It starts with the why…then the how…followed by the what!
People often talk about what they do or even how they do what they do and perhaps I’ve been guilty of doing some of that in some of my recent blogs (have you read them? Click here if you fancy a nose)! The most important aspect, “The Why” I do it is usually overlooked! Why do people do what they do? I often wonder and sometimes I ask. Some people might say that it comes down to religion, or even politics, but I think it comes down to core beliefs about who you are as a person, as a human being.
If you don’t know me, then you might just think that being a Financial Advisor is just about, well, finance! You’d be right to a degree and there are plenty of Financial Advisors who are just about finance but I’m not. I’m a certified Life Planner too and I like to make what I do about people as well as finance and what can be done to improve people’s lives. There’s a taster about why I do what I do.
Delving deeper into my “Why”…I want to make a genuine, positive difference to people’s lives and help them to lead more meaningful lives by enabling them to understand their purpose and their mission. Using my skills as a Financial Advisor and Life Planner, I enable my clients to structure their money in order to realise what is most important to them. There’s a piece I wrote about Values that’s worth a read, as there’s most definitely a link!
When I work with clients and I see them realise what is in their heart’s core it really lifts me up and fulfils my own mission.
It’s Who I Am!
It’s quite simple really, it’s who I am. The “What” and the “How” follow on from my “Why”. The “What” fulfils my mission and the “How” is constructed so that I can make a difference to as many people as I can.
If you are the type of advisor who simply processes pensions or investments and can’t wait for the end of the day so that you can go on and do something else that interests you far more, then of course, you might be able to live on that superficial level! For me, it’s different. What I do encompasses everything and if my business didn’t operate on this level then I would have gone on to do something else that fulfilled my personal mission a long time ago.
Politics is a Factor of What I Do
I’d like to move onto how religion and politics affects what we all do for a living. If you’re scratching your head wondering what I’m on about, I’m about to enlighten you! Your values form your mission and they go hand in hand with your world view. Many say to keep religion and politics out of business but I think that they are the life blood, the basis of all of our belief system, and they impact your values too.
I have always had very strong political views, so much so that I rejected an opportunity to work as a Chemical Engineer after my first class honours degree and went off to study politics. For the best part of ten years I studied at Birmingham and Essex Universities. I am probably the only Financial Advisor with works by Lenin, Karl Marx, Mussolini and Hitler on my bookshelf (some of those books were very hard work to get through)! I’ve read quite a lot, about different political views, about extreme political views and it only underlines my compassion and respect for others. My compassion dictates that I believe that everyone should be treated equally and be treated with respect. I am profoundly anti-fascist and anti-racist and I have a dream that one day, we may all live in a democratic country which is governed by reason, probably won’t happen in my lifetime but I hope one day, the world will be a better place.
Of course – not only do political views impact what you do and why, they also impact it because of events and restrictions. Here’s an example that came to light this morning. Have you seen my website? If so, my European credentials are proudly demonstrated on the front page of my website. Today, I got a bit cross (unlike me to be honest). From the 1st January 2021, I will have lost my European passport which means I can no longer work with my many clients living in Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Spain etc. This is due to dreaded Brexit. There’s no deal for financial services so I can’t help them anymore. Some of those clients I’ve worked with for over 20 years! This is obviously political, which begs the question how can you live without being involved in politics? I hate it when other things get in the way – making people’s lives worse. This is a prime example. Brexit undermines my way of life but you can’t get away from politics, no matter your views.
Religion Also Holds Weight
What of religion? I am a Humanist, the ideals of a god or a super-being has never formed part of my belief, for me it is irrelevant. It is who we are as a human being that is more important. However I am not an ‘Atheist’. There’s a difference, I think that describing myself as an atheist is a negative description whereas being a humanist is positive. A humanist has a belief in respect and compassion for the world and the people that live in it. Religions often divide people, whereas humanists bring them together. That’s what I endeavour to do. Interestingly, most of my clients have similar attitudes to me which is bolsters my own views. So maybe I attract clients because of my way of thinking?
I hope that my “Why” now makes more sense, so you no longer look at just “What” I do or “How” I do it. The “Why” is the purpose of what we all do: Making a difference and improving people’s lives every day – what better legacy could I wish for?