By: Daniel C. Finley

Do You Know How to Read Your Gauges?

As a financial advisor we are entrusted with great responsibility—guiding our clients and prospects on their journey to obtain their long-term financial goals via our investment recommendations.

However, since so much of our time is allocated to helping out our clients, oftentimes we forget to take care of ourselves and our needs (both personal and professional).

Understanding Your Gauges

To better illustrate this, think of a car. When you drove to your office today, your car is equipped with plenty of ways to tell you if it was working properly, by the gauges on the dashboard. Gauges do little to help you though if you do not understand what they mean. For example, when the oil light comes on, it’s time to check the oil because you are probably low. But, if you didn’t know what the oil light symbol meant you may simply keep driving your car unaware that you could be doing permanent damage.

Similar are your own set of personal gauges. If you don’t understand the warning signs you may find out too late that something is amiss. There are many things that could be considered as potential warning signs, let’s look at just three of them.

  1. Physical Gauges

When you find yourself exhausted or physically tense, it may be your body’s way of telling you that it’s time for some much needed rest and relaxation. The body has a natural way of giving you constant warning signals. While we often times only react to those signals that indicate acute pain, such as a sprained ankle or stiff neck, your physical gauges may be actually sending you more warnings than you realize. One way to better heed these warnings is to not dismiss any discomfort.  Ask yourself if this fatigue, ache or pain seems to out of the blue or if it is recurrent then address it either way with appropriate attention, care or treatment (get more sleep, book a massage, or schedule a doctor’s visit).

  • Emotional Gauges

If you have felt an increase in your anxiety, noticed that you are being overly defensive or even feeling depressed, your emotional gauges are definitely sending you signals.  The cause of why you are feeling this way may be personal and/or business related but whatever the reason you must find some control over it. Talk your concerns over with a trusted friend or family member or seek a professional opinion.

  • Relational Gauges

Financial services is a business of relationships, however if you find that you are avoiding clients rather than speaking with them it is time to have a serious heart-to-heart with yourself on why this may be occurring. It may be that you are taking on too much or feel responsible for things that are out of your control or that you are not working as efficiently (and thus effectively) as possible. If this is the case, it may be time to talk to a mentor or business coach who could offer you some insights and suggestions as to how to go about finding your mojo again.

I hope you see the importance of knowing your own warning signals as paying attention to them will assist you in “gauging” your success from an entirely new perspective.

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