It Takes a Lot of Work to be This Unsure All the Time

“I don’t know”.

The three most intimidating words an adviser can ever say. For themselves, anyway.

We’re supposed to have the answers, we’re supposed to be sure, we’re supposed to ‘know’.

And I’ve had a few people in the past look at me funny when I’ve said “I don’t know”.

Because, as an adviser, it’s taken me a long time to accept that uncertainty is a good thing,

I’ve come to realise though, that I don’t trust ‘certain’ people. By that I don’t mean a limited subset of the people I know.

I mean people so certain of anything that they’re entirely convinced they’re correct. No discussion can be entered into, and why would you anyway when you’re right.

People that use phrases like ‘that’s just how we do it’ and ‘it’s tradition’ and ‘why would we change that’ and ‘that doesn’t apply here’ and ‘you can’t deny’.

To me, that sort of thinking simply screams blind spots and limitations.

If you’re so certain of something, then you can never question it.

And if you never question it, how will you find the issues?

And if you can’t find the issues, how can you prepare for the outcomes?

And if you can’t prepare for the outcomes, of course you’ll be blindsided by something you never saw coming.

On the other hand, I love uncertain people.

People not sure of something, so they look into it.

People that don’t really buy into the status quo, so they question it.

People that use their blinkers even though they’re ‘sure’ there’s nobody around.

People that can say “I don’t know” and follow it with “but I’m going to look into it and find out”.

That’s probably because as an adviser I’m more likely to say “I’ve looked into it and I believe this is the best option because a, b and c” than “here’s what you should do, because I say so”.

It’s a subtle difference, but it’s worth knowing when you’re looking for somebody to work with on your finances.

If you’re looking for an adviser that’s certain about everything they do, we’re probably not going to be a good fit.

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