by Ryan H. Law
I’ve been thinking a lot about awareness lately, both self-awareness and raising awareness for our clients. I believe that raising awareness is our most important role as financial advisors.
Why is awareness so important? Awareness can change your perspective and help you make better decisions. If you are aware of an error in thinking, or a bias, or a money script or money habit or attitude that isn’t serving you, awareness is the first step to changing.
For example, Sarah Newcomb, author of the excellent book Loaded: Money, Psychology, and How to Get Ahead Without Leaving Your Values Behind, had to face up to her money beliefs when she was struggling financially. She finally realized that her core belief about money was, “I am not supposed to have money because it is evil.1“
Awareness allowed her to examine that belief and decide if it served her or not. When she realized it was not helping her, she was able to change her beliefs about money.
I believe that to be better financial planners, counselors, and coaches, we need to be self-aware. We’ve covered several tools you can use with yourself and your clients to become more self-aware, including Money Habitudes and Money Scripts. I went into detail about how to shift some of those destructive money scripts.
You can become more self-aware by journaling, practicing mindfulness, taking time for reflection, and seeking honest feedback. A getaway to the beach or mountains for introspection can be helpful.
Helping our clients become aware of their relationship with money should be of primary concern in our relationship with them. They also need to know their money scripts, money habits, money attitudes, biases, and more. A good financial professional can help in all of these areas.
After helping clients become aware of the inner world of finances, awareness can then be brought about by things such as financial statements and debt-ratios.
- What is one way you can increase your financial awareness? Put that into practice today.
- If you don’t own Sarah Newcomb’s book, buy it today. It is an excellent read and will help you understand the psychology of money better.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES
(1) Loaded: Money, Psychology, and How to Get Ahead Without Leaving Your Values Behind by Sarah Newcomb, published by Wiley, quote on page 29.
Images in this post, except the book Loaded, are licensed by Ingram Image – Stock Photo Secrets (AFF)