With a stock market decline of 20% and the beginning of a bear market, we are entering a completely new business cycle, and it’s already looking very different from the last cycle. As financial advisors, we have built our value to investors on personalized investing and financial planning advice, but those services have become more and more commoditized over time. We need to be proactive and think about how to evolve our service offerings. Mandated social distancing has made online capabilities more important than ever, and clients will be expecting more from us. Successful advisors are already starting to add new competencies and capabilities, reformulate their strategy to be competitive, and serve clients more effectively in this rapidly evolving business environment.
Working from home creates new opportunities and challenges, and when we are removed from our regular routine, we have the chance to look with new eyes at our businesses and our lives. How can you use this time to your advantage? What books have you been meaning to read that will help you shift your thinking and understand what might be needed in the future? What courses will expand your toolkit and give you an edge as we come out of this pandemic? Are there other beneficial resources you previously haven’t had time to consider, such as executive coaching, that will help you achieve or accelerate your desired outcomes?
Ask yourself: what am I called to do as an advisor? Perhaps this unsettled season in business and life will give you the impetus to explore and pursue new directions within your practice. Toward that end, I’m in the process of training the Highland team with some of the coaching skills I’ve learned throughout my career. I want the advisors who work for Highland to become adept at discussing more than just investments – more than ever, our clients want a confidant with whom they can discuss their financial life holistically. By adding coaching skills like listening and empathy, our Highland team can guide clients more effectively. The constraints of the quarantine have opened a space for skill-building among our team that would not have happened under normal conditions.
Putting time into projects and ideas that have been simmering on the backburner is also excellent for improving your mental health. Taking action shifts your mind from dwelling on the current crisis and creates a sense of movement and accomplishment. When we actively carve out space to think bigger than our current circumstances, new ideas for future growth and success emerge. The most successful leaders work hard to address immediate issues confronting their business, while also preserving precious bandwidth to envision what the future may hold. The silver lining in this distressing season may be the chance it gives us to imagine and invest in an even brighter future.