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Introverts, Extroverts, and How to Manage Your Energy

Running your own financial planning practice or building your ‘book of business’ within firm takes an enormous amount of energy.  In fact, more than you may have ever imagined!

It’s important to keep your energy accessible, ready to support you to achieve results you want. To do so, you need to be in tune with your best way to recharge. How you restore your energy may be very different than the way your colleague down the hall keeps his stamina.

Some people get their charge from outward interaction, social settings and talking ideas out loud. Other folks prefer to consider ideas, pictures, thoughts, images and keep their focus internal or confide in a few close friends.

Myers Briggs as an Energy Indicator
I am smack in the middle of the introvert/extrovert continuum as defined by the Myers Briggs Personality Test. In other words, I waver within a tight range of whether I regain energy internally or externally versus swinging wide to one of the extremes. In concert with this knowledge I keep an allegretto pace between modest internal and modest outward interaction to keep my energy at the right level for me.

I take time to do yoga or work quietly in my office, but then I want to be out connecting, talking with friends or interacting with colleagues. I bounce back and forth within a day or a week to ensure that I keep my batteries charged by balancing the scales.

That’s what works for me. If you are extremely internally focused, you may need more “alone time” to feel at your best, blocking out time away from clients and colleagues; an outgoing socializer may need to attend more conferences, work at a larger firm, or share office space with other professionals.

Riding the Pendulum Swing
Of course, our normal pattern can be disrupted. After my father passed away in December, I took an extreme internal dive to process and recharge. I spent the end of the year and January more to myself, keeping interaction with only a few clients while I experienced a deep dip of emotion. Going inside—the extreme end of ‘introvert’—was exactly what I required at that time.

After about six weeks I hit a point where I needed outward social interaction—engagement—to energize each day.  Refreshed through my social withdrawal, I could muster the motivation energy that lives within to take on something big. Having gone deep on the internal side (whether with intention or by circumstance), I emerged with a full court press on the outbound social, interaction side.

I took on a BIG project—my Implement Now! Telesummit for Independent Advisors, immersing 100 percent in the extrovert world.  I feel incredibly charged, even more than my normal high level. Yes, I am excited and driven by my content, my contribution and the impact I am making on the industry; however, I believe I am able to maintain ‘above-and-beyond’ energy because of the wide swing of the pendulum.

Anticipate Your Energy
Knowing what you have to do to light up all of your circuits takes self evaluation, understanding where and how you feel your best. Because ‘life happens’ and we can’t know all that will occur, when you can anticipate your ‘recharge’ needs you will be able to plan in your recovery. I know that while I can exceed my normal energy level for my upcoming event, I will need a mini retreat afterward to maintain endurance for the year.

You’ll find me in Kaua’i. Aloha!

Kristin Harad 2014Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA

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Finding Meaning: Understanding Boomers’ Expectations for the Second Half of Life

Individuals in mid-life and beyond are increasingly viewing retirement not as a time to relax, but as a time to explore their potential.  It was Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, who gave us the term, “self actualization.”  He called it man’s desire for fulfillment, “to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”

For many, the path to self-actualization is through their “work”—which should be defined as the productive activities, paid or unpaid, that gives their lives meaning and a sense of purpose.  Career consultant Helen Harkness says that linking work to the need for meaning has been a natural evolution:

For the generation following the Depression and World War II, a “job—stable lifetime work that pays the bills—was the goal.  Later, the achievers focused on a “career in a particular profession such as law, banking, medicine, teaching, or management as the means to success.  Today we are adding another dimension: discovering our “calling or ”vocation—work with a deeper purpose or meaning, assuring us that each has something unique to offer.

This new view of the purpose of “work” is particularly important to the millions of Baby Boomers who are approaching or living in the second half of their lives.  A number of surveys have shown that the majority of Baby Boomers plan to work beyond the time they are eligible to retire.  In Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life, contributing author Ed Speedling wrote:

Many individuals feel compelled to work for financial or psychological or social reasons, or for all three, yet they want to choose how they work and what they work for.  Instead of liberation from labor entirely, they see an extra measure of freedom—in many cases to swap money for meaning, to do work that they couldn’t afford to do earlier but can do now that children have grown and other ambitions have waned.

Similarly, in her book I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was, Barbara Sher explained that the first step to finding work that “fits” is to understand the connection between doing what we love and doing something worth doing.  She wrote that it is at this intersection that we will find meaning.  In fact, because self-actualization is at the very pinnacle of the hierarchy of needs, Sher reminds us all of how lucky we are to live in a free and prosperous society:  “It is a tribute to the success of our culture that so many of us have the freedom to search for our own life’s work.”

Carol Anderson
Money Quotient
Poulsbo, Wash.


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