The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled series has now been released, Resilience Unravelled – What do you really want to do? Change and resilience.
In this episode, Dr. Russell Thackeray talks to Steve Larsen who is based in Washington State. Steve’s career started in web development but he changed direction to become a financial planner, working for a large number of companies of various size and make-up. Steve also served as an industry professional on investment mediation and arbitration panels. Over the last few years he decided he wanted to write a book so he made some changes to his life to allow him to do this. Steve is still a financial planner but this is something evolving constantly.
Steve was 23 when he went into financial planning and at that point his role required a lot of ‘door knocking’ to get clients onboard. Because of his age and the fact that he was very ‘young looking’, he found people were not taking him seriously so he studied to obtain high-level financial and accounting qualifications. Even with the qualifications behind him Steve found the number of knock-backs very hard and it was something he wasn’t prepared for so needed a lot of support from his family, friends and workplace trainers. In hindsight he feels that if he had been aware that ‘knock backs’ were to be expected, he could have been a lot better prepared and more resilient. He thinks that age plays a role in this as when you are older you have the experience and knowledge to connect things and tie them to what you are trying to accomplish. At the time he didn’t have a clear vision or goal so had nothing to rely on once things got difficult – there was no context or purpose to provide the need and reasons to keep going.
To make change Steve feels you need to start by thinking what you want to do next not what you want to do forever. Unhappiness is generally derived at root from a lack of meaning or purpose. Many people don’t know what their purpose or passion is – I’m not quite sure I just know it’s not this’ – and Steve’s thought is that you don’t actually need to know what it is, you just have to get started so you can get a different view – he uses a matrix consisting of Skills – Interests – Experience to find the overlapping areas.
Steve is the owner of his own financial planning firm and when he decided to make some changes he wasn’t certain about what he wanted to do. The one thing he did know was that it involved writing so he realised he needed to spend less time at work to give him more time to write. Because his office time was reduced he had to organise his business by putting systems in place, reviewing his clients base and training staff so they could run things for him. These were things he knew he should have been doing over the previous 5 years and he considers getting a business in order is similar to fixing up a house before you’re going to sell it – the frustrations go away and it provides the options to make the changes that will help you.
Steve found his business became more successful and profitable with him being at work less. His role and how he interacts with the business has evolved and his focus is now on ensuring his employees and business partners have the skills to run things. He also undertakes executive coaching and coaching with business owners to help them through the process he has been through.
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