The adage “starting from the ground up” is one that Alicia White knows well and advocates to others looking to start their own business.
White is a Kelowna mortgage advisor, and her business is Mama Bear Mortgages Inc. under Dominion Lending Centres – APR Financial.
She started her journey to success some 12 years ago working as a teller for CIBC. She moved up to other positions within the bank until she was eventually looking after mortgages, investments, and credit cards.
“It’s mortgages that I was always been drawn to and I just fell in love with helping people get into their homes,” she says.
It has been a journey of challenges, as well as celebrations for White.
She and her husband were involved in a bad car accident several years ago. The injuries she sustained left her unable to sit at her desk at her workplace for long periods of time, which led her to become a full-time mortgage specialist working from home. Among the celebrations White says are her two children.
“That’s always the most important thing. One of the biggest challenges is being a full-time mom and having a full-time career.”
She adds working independently allows her to focus solely on her clients.
“Where I’m able to have lots of different options for people, whereas the banking world can be a bit black and white. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have to say no to people.”
White adds she enjoys helping people achieve their goals and realize their dreams, by coaching them about credit and budgeting, to get them started on their homeownership journey.
“That’s what I love, wrapping my arms around them and doing it right from the beginning,” she says.
“Especially younger families who are navigating the employment world as well, and how that can impact your homeownership goals.”
For anyone interested in becoming a mortgage broker, White says starting from the ground up as a teller was extremely helpful to her, as well as maintaining her own financial affairs.
“If you want to be in this career you can’t really have any hiccups or bad history in your own world to be designated as a broker.”
No matter what your business, career, or work though White says loving what you do will get you through the challenges and help you appreciate the celebrations.
“Where is your drive and passion, that’s what really has to drive you when the days are tough. When you’re working at 11 or 12 o’clock at night, you have to know why you’re there.”
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