In Singapore (and perhaps most other countries), financial advisors and planners (or insurance agents) have been generally shunned for a variety of reasons, whether justified or not.
As you can guess – heavy-hitting, aggressive, pushy or being just plain commissions-driven.
Yet when I was speaking with Meixin Ng, a Financial Services Manager (FSM) with Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (PACS), she was none of that.
In fact, Meixin was every bit grounded, thoughtful and held deep conviction for this very profession that she’s been in since she was 22 years old.
Because I Just Wanted To “Try”
Meixin was honest and upfront enough to share with me that being a financial advisor hadn’t always been her dream or her intention.
She was first introduced to the world of financial planning when she applied as a Personal Assistant (PA) to “try” out and to discover what this industry was exactly about. It wasn’t too long after that she became a full-fledged and licensed advisor and started helping her family, friends and relatives in financial planning.
Through her role of insuring & protecting lives, she found her work as a FA to be one of meaning and significance. However, her greatest satisfaction stems from being able to deliver claims, and by the way have super grateful clients who can’t help but thank her profusely for convincing them to get insurance in the first place.
But one incident cemented her belief for her work above all.
She recounted how she was helping to get one of her cousins, who was in his late teens, to get basic but necessary insurance and hospitalization coverage. For myriad reasons, she never got the opportunity to do so.
Yet in 2011, she got news that this cousin a few weeks before he was due to go for his scholarship interview, met with an unfortunate and catastrophic accident during his Scout’s camp that left a direct injury through his skull. On top of missing the scholarship interview, his family was also riddled with hefty medical and hospitalization bills amounting to a five-figure sum!
From that time onwards, Meixin realized that her work is one that she constantly has to fight against the tides of change and time with the sole intent of helping protect more lives of her trusted clients and loved ones.
It is with this belief that Meixin now has built up a strong and loyal clientele base of 1,300 individuals and families over 10 years.
Meixin’s Three Defining Career Lessons for Singapore Ladies
So since I had an opportunity to grab a hot cappuccino with Meixin and knowing her accolades and achievements, I unabashedly asked her for some advice she may have for women in Singapore.
1. Be Pro-active in Seeking Out Mentors
People whom you respect and have achieved what you like to achieve in 3 years – they can really appear anywhere and anytime. And there’s a famous saying that goes,
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Meixin was actually attending a workshop when an innocuous conversation with Bernard (a Financial Services Director within the company) about her goal for the year led to her hyper growth.
As a sales professional, there have been times when Meixin also doubted herself. But it was Bernard who gave her that deep sense of affirmation,
“You are a champion and I’m never wrong”
Of course, in seeking out mentors, it’s also key that you invest into the relationship and offer value to your trusted counsel by value adding to his agency through sharing of your experience and advice with his new agents, for example, as what Meixin did.
At the end of the day, we always need to think win-win and how we can grow together.
2. Discover Your “WHY”
Two years into her financial advisory business, Meixin qualified for her 1st Million Dollar Round Table at age 24 and even bought her first car, a continental Mercedes Benz, by her own means.
However, her material achievement and accolades notwithstanding, the long hours seeking out prospects at road shows and cold calling for financial education and planning, she was running on empty. With her pre-existing medical condition of hiatus hernia, and the stress level of consistently having to set and break new records, she was bordering on being depressed and suicidal.
In fact in that year alone, she recounted having broken down no less than a hundred times altogether!
Meixin’s solace – her newfound faith and relationship with God.
As surreal as it sounded, she vividly recounted how when she attended a particular church service on the receiving of tongues when she was 25 years old, she felt an uncanny sense of warmth, which travelled from her belly all the way up her throat and through her mouth out. And that was the moment she knew she was healed.
Ever since then, her faith fuels her and her love for her clients and their families keeps her going in her line that’s riddled with constant rejections and challenges.
Meixin’s advice for fellow ladies – burn-outs and performance anxiety will be part and parcel for any highly-demanding career.
But when you connect with your deep “why”, a cause that may be larger than yourself – your “how” then becomes clearer and easier.
3. Embracing Humility
Reflecting on her career as a financial planner and now, as a manager to 7 consultants… Meixin realizes that one of the essential ingredients to succeed in this industry and most others, is that of humility.
For her, humility is the quality and ability to always ask boldly when in doubt and serve consistently even when challenged.
As much as new prospects may not always believe her at first instance, she believes that it is always her responsibility to ask the right questions even if she may face rejection. After all with the lesson from her cousin, her duty as a financial planner is not to leave anymore stones unturned.
Similarly for career women, she believes that humility is an essential quality to succeed in this ever-changing world.
It can take shape in terms of embracing change by learning new and even tangential skills, undertaking reverse mentoring relationships with people younger than you or even, having a willingness to serve and work the ground no matter how successful you are today.
To be overly attached with your achievements and glory of yesterday only means you’re closing off your opportunities for growth in today and tomorrow.
Meixin represents an epitome of deep and generous care for her clients, a pillar of strength and support for her young consultants.
Even more so, an exemplar of how modern-day career women can constantly stay in touch with their work and let her own natural convictions fuel her towards success.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in