When Things Go Wrong and You Feel Like a Failure
Financial Advisors are entrepreneurs though you may not think of yourself as one.
And entrepreneurs go through emotional cycles, having good days and bad days. Consider these all too plausible and common scenarios.
- You have been working very hard to land a major client. You have pointed out tax implications of his transactions. You have suggested ways to restructure his holdings to protect them from lawsuits. You have spent hours strategizing with him and on his behalf. You thought he was in the bag and had already included him in your revenue projections. And now he calls to say that he is going with his brother-in-law who is ‘in the business.’ You are angry and also scared about where your business is going.
- Your daughter has been struggling at college. It is the first time she has been away and she has difficulty coping with the academic challenges. The courses are tougher than she expected and she is in danger of flunking her required math course, which means that she will have to repeat a semester. You discover that part of the reason she is behind in her work is that she is still seeing the unsuitable boy friend you had pressured her to break up with. You are furious. How could she do this to you?
- You told your assistant to do some research on a topic you are interested in but not to spend too much time on it. She spent an entire day looking up stuff on the Internet and was unable to set up appointments for you the next day. She was also late replying to an email from a good client who is now mad at you. You are ready to fire her.
- You set up a lead generation program. You were finally going to get tons of highly qualified leads and you know that you close well. But the leads are not of good quality and they don’t want to meet you and it becomes clear that your expensive program is a dud. You are depressed.
Things like this happen to you regularly.
Can you recognize a common thread in all of these events and the dark feeling they arouse in you?
In every instance you are thinking about yourself and what you want. You are railing about and against others because they will not conform to how you want them to behave.
Your prospect is ungrateful, even unethical, for not recognizing how much you have gone ‘over and beyond’ for him. Your daughter is inconsiderate and your assistant incompetent. The vendor who sold you the leadgen program is crooked. They are all, in combination, making your life miserable.
It’s all about you, you, you.
Here is a funny truth about life: The more you focus on what you want and why you are not getting it, the more you will find frustration seeping into your life.
Pause to think differently: Did you do as good a job as you should have to lead your prospect into a client relationship as you educated him?
Parenting is always accompanied by heartbreak and unmet expectations. Have you considered her emotional turmoil and how you might well have contributed to it instead of helping her cope with it?
Could you have been clearer in your instructions to your assistant? What, exactly, does ‘too much time’ mean?
Did you check references for the leadgen program and test it before you bought? Or did your enthusiasm lead you to jump before you looked?
Your job is to be of service – to your prospect, your clients, your employees and everyone else you meet. Your job is to help each person be the best he – or she – can be.
And you do this not because this will help you meet your goals but because that is the kind of person you are.
When you are anchored in this feeling, you are no longer frustrated.
And, paradoxically, the more you are of genuine service to others, the more your business prospers.