Imagine you are being interviewed for a news article about your profession and your role in it. The reporter would likely ask you the famous Five W Questions taught in journalism school.
Most of your answers would be straightforward. The “who” is you. The “what” is being a financial advisor. The “when” is every day since wealth management never takes a vacation. The “where” is a constantly evolving answer, because technology is freeing you to make better use of your workday by liberating you from many mundane tasks. That in turn is opening more time to meet one-one-with your clients and gain a better in-depth understanding of their personal financial goals.
Which prompts the most important question of all. The “why.” Why do you do what you do for a living? Your answer will provide tremendous insight into the passion that motivates you and can be channeled to power your career to the next level.
Author Simon Sinek launched something of a revolution a few years back with his book, Start with Why. In that best-seller, he asks a basic question: What makes some people (and organizations) more innovative, influential, and profitable than others? Believe it or not, it all boils down to a single defining distinction. It is the “why” behind what both drives them forward while at the same time redefining how they do it.
So, why do you do what you do for a living?
Let’s face it, very few of us begin life wanting to manage other people’s money. Little kids dream of being astronauts or firefighters when they play, not financial planners!
Yet somewhere on your life’s journey, something about our profession captured your interest. You explored it and ultimately decided this was the right field for you. So hopefully the first part of your “why” is you have a passion for our field.
But here’s something the public doesn’t realize about us. It is the “why” that separates us from others in related professions.
We derive immense satisfaction from seeing our clients realize their individual financial dreams and goals. That is the “why” that propels us out of bed each morning. It is the engine that drives us to find new ways to be even better at our jobs.
Because we understand our jobs are about more than balance sheets. We understand that the bottom line for our clients is measured beyond dollars and cents.
It’s painfully obvious to everyone involved when your goal is limited to doing a good job for your clients — nothing more, nothing less. Today, more than ever, clients are responding positively to wealth managers who do a great job — who take the extra steps of getting to know the client, connect with them on a personal level, and who clearly understand the client’s vision of financial success.
In our increasingly competitive industry, simply being “good” is no longer good enough. Investors expect more and, frankly, they are entitled to that expectation. It’s been said that “People buy people.” And that’s true. However, in today’s environment the deeper truth is that “People buy great people.”
The “why” is also what keeps you going. It gets you through those rough days when everything goes wrong. It sees you through down markets, when everything looks bleak, and investors get jittery. It is a shiny goal glowing down the road, something to both focus on and strive toward, because you understand what you are doing is bigger than you and whatever problems you may be dealing with right now.
So, the question becomes, are you willing to rise and go beyond just being “good” and reach for being “great”? The answer depends on your personal “why.”
If your motivation is a burning desire to help your clients advance toward their financial goals, then you are well on your way to becoming one of our industry’s greats!