Tammy Trenta Knowlton

Family Financial, an advisory firm owned by Tammy Trenta Knowlton, helps clients accelerate their wealth and keep more of what they earn. Tammy and her team provide financial planning, investment management, estate planning, tax preparation and other business management services. After working in the financial industry for 26 years, Tammy launched Family Financial in 2021. She is a Certified Financial Planner™, a Certified Tax Planner and a Certified Exit Planner. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?

Growing up, I never really learned the ins and outs of finance. My parents were spenders, and then life threw them some curveballs. I witnessed early on how divorce, bankruptcy and tax issues can affect families. Diving deep into financial literacy became my lifeline, especially since money stirs up so many emotions for all of us—both good and bad.

What challenges have you faced as a woman working in your industry?

In my 27 years in the finance sector, which is predominantly male-driven, I’ve encountered behaviors and practices that today would be considered unacceptable. Rather than being defined by them, I took a long-term perspective, understanding my value and progressing steadily. When I look back, I realize that those very challenges are what propelled me to launch my business. True growth happens when you can turn the negatives into positives.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out in business?

Embrace every challenge with the confidence that it’s a stepping stone to wisdom. Your ambition is a gift; don’t let caution dim its light. As a mother and wife, I’ve realized that balancing personal and professional aspirations is an art. Prioritize self-care and relationships as fiercely as career milestones. Every setback is a setup for a comeback; wear your wisdom as armor and stride forward.

What are some key qualities for women in leadership roles?

Women often bring a unique blend of empathy and resilience to leadership roles, which can foster a more inclusive work environment. A woman’s natural tendency toward collaboration and intuitive understanding can be a game changer in team dynamics.

What does success mean to you?

It boils down to finding what lights you up, going after it and feeling genuinely good about it inside. For me that’s all about serving others. When we make a real difference in someone’s life, it’s like we’re giving a nod to our own purpose. There’s this amazing feeling when you see the positive change you’ve brought about. The real win is in lifting others up along our journey.

How do you rally your team to take on a big goal? 

Whenever we’re tackling big goals, I love pulling everyone together for a brainstorming session. I truly value hearing different viewpoints—there’s so much richness in diversity. Hashing things out as a team not only makes everyone feel involved, but it also gives us that collective confidence that we’re on the right track.

How do you foster a positive work environment?

I’ve always felt that our work family is a lot like our actual family. I’m all for giving folks the freedom and flexibility they need. Keeping the lines of communication open is key; it makes everyone feel valued and clued in about their special role on the team. When we get that balance just right, everyone thrives.

What motivates you to go to work every day?

Every day I’m fueled by a genuine passion for my work, which blurs the line between a job and a purpose. My clients inspire me every day. Navigating and leading in a male-dominated industry has strengthened my resolve and highlighted the importance of mentorship. It’s more than just business; it’s about creating lasting impact and challenging the status quo.

What are the roadblocks to taking good care of yourself?

Between being a wife and mom and running a business, I used to run on fumes by day’s end. But lately I’ve been stealing a little “me time” each morning, and wow, it’s been a game changer for feeling centered and ready for the day! I’m a self-help junkie, and when I read The Miracle Morning, it really resonated with me.

What are some things you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work?

I’ve been diving into some new hobbies recently! I’ve picked up pickleball lessons, which have been a blast. My 6-year-old son, Jack, and I have been learning how to play chess. Having engaging and interactive activities allows me to spend more quality time with my family, which I really enjoy.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I hope to keep pushing forward on my mission to boost financial literacy. I believe that once we attain a certain level of accomplishment, it’s all about giving back and uplifting our community. On a personal note, finding that harmony between work and family is crucial for me, especially with my son growing up so quickly. I want to savor each moment with him.

Photographed by Fabien & Laura Castro