ELITE ADVISOR BEST PRACTICES

Tap Into Your Personal Story

Elite advisors know how to use their real-life experiences to connect with affluent investors and draw them in.

By Jonathan Powell

Key Takeaways:

  • A story about yourself that paints a picture of who you are will motivate prospects to want to work with you.
  • It’s helpful for financial advisors getting started on their personal stories to hear examples that their peers use in their marketing efforts.
  • Discover your own unique story by asking yourself which people and life events—both good and bad—have greatly shaped and influenced you.


One of the most powerful ways to connect with affluent investors is to share your personal story with them. As I’ve pointed out before, when you share a story about yourself that paints a picture of who you are and what truly motivates you, you quickly make the listener want to associate with you further.

At CEG Worldwide, we have been coaching financial advisors to tap into their personal stories for several years. When we start the “personal story” process, most of the advisors tell us they don’t think they have a story that would interest affluent prospects or potential business partners. Well, guess what? You do have a story that will move others, but you probably don’t know what it is just yet. You have to discover it and learn how to convey it.

That process involves asking yourself three key questions:

  • Who influenced my belief systems?
  • What life events have moved me the most?
  • What have been the valleys and struggles I’ve face to get where I am today?
Real-life examples

For financial advisors who are just getting started on this process, it is helpful to hear the personal stories that their peers use in their marketing efforts. Such examples tend to get advisors who are new to the process thinking about their own experiences, beliefs, victories and challenges. It also gets them thinking about how they can use those insights to craft their own compelling personal stories.

Consider these examples:

  • The advisor who learned at a young age that all the men in his family had achieved great financial success during their lives, but still died broke. That knowledge motivated the advisor not just to become successful himself, but to help ensure that other people who became wealthy maintained their affluence by making smart financial decisions.

  • The advisor who grew up in a family that rarely had enough money to pay the bills. Bill collectors would call regularly and threaten to take the family home away. She learned all too well the fear that comes from not having financial security and the destructive impact that can have on a family. And to this day, that experience motivates her to help others.

  • The advisor who traces his pursuit of excellence to his experience as an elite competitive swimmer in high school and college. From that disciplined training and experience, he learned the value of striving to be the best and the focus needed to make that happen consistently over time.

  • The advisor whose relatives were entrepreneurs. He built his own businesses from the ground up and now works with his son. His lifelong exposure to family-run companies gives him unique insights into the needs, concerns and risks faced by family-business owners.

  • The advisor who, at age 13, came across a quote—“You can have everything you want in the world if you help enough other people get what they want.” That philosophy has largely shaped his entire life and motivates his work today as a financial advisor.

  • The advisor who struggled with his weight throughout his life and continues to work hard today to make the right choices that keep him in good health. He ties these experiences to the lessons of managing wealth, helping to stay on track and avoiding financial pitfalls.

Find your own story

You might see some crossover between these stories and your own life history, but chances are your own story will be significantly different from those of your peers. And that’s the whole point, really. We all have experiences in our lives that make us interesting and unique, but also relatable. By taking moments in your life that impacted you in ways both large and small and turning them into a story that others want to hear, you will set the stage for amazing long-term relationships with ideal clients who will help you become hugely successful.


About the Author

Jonathan Powell is a managing principal at CEG Worldwide, LLC in San Martin, California. Working with many of the nation’s top financial firms, he enjoys helping financial advisors transform their professional and personal lives by implementing CEG Worldwide’s research-backed principles.