This post is more personal than most. I’m talking with you the way I’d talk with my favorite relative about the emotions of life transition.
I’ve been outrageously fortunate. I LOVE my craft. Too many people experience work as a drain or a battle, not a gift, or joy. I am among the relatively few who love their work.
For more than a generation, impressive people have become clients and have trusted me as they made the most important financial choices of their next decade. Many clients became financially independent.
I’ve enjoyed the private satisfaction of a job well done. Master potters, master builders, and symphony musicians, also relish the joy of executing well. Most of my clients don’t know whether my performance was pretty good or astounding. There is no reason to expect lay people to have deep knowledge of any craft, but their own.
I serve people who can do amazing things and are often among the leaders of their craft or enterprise. They count me as a trusted advisor. That is heady stuff for me.
After 35 years of intense study and focus, I have come to love this arena and collected more awards and recognition than most peers. The industry awards recognize routinely accomplishing what most practitioners never do. Each closing, each success, is published in the business section or trade journals. That part of my life is fun.
Within the next decade, I’ll be stepping away from that influence and recognition. Being a premier broker was, first, a dream, then a goal, then a victory, and then a calling. That part of my life is satisfying. Yet, it may be a memory.
You may be wondering why I want to transition gradually at all. I’m healthy. Barring catastrophic illness, I should have many more years of active life still in me. I could continue full-time brokerage for years. The answer to your question begins with a book.
Bob Buford’s book, Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, has 700,000 copies in print. People on every continent and of every major faith have read it. Buford notes that millions have career success, but at some point they wonder if there’s more to life than material wealth or career achievements.
We often understand success as winning, accumulating more fame, power, or wealth. “More and more for me and mine” is a common quest, but not necessarily deep theology or a meaningful life goal. Many wise people have concluded that living for a purpose bigger than self or family matters more. Significance is not about gaining, but about giving. usually time, treasure, and talent, often to people who cannot repay.
The book deeply impacted me. I went through the Halftime Fellows Program. I have given about 70 dedicated copies of the book to successful people I care about or admire. I believe that it’s time for me to move toward something different. That’s the right decision for me, but it’s turning out to be harder than I thought.
I have loved and still love brokerage. I served 200+ households. 98% are wealthier and more liquid than before we met. Scores of families have become financially independent as we have worked together. That is terrific. Because my clients are special and have improved the apartments they bought, 100,000 people in San Diego County live in better housing. I am thrilled to be part of such a wonderful impact
It has been and still is a joy and a privilege to serve our upper income, more highly educated clients, the economic winners, and I’m not done yet. I just renewed my license and I hope and expect to continue that line of service for another ten years or so. The mourning is that there will be fewer of those relationships, and less helping people make fabulous investment choices.
Deciding what’s next
I knew that, eventually, I would transition from brokerage to something else. I wasn’t sure what “something else” would be a good choice. My answer came through the Halftime Fellows Program. They have a process that’s deliberately designed to help a person figure that out.
The first part is, Halftime believes that we are creatures created by God. First, they put you through a process that challenges you to figure out who God wants you to be using instruments like StrengthsFinder, group work, and coaching. They aim to figure out what comes naturally to you. They ask,” What’s your passion?”
Then they invite you to consider what God wants you to do. They say, “Okay, go try half a dozen different things.” If you do that, there’s a really good chance that you will find a wonderful fit.
I tried, but I wasn’t having much luck until my Halftime coach said “Terry, it appears to me that you would really like encouraging Christian leaders.” And in a good sense, the hair on the back of my neck stood up. That morning, I began what has turned out to be about an 18-month process of a self-designed internship.
I’ve taken courses and read books and I’m learning the rudiments of the coaching trade. It hasn’t always been easy. As a broker, I am the subject matter expert, the one with the answers. I must master the art of helping others develop their own solutions. The principle is that clients will own the solutions they develop and be more likely to act on them.
I’ve been stumbling down the coaching road now for about nine months. Everyone I’ve coached tells me that they’ve benefited and I’m sure it’s not because my coaching skills are fabulous. But I trust them and the Holy Spirit and the process and I’m willing to dive in and do the work.
The joys of coaching
Clients go to a coach when they want to do something they have not previously accomplished, or when they are stuck and not sure why. When the coach serves them well, they accomplish more, break through obstacles, and accomplish bigger or more important objectives. Coaching is about building people’s capacity to perform well, think better, to prioritize more wisely. That is very gratifying.
I will miss helping upper income, more highly educated clients make critical financial decisions. Coaching will bring different joys and blessings. I hope to help more people, regardless of material wealth create a deeper legacy.
A dear friend, one of my heroes, is astoundingly gifted. He did remarkable work for decades. But his organization had a mandatory retirement age, and a birthday moved him out of a high-impact level of service. Scores of people grieved his not being able to contribute.
Yet within two years he found other ways to share his expertise.
My friend inspires me. As I look forward, I know I’ll miss one precious kind of impact. I hope and trust that the less visible, but potentially more significant, role will bless others in different ways.
What have you learned from the major transitions that you’ve been through?
If you want to know about the Halftime Institute you can look at their website. Or call me at 619-889-1031 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll probably send you a copy of the book.
This post was updated on October 1, 2022 to make it clear that I am not “retiring,” I am transitioning and I expect to do brokerage for another ten years. I also wrote a clarifyng post.
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”