The key to thriving long term: Living with heart 

There’s no denying money pays bills — both your own and your clients’. That’s why you work hard as a financial advisor to ensure that your clients can comfortably retire and are protected against life’s unexpected events. 

Yet life isn’t all about simply working to pay bills. It’s also about doing the right things for the right reasons and persevering for both long-term success and the enjoyment of life.

The groundwork for success

“You get into this business because you want to help people, yet the first few years of this business are difficult,” said Brian P. Walsh, CLU, ChFC, an MDRT member since 1995. What’s allowed him to persevere and thrive is being involved with philanthropic work. “It sets you up for long-term success, and the sooner you do it the better,” said Walsh, who is also a Top of the Table member.

“To stay on top of your game, you need to take care of yourself mentally and physically,” Walsh said. “The more active and engaged you are, the better your mental health. If you’re using your time and talent a few hours a week to help others, you’re going to find an energy and purpose that boosts your mental health. You get by giving.”

The rewards of giving

Furthermore, being involved in philanthropic work, including volunteering for the MDRT Foundation, allowed Walsh, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, USA, to meet other successful financial advisors and see how they’re running their businesses and maintaining their success. “It makes you more empathetic and a better leader,” he said. “We’re in a stressful business. You need your mind to work on something bigger than you.”

The impact of the MDRT Foundation

As an MDRT Foundation Past President, Walsh is proud of the worldwide impact made possible by the $1.7 million in grants awarded last year by the MDRT Foundation. One of the recipients was Friends of Firefighters (FoF), an organization based in Brooklyn, New York, USA, and especially close to Walsh’s heart. When he was a 17-year-old volunteer firefighter, he was injured during a fire, which left him with third-degree burns to much of his face.

Sometimes even the bravest first responders need help themselves. To address the physical and mental health of firefighters, FoF was created shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 343 members of the New York City Fire Department. “Firefighters suffer from anxiety, depression and PTSD. They can see a lot of bad things, and they were never offered an outlet before. Through FoF, they can get free counseling. It helps them both professionally and personally knowing they’re not alone,” Walsh said.

To honor the 20th anniversary of September 11, about 15 current and retired firefighters from the Fire Velo Cycling Club are cycling across the U.S. — more than 3,000 miles from California to New York — to raise funds for charities assisting firefighters and law enforcement. The ride will culminate with a luncheon hosted by the FoF in Brooklyn. Walsh will be there to welcome the riders and present FoF with a $21,911 donation from the MDRT Foundation to support the event.

“You have to get involved for the right reasons with charitable work and do what’s close to your heart. If you show love, you get love back,” said Walsh.

Read Brian Walsh’s book, “Beyond the Mask: How My Tragedy Sparked an Incredible Life.” Also, learn more about “How 9/11 became the deadliest day in U.S. history for U.S. firefighters.” 


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