Too often, people focus on their weaknesses rather than their strengths. They think they have to study what they don’t know, don’t like and aren’t naturally adept at. The end result is that they don’t perform well and they aren’t happy.

Instead, advisors should be building on their strengths, their interests and, of course, their talents. The best and the brightest advisors have one thing in common: Each one has found his or her specialty or strength and constructed a platform for success.

Consider On Wall Street’s most recent ranking of the Top 40 Advisors Under 40.

Jonathan Kass, who took the number seven spot this year and number six last year, has found that small business owners are his clients of choice. He found a need and he filled it. When small business owners found interest-bearing checking accounts hard to get from commercial banks, Kass, who is based in New York for Bank of America Merrill Lynch [BAC], made it work for them.

Pablo Gherardi of Wells Fargo [WFC] in Miami is number 27 on the list. He is another example of someone who uses what comes naturally to build his client base. He is originally from Uruguay and most of his clients are wealthy families who live in that country and Argentina. For Max Peckler of UBS [UBS] in Boston, the focus is on multi-generational issues. Peckler, who is number 15 on the OWS Top 40 list, takes heirs by the hand and counsels them on personal finance topics.

At number 36, Eric Beiley of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney [MS] in New York found his niche in helping executives manage their company stock options and grants—first in the biotech sector and now with Fortune 500 company officials. 

These star performers and their peers who made the list didn’t rely on cold-calling or traditional ways or doing things. They went out, found their niches and always worked to their strengths.

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