This is Jeff Rose. Welcome back to Goodfinancialcents.com. Today I want to ask you a quick question because I like asking questions 🙂 The question is:
How do you define success?
Part of the reason why I am asking this question is I received an email the other day. It was from a guy who had read an article on my blog, and the article is entitled, “How to be a Successful Financial Advisor.”
If you read that article, I talk about attributing some of the reasons of my success, and how if you want to get started in the business and become a financial advisor, actually interview some other financial advisors and have them attribute some of the reasons they feel that they are successful in the industry.
If you read that post I sharehow I am not a million-dollar producer, which is a bragging right our industry.
I am far from it.
How do I define success or why do I consider myself to be successful? The reason that I feel is, one: I have survived. In our industry it is tough. Whenever I first started in the industry back in 2002, I had a training class that had just over 50 people.
We always keep track of the numbers in that training class. After five years, there were only six of us left, only six. So after five years we lost over 44 people.
Some of those got out of the business and some did transfer elsewhere, but only six of us were left. That is part of the reason I contribute my success, so the fact that I am still here is one.
Do What You Love
The other thing why I consider myself to be successful is that I have a profession; I have a job that I love. I love what I do. I love helping people. I love helping my clients plan for retirement and helping them make sense of this complex investment world.
I love it.
My alarm clock goes off in the mornings. I am not much of a morning person, but I don’t dread it how I have talked to a lot of people that just despise their jobs.
Who’s The Boss?
I don’t have a boss. I am my own boss, so if I want to show up a little bit late I don’t have to clock in in a report. To have that freedom is priceless.
Having a bit of a military background, if we had formation at 8:00 you had to be there at 7:45 for the pre-formation.
If you were late for that, you got reprimanded. I was a squad leader, so I had to reprimand my guys if they weren’t there for the pre-formation, which is just funny when you think about it.
My Family Is The Coolest
The other reason why I feel that I am successful is that I have a beautiful family that supports me. I have a wife that supports me 150 percent on everything I do. I have a family that I love to provide for.
That is what I contribute to success. It is not how much money I make. It is not the assets that I have under management. It is not my total production, which is just a metric that we advisors use to say how much revenue you basically generate for your firm. These are the things that are arbitrary to me.
I couldn’t care less.
I love what I do. I love my job. I love my business. I love the fact that my business allows me the freedom to do my blog, Good Financial Cents, and videos like you see here. I love it! That is what I consider to be successful.
I ask you, “How do you define success?” Is it how much money you make? If it is, you need to take a step back and really rethink your strategy because it is not all about money. It is not about numbers; it is not about that.
It is about what you have inside your heart that you love to do. So, ask yourself how you define success and truly, truly ask yourself. Dig deep find that answer.
Glad you can join me again, and we’ll see you next time.
Looking Back on That Video About Success
It’s been a number of years since I recorded that video, and it looks like about 10,000 people have viewed it.
I’m always a little freaked out by looking back on my former self giving advice. What if I totally disagree with what I said? Should I go back and edit it? Or was I right back then?
I’m happy to say the time warp has not affected my message: I still believe everything I said about success back then. I still believe family and relationships matter more than anything else. I’m glad I said what I said in that video.
Defining Success with a Little More Clarity
But the past few years have given me some opportunities to think about different ways to communicate these ideas as I’ve talked with clients and friends.
Yes, we do all have to make “cents” out of our financial lives. That’s probably how you came across this blog.
And yes, in my business we do measure success by the numbers. So on this blog and on my podcasts and other videos you’ll hear me talking about the importance of saving and investing and optimizing resources — all tools to manage money better.
Numbers are the language of our economy. Dollar signs line the barometer by which we tend to define winning and losing.
But they don’t define success. We still get to define success for ourselves — to come up with our own units of measurement for our lives and to determine how we measure up.
Another Way of Looking at Success
It really can be hard to keep these ideas separate, whether things are going well or going terribly financially.
Money and life are interrelated. That’s just how it is.
Ultimately, I think our financial lives should provide us with tools to succeed in other parts of life where it really matters. Like I said in the video, with family and the freedom to enjoy time with family — with work that I enjoy.
The funny thing about tools is they can start to seem more important than the actual project they’re intended to help you create.
It would be like if a carpenter liked her hammer or nails more than she liked the desk she was building.
Or if a singer cared more for his microphone than his voice or what his song was even about. Or if a writer worried more about the ink than the story.
Ideas and Passions as the Source of Success
Yes, mastering the tools will be essential for success, but our collection of tools does not define success.
In the financial world, people think if they can just start a successful blog or web site, they’ll be set.
I like blogging, and I can recommend it. But a blog is just a tool. What matters is your message. What you have to share. The quality of your ideas and your passion for the subject.
Without that, your blog is just a collection of words, pictures, media files, and code.
Money is the same way. Without a passion in life and goals to reach, you’ll never have enough money. You’ll just have a bunch of tools — words but no story, nails but no desk, a microphone but no song.
So What Is Your Passion?
So enough about me. To find and enjoy success, you have to start thinking about yourself.
What are you passionate about at your job? What would you be passionate about in your own business? What kind of work makes you happy?
Many times this passion is the source of inspiration for people who enjoy their lives. I like helping people. Ultimately, that’s what I want to do when I get up every morning.
When you identify your inspiration and passion, you’ll be able to see how it fits with what you’re doing every day.
If it doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to re-think what you’re doing, or at least to re-think how you’re doing it.
Who and Why Are Important Questions, Too
Journalists I’ve met over the years have told me about the 5 Ws: who, what, when, where, and why. We’ve already asked “What is your passion?”
But we can also get some ideas about success by asking “why” we’re trying to reach financial goals and “who,” or more precisely, “for whom?”
These questions can help us get at the real reasons we’re working so hard or searching for new ways to make our money work.
And these real reasons can point us directly at our own definitions of success, whether we know it or not.
So I’ll ask it again, just like in the video: How do you define success? Are you still digging for the answer?
Leave a comment below to share what you think about it.