As an entrepreneur and financial adviser, I have always invested in my education by attending numerous conferences, reading books that promise the magic formula for success, hiring coaches to discover what's holding me back, and working longer and harder to achieve success. It's easy to look for all the answers externally, but what I discovered while attending Tony Robbins' "Unleash the Power Within" event is that the answers are inside us.
Regardless of who we are — our backgrounds, education, religion, race or gender — there is a common force that drives and shapes our emotions and actions. It determines the quality of our lives and ultimately who we become. This universal force is our human needs. Although each of us is unique, we are driven by basic primal needs we were born with. The four primary needs, as explained at the Tony Robbins event, are: certainty, uncertainty, significance and love/connection.
Understanding these needs can provide the answers to why we do what we do. Knowing this about ourselves, our teams and our clients provides the insight to create an extraordinary life.
When I started out as a financial adviser, I jumped at the chance of quitting my job and starting my own business. Everything was about me and proving myself to the world. I discovered these behaviors were fulfilling my primary needs of significance and uncertainty. But I would reach a big goal and be left feeling down, saying to myself, "Now what?"
Mr. Robbins taught me that happiness comes from progress. As we move through life, we learn from our experiences and evolve. We hopefully come to understand the value of the two higher human needs: growth and contribution.
I believe the art of fulfillment is the ability to feel happiness and joy along the journey. We must have passion for the work we do and think first about how we can add value to others. If we focus on these two higher spiritual needs of growth and contribution, the gift is found in who we become along the way.
A CHANGING INDUSTRY
I was recently in a room with 200 top independent financial advisers, and when asked if we have a five-year business plan, only 10% of the room raised their hands! This reminded me of what Mr. Robbins brought to light about the things that hold us back in business. These are: 1. failure to anticipate the road ahead, 2. lack of follow-through or not having a plan, and 3. our own fears and mindset.
Let's think about our industry. How often do we hear about upcoming changes and how many of us prepare and think strategically about how we can grow and adapt to the change? Innovation and technology are happening at record speeds, and although I don't believe we will be replaced as financial advisers, I do believe the way we deliver our value will evolve.
Join me — let's take an active part in this evolution, not sit back and watch it happen to us.
I'll leave you with a great quote from Mr. Robbins: "Training never stops when you want an extraordinary life."
Julia Carlson is founder and CEO of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group. Follow her on Twitter @fitmoneydr.