Real Money, Real Experts

From Problem Solving to Problem Understanding with Carl Richards

October 13, 2020 AFCPE® Season 1 Episode 11
Real Money, Real Experts
From Problem Solving to Problem Understanding with Carl Richards
Chapters
Real Money, Real Experts
From Problem Solving to Problem Understanding with Carl Richards
Oct 13, 2020 Season 1 Episode 11
AFCPE®

This week, Real Money, Real Experts welcomes Carl Richards, Certified Financial Planner and creator of the Sketch Guy column in the New York Times.

Co-hosts Rebecca Wiggins and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson talk to Carl about adopting a 'problem understanding' mindset when working with clients and becoming a guide rather than a map defender. Carl also gives a preview of his presentation at this year's AFCPE Symposium.

*Show Notes*
00:45 Intro Carl
01:28 The Drawing Board
05:29: Building Client Rapport
07:16 How to Listen
14:59 The Art vs. The Science
18:58 Value in Financial Planning
21:28 Judgement & Competition
28:14 Sneak Peek of Symposium
30:10 Your Two Cents

Show Notes Transcript

This week, Real Money, Real Experts welcomes Carl Richards, Certified Financial Planner and creator of the Sketch Guy column in the New York Times.

Co-hosts Rebecca Wiggins and Dr. Mary Bell Carlson talk to Carl about adopting a 'problem understanding' mindset when working with clients and becoming a guide rather than a map defender. Carl also gives a preview of his presentation at this year's AFCPE Symposium.

*Show Notes*
00:45 Intro Carl
01:28 The Drawing Board
05:29: Building Client Rapport
07:16 How to Listen
14:59 The Art vs. The Science
18:58 Value in Financial Planning
21:28 Judgement & Competition
28:14 Sneak Peek of Symposium
30:10 Your Two Cents

Intro:

Welcome to Real Money, Real Experts, a podcast where leading financial counseling and coaching experts share their stories, their challenges, and their advice for helping people manage money in the real world. I'm your host, Rebecca Wiggins, Executive Director of the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® or AFCPE®. And I'm your cohost, Dr. Mary Bell Carlson. I'm an Accredited Financial Counselor®, or AFC®, and the CEO of Chief Financial Mom. Every episode, we're taking a deep dive into the topic, fix the personal finance professionals care about: helping clients, building community and your professional growth. Welcome everyone to the Real Money, Real Experts podcast. I'm Rebecca and I'm Mary. Today on the show we're talking with Carl Richards. Carl is a Certified Financial Planner and also the creator of the Sketch Guy column in the New York Times since 2010. Carl has also been featured on Marketplace Money, Oprah.com and Forbes.com. In addition, he's become a frequent keynote speaker at financial planning conferences and visual learning events around the world, and we're really looking forward to having him as one of the keynote speakers for this year's AFCPE® Symposium.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Carl, knowing your background, I'm guessing your career wasn't exactly sketched up and planned. Tell us how you got to where you are today.

Carl Richards:

Such a good question. And thanks for having me, Rebecca and Mary, I'm super excited to be here and really excited about the symposium. Yeah, it's crazy too , for me to sort of realize that as much as I am into planning, I've never had a plan. At least not one that at least not one that works and I've become a huge proponent of this idea that people make plans, that old saying that people make plans and God laughs. So most of this was by accident, right? It was just literally playing in traffic, putting myself at risk for good things to happen. And they did. So I was, you know, I was a financial planner sitting across the table from clients having the very familiar experience of them looking back at me with blank stares, as I tried to explain something.

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And just out of an act - and I had never done this before, I don't really know why I did it - out of an act of desperation, trying to explain this concept. I remember who the clients were even , I stood up and it was like, no, like this. And I drew something at this whiteboard that was in the conference room that I had never even used. And I remember the moment they were like, 'Oh, now I get it.' And , and that sort of became a little addiction, that little moment of clarity that people got. And it wasn't all about the visual element, but it was related to the visual elements . So I started doing that more, doing it more often, you know, for clients. And then I, you know, a little bit of a tailwind showed up, like people liked it. So I thought, 'Oh, I'll put this on the internet' at the time. And you know, I kept doing that despite any evidence that I should have been doing it. I just kept , doing it and one thing led to another, I mean, after, you know, maybe it was a year or two of total crickets, nobody was reading anything I wrote. Um, and, and then just suddenly things happen , right? And then, then the New York Times, the editor at the times reached out and said, 'Hey, I love these. Would you do them for us?' And I, I kind of knew enough to say yes to that. And that led to a book. And I mean, it was just, but it was all a series of really happy accidents that, that, I mean, the only lesson I can draw from it is to put yourself at risk for good things to happen. And if you play in traffic long enough, you're bound to get hit. So that that's sort of how I ended up doing what I do now .

Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah . And so tell us, what do you do now?

Carl Richards:

That's even a better question and might even take longer to explain. The short version is I try to take complex things and make them simple. And the area I've spent the last 20 years focusing on has been money, and money really is just a trick, right? Like it's just a righteous trick to gain access to what really matters to people. I don't care at all about money. I mean, don't tell anybody I said that, but I don't. What I care about is people and it just happens that money is a great door into helping somebody explore what's really important to them. And maybe even more importantly, how they can sort of live their lives in alignment with what they say is important to them. Because money and time are the two places that, that I think sort of really shows up in the world more than anything else. So what I do now is really trying to help people align their use of capital with what they say is important to them, through a series of righteous tricks. That's what I do now.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Nice, nice way to put it. And you've teamed up with a few people along the way, Michael Kitces being one and your podcast with him, to really help listeners and really financial planners, coaches, counselors, to help them build better relationships with their clients and rapport with their clients. What are some key takeaways that you can give our listeners today to build that rapport?

Carl Richards:

I think the simplest version of that is just please just treat people the way you would like to be treated. And I mean that in the sense of like, speak to them the way that you would like to be spoken to, listen to them in the way that you'd like to be listened, to use the kind of words like, how about we just - it's actually incredibly simple, which is why I think it's so hard. What if we just be human and it just feels like it should be more than that. It should be more, but it's not in the end. It's like, could we just strip everything away and just be human? And for some reason we're super scared of that. We think it needs to be more complicated. We think it needs to be fancier. We take our signals from everybody else and everybody else is doing it a certain way. So we show up in that certain way. And I think what we really need to do is get more in touch with who we want to be and the kind of work we want to put in the world. And it turns out when you do that, people really, really appreciate it. And I am finding that the financial planners that I know that are doing that, that are doing it their way and ignoring everything else. They have no pricing pressure right now. They don't wonder about their value. So yeah, that's the only tip I have is like, could you just be more yourself

Mary Bell Carlson:

And let me dig into this a little more, because I think you're really onto something. It's easy for us as financial planners to talk about our credentials and who we are; for financial coaches and counselors to really put up and say, this is my certification, this is what I do. But I think it's really, really hard to listen. It's easy to advise and hard to listen. So can you give us a few tips about how to become a better listener?

Carl Richards:

Yeah. I mean, first I think you pointed to something really important, like please understand nobody cares about that stuff. No human being , they don't, in fact, I'm going to go even further: no one cares about your solutions. And in this business, when you say that it's like shock, I remember actually Kitces and I had this conversation and he, it took me half an hour to finally beat him up to the point where he believed me. But nobody cares that we think we're in the solution business. You're not, you're in the problem understanding business. And nobody cares about your solutions. They care about their problems. And so the key to understanding somebody's problems is simply to ask really good - well, we can even remove the really - it's simply to ask questions and then listen. And it's shocking how easy it is. Nobody like we, and especially your audience will understand this. Nobody has a safe place to have a discussion about money and they've been trained not to talk about it. And yet here they are in this world where we're getting increasing personal responsibility and all the pressure that comes with it, the social structures that we've sort of relied on are changing so fast that literally the ground is shifting beneath our feet. And they've got to make these decisions and they were trained A) never to talk about it and B) certainly not to talk to any crooked criminal in our industry. I'm speaking very broadly there , right? Like just from the paper, you know? And so if you can provide them a place where you can just like, forget about telling, talking about yourself, what if you just sat down and said something simple? Like, tell me what brought you in today? And then you went from there with simple things like,' Oh, that's interesting. Tell me more.' You know, Brian Koppelman hosts a podcast called 'The moment.' Brian Koppelman is one of the creators of that HBO series, The Billions. And if you listen to Brian Koppelman's podcast , it's amazing because he asked like one or two questions for the hour and he'll say things like, 'Go deeper, tell me more.' That's all we really need.

Rebecca Wiggins:

You know what I find so powerful about that is it resonates really with what I think what we talk about at AFCPE® with our professionals in terms of counseling and coaching and, and really this idea of problem understanding business, I think gets the client to have so much more agency over the solutions in their own life and seeing them as the expert of their own life. Sandra Davis talks about that so often from the financial coaching lens, but I think that's, what's really resonating with me. I love this idea of problem understanding business. And if we can approach it from that angle, as you're saying, then we begin to come with that posture of listening and we're not having to come with the solutions. The client often has them. They just need that space. As you're saying, to really kind of get deeper into what is really underneath, maybe some of their challenges.

Carl Richards:

Rebecca, let me just mention something there, because I think this is really important. If we understand what's going on here, right? Like a client, they don't know this when they come in, I think this is a big part of the problem. I think people come in, they don't even know what they're there for. They don't know what goals are. They don't know what a plan is. All they know about those things is pressure. And two inch thick, right? They're like, 'Oh, worthless financial plan.' And 'I'm not going to go see a financial planner. Because they're going to ask me what my utility bills are going to be 17 and a half years from now.' Right? Like , so they have this impression of false sense of precision, I'm going to get pitched something. And, and so they don't know. So no one comes in, I bet, even to your audience, but certainly to like the, you know, any part of the financial advice industry, no one comes in saying, 'Can you help me provide clarity for my goals?' Nobody says that. They come in because they've got an acute problem typically, you know, whether it's debt or a big pool of money they need to invest. They've got an acute problem and we've got to play a righteous trick. And by righteous trick, I mean in service of the client, a bait and switch is in service of the salesperson , right? Just tricks and service of the client. And you see righteous tricks all throughout history, like all the wisdom traditions are full of righteous tricks. And that's what, you've got to meet them where they are, and then help them understand that we really have to go someplace. You know, 'I understand you want the perfect portfolio right now.' I've got to help you understand that. I'm going to greet you where you are tell you, 'I understand why you're there, and I understand that's so important. Would you mind if we back up right and get to this other place.' And I think if we understand that what clients are really trying to do and the way they place value on the relationship, and I know they don't say this, they're not even thinking it, but what they're doing is they've got a desired future state and they're trying to figure out if you can help them get there and the way they value the relationship is they discount. They take the desired future state discounted by uncertainty. So they're just trying to figure out how certain are they that you can help them get there. And none of this is going on like, like overtly. And if you haven't even taken the time to clarify or help them define the desired future state, the discount for uncertainty is massive. And that's when you become the defender of maps, right? Like, 'No, I told you this portfolio this way, and look at this, the market should have done this. And why didn't you stick to this budget plan and why didn't...', like you become the defender of a map. And that's when you feel pricing pressure and you feel like these relationships are no fun. And you're on the defensive. When the plan blows up, which inevitably does, you feel bad and guilty. That's an old model. I mean the new way to look at this is to say, 'I'm not a defender of a map. I'm a guide in a changing landscape.' If you understand the difference there, it will change everything about how you approach it .

Mary Bell Carlson:

Well, and I think you've hit it on the head several times now because the answer lies internally, right? It lies within the client, not within yourself. And that's where I think it's so important that we need to really be hearing and helping them to their own solution because every solution is different. And I think that's the beauty of financial planning and financial counseling and financial coaching, is it's not about the coach or the counselor or the planner. It's about the individual. Otherwise we could all get up on a stand and spew financial wisdom to the masses, but it's not about that. It's about helping them understand where they're at and not only helping them understand, but really listening and you crafting and helping them get to where they want to go. Cause it's really their plan. Right. They're going to stick to it if it's theirs versus someone else's.

Carl Richards:

It's ao interesting to me that like, I think the most important answer to , well, I think there's two, to any question a client asks is 'It depends.' And 'I don't know.' And I think we're so scared. I mean, I've been playing the guy in the newspaper each week that knows, and I work really hard at not knowing. In fact, I get a lot of - reasonably so - like I get of pushback from my editor occasionally, like, you know, he often will say, and 'So what? Like, what's the point?' This was years ago. We've now developed this relationship where he understands. 'Oh, I see. You're just trying to lead somebody somewhere. Like the question is the point not the answer.'

Mary Bell Carlson:

And I think that really hits on the head of this idea of the art of financial planning versus the science, right? Like science would be the technical side. And yet tell us a little bit more about the art and why that part matters so much.

Carl Richards:

These last two questions , such good questions, by the way, these last two questions really. I mean, if you look around the world right now, and I've had the chance to spend time all over the world, the last, at least the last seven or eight years, but the last three or four we've lived in New Zealand and I spent all this time in Australia and all over Europe. I live in London now and we've done the entire United States. Nobody is happy with their relationship with money. The word that people use most often, and I've been doing this informal poll for over a decade now is anxious or scared. And how could that be? When there's never been more tools and resources at your disposal? Like there's never been faster, better apps. There's never been more books. There's never been more podcasts. There's never been. How could that be? The reality is the problem is you, like the individual trying to make a decision. It lies within you and all these apps and tools, books, and podcasts, they're just hacking at the branches and to get to the root of this, we have to help clients understand this fundamental, two words:it depends. What, what are you trying to do? Where do you want to go? What was that in Alice in Wonderland? I think that Cheshire Cat says 'Where do you want to go ?' And I think it was Alice said 'Anywhere.' And he said, 'Well, in that case, any path will do.' Right. So getting clear. And what's interesting about this is even in the words, like getting clear about where you want to go, like, well, how do I do that? Well , it's just a guess. Like if we could just, I've been toying around with this idea of reality based financial planning, where we just accept the reality that we don't know. You don't even know what your goals really are. You just think. And if anybody doubts that, just go back six months and tell me what you think you would have done the first six months of 2020, right? Like we just have this poignant reality that , Pema Chodron says in her book, 'When Things Fall Apart,' she has this quote that she says, 'We've tried a thousand times to tie up all the loose ends. And yet the ground is still shifting, shifting, beneath our feet.' And I think once we accept that, that, I mean, I've got the spreadsheets. I can show you my thousand attempts to tie up the loose ends. None of them have turned out the way I thought it doesn't mean I shouldn't still do it. It just means I should realize what I'm doing. I'm guessing I'm taking us a little bit of action. New information shows up. And then I reassess. And I reset and I do again. And I think when you understand that, you start to understand your job differently, as not to be a defender of an outdated 30 year map. It's to be there with the tools and the backpack to say, 'Oh, it looks like a store's blowing in.' Like, I wouldn't say this out loud to a client . I'm not going to apologize for the storm. Nobody would expect me to apologize for the storm . What they would expect me to do if I'm the guide is look them in the eyes and go, 'Come with me and my friend, we're going to go this way.' Right? So that's why the art is so important is, and not like, look in no way does that downplay the science for far too long? We've thought we've had physics envy in this industry and we've thought we can reduce it. Now we need to realize like, after all the modeling, after all that data, after all the Monte Carlo simulations, after all the, whatever, we still need to go, 'Okay, right now let's base our plans in reality.' Which is, 'I don't know anything about this plan , except that it's going to be wrong. And my job is to help you make those course corrections over time, narrow in the potential range of outcomes.'

Mary Bell Carlson:

I've never heard reality financial planning. That is a first, but you have talked a lot about real financial planning. In fact, I think you have a society of real financial planners where you talk about the value, don't let it out. So can you sum up for us what the value of a financial advisor is and how financial coaches and counselors can be a part of this quote unquote 'real financial planning?'

Carl Richards:

Well, I think financial counselors and coaches are actually doing real financial planning, right? Like I think most financial planner and certainly like, I don't even know how you would. And this is part of our problem is we don't even know what to call ourselves. And I've got an opinion that I'm forcibly inserting into the world, which is, I don't really care what you call yourself. I wish there was a word for it. But what I care about is how you act. And I think financial coaches and counselors come closer to, as a general rule, come closer to what I would point to as real financial planning than anybody else, because we're understanding that the answer iss within. That every client just needs to be guided, that this is a hero's journey and the planner is not the hero, right. The client is, and you're just there to be Yoda or Obiwan Kenobi, right? So I think it's going to be interesting to see over the next 10 years, even three or four years, like one of the things I'm telling the hardcore, like science-based financial planners is like, look, if you're not comfortable having these conversations, I mean, first of all, good job recognizing that , that maybe asking certain questions would open a door that you're unequipped to deal with and find somebody who is. And I think that relationship is going to be really interesting to see as we go forward.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Carl, we've covered a lot of ground on real financial planning, which really is listening and seeking the information from the client, really understanding their story and kind of putting the piece around. I feel like there's one thing we've talked about in the profession. That's financial empathy quite a bit, but there's something we haven't talked about a lot and that is judgment . So would you mind sharing a little bit of your story and how like judgment and judging our clients or judging others of where they are at, or maybe having these expectations of where they should be at, how that can impact and really disintegrate the relationship of real financial planning.

Carl Richards:

We are a competitive species apparently, and we look for ways to quickly size each other up. And I just can't believe how many times I got asked, like sort of quietly, always at the end of a meeting by a client like, 'Hey just, you know, one more thing, like, how am I doing compared to everybody else?' Or 'How am I doing compared to your other clients?' I had a lot of physician clients and it always got even more specific, like, 'How am I doing compared to your other doctor clients?' And I think that's just pointing to this problem we have. And it goes back to a lot of Rene Girard's work around mimetic desire where we don't even know what we want. We kind of learn what we want by looking around to see what other people want. Right. And social media has exacerbated that problem. And so one of the shortcuts we take, because we don't have time or the information available, like what we're really, I think what we're really compete . If we were competing on something, what we're really trying to get, as far as I understand it is happier, right. We're really trying to get, and maybe we'll even use the word joy, like something that's a little bit more durable than happiness. And that's the real goal. And we you know, we lose track of it all the time, but because there's no way to judge, there's no unit of happy. There's no way to judge how happy you are compared to someone else. I think we've plugged into it. The shortcut we take is we, we take wealth like how much money someone has. Well, this is a double bad problem because it turns out you don't even know how much money somebody has because nobody walks around with a net worth sign over their head. So not only would that not matter, but you're making a judgment based on this, because you want to get to happy. And then you turns out you don't even know that what you're really judging on is consumption. Right? So we look around and see other people are spending or buying things that we think, and we say to ourselves like, 'Oh, that person must have a lot of money.' It turns out we don't know anything about that because we've got a huge Big Hat No Cattle problem. So we don't know anything about it, but even if we did it, doesn't help us get to the underlying problems . So I think this judgment issue is massively important.

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I think we just don't know. Here's another example. I've been to mortgage payoff parties, right ? I've never been to a rational portfolio party. And yet all the tools we have in the spreadsheet would tell us that paying off that 3% mortgage is a bad idea. And we have a tendency to want to judge. So a will we'll place our plan. We'll make our plan on the client's plan. Like for maybe some conflicts of interest reasons. And maybe just, we're not being human. And we'll say, no, we don't understand. Like sometimes the best thing you could do is spend the money. Right. Sometimes the best thing you could do is not save. And the point is, we've got to balance that with a non-judgment way. We're so quick to make quick judgements , because we don't have time to be more thoughtful.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Absolutely . Between each other and between clients as well.

Speaker 2:

One thing between each other is I'm mean literally like I've had enough of even the best in our industry picking on each other, like, come on. A) If you're really trying to help the profession by going after another financial person who's not doing what you think they should be doing in public, on Twitter or Instagram, or even in your writing. It looks terrible. I have a unique position because I've written for , you know, I had a column in the lead column in Morning Star for seven years while I was writing in New York. So I can see both sides of this. And like, I've never, I mean, I'm sure it's this way in other industries, but I'm shocked at the petty arguments that we feel like we need to get in this industry. How about this? What have you just do your work, helping your clients be better. And if you have an advocacy role in the industry, do that advocacy role, but I've never seen it really involved going after other people. I don't know what that serves.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Well, and instead of lobsters in a bucket, isn't it all rising tides rise all boats, right. So let's help each other instead of pull each other down. And that's, that's both for each other as well as other people around us.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Yeah. One of the things, I mean, you've given us so many things to think about today and I'm just, it's been really profound. Some of the different ideas and your approach really, I think is so refreshing. One of the things that I'm sort of being called back to that you mentioned earlier is this idea of the tree, right. Hacking at the branches. And so, as you're talking about this too, I'm reminded of, you know, maybe if we could look at this profession more as that tree, that all, you know, there's, there's different pieces and parts to this that make the tree beautiful. And so we need all parts. We need the tools and the podcasts and all of the resources and information that people need, but we also need different approaches to , um , the profession and how we show up with clients and different, you know , backgrounds and all of that. So I just love what you're talking about here in terms of a more integrated field overall and how we help each other get better instead of tearing apart, one part of the tree, you know, we need, we need to all be working together.

Carl Richards:

Totally. And , and, and, you know, and if you don't feel like holding hands and singing kumbaya, you , you can focus on doing your own work, right? Like go help someone, right . Like make a difference in the world. Right. So anyway, I think that's just important in our - it's one thing that I'm really working hard at is like, look, I don't care what designation you have behind your name, to be honest, I don't even care where you work. As long as you're doing real financial planning, I'm here to support. And in fact, I'll go speak and work with the big, bad enemy, whoever that is. And I get a lot of grief for it because I view it as an opportunity to move the needle just a little bit. Right. And to me like if you want to spend your time taking a hundred people all the way there, that's amazing. And please do that. And if you , if somebody else wants to spend their time taking an entire industry, 10% of the way there that's okay, too,

Rebecca Wiggins:

Carl , this conversation is making me even more excited about the November conference and having you a part of it. Can you give us a little taste of what our professionals can expect? And particularly from that lens of financial counselors and coaches, just to maybe a little preview or some, some ideas of maybe what you'll be bringing to them this November.

Carl Richards:

Look, I would just like to have a really frank and honest conversation about the impact that a real financial planner/coach/therapist/counselor can have on somebody's life. And that I, my goal would really be, my plan is to share a couple of stories about that kind of impact and help everybody understand, because I feel like whenever you do something new and novel, which I feel like a lot of the work you're pointing at is new and novel. It's initially met with downright hostility or at the very least apathy, right? Like just sort of ignore it a little go away. Like that's a silly idea, but then once it sticks around a little while it starts, it starts to, it does come into sort of hostility. But during that apathy hostility phase, you start to wonder, it's natural to question the path you're and the value you're providing, because it's different. It's new, it's novel by definition. It's scary to do this kind of work because you can't really point to a lot of people who are doing it. And very few people are telling you, it's a good idea. And most people don't even know what you're talking about when you say whatever it is that you say you do. And so my hope is to share some stories, to say, look, you're on the right path. The impact you're going to have is massive. And so that's my hope.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Awesome. Okay. So we're, unfortunately at the end of the interview, I feel like we could talk for a long time, but , um, we'd love to just get your sort of final 2 cents. And I know we've talked about so many different things today, but you've been such a leader in this profession and are really helping to move that needle in so many really important ways. So if you had just one piece of advice, I know that's hard, but to offer our financial counselors and coaches, what do you think that would be?

Carl Richards:

It would be to understand that you are not a defender of an outdated map, that you're a guide in a changing landscape. And if you can get your head around that it will change the way you communicate. It'll change the way you market. It will change the way you meet with clients. It'll have an impact on everything. And it's closely related to, you're not in the solution business, you're in the problem, understanding business,

Mary Bell Carlson:

Carl, you speak so eloquently and we're so glad to have you on this podcast. And we're really excited to hear more from you in November. Thank you for being here today.

Carl Richards:

Thank you. And super excited for the symposium.

Rebecca Wiggins:

Mary, I felt like we could have talked with Carl for hours. There were so many good points in there. And I , there were just a couple of things I wrote down that I didn't want to lose and that I think I'll be trying to kind of unpack for a little while. One of them was the problem, understanding business. I loved that idea. I think it really gets to the heart of what our AFCPE® professionals are doing. But I really loved the idea of the tree. He talked about it in terms of, you know, needing the tools in the field and that there's so many resources. And that oftentimes we're just sort of hacking at the branches, but I see that analogy being so powerful in our field in so many ways, in terms of needing all different parts of, and, and even getting to that, the art and the science of the field. And then of course he talked about being the defender, not being the defender of the map and how that changes our positioning with clients, but there was so much there. What did, what did you think?

Mary Bell Carlson:

Yeah, Carl is one of my absolute favorites to listen to. I feel like I could just listen to him or hours of the different ideas, the different philosophies he has. He brings in so many outside perspectives. And you heard him reference a few that are aren't within the walls of financial planning, counseling and coaching. It's really unique where he pulls from therapy. He pulls from artists, he pulls from so many thought leaders. And I appreciate that because it gives not just a unique differential between other speakers, but it really gets to what we're talking about. I mean, our business is about people and he hits on that better than almost anyone I've ever heard. And I really feel like he applauds us as a profession and knows what we do and how we are different than even financial planners. But I also think he gives us things to think about and how we can improve and be better because that's really what this is all about is how can we be better, not just as individuals, but as a profession as a whole. How can we help in more ways and what can we do individually and professionally to really up our game of being better listeners of letting the client find their own solutions and not jumping in and creating a solution for them and really not being advice givers, but instead listening and hearing their own advice and helping them empower themselves is what I took away from it.

Rebecca Wiggins:

So powerful. I'm really looking forward to his session at the conference. So I hope everybody will join us for the virtual conference. This year is going to be really interactive and really powerful with speakers like Carl . So we can't wait to have you there.

Mary Bell Carlson:

Rebecca. One more thing. I remember listening to Carl over a decade ago, and there's, I've listened to many, many keynote speakers over the years, but I will tell you his is one that still resonates with me to this day. I still remember the stories he shared. I still remember the impact that he had. And so I want to encourage anyone that's even sitting on the fence. Maybe you're thinking, 'Hey, it's a virtual conference. I'm not going to get as much out of it.' I will tell you it is worth every penny you spend to come to this conference simply to hear Carl, there will be so many other great things about this conference and symposium, but really , I can't express enough how great and informational Carl's going to be to help maybe change or help challenge you in a way that you haven't been challenged or help you understand something that maybe has been hard or confusing for a long time. He'll really be able to knock this one out of the park. And I look forward to hearing from him in November.

Outro:

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