If we were all at a meeting and I asked the question, “Who in this room has thought about quitting their job as a financial advisor?”, I bet every hand would go up. Our industry can be very trying. Whether you are young and thinking to yourself, ‘Who in the world is going to trust me with managing their retirement savings? I don’t even have a savings account.’ or whether the market is in the midst of its latest crash and you wonder, ‘Is it different this time?”, and struggle to have the confidence to tell clients to stay the course. It is not uncommon for most people to hit these and other hard points in their career or life and consider changing course.
I was 15 years old, a sophomore, just finishing up my 1 st year of high school football. I had been fairly successful in middle school helping a perennial losing team finish the year at 4-3. My sophomore year was tough, I had never really played junior varsity anything, kids were starting to get bigger and faster. I liked football, but the practices were hard, the stands at our games were empty, and I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to play varsity the next couple of years. I strongly considered quitting, in fact, I had it in my mind after the last JV game I was going to turn in my pads. I was going to tell the coaches, I appreciated them all that they had done for me, but I was going to hang it up and focus on school and other sports. However, that day I caught a break, apparently, the coaches saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and before I could let them know my plans they asked me to stay up with the varsity during playoffs and suit with the team. This was not common for a sophomore. That day gave me the confidence to pursue my football career, I went on to be an all-city left tackle, helping my team to the state championship my senior year. This culminated in the opportunity to play college football. Had I let that hard point kill my confidence and quit that day I would have missed out on many amazing times, opportunities and lessons life had in store for me.
When you hit these inflection points during your career, I encourage you to stick the course, don’t let them kill your confidence. Every successful advisor I have spoken with has a similar story of grinding through the mess for many years to all the sudden pop out the other side with a successful practice. When you hit the toughest point in your career push through, or as Navy Seal Robert O’Neil preaches, always just tell yourself to quit tomorrow.