Industry conferences give you the chance to take a new look at your job, your life and your view of success. But they require that you travel, juggle the office work long distance and often adjust to a different time zone.
When I headed out to Raymond James’ recent national conference for its independent advisors in Orlando, I told myself to keep an open mind. I also aimed to have as many genuine conversations as possible because that’s what makes attending these industry events worthwhile.
That turned out to be easy to do from the get-go. The young man helping me with my rental car asked me why I was in town. He listened attentively to my response and then began asking me a series of detailed questions about the work financial advisors do and why financial planning matters.
At the end of the conversation, I believe I had (at least somewhat) successfully persuaded him that the earlier and more aggressively you start saving, the better; you need to invest in the market at a young age; and careers in the financial services field are incredibly rewarding.
After that start, it was easy to engage in sincere discussions with attendees at the Raymond James conference. I met a nice couple from Georgia who, like me, are more interested in art museums than theme parks. I spoke with a former wirehouse team based in my home state of Texas. And I had a good chat with Raymond James Chairman and CEO Paul Reilly, who speaks to the press each year after discussing the firm’s latest quarterly earnings on TV and leading a town hall with over 2,000 indie reps.