Are You a Finance Industry High Achiever?

goals and high achieversI was listening to Garrison Keillor on NPR a few weekends ago and it reminded me of a prospective client who contacted me about coaching some time ago.

If you don’t listen to NPR, Garrison Keillor is the host of A Prairie Home Companion. I always chuckle at the end of the show when Garrison Keillor says, “Well, that’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

We live in a world where high achievers are compensated according to their best efforts. Whether you have your own financial advisory practice, you’re in investment management, or you are a finance career professional, if you take the initiative to learn and grow your skills, more than likely your compensation will increase.

We are not ALL above average.

There are those who prefer to coast in life, never reaching for more. Never yearning for a better life. You know who these people are: they are the ones who just do the bare minimum to get by.

They just “show up” and nothing more. They are happy with what they get and they shy away from activities that involve any degree of risk. Or, perhaps they constantly complain about their lot in life, yet they do nothing to change.

High achievers are goal-oriented individuals who continuously strive for self-improvement. Once a goal has been achieved, a new goal is set. Once a target has been met, a new target is selected.

  • Are you a high achiever?
  • What’s the biggest goal you’ve ever achieved?
  • If you set your sights on achieving one big goal this year, what would it be?

As you reflect on the answers to these questions, think about where you want to go with your life. What would make you happiest?

Back to the prospective client: He was at a point in his career where he had to make decisions about how to grow his income. We spoke via phone so that I could get a better idea of what he was looking to do with coaching.

Have you ever met someone who was successful in spite of themself? Well, this person was a good example. It turned out that he was looking for the easy way out. He did not want to expend any effort and he looked to me to make introductions and create magic so that he could achieve his goals.

I had to be honest and tell him that high achievers look for the right way to do something, not the easy way.

As it turned out, I declined to work with this client because: any goal worth achieving has thought, vision, strategies, and decisions that require work!


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Are you a high achiever? What do you do to stay on top?


6 Personal Branding Tips for Female Financial Advisors

I am a big believer in making a good first impression. From what I’ve read and from real-world experience, I know that people form an opinion about us within a few seconds of meeting us face-to-face.

Unlike our online brand, our personal brand is all about us: How we dress, the jewelry we wear, and how we carry ourselves. These factors contribute to our own personal brand and make an impression on those we meet.  Wearing a style that is not right for us, or a color that clashes with our skin tone can be a detriment to our personal branding success.

Clarisse-RingwoldI had the pleasure of meeting Clarisse Ringwald of Trevortni Color Creations a few weeks ago. Clarisse provides image consulting for women and men who want to look their very best. I’ve asked Clarisse to give my female financial advisor readers a few tips on how to present a stylish facade that will allow them to make a great first impression.


Tip 1: I love to wear beige and brown colors but I’ve been told that although these colors may suit my skin tone, I should wear jackets and suits in colors that stand out. What’s your opinion on wearing bold colors?

Its all about line and design.  Beige and brown colors are great colors, especially for blondes, picking up some or all the shades of their hair.  If wearing a beige or brown suit or jacket, I would definitely pair it with a bold colored top, from a pastel to a rich jeweled tone.  Matching the color of your hair and/or your eyes in any outfit will make the outfit complete.  Besides, I am of the opinion that jeweled tones are our friends after 35!  A financial planner with dark hair, leaning toward a navy or charcoal suit or jacket, I would recommend pairing with a bold color matching their eye color.  When you enter a room, you want to be THAT person who takes command of the audience.

Tip 2: What’s the biggest clothing mistake women make?

Wearing the wrong clothing style for her body type.  If the woman is adjusting her clothing all day, tugging at it, pulling the clothing down or pulling in her stomach to make it fit, it’s the wrong style for her body type.

Tip 3: What’s one great wardrobe investment all women should make?

A fabulous leather handbag.

Look instantly slimmer using a handbag instead of a shoulder bag.  Shoulder bags tend to be bulky and add inches to your hip area.

Tip 4: I personally love jewelry and I’ve heard that we should have one great jewelry piece per outfit. What’s your opinion on jewelry?

For professional wear, I tend to agree that one great statement piece of jewelry, especially worn close to the face, per outfit is the rule to follow.  This does not include a nose piercing or a tongue piercing.

I have great pins that I use on my suit jacket lapels.  If I wear a pin, I do not wear a necklace.  Bangle brackets are distracting and I would not recommend them for a professional meeting.  However, a great watch is a fine piece to complement the statement jewelry.

Portrait of happy businesswoman in formal dressTip 5: What’s one fashion rule women can break from time to time?

The latest fashion trend is not having shoes and bags match their outfit.  The trend theory is too matchy-matchy.

I embrace the teaching of my mentor, Irene Riter, The Science of Personal Dress, which states, light hair, light bottoms and shoes, dark hair, dark bottoms and shoes.  Think about it, if a brunette wears white shoes, where does everyone’s eyes go to when she enters a room, her feet.  As financial planners and presenters every day, you want to keep the client’s attention to your eyes and face, not your feet.

Tip 6: What’s one fashion accessory that you recommend all women should have?

Scarves in your personalized colors.  If you have an outfit that’s not quite right, use a scarf in your colors close to the face to correct!


To learn more about Clarisse’s services, visit  or follow her on twitter at


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