Have you ever been told that only certain types of people can be good financial planners?
“You can’t be a financial planner if you’re an introvert. You need to be good at networking.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this sentiment (or a version of it) throughout my career.
But I think it’s completely false!
The truth is, we need all kinds of people, personality types, and skillsets in this profession. Introverts can absolutely be successful financial planners, just like extroverts and ambiverts can. It’s just that each person’s practice will look slightly different.
Your Personality Type Doesn’t Limit Your Career
If you’re an introvert, the way you find your clients will be different from another financial planner who’s an extrovert. But you don’t need to follow traditional “networking” rules just because someone else does. You’re going to build different relationships. You’ll connect with your clients in a unique way, and that’s OK.
In fact, it’s wonderful! Clients have different personalities and needs just like financial planners do. And it’s a huge gift to be able to give each client the chance to work with someone who understands them and their personality.
Some clients need the energy and outgoing nature that an extrovert brings to the table. But other clients would feel really uncomfortable in that environment and would prefer working with someone more low-key and introverted, and who can communicate in more subtle ways.
We need diversity in all its forms in financial planning, if we really want to help clients succeed with their financial goals.
You Can Create Your Own Opportunities
The “introverts can’t be successful financial planners” myth isn’t the only one I’ve heard. I’ve had multiple people tell me throughout my career that I need to be willing to give up my evenings to effectively network and build my practice. Some very successful financial planners have told me that they dedicate two to three evenings every week to networking because that’s what it takes to succeed.
And I just couldn’t do that. My evenings are valuable to me, and I wasn’t willing to give them up just because other financial planners chose to. I decided that I didn’t want to do something just because “that’s the way it’s always been done.”
So I went a different direction and developed a solution that worked for me: building an online community. And it’s been successful and extremely satisfying. When I was willing to honor my own needs above the status quo, new opportunities opened up.
As Biz Stone (Twitter Co-founder) says, “Constraints inspire or provoke creativity because it’s human nature. When our back is to the wall, we’re forced to come up with the creative solution.”
I’ve found that to be true in my career, and I think you will too. When you’re not willing to sacrifice your values just to follow conventional wisdom, you have the chance to create something new.
Stay True to Yourself in Your Career
So get creative! Refuse to do things that don’t work for you just because it’s the way they’ve always been done. Lean into who you are, because that’s what will ensure the best experience for you and your clients.
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