Ask for the Order

My first career out of college was working as a financial advisor. A fundamental part of helping people with their investing and retirement planning was having clients to serve.  There was a cliche that financial advisors would talk about as follows. You can be the best financial advisor in the world, but if you don’t have any clients, then you are out of business. Knowing how to get more clients was vital to continue my work as a financial advisor.

As I got into my financial advising career, the technical part of financial planning and working with existing clients came naturally to me.  Learning how to find clients was much more challenging, as it is for many people in business.  Sometimes I wished I could just work as a financial advisor and already have clients.  

After a few years into my career, my boss told me just to “ask for the order.”  He was a seasoned financial planner who had over three decades of experience.  He explained to me how to get more clients when I met people who I might be able to serve:

“Some people might want to work with you, but they are just waiting for you to ask them.  Just ask for the order.”  

Due to this conversation with my boss and a few other factors, my business began to change. I took these words to heart and became more comfortable finding clients. Once I met a person who was a good potential client, I began to more consistently ask for the order. I learned more that sales does not have to be something I need to feel awkward or bad about.  And, this can be a way to serve more people to help them reach their financial goals. I began to find more clients I could serve in helping manage their money. 

Similarly, this idea of asking for the order applies not only to business, but many other areas of life. There are a myriad of situations where you can ask for the order such as a possible career promotion. Also, asking the person you may want to marry or the lower price you want to negotiate on a car are other examples. Life is full of scenarios that might include a change for the better if you are just willing to ask.

So, the only thing keeping you from what you want might be having the courage to ask for what you want.  

July 8, 2024

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Remember This

Sometimes keeping your message short is the most effective way to communicate.

Saying less gives the other person something simple to focus on, which is easier for them to remember.

June 10, 2024

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What Cicadas Can Teach Us

I had no intention to write this until something unexpected happened today.

Today I was sitting down to write and had just finished eating a bowl of oatmeal at a place I am staying for a few days called Vision of Peace. All of a sudden a bird flew up within 10 feet of me. I thought to myself, this bird wants some of my food. Then, I was shocked to witness the bird ignore me as it began to eat a large, dead cicada.

I was able to get a picture of it which is below. The bird needed at least 10 bites of the big insect to finish its meal. Afterward, the bird strutted away like it was the king of the jungle.

benefits of cicada

This spring has been the worst experience I’ve ever had with the number of cicadas I’ve seen and heard. They are loud and not afraid to land on you. They also can harm younger trees. But cicadas are also probably helpful in more ways than they are annoying.

The benefits of cicadas include:

  • Their dead bodies provide food for other creatures (I sure learned this today)
  • They prune mature trees and aerate the soil
  • Their dead bodies are a source of nitrogen for young trees

The next time we are annoyed by a neighbor, co-worker, or event, perhaps cicadas can teach us something. Just as there are benefits from cicadas, there may also be hidden benefits in other challenges of life. Perhaps we just need to look at the situation differently.

Maybe this challenge you are facing can in some way make your life a little bit better.

June 3, 2024

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Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday to remember those who have given up their lives while serving in our military. Freedom exists partly because people have been willing to fight for the United States.  A worthwhile thought experiment is to consider what might happen if people are not willing to serve our country. 

Without men and women who are willing to serve our country, it’s possible that our country would lose a war and become controlled by another country. Freedom would no longer exist.  For example, if Russia, one of the countries with the most nuclear weapons, gained control of the United States, this would change everything.  Our country may no longer be a safe place to live. At this point, you might be better off living in another country, if you were still able to get away. 

In this context, here are a few questions on which to reflect:

  1. Do you know anybody who has died while serving in our armed forces?  Maybe take a moment to give thanks for the sacrifice he/she made.
  2. What is a way you can help foster a love and appreciation for our country?
  3. Where would you live if the United States was no longer a safe place to live?

May 27, 2024

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Contagious Excitement

Golden Retriever- Contagious Excitement

Recently, I stayed at a house using Airbnb. When I entered the house, the host’s Golden Retriever named Luna galloped up to me wagging her tail, unable to contain her excitement.

After a day at the house, Luna continued this pattern of flapping her tail when she had my attention. Gradually, I began to smile and treat her like she was my own dog. Once strangers, we were now regular pals. Reflecting on Luna made me wonder about the powerful influence of genuine excitement whether with work, family and friends, or volunteering.

A few questions came to mind that I invite you to ponder:

  1. What in life gets me excited or brings greater joy?
  2. Am I spending time with the things or people that bring me joy?
  3. What is one thing (even if very small) I can do today to bring a little more joy into my life?

May 22, 2024

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First Post!

I’m excited to share with you my first post! Writing is something that is fulfilling for me. When I take out a piece of paper to write a poem I experience joy.

A few years ago when I began blogging at Money 101 Academy, I discovered more deeply that this is a passion of mine where I also get to help others. This year I updated an article where I compiled ideas of how to save money when traveling.

This blog (Nicholas’ blog- I actually began in July of 2023 and was formerly known as

My experience is quite varied and people are sometimes surprised when I share the different kinds of work I’ve done over the last few decades. You can expect me to write about life, business, and creativity here. You can read more about my experiences here.


May 17, 2024

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Coming Soon!

Welcome to the place where I blog with more coming soon! This blog here was formerly known as which I started in July of 2023. Check back soon as I’m excited to share some more writing with you in the near future!


May 11, 2024

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