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What are you afraid of?

Spiders top a list of most people’s phobias but if you talk to an adviser, it seems that the fear of transition is occupying their thoughts. The symptoms and the cure for what I call transitionophobia are outlined

John Joe McGinley, Business consultancy manager, Aegon
John Joe McGinley, Business consultancy manager, Aegon

Humankind can have many fears, from a fear of heights to public speaking. Psychologists have identified over 700 specific fears or phobias, with number one being spiders or arachnophobia. My personal favourite is number 177, which is sciurophobia or the fear of squirrels.

I would like to put a name to a phobia I am coming across more and more in my interaction with advisers. I call it transitionophobia, the fear of business change.

The fear of the transition required to adapt to the RDR landscape, the challenges of our economy, the demographics of the ageing population
and the rise of new technologies such as social media.

Some of the symptoms of transitionophobia include:

  • A desire to avoid studying
  • Confusion when discussing tweets, Facebook, SMS messaging and LinkedIn
  • An under-used back-office system
  • A business plan gathering dust in a drawer
  • Hot sweats when thinking of discussing fees or retainers with clients

Do you or anyone you know have any of these tell-tale signs of transitionophobia?

The good news is that phobias can be easily treated and most cures revolve around self-awareness and self-help. The first step is to recognise what a phobia is. It’s “an intense fear of something which in reality poses little or no real danger”.

RDR and our changing world offers so many opportunities.

The challenge is to ensure we have an action plan in place to capitalise on these opportunities while they exist. For me, this is a five-stage process

Set your vision and establish goals
Action planning is not some boring academic exercise – it gives you the tools to make your hopes, dreams and aspirations concrete and lasting. Once we set aside time to work out where we want to go,- the easy part is writing it all down.

Establish your goals
Once you have decided where you want to get to, you have to work out what to do to get there. Set small achievable goals and review and update your to-do list every day. Every now and then, review your longer-term plans too and modify them to reflect your changing priorities.

Your RDR proposition
Make sure there is no ambiguity – your RDR proposition should have a specific outcome or activity to be undertaken and achieved.

Develop a robust action plan
The message is simple – write down your ideas; make it your sat nav.

Measure impact
Your action plan must include measurement.

You need to know what works and why it works.

Make change part of your business DNA
Your action plan should not be a one-off event. It should become part of your business DNA and a natural element of your day-to-day activity.

Check out our free RDR transition website and you can easily overcome the fear of transitionophobia.


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