Sometimes the biggest barrier a person can face is her own fear and insecurities. For Camille York, finding her own path meant facing her fears head-on, with the support of others, a goal to shoot for, and plenty of confidence-building practice, all lessons she hopes others can apply to their own experiences.
Camille’s story of resilience began in childhood, when she was painfully shy. With the help of her mother, Camille rehearsed her diction, enunciation and projection of voice every day after school, with the goal of becoming more comfortable in one-on-one interactions and in speaking to large audiences. She credits her mother with giving her the tools to find her voice and overcome her constraining timidity. “She always told me, ‘You have to have presence,’” Camille recalls. This edict was especially true for Camille, who for many years was the only person of color in her class at school, and therefore felt additional challenges in fitting in.
By high school, Camille had taken her mother’s advice to heart and embraced her fear by serving as class president for all four years. This experience gave Camille many of the tools she relies on in her current role as a financial advisor, where she serves people of varying backgrounds, beliefs and goals. “I learned how to be a bridge… I had to learn not only to understand and listen to a variety of people from all walks of life, but learn how to represent them.”
Equally important, she learned that strength and opportunity are on the other side of fear. In fact, she advises others looking to build resilience to remember this truth, noting that she built her practice in part by giving presentations and speaking in public.
Another valuable lesson she has learned and readily imparts to others new to the financial advice industry is to “believe in yourself and focus on what’s in your control.” Additionally, she stresses the importance of being a student of life, always seeking to learn from others, rather than simply trying to be like others. “Create your own path,” Camille often says. “The sooner I learned to be my true self, people gravitated to that authenticity.”
Believe in yourself and focus on what’s in your control.
Camille views her success not as something she has already achieved, though. Indeed, she insists that she is still on that ever-evolving journey. “Success can be found in small consistent and deliberate actions, like bravery….You have to believe you have what it takes to make it.”
Of course, Camille herself is hard at work encouraging other women financial advisers to believe just that. She speaks regularly to new trainees at her firm, sharing her mother’s advice: to have presence. “I didn’t picture a black woman financial advisor [growing up]… it’s my responsibility and honor to…shift the perspective of what the industry looks like and what a financial advisor looks like.”
CAMILLE'S ADVICE Success can be found in small consistent and deliberate actions, like bravery….You have to believe you have what it takes to make it.
The global pandemic has created fear around the nation, but not surprisingly, Camille sees an opportunity for strength even in this daunting time. “Covid-19 has allowed me to expand my geographic footprint and think bigger,” she says. By participating in national conferences and on podcasts, Camille can have a larger reach nationwide. She also plans to continue partnering with other women financial advisors to share resources, host events and provide mutual support. In the future, “we’re better together,” Camille says.
Published article available here.