How do your values impact your ability to create a 21st century financial practice? Fellow consultant and researcher Dr. Chic Marshall and I had many lengthy discussions on the topic. In the end, we agreed that personal values are more complex than meets the eye.
Assessing our values provides a window into our priorities and helps us understand what motivates us. Personal values are what they are; there is no right or wrong here. Values also aren't static; they can take new directions as our circumstances change.
If you assume that what motivated you as a rookie continues to motivate you today, you're likely to find yourself unmotivated or in a rut. Was it fear, pride, money, status, competitive drive, creating a legacy or helping others that drove you in the early days? Which of these things motivates you now or is it something else? Your challenge is to discover the values that inspire you presently. Then, draw on those values to rekindle the fire that fuels your personal and professional life.
No matter what you determine your values to be, you will have to master new procedures, learn new financial platforms and reorganize your time to bring your business into the 21st century. None of this is rocket science, but all of it requires new ways of thinking and operating. In other words, building a modern financial practice consistent with your values requires having the courage to change.
Brokers who know themselves well are better able to facilitate positive change. That's why your first courageous step is taking a long, hard look in the mirror and making an honest, thorough assessment of your current state. From there you can determine how much effort, if any, you want to spend in developing your own 21st century financial practice.
As a successful registered rep, someone who has mastered marketing and selling financial intangibles, now is the time to transform your business model. There is serious work to be done. It will take courage, but the results will blow you away.
Developing Your Parabroker
You cannot develop a 21st century financial practice without an indispensable support person on your team. Just as you must assess your personal values and motivation, you must do the same regarding your parabroker.
Do you know the personal values of your support personnel? If you don't, you have some work ahead of you. I regularly encounter exceptional parabrokers who've entered their firms' rookie broker program. Their typical game plan is to work the bottom of their former broker's book as a junior broker. Sometimes this makes sense, but often I think the motivation for the parabroker's career change is purely economic.
There are other ways to increase parabroker compensation. Many indispensable parabrokers are paid well based on revenue-sharing deals with their brokers. Brokers who make such arrangements are enlightened. But the issue is motivation. Does your parabroker desire the new experience of becoming a junior broker or simply want more money? Are you aware of his or her personal goals?
The industry still has work to do to elevate the status of support personnel. You can start at the desk right outside your office. It's essential to developing a 21st century financial practice.
Matt Oechsli is president of The Oechsli Institute in Greensboro, N.C., a sales consulting firm, and author of Winning the Inner Game of Selling. He can be reached at [email protected].