Helping clients reach those goals is what drives us, and it’s the ultimate form of job satisfaction. But all too often, we see clients who achieve those goals at a significant and unexpected cost. They’re the ones who are so driven to succeed financially they wind up losing sight of everything else. We see it all the time — that slippery slope between being a “success” and being a workaholic. Unfortunately, too often the price paid for extraordinary financial wealth can be fractured relationships, personal dissatisfaction, and even compromised physical health.
As a financial advisor, you have the power to influence. Not just in financial decisions, but in important life choices. Your client relationship requires an extraordinary level of energy and engagement, and also trust, which puts you in a unique position of being able to help guide them in the critical areas of life itself.
Wellness author and advisor coach Heidi Hanna, PhD, calls this the “Total Life Wealth” approach. It doesn’t mean you have to trade in your FA creds for a PhD in psychiatry. It simply involves taking on a slightly different perspective. Yes, you are helping your clients reach a financial end goal. But you are also committed to helping them enjoy the journey, and ensuring that they are happy and healthy when they arrive at their destination.
In practice, “Total Life Wealth” can manifest in myriad ways. All it takes is some creative thinking. For example, when talking about retirement plans, expand the topic by discussing ways your client can strategically manage his/her own health and wellness in order to fully enjoy what they’ve been working so hard to build in their financial portfolio. When, in the course of your practice you acknowledge life events and business or financial milestones, instead of the usual card and flowers, try sending a fruit basket with a note about the ‘power of the nutrients within to fuel further success’. Or, consider sending out pedometers as holiday gifts, with a heartfelt note about taking steps together for a happy, healthy and wealthy future.
When you shift your focus from financial wealth to total life wealth, you are expanding your service from normative to stellar. You’re going beyond somewhat meager client expectations and contributing to their lives in a positive and very significant way. That makes them feel good — not just about their investments but about you. And when clients begin to rely on you in this way, and you realize that you’re making a big difference in the lives of your clients, as well as their families and everyone around them, that’s the true definition of total life wealth — for you and your clients.