Fear and Uncertainty Are Kryptonite to Growth, Purpose Is the Antidote.

An Exercise to Overcome Fear in Today’s Environment and Position Yourself for Success

Uncertainty in business, relationships and the future is unavoidable as we wait in limbo – in quarantine and social distancing. Let’s be clear, there are many things outside of our control right now and it’s scary. 

Fear is no joke. It impacts our decision making, undermines confidence and causes stress. In environments like this, prolonged stress can cause health problems and negatively impact performance, and relationships if not managed.  

As financial advisors, your clients and team depend on you to manage through uncertainty. As business owners your livelihood depends on your ability to sustain and grow through challenging periods in the market and in life. 

So, what can you do to overcome fear and keep a healthy mindset?

When you start to go to a place of fear and worry about the future, take a moment to notice it, feel it and check in with your why – your purpose. 

You can only control what you can control. Remind yourself, we always have resources available. Recognizing that time is one of the most powerful resources, is something largely in our control and tends to be in abundance these days now is an as good time as ever to focus on your business, to reset your mindset and focus to ensure you are doing what you can for future success. 

When I work with advisor clients on their growth plan we always start at the beginning -- everything begins with your why. 

Use the exercise below to uncover (or refresh) your purpose, to stay you focused (and refocus) when fear and uncertainty set in.

Grab a quiet space, pen and paper. Consider these questions and write out your answers. There is no right or wrong, trust your gut. 

  • Why did you start your business?
  • What is your story? What aspects of your story are you most proud of?
  • Who do you serve? Why do you serve them? How do you want them to feel?
  • Describe yourself in three words
  • Describe your business in three words  

Take some space. When you are ready, go back and reread your responses. 

  1. Highlight the strengths, the words and concepts that resonate
  2. Underline the challenges, those words and concepts that don’t resonate, that leave you feeling empty or negative
  3. Star the opportunities, areas where you feel fear but also excitement 
  4. List out your strengths from #1 (only the ones that 100% resonate) 
  5. Look for commonality in the words and concepts and identify a few that capture your why (for example, impact, potential, curiosity)

It’s time to put it together.

It’s easiest to start with, “I believe…” eventually you can refine your purpose statement to be more succinct but it takes time and will evolve. It’s also helpful to have a business purpose and mission statement to help align you and your team around a common vision.  

Here’s an example of my first draft:

“I believe in human potential, we are more capable than we realize. With infinite curiosity around the how do of growth I empower people and businesses to unlock their potential. Their success creates immeasurable impact.”

Stay focused on your purpose, those words and concepts in #1. Avoid, delegate or stop doing the challenges in #2. Explore and create space for the opportunities in #3. 

Flip the script on fear and uncertainty and set yourself up for success with your why. 

Related: Sales Skills Every Financial Advisor Can Master