LPL leaders, financial advisors, and industry experts share their definitions of extraordinary and how they apply that mindset to building a thriving financial practice

Being extraordinary in the financial industry doesn’t develop from a one-size-fits all solution. It comes from passion, commitment, preparation, hard work, resilience, and the ability to view opportunities and obstacles through different lenses. In this three-part series, we explore what “extraordinary” means to you now — and what it could mean in the future – as you define, build, and deliver extraordinary service and results.

How we define extraordinary

As Managing Director of LPL Business Solutions, Matt Enyedi is dedicated to helping advisors build and run their extraordinary businesses. Matt’s also spent years working side-by-side with financial advisors, learning their challenges, best practices, and what drives them.

 As Matt shares in our Defining Extraordinary video, he’s heard many different definitions of what extraordinary is in the world of financial advice, and it’s shaped his thinking. Matt breaks down extraordinary into two parts. First, you need a purpose or a passion; your reason for being, and the desire to achieve something bigger than yourself. Secondly, you need a process; a practical way to execute that vision. In other words, “Here’s how I’m going to do it, step by step, every day.”

Duncan MacPherson, CEO of Paredo Systems, echoes this philosophy. He’s dedicated to helping advisors build better businesses, and emphasizes the importance of process by identifying that his team is all about a “sequential, incremental approach to best practices.” Duncan stresses how crucial it is to ensure clients have as much appreciation for the process – and the structure of the business – as they do for the advisor they’re working with. Clients expect a consistent client experience and an all-encompassing approach. A process-driven professional who puts all the pieces of their financial picture together only strengthens that relationship and the client’s loyalty to both advisor and firm.

Duncan speaks more on the importance of process, and ways to elevate your client conversations as a means to discover what extraordinary means for you, in our full interview.

With this definition of extraordinary in mind —of purpose plus process — Matt also points out that everyone’s idea of extraordinary is unique to them. “We don’t define it. Your colleagues don’t define it. The industry doesn’t define it. You define it. That’s what being independent is all about. That’s what being at LPL is all about. You determine your path forward, and for every person it’s unique.”

What does extraordinary mean to you?

We spoke with several LPL advisors across different business models and service offerings, and they shared their thoughts on how they think about extraordinary.

Some advisors focus immediately on the clients. Michael Gennawey said it’s all about “a client experience that’s second to none.” Eloy de la Garza said it’s as simple as “just a thank you from a client.” Mike Ashworth speaks to the freedom he has as an independent advisor, noting that being extraordinary is about “being able to come to work and do what you know is best for your clients, with no pressure to do anything any other way; making sure the client is first.”

Other talk about their growth as advisors, and the evolution of their practice. For Nancy Knous, “Growing every year. Improving myself every year. Being more loving and open and humble,” defines extraordinary for her. While Denika Tokunaga says it’s about being able to “pave the way for other people” and “the opportunity to be a trailblazer.”

They all echo Matt’s sentiment that every advisor should have their own personal definition of extraordinary, and what it means for them. Judy Van Arsdale reminds us it’s not a definition by ranking. Instead it’s “by the type of advisors you want to be, by the services you want to offer.” Her daughter Lisa voices a similar view that extraordinary “comes down to your own measurement, how you define success for yourself.”

How do you build your extraordinary?

We’ll dive more into this in part 2 of our series, In the meantime, Matt shares three key steps he identifies to helping you build your vision of extraordinary:

  1. Define your own extraordinary. Be really honest with yourself.
  2. Begin to build it. Have the process and steps in place to execute against that extraordinary. “Process makes the extraordinary possible,” Matt said.
  3. Live it. Be unapologetic about what you’re trying to achieve. Don’t compare yourself. Live that extraordinary, live those processes. Evolve and adapt by continuously reflecting on who you are.

The importance of evolving is evident, because people change, the industry changes, and the world around us changes. Therefore, our definition of extraordinary must change as well. “The most extraordinary advisors I meet, they don’t think they have all the answers. They’re not locked in the status quo. They’re not complacent and they’re not afraid to leave some things behind. Thinking of change as a good thing enables them to refine their approach and continue to do things better,” Duncan said.

Embrace your extraordinary

“The word ‘extraordinary’ can be intimidating, but the reality is, it means being a little bit more than ordinary in everything you do. It’s doing it a little bit different, a little bit better, every single day,” Matt said.

Come back for part two of our series, as we talk with more industry experts and financial advisors about building and delivering an extraordinary business, and creating the best possible experience for their clients.

The views and opinions expressed by the LPL Financial Advisor(s) are as of the date of the recording. These views may not be representative of the views of other Financial Advisors and are not indicative of future performance or success. Neither LPL Financial nor the LPL Financial Advisor can be held responsible for any direct or incidental loss incurred by applying any of the information offered.

Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisors” and “advisors” include registered representatives and/or investment adviser representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, an SEC registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.