Winston-Salem: “How do you maintain such a high level of passion?” Rob asked me as we broke for lunch, then clarified “I’m serious. I’m very impressed with your passion after so many years in the business, how do you do it?”
Oh my. I loved the compliment, but the question gave me cause for pause. After stumbling around for an answer, Rob chuckled and said he’d asked the same question to his firm’s #1 advisor and got a similar response.
Following that event (I was conducting a full day workshop on the Art of Selling to the Affluent) Rob’s question kept running through my mind, drip-drip-drip like a leaky faucet. Passion – such an important ingredient to success and although appreciative of Rob’s compliment I was disappointed at not having an intelligible answer.
How do financial advisors (anyone for that matter) maintain their passion?
That question awakened me at 4 AM with an uncomplicated answer. Apparently there’s a lot to that old cliché “I need to sleep on it.”
There are 5 components of a financial advisor’s “alpha” success ingredient – PASSION.
Passion Component # 1: The “I care” Attitude – Financial advisors who truly care about their clients, who understand their family’s goals, and are true solution providers for the multi-dimensional aspects of their financial and family affairs are considered indispensable by their clients.
This “I care” attitude is what propels financial advisors to always do their best, go the extra yard, and truly get involved with the lives of their clients. In a sense their clients become part of their business family. All of which continues to refuel their passion for the business.
Passion Component #2: An “Ongoing Learning” Mindset – Financial advisors who have passion are NOT stuck in yesterday’s world. Hardly! These advisors are learners. They are curious, open minded and have a thirst for knowledge. Whether it’s the confusing changes in the tax laws, new financial planning software, alternative investments, or outside experts, advisors with passion are fully engaged, dialed-in, and on top of any new development that might impact their clients and or business.
Passion Component #3: Ambition – I find it endearing that financial advisors who are really passionate about their work are also extremely goal focused. And they are also very competitive. It’s almost as though the first two passion components lead to ambition. They establish targets for themselves, goals that consistently force them outside of their comfort zones. These financial advisors understand that if they aren’t growing their business, they are dying a slow death every day. And there is no way a passionate financial advisor will allow the latter to happen. Their ambition guarantees ongoing growth.
Passion Component #4: Discipline – Ambition without discipline is merely an exercise in futility. Financial advisors who have a passion for their business are NOT futile. They consistently “do” whatever needs to be “done” even when there are times when they’d rather be doing something else. They live within their goal-focused achievement cycle, they consistently act in the direction of their goals, instead of overthink and become stagnant. Financial advisors with passion are doers!
Passion Component #5: Fear – It might appear counterintuitive, but high achievers who are truly passionate about their work are also motivated by a fear. A healthy fear. It’s a fear of being irrelevant, losing a client, losing an affluent prospect to a competitor, negative word-of-mouth…and the list goes on. This fear is what motivates financial advisors to excel, to service clients beyond their expectations, to acquire more affluent clients and more assets than other advisors. This fear also fuels their passion, motivating them to continually strive to improve.
Woven through all five components is the simple fact that financial advisors who have passion, whether they’re rookies or veterans, enjoy their chosen profession. This isn’t to say they like every aspect of their business, but they do thoroughly enjoy their work as a financial advisor.
My message to financial advisors who don’t enjoy their work - find another job. Life is too short not to be passionate about your chosen profession.
Let me know how you maintain your passion as a financial advisor.