As a financial advisor, I have never approached my role as just a job. I always sought to be more than a money-mover for my clients. But after eight years of hearing the stories of nearly two thousand clients, an idea began to take shape in my mind, a new way of looking at my job. Really, a new way of looking at everything I do. And then two unique personalities made it all come together.
The first individual had a net worth of almost $20 million. As I drove to my scheduled meeting with him, I imagined what he would be like. Here was a man who by most people’s standards had truly “made it.” But when I met him, I was stunned. The man who sat with me – this person who had achieved every single financial goal he’d ever set for himself – was not only miserable and lonely, but also unhealthy.
Shortly thereafter I met another individual whose net worth was far less but his attitude and demeanor were totally opposite. This middle-aged man met me at the door, and I could already hear the happy voices that filled the house. There was a different tone and feeling in this second home. I stayed for dinner and heard the family story not just from this potential client and his wife, but from their adult children and several grandchildren, who all took turns jumping in on the story, laughing as they shared the memories they’d all made together.
This was the point in my life when the concepts of my role as a financial advisor began to formulate in my heart and mind. From that moment on I asked everyone I met, “What are the three things in your life that truly give it meaning?” Everyone’s answers are different, but one thing is very common – most people don’t know those answers off their top of their head.
I then saw that that could become part of my role in life – helping clients by guiding them toward those answers. If I approached my job in a certain way, I could encourage and support my clients to live a life full of joy and meaning.
When I started approaching my work that way, I realized I was doing more than serving clients. I was definitely serving them, but I also became friends with these people, a trusted friend. I mean, how much better is it to have a job where you’re building relationships with people as opposed to being the person who simply minds their mutual funds?
Now not only was I introducing this unique way of living life to others, but I was living that rich and fulfilling life too! I had the best of both worlds!