Ladies we need to pump up the estrogen instead of drowning in testosterone. I had the opportunity to coach two new female advisors, they were both just a year into production and working at Merrill Lynch. These women did not know each other, lived and worked in completely different parts of the country yet they could have been twins as their issues and experiences were identical (not to mention, WAY TO COMMON for women).
They were both struggling to succeed and both frustrated and disappointed with their progress but they couldn’t figure out what they were doing wrong. While they felt like they were in a fog with no clear vision of the future, their situation was crystal clear to me.
They were drowning in testosterone!
Both of these women came from successful careers in other industries, they had both personal and business experience, with a lucrative network to tap into so what was preventing them from succeeding?
They weren’t afraid to get on the phone and had a decent understanding of the financial markets, but something was holding them back.
Their work environment was becoming toxic. Every day they walked into their office they were constantly reminded of what they didn’t EVER want to become or do.
Just listening to their cubicle neighbors selling themselves over the phone was nauseating. Hearing the banter around the water cooler talking about how they “closed on the sale” made their stomachs turn.
They knew they wanted and had the ability to succeed in this new role but the methods and training seemed so contrary to their principles, strengths and skills. In fact one of the women was forced to work with the company sponsored coach called “The Drill Sergeant” need I say more?
These women are not alone, not in the least.
In fact so many of these women, strong, successful, dynamic and driven women get on the phone with me and inevitably cry. These are tears of both frustration as well as relief, they have finally been told they are not crazy, they can succeed and they don’t have to become someone they are not to do it.
As a woman you must understand that the industry really only knows one way to train advisors and that is the way that works best for men. This is not meant to hold you back it’s just what they know. They are training the masses and in many cases are unable to carve out a special program just for the women (and in most cases they don’t know what works for women). Some women are fortunate and work in an environment that provides them with the freedom to use their female strengths but most women are subjected to the linear, warrior approach to building a business not exactly conduce to traditional “gatherers”.
But here is the real tragedy of this situation. Many of the women who don’t make it in the business, never really took the chance to achieve success on their terms. They were so busy following the traditional plan, trying hard to please, compete and fit in with their male counterparts that they never really gave it their best shot. They will never really know if they truly had what it takes to succeed and build a successful financial practice. In most cases, for the first time ever they feel as if they failed, they are not just leaving a career behind but a part of their self worth, and confidence and this is the real tragedy.
As a woman you MUST allow yourself the opportunity to learn from those that went before you but recognize that their methods are not always conducive to your style.
You MUST have the courage to chisel out your own style based on what feels right to you, your own principles and values and THEN give it everything you’ve got to succeed.
The last thing you want to happen is that you leave the business not achieving the success you wanted but knowing you really never stepped up to bat.