Lots of people consider becoming financial advisors, planners, insurance agents, etc. and many try. Also, many fail. I’ve made it, beating the odds, but why?
First, I think I had the right idea about WHY I was doing it.
- I wanted to do something that was valuable, and I could see the value every day.
- I had related experience in the markets, insurance and sales, so it seemed like a fit.
- I had learned that I couldn’t work for someone else.
- I wanted something sustainable. This career offers recurring income, and I didn’t see the demand for it ending anytime soon.
When I started, I had one ultimate goal: to build a career that would provide an above average and stable lifestyle that would pay for my kids to go to college. That was it!
Second, I had a few lucky breaks in the first few years. I got just the right clients, at just the right times to pay the bills, make my minimums and live to fight another day.
Third, I had just enough of a network to get in at the right firm. I never paid much attention to building a network before, but organically, I guess by being a decent enough guy, I had built a small but quality one. One of my connections got me into the firm I started with. If I hadn’t started there, I’m not sure I would have made it at all.
Fourth, I did work hard. Now I’m not the type to brag about this. I’m sure there are plenty of people who worked harder than I did, but I know I worked as hard as I could. Till I was cross-eyed. Daily. Especially those first few years.
Fifth, I was brave. I’d be willing to go to networking events alone, cold call people, chat up friends, family, my doctor etc. I was not willing to fail because I was too chicken to prospect. These efforts rarely worked out, but they did just enough, and gave me confidence that I DESERVED to make it, because I was doing everything I could.
Sixth, I invested money. Early on, I allocated 10% of my income (when I was still eating Ramen and Pork n Beans for dinner) to support staff and marketing costs.
Finally, I just believed. I asked “Why not me?” regularly. I had plenty of ups and downs, and almost quit numerous times, wishing there was an easier way, but I’ve stuck it out, and I’m glad I did.
I believe I provide a lot of value. I’m honest and fair to clients, and I legitimately care about them and their financial needs. Money is a critical part of anyone’s life, and it’s a pleasure to be given the responsibility to be the one who helps them win.