Working in financial services is not easy for many reasons. One of the most difficult aspects about being a professional in the industry is when you start to second guess your true value as an advisor or agent.
Take Bill J., a veteran financial advisor who after twenty years decided it was time get help with some of the negative beliefs he felt were beginning to affect his business success. “What do you think is your number one challenge?” I inquired. It was a question that I have asked individuals hundreds of times so I wasn’t shocked when he replied, “I’m not sure why I’m still in the business. I don’t even know if I’m truly helping anyone.”
Most advisors and agents at some point in their careers find themselves facing similar hurdles. The solution is not a quick fix but it most certainly with a bit of introspection can be remedied. “Let’s take a little time to find that out. In fact, let’s take 21 days to define and show you your true value.” I suggested.
Step #1: Ask Better Questions
Part of Bill’s challenge was that he was asking himself questions that had a negative connotation. I recommended that he focus on asking himself two positive questions at the end of each work day for 21 days. “Who have I helped today and how have I helped them?” I told him to take at least five minutes to really think about those questions (and their answers) before he wrapped things up for the day. He was to put his answers down on a sheet labeled “MY TRUE VALUE” for day 1 and continue this process for each of the 21 days.
This would reinforce and allow him to revel in his accomplishments (small and large) and hopefully fill him full of positive energy as he left his office which would likely allow him to start the following workday with an upbeat attitude.
Step #2: Review the List
Each morning he was to review his list of answers by reading them out loud before starting his day’s activities. Again, this would provide him with some motivation for what lay ahead for his day’s meetings and conversations.
Step #3: Increase Your Value
I told him to also once a day find a new way in which he could help his clients (for example, it could be something as simple as deciding to make a monthly check-in call with clients or by creating a client survey to gather feedback). Chances are his clients already valued him but seeking out and validating that through more regular client interaction would benefit him.
Defining Your True Value
Bill did this exercise for the 21 days and it didn’t take long before his self-worth was boosted. As a result, his confidence grew and he began to look forward to coming to work. Such things as client interruptions took on new meaning as a way to turn obstacles into opportunities.
He shared with me that he now realized that he WAS helping his clients every day. His true value had shown itself and was supported by his actions as he could see by keeping his 21 day log!