A couple of years ago I attended a conference in Oslo and one of my memories is of Dr. Aaron Turner make a particularly powerful point.
Aaron shared a story about a time he was holidaying in Hawaii with his family. They were spending some time on the beach and he was standing in the sea enjoying the warm water.
Even though the water was only knee deep he said he remembered a little voice in his head telling him “You should get out now”.
But he ignored it.
A few moments later he was completely swept off his feet by a powerful rip tide and quickly began to be carried away from the beach. He tried to swim back but the current was far too strong.
Fortunately, he was seen and brought safely back to shore.
The point he was making was that we always have this inner voice or inner intelligence to guide us and yet, as he did on that occasion, we often ignore it.
I was reflecting on my own journey through life because it is not just situations that concern our personal safety we get insights about.
As we entered the early 2000’s I had built up a small but thriving IFA practice and yet my inner voice was urging me to take a different direction.
Even though the thoughts were persistent I was initially not willing to trust them. There seemed to be a lot at stake and yet, as so often is the case, life finds a way of waking you up.
Around this time I had got interested in meditation and found a teacher who taught me Transcendental Meditation, which involves meditating twice day.
Six months after I began my twice daily meditation I had made arrangements to sell my practice and become a full time coach.
Looking back I believe the meditation allowed my mind to quieten down enough to stop over-riding my inner voice and follow my heart.
On many occasions the challenges that my coaching clients bring to our sessions are not the real issue at all. As we dig deeper they often discover that they have been over-riding their inner voice too.
Sometimes the reason we push it away is that it means confronting something that may be uncomfortable. But not always.
Whatever transpires it is always what is meant to happen.
As a financial planner, you too can be a catalyst in helping your clients listen to their inner voice. And it is useful to remember that just one thought can change a life.
The highest value clients will get from you will not be the crunching of the numbers, the products you put in place or the investment return they get (unless this is as far as you are willing to go).
These things are simply the means to an end, not the end itself.
What takes a service from transactional to transformational for your clients is them experiencing the powerful, reassuring clarity of knowing what they are planning for is truly meaningful to them.
Never under-estimate just how valuable this is and what a game-changer it can be.
I wrote ‘The Client-centred Financial Adviser’ to not only give advisers the essential tools to create a transformational experience for their clients but, first and foremost, so they can experience their own transformation.
Doing transformational client work requires you going there first and being true to yourself.
If you are not used to following your inner voice it can, at first, seem unfamiliar or, as I mentioned, even uncomfortable. But it is the foundation of living an authentic life that reflects who you really are and the key to thriving rather than just surviving.
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