As a female financial advisor you are an entrepreneur. You are creating something from nothing, you provide the marketing, admin, servicing as well as investment management. You have developed every aspect of your business based on what you believe will help you to succeed. If you are truly acting like an entrepreneur the following message will resonate with you as it did with me.
Today my daughter Broghan who is studying abroad shared her notes from her international business class. Odds are this describes you, too:
- Capable of recognizing a business opportunity and able to act on it
- Often excessively confident…. optimistic
- Strongly attached to their firm or practice
- Highly motivated
- Highly tolerant of risk
- Open to help from “angels”
- Combining effectual and cause reasoning
- Eventually “growing pains” are not uncommon.
What I found most important was the last part about “growing pains”. As a financial advisor you will have ups and downs, recognizing that these moments of frustration, anxiety and concern about your progress is actually part of the process and important to your success. Don’t let the “growing pains” discourage you, recognize them as a “tipping point” moving you to a more successful phase of your business.
She had a melt down
Today I had a coaching call with a client, she is a female financial advisor just 2 years into the business. As we began the call she immediately broke into tears, she was feeling alone and highly discouraged with her progress. While she kept apologizing for her tears I recognized this was a turning point for her. While I had been trying to get her to approach her business in a new way she continued to hold on to the more traditional aspects of the business, thus the “melt down”.
There were a number of factors that instigated the melt down but I found these two are often the most common with female financial advisors, perhaps you can relate:
As a woman she wants more from her manager: When her manager makes little effort to connect with her she takes it personally. This is a very common problem for women in the industry. I have always shared that most male financial advisors only want to interact with the manager when they have a problem they want him to fix, otherwise they want to be left alone. Women on the other hand are “relationship” driven and expect their manager to take a personal interest in their business as well as who they are as a woman. There is nothing wrong with either approach they are just different. The important part is that women, female financial advisors, must acknowledge this difference and realize they may never get what they want from their manager. When you can embrace this fact the lack of attention will not cause you to feel discouraged. But you must find other avenues and sources for support, a coach, mastermind or networking group.
She is stuck in her role as a woman who needs to be liked: My client is well liked with prospects and clients as well as other advisors in the industry but this does NOT mean they take her seriously as an advisor. While her desire to be liked has helped her build relationships and trust with small prospects she has yet to attract those with substantial assets. My client still perceives herself as a young woman, a rookie producer and values being liked above all else. This is not what attracts the $1,000,000 client. Even in her office, while others compliment her on her work ethic they fail to offer partnerships or joint business opportunities.
In order to succeed my client must first begin to recognize her true value, she must change the way she perceives herself before others will begin to follow. How she looks, acts and talks is all part of the package. Even the vocabulary she uses can quickly undermine her desire to inspire confidence in her abilities.
Both of these issues are not uncommon for female financial advisors. As women working in a man’s world we can often struggle with the different styles of behavior as well as our own underlying perception of who we are. Once we begin to acknowledge that we ARE different and it is that difference that creates our true power we will be more willing to embrace a more respected and elevated version of ourselves and our ability to be successful.