The saying goes that hindsight is 20/20, and I think we can agree that in many cases this is true. With that in mind, let’s picture the last day of your career. You have spent many years in the financial services industry and now it’s time to retire. Picture shutting the lights off, locking the office door and walking to your car. What would your older self, on that final day, offer as nuggets of wisdom to your younger self (the person you are today)? What are some last lessons you would share? If you think along these lines, the nuggets of wisdoms you come up with are things you already (consciously or unconsciously) know you should be utilizing now!
Here’s a look at some solid advice I have received from veteran advisers over my last 20-plus years in this business.
It’s Not About the Money, It’s About the Mission
At some point in your career you will go from just trying to survive to feeling comfortable with your level of success. When that day happens, you will realize that it’s not really about the money, it’s about your mission, whatever your purpose is for deciding to be in this business. For many advisers, their mission is to help people prepare for financial security. If you are not in the business for the mission but for the money, you won’t last long as your clients will eventually figure that out and take their assets elsewhere.
You Never Help Others by Holding Yourself Back
There are no excuses for failing to be successful. The fear of rejection, complacency, insecurity, lack of technical knowledge and expertise are all challenges that others have faced and overcome. You can never help others by holding yourself back with excuses. The key is to figure out (sometimes with the assistance of a mentor, colleague or coach) what your challenges are, then research the appropriate solutions and implement them.
Action Alleviates Anxiety
The antidote for a worried mind is to fill your day with productive activities. If you don’t have enough in your pipeline, get busy prospecting. If you do, you will soon find that your anxiety is replaced with the excitement about opportunities presenting themselves.
You Determine Your Own Success
Success is a choice. Nobody can succeed for you. It’s your responsibility to become dedicated to do so. Many tools, techniques, strategies and solutions have worked for hundreds of financial advisers that I’ve coached over the past decade, but only you can choose to take steps toward determining and defining your own success.
Take a moment to think about what last lessons you would like to begin incorporating into your practice now rather than waiting until you wrap up your professional days. Sometimes by thinking ahead (sometimes way ahead) we can climb out from under the clutter of the present and gain clarity on what our focus truly should be from now into the future.
Daniel C. Finley
St. Paul, Minn.