Covid-19 has made me re-evaluate many aspects of my life. It has given me a chance to reflect on past experiences and ask myself if I have learnt all the lessons I can from them. One area I have always struggled with is resilience. As a young paraplanner I always seemed to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, or at least that’s what I was often told.
In my first paraplanning job I would go home and continually mull over what I had done wrong or what had happened that day. I’ve lost months and months of sleep over work issues – trying to work out if I’d done the right thing.
A new book, Ross Edgley’s Art of Resilience has given me the opportunity to revisit this and has provided some new insights into this area. I’ve not finished his book yet, but it is a fascinating read. He writes about what makes us more resilient and the component parts of both the mind and body needing to play their part to make us more resilient. One of the most fascinating parts of the book so far, which is important in helping us become more resilient, is on motivation.
There are two fundamental types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation drives you to keep going for reasons you have developed internally, such as your desire to ensure clients get the best all round advice and that you do your absolute best to create a report that helps clients understand where they are, with a clear path to achieve their objectives in life. Extrinsic motivation is where external factors motivate us, such as money, promotion/job title.
We might all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat
Have you thought about what motivates you to be a paraplanner? What motivated you to become a paraplanner in the first place? Is it a job well done for clients? Money? Happy clients? Happy advisers? What has motivated you to keep at it when things got tough? For some, times are tough now being a paraplanner. We might all be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat and we are experiencing the effects of this pandemic on many different levels.
If you answered those questions, I’d like to bet that most of you became paraplanners because of some intrinsic motivation. I’ve tested this out on several paraplanners recently, and they've all agreed. Doing the right thing, finding your way around client’s problems to help them achieve what they want to, building a more client friendly service, are all among the top reasons for many of you to become paraplanners.
So, to become more resilient in life generally, we need to harness our minds and bodies to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Probably the understatement of the year would be that the pandemic is certainly causing a lot of ‘uncomfortable’. But no matter what your current situation, you can still try to exercise your resilience to get through it. Use your motivation to make plans for the future. Create your own budgets and cashflows. Make the tough decisions where you need to. Get help and support from others when you need to. Do something good to help someone else along the way. Look at what needs to change to enable you to continue to do what you love: paraplanning.
In my experience, paraplanners are supportive and caring. Much loved, well respected and integral to delivering a first-class financial planning service to clients.
This article first appears in the July/August 2020 edition of Professional Paraplanner. Republished with permission.