Many owners—and most of humanity–struggle with articulating and living consciously by the genius within. The expression of genius is what makes us and our firms unique and best suited for some clients but not others. This genius is the grain of sand that stimulates our oyster to produce the Pearl of Great Price—one that’s truly worth giving our life for. It’s the Pearl of why we were put on this planet. Let’s consider two examples of living by the genius.
When do we know we’ve found our grain of sand?
As an advisor you are well aware of the power of naming. It is the difference between your client’s savings behavior when contributing to account number “1709” versus contributing to “Granddaughter Gracie’s College Fund.” Your client will be far more likely to achieve her savings goal by putting a name and beautiful face on that account!
Vijay Iyer is a man who exemplifies someone living out his genius. In fact, he was a 2013 MacArthur Genius grant recipient. He relates the story of how he was on the path to become a scientist when he was “plucked” out of the community in Cal Berkeley where he was pursuing a PhD in physics and began living a double life as a jazz musician.
In 1995 he left the physics department and pursued an interdisciplinary Ph.D. focusing on music cognition. His 1998 dissertation, Microstructures of Feel, Macrostructures of Sound: Embodied Cognition in West African and African-American Musics, applied the dual frameworks of embodied cognition and situated cognition to music.
Not your father’s physicist, his genius was evidenced by his collaboration with jazz luminaries such as fellow trio members Stephan Crump and Marcus Gilmore. Their trio album Historicity
was nominated for a 2010 Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album.
Let’s hear this story in Vijay’s words:
For you jazz fans, here’s a sample of Vijay’s work from Historicity.
You already have many clues about your genius.
Check out a few questions about your best/favorite clients in the toolkit below.
Feel free to contact me if you’d like to set up a complimentary session to explore your genius!
Clarifying and building on your genius will be the grain of sand to strengthen your firm’s capacity for grit. Here are a few questions to help you get started. When you think of your clients, answer the following question:
- Which of their demographic characteristics does your firm care about?
- What are some of their psychographic characteristics? In other words, how will you know if they belong in your “tribe?”
- Which clients fit best with your firm and how you like to do business?
- How would your best/favorite clients characterize the sweet spot of your work?
- Which clients and activities seem to energize you and your staff?