Are You as Happy as Your Clients?
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You spend a lot of time worrying about the well-being of your clients, but what about your level of happiness?
According to NAPA, nearly one-third of advisors complain they don’t have enough time to spend with clients and are overwhelmed with compliance and administrative duties. The study found many advisors have become “apathetic about their situation.”
CareeerExplorer conducts an ongoing survey , asking millions of people how satisfied they are with their careers. Financial advisors rated their career happiness at 2.7 out of 5 stars, “which puts them in the bottom 10% of careers.”
Advisors in an Australian study reported high levels of depression.
By some estimates, over 90% of financial advisors don’t remain in the profession for three years.
On a personal note, I get several calls every year from advisors seeking advice on switching careers. Most are frustrated working for others. But they don’t always want to leave the profession. When I suggest forming their own RIA, they tell me they can’t take the risk.
It’s time to focus on your happiness.
Here are some tips, including some unconventional suggestions.
Buy a new home
My wife and I lived in the same condo for almost 25 years. We had an opportunity to sell when the market peaked and took it. We moved into a new home in a gated community.
We’ve both noted an increased happiness level, which was entirely unexpected. We have enjoyed exploring our new community. We revel in the newness of our home and its modern-design features.
There’s evidence that moving to a new home can increase your happiness.
Buying a new home isn’t just about acquiring property. It's about starting a new chapter in life. The excitement of decorating, organizing, and making a space yours can bring a profound sense of happiness. It can be a tangible manifestation of personal growth and accomplishment.
Random acts of kindness
I donate time mentoring new advisors and responding to questions posed by readers of my books.
Because of my legal background, I’ve also provided advice to advisors and others confronting various legal issues, some of which were quite challenging.
Reflecting on what has given me the most pleasure, those experiences rank at the top of the list.
I’m not alone. Studies find that kind people experience more happiness and have more pleasant memories.
Eat fermented foods
You may be surprised to learn that consuming fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi can make you happier.
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These foods promote gut health by creating probiotics, which stimulate serotonin. An increase in serotonin production makes you feel happier.
While technology offers many conveniences, taking a break from social media can lead to increased happiness.
There’s evidence disconnecting from social media increases productivity, benefits mental health, allows self-reflection, and improves sleep.
Wear crazy socks
Wearing crazy socks can be a symbol of joy and positivity. They stimulate comments from others, leading to positive interactions and inspiring more people to embrace their individuality.
One study found that those wearing crazy socks were perceived as more creative, intelligent, and successful.
Wearing a bow tie can have a similar effect. According to one fashion expert, “They make people happy. You wear a necktie out of necessity. You wear a bow tie out of love.”
On a personal note, I don’t wear crazy socks or bow ties. Neither would make me happy.
There’s evidence that the constant pursuit of happiness and more confidence can make us less happy and less content with our lives, leading to the conclusion that we might be happier if we stopped focusing on happiness altogether.
This is especially true when the real source of our unhappiness remains untreated. If you are in a career or job you don’t like or are in an unhappy relationship, quick fixes like the ones I suggested here are unlikely to remedy the problem.
Instead, consider professional counseling to determine the real reason (and strategies for coping with) your low level of happiness.
Dan trains executives and employees in the lessons based on the research in his latest book, Ask: How to Relate to Anyone. His digital marketing firm makes extensive use of artificial intelligence to help advisors increase their SEO rankings and improve their marketing and helps advisors integrate AI into their practices.
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