Blog Post

Future Fit Advice

The hunt for purpose and passion

Darren_Smith's avatar
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6 months ago

In life and work, many of us want to spend more time doing things that are important and provide us with a clear sense of purpose. When the stars align, we feel happier and more satisfied. 

Despite the significant opportunities in our industry to assist clients and achieve success, many of us feel fatigued, drained and uncertain about the next 12 months. If they are leaders within practices, this can have a negative impact on the teams around them.

How many practice principals are spending time on tasks and activities that could be done by someone else within the team – and how is this impacting their mindset? 

In my most recent blog, I was able to share my insights from successfully exiting a business via trade sale. My role in that business, which I enjoyed for over 12 years, allowed me to pursue passions and also have a really clear purpose. Finding that again was a pretty high bar to clear, but I started seeking it out nonetheless. 

As I headed into the festive season, I wanted to use the time wisely – I needed to mentally refresh and contemplate what I should do next. I do feel blessed in this sense, as the transaction has put me in a position where I have time and choices. But I still think taking this time to refocus is important for anyone who might not be totally satisfied with their current life journey.

When our transaction settled last year, I made a commitment to myself and to my partner that I would take a break until at least the end of February – so around three months. During that time, we booked a 14-day cruise to New Zealand; this gave us lots of time together and put us in an environment where we could both switch off. 

Some of the key questions that I asked myself were:

  • What are the things that are important to me and that I value?
  • What are the things that are important to the ones I love?
  • What are the activities that bring me happiness?
  • What are new experiences that I will enjoy but while also expanding my awareness and capabilities?
  • How can I set myself up to spend more time focusing on these things?

As you may have noticed, many of these questions are similar to those that we ask clients on a daily basis.

This process provided me with an opportunity to reassess my goals and, importantly, document my thinking.

During this "thinking time," I became aware of an exciting new work opportunity. It wasn't an immediate focus for me, but when I read through the details it was as if it had been crafted to tick off everything on my list.

It really is a role that allows me to spend time on my passions – both in work and out.  I reassessed whether I really needed to work five days a week and realised I didn't. The flexibility to dial it up or down and to work from an office or remotely became important criteria in my decision process.  Another tick of the box was the ability for me to share my experience from a 30-year-plus career and to help others.

This short period highlighted to me that the more you think about (and document) those things that are important to you, the more prepared you are to identify and take action when opportunities arise. It allows you to anchor or nudge towards these things – and, ultimately, to live the life you want. 

While we are all in the business of helping people articulate their goals and dreams and living their best lives, I do wonder how many of you who read this blog have actually got this covered. 

Are you just drifting? What about your team – how many of them are in "drift-mode" and could benefit from a little more time to focus on these questions?  

If you haven’t done so, there is no better time to start than right now.

Updated 5 months ago
Version 7.0


  • DebKent's avatar
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    Darren_Smith this is a great blog. Purpose is so important in our lives, especially when people retire. It is something that we talk about with our clients and try to instill how a sense of purpose keeps them happy, healthy and alive.

    I often revisit my purpose and right now I feel I am on the right path.  I think as Financial Advisers some of us may have had our purpose challenged over the past few years, doing a job we love, but being dragged into the weeds of despair with the ever-growing regulatory burden. This has led to exhaustion, anxiety, and stress, we then often wonder "Why am I doing this?" 

    Revisiting your purpose is a perfect activity to do this with your staff, thank you for this great reminder. Love your work.

    • Darren_Smith's avatar
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      DebKent  thank you for your kind words and sharing .   Very much appreciated and hopefully we can inspire others to invest the time in this exercise ,

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