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Building a Life of Influence

By Wayne Wagner Jr., ChFC

One of the most impactful things I ever went through was when I was about 27. I had my first real professional coaching experience. As part of that, my coach had me script out, “When I am 50 years old, my life will look like X.” 

We talked about everything from my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my kids, my relationship with the community, and what organizations or institutions I want to be active and involved in. What did I want my lifestyle to look like? Did I want to travel? If I wanted to travel, how much vacation time did I want to take? 

At 27, spending hours and hours over a couple of months envisioning who I want to be two and a half decades from now was crucial for me.

Character is the Foundation of Influence (Not Charisma)

From there, we backed into things like mission and vision statements. It still rolls off my tongue now that I'm 50.

“I want to carry influence in every room I walk into – not because of the position I hold or the power that I wield but because of the investments I have made in others.” 

It was building towards living a life of influence – not power, prestige, or control. That was all built off of the vision project by 27-year-old me. I looked at the most successful people in the biggest rooms I had seen at that point. I realized when you walked into a room, some people held positions of power and authority and control who weren't very respected.

My first professional boss was a guy like that. I had enormous respect for him. I bought his line, hook, line, and sinker. Following his advice was going to get me to where I wanted to be. I learned the hard way that his world was built on a lack of character, masked by a good sales pitch.

Build Influence By Investing in Others

I looked at many of those who carried actual influence and what was different about them, and I've tried to live a life that patterned myself after that.

I saw that those people were generally very generous with their time and finances. They were very giving – and very loved. They were respected, and it wasn't because they had a title. It wasn't because they had a net worth number. Those things all seem to come as downstream benefits from being a quality person.

Here to Invest in You

I’ve gone through my own journey of building influence. It provides me with a strong sense of purpose. It’s also one of the most rewarding parts of being a financial advisor. Our decisions aren’t just financial. We get to help our clients invest in others, creating influence with those they care about. Family, businesses, and organizations – investing in others is a core part of who you are.

Understandably, this isn’t always where our client relationships begin. Usually, clients bring us in to help rethink specific tactical financial questions. But from there, as we start building the relationship, opportunities to pursue something deeper come.

As a financial advisor, I’m passionate about money, but not so I can help people can hoard it. We want to equip you to invest in the lives of others around you. How will you use it?