A Trait We All Have, but Often Forget About

A Trait We All Have, but Often Forget About

I still remember the first time I did a lot of things in life. And the moments just before I did it...the feeling of fear, exhilaration, and not sure how it would all turn out. 

Like the first time I:

Rode a bike without training wheels.
Stepped on the ice rink for my first lesson.
Arrived at Penn State as a clueless, wide-eyed freshman.
Went on my first career interview.
Worked with my first client.

And every single time of these “firsts,” I recall that feeling. And how that powerful feeling could have stopped me in my tracks, but I went for it anyway, because I knew I had to do it. The fear was overturned by a voice inside me that said: “Just do it, Sarah!”

The voice in my 5-year old self to ride that bike without training wheels. I fell a few times, but was soon zooming around the neighborhood like a champ.

The voice in my 8-year old self to step on the ice. I fell once or twice that day, but just a few months later, won 1st place in the ice skating competition.

The voice in my 18-year old self that accepted the offer to attend Penn State. One of the best decisions I ever made - I'll never forget the academics, experiences, relationships, and memories as a result.

The voice in my 22-year old self to take that interview. While I didn't get THAT job, I "practiced" for an upcoming interview at my dream job - which I landed.

The voice in my 33-year old self to work with that client. Not only did I help that client with her goals at the time, but she recently hired me again to help her achieve new ones!

And with each of these firsts in my life, I remember what happened right after I did them. I remember falling, I remember feeling awkward, I remember being nervous. I never felt totally ready.

And guess what? Those moments were merely moments, and as time went on, I didn’t fall as much, I felt confident, and I knew I was in the right place.


That voice telling me to “Just do it, Sarah!” is a voice you have too. It guides you to do things when you are afraid, aren’t sure about it, don’t feel “ready,” and might fail.

That voice is courage.


And I think a lot of times we forget how much courage we have inside of us. I know I often forget, and need to constantly remind myself as I have new "firsts" I want to achieve. And as time goes by, we seem to be faced with bigger “firsts”, like:

Changing jobs or careers.
Starting a business.
Starting a new relationship.
Moving to a new city.
Having our first child.

And when you’re faced with these decisions, think back to your original firsts and big decisions you made, and that voice you listened to that guided you. That courage.

You and I have so much courage, yet we often overlook it. We get caught up in the grind of life; we get caught up with what everyone else is doing (thanks, social media feed!), and we get caught up with what we feel we “should” be doing based on so many factors. We tell ourselves we aren't smart, strong, or worthy enough. We completely forget of all the courageous things we've already done!

Think about potential “firsts” you have on the horizon, or deep down what your inner voice is whispering for you to do. Consider what’s holding you back - and think back to your other firsts in life to inspire you to move forward.

Share with us below what firsts you have on the horizon - and we'll send positive vibes (and courage) your way! 

Sarah Bogdanski
Personal Development
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Sarah Bogdanski is an NYU Certified Coach who helps ambitious women in their 20s and 30s stop merely surviving and step into their true power. Sarah challenges her clients to ... Click for full bio

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Advisors: How to Prepare Before Calling an Agency

Written by: 

You’ve read my other posts:

Related: Should You Work with a Marketing or PR Agency, or Neither?

Related: There's No Point in Paying for Outside Advice If You Have No Intention of Listening to It

And you’re finally ready to talk to a marketing or PR agency.

Or are you?

I’m amazed how many prospects contact an agency without any advance preparation whatsoever. It’s not just that they don’t know what services the agency offers. The real issue is, they can’t even explain why they’re calling in the first place.

You might be raising an eyebrow at my suggestion that you actually need to prepare before calling a vendor. Don’t. I want to help you maximize your time, and potential investment.

Here’s why: The best way to use a vendor’s time during an initial call is to conduct a mini-discovery session. At FiComm, we will ask: What is your vision for your business? How do your services address your market’s needs? Where are you headed as a company? What will get you to the next level? What marketing obstacles do you face? That information shapes our remarks, ensuring that everything we say will be directly relevant to you.

Many advisors find those initial conversations enormously valuable in their own right. They help clarify their thinking. But others feel put on the spot. They freeze. They respond in standard brochure-speak: “We were founded in 1984, we have four advisors, we serve 200 households with an average account size of $400,000.”

Or they say, “We were hoping you would tell us the answers to those questions.”

Well, that’s helpful.

Imagine you’re meeting a potential wealth management client for the first time. They have $700,000 in a brokerage account, $400,000 in a retirement account, two kids, a dog and a house in L.A. Great. You start by asking their goals for themselves, their money, and their family.

Puzzled, they tilt their heads and say, “We were hoping you would tell us.”

See what I mean? How can you possibly come up with a solution for clients who can’t even articulate their goals, or speak to their financial pain points?

The same is true for us vendors. Before we can help you, we need to know where your business is going and how you think marketing can help you get there. The answers don’t have to be “right” (and we’ll help you get there), but it you come prepared to participate, our conversations can be very fruitful. If you don’t—well, it’s hard to deliver value for you. We know we’ll constantly have to prove ourselves and remind you why you hired us.

“But, Megan,” some advisors say, “we’re not ready for that. We’re just trying to understand the basics. How will we learn if you don’t tell us?”

If you’re calling an agency just to get a general marketing education, then that’s what you’ll get—general information, most of it irrelevant to you, and lacking the specifics you’re really looking for.

So, don’t call an agency to be your marketing tutor. Instead, read. Advisors have never had better access to self-help insights and information—through trade pubs, custodian relationships, blogs, podcasts, other advisors and industry pundits. Be curious. Be inquisitive. If you hear something on a podcast that intrigues you, follow the host back to LinkedIn. Read what they write there. Email your questions. Attend a webinar. Be an active participant at industry events.

At some point, you’ll understand the basics. You’ll have identified your own issues. And narrowed down your questions. Then, finally, you’ll be ready to call an agency.

Instead of saying, “Tell us what we need,” you’ll say, “We need help with this.

Megan Carpenter
Marketing
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Megan is CEO & Co-Founder at FiComm Partners, LLC. Her team develops winning communications strategies for entrepreneurs in the independent advisory community, and busines ... Click for full bio