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A holistic 2021 personal assessment

A recent call with our coaches was quite revealing. We were discussing a change in rich priorities and everyone agreed on the professional role, consultant-client and coach-consultant, has become holistic – we are all dealing with a never-ending stream of external influence factors. Then we took a look at how financial advisors are adapting to the reality of our new world,we have a personal level,

As the discussion developed, one of our coaches, Greg Blackwell, shared an exercise he was using with mentors that I thought was fantastic. As I share this exercise, I hope it will have the same effect on you as it did for me.

The exercise begins with a review of your successes for 2021. So go ahead and reflect on everything that went well in the past year and your business. The idea here is to zero in on the positive. We focus only on major achievements, but we have many mini-positives – small victories – and focusing on them is one of nature’s ways to stimulate self-motivation.

After your 2021 professional reflection, you will need to answer the following five questions:

What impact did 2021 have on you?

1.Business The idea here is to think beyond production and AUM. In challenging times, things change and people expose themselves for who they really are; Good and bad. What, if anything, have you learned about your team members? My guess is that at least one person got empowered, embraced their remote office, accepted new responsibilities, provided good ideas, wherever and whenever the need arose—basically upped their game far beyond expectations. On the contrary, we have seen the opposite. Working from home was not in the DNA of some people for a variety of reasons. They could not adjust, the performance was subpar, which in turn forced discussion of the career. And you may have to add employees, contract or hire an IT person.

In relation to the changes, what differences did you notice in the needs, expectations and mindsets of your customers? Most likely your way of communication has changed. Zoom calls, which you probably never thought of using before, are now the new normal. Which leads to change in technology and social media. I guess a lot of this has changed dramatically

Not only are you holding virtual meetings with customers, COI and prospects – your marketing has probably shifted to include social media. Maybe you’re running Facebook ads or using video as your content marketing platform to better position yourself as a thought leader. Many of you have learned to get personalized email introductions (67% of customers are comfortable with it). Never mind, but things have happened in your business beyond production and AUM.

2. Family – With schools fluctuating between in-person and virtual learning, vaccination recommendations for children, parents and grandparents seem to vary from news cycle to news cycle – something we’ve never experienced before . Children need socialization and education, parents need to be healthy and able to earn an income, while grandparents need to be able to live with age, health, and lifestyle (home, condo, assisted living, etc.) drive to. How has all this affected your family?

As we have all experienced, remote home offices affect the family. Yes, they are very convenient, on the other hand they can be full of distractions. Even if working from home has become a family affair—has it affected your family?

3. Finance – As you know only too well, consultants are in an enviable position to remotely advise clients, using technology from their home office that mimics their normal office, and yet earns a good life. And hopefully you are one of the many consultants whose personal income has soared during this pandemic. What was the effect of all this?

4. Socialization We are social animals, yet many of our social activities have been put on hold by the pandemic. That said, most people have found ways to stay social with their close friends and family members. Neighbors who were waved to pass by are now taking a walk together, drinking wine around the fire pit, and so on.

How about socializing with customers? Whether it’s ultimately a social lunch, meeting for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, counselors strive to socialize with clients, strengthening these relationships. We’ve seen social lunches and happy hours on Zoom, personal phone calls and gift baskets—all of which trigger oxytocin, the hormone that reduces stress and anxiety, and builds trust.

5. Health – How was your health during 2021? Regardless of political views, living through a pandemic keeps everyone alert, more focused than ever on health issues. In what was once a winter cold, we are on the run to find a COVID-19 test. In my world, even though our two children and two grandchildren have got COVID (completely cured), till date I have been lucky. However, I tore the patellar tendon of my good knee. Most likely it was because I increased my physical activity beyond the stress level the aging old body could handle.

Health is both physical and mental. Constant stress lowers our immune system, which is never a good thing. Some people have become more active, while others are more sedentary. Some people are eating better because they are cooking more, others are eating and drinking more.

As you ponder these five questions, think about what positive impact all of this could have as we begin to live our lives in the new normal. Think of at least one new routine, a good habit developed in relation to your business, family, business, finances, socializing and health.

Just a reminder, health is the basis of everything.

Matt Ochsley is the author of Building a successful 21st century financial practice: Attracting, serving and retaining affluent clients, www.oechsli.com

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