I think I speak for everyone when saying, “I wish the COVID-19 crisis was behind us already.” Yet, I am grateful for the silver linings that it has presented.
No doubt financial advisors are used to blocking and tackling because of market volatility, while managing compliance, regulatory mandates and changing culture within their firms. Yet this crisis, by far, is proving to be the most challenging—testing the strength of everyone’s client relationships, business practices and, most certainly, individual fortitude.
The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as we all go through the phases of reopening—and stepping out further into our lives armed with face masks and hand sanitizer. But, with each step there is the realization that the new world we are making our way back into still comes with some uncertainty.
Dan Sullivan, the founder and president of The Strategic Coach, wrote this passage after 9/11, and I find these words just as inspiring and relevant today.
- Forget about yourself; focus on others.
- Forget about your commodity; focus on your relationships.
- Forget about the sale; focus on creating value.
- Forget about your losses; focus on your opportunities.
- Forget about your difficulties; focus on your progress.
- Forget about the future; focus on today.
- Forget about who you were; focus on who you can be.
- Forget about events; focus on your responses.
- Forget about what’s missing; focus on what’s available.
- Forget about your complaints; focus on your gratitude.
Focusing on Opportunity Instead of Uncertainty
Uncertainty can often be the gateway to opportunity, and for financial advisors, the ability to change their focus has proven to be a real game changer.
For instance, this crisis has served as a catalyst to deepen relationships with clients, demonstrate the benefits of smart planning, get creative with communication and marketing, and find new ways to efficiently run their businesses.
While working from home became a necessity three months ago, it’s now likely to become a regular practice for many. Few advisors would have considered videoconferencing with their clients in the past, yet it’s proved to be a real winner, particularly in cases where infrequent phone conversations were the norm. And advisors got even more creative by offering webinars, videos and other virtual events that they would never have undertaken in the past.
The advisors we’ve spoken to fully expect these elements to be part of their best practices going forward—as they’ve learned to achieve greater connectivity and efficiency than ever before. They’ve also acknowledged that this gives them the opportunity to take better care of themselves—gaining time to exercise, be more present with family and friends, and expand their own knowledge base.
The ability to reframe your thoughts and focus—allowing yourself to view uncertainty as an opportunity for positive change—can serve as a strong guidepost for each of us as we make our way toward a better future.
I hope to see you there.
Mindy Diamond is President & CEO of Diamond Consultants in Morristown, N.J., a nationally recognized boutique search and consulting firm in the financial services industry.