That set of goals can be complex and difficult to manage, which is why Bill embraces being a lifelong student. “One of the great things about this business is that you have to know a lot about a lot of things,” he says. “I still feel like I’m learning things every single day.” He suggests engaging with a broad set of perspectives on what’s happening in different industries so that investment strategies don’t get stuck in echo chambers.
Beyond educating yourself, though, Bill and Jason know one of the central pillars of being a great advisor is being a great person. “Doing the right thing is a great business strategy,” Bill says, mentioning that the focus on integrity is something that they taught during orientation at Vanguard.
For Jason, that philosophy of doing what’s right is inscribed into his skin; he has the word “courageous” tattooed on his left forearm. “Doing the right thing takes courage,” he says. “Sometimes it’s hard or means you have to work long hours, but doing the right thing is a huge payoff.” Courage can also mean thinking about who you can serve best, which is why Jason wants emerging advisors to focus on who they’re serving. Focusing on goals and ideals early on a professional journey can create a magnetism for advisors and lay the foundation for growth later on.
Growth can also take time, which is why both Jason and Bill want advisors to focus on what’s in front of them when they’re starting out. “If you only have a handful of clients to start with, work like crazy to make them happy,” says Jason, before Bill echoes him a few moments later saying, “For anyone who is in that early part of their career, there’s no better way to grow your business than taking great care and showing an incredible amount of gratitude to your clients.”
Starting out as an advisor comes with its challenges, but lessons like these from Jason and Bill can go a long way in making that professional journey a smooth one.
About The Human Advisor
Everyone has a story about what money means to them. When someone sits down in your office, it’s so much more than doing business. Your client comes to you with some of their core beliefs about success, identity, legacy, and relationship.
The Human Advisor Podcast is dedicated to changing the conversation from how big a financial advisor’s book of business is to how well they take care of their clients and actually help people. There’s a new breed of modern advisors who want to make a difference and do something meaningful. And in our series, we’re telling their stories. Watch more episodes.