For the first episode of In the Suite, I had the opportunity to welcome Deborah Fox, CEO and Founder of Advisor Touch to the guest chair. Selected as an Innovator in the InvestmentNews 2020 Icons and Innovators list, Deborah is a renowned businesswoman and financial advisor who has found a unique way to combine her skills and passions. I have always admired Deborah for not only creating financial businesses and solutions that push the industry forward, but also for her willingness to always mentor and support other women.
Deborah founded Advisor Touch (formerly Fox Financial Planning Network) to solve a problem she was seeing across the industry: a lack of options and guidance on creating the proper workplace processes and systems. Along her road to becoming a founder, Deborah learned a few things that she credits for her success – the right mentors being one of those things. For women at any stage in their careers, identifying the person who you admire and authentically connect with will help you think about problems in a different way. And the continued work to foster that relationship will also help you learn other key life skills. Deborah mused about her mentor – who happened to be a man – and how he helped her understand the importance of passion, focus and never-ending improvement.
What struck me throughout the conversation with Deborah was how much she applies the principle of continuous improvements to gain a competitive advantage in her career. As we all know, a business that is not innovating and growing is dying – and that thought was top of mind for the entrepreneur as she decided to re-brand Fox Financial Planning Network to Advisor Touch, a name that more wholly encompassed the direction the firm had moved into. This same advice is considered regularly for clients to Advisor Touch and the unique solutions that are offered to them. As Deborah says, it’s all about systematizing and customizing.
Additionally, as Deborah looks to pass on her experiences to mentees, it is still deeply rooted in the idea of growth and forward-thinking. As she shares, “Women need to go into positions with their eyes wide open. They need to be thinking about the next 1-2 steps in their career before they accept a job offer. A lot of people don’t do that; they’re just focused on getting the next job.” She goes on to say that “for anything in life, if you don’t build it first – it’s not going to happen. Building it first in this case is envisioning where you want to be next; how do you want your career to progress.”
As I reflected after this episode on the most impactful women I’ve met in my career, it was exactly this sort of forward-thinking that enabled them to get ahead.
Deborah and I closed our conversation talking about how women have the power to create the life they dream. Part of that ability starts with working in a role you’re naturally good at; doing something that your brain is uniquely wired to do. Additionally, one must marry that natural skill set with what they love to do. While this doesn’t mean you like every aspect of what you do every day – it does mean that most days, as Deborah puts it, “life is a party.”
Combining this mix of passion and purpose, with humility, outside the box thinking, focused energy and mentorship is how Deborah has created a sweet life In The Suite.
Take a listen to the episode, and then take the below three steps to help you create a sweeter career.
- Reflect on How You’ve Improved: While performance reviews give us an opportunity to reflect on 6 months – 1 year, we don’t often think back to the last five years of our careers. Take 10 minutes and reflect on how you’ve improved in your career. What decisions are you more adept at making? What conversations are you more skill at having? Have you received any promotions or awards? Write it all down and then – pat yourself on the back!
- See It to Build It: Now that you have a good sense of what you’ve done, it’s time to unabashedly communicate where you want your career to go. Don’t be afraid to dream big. This doesn’t mean you need to start your own firm or become a CEO. You can write how you’ll be 100% remote or managing a team of 20. Get creative and dare to dream.
- Identify a New Mentor: even if you already have mentors, use the new dream you wrote to understand where you want to be in the next 2-3 years of your career and the type of person you believe will help get you there. Then start doing research on who that person could be and determine whether they’re in your network. If you have a direct relationship with that person, reach out. And if you don’t – ask for an introduction.
In this episode, Deborah discusses what women over 40 should be doing to thrive in their careers and shares her advice for all women to create a bold life.
Today in the In the Suite guest chair we welcome Deborah Fox, CEO and Founder of Advisor Touch. Selected as an Innovator in the InvestmentNews 2020 Icons and Innovators list, Deborah is a renowned businesswoman and financial advisor who has found a unique way to combine her skills and passions.
Deborah founded Advisor Touch (formerly Fox Financial Planning Network) to solve a problem she was seeing across the industry: a lack of options and guidance on creating the proper workplace processes and systems. Along her road to becoming a founder, Deborah learned a few things that she credits for her success. In this episode, Deborah discusses what women over 40 should be doing to thrive in their careers and shares her advice for all women to create a bold life.
Join the conversation to hear more about:
- How to find the right mentors and why women shouldn’t pass over male advocates (10:10).
- Why giving yourself non-business time improves your business (12:20).
- The best advice Deborah ever received (13:17).
- How Advisor Touch has built a competitive advantage and Deborah’s advice to other businesses to do the same (16:50).
- How to be profitable with the next generation of clients (29:09).
- How Deborah is approaching the needs of women over 40 (31:40).
- How all women move ahead in their careers (37:00).
- The two must-haves to thrive in any position (41:28).
- How to make powerful leaps in your career as a woman over 40 (47:06).
- How to use keepsakes to help re-energize you personally and professionally (54:28).