Here at Amplified Planning, we host monthly alumni events for everyone who has participated in The Externship. At the most recent one, I was struck by a comment that one of the participants made: “Small steps equal big momentum.”
It might sound a little too simple or even trite, but it’s absolutely true. When you think about how to build momentum in your career, it’s crucial to focus on the small steps — not just the big ones.
It was such an important reminder to share, especially in a group that includes people from all stages of their financial planning careers. We spent some time talking about those small steps and all the potential rewards they can bring. The whole conversation was such a powerful reminder of how important consistency and patience are in your financial planning practice.
Small steps build momentum in your financial planning practice
Sometimes, your career moves forward because you land an ideal client or get a big promotion. But most of the time, it’s about much smaller steps. And those little steps can feel slow and even frustrating at times, but they really do build momentum and move your financial planning practice forward.
One of the best things that you can do for your career is to use the time in between those big career leaps to make slow-and-steady progress. Take those little steps to keep building momentum. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got some suggestions.
practice with you financial planning software
If you want to be successful in a modern financial planning firm, you need to know how to use some professional software programs. And if you already know the basics of one or two, that’s a great place to start!
But these programs are complex, and there’s always more you can learn. So if you’ve got some free time on your hands, make a conscious effort to learn more about the financial planning program you use most in your practice.
There are so many ways to learn a software program better! You can find tutorials on YouTube, read forums, and ask your coworkers questions. Another option is to just spend some time clicking around and trying out different parts of the program. If earning a professional credential is important to you, see if there are any certification courses available— your employer might even reimburse the cost!
read the compliance manual
I know, reading the compliance manual probably sounds super boring. But understanding compliance is extremely important, and formal financial planning courses don’t always do a great job of covering all the intricacies. Compliance is a complicated topic, so don’t just skim. Really dig in and try to improve your knowledge.
It’s always good to build your professional network, but that doesn’t just happen at big conferences and professional events. There are many small steps you can take to grow your network. Invite one of your colleagues to a working lunch, or reach out via email to someone you met at the last conference.
You can also grow your network online or attend a meeting at your local FPA chapter. Short, informal interactions count too, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a coworker or someone in your CFP® course.
do your research
Finally, spend some time learning more about a financial planning topic you don’t know much about. Maybe it’s a different approach to customer service or another corner of the profession, like tax planning or college saving options. You can always learn more, and broadening your knowledge base will allow you to serve your clients better. And that extra knowledge can also help you stand out from the crowd when you’re up for your next promotion or job opportunity.
Small steps still make progress!
It’s easy to get frustrated when it’s been a while since a big career leap. But even small steps forward make progress, and they can build the momentum you need to make those big jumps happen. Make consistent strides forward by building your knowledge base, growing your network, and learning more about the professional software you use in your practice.
If you’re looking for another way to move forward, come join us inside Amplified Planning CORE. This one-of-a-kind educational program gives you the chance to see financial planning in action and gain real-world experience you can apply in your own practice.
When you join CORE, you’ll have the chance to watch video meetings with real clients and get play-by-play commentary from expert planners explaining their thought processes and decisions.
This unique program is the perfect complement to textbooks and traditional courses, and it’s a great way to build your professional network too. Plus, CORE members can earn CFP® Board Standard Pathway experience hours and continuing education hours. Get all the details and sign up for CORE today!