Chapter 3

Performing a Self Background Check


Bullet Considering different entrance ramps into the field

Bullet Turning personal experience into a professional asset

Bullet Getting your own finances in order

Successful financial advisors don’t merely have the right stuff in terms of personality and drive (as Chapter 2 explains); they also have the right background in work and life experience and are on a solid financial footing. Having a lot of rich friends (a ready-made market) is certainly helpful, but relevant work and life experience is much more valuable for long-term sustainability and growth. The right experience (background) enables you to develop an intellectual and emotional connection with the field and with clients and prospects that makes you more of a natural — a person who’s suited to and likely to be successful at something without a great deal of training or effort.

Defining the ideal background for the perfect candidate for this field is difficult, and it’s more qualitative than quantitative, but there are certain hallmarks of successful advisors. For example, the most successful financial advisors have backgrounds in which they had a great deal of experience interacting ...

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