I was deep into the recent NAILBA annual conference in Dallas when I found myself sitting in on a session that turned out to be much different than what I presumed it would be.

An excitable man by the name of Simon Reilly jumped about the room asking the audience about challenges in their business. His energy was palpable and contagious. Attendees were engaged and near-shouting their answers to Reilly. He ran back and forth to the whiteboard at the front of the room, where his wife and business partner furiously jotted down audience responses.

These responses regarding challenges were not out of the ordinary: the DOL rule, resistance to change, distractions to producers and time management, among others. What was interesting, however, was that Reilly used values-based goal setting to teach attendees how to overcome such roadblocks. He urged us to use more of the right brain (creativity), something business professionals often disregard or outright dismiss. He promoted focusing on the “why” in business, not just the “what.”

Reilly said that 10 percent of success depends on the “how and what,” or, in other words, the vision, business plan, team building, marketing, sales, customer service, planning and products. And 90 percent of success depends on the “why,” or the values, feelings and beliefs of the organization and its employees.

“Advisors and agents need to make it a stronger ‘why’,” Reilly said. “They need to become more valuable to their clients.

So as this year comes to a close and we look toward next year, there’s no better time to reflect on why we do what we do. What pushes us to show up and give 100 percent each day? What difference are we making? What beliefs and values are we embedding into our work?

I urge you to jot these down and turn to them when times get rough. After all, you’re in an industry vitally important to the well being of millions of individuals. But sometimes we need reminding of that.

Wishing you and your loved ones happy holidays and a prosperous New Year.