Preparedness and Overcoming Challenges

Preparedness and Overcoming ChallengesLast week, I attended the NICSA Strategic Leadership Forum. While this conference primarily focuses on industry issues, there was one stand-out motivational speaker, Rob O’Neill, who shared his journey of developing preparedness and how that has helped him overcome significant challenges and achieve success.

Developing Preparedness

O’Neill started learning how to prepare for any situation by joining the Navy SEALs and, later, SEAL Team 6. Developing true preparedness didn’t come in a day or week. It took years of extremely intense training before O’Neill and the other members of the team were ready to go; together, this team successfully executed more than 400 missions. O’Neill shared stories of the intense underwater training, extreme weather situations, and how constant pressure from commanding officers added stress to already difficult exercises. His mantra was, “Prepared to fight, perform under fire, trust your people, never quit.”

These stories were motivating and the message is universal: No matter your industry, no matter your situation, you can overcome hurdles by preparing yourself ahead of time. Whatever the situation—whether it’s professional, personal, or financial—you can improve your life and the lives of those around you by preparing both physically and mentally to meet those challenges.

Overcoming Challenges

Independent of the industry you are in or what you are trying to accomplish, there are challenges to overcome. Whether those are security concerns or uncertainty with where your business is heading, you have the power to address any stressors, doubts, or fears that your challenges may create. It’s up to you to meet those tests head-on, so that you can approach and overcome them. Stress is only what you make it, nothing more.

O’Neill shared how he and his team members had to prepare just as hard mentally as they did physically. I think this runs true in the financial industry, too. Asset managers and solution providers, like SalesPage, together face challenges such as shifting markets, world events, and cyber-attacks. In this industry, we’re constantly thinking about what tomorrow may bring while partnering to tackle and overcome today’s challenges.

One example of how SalesPage is committed to thinking ahead is related to the registered investment advisor—RIA—business. Because we want to anticipate what’s coming, we’ve put time and effort into trying to determine where our clients’ business comes from now, and where it will come from down the line. We know that asset managers face the challenge of managing RIAs effectively, and that it can be difficult to identify who is doing business through RIAs rather than just clearing through firms. So SalesPage partnered with our clients to tackle this industry challenge; as a result, we were first-to-market with adding RIA and clearing firm management functionality to our distribution management system. While we work with clients to implement this functionality today, we continually think about tomorrow, and plan ways to tackle this challenge for DCIO and dually registered reps.


O’Neill successfully executed over 400 missions by sticking to his core principals of preparedness, performing under pressure, trusting his team, and never giving up. In looking at how SalesPage approaches challenges and helps asset managers succeed, I see some parallels. Like O’Neill, we prepare ahead of time, and focus on what’s coming; we execute our plans in high-pressure situations; we rely on others who are also well-prepared; and we are persistent and tenacious. We rely on three best practices:

  • Dialogue. By keeping an open dialogue with our client community, we stay on top of challenges that are coming and work together to evolve our solutions.
  • Deep industry knowledge. Through consistent participation in industry-leading conferences such as NICSA Strategic Leadership Forum and ICI General Membership Meeting, we independently affirm what we’re learning from our client community, and we gather other points of view on the evolution of the industry.
  • Focused technological expertise. We continuously assess and enhance our solutions. Having a dedicated client base in the asset management space, the SalesPage Financial solution evolves as the industry does, which can be seen throughout our application, as each new release is brought to market.

What about you? How are you preparing to overcome challenges and succeed?