Tips from the top: IFAs share the best advice they’ve been given
Alistair Creevy - Independent Advisers (Scotland)
‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ - Maya Angelou, American author.
Creevy: ‘Clients will forget the paraphernalia of business, the technical advice, and all the other things you tell them, but they will remember if you make them feel secure, confident and positive.’
Carl Melvin - Affluent Financial Planning
‘Don’t under-price yourself’- Cliff Lockyer, former chief executive of Berkeley Adviser Network.
Melvin: ‘Whilst Cliff was a bit brash, this advice was very useful to me in my younger days. I was charging far too little. If you don’t price yourself appropriately, you’ll be running around like a headless chicken. Too many advisers are doing quality work for not enough money. It’s better to stick to the Stella Artois slogan “Reassuringly Expensive”.’
Damien Rylett - Brunel Capital
‘Going future focus’- Paula Kerr, my business coach
Rylett: ‘Future focus is about when you are trying to achieve something, stepping in to the future and imagining what that future is like when it is already happening. This allows you to then look back and see what incremental steps are required to get there.’
Madeleine To - Blueberry Financial
‘Accept people for the way they are (as they won’t fundamentally change) or get rid of them from your life’- Lysette Offley, cognitive hypnotherapist.
To said: ‘If somebody is annoying me I think: “well that is just the way they are”. So even though I find it annoying if I still want them in my life, I will just get on with it. It applies as much to clients as it does personal life, which has lead me to think about getting rid of some clients I just don't get on with.’
Martin Hill - TWP
‘Whenever you move on from a business relationship, part in a professional manner and never burn your bridges. It’s a small industry and you may end up working together in the future."
Hill said: 'This was a piece of advice given to me when I first joined the industry in 1989.'
Gordon Wilson - Carbon Financial Partners
'This isn't advice I can specifically recall receiving but it is certainly what I have learned. Always accept responsibility when things go wrong and never take the credit when things go well.
‘If you are in a position of responsibility you must take the heat when things go wrong. As soon as you point the finger then you have failed and you only need to do this once to create a team that is afraid to take on responsibility internally or use any initiative.
‘At the same time, when things go well, then you must make sure all those who contributed are congratulated. Basking in the glory personally will only stifle any future ideas and creativity that may come from the team.’
Sharon Critchlow - Citimark
‘Decide on what you want and then stick to it - however difficult it is. My mother taught it me (in a roundabout way). She would let my brother and I have a go at any hobbies but if she had to spend money on it we were going to stick with it until we grew out of the uniform or equipment.
‘It’s important as whilst things do not always go to plan and you may need to change the route, think long and hard before giving up on your dream. My mother made me persist with a venture so I had to really want it before embarking on it and be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. In doing so I realised that there are days when you really can't be bothered, or find it tough going but with a little effort (or a kick up the backside) you realise it’s not so bad.’
Julian Gilbert - Wealth Matters
‘When I was at university, my careers adviser told me that I was a spectator, not a participator. I liked cricket and football, but as a fan not a player. I liked music, but going to gigs, not playing an instrument. She told me I needed to pull my finger out if I wanted a successful career.
‘Suitably kicked up the backside, within three months I set up a football fanzine a friend and I had been discussing. Within two issues we were selling 1,500 copies per print run. We had to do everything, write, design, work to deadlines, find photos, finance, bank accounts, etc. I learnt that I enjoyed pushing myself and this was probably a big prompt for me to set up my own business later in life.’