Learning, Connections and Dinner

I read a lot. I consume information from many sources (newspapers and books, both in print and electronic, as well as via Twitter). I have always been this way, just the sources and methods have changed. Since I was a teenager working at my local public library, I have read the Wall Street Journal every business day.

An essay I read on Monday has stuck in my head. David Butler of  Dimensional Fund Advisors wrote about the “Currents of Success” that flow through great financial advisor firms. He wrote that one aspect of successful financial advisor firms is “intellectual curiosity.” He wrote that “building a great firm requires genuine intellectual curiosity and openness to new ideas…”

Which leads me to dinner last night. I attended an event sponsored by Lynne Golodner, of Your People, LLC a Southfield Michigan public relations, marketing and business development firm. I joined a group of 10 other business owners and Lynne, to share thoughts and ideas about our businesses and learn from her.

The food was delicious (glad I finally got to go to Cafe Via in Birmingham). The conversation was good. Interesting. Thought provoking. Questions were direct and challenging, but in a respectful manner.

As I drove home, my mind connected the DFA essay and the dinner together. Why had I attended? To learn more, as I always learn more by attending a conference, seminar or hearing a speaker. For the same reason that I traveled to Florida to spend a day with Bob Burg and many other speakers in May, 2012. For the reason I spent 3 days with  Michael Port in 2011 outside of Philadelphia. Why I spent years working with John Bowen and I now participate in the Strategic Coach program. For the same reason I participate in a peer group phone call with my BAMAlliance financial advisor colleagues nationally, every two weeks and attend many BAMAlliance seminars throughout the year.

Attending events or programs like these can be expensive, both in time and money. But if viewed as an investment, as a way to grow, to learn and improve, and possibly to build new relationships, then the investment is almost always worthwhile. There is always more to learn to better serve and advise my clients, as well as to grow intellectually.

Each time I attend an event or conference, there are new ideas to implement, things to change and new people that I’ve met. The challenge is to implement and develop the personal connections. The challenge is to prioritize to adopt new habits. Lynne challenged us to blog more. Share our ideas. Write in a more personal manner. I know if I blog more there will be benefits.

Will I blog more regularly in the future? If I do, then the evening with Lynne will be even more worthwhile.

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