Today I consider myself one of the luckiest men alive. Birthdays and anniversaries are occasions for reflection—today is my birthday, and it’s also time to complete the Annual Minutes for the corporation.
The satisfaction of working as an independent advisor has been more than I could imagine when I threw caution to the wind and hung a shingle in 1994.
Arriving at this point in time was not inevitable because I did not have a vocational dream like some of my peers. I majored in in accounting in college, which was a safe and practical choice. Following a brief stint in graduate school, I got a job in Nashville working for one of the major national accounting firms, but I never found deep satisfaction in tax accounting.
The thought of a more fulfilling career crept into my consciousness during my late twenties and early thirties. To imagine work in terms of vocation or calling or “right livelihood” was a foreign concept when I was younger.
Working with clients has been an honor and privilege with intangible benefits far beyond any expectations I may have had when I began the business.
Alignment with clients’ interests endows us with purpose. Commitment to the fiduciary standard—a thorough-going, undivided devotion to client interests—has been unifying. Genuine loyalty lifts business relationships to a higher plane. A discussion of The Philosophy of Loyalty by Harvard philosopher Josiah Royce provides background on how an ethic of loyalty imparts an increase in meaning and purpose. Loyalties “tend to unify life, give it center, fixity, and stability