Financial advising is about more than just numbers, says Seth Streeter, founder, chief impact officer and advisor at Mission Wealth.

“They say the longest journey many people take in their lifetime is the 13 inches traveled from their head to their heart,” he said.

Having that “operating more from the heart” mindset has led Streeter to explore unique ways of interacting with clients.

For example, Streeter was with a client who’d recently lost her husband and had two college-age children, and he suggested a walk on the beach to check in. While at the beach, he listened to her talk about her situation.

“It sounds like you're overwhelmed,” he told her, recalling the conversation. “What is it that really brings you joy?”

Her answer? Early morning tea, sunrises, cooking for friends, yoga and a gratitude journal.

After that conversation, Streeter wrote up a list of “Top 10 Keys to Joy,” printed it and sent it to that client.

“And she was so touched, she put this … laminated card on her mirror as a daily reminder to try to check off as many of these acts of joy each week that she could,” Streeter said. “And she has been just an amazing client. And I don't think just because of that reason we deliver great value to her. But that was a particular time when I was there for her when she was down.”

Another client of Streeter found herself divorced after more than 30 years of marriage, with two daughters who’d already moved out.

“[S]he was at a time in her life in her 60s that she wasn't expecting to be all alone,” he said. So he asked her what gifts she wanted “to deploy into the world.”

Her answer? Be nurturing, and specifically, help women who’ve dealt with challenges. That client later obtained an esthetician license, converted her husband’s study into a home studio, and combined getting paid for her services with donating services.

Another client was a corporate attorney with a busy schedule and a bad back, counting the days until retirement, whose wife told Streeter that her husband loves history. That client later became a high school history teacher.

“And he didn't have to retire in five years, because he loved what he was doing,” Streeter said.

At Mission Wealth, wealth is discussed in terms of what the company refers to as the 11 Dimensions of Life: family, intellectual, impact, financial, physical, environmental, fun, career, social, emotional and spiritual. The company incorporates that framework into events called “Inspired Living Wisdom Share,” where 50 to 100 clients join an online meeting and divide into breakout rooms devoted to discussing each dimension.

In each room, participants are asked to think about “top tips that I could give to someone who doesn’t have abundance in this dimension,” Streeter said.

After that, “we crowdsource wisdom across these groups of clients and advisors,” he added.

Thinking in this different way offers clients a kind of freedom, according to Streeter.

“People are given permission to really listen to what brings them fulfillment, and then encouraged to pursue it. Great things happen,” Streeter said.

Over the past few years during the pandemic, a shift has taken place, allowing people the space to do that, according to Streeter.

“A lot of people woke up and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, I don't want to keep commuting, I don't want to keep sitting in my same four square walls in my office every day, I kind of like having more time with my family.’ And I picked up a guitar, I'm listening to podcasts, and I'm walking every day,” he said.

“So, I think the pandemic really helped people become more aware as to what their ideal life is,” he added. “And they're not going back to the way that it was before.”

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