As the cold month of March draws to a close in unseasonable warmth, our thoughts turn to a man who is not only living his life to the full but is also living it in in the sunnier climes of Hawaii.
George Kinder was working in tax early in his career but decided that it wasn’t enough for him. His interaction with his clients wasn’t full or meaningful and so he started to advise on their finances as well. This allowed him to draw closer to them and have a more meaningful interaction. In short he became more important to them.
Over time his practice developed and he started to look to the discipline of psychology for ways in which he could help coach his clients to make the right choices for their lives. He found that many of the money issues they had were connected with a lack of a settled purpose.
George spent the following years developing a practice of listening to his clients and staying very silent in meetings. He found that as humans we feel uncomfortable with silence and tend to fill it, the longer we do this the more we reveal about ourselves.
George spent time refining this act of listening and also developing a series of simple questions that he would ask clients to take away and think about before returning with their answers. These questions were designed to get busy people to slow down and think about what was important to them. George found that if you spend enough time with clients getting them to examine their lives they often reach an epiphany about what life is all about and adjust their behaviours to live a life they are happier with.
Armed with a clear idea of what is important to clients the adviser simply has to fit the money around the life.
George has gone on to live his own life doing what he finds rewarding, living on a tropical island and travelling the world coaching advisers to work as he did.
At Altor we have spent a lot of time with George and whilst we are far from the finished article we think that the time we have spent with George has influenced how we live our lives, advise our clients and run our business.
Some of George’s questions:
- How would you live your life if you were completely financially secure?
- What would you do differently?
- How would you live your life if you knew you didn’t have long to live?
- What would give your life meaning?
- What is a heart-felt ambition, an ought to and a fun to?
We would encourage all of our clients to think about these questions, as often they don’t lack money but their money lacks purpose.