Machel's Ranch

Recession-proof attitude leads Joseph Defalco to successful heights

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those overly optimistic types that thoroughly enjoy a great success story … especially during a recession. After hearing so many others over the last year speak candidly of our economic situation, it was refreshing for me to discover one of my client’s abilities to grow his branch office at Ameriprise from three advisers to 32 in less than three years.  
About a week ago, I met with Mr. Defalco at his sprawling penthouse office in La Jolla, with a sweet view of the Hyatt pool just outside his window, which definitely has its perks in the summertime in San Diego. We sat down for a candid one-on-one interview. As he finished up at his desk, I noticed the theme in his collage of pictures on the wall, with words like “Inspire” and “Dream” hanging between inspirational nature scenes. I’ve always been one of those inspirational fanatics that feel inspired by reading those quotes under the quiet brook running through the forest. With that being said, I would like to share with you in a question and answer format of my interview from that day.
Q.  How long ago did you start at Ameriprise?
A. Almost 10 years with HR Block Financial, who was then purchased by Ameriprise one year ago.
Q. What was your foundation you had that led to your recent success at Ameriprise?
A. I was a financial adviser, and I didn’t like the way our office was managed. So, I wanted the responsibility to improve our local business and help the client experience.
Q. What are the key ingredients to running and managing a successful business?
A. Being in the game and having passion every day. You must constantly be engaged to improve things no matter how good they are at that time … You must put yourself in a situation to win.
Q. How were you able to thrive during the recession over the last two years when other companies lost ground?
A. There are always opportunities … Over the last two years other firms misfortunes have opened a huge door for me in a few ways. I was able to attract experienced advisors. I also allowed our advisors to prospect for clients that wanted change in their investment plan.
Q. Do you find the market changing with the times?
A. Other than the concerns with our clients and their jobs, I really don’t focus on the economy.
(This by the way was my favorite retort. I love those that don’t dwell on the negative).
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I would like to double our numbers of advisors and client base over the next five years.
Q. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in your field?
A. Stay focused and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. As you grow, make sure to stay in the trenches so you know what’s going on.
Q. How do you start your week, with a sales meeting?
(I kind of get this look like, how else would one start a successful business week?)
A. Yes, we start the week with a sales meeting. We sometimes have inspirational speakers talk to our team. My approach with each person is I respect their individuality and that I work for them. At the end of the day, I need to make sure that they are happy.
 Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I would like to double our numbers of advisors and client base over the next five years.
Q. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in your field? A. Stay focused and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. As you grow, make sure to stay in the trenches so you know what’s going on.
After our interview, I felt rather inspired by all of Joseph’s advice and wise words that have helped make him a success at Ameriprise Financial. If you would like more information on this financial firm, call (858) 795-2305. 
Around town
On Nov. 20, I met some wonderful women en at OMG in Solana Beach. If you are like me, you take time to invest in your skin, especially if you are over 30. I’m starting to reach that point where I understand why women might fib about their at on occasion. Just for the record, I’m 38 and it will probably be the last time you see me admit my age in print! Well, this leads me back to the women I met in Solana Beach: Ina Maynard and Cathe Bjorklund that were giving a facial demonstration at OMG. This demonstration began with an introduction on Sophia Loren’s beauty secret after all of these years, according to Cathe Bjorklund: “I was absolutely blown away with the fact that Sophia Loren, that Italian beauty of 73, has never had a facelift! What is her secret? No juvederm, no botox, no peels, no surgery! How could anyone arrive at the age of 73 looking like that with no “work” done? Apparently, approximately 50 years ago an Italian named Luigi Galvani discovered that in order to transport beneficial ingredients deep into the skin’s dermis where they could actually alter the aging process, an electronic current was needed. Luigi aptly named his current the “galvanic current” and it has been used in Spa and Medical settings ever since. Sophia Loren has used the galvanic current for 50 years, twice a week.” I don’t want to reveal too much more because if you want to know the secret you will have go in for a free demonstration. Here is a photo of me with these lovely women that special day. Thanks so much for sharing the secret with me! For more information call Ina’s Fabulous Faces at (858) 472-4560 or stop in on Cedros to OMG to schedule your holiday appointment.
On Nov. 21, I snagged a fabulous invitation to Karian and Tom Forsyth’s holiday party inside the prestigious gates of The Crosby. The evening I must say was one of the cooler nights I’ve experienced in San Diego this fall season, and I terribly regretted leaving my jacket behind. Champagne and wine were being served to all of the guests as the arrived by the wait staff the Forsyths had hired for the evening. I met the owners of Paradise Grille, Conor and Shana Adair. We enjoyed their fabulous conversation of how they met and married in Europe. Both each have family members in all corners of the world. Shana is originally from New Jersey and Conon is from South Africa. After recently being married this summer, I just loved hearing their wedding stories from when they first met. I took some fun photos of the guest there that evening, including: Tom and Karian Forsyth, my husband Robin Shull with guest Christopher Lee (not the actor!), and Conor and Shana. Thanks so much to the Forsyths for the wonderful hospitality and for including us on their exclusive guest list in Rancho Santa Fe.
On Nov. 22, I found out some exciting information that I thought would make for a great holiday tip for Rancho Santa Fe residents: “Holiday Gifting Helpers
Donum Elite Gifting is a luxury gift concierge service enjoyed by an exclusive clientele. Located in Rancho Santa Fe, we’ve maintained a loyal group of high profile clients for over a decade by surpassing expectations with our tasteful and creative gift ideas, impeccable service and flawless follow through. Every gifting need or project is handled with exquisite execution and an unparalleled level of service and taste. We offer personalized service working directly with our clients to find the most perfect gifts for their recipients.  Our gifts are tailored to your specific needs and range from classic to cutting edge — working with established luxury brands and obscure artisans alike. But we are perhaps best known for our ability to fulfill the most challenging special requests. Let Donum take the stress and legwork out of the gifting process for you this holiday season!” Reach Donum Elite Gifting at (310) 317-4577. 
If you are too busy to shop this Christmas, here is an alternative that will save you more time for your own personal holiday festivities.  
Save the Date
Lizzie over at Posture Biomechanics Foundation shared with me the news of their upcoming seminar on Dec. 17, called Power Up Your Posture. Marcia Tassinari, M.P.T. will present “The Posture Revolution,” a free seminar focused on posture and how it affects your spine strength, health, and well-being. This free event will be held at The Posture Revolution Studio, 114 North Rios Avenue, in Solana Beach from 4 to 6 p.m. You will receive a gift certificate for one free class. Call (858) 581-0062 to RSVP or more information. Thanks Lizzie, for sharing this exciting information.


Dominic DeFalco December 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm

That’s my boy !

Client September 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Does a great job, thanks

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