For years, I advised that in order to be successful in the financial advisory business, you have to have passion for it first. I really believed it. I saw it in my peers who told me stories of helping clients realize their retirement dreams. I saw it at industry meetings, where we share what we know about the latest tools and techniques, and how we apply them to our most interesting cases. I saw it in my partner, as he puzzled out a particularly complicated investment and estate-planning issue.

This is a difficult business. Any service business is difficult, but when you throw personal goals (financial and nonfinancial) and money management into the mix, you have stressful, complicated relationships that require you to constantly and consistently manage expectations along with financial lives. I figured that if you were still enthusiastic and excited about the job, given the complex nature of the relationship and service required, you must be passionate about the work.

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