Most female advisors don’t work solely for a paycheck. As a keynote speaker in the financial industry, I have asked thousands of female advisors, “Why do you do what you do?” And not once has a woman told me her primary goal as an advisor is “to make a shit load of money.”
Now don’t get me wrong – we all love making good money. But that is not what motivates most women in the financial services industry. Most women in this industry want to do meaningful work—and assume that a healthy paycheck will follow.
Why the difference between the way most women and most men view a paycheck?
The fact is, most of us as women are hard-wired for relationships. So we find motivation in making a difference in people’s lives. The challenge? The financial services industry infuses a different set of priorities into its training, philosophy and process – priorities that often conflict with the drive to make a difference. Everywhere we turn it’s about the numbers, assets, revenues and production. That’s what drives this business—and the data-heavy focus trickles down to new recruits’ mindsets. From the moment you receive training and set off to round up new clients your natural desire to make a difference does not get recognized or appreciated – it gets lost in the shuffle. From the industry’s perspective, your passion for what you do does not count toward anything —certainly not anything that will bring in the business.
But that approach ignores what I’ve seen with my own eyes, and witnessed in my own career as a financial advisor: Truly tapping into your purpose takes you to the highest levels imaginable.
And before I elaborate, let’s be clear: I’m not saying you should never rely on financial goals or number targets to measure and sometimes even inspire your success. But financial goals don’t begin to measure or capture all your progress. For women, the raw numbers must be equitably balanced with a more intrinsic and altruistic focus, something less measurable but often more powerfully motivating.
Standing Apart From the Crowd
Knowing your true purpose as a financial advisor – why you really care about what you do, and who you do it for – builds an unlimited foundation, a true why. Tapping into this deeper intention and underlying desire helps you succeed faster and with less effort. When women focus on their why they can make more powerful connections with everyone they meet, they naturally inspire more interest from others, and build more secure relationships. When they know why they’re doing it, they feel more confident asking for the business—and for more of a client’s assets. All of which culminates in more new assets and production.
Rediscovering your purpose and passion as a financial advisor doesn’t happen overnight. It truly takes some digging, peeling and exploring until you can uncover the influences that have inspired you to build a financial practice in the first place. To reclaim your purpose and passion for the business you must first be willing to mentally shed the old, stogy, industry protocol. You must acknowledge that what has worked for men in this industry for time immemorial won’t necessarily be your path, the only path, or the most natural path for women advisors to succeed. Don’t worry about which approach is objectively better or worse—or right or wrong. It’s about embracing your strengths as a woman and connecting who you are as a female advisor with a more effective approach to building a business, one that values your priorities, natural strengths and motivating influences.
In short, the antiquated business model based on prospecting, selling and closing won’t get you where you want to go as a female advisor. It draws from a male-dominant warrior mentality. The new model, the model that surveys suggest clients crave, draws from what works best for women: relationships, inspiration, motivation.
When you operate from those core components, work doesn’t feel like a grind. It feels like a natural extension of what you love to do and are good at.
Write Your Own Story
To uncover that focus, try writing out the story of “Why you care.” Writing your story takes you on a journey of self-discovery—with a few stops along the way. Each stop teaches you about yourself and you can then apply that understanding to your next draft. This story doesn’t attempt to replicate your resume. Nor does it cover all aspects of your career path. Your story encapsulates your most essential desire as a financial advisor: it is emotional, meaningful and 100% authentic.
Discovering and documenting your purpose could be one of the most valuable journeys you ever undertake as an advisor. Once you have finalized your story, it will define your true mission as a financial advisor. It will clarify your “tribal” or natural market, and help you create a compelling, authentic, and magnetic message. Believe it or not, your story will evoke immediate emotions in others and become your most compelling tool in developing and solidifying new relationships!
For female advisors, true motivation need not come from numbers and statistics alone—it can come from the emotion and feelings that inspire you to act. Know your real story—why you do what you do, and more importantly who you do it for. The business (and the paychecks) will follow.