Each time I think about Life Planning and how it’s helped me, I can’t help but smile.
I first heard about Financial Life Planning when I was relatively new to the finance industry and eager to become successful. I had such a strong desire to do well that I decided to look up some of the top producers within my company to see if they’d be willing to speak with me about their achievements.
About five calls into the process, I spoke with a planner who left me with a lasting impression. What stood out about this conversation was the planner’s conviction. It was the first time I heard the words Financial Life Planning used together. He said that if a potential client didn’t want to engage in the Financial Life Planning process, then they just weren’t right for him to work with. He’d leave them at the end of the meeting better than he found them but wouldn’t proceed with working with them as a client. He felt as if Financial Life Planning was what he was put here on earth to do and as such he wouldn’t be living into all he’s supposed to be to the clients or to himself if he did anything else. He believed that morally and ethically he couldn’t make a sale or a recommendation without truly knowing the client, and the Life Planning process was a way to truly know them.
Immediately I began to question just how much business he had left and was continuing to leave on the table. I could not for the life of me wrap my head around it. I thought back on that conversation for quite some time. Over the following months and years of us staying in touch in a mentor-mentee capacity, I learned more about Life Planning and even began to embark upon a variation of it that I liked to call “Life Planning Lite”.
After conducting many meetings of Life Planning Lite, I had more questions and naturally felt like there were things that still weren’t getting uncovered. With that, I decided to finally see firsthand what Life Planning truly was by signing up for the Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s training program. It was a full three years from that initial conversation with my mentor.
I remember heading into the 2-Day training not really having too many expectations. I’d heard so many great things about it and based on my experience utilizing my lite version of Life Planning, I saw how deep the conversations got when getting to know the clients. I didn’t want to be let down. On day one, I left thinking how could I have even possibly thought this could be a letdown. It was that powerful. I knew then that I wanted to continue with the 5-Day EVOKE training. The work with my clients would become even more impactful once I took the 5-Day!
When I came back from the 5-Day training, it was noticeable to myself and others that something had changed in me. Once all about work, I came back with a deeper and better understanding of what was truly important to me, and I began to pursue those things immediately!
Just as important, I began to see how much better a planner I’d become with my clients. The first client I started to life plan had been a client of mine for two years. Prior to the 5-Day training, you couldn’t tell me that I didn’t know her and hadn’t done a great job as her financial planner. In those two years, she introduced me to many of her friends that would become future clients. I felt truly involved in her finances and her life.
Life Planning her immediately showed me how much I didn’t know about her. During the Exploration meeting, I was able to find out so many things that had not once come up before in our conversations. When I delivered her torch statement, she shed tears and, more importantly, the work beyond that has thrived and she’s thriving.
There are just so many different examples of how Life Planning has impacted the lives of my clients. These are a few:
- The client who decided to say “Yes!” to his life and enjoy time with his family by planning a couple of camping trips;
- The client who flew with his wife to watch a deciding game 7 that featured his favorite player;
- The client who relocated to be closer to her family;
- The client who is fulfilling a lifetime goal of traveling to Japan;
- For me, the overworked workaholic who knew there was always more to life than work but never really took the time to explore.
Life Planning has been life-changing. I’m so fortunate for my mentor Stephen Brody, my 5-Day family including the great facilitators, and most importantly for my clients who bless me each day with the opportunity to help them plan and be a part of seeing their deepest dreams realized!
Sidney R. Divine, CFP®, ChFC®, RLP®
Divine Wealth Strategies
Upon graduating from LaGrange College in 2011, Sidney pursued his dream to help good people live better lives. By 2014, he had earned the title of Financial Planner and began to work with his clients by helping them optimize cash flow, manage risks, and plan for their investment and retirement needs. In 2015 and 2016, Sidney was nominated for Financial Planner of the year; an award he proudly earned in 2017 while being ranked within the top 2 percent of 1,875 planners nationally within the Fortune 500 firm.
Sidney’s belief in education since the beginning as a Financial Planner has seen him earn the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation, and the Registered Life Planner (RLP®) designation from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning.
Upon earning the RLP® designation, Sidney fully embraced his new role as being a Financial Life Planner. As such, he works with clients to help them align their financial realities with the lives they aspire to live. He does this by engaging in a client-centered process that delivers freedom to clients, namely the freedom to pursue life’s passions, wherever they may lead.
Sidney also believes strongly in serving the community. He has served in numerous roles working with youth to empower them to live more inspired lives. Much of this work has taken place on the foundation that sports and athletics can help build confidence and bolster the role of teamwork and citizenship.
No matter your needs, you will find Sidney to be a trusted advisor that educates you, advises you, and helps you bring clarity to your money and peace to your life.