My name is Tom Graneau, a veteran, author, and financial management coach. Some of my other professional labels include crisis manager and financial educator or counselor.
I’m a self-improvement advocate, inspiring individuals and families in the pursuit of personal excellence. It is my belief that despite our unfortunate past (failures, mistakes, etc.) and present circumstances, we can become successful, specifically in personal finance.
More importantly, it is my aim to encourage you to become the best person you were meant to be.
I was born in Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean with a population of roughly 70,000 people. While growing up, I had little or no time for school, partly because of family complications. From twelve years old, I had to provide for siblings and my chronically ill mother.
At seventeen, my mother and I moved to the United States. After two years in the U.S., I became acutely aware of my need for education and began seeking ways to attend school.
About two years later, two concerned friends stepped into my life to assist with education. Despite difficulty with immigration, I was able to start a long, learning journey in a private school.
Being unable to read or write and the oldest among all the students, I was placed in a private room to study at the second-grade level at the age of nineteen. After two years, I earned a Ninth-grade certificate.
At the age of twenty-four, I got married and started a family shortly thereafter. When my first child was born, I decided to join the U.S. Navy and was sent to California. Altogether, I spent fourteen years in the service.
Shortly after being honorably discharged from the military, I enrolled at the University of Phoenix to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Roughly six months after graduating, I enrolled in a master’s program to further my education.
After graduation, I spent roughly ten years working as a Financial Management Specialist. During that time, I conducted numerous workshops, presentations, and private consultations with members of the military, government employees, and others in the community.
I enjoyed my work as Financial Management Specialist. The whole experience was emotionally rewarding as I watched people overcome their financial challenges.
At the same time, I struggled with mine. Debt (mortgage, car loans, and high credit card balances) kept me concerned about my personal financial condition. With a stagnated salary, I had difficulty making ends meet.
In the early part of 2000, I became more determined to solve my financial challenges and those of my clients. I began to investigate what appeared to be a big problem in our country. Seemingly, millions of people were experiencing financial difficulty with no end in sight.
The situation compelled me to do more than simply thinking about it. I began to research the problem. In the process, I discovered various surveys showing roughly 90 percent of working adults living paycheck to paycheck, even some who make a six-figure income.
In most cases, the problem related directly to financial misconceptions, poor training, and lack of knowledge. It was then that I wrote my first book: Are You Financially Checkmate, which is no longer available for purchase.
Meanwhile, I stayed engaged with other responsibilities within the community. I worked in various capacities, both in the church and on the job. Some of my duties included family counseling, financial counseling, crisis management, and others, all of which have been extremely rewarding.
As an author and financial management coach, my aim is to help people achieve their personal best, including financial freedom. Pennies to Power is the most practical way to begin the process.