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Brian Sytsma

Updated: Nov 12, 2022

The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. 

Brian Sytsma is up.

Brian Sytsma

Who are you and what do you do? Brian Sytsma.  I run a financial planning practice out of Northwestern Mutual in Raleigh.  Our team helps others implement their visions for financial security through comprehensive planning and a trusting relationship.

What did it take / how did you get started? I am an NC State graduate.  I concentrated in entrepreneurship.  I am originally from Crown Point, Indiana which is about an hour south of Chicago.  I saw North Carolina as my home from a young age and made daily decisions to get myself there.  My parents have been married for over 25 years, and my brother is 26 living in Texas.  Each of them are very successful professionals that I try to emulate each and every day.  Now, all of my financial resources and time go towards supporting my family, my friends,  and helping our team’s business thrive.  I got started back in August of 2019.  I saw the career as my calling as I have a great reputation as a trustworthy person.  The problem I saw was the lack of financial knowledge and resources for so many folks around me (i.e. small and large business owners, retail professionals, engineers, medical professionals, etc.) even if they already had advising relationships in the space.  I truly believe that the process we take our clients through at Northwestern Mutual is extremely thorough and leaves the client with a great experience.  After seeing some early success, I decided to go all in and begin branching out my practice throughout North Carolina as well as Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, and more.

What does the future look like for you and your hustle?  The future looks bright.  This week in particular, I have 28 different people that I will be meeting with keeping our practice quite busy throughout the week.  I find the career exciting because even if I fail, I know that the impact I will have on others will last a lifetime whether I am working in the industry or not.  The plan is the run my practice out of Raleigh for at least 3 years before my girlfriend, Megan, joins the federal government.  From there, I will move my practice to wherever she ends up landing.

What drives / motivates you?

What drives me is the need to provide for my family and provide an essential service for all those around me.  Even on days that I get told no to meet a ton of times, am given little respect from people who have never met me, or money is super tight, I know our work matters.  There is nothing more satisfying than having a ton of people being tough to work with all week, but then one person elaborates on their gratitude for working with our team.  That 1 yes beats 10 no’s every time I think about it.  I am getting fired up just writing this thinking about the lives we have changed for the better.

What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?

My advice to someone starting to do what I do is do not give up.  The first few years in the career are the toughest as they are full of trials and tribulations.  However, if you can survive by working hard, meeting great people, and providing a valuable service, there is no limit to the success you can have.  I truly believe there is not a tougher yet rewarding career out there than being a financial advisor. 

What has been the hardest part of the hustle? 

The hardest part of the hustle has by far been the mental aspect of the job.  If you let it, the negative aspects of the career can consume and engulf you and your practice.  Each day is you fighting for your life and fighting to get in front of successful people.

What are a few resources that you'd recommend? 

I would recommend looking up the “Full Spectrum of Success” and the “Full Spectrum of Freedom”.  These books dive into how to address personalities around you.


Side or full-time hustle?

Full Time Hustle

List the founders

I have a staff I work with in our practice, but I am individually contracted as an agent.

How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?

I work 60-70 hours a week on my hustle.

# of Employees?

I am the only employee of my practice so far.

When did you start?

I started in August 2019.

How much did it cost to launch?

It did not cost anything to launch, but it costs at list $3000-$4000 to maintain thus far, and those costs will only continue to go up.

What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?

I self-funded my business and have continued to do so.

Annual Revenue?

I would have a better answer for this a year from now.  It is a bit difficult to project exact numbers currently.

Projected Revenue?

I project that 2020 will end with over $60,000 in revenue and over $2 million assets under management.

Any call to action?

I am looking into hiring an associate to help me handle backend work as my schedule gets full.


LinkedIn: Website: Coming very soon

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