When clients come to me, it is always because they have a question they haven’t been able to answer satisfactorily on their own. The question either begins with, “How do I…?” or “Why do I…?” or “What should I…?”

Their question is usually about an aspect of their money they don’t understand or that they dislike. And, usually there’s more to their question than what meets the eye.

That’s why I thought a recent Charles Schwab ad was awesome. The commercial features a little boy, who with childlike wonder, peppers his father with a series of questions after a visit to their investment broker. The son stops his father in his tracks with this question: “Why not?”

The commercial ends with the father having a quizzical look on his face (because he can’t answer his son) and a voice-over saying, “Are you asking enough questions…?

I love this commercial for several reasons:

  • It challenges the notion of what is considered passive behavior when it comes to money and who is likely to be passive
  • It highlights what you don’t know you don’t know
  • It reminds us that wisdom can come through unlikely channels (like children)
  • It makes a case for how curiosity can unleash your financial power

Money is the trigger

I use my curiosity to help my clients tap into theirs.

It’s how I get them more engaged with their money; it’s how I get them to embrace what they don’t understand or what they dislike.

It’s how I get them to go beyond first base and to see that most money questions are less about the money (in an absolute sense) and more about money in terms of what it will enable them to do.

It’s how I help them to feel more confident and powerful about their financial choices and results.

What is curiosity, really – other than a) an optimism that you’ll get your question answered, coupled with b) just enough skepticism to never stop at the first answer.

Ironically, when you use curiosity as a tool for managing your money, you’re protecting yourself.

Curiosity will ensure you’ll never go too far astray as you navigate financial challenges and opportunities and as you convert ideas and dreams into a plan of action.

Think about the financial choices you’ve made to date. Now imagine if you had applied a tad bit more curiosity to your process. What might be different?

Or, consider a current financial question or challenge you have and imagine how curiosity could help you produce even better results than you currently envision – whether that’s saving or earning more; investing with greater confidence; spending strategically; being on the same financial page as your sweetie. How do you feel?

Hopefully you feel more confident and powerful. Not because you got immediate answers, but because you asked more (and different) questions than you would normally!

On the off-chance you actually feel more tense than powerful, don’t resist it. It just means you need to ask even more questions – like the fictional character in the Charles Schwab commercial.

Questions coupled with a healthy dose of optimism and skepticism can help you unlock your full financial power – and, thus, positively influence your financial choices and results.

So, if I were on the Charles Schwab ad team, I’d make a complementary commercial with the father and son going back to the broker to get answers to the questions the son asked!


p.s. how might being a member of the Financial Intimacy Lounge help you unlock your full financial power? Click here to learn more and to join.

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