Stop Being a Sheep -- It’s Time to be The Shepherd

By Kim Ann Curtin, Founder & CEO, The Wall Street Coach on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

If I had to pick what will be the #1 emerging trend for 2015, it’s Authenticity. When I look back over his past year I see a huge shift in all of business, especially in financial advising and consulting, on being more authentic.   Professionally and personally -and I believe it’s going to be big.  

I had the privilege this past December to speak and create a workshop for Barron’s Top Women Advisor’s Summit. The summit began on a Wednesday –and my talk was two days later on Friday. Every day, at least once a day if not more, someone, somewhere was speaking about how critical authenticity is -as a leader, as an advisor, as an entrepreneur – and that without it, true success will remain elusive. Since the name of my talk was Authenticity: The Unexpected Key to Revenue, I can tell you I was thrilled to hear so many people talking about it but even more so, I was encouraged and inspired to see over 700 women wanting to embrace it!

The power of authentic and genuine engagement with our clients actually begins with ourselves. This takes tremendous courage. It’s not easy for a lot of people to be real and genuine with themselves because for a good deal of our life we’ve been taught – and encouraged - to be like everyone else. To fit in. To not rock the boat. Unfortunately the more formal your education has been the more likely you may restrict yourself to a “role” you bought into a long time ago and less likely to be the real and authentic you. Academia often rewards us when we are “like everyone else” instead of encouraging the uniqueness of who you are. Over time this becomes a habit and a hard one to break at that. When you’ve been rewarded for being a sheep – it’s hard to act like a shepherd. But it’s that shepherd – your clients are looking for when searching for an advisor. Someone that can confidentially lead and guide them. Not someone that looks, sounds, acts like everyone else. And to do that you have to know who you are.

As an executive coach more and more clients come to my firm wanting to unleash this inner shepherd, to discover their true selves so they can get going on being who they truly are professionally and personally. I see them discover that the more they connect to their true self, the better they then find their niche, the clients that they are perfect for. When you know who you are and who you are here to serve -then those “perfect” clients begin to show up.  If this resonates with you and you are curious how you can position yourself and your firm to become more authentic – then I recommend you spend some time getting to know yourself better. There are so many ways to engage in self-discovery from working with a coach, to taking a workshop at a retreat center. It may be as simple as starting a journal. Or learning how to mediate. Or simply reading a book or two on self-discovery. Even just taking a long walk each weekend as close to nature as possible sans electrical gadgets, allowing yourself to reconnect with nature and the beat of your own heart. It doesn’t happen overnight but every small step you take will bring you that much closer to you – and the authentic shepherd you were born to be. 

Kim is the Founder & CEO of The Wall Street Coach and works with movers and shakers in the business world who want to make disproportionate gains in their personal lives and careers. Connect with Kim at or @kimanncurtin

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