June 14, 2022

Your Community Has Your Back!

Prathiba Girish
Founder at Finwise Personal Finance Solutions
Financial Advisors Community

I often wonder what is the one thing which has made a huge difference to the progress made in our practice – ONE THING without which the success achieved would have been half of what it is today. I am sure this question will elicit a different response from different people.  It is also dependent on the stage of evolution one is work-wise.  For me personally, the one big thing which has eased the way tremendously and help us take some difficult decisions is the community.

At the risk of repeating what I have said in one of my earlier articles, we are still in a nascent stage as financial intermediaries – we are too few and the clients who need us are in huge numbers. Therefore, there is no real dog-eat-dog kind of competition which we see in most other fields. This is a wonderful opportunity where within the community, most people do not view each other as competitors. When I was a newbie, I was pleasantly surprised by the easy access one had to senior successful professionals who willingly took time to share what worked and what did not for them. There was no secret sauce recipe passed down across generations – it’s an open recipe.

What exactly do I mean by community, you may wonder?   Well, while the entire fraternity is easily accessible vide many platforms like professional WhatsApp groups and relationships built over meetings at various events, what is of particular interest to me is a small group of people in similar stage of practice, who come together with no particular purpose in mind.   Initially it is just a group of people who you get along with and meet to de-stress and have some fun. The sharing which happens in these kinds of closed groups is in a different level.  What so special about these small groups you may ask, I list 6 things which are exclusive to these kinds of groups:

  • You can ask basic or silly questions and not feel embarrassed

In larger groups one is sometimes overwhelmed and wonders if the questions are too basic.  Such doubts vanish in smaller close-knit groups. Solutions are almost always quick.

  • You discuss various solutions to clients’ problems

It’s easy to discuss specific cases and solutions in these groups. You get ready access to different approaches and thought process to the same problem. Many times, due to inertia, once keeps giving the same products and stops looking for alternatives. You can stumble on fantastic alternatives thanks to these informal conversations.

  • There is always someone who is willing to try new products

The ability and willingness to take is risk in the group is not the same. There is always someone who is willing to look at new products and is ready to share the experience. It does not mean one needs to follow suit but at least you have some information and experience of others to fall back on.

  • There is a techie in the group who is ever willing to translate Greek and Latin to simple English

Let’s face it – not all of us jump into the latest app or software solution as soon as it’s launched.   But there will always be someone who is passionate about keeping abreast of these and is every willing to decode it for you.

  • It’s not about cut-copy-paste, it’s a healthy platform to discuss and discard ideas

Having a close-knit group is not about having the same business model or solutions or following in each other’s footsteps, it’s about having first-hand information. It is about easily accessible expertise and having a good place where you can agree to disagree and remain an integral part of the group.

  • As an individual not too many product manufacturers are keen to listen, as group it’s different story

It is a fact that as individuals, product manufacturers don’t really give you much attention.  The moment you are a group, the opportunities to meet the right people and have enriching conversations generally multiply.

A word of caution though, these groups are formed naturally because you find like-minded people who you enjoy hanging out with.  I am not sure if this can be done when people come together solely with the purpose of benefitting from the group. When you are with friends, you genuinely applaud the success of peers and are keen on getting others onboard when you come upon a winning idea, solution or way. Another important thing to keep in mind is not everyone is very active, but one must be very conscious of the fact that you are not someone who is only seeking. Giving and seeking are after all two sides of the same coin.

Network FP understands the major role a Community plays in lives of financial advisors and their practice. No one in financial advisor fraternity can flourish in isolation and the need grew significantly more post-pandemic. Keeping this in mind, Network FP has introduced the ‘PHYGITAL’ concept for its upcoming FAST Summit 2022, scheduled on 15-16 July, where you will get a chance to meet fellow practitioners from your city in a local-hub near you.

About The Author: Pratibha Girish is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) & Founder at Finwise Personal Finance Solutions.

2 Thoughts to “Your Community Has Your Back!”

  1. Nicely penned. As i was reading could relive the times together when we all were taskforce team at NFP.
    We all have come a long way and big pat to NFP, sadique and Priti for being that part to bring us together.

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