July 8, 2021

This Business Takes Courage

It would be sacrilege, wouldn’t it?

To be penning The Thinking Bench today.
Without alluding to the historic sporting events of this week.

I mean, you couldn’t write this stuff, if you were creating a binge-worthy Netflix series.

The footballer who seared his name into our memory…by missing that critical penalty 25 long years ago.
(Some of you were still in nappies then!)

The footballer who rises to coach his national team to their first major tournament final in 55 years!
(Most of you definitely weren’t even a glint in somebody’s eye that many years ago!).

Heart-thumping, nail-destroying, ulcer-creating times.

It’s a classic Hero’s Journey story.
The kind woven into my latest book, The Flight of the Soul Millionaire.

So, what’s the parallel I’m going to draw for financial advisory firms today?

The theme I’m guided towards today is Courage.
Raw, gritty, searing, rise-from-the-ashes Courage.

It’s the courage needed to say “No! We’re not the Financial Planners for you” to a financially well-padded potential client. “No!” because they’re determined to build a relationship based on superior investment performance, maximum tax savings and constantly challenging your fees.

It’s the courage, as a 27-year-old, to invest all of your savings in being coached. Simply because of a burning belief that you are capable of creating something extraordinary. (And 5 years later being the hero that many others look up to.)

It’s the courage to let go of the reins, even though you’re the leader. Shushing your noisy, clamouring, fragile Ego – constantly trying to convince you that all technical intelligence, innovation and wisdom must (of course) flow through you. And only you.

It’s the courage to let go of those whose financial advice poses a risk to the team. In spite of the fact that they are, commercially, ‘Star Performers’.

It’s the courage to admit that you were wrong.
That it really is possible to run a very successful financial planning service without face-to-face meetings. Even attracting more clients and fresh, bright, young new team members, in the midst of isolation and a global pandemic.

It’s the courage to actually ask clients what they think about your firm.
What they wish you’d stop doing.
What they wish you’d do more of.
Even when you’re not sure that you’ll like everything you hear.

It’s the courage to face the fact that your Support Team is not really there to support YOU (the confusion-creating, entrepreneurial Financial Planner). They’re there to support the client!
And so, you structure that team differently to the outdated ego-stroking hierarchy that still paralyses too many financial advisory firms.

We can’t all be superstars in our profession.
But we can demonstrate courage in our small sphere of influence.

We can face up to our imperfections.
And determine to do something about them.
Rather than wallowing in the comfort of “This Is Just How I Am”.

We can do the right thing.
Even when it costs us.
Even when it’s not popular.

We can rise above the noise of the clamouring crowd.…
And become the change we’d like to see in this world we work in.

Because you never know who’s watching you. Do you?

Your quiet courage – your willingness to change – might be what’s needed to inspire a new generation.

And your name might be on their lips…years from today.