Success and Happiness in 2015 – Life Planning

finance-career-life-planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you had a good year? Have you accomplished your goals? Have you been enjoying prosperity, success, and happiness this year?

Well, it’s time to close out the books on this year and bring in success and happiness for 2015. Since it’s the end of the year it’s a a great time to reflect on what went right, what didn’t happen that you wanted to have happen, and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

For the last ten years I have invested time and thought into setting goals for the coming year. It’s my firm belief that going through this exercise has resulted in a financially successful coaching practice, awesome clients of my choosing, and a balanced and happy life.

You can create your path in life

Do you take part in any rituals at this time of the year? Do you conduct Life Planning for you and your family? It’s funny because most people put more effort into planning a vacation than they do in planning their lives. So they focus on the short term rather than the big picture. Not that there’s anything wrong with being spontaneous. You can enjoy spur-of-the-moment events while still planning for the bigger long-term goals.

If you were thinking longer-term, just consider how your life could change if you intentionally planned out not only the coming year, but the next 5 years. What I’m talking about is creating a 5 year Life Plan, and acting on your plan.

Be deliberate

Each year at this time, my husband and I pack up the VW Tiguan and head for hills. The hills of Sedona, Arizona, that is. We bring our laptops, our dog, and some good wine, and we stay at a resort where we deliberately plan out the coming year. Call it Business and Life Planning if you will.

Could you do this?

In our Life Plan annually, we rate our happiness in areas such as quality of clients we are working with, satisfaction with our chosen profession, how much we are sticking to our ideal work week, and happiness with the beauty of our working environment.

Then we go on to review whether we are spending time doing the things that make us happy.  Activities such as being with friends and family, focusing on maintaining excellent health, scheduling time for self-care such as work outs, massage, facials, and the like. We review whether we are growing spiritually, taking exciting and restful vacations, and making sure that we are growing our financial nest egg.

Finally we discuss what we want to do more of, whether we are involved in creative and passionate projects, and if our home is the way we want it.

Speaking of home, this year we’ve done quite a bit to our house. We decided to renovate our master suite with a new bathroom (with a rainfall shower) and updated master bedroom. Like many projects, we ran into a few challenges like having to entirely replace an exterior wall due to water damage. But that’s the nature of the beast when you tackle projects like these.

You don’t attract what you want; you attract what and who you are

I’ve heard over and over again from financial advisor clients and investment professionals that they want more financial success in their lives, but when I ask if they walk their talk I find that they do not.

  • If you’re taking any client who comes your way, you may not be living up to standards or values that make you attractive to quality clients.
  • If you’re in a job you hate, where you are putting up with a micro-manager boss and company values that don’t suit you, then your life may not be optimal.
  • If you’re running an investment business where you don’t value your staff, you don’t invest in your own skills, or your company procedures are a mess, you are not living up to your full potential. This may result in a poor quality of life because you’re not attracting what you want into your life.

Motivate!

I encourage you to set aside time at the end of this year to create a Life Plan that will give you some direction for where you want to go with your life. For my Financial Advisor clients, a Business Plan is also necessary to plot your strategic direction next year. For my financial career-coaching clients, it could be time to pull the trigger on a new career direction using job search coaching.

Request a Consultation to learn more.

5 Client Appreciation Events That Create Engagement

  • Have you ever thought of making your clients so happy that they rave to their friends and relatives about the service you provide?
  • Have you ever considered focusing on your existing clients rather than beating the bushes for new clients?
  • How can you create raving fans so that you grow by referral?

 

The answer is to host a Host events and deepen relationshipsclient appreciation event!

You’ve worked long and hard to acquire your existing clients. They’ve stuck by you through thick and thin and they are your best advocates. But what have you done to show them you care? A birthday and holiday card each year just doesn’t convey the warm, fuzzy feeling that an event can provide.

Mingling with your clients at an event you host provides many opportunities such as increasing engagement, making small talk away from the office, and providing a way for you to meet your clients’ friends and family.

Client appreciation events build trust and credibility with your clients, the ones who have helped you build your practice. What I want for you is a practice composed of only ideal clients – clients who receive first class service, who look forward to your calls, and who willingly and enthusiastically refer you new clients.

First time? If this is your first appreciation event, my recommendation is to keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with either cost or details as you will learn from your first event and apply that knowledge to future events.

Next: After you hold your first event, take your “lessons learned” and plan out events for the next calendar year using your annual marketing calendar.

What type of event could you hold that would thank your clients and attract their friends? What kind of event would foster conversation, deepen relationships, and encourage referrals?

Here are five ideas for engaging client appreciation events:

Idea 1: Wine tasting – There are two types of wine tastings – a formal event where you take part in an actual wine evaluation. These can be loads of fun and a great way to share your love of wine with your clients because you’ll be comparing tasting notes. Here’s a blog post I wrote in 2010 about planning a formal wine tasting. The group size for this type of event should be kept smaller to allow for greater engagement between attendees.

The second type of wine tasting event is very informal. It’s more like a cocktail party where several types of wine are served with appetizers that are finger food nibbles. People mingle with each other or sit casually at tables Since you can invite more people to this type of event, having a 20-minute speaker may work well.

Idea 2: Golf event – There’s something about getting out on the green and shooting little white balls with your buddies that makes this client appreciation event very engaging and entertaining. This type of event is best with 4-10 of your best clients and their friends, 18 holes of golf, and dinner at the clubhouse. Variations could be hiring a golf pro to give lessons before getting out on the course or holding a contest of some sort.

Idea 3: Client coffee – Ask your clients to bring their biggest money questions and provide coffee and pastries either at your office or at an indie coffee shop. There are several nice aspects of client coffees – they’re informal, inexpensive, and fun. Because the environment is relaxed, attendees don’t feel pressured or awkward and are more likely to open up.

Idea 4: Martini and money happy hour event – What I like about happy hour events is that attendees find them fun and alcoholic beverages have a way of loosening tongues to a degree that allows engagement. Martini and money involves a two-hour event where you serve two drinks and answer money related questions. I had a client who held such an event on a regular basis at an upscale hotel lobby bar which was the perfect ambiance.

Idea 5: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Giveaway – This is less an event and more of a real “thank you” to your clients. You can purchase pre-made pumpkin pies and then send out “Happy Thanksgiving cards” that include an insert inviting clients to pick up their pies on a specific date. Just imagine all the goodwill you will create with this kind gesture! And the best part is that very few advisors send out Thanksgiving cards so yours will stand out from the crowd.

There you have it. Five great ideas for client appreciation events that you can use in your marketing plan for the upcoming year. As you can see, client events needn’t break the bank. You can host events for as little as a few hundred dollars all the way up to thousands. The point is to get started.

 

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