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The Agile Financial Planner

Sep 2, 2019

When I say that you are an artist as a financial planner, I know that many of you immediately think I’ve gone off the deep end of psycho-babble and feel-good philosophies. 

But please, hold on and hear me out. When I say you're an artist, I mean that the changes in the financial planning industry REQUIRE MORE of you than just making appointments and setting up transactions (like we planners used to do). Anybody can do that - so you’ve got to do something creative, something bold, something to stand out as a financial planner.

You need to become an artist. Listen to this episode and I’ll unpack that that means, why it’s important, and how you can begin to do it in ways you never thought possible. Your clients (and future clients) will thank you for it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:58] A framework you can use to find your voice (your unique perspective)
  • [1:55] A favor I need from you - right up front
  • [3:05] My presentation: Pablo Picaso’s art, poverty, and elevating your practice
  • [7:00] Why an artist? What does it take to become one?

When what you offer is reduced to the click of a button, you’ve got to change your approach

There are so many services we used to offer as financial planners that are now commoditized and easy: quotes - trades - mutual funds - asset allocation - basic advice. All of those things are now available for free or at a very low cost. And in most cases, they can be done with the click of a button on a website.

THAT has changed the fundamental way we do business. The people we seek to serve can now do many things themselves to meet their financial needs. So what do we do? Throw up our hands in despair and become a door greeter at Wal-Mart? Not at all - we learn what it means to become an artist.

Becoming an artist is not about learning to paint or sculpt or any such thing. It’s about learning to offer your expertise and perspective in a way that appeals to the people who will value it - the people you really want to work with. It takes a while to figure it out, but once you do - you’ll begin to experience a trickle of interest in your unique approach to financial planning services that eventually turns into a raging river of ongoing client relationships.

What does it take to be an artist as a financial planner?

If you’re at all interested in this “artist” approach I’m talking about, then keep reading (and listen to this episode) because I’m going to tell you how to start on that path. But first, let’s hone in on what it means to be an artist.

First, being an artist as a financial planner means that you learn to inject your personality into what you do. The people you serve want more than a transaction, they want a relationship with someone they trust. That someone needs to be the real you.

Second, artists possess a passion for what they do. What I really mean here is that you need to give it your all, you need to do the hard work of becoming a trusted advisor rather than a transaction coordinator like advisors were able to be in the past.

Finally, artists are creative. You are too - whether you believe it or not. Every human being on the planet has the ability to expand, grow, and fashion better things out of what is. You can do that in anything - which means you can do it in your financial planning business.

If you are an artist, then how do you act like one?

My journey into this way of thinking hasn’t been easy. I was resistant to thinking that I am an artist for a very long time. But once I got it, everything began to change. I cover the following steps in much more depth in the audio for this episode, but the basics are...

  1. Find your voice. Find out what the unique perspective is that you have to offer the world.
  2. Figure out how to express that naturally, through the right medium, and do the work.
  3. Go deep with the people you want to serve - get to know them on a personal level.
  4. Serve - love on your clients, interact with them, help solve their problems, provide ways they can engage with you financially

You’ll gain a lot more insight into these by listening, so take the time. If your financial planning practice is going to grow in this age of “click and it is yours” - you’re going to have to believe and practice like you are an artist.

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