I think back to Basic Training on the firing range and I distinctly remember the announcement to
"Turn your selector switch from SAFE to SEMI and watch your lane."
Sometimes it echoes in my head…"Watch your lane." It doesn't say "Watch your neighbors lane." It doesn't say "Keep track of all the lanes."
It says "Watch YOUR lane."
I hesitate to use too many Army analogies in this blog because I wonder if the imagery really aligns with The Intentional Advisor, but it is part of my life and a lens through which I see things sometimes.
I was listening to Simon Sinek's podcast A Bit of Optimism and he was interviewing Maria Shriver. They were talking about service. Side note: It's a pretty entertaining podcast because Marie keeps arguing with Simon and telling him off! :-)
Anyway, one of the ideas they talked about was the concept of trying to change just one thing. Recognizing that you won't likely be able to change the whole world, but maybe you can make a dent in this one thing in your circle of influence.
And that maybe the key to ACTUALLY making a difference is to NOT try to jump on every bandwagon and support every important cause, but to double down on making a difference in your one thing.
I agree with that idea! Sometimes we have to put our heads down and watch our own lane.
It doesn't mean that we have to ignore what's going on in the world. We can support good causes and more importantly support other people who have doubled down on their one thing. But at the end of the day we have to watch our own lane!
I would like to share how this has manifest in my life today. I want to keep the conversation around diversity in our industry going. I want to help make planning more accessible to people from all backgrounds and have it be delivered by advisors from all backgrounds.
But that isn't my one thing. It's part of my one thing. It's aligned with my one thing, but it's truly someone else's one thing.
My one thing is helping advisors build advice-based practices that are both profitable and purpose-driven. This is where my passion lies. This is where I have skill and perspective to share. By helping advisors do this, I believe I am changing the world in my own little way.
So how do I support change that matters while watching my own lane?
By finding people who are completely aligned with that change and supporting their work! There are people who eat, sleep, breathe diversity and are experts with passion and skill. And then there is me; a dabbler who cares.
We need to find people who are making change and amplify their impact.
When Coronavirus hit, I busted out my sewing machine and made 100 masks. I worked day and night and sacrificed my physical health to try to make a difference.
Then, I got smart and realized that I don't need to make the masks! I can use my resources and my platform to amplify the impact of companies producing masks! We were able to order and distribute 500 masks to our community.
When Black Lives Matter erupted onto the scene again, I asked myself how I could support the call for change while honoring my focus. I spent a ton of time talking with friends and colleagues before I came to my answer. I don't have to be the person, the specialist. I can amplify the impact of others who have more first hand knowledge to share.
Instead of me personally talking about race, I hosted a panel of advisors who live the experience themselves to talk about their experiences and how we can do better.
And now in order to keep the conversation going, I have invited a guest poster who is Black and committed to this change to do an ongoing series of posts around race on our social media platforms
My point is that you don't have to be the one! You can be a catalyst for change while still watching your own lane. You can stay focused on your one thing while still being in tune with the world.
I am writing this blog as a message to myself as much as I am writing it for you! We can't do it all! We just can't!
Going back to Simon and Maria's conversation, people work their whole lives for change and sometimes the needle only moves a little. It takes commitment and focus to make a difference in the world.
I want to give you permission to "Watch YOUR lane!" And encourage you to amplify the impact of others in the areas that matter, but are outside of your main area of focus.
It's easier than ever to get distracted and lose focus on your one thing! If your focus is building a purpose-driven advice-based planning practice to serve your clients and the world, then you might want to consider joining our community of like-minded Intentional Advisors.
The IMPLEMENTATION Monthly Mastermind is a group coaching program where we get together live via Zoom each month to share new ideas to support your full implementation of Advice-based Planning in your practice.
If you would like to take a test-drive, you can get one month free by following the link below. Sign-up, pay nothing and just cancel within 30 days if it's not for you!
IMPLEMENTATION Monthly Mastermind