You Have Got Mail

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

Moira Somers in her book “Advice that Sticks”, writes the following: “These are strategies that have emerged from decades of research into two intriguing questions.

The first: What makes it so hard for people to do the right things for their well-being?

The secondWhat can be done to help them make lasting, meaningful changes in their behaviour?

When it comes to clients not following through with recommendations, it’s rarely because the advisor is technically unskilled or incorrect. Instead, it’s usually because the personal side of things has been neglected or misread. If you’ve been working with people and their money for any length of time, you will likely have come to the conclusion that the technical side of advising is comparatively easy. It’s the ‘soft’ side that’s the hard side!

What do you think?

Do you agree with Moira?

I certainly do. The soft side is always the hard side, more so in our industry/profession. As I have often repeated, “Personal Finance is more about Personal than it is about Finance.

Now what has this got to do with the headline “You Have Got Mail.”

I promise there is an interesting lesson.

Steven Chandler and Sam Beckford in their book “9 Lies that are Holding your Business back”, write about a major mistake that small businesses make. They write, “Consider the movie “You Have Got Mail (see the connection with the headline now ☺). You might want to rent it on DVD if you haven’t seen it (The movie is old, so don’t stress about a DVD now; watch it on Netflix). The major mistake causes small businesses to lie to themselves about their customers. How the customer is an adversary! A problem! So hard to figure out! Impossible to understand! Greedy! Impulsive! Does not understand the language of goals (I added this one).

In this movie, Tom Hanks is an executive for a large bookstore chain. Meg Ryan owns a little children’s bookstore on the corner of the street, and across the street from Meg’s store is where Tom’s behemoth chain-store will open a new store; thereby driving little Meg out of business.

Why will Meg be forced to shut down her charming little business? The sheer volume and force of the large chain will shut her down. Those prices? Oh my goodness we can’t compete with those discounts! They are not just going to reduce prices on their books, they are going to slash them! Big Corporate greed machine wiping out little people!

So, what does Meg do?

The authors say that if Meg was their client, she would be happy about this situation because she had so many advantages. I won’t get into the details here, but the authors add “But is this how the movie played out? No. Of course not. The movie had Meg meltdown at how utterly unfair all of this was. Meg decides the only avenue she could counter this competition was to Protest.

But despite of all kinds of media coverage for her righteous, pitiful protest events, she has to quit and shut down. And the only thing that saved the movie – well you got to watch the movie for that (won’t reveal the storyline here).

This movie was a great illustration of where not to put your mental energy (your most precious business asset). Meg put her energy into her worries and fears. Most small businesses do. This is the biggest mistake that most small businesses are guilty of.”

Are you putting your energy into worries and fears?

Our firms have seen an influx of competition from different quarters. As I have written before, the nature of the competition we face now is different; their motivations are different and newer business models have emerged.

They have a lot of capital. They have a lot of people. They have far more report cards they can show (not to mention that some of them are purely fictitious). They have far more excel sheets and research (noise) to boast about.

But what they don’t have is empathy. They lack the care and time (as well as patience) required to do a thorough diagnosis. In short, they lack the soft side.

This is how you can future proof your business. By mastering the Soft Side. You not only protect your business but also thrive in this uncertain (and hypercompetitive world).

Where are you focusing your Mental Energy?

It’s time to Learn, Practice and Master the First Meeting, Client Conversations, Client Experience, Client Communication and Marketing.

More than 150+ of your peers have benefited from learning and practicing where to focus your Biggest Asset (your Mental Energy).

We will be at the Cafémutual Ideas Fest 2022 in Mumbai on 24th February. We hope to see some of you there.