THE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE: LINKING POSITIVE BRAINS TO PERFORMANCE with Shawn Achor
With a long, busy day 1 behind us, how would we get the crowd energized for day 2 of the 2019 summit?
Cue Shawn Achor. New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential, Shawn kicked off day 2 with an engaging presentation sharing his research and real life examples on how success is predicted not by hard work and status, but by your optimism, your social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way.
Early on Shawn got the audience involved with a quick social experiment, proving just how contagious a smile can be. He showed how our brains process the outside world where we share traits like meaning, purpose and joy.
Diving in to the idea of success, Shawn shared examples of how success is related to the ecosystem around you. That if we're pursuing happiness and success, we can't just pursue it ourselves - we need to look to others.
So, what are the steps we can take to help reap the benefits of the happiness advantage? Prior to leaving the stage to a standing ovation, Shawn Achor left the audience with these two habits:
- Scan for 3 new things your thankful for every day. If you add in these changes, you get a dramatic difference in the way the brain expresses itself. Try it with yourself, your team, your kids.
- Write a two minute text or email praising someone in your life.
Let’s start Day 3 with these new habits!
Following Shawn Achor, we split up for interactive Roundtable Discussions, where over a thousand financial professionals swapped success stories, shared best practices, and connected with peers from across the country.
APPLYING BEHAVIORAL FINANCE IN YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNING PRACTICE with Michael Kitces
At this point in the conference, we heard from Tien Tzuo on the usership experience, Dr. Brynn on what motivates consumers to believe, buy-in and buy from you, and Shawn Achor on how to pursue happiness and success. Now, how can advisors apply this concept of behavioral finance across their financial planning services?
Kitces kicked off his presentation around a familiar theme in this conference: Our brains. He covered how they function around impulse and rational thought and the way that affects our behaviors. This provided a view for advisors to present a path for clients to help get them where they need to go.
From a client’s perspective, Kitces then walked through 5 key areas advisors can focus on to help clients make better decisions:
1) Defaults Matter
- The importance of choice matters to the client. The way choices are presented to clients has absolutely enormous impacts on outcome, especially with your business model and how you charge your clients.
2) Price Saliency
- How Salient are your financial planning costs?
HEART TO HEART: HOW YOU CAN DIFFERENTIATE
In "Heart to Heart," eMoney champions shared the unique and inspiring ways they're using technology in their businesses.
Starting us off, Amy Oguntala, COO - JOYN encouraged advisors to focus on their clients’ overall well-being; they refer to this as behavioral wealth management. Through this focus they are positioned to help clients make the best possible financial and wealth decisions. Specficially, they focus on these key steps:
- Guide clients to becoming centered and confident
- Expand the opportunity set – wealth extends beyond dollars: go beyond the financial scope
- Focus on what’s most important
Help clients identify and uncover what’s most important to them. Build a deep level of trust with them by being there for them during the big events and the day to day ones.
Bill Simonet then took the stage with the special enthusiasm that comes from having home court advantage! (Bill lives and works in Austin). He went on to share that he firmly believes that technology should support, not replace, the planning experience. He finds the support he needs through eMoney, which he considers the heart of his business. And as a power ballad played in the background, he encouraged the audience to know your craft, know your client, know your tools. When you plan with compassion, loyalty and empathy, you will build the relationships that help everyone achieve their goals.
Jason Gordo, VP, Head of Client Experience at United Capital, a Goldman Sachs company brought his twenty years of experience as an advisor to the audience next. He wants to help clients live rich, not die rich. When you provide clients with the clarity, confidence, and control they need to live the life they want to live, you will be the heart of advice for your clients. He then invited the audience to come to his sessions to learn more about the tools United Capital uses to help clients define and achieve their goals: Money Mind and Honest Conversations.
The final contributor was Stephanie McElheny from Aspen Wealth. She recognizes that people put a lot of weight into their fulfillment during retirement – but their actions don't show it. If you want to be the heart of advice, be passionate, be genuine, share stories and examples (because data breeds confidence), and create a culture of plus one, where everyone goes the extra mile for the client. She recommends the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard.
The afternoon continued with tons of amazing partner breakout sessions, covering everything from smart philanthropy to enhanced data aggregation and more.
TRUE GRIT: THE SUPRISING, AND INSPIRING, SCIENCE OF SUCCESS with Angela Duckworth
Angela opened the session by sharing that her dad was OBSESSED with over-achievement, and eventually this lead her to look at the ingredients for success. And what she discovered is that grit is a common denominator of all the high achievers that she has studied.
Everyday we have a choice to either keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing – and land on the plateau of arrested development – or we can decide to make a change through deliberate practice. To do this, follow these steps:
- Decide on a small sub skill to practice - identify one weakness and work on it.
- Practice with 100% focus – give your full attention to what you are doing.
- Get feedback and reflect – ask clients, colleagues, and peers for one thing you could improve upon.
There is always the chance to build your grit! And if you are looking to do that, choose one of these items to work on (because you can only practice one thing at a time):
- Develop your interests
- Practice like an expert
- Cultivate purpose
- Have a growth mindset
And overall, don’t quit on a bad day, and don’t let those you care about do so either.
Annual eMoney Party, Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
With 30 varieties of homemade sausage and 200+ beers on draft, Banger's Sausage house, a staple Austin hangout, was the scene of the annual eMoney Party. After all, following the pretzel wall late in the day, there's nothing like a few brats to complete the perfect day.