Late last year, we were in the worst bear market since the end of World War II. Beyond the significant financial losses that have been sustained, the emotional toll on financial advisors needs to be acknowledged as well. Last year was a rough one and it is a good time to focus on setting the stage for your business this year.
Perhaps all we need to do is rethink what is really important to our clients and to our own purpose and values.
Is it possible that this year could really be your best year ever? The answer may depend on your personal definition of the word “best.” The old definition of success largely depended on the number of new clients acquired or the amount of revenue produced. Having a great year might have hinged on your earning a new title or gaining another type of professional recognition. Perhaps all we need to do is rethink what is really important to our clients and to our own purpose and values. It’s time to realign our work lives to become more centered on these higher goals.
Making it the best
We can decide to have our “best” year at work by:
- Improving our personal relationships and friendships with our clients
- Focusing on what is important to them
- Listening to, and understanding their concerns
- Caring about their well-being
- Re-establishing their goals to make sure our advice matches their objectives
- Reviewing their life insurance needs in a world full of risks
- Updating our client-service models to reinforce a higher degree of client service, satisfaction and loyalty
- Increasing client contact and communication
- Educating clients and boosting their understanding of market cycles
- Realizing that clients want more. They may know you can’t change the economy or the performance of their investment or life insurance accounts, but they want to be able to look you in the eye and with a high level of confidence, be able to trust you fully.
Even more importantly, we can decide to have our “best” year in life by:
- Discovering what is most important in our own lives and choosing to live each day focusing on those key values
- Re-prioritizing our daily activities so that we have time to focus on family, friends, faith and the other things that matter the most to us
- Simplifying every aspect of our lives and choosing to get rid of the clutter in our homes and at our offices
- Deciding to be in the best physical shape of our lives
- Eating foods that bring us energy and strength
- Being rested
- Reading and increasing our personal competency
Live in the present
As advisors, it is our job to be able to read research and economic data and attempt to set parameters or forecasts that will guide our decision-making process. It is often this forecasting that will cause us the most emotional distress. Psychologically, forecasting of any kind forces us to live in some future state—always working to predict what tomorrow will bring. The problem with this habit is that by forecasting the future, we often let the present pass us by.
The volatility that has rocked the investment world last year has continued to prove that we have no control over the performance or direction of the economy. All of the research and reading and forecasting somehow didn’t prepare us for what we have experienced.
Having your "best" year ever means choosing to live a life governed by a different measuring stick this year. Maybe the clearest definition of “best” is to live each day in the present. It may be about choosing to enjoy the gifts and talents you have been given and using them to make the world a better place-one day at a time.
Allyson Lewis is the author of The Seven Minute Difference. Visit www.TheSevenMinuteDifference.com for a free report “10 Tips for Remarkable Advisors.” You can also view the free 11-minute video sample of Lewis’ flagship message.