Four Simple Tricks to Find Your Passion That Work Every Time
For years, I didn’t have a hobby. I thought that hobbies were always something like art or playing an instrument. I hadn’t found anything that made me excited enough to declare it my hobby of choice. I told myself that I just hadn’t found my passion… and that kind of freaked me out.
You’re supposed to have a single burning passion, right? To feel this incredible drive to do this thing that you love.
Live with passion.
Find your passion.
Follow your passion.
Great advice if you know what that all too elusive passion is. Some people do. If you do, find someone else who does too and give each other a high five. I’ll wait here. Oh, be prepared, it might take you a while.
I’d felt passion at work before. Every day jumping out of bed excited to get into the car and go to work. Seriously. But it had been a long time…
I’d felt passion in my love life before. I married a man who brought out the best in me (and still does.)
Some amazing books that changed my life also made me a passionate reader and learner.
Was that what people meant when they said, “Find your passion?” Read a book while you hang out with your spouse?
Despite the fact that there were lots of things I could do, there was little I wanted to do more than anything else. Maybe the problem was that I knew what passion felt like. A smoldering inside filled with anticipation, excitement, and possibility. I wanted that in a big way. Not some of the time, but all the time.
Part of the challenge is there’s a lot of confusion about passion.
Does finding your passion mean feeling passionate about something or discovering the one thing that you’re undeniably meant to do? You can feel passionate about a lot of things while the concept of finding your one great passion can feel like more than a little pressure, not to mention incredibly confining.
When I became a coach, I discovered that many of my clients, like me, also knew the feeling of being passionate, but at some point along the way, their passion pilot light got set on low. Nothing much was striking their fancy, and they went from a multi-passion life to one where, while things were good, was more about going through the motions. We worked together to turn up the flame.
It’s gotten to the point that if we don’t feel intense passion, we feel like there’s something wrong with us. After all, that’s what self-help books and blogs tell us we should aspire to – passion.
What makes it worse is the feeling that we’re not keeping up with the Jones’. If you believe Facebook, everyone has amazing work, fabulous home and incredible, well, passion for life. I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not true.
Let’s Reframe the Idea of One Great Passion
Life is not meant to be one dimensional.
There are people who have a laser focus on one thing, and it brings them fulfillment. Most people, however, are happier when they create a full life. One of the cornerstones? It’s a multi-passionate life. Lots of loves, lots of likes. There is not only one way forward.
Passion shouldn’t create blinders.
Your passion (ok, passions) may lead you to your next. Instead of declaring that you’ve found your passion, what if you found your passion-way? My client loved hiking – it was his passion. Once he hiked through the Shenandoah, he discovered a new passion-way… the history of the Shenandoah.
You change and grow, so do your passions.
That thing that lit you up when you were fifteen? Don’t be surprised if it’s barely a blip on your passion radar today. You evolve, learn, experience, challenge, and struggle. All of those events have led you to today. It’s okay to change who you are and to change what you’re passionate about.
If you’re still searching for your passion and are ready, here are some rocks you can turn over to find it. The answer is right in front of you even if you can’t see it yet. PS. Close Facebook, it’s not on there.
Four Tricks to Tap Into Your Passion Without Pressure
Ask the people who know you: “What are my strengths? What do you know about me that I don’t know about myself?”
You’ll be surprised what friends and colleagues old and new notice about who you are and what lights you up.
What do you do in your free time?
In your time off, what do you consistently do? In the evenings do you watch TV or read books? Go to restaurants with friends or go alone to the cinema? Workout? Write?
What do you Google?
The average American has over 10 hours of screen time a day. Where are your go-to sites? What are you always searching? Travel? Shopping? Trains? Cooking?
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Let’s yourself step into the fantasy of hitting it big this Saturday night. Where would you go? What would you change? What would you do? With who?
The key is to ask yourself the following question: “How can I turn this up in my life now? What am I waiting for? What’s holding me back?”
You deserve a robust, multi-passionate life. Don’t wait for the perfect moment or one big sign pointing to the needle in a massive haystack. Create it and follow your passion-path.
Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips
Written by: Shileen Weber
When the American Funds’ Capital Group asked 400 advisors last year to name the biggest issues they face in their businesses, it wasn’t the DOL, market uncertainty or the economy that sat in the center of the idea cloud of answers.
It was client issues.
At a time when regulatory concerns and market turbulence would seem to be at all-time highs, the advisors who answered the survey were most concerned about servicing their clients as well as ways to find new ones and grow their businesses.
It’s one of the ironies of the business, that the things most people find so hard to manage – creating financial plans, managing assets and staying ahead of events – are what advisors find to be the easiest parts of the business. Marketing - the business of selling themselves – can be the area advisors find the hardest elements to master.
In this age of instant communication, it can be even more intimidating to market your practice, especially to younger clients for whom many traditional methods like newsletters, postcards and phone calls don’t work anymore. For them, email is the preferred way to get information, and, if it’s important, they are more likely to respond to texts, not phone calls.
But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. The digital age gives you access to ideas and content of all kinds you can use to touch your clients in a way that positions you as a valuable resource. The key is to keep it simple, stick to some basics and create consistent outreach that clients and potential clients are interested in and will appreciate you sharing with them.
Here is a common-sense approach you can take that will not require you to hire an expensive agency or take valuable time away from managing your clients’ assets and running your business.
Content is King
Create a content calendar for the year: Think about reasons to touch a client 13 times during the year – that can be once a month and on their birthday. (The common rule of sales is that it takes at least 7-13 touches to make a connection.) The number is limited and keeps you from inundating the clients who likely already feel inundated with content. You can take the seasonal approach – tax planning in the fall, January for account review content, college financing in the spring – and supplement it with topical events during the year. Creating a calendar will help you stick to a plan. Here’s one resource for a content calendar.
Review what content is already available to you: Basically, this means finding the resources you already have and determining what pieces will be most valuable to your clients. Start first by checking out content your broker-dealer already generates that you can personalize. Many firms have economists who write regularly about the market. That’s content you can pass along to keep clients up-to-date they would not have access to anywhere else. In addition to your broker-dealer, mutual funds, your clearing firm, and money managers are all excellent sources of informative and even analytical content.
Personalize the content you use: Add your name, the client’s name or some way to avoid making it feel like canned content that you are using just to check the outreach box. See what capabilities your email program may have to help you.
The birthday strategy: One advisor used clients’ birthdays in a new way. Instead of the card or lunch date, the advisor asked the client’s spouse for a list of friends he could invite to a birthday lunch and made it a memorable event that was also a soft approach to getting referrals.
Become a curator of good content: What your review will show you is that you don’t have to generate the content yourself. You can point clients to pieces you find insightful. You are likely already doing this every day just to keep yourself informed. The next step is to compile it and send out the very best pieces to your clients, again, with a note with your own thoughts about why you found it valuable.
Find out what is working and do more of it: Use your client interactions, in-person and online, to find out what types of content clients liked and any they didn’t. You can use tracking on your emails to see how many were opened as a measurement tool, but the personal interactions tend to provide more insight than raw data.
Be disciplined about your execution: Get help from an office assistant or schedule the time each month to do the content development and outreach. As any good strategy, if you make it a habit, it won’t seem so hard.
Most importantly, be yourself and be personal: You may want to regularly get personal by talking about your family and hobbies. The ultimate is if you can provide content that is personal to your clients, not just about their investments – they get that from their statements, apps and online portals. Think alma maters, hobbies, children and parents.
Of course, as a disclaimer, you have to make sure all content and communications are complying with regulations and the rules of your own broker-dealer.
The process of creating a plan will get you thinking about your clients in a new way. That exercise alone can re-energize your business and get you seeing marketing opportunities in places you may never have seen them before.
Shileen Weber is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at GWG Holdings. She was previously Director of Online Strategy and Client Experience at RBC Wealth Management, where they placed first in two JD Power and Associates U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (2011 and 2013).
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