Dr. William Sassman is the VP of Finance for Overdraft Control in San Francisco, California. Sassman was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and grew up as a military brat, and with his father being in the United States Air Force, his family moved around every three years or so.
Sassman earned a Ph.D and a master’s degree from International Christian College and has found a career in finance to help others protect their assets.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
Helping people with their assets – protecting their financial backgrounds, estate planning, and helping them prepare for potential issues such as unforeseen taxes, lawsuits, etc. It’s the fulfilment of helping others protect themselves financially. I consider it to be like buying insurance – it can bulletproof them from death, divorce, fraudulent or frivolous lawsuits, just anything that can attack them financially. Kind of like the President is engaged in a blind trust… all of the sudden they no longer have ‘interests’ in their own companies and I can help people disassociate themselves and have control without staying involved in the day-to-day dealings. Teaching people how to maneuver like the elites and stay wealthy.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
Meeting new people, developing relationships and looking into how I can help and assist individuals who have something to protect. Basically carving out moats around paper castles, if you will.
What keeps you motivated?
Helping one person at a time to accomplish this goal that most people have and don’t know what to do with it – once you acquire wealth, how do you protect it and how do you insulate it? I feel like once I help someone I have to keep helping others.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration is from the satisfaction in helping individuals who did not know this information, or couldn’t learn it in school, or haven’t known where to find out… It’s like once they have this ‘eureka’ moment, of “wow, that really makes sense,” to see their reactions to how I’ve left them in a better place than when I met them makes it all worth it.
Who has been a role model to you in your life and why?
There have been multiple role models along the way for me, I can’t remember all of their names because there have been so many. One of the things I would never say is that I’m ‘self made’. I’m made up of a bunch of people along the way in life and so there’s no one particular role model, but instead pieces of individuals who have helped me along the way. I can’t really pinpoint the conglomerate of the ones who have helped me out all these years.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I know how to shut the phone off at five o’clock or whatever time I decide to stop, and then don’t start again until a reasonable time the next day. Work will always be there, bills will always be there, so there’s a point where you have to just shut it off and be disciplined. Since I was 23 years old, I’ve known how to operate within a schedule and have been able to turn it on and off to get balance that way.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
Move slow in decision making. Don’t act fast, if you hear part of the puzzle or part of the story, wait until you can see the whole picture before you act on it. That whole ‘Wait for It’, I wish I would have heard what that mean years ago. Move slow in your decision making about everything.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Raising children and obtaining my doctorate degree. My Ph.D is in church administration. That specific degree deals with non-profits, churches, credit unions, hospitals, and following the code of a 501(c)3. Church administration deals with paperwork in not-for-profits.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a 16-year old Will Sassman?
Like I said earlier, move slow. Seek out elders that have experienced what you’re asking about. Really take heed and advice from what they are saying rather than having the know it all attitude I had at 23 or 24 years old, or in this case 16 as you’re saying. I would tell him to reach out to the ones who have already blown it and made mistakes, because that’s part of life. That would give you a true leg up so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel of growing up.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
I’d say marry once, correctly.
Once you’ve married once the right way, life is so much better and much easier.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
My character and rectitute, how I treat others. I try to live life with the golden rules: what comes around goes around, you reap what you sow, etc… I try to keep those positive thoughts around me and it just comes back ten-fold.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I expect the company to triple in size from where we are at today, both physically and financially. I’ll be interested to reevaluate in 5 years but I expect to see at least triple in all areas.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Spending time with my wife and children is my biggest interest. I was once interested in golf but found that it’s too much of a time waster. Whatever life is throwing at us as far as activities, whether it’s skiing, travelling… as long as it’s with the family I’m enjoying all of my time not spent at work.
Can you explain the proudest day of your professional career?
Probably the day I hit 150 clients. To be able to have helped that many people achieve their goals and max out their finances is something that gives me great pride. Then there’s my advanced degrees, which have been a big part of having a great sense of accomplishment, especially the doctorate.