BSW manifests my dream in ways I never considered when I opened the doors of Baydush Investments. To be sure, the firm has aligned clients’ interests with our own, my primary driver at the outset (after seeing the internal workings of a large broker-dealer). However, I never anticipated the wonder and gratitude of working shoulder-to-shoulder with so many vibrant, fun people from whom I continually learn. Nor did I ponder the growth trajectory out this far. And my goal of a fairly structured, successful advisory firm didn’t include an understanding of the graciousness and appreciation from our clients that has been a gift. All unconsidered but a blessing, every one.
My penchant for fun and for fairness leads me to try to ensure the experience of everyone in my community is as close to what they visualize as possible, if not exceeding those hopes, and something I practice daily. I do have to remember to include myself on that list, too! I have found that the biggest block to this can be people’s belief that there’s an obstacle between them and their dreams. All it takes is determination and charting the path. And if they can’t see how to get there, well, ideation is one of my core strengths. Persistence to the point of success, balancing a spirit of mischief with long-term strategic planning and surrounding myself with people whose strengths complement mine and enjoy the same sense of joy all led to the BSW that most of you experience today.
20+ years after founding the firm, I transitioned to my current role as a member of the Investment Policy Committee and active shareholder. I have the unique perspective of not being around for the day-to-day workings of the firm (though follow them through meetings and updates) and so can offer the strategic perspective regarding larger issues I observe. After this transition, my thoughts turned elsewhere.
You see, from the time I was 12 or 13 years old, I had a dream to live out in the woods, fairly self-sustaining and off the grid. I actually remember thinking that I wished I had been a pioneer in the old West. So, after stepping out of my daily responsibilities, it was time to act. My sole residence is now out in the national forest in Montana, and you should see the grin on my face every time I’m walking around in those wilds, harvesting food out of my garden or watching the moose walk by, absorbing the realization that “I did it!”. And when turning the garden in the winter or fixing up some Rube Goldberg solution to a problem out there, I feel like a pioneer woman. All of it makes my heart sing. My friends and family who know me well – and love me anyway! – appreciate it the same way, and that adds to my happiness. Sharing my bliss. Not that they necessarily feel the same way I do, but they understand why it speaks to me. I value this love and acceptance for who I am, flaws and all, because no matter the fact that it took me 35 years to realize that people really do not want to hear exactly what you’re thinking the moment you think it (if at all), my people “get” me. And I hope I give the same, and more, back. Because I regularly try to imagine what I will be thinking on my deathbed (how else to ensure no regrets?) and live accordingly. There really are no rules except those which you choose to accept.
Fun for me? Trying out the best new restaurant and figuring out how to make what they’re making. Scuba diving 60 feet below the surface of the Banda Sea and bursting into tears over the beauty and natural order of mother nature (and simultaneously holding sadness for the accelerating change of same). Falling down laughing on the street in Washington DC or the subway in NYC with my mother and sisters. Traveling the world to see the multitude of ways people live and at the same time understanding that we’re all basically the same: wanting home, family, good health and personal freedom to be the people we are. Walking into the office and being greeted with open arms and being able to catch up with each person – and meet new ones – and dive right into the rhythm of life at BSW.
Well, I could share much more, but I think I’ve painted a pretty good picture of who and how I am. A lucky woman who held a very stressful job for a long time, but have had plenty of time to heal and follow my theme song, because I’m “On the Road to Find Out”.