Vision. It’s a tiny word that has been well and truly drowned out by all the noise of the last few years – Covid-19, lockdowns, government decisions, continued study and exams, the day-to-day complexities of running a professional practice in financial services, and not to mention, the war continuing to rage through Ukraine.
There is no sign that this noise is letting up any time soon, which ignites a constant need to resist challenges and distractions. Without wanting to sound like a broken record (here I go again!): we all know that the only way to create any level of success is to keep all those playing the long game firing on all cylinders, with their batteries charged, feeling so good it’s as if they have been shot out of a rocket (as opposed to shot by a rocket!).
As a professional in the area of compliance, I know that many of you strive for levels of success that reach way past the regulatory levels of ‘good advice’ – as it is a level of ‘excellence’ that drives you to push the boundaries and have those you support also driving for more!
Decision-making seems to be a real stumbling block for many business owners – I don’t know why that is, as they seem to make such an easy job of it when they are doing it every day on behalf of their clients.
You play a fundamental role in shaping a true profession – as the guide, the sounding board, the driver of excellence, the ‘good cop’ and ‘bad cop’, and the motivator of leaders – because it is my belief that, while we might hate to admit it, we are still very much an industry.
So, let me ask you: how energised are you? Are your batteries charged or are you running on empty? Do you feel like you have been shot out of a rocket or like you’ve just been shot by one? I suspect the latter is true. But how come?
Well, first and foremost, we are absolutely exhausted! I know we are because this week alone I have spoken to three financial planners who are taking ‘time out’ from their businesses because quite frankly they are on their knees, and two business/compliance managers who’ve resigned from their roles – and it is still only Wednesday!
Back in 2019, I was asked to speak at a conference where the theme was ‘energise advice’! Honestly, I actually thought it was a joke… and when I was asked how I intended to do that, my response was quite simple. To energise advice, we have to energise those giving it.
And not only that – and probably more importantly – we have to energise those ‘advising’, those who are giving it. That would be you!
I see it every day. The demands and challenges that you face to get your firms to finally see what you see, to embrace the key elements of their business that you know are being totally neglected.
There is light at the end of the tunnel!
The best thing about the future is that it hasn’t happened yet. The even better thing about the future is that, when it does happen, it is going to be one day at a time. Each of us are faced with enough distractions to sink a battleship right now, so let’s kick the non-essential distractions into touch and start as we mean to go on.
Now, I might not have a magic wand (well, I do!), but this one is all on you. I believe that, right now, you are holding the magic wand to help solve the issues you need to address – you just need to be shown where to point it and how to use it.
It’s time to not just survive but thrive. To do this, you need to be firing on all cylinders… your batteries need to be charged, the barrel loaded and ready to feel like we have literally been shot out of that rocket!
But there is a BUT, and it is a big BUT.
It has been tough and I’m under no illusions that we are done – the pressures will keep coming, no one has had it easy and none of us are getting out of this unscathed. This is why our purpose and what we are trying to achieve have to be greater than the pain we are going to feel achieving it.
Let me ask – who or what is on the mind of your clients or the leaders that you support when they make decisions? Is it themselves, their family, their lifestyle, their clients, their team or even their peers? Or are they making decisions in the best interests of their business as a whole? Decision-making seems to be a real stumbling block for many business owners – I don’t know why that is, as they seem to make such an easy job of it when they are doing it every day on behalf of their clients. The truth is, every decision we make has to do one job and one job only: take us and all who share our journey with us one step closer to achieving our true vision. Nothing else – just that!
It’s pretty simple once the big decisions have been made – make the tough calls and the little decisions will make themselves.
This of course needs your vision to be crystal clear; it has to be seen and understood by all those who need to play their part. Seen with laser clarity and like your lives depends on it! A watered-down version of nothingness will be sure to get washed up on the ‘I once had a dream’ shore of life.
In your role, it is almost a given that at times you’ll feel like you are being pulled from pillar to post, fighting a losing battle and receiving very little appreciation. But do not give up – stay focused, don’t get distracted or disheartened, and when you feel you are constantly putting out fires, remember there will always be things and probably people who seem hell-bent in keeping you in the ‘regulatory’ box.
So, when they finally realise that you were ‘right all along’, just make sure that the passion and enthusiasm you have for the role and for financial services as a whole are shining bright.
And if that doesn’t keep you focused, repeat after me: my purpose is and will always be greater than my pain… so get the hell out of my way, I’ve got stuff to do!