More than any other type of professional advisor – be it a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or a counselor – financial advisors have an extraordinary opportunity to build a profitable business around unique abilities that can be shared with everyone with whom they come in contact, as well as the community at large. They have the capability of creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by directly addressing its needs and challenges. No other type of professional advisor can do quite the same.
Creating Shared Economic Value
The concept of creating shared value is not complicated, nor does it require any additional resources. To truly understand and embrace it is just a matter of redefining the traditional notion of “success.” Success in these terms is not measured by profit; rather, it is measured by the total economic value a dollar of profit can create by creating societal value. And to achieve that, the success of your business needs to be inextricably linked with the improvement of society.
Creating this shared economic value doesn’t cost you a dime. Deploying your skills and expertise to educate and empower people is what you do. It is your business. If, instead, you simply took a portion of your profits and mailed a check, that would be a “cost”; and, although it would probably serve society well, it would not produce any economic value beyond the amount of the check. For your business, it would not generate any real return except perhaps some small good will and a clearer conscience.
Shared value offers financial advisors the opportunity to utilize their skills and resources to lead social progress in profound ways that even the best-intentioned governmental and social sector organizations cannot match. In the process, financial advisors can earn the respect of society again. Perhaps then, admitting that you are making a profit won’t be such a bad thing.
Why You Matter
In his book, The Good that Financial Advisors Do, Dan Sullivan of the Strategic Coach observes that “growing economic prosperity tends to increase the number of financial advisors in a society.” And he goes on to suggest that “having many financial advisors in a society also tends to increase the individual prosperity of its citizenry.” We know, by experience that, when people do turn to financial advisors to help plan their financial futures, they earn more and save more, and they become more empowered to make good financial decisions throughout their lives.
Dan alludes to the “butterfly-effect” as well by pointing out that this is how the circle of economic value begins to expand, when “hundreds of thousands of individuals have a positive collective impact on entire economies.” And, the benefit to you is that a “prospering society, in turn, increases the number of individuals who seek out the knowledge and skills of financial advisors.”
Financial advisors are the only type of professional advisor that people can rely on as a lifelong guide through many of life’s challenges. Discover the higher purpose of being a financial advisor in this post Click To Tweet
Channeling Your Unique Ability for Good
You may not think about it this way, but financial advisors are the only type of professional advisor that people can rely on as a lifelong guide through many of life’s challenges. You are the only advisor that knows everything about your clients concerns, their vision, their ambitions, their problems and their hopes. Through a relationship that can span decades, you become the one essential source of knowledge and expertise in a critical aspect of their lives. What you can’t provide yourself, you provide through your network of experts. You are the coordinator, the coach and the counselor helping people to realize their own ambitions for a good life now and for the rest of their lives.
The bottom line is, as a financial advisor, you have an extraordinary opportunity to not only help individuals become financially independent, you can also use your knowledge, skills and influence to shape the lives of people in your community. Financial illiteracy is epidemic in our country, and many experts will argue that it is at the root of our economic and societal decline. While educating the entire financially challenged community is beyond the scope and resources of any one financial advisor, you can begin today by gradually expanding your own circle of economic value.
Consider yourself very fortunate. You have valuable knowledge and skills. You have a unique ability that drives your passion. But, most of all, you have the rare opportunity to make a career for yourself while making a difference in a way that will not only benefit you and your family, but your community and society as a whole.