Company Culture & Values

Providing a Human-First Value Add for Clients and Advisors

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We talked with Lindsay about:

  • How a human-first, holistic approach helps ensure advisors and clients are being taken care of beyond the financial
  • How new generations are looking for a life coach with a side of financial planning and asset management
  • How her approach to assisting clients achieves desired outcomes by first mastering their minds 

About Lindsay Troxell

Lindsay Troxell is a certified life coach who started her career working in a variety of financial services roles. She realized pretty quickly that she wasn’t meant to be a financial advisor; she was meant to be a business consultant and coach for financial advisors, helping them become better entrepreneurs. Over time, she saw the financial services industry falling behind as clients began seeking support not only in financial matters but in managing their overall mental well-being during uncertain times as well. Lindsay dedicated herself to targeting the need for an integrated approach to wealth and health. She led the charge and established Our Coaching Initiative, offering life, career, business, and retirement coaching for financial advisors, their team members, and clients. Today, Our Coaching Initiative helps financial advisors and firms provide comprehensive services focused on the whole client, providing guidance for life and overall wellness. Lindsay encourages a human-first and holistic approach and aims to help advisors and clients grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as they create a deeper connection with themselves and their purpose in the world, directly impacting their bottom line.

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Full Audio Transcript

Lauren (00:02):
Lindsay, thank you for joining us.

Lindsay (00:04):
Thank you for having me, Lauren.

Lauren (00:05):
Yes. I was thinking we've known each other for a long time.

Lindsay (00:09):
We have, and I don't remember exactly how many years it's been.

Lauren (00:15):
It's been a long time. And by no coincidence or by coincidence, however you want to say it, we connected in the wealth management world back when I think you were at TD. And here we are today. So over that time there's been a lot of changes and things happening. Why don't you just tell us a little bit more about your background, because it's very impressive. You're a speaker going to conferences, coaching advisors, and now you've started your own initiative. You have seen the C-suite of so many firms, of so many sizes, and have really gotten into the behind-the-scenes conversation. So anyway, I don't want to steal your thunder, but share a little bit more about your journey and what's led you to where you are today.

Lindsay (01:10):
Well, thank you again. Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you today. So I started in financial services about 20 years ago, if you can believe that, right out of college. I was actually a bank teller in college. And then after I got out of college, staying in the financial world, I moved over into the insurance side of the business and I was a financial representative for a little while. But what happened for me was really quickly I realized I wasn't meant to be a financial advisor. I was meant to be a business consultant and coach for financial advisors. And so I'm really grateful that light bulb went off so quickly and I was able to tap into some of my true passions and gifts. I went to school for entrepreneurship and I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. So that natural transition of helping advisors to be better entrepreneurs came so naturally to me. And so I started a program at Northwestern Mutual early on in my career, and then went over to LPL and worked with some of the top firms associated with LPL, helping their C-suite to really maximize their engagement with their advisors and with their clients. And then went over to TD Ameritrade, which is of course where we met. And then I spent a little bit of time in a small consulting firm. And then most recently I was in the asset management space, still as a coaching consultant but working on the other side of the fence. So I feel as though I've seen it from all different angles and have been able to work with advisors of all different shapes and sizes and having different focuses on and whatnot. And so I've really bounced around but have always stayed true to that coach and consultant role.

Lauren (03:08):
So tell us about where you are today, because you've seen it's a gift, right? To be able to see that kind of lens at so many different stages of business growth, and also to be able to see that across the industry. I'm sure you're hearing conversations over here that are impacting other conversations you're having over there, and I'm sure that helps with just also hearing trends, right? But trends that might not even be public that you just have a pulse on. So tell us about where you are today and kind of what led you to now you starting your own business.

Lindsay (03:40):
Well it's interesting. I think some of the reason I started my own business was that things haven't been changing as much as I would hope they would have over the last 20 years. There's a saying that we have said, as coaches and consultants, you kind of hear sometimes like the stuff is the stuff. We've been talking about the same stuff for a really long time. I mean, we've been talking about the wealth transfer for what seems like the entire 20 years I've been in the business. So some of this is just a frustration around not seeing enough change and seeing the financial services industry falling a little bit behind in terms of the trends that are taking place in other areas, right? You've got your clients who are experiencing other businesses and interacting with other businesses outside of the industry that are shaping the way they wanna interact with you. And so things like social media and curating experiences, that's having an impact on the way clients and investors want to be working with their advisors. So part of why I started my own business was to bring a little bit different perspective and start to blend specifically this idea of integrating health and wealth together. One of the things I did well at my last firm was start to bring about more opportunities to extend to end clients, topics around health and wellness and thinking about their mental well-being and their physical well-being and their emotional and spiritual well-being and how that impacts the life they live. 

Lauren (05:27):
Just to clarify now, when you're talking about well-being, are you talking about advisors specifically, their clients or both?

Lindsay (05:32):
Both really. It affects all of us—our mental well-being, our physical well-being, everybody as a human. We all need to be paying attention to it more than I think we do sometimes. So it's not just working with the advisor and their team to make sure they're living their healthiest and therefore wealthiest life but really extending those opportunities to advisors and clients to make sure they're being taken care of beyond the financial—beyond making sure their portfolios are sound and their plans are going to help them achieve what they want to in life, but to make sure that they along the way are doing everything they can to be as fulfilled as possible.

Lauren (06:19):
So tell us a little bit more about how you do that. Is it one-on-one coaching? Tell us more about how you're kind of pulling that out and helping that advisor to be able to be their best self when they're showing up. I don't want to put words in your mouth but I'm assuming also so they can support their clients, but what does that process look like? I'm sure it's something that doesn't come overnight either.

Lindsay (06:44):
Yeah. It definitely doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. It's a journey. We talk a lot about being human first and being holistic. And so holistic is one of those terms you hear a lot in financial services, quite frankly, right? Holistic financial planning, comprehensive.

Lauren (07:07):
All these words. I know. Yeah.

Lindsay (07:10):
Yeah. What does that actually mean? What does that mean? I think it's been thrown around inappropriately, and I think it's been overused, misused. So when we think about how we help teams add this more holistic and human-first element to their value offering, what we do is we work in a couple of different ways. One, we work with a team, so any team that’s saying, yeah, we are really interested in bringing more human-first and truly human-centered offerings to our clients beyond the financial. What are we doing for the team? Are we providing tools and resources to help them think about maximizing their energy throughout the course of the day? Or do we have a team that's truly burnt out and burning the candle at both ends. So the first thing we do is take a look at the team and the resources they have access to so they can live that healthy life. And then second, we look at who the firm is trying to go after. So who their ideal client is. I'm a huge fan of creating niche markets, however you want to go about saying it. Whatever your favorite flavor is, right? There's riches in the niches. I’m a huge fan of having a niche market and being able to dive into that idea of what does your client value? What do they believe? Where are they spending their time? What do they get motivated by? What are their core frustrations? What are they investing in, in terms of their own self-development? So understanding who the client is of the firm, and then helping the advisor to add in some of these more ancillary services like coaching to attract and then also retain their best clients. So we really help them with adding coaching, being an outsourced solution for life coaching. We really do four different areas. We do life coaching, we do career coaching, we do business coaching and we do retirement coaching. And so if you're thinking about this, right? An advisor does a great job of making sure you are prepared for retirement financially. One of the things my clients have come to me and said is, you know, we've got a client who's about to retire. They've told us they feel comfortable and ready to retire because we've done such a great job but they don't know what to do next. Like, where are they going to spend their time?

Lauren (10:07):

Lindsay (10:08):
So this gives them the ability to outsource that to us. You can of course bring that in-house, right? There's so many wonderful ways you can do that. There's the life planning designation from Kinder. You can become a coach, you can become a financial therapist. But if you don't want to do that and you want to outsource it to somebody else, that's what we do. So we take that responsibility on and we provide coaching and collateral kind of content, marketing resources, videos, stuff you can send out. And then we also have a little bit of a community element to it as well where people start sharing stories about what they're going through so everybody can learn from everybody else.

Lauren (10:50):
So you must have been talking with advisors and firms of various sizes to sort of feel this need that was going on. And then you're so well suited based on your coaching experience and knowing this industry so well to step into a role to really support both ends. It sounds like the advisor end as well as the client end. So the value add there. Tell us more. It's a relationship business, right? So there's definitely a component to that and it's about building trust, and then there's the actual deliverable, the service that's being created in the plan and the support, et cetera. So tell us more about what those triggers are? How do you get clients to open up and maybe kind of uncover some of those perhaps problem spots if it is a so-called problem spot in a limited window.

Lindsay (11:44):
Well, there's a couple of different ways. So the first way is quite honestly, most of the clients, when they're having conversations with their advisor, there is kind of a key trigger. They'll say something like—I just actually had this conversation this morning with one of my clients—he said, I was on the phone with one of our clients. She talked about how her career is blowing up in a really great way; she's got offers coming in from multiple directions and she doesn't know how to make the decision around which direction to go. And I'm like, that's a perfect example of when we can come in and we can do coaching. And so a lot of the conversations start with the advisor just sitting down and doing a review with their client or even in prospect meetings. I had another client where he said I was in a prospect meeting; we sat down, we started talking about these life planning, life coaching solutions that you provide to our team. And the prospect's eyes just lit up and he is like, oh my gosh, I was thinking about hiring a coach. This is so incredible that you have this as part of your offer; that makes me really think you've got a more comprehensive approach to it. So some of those triggers are just kind of obvious when they happen. But to get a client to open up, they've got to want to, and they've got to be ready for it. It's not one of those things where you push it on them in any way, shape, or form. And you also have to be careful, which is why my clients, all of the advisors we're working with, love the outsourced solution because there is that fine line between coaching and therapy. And knowing the difference, right?. And knowing if there's any kind of trauma. That needs to be addressed. I mean, one of the things we are seeing is more of that financial therapy space pop up in our industry. There are wonderful people out there who can help you in that vein, if that's the direction you want to go. But we make sure we stay on that true line of coaching. So the way I like to think about it is that coaching is not to necessarily fix a problem; it's more so when your life is going really, really well and you want to elevate it even higher. And so it's pretty easy to get people to want to open up and talk about the things that are currently holding them back. Usually it's as simple as a thought, right? We have over 60,000 thoughts every single day. And 70 to 80% of those tend to be negative. So even if things are going really, really well, when we're interpreting the things that are happening around us, what we're making it mean then causes us to feel a certain way, right? Whether it's overwhelm or excitement or motivation, whatever it is. And so what we dive into is how do you manage your mind more effectively to continue to get the results you desire in life, or to take a new direction maybe you hadn't taken before. So it's not necessarily to treat something that's broken, it's more of how do you enhance what's already working really well.

Lauren (15:14):
Very good. So when you're working with these advisors, are you taking it case by case where they may come into you with a client situation, how do we sort of handle this? Or maybe are you helping to coach them on the questions to ask or sort of the next path? How does that kind of work? 

Lindsay (15:32):
Kind of all of it. So what we have is we've got an individual solution. So if there are one-on-one conversations that need to happen, we do one-on-one coaching. And so I'll be meeting with the advisor team multiple times throughout the course of the month, and we'll talk at a very high level about situations. And then they won't obviously give me any client information that's private in that exchange, but what they'll do at the end of that conversation, after we've talked about it and decided is this maybe a good fit for coaching, then they'll make the introduction to their clients and then we go off and we start doing what we're doing. The other way this works is more in a group setting. So we have tons of resources, we've got group coaching office hours that happen multiple times throughout the course of the month where your clients can just come to those sessions and talk openly within the group. What people have found is that listening to other people and what they're going through makes them realize that I had a similar situation And I'm going to benefit from just watching the coaching that's going on. But we also have videos and workbooks, so all of that kind of additional collateral for people to passively absorb in their own time and kind of listen to almost like a private podcast. That's the way I kind of think of our community—it's a private podcast where the clients get to engage in conversation with us to guide us exactly where they want to go. So it can be very personalized or it can be more on this scalable group side so you can get broader exposure to the work we're doing.

Lauren (17:28):
Got it. Now that you're on this side of the fence, right, and kind of deeper into the consulting piece of it, are you feeling this loudness for the need? What is it? Because it's a little different but not totally different, right? There's a similarity, but what is your takeaway? Are you starting to see trends in working with your clients? Are you starting to see needs? Are you feeling people just need a place to be able to talk about this?

Lindsay (17:57):
Yeah, definitely. As I said at the beginning, we've been talking about the wealth transfer for so long. We know, was it $16 billion is going to exchange hands in the next decade? And we also have all of those wonderful resources that are provided from the Fidelity Value Stack study. And it's just overwhelmingly we're finding that your clients, advisors’ clients, are really wanting to have that higher level of fulfillment conversation. And so in terms of the noise across the industry, I'm seeing it over and over again, whether it's people, advisors wanting to outsource the solution so they can tap into something like what we've built, or they're wanting to build it internally themselves. So some of my clients are coming to me for consulting because they want to build it themselves in-house but they don't necessarily know how to do that. So we're also working with a number of teams to go through that entire process of let's look at your niche market, let's get really clear about who that avatar is and then let's start to build out additional ancillary services that are going to meet their needs at that level of fulfillment. 

Lauren (19:15):
That makes sense.

Lindsay (19:16):
Yeah. It's a huge thing that's taking place, a shift that I started to really see almost 10 years ago at this point in time but now that noise is even louder. And especially like I said, that Fidelity Value Stack research, Samantha Allen has been posting a lot about it and saying the millennials and the next gen, Gen Y, Gen Z, they're really looking for a life coach with a side of financial planning and asset management. And that's what this is.

Lauren (19:49):
Yeah. So we always hear that advisors in particular are going to have clients come to life-changing events. It's somebody getting married or retiring, all these changes that happen throughout life. And what we've seen, which I think parallels a lot of what you're talking about, is that it's the event or the upcoming event that's the spark. And then the financial side of it almost comes after. And sometimes we see advisors who are so passionate and firms that are so passionate about what they do that are trying to lead with the service first. But if you really focus on that human element first and connect that with the value add, then that's sort of the gateway. At least that's what a lot of what we see too, and understanding that target and kind of where they're at and how to be able to sort of reach them. It's not necessarily when they've gotten to their retirement but it's even thinking about what are they going to do post-retirement, right? Kind of a little bit like what you're alluding to.

Lindsay (20:48):
Right. So I think those triggering events are really easy opportunities to spot where you can add additional value. What I think is a little bit more nuanced—and this is what we're really asking for advisors to start thinking about—is also the same thing that life planners are really starting to think about and financial therapists. What are your belief systems around being able to live your ideal life? What do you believe about your ability to create your ideal life? When I first sat down, and you know who my financial advisor is, my dear Corey. But prior to Corey becoming my life partner, he was my financial advisor. And the first time we sat down and started having a conversation, he was like, what do you want to achieve in your life? And I painted this grand picture. It was huge. And he looks at me and he is like, okay, the numbers don't align. They just don't align. So where you are and what you're currently making, he's like, that's a dream; you're here and you're trying to be here and there's a massive gap. How are you going to bridge that gap? And I'm like, you know what? I don't know. That's part of what I want you to help me figure out. And part of our life has become that. And I stole something from you and your husband, the life planning activity you do. I just absolutely loved it so much that we've adopted it throughout the course of the years, and that's what I am wanting to bring to the advisors and to their clients, this ability to really think about how do you live life by design instead of by default? Yeah. Just because you are in one location today and have these dreams of getting to this other location, society comes in and piles all of its junk on top of you. And then our limiting beliefs will come in and start to chip us down a little bit further. And so when I looked at Corey in that moment, I was like, I don't know how I'm going to get there but I'm going to get there. And what I need you to do along the way is make sure the numbers align but also help me identify what are the habits that are getting in my way. What is the reoccurring thought that's inside of my mind that's keeping me from taking some of these big chances? What could I do differently that will allow me to align myself so on a daily basis I'm feeling fulfilled because I'm living my values instead of living somebody else's values? And so that's really what this helps to do is change the conversation from where you are today to where want to be.

Lauren (23:45):
Yeah. Living life by design. You can manifest it. That future. Ah, so cool. I love it. So to kind of just put a bow around things, if you could wave a magic wand and look for sort of a change in the industry, if you were to look forward in the next 10, 15 years, what do you hope to see changing? And I know you're part of working toward making those changes, but if there's any sort of undercurrent you're working to get stronger and change, what would it be?

Lindsay (24:22):
Yeah. More human first. I think it's beautiful to see conferences like Shift and Future Proof out there and other fractional services you can tap into, whether it's financial therapy or coaching, really bringing in some of these services. I would love to see more firms be niche focused. I would love to see them curating their service offering and content. And I think about Matt Halloran and what they're doing over there. How do you become your own loud that comes from understanding your market better than anybody else? So I hope that trend continues. I also think we also need to see advisors just start to learn how to manage their own mind. I know that you had a conversation with Stephanie Bogan—the work coaching is so great, not just for your clients but for you as well. We stop ourselves and I see a lot of advisors stopping themselves from going in a more powerful direction because they've got their own mind, drama and junk and they aren't managing that. You have to start there. If you can't manage your own mind, you can't hope to help other people to manage theirs. So I hope we start to see more advisors tap into the power of coaching for themselves so they can manage their minds more effectively to be better for others. I guess the last thing I would say is take better care of your team. People are so burnt out right now. I see this time and time again where teams are just not getting access to the tools and the resources they need to be their best self.  So don't just think about yourself, think about your team too.

Lauren (26:17):
And it's such a different dynamic than it was a few years ago, pre-COVID. So it's a different way to even map your mind around that and training and virtual work and all these sorts of things. So pros and cons, right? But I'm inspired, Lindsay. This is really fun. It's fun to do a recap. It's also fun to see really where you are and the impact you're making. I so appreciate you sharing, and we'll make sure to provide links and everything below. I feel like there's so many great resources. So thank you again for your time. And we'll keep talking because I know there's going to be a lot more good things to continue to come.

Lindsay (26:55):
Thank you Lauren. I really appreciate the opportunity.

Lauren (26:58):
Of course.

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