Feel Like Quitting Your Financial Advisor Career? Truth Is, So Did I.06/11/2020
I truly believe that being a financial advisor is one of the best careers on the planet.
But, if we are being honest with ourselves, we have to address the elephant in room: the majority of reps don’t make it. Some analysts estimate that about 90% of first-year life insurance agents burnout in the first year.
When I entered this business as a Northwestern Mutual agent, I earned “Rookie of the Year” my first year in the business and then went on to qualify for MDRT and Top of the Table. After that, I was an agency leader for about a decade and am now a speaker and trainer. I absolutely LOVE this business.
So, on the surface, you’d probably think that the thought of quitting never crossed my mind. But the truth is I definitely thought about it. In fact, in the early years, I thought about it almost every day.
Being a financial advisor is a tough job, especially in the early years. It’s a strange thing. On one hand, when you consider the typical savings rate and overall lack of financial planning of the average household, there are so many people that desperately need our services.
Conversely, it can still be so difficult to make the calls, hear “No” all the time, deal with canceled appointments and clients who refuse to take action, even when your plan is 100% the right move.
You have to work hard and face your greatest fears on a regular basis. You have to fight through rejection from prospects and clients and are sometimes cast in the eyes of others as “just a salesman” trying to make money.
I remember sitting down one day as a young rep and really fighting back the urge to quit. I was filled with so much anxiety and stress. And, in one of my critical think time sessions, an idea struck me that changed everything, which I describe in the video below.
Rising Up From The Bottom
Many times, reps succumb to the feeling of wanting to quit. They feel like the job just isn’t a good fit. They feel like they aren’t doing well, they’re beaten down, or they simply can’t get past the feeling of wanting to give up.
If this is you today, or you feel like you’ve ever been there, I want you to know that I’ve been there too. But this is an industry of endless benefits. If you can push through those feelings, the is a world of possibility ahead.
You get to noble work that can have life-changing impact on people’s lives, by providing them with financial independence and security. You’re your own boss and in control of your future. You have unlimited income potential and are in a career that progressively gets better over time.
The next time you feel like you want to quit, make a list of your “entrance reasons.” Ask yourself:
1. What attracted me to this industry?
2. What factors contributed to your decision to join the company you did?
3. What got you excited about this industry?
4. What resonated with you the most?
5. What has been your biggest win thus far?
Once you have your entrance reasons, evaluate if any of these reasons have changed. If they did change, how so? Is the only thing that changed that you realized how hard it is in this business? Or was there a seismic change in your life that you need to reevaluate how you are approaching the job?
I am a firm believer that there is no genetic wiring to this business. To succeed you need to work hard and face your fears. We all have the power to do it. Reaffirming why you entered the industry can help expel doubt, realign your beliefs, and elevate your performance.
What’s Your Life Saving Story?
Step two is to create your own life saving story. The basis of creating this story lies in the belief that if you believe in the greater purpose of your work, then nothing can stop you. When you’re truly working for a higher purpose, and believe in the power of your work, you will never quit.
Think about the work you’ve done. Review your career and pull confidence from the work you’ve done for past clients, especially if you’ve delivered a life insurance or disability benefit. If not, imagine what that would feel like if you were to do that for one of your clients. If you feel like you can’t resonate with either of these options, you can borrow my story about the people on the pier or create your own.
The point is to put yourself in touch with your real purpose for being in this industry. To realign your values and reaffirm your focus. Once the mind changes, there is room for new behaviors that will help you overcome the feeling of quitting.
Our industry requires this level of mental growth and stamina because there is a direct correlation to how worthy, exciting, and noble things are to the degree of difficulty to obtain them.
A Rep I’ve Never Met
In the history of my 30-year career, I have never met a rep who embraced activity and did not overcome the feeling of wanting to quit. I encourage all reps to pick up the phone and start dialing when they are struggling.
If you can crank out a high volume of dials per day, you’ll have a feeling of hope regardless of how the calls went. The same is true with having kept appointments. Whether they go well or not, the feeling that you get when you keep appointments with people help combat those negative feelings that are intensified when you’re in isolation.
The bottom line is that I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling like quitting. Everyone has felt that way at one point or another. But, looking back 30 years, I could talk for hours about how grateful I am that I stuck with it. While you may feel like you’re in the midst of driving through a storm, I promise you the sun is shining on the other side. Keep in mind the positive impact you have on others and commit to activity. It’s the fuel that will get you to your destination.