Ever wondered what it's like to hangout with over 100 NexGen Financial Planners for a weekend in Texas? Check this out:
The 2015 FPA NexGen Gathering was perhaps the most under-sold event of my year. I left the weekend buzzing on many levels and with a sense of motivation and direction.
I have to admit: When I first committed to the conference, I didn’t know exactly what I had signed up for. It took less than 24 hours to realize how good of a decision I made.
Some of you might ask, “Why would I want to go to something like that?” Good question, you might not want to go. But for those who are curious, here is my description:
The 2015 FPA NexGen Gathering was a weekend-long event where over 100 NexGen financial planners traveled from across the country to learn from and share with other motivated professionals in efforts of self-improvement and the advancement of the industry.
Each year the Gathering’s theme changes; the theme for this year was Building Community. On the first day, it was clear that a majority of young people in this conference had never actually felt like they were a part of a community. Speaking from experience, I know what it’s like to walk into a monthly FPA meeting and be the youngest in the room by 20 years or so. I don’t think that NexGen planners are intimidated by this at all, but it can leave one feeling estranged or alone.
So when FPA goes out on a limb and puts together a conference specifically for NexGen planners, I can see how some people can be ecstatic and how the rest can be hesitant. Even if this conference exists, what am I supposed to gain from other NexGen planners who are just as new to this as I am?
The answer: A community of people just like you.
Why did the Gathering hit home for me? Because I couldn’t believe how many other people were dealing with the same pressures and issues that I was dealing with. I love this industry and I love my job, but those internal victories come with their fair share of headaches and emotions.
The best part about the content of the conference is that you create it. For instance, how are you supposed to give financial advice to someone old enough to be your mother? There was a session for that. How do we give clients a great financial life, while we ethically ensure that we do the same for ourselves? There was a session for that. How hard is it to be courageous and start your own firm? There was definitely a session for that too. These were just some of the dozens of breakout sessions we created and participated in.
I sat amongst many entrepreneurs over that weekend and they all described in detail the struggles and successes of starting your own firm. They described how scary it can be to do something on your own. Ironically, everyone who took the risk of starting their own business was not actually alone. They have been successful through a powerful community which is NexGen.
The attendees of this conference are a minority group. Anyone who has devoted their lives at such an early age to this industry is, by all means, an anomaly. You might feel like you are one in a million, but you should know that there are others who feel exactly like you.
So who belongs at this conference? To paraphrase from my own summary (mentioned above), if you are one of the few NexGen financial planners who are willing to travel the country in efforts of self-improvement and advancement of the industry, this might be something to look into.
Within days of the conference, I had already implemented a number of key takeaways from my fellow NexGen’ers. Aside from the sound advice, I’ve made connections with peers (whom I now consider to be friends) who will be in my life for many years, even beyond my career in financial planning.
I look forward to seeing everyone again next year and, perhaps, meeting you there.