(Guest Blogger: Paul K. Bates)
What is the average age of your clientele? I’m guessing somewhere between forty and sixty, correct?
I am by no means a psychologist, let me be clear about that. This year, though, I have been doing something that I have never done before—I have been keeping a small daily journal. It has been a year of transition for me. In age, I transition from sixty-four to sixty-five; from an old-young person to a young-old person. In career, I transition from one encompassing vocation to a multi-faceted vocation—the beginning of what I hope will be a slow wind-down of pace, although when someone asked me what I meant by that a little while ago, I said that I’m down to working half-days now—twelve hours!
Writing my daily journal has brought me more reflection than usual. The good news is that I am coming to feel a sense of calmness about my circumstances; and I feel less anxious than I did in my forties, and even in my fifties.
The Greek word καιροῖς or kairos, is generally translated as ‘season.’ Looking back I recognize the season that is mid-life experienced by many beginning in their early forties, and certainly by me, can be interpreted as a form of passage—a shift from one state in life to another. For many, their former state and its values may no longer be satisfying; they may no longer make sense. This season has been described by some as, initially, disorienting and even debilitating, yet this season is also one of special opportunity—an extraordinary chance to truly flourish—from getting by to considering legacy. It can be, for many, a time of great decisions and turning points. Indeed, I started a business at age forty-two.
This is the season also, perhaps, when the most important financial decisions of our lives are made. These are the decisions that will underpin and enable our life and legacy objectives to become a reality.
If we are serving a clientele who are in the season of midlife, it occurs to me that this is the time, more than ever, when we must ask to be invited into a deeper conversation—one that involves an understanding of aspirations, concerns, plans for new horizons and purpose—and plans of legacy.
Published with acknowledgement to Thomson Carswell, publishers of the 2nd edition of Sales Force Management in the Financial Services by Paul K. Bates, from which parts of this article were drawn.
A Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA), Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants (FCMA) and Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Paul's career has spanned: senior academic administration; business and divinity school lecturing; investor advocacy; capital markets regulation; investment dealer executive leadership with P&L accountability; expert witness and international consulting in the financial services sector. He is a former member of the council of Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Paul holds a Master's degree in Theological Studies from McMaster Divinity College, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology. Paul is available for consulting and speaking engagements through Blu Pagoda LLC: http://www.blupagoda.com/