Women of Influence: Libby WildmanBy Kate McCaffery | August 18 2014 09:00AM
A gift for sharing and connecting with others
Libby Wildman is a woman who exudes support and generosity. Her skill as a speaker is easy to envision. In speaking with her though, you might never imagine she is also a professional of almost 28 years in her field, a Top of the Table member of the Million Dollar Round Table, and a disciplined, very pragmatic businesswoman, as well.
You might also never know there were times when she felt like quitting.
So many people helped me be who I am, and to even stay in the industry...There were so many times when I wanted to leave.
“The old me would have worn a navy blue skirt and suit, on every single day. Then I realized I don’t have to be this pre-conceived notion of somebody who is going to come in and look after your money. I can be natural. I will enjoy the business more, and I will attract the kind of people I like.”
Today she gives presentations about the importance of authenticity to advisor groups. She is unabashed about the extensive work done with business coaches to refine her practice over the years. She speaks highly and fondly of industry friends and influences who lead her in that direction by example, and the benefit of this work is clear: Wildman is polished, enthusiastic, driven by a desire to give, lauded for her knowledge and experience, and decidedly motivational.
Some of this she credits to the study groups she participates in, and to groups like Advocis. “It’s a lonely business. It’s difficult and it’s stressful. Only two out of ten stay in the business – the attrition is terrible,” she says. “All agents, all people in our industry should belong to Advocis. They educate us, and hold us to a higher standard. They represent us in times when our industry is being looked at. But it’s also a great place of friendship and camaraderie.”
Her own involvement, meanwhile, leans towards the mentorship of others. “I feel my gift is not sitting on a committee. My gift is connecting with people, so I do a lot of speaking – for Advocis and for smaller groups. People who are in the industry sometimes call me up and say ‘Hey, can I have an hour with you?’ I feel that’s my way to give back. My father did that too.” (Her father was an agent with London Life, as well, before he retired and joined her practice.)
“So many people helped me be who I am, and to even stay in the industry,” she adds. “There were so many times when I wanted to leave.”
In talking about the business, Wildman says the industry could use a return to formal training – akin to that offered by companies like London Life in the past. “It can’t just be ‘This product will solve that problem,’ it needs to be part of a bigger picture,” she says. “Money is just one part of it. I think the client needs to have someone understand their whole story.”