Writing the Next Chapter


As another new year begins, you may be wondering what it holds in store for you and your business. Will this be your break out year—a banner year that takes your business to the next level? Or, will you find your business in the same place next year? The story of your future success is yet unwritten, so it is up to you to begin writing the next chapter…

The financial advisory business seems to me to be made up of a series of “chapters” which are compiled during one’s career.  Each chapter brings a new (and hopefully greater) level of awareness, accountability, and action as we learn and grow from the previous chapter’s experiences. Oftentimes we may not realize we have moved into the next chapter until we have a defining “a-ha” moment, but it certainly doesn’t (nor shouldn’t) take an “a-ha” moment to start (or end) one.

In other words, chapters may come in several formats, sizes and may come up when we least expect them. One example of this happened to me seventeen years ago when I realized “how” I set an appointment. I had set several appointments before this but I never understood “how” I was setting them. The conversation went like this:

“I think I’m all taken care of. I have mutual funds already”  said Mary, a middle-aged business owner.

“What kind?”
  I curiously asked.

“They are the ‘XYZ Funds’
. I’ve had them for years” she stated.

“Oh, so your advisor is from XYZ Securities? Did he mention that he got paid a higher commission for selling you his company funds? And, with the universe of funds to choose from, why would those funds be the best fund family for you?”

“I don’t know” she quietly replied. “That’s exactly why I want to get together with you.” She paused and then said, “What time?”

After that conversation, I realized the importance of asking the right questions. I began mapping out questions prior to meetings, applied those questions during them, and I held myself accountable for reviewing those conversations so that I could get better at it; thus, I began writing a new chapter by changing the way I communicated with prospects and clients.

Remember you are the sole author of your “book” about your business and your life.  You can choose the next chapter and write its ending at anytime.  May it be a productive and successful one.

Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.

2 thoughts on “Writing the Next Chapter

  1. Daniel – I love this metaphor. Being clear about how you want to progress through the “story arc” for your 2012 chapter (or whatever your next chapter is) will certainly help with the decisions of how to allocate time, money, and resources. What to say Yes to and what to decline. The concept of writing your own ending hits spot-on with the concept of why having a vision is so important. Create your own ending — don’t let is just happen to you. Thanks for this inspiration!

  2. Kristin,

    You are very welcome…

    Your understanding of this blog post was spot-on as well!

    Dan Finley

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