziploc bags to sell them around the neighborhood. As a teenager, I tried to file patents on my “inventions” and attempted to sell my friends on “great” network marketing ideas. By the end of high school, while working at a hotel, I told my dad that it would be the last “job” I ever had because I was going to start my own business and, based on my math, I’d be a millionaire by age 25.

Since I was going to be rich anyways or so I thought, I considered not going to college. Fortunately, my parents helped me see that college wasn’t as much about the classroom education as it was about life education. With that thought in mind, I went on to spend two years at Mira Costa, studied abroad in Australia, and completed my degree at US Santa Barbara majoring in Communication with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Somewhere during college, “business” meshed with “finance”, and I started working at large investment firms. Those experiences were short lived as I quickly realized my father’s Eagle Scout values weren’t really the laws of the land in the Gordon Gekko finance world.

Bouncing around a few smaller firms, as well as starting my own company, helped me to realize that as much as I wanted to be, I wasn’t all that good at, nor did I enjoy, the process of selling products. However, what I was good at and did very much enjoy was building relationships and training others – ironic given the overwhelming number of school teachers in my family.

Over the years, I found that I had a specific knack for building partnerships with CPAs and doing joint casework with their clients. This approach got the attention of other advisors, who expressed interest in learning more. A fellow colleague with a natural ability (as well as enjoyment) to sell, and I, with my desire to train, started brainstorming how we could link our strengths and really create something special. In 2014, with a mixture of luck, good mentorship, and a hefty dash of persistence, my colleague and now business partner, Ken Smith, and I took these findings and started Elite Resource Team. Currently, we are working in 22 states with over 400 advisors.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course not! That question reminds me of a quote by Les Brown, “Once in a while life is smooth, but don’t get too comfortable because it’s just playing a game with you!” Without going into too much detail, although at 18 I was convinced I’d be rich by 25, things didn’t quite work out that way. By 31, I was in quite a bit of credit card debt, going through a divorce, trying to rebuild my condo after a fire destroyed it, and our young company was fighting off lawsuit threats. There were a lot of sleepless nights, but four years later, I’m very grateful to be completely debt free with a company going gangbusters, have an amazing wife, and our first child on the way.

Please tell us about Elite Resource Team.
Our primary company is Elite Resource Team, and we train financial advisors and insurance agents how to build thriving practices by implementing a team-based approach to their business. A lot of our work focuses on forming win/win partnerships between advisors and CPAs to offer more proactive and holistic planning to their clients. We are a pretty progressive company and do a lot of training on the importance of mindset, habits, and long-term thinking.

As a company, I’m most proud of the community we’ve built (both virtually and in-person). All our advisors have access to each other, and rather than see each other as competition, we encourage them to learn from each other and form accountability partnerships to supplement our coaching (going with the whole team-based approach). In an industry that is very competitive by nature, the collaboration between advisors, accountants, and advanced planning specialists creates a truly unique value proposition. I like to think this is the direction the industry will naturally move over the next 10 years, and we’re just on the forefront of the wave. I say that because at the end of the day it really creates better results for clients and is a much more fulfilling business model for professionals.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
A ton of stuff! Spent more time with my grandparents, listened to my intuition earlier, and bought bitcoin in 2010. There’s probably a few others as well, but overall, I wouldn’t mess with too many of the big things. I feel incredibly fortunate in life. I’m blessed with a great family, wonderful friends, and a business that I find extremely fulfilling. Things aren’t quite where the 18-year-old Anton thought he’d be at 35, but thank goodness for that!

Regardless of income, net worth, or job title, if someone is genuinely happy, then I would define them as “successful.” My father is the happiest person I’ve ever met, and I believe the reason for this is because he figured out what he needs to be happy and has focused his energies on those things. With that said, as much as I love and admire my father, I’m very different, and I’m sure my son will be different from me. And that’s what makes “success” so hard to define – everyone has their own map to “success.” I work with people making as much money in 1 year as my dad made in 10 years, but are miserable. Everyone needs to define “success” for themselves, and then make sure their actions map those priorities.

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