What makes Challenge Detroit so unique is that every fellow has a different working experience four days a week before we reunite each Friday. At the end of April, I was able to participate in a company tradition that made my four day work week a little more exciting than the rest. I had the opportunity to attend the Raymond James National Conference for Professional Development in Nashville, Tennessee. Now you may be thinking, “How did you pull that one off?” Well, Center for Financial Planning, my host company, as you may have guessed is a financial planning firm and our broker dealer is Raymond James, so naturally we go for a few days to network, brush up on some new technology, and to learn how to be the best at our job as we can be.

The week was exciting for multiple reasons: it was my first time in Nashville, my first RJ conference, and I got the opportunity to meet other branch professionals while bonding with my own Center team. The conference was really enlightening, especially in the seminars that focus on how you manage work and how you project yourself to the world.

The Myth of Stress, The Power of Influence, How to Fascinate, and Work Smarter not Harder where just some of the classes that caught my eye and stuck with me after I returned to the Motor City. I took many tangible and valuable strategies away from each of these classes, and since I’m a kind person, I want to share just a few those with you:

  • Situations aren’t inherently stressful, how we react to those situations is what actually causes the stress. Meaning if we can adjust how we view a situation and create an insight, then we can manage our stress better than before.
  • We are much more influenced by what we stand to lose, than by what we stand to gain.
  • When creating your ToDo list, first do a brain dump on a piece of paper of everything you have to do in both your personal and work life, then sort the different tasks into categories. This helps clear and then focus your mind.
    • One good category is the “15 Minute Task” – for those daunting little tasks that you can complete in a lull between bigger projects.
  • 11 days of productivity a year are lost due to lack of sleep!!! (Energize your body with sleep and nutrition and you’ll energize your work!)
  • What’s even better than being better is being different. Find what makes you different and capitalize that.

It’s hard not to find stress in your life when trying to balance work, responsibilities, friends, family, and learning. Taking a moment to reflect on what I bring to the table, how to better utilize that, and how to then go about working smarter was an important task. Even though I’m quite tired from all the activities and lessons learned in Nashville, I feel energized to go back to work and be a better (and different!) young professional and a more productive worker. Thanks Nashville!

The Center staff!

The Center staff!