Running a Good Business That Does Good Is Satisfying

By Rita Cheng, CRPC®, CFP®
CEO, Blue Ocean Global Wealth

When it comes to the concept of doing well by doing good, I immediately think of my favorite quote from Winston Churchill, who said: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Of course, how this is carried out will differ from person to person. For me, it requires a life balance between family, professional aspirations, and altruism—by helping those less fortunate than I.

In their book, “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey and Raj Sisodia identify four tenets that all good businesses must possess to succeed in the 21st century. Following is a list of my four tenets for success:

1. Help others always. Serving my clients is one way that I can do this. Consulting with one family at time, I pride myself on helping them make progress toward their financial goals.

2. Embrace your emotional intelligence. I would argue that mastering this approach includes having a heartfelt desire to help others succeed.

3. Educate yourself to be the as knowledgeable about your business as possible. Successfully helping my clients requires significant fiduciary experience, because it’s critical in my industry to help my clients make financial decisions based on what will be most profitable for them. Clients have varying expectations of working with a financial planner with respect to relationship depth, communication frequency, expertise, and ongoing guidance. Doing good for clients requires me to thoroughly understand their past experiences and baseline expectations so that I can exceed them.

4. Strive to be the best that you can be. To ensure I am consistently serving my clients to the best of my ability, I strive to be a resource and professional of value across communities. Volunteering in industry groups and other communities enables me to maintaining a strong reputation. Being active outside work in professional and civic groups requires consistent eagerness and an inner desire to be the best.

Diving Deeper

Leaders who embrace Conscious Capitalism believe that business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.

The search for meaningful work can be a lifelong journey full of opportunities and professional growth.

According to Yale Professor Amy Wrzesniewski, in her recent article in the Journal of Research in Personality, our work exists at three levels: job, career, and calling.

If it is a “just a job,” it is transactional; we work a certain number of hours per week in exchange for a pre-determined salary and employee benefits.

People with more ambitious professional aspirations tend to think of their work as a career because of the opportunity for advancement, both in terms of increased responsibility and financial compensation.

Work can also be considered a calling when we find it so meaningful to us that we derive value and satisfaction that surpasses the actual paycheck.

Bringing It Home

Financial planning is the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your financial resources. There is not a single segment of our lives that is not affected by financial planning.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 32 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Like me, many CFP® professionals share a passion for helping our clients plan to achieve their life financial goals. Financial planning is intellectually stimulating, emotionally gratifying, and financially rewarding—and it delivers positive societal impact to our community. I wholeheartedly believe that we are truly fortunate to have found our calling.

Personal financial planning is vital to meeting life goals, such as buying a home, paying for college or planning for a more secure retirement. Millions of Americans have pressing financial questions that need answers, but unfortunately, many have not had access to competent and ethical financial advice. In other words, the desire for financial stability transcends all cultural, societal, and wealth boundaries.

The Bottom Line

That is why I have so much respect for the work of the Foundation for Financial Planning. Its mission is to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with people in need, and we achieve this by supporting pro bono advice and outreach activities.

As one planner said: “The work of the Foundation touches so many more people than each one of us could ever reach. The further and deeper the message of financial planning goes, the more people everywhere will make smarter financial decisions, and the better-off we will all be as a result.”

Serving clients in a financial planning capacity is special by its very nature, because our clients share intimate details of their financial and personal lives.

My conscious leadership crusade is to bring financial literacy to everyone I work with, and empower those I work with to make wise financial decisions that will benefit them in the long run. I hope to be able to do this for years to come.

Marguerita M. Cheng, CFP® is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth, which provides corporations and institutions with portfolio construction, investment due diligence, and risk-management consulting services. The firm works with families, entrepreneurs, and executives to help them identify and achieve their financial goals. As a CFP Board Ambassador, she helps educate the public, policy makers, and media about the benefits of competent, ethical financial planning.

A Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Board Member and member of the finance committee, Cheng served eight years on the Board of Directors of her alma matter, The Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, where she collaborated to increase alumni engagement and developed asset management education programs. She is also the President of the Blue Ocean Economic Empowerment Fund.

Cheng says her greatest joy and passion is touching the lives of others so that they may achieve their “personal financial success.”

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