Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be a financial advisor for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is a “lack of work ethic.”
Having a good work ethic is a bare minimum requirement for any serious consideration of a career as a financial advisor. For any chance at succeeding, financial advisors must have command of their time and their ability to multi-task, driven by a “can do” attitude.
What is “Work Ethic” and why is it important?
“Work ethic” has been described as a set of values based on the ideals of discipline and hard work. It’s built on sound habits such as staying focused, being persistent, punctuality, managing time wisely. Building a solid work ethic centers on both your actions and attitude—taking the initiative enthusiastically and performing consistently at the same level of quality, regardless of whether anyone is looking over your shoulder.
But people do notice a strong work ethic, especially your clients. It shows itself in the results, in your confidence and optimism, and in the way you communicate. They may not say it out loud, but clients want to associate with professionals who have a solid work ethic because it instills confidence.
Elite Advisors have an outstanding work ethic.
Maintaining that work ethic for a few years gets you over the hump, from newbie to “junior” advisor. However, while it’s possible to survive in the business at that level, you won’t thrive in the business without an outstanding work ethic. That’s the standard adopted by Elite Advisors who are willing and able to do all the things less successful advisors won’t or can’t do to get to the next level.
Developing an outstanding work ethic is not simply about working harder. The outcome of a good work ethic is hard work becomes easier, more automatic. Elite advisors seek to channel their work ethic in ways they can leverage it, compound it, or scale it to achieve more—for their benefit and the benefit of others.
Leveraging work ethic through constant self-improvement
If you aren’t constantly striving to improve, you’re actually getting worse because your competition is constantly improving. Any edge you might have today will be gone tomorrow unless it is continuously sharpened and elevated. Nowhere is this truer than in the advisory business, where change is accelerating at digital speed, and the half-life of knowledge is a fraction of what it was just 20 years ago.
New technologies are ushering in innovations in planning, investment management, client management, and business development.
At a minimum, a financial advisor with any ambition of long-term success needs to be constantly engaged in the learning available in the industry through associations, local networks, and certification programs. The truly ambitious will find ways to augment their industry education with business classes, social media instruction, and personal development courses, such as Dale Carnegie.
Elite financial advisors take their learning to the next level by getting under the wing of a mentor or engaging a personal coach and are always looking for opportunities to rub shoulders with other top advisors.
Scaling work ethic by focusing on what you love
Most top financial advisors apply their work ethic in the pursuit of excellence. But if excellence is now the standard by which top advisors are being measured, it becomes more challenging to differentiate yourself. Clients, especially high net worth clients, are looking for more from their financial advisors – they’re expecting their advisors to exude a passion about their business – a sense that is felt from the way they are treated by the advisor and the way the advisor approaches the business.
When you focus your energies – mental, emotional, and physical – on doing what you love, there are no limitations. You do what is necessary to optimize your time performing what you love. Delegate, automate, hire people or outsource to those who can do what you can’t or won’t do for yourself.
The key to becoming an exceptional advisor is to leverage your work ethic for the greatest amount of productivity. You can do that when you focus on those things you love to do, enabling you to be passionate about becoming exceptional. When you do that, you can eliminate everything that interferes with your productivity and increase your concentration on your most critical money-making relationships and activities.
Compounding work ethic by seeing yourself as part of something bigger than you
‘The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.’ ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Who among us doesn’t seek purpose in our lives – something that goes beyond our own material needs? Living for a higher purpose is a reason to get up in the morning, to contribute to the world in a way that derives immense satisfaction. It’s where we find our passion, and it’s the legacy we leave behind. When we have something greater that drives us, life is better, more exciting, and much more gratifying.
In a world comprised of a patchwork of small societies, we are all a part of something bigger whether we choose to be or not. The real choice we make is not about what we do in life; rather, it’s about how and why we choose to do anything. Everything we do, intentionally or not, impacts society to some degree. The difference is whether we choose to do so deliberately in a way that can better it. Given the education, the tools, and the platform that empowers us as financial advisors, we have an obligation to use them for doing good.
When your staff is driven by the same purpose, they are more productive, which leads to greater profitability; and that’s the key to sustaining the growth of your business and expanding its ability to create even more shared value. As a result, the true economic value of your profits is leveraged exponentially.