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Finding Your Inspiration Throughout Your Career

When I began my career as a financial services professional, I was told I had many factors working against my success. I was young, female and did not have extensive experience. I chose to perceive these traits as fuel for my career success instead of liabilities that would limit my potential within the industry. 
I was inspired to prove people and existing prejudices wrong and show that a young woman could succeed in a male-dominated industry. My differences did not have to work against me — they are my biggest assets and make me unique. 

Discovering Your Inspiration

Everyone has different sources of inspiration that motivate them to do their best work every day. Advisors should look within themselves and the people around them to renew their inspiration. For example, some may be influenced by wealth, fear of failure, or personal relationships with friends and family. 
Find your confidence through continuing education and acquiring designations to become an excellent resource to serve your clients as holistically as possible. Consider a particular aspect of the industry that you strongly believe in, such as a certain product or planning specialty, and channel it as your passion. After you define your passions and commit yourself to a mission, I believe clients will trust in your abilities to help make their financial goals a reality. 

Find Motivation

It is vital to find inspiration at every stage of your career to keep yourself motivated and accomplish your goals. Inspiration evolves as your career progresses, and it is important to re-evaluate this aspect of your professional career on a regular, ongoing basis. 
When you begin as a new professional, you may fall into survival mode and use survival as the measure of professional success. Seek out additional motivating factors that you can carry with you throughout your career instead of relying on this temporary mentality. My suggested approach is to turn challenges you face at the beginning into opportunities to differentiate yourself from other professionals. 

Personal Stories That Influence My Actions

Advisors’ personal lives can also serve as a motivator. I experienced firsthand the financial and emotional toll that an unexpected illness can have on an entire family. That experience drives me to help clients create long-term plans and help protect their family’s livelihood. If you form personal connections with clients and share these personal experiences, you can enhance the mutual trust in your relationships and make a difference in their lives. 
The people that I surround myself with — such as friends, family, clients and my team at the office — also motivate me to set a good example. I want my daughter to know that if you work hard, believe in yourself and contribute to the greater good, you can achieve personal and professional success. 

Leverage Client Relationships

Although my determination to prove people wrong faded as I gained more experience, I am still motivated today to uphold my success due to my natural competitive drive and love of our business. Now I strive to maintain and grow my practice, driven by my passion to help others obtain financial independence. My clients inspire me to work hard every day so I can help them achieve their goals. 
I recognize the impact I can have on my clients’ short-term and long-term dreams. I want to continue to empower my clients to support their families and lead financially stable lives. I believe that our country is in crisis, people need financial help more than ever before, and it is our duty to serve and help them get on the right path to achieving their goals. It is our firm’s mission to help as many people as possible achieve their financial dreams and manage their nightmares. 
It can be difficult to discover your personal source of inspiration on your own. Seek input from a mentor, a coach, colleagues, family or friends. Sometimes the person who will support you the most is someone who once walked in your shoes, such as a peer or mentor. They can help you determine your strengths, passions and, ultimately, your inspiration. Inspired advisors can experience fulfilling careers based on genuine interest in their clients’ well-being and successes.

Kimberly A. Harding, CLU, CLTC, has been in the financial services and insurance industry since 2003. She is a lifetime member of MDRT. Kimberly is a partner with Harding Financial and Insurance in Woburn, Mass. Kimberly may be contacted at [email protected] .

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