What Is Your Motivation for Being a Financial Planner?

Why are you a financial planner? What is the source of your motivation? Understanding what motivates you is essential because it can help you get through those times when work is challenging or discouraging or just plain boring.

I recently read the book Drive by Daniel H. Pink, and one of the core concepts is the idea that true motivation is actually made up of several different elements.

Motivation 1.0: Survival

The first “level” of motivation is essentially survival. Motivation 1.0 is the need to survive — it’s what has allowed humanity to exist for millennia, and it’s at the heart of some of the most basic actions we take every day. You do what it takes to acquire food, shelter, and the other basics you need to stay alive.

Motivation 2.0: Rewards

This element of motivation is the desire for a reward for your actions. A good example is working for a paycheck or a promotion. Reward-based motivation has been the foundation of most corporate management styles for the past century, and it is effective in a lot of cases. 

In the book Drive, however, the author argues that the next “level” of motivation is more effective for today’s workers. Many modern workers, especially those who are younger, want more than just a “carrot” — they want to know they’re part of something bigger than themselves.

Motivation 3.0: Engagement

Many people want to find a career where their motivation goes beyond wanting to survive or to make a living. They want to engage with something bigger than themselves or forge a connection with people in a meaningful way. According to the book, this type of motivation is what will drive workers in the 21st century. 

This may be one of the reasons you decided to be a financial planner. Maybe you want to establish real relationships with your clients and help them achieve their goals. Your motivation goes beyond just yourself — you want to support your clients and their vision. 

Why Do You Show Up To Work Every Day?

No type of motivation is necessarily better than others. There is nothing wrong with being a financial planner because it’s a good job that pays the bills. But if you spend some time in introspection, you may find out that your personal motivation is more complex. 

Whatever your motivation is, understanding it gives you something to fall back on in the times when work feels overwhelming or frustrating. And it can be the spark that takes your career further than you ever thought possible.

So what motivates you? Are you here for the paycheck? Maybe you enjoy the work of being a financial planner. Or perhaps you see your career as being in service to something greater than yourself, as a way to fulfill a higher purpose. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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