Lessons from Everest: A broker's journey to peak performance

Why every broker should climb Everest at least once

Lessons from Everest: A broker's journey to peak performance


By Ryan Johnson

Sharing insights from his trek to Everest base camp, a Melbourne-based finance broker

has shed light on the parallels between his mountainous journey and the challenges encountered in the finance industry.

For Sadish Visvalingam (pictured above), founder of Premier Financial Advocates, the experience serves as a metaphor for his role in the financial landscape, emphasising the importance of long-term strategy, resilience, and mental health.

“This expedition was not merely a test of physical endurance but a profound journey of personal and professional growth, intertwined with a cause dear to me: raising awareness for men's mental health,” he said.

Building business resilience through switching off

In an age where connectivity is often taken for granted, Visvalingham embarked on his journey during the off-season, facing not only the harsh and unpredictable weather but also complete isolation from the digital world.

Recently, the harsh conditions claimed three tourists’ lives, underlining the journey’s dangers as temperatures plummeted to below -20°C.

With no access to the internet or social media, Visvalingham said the challenge extended beyond the physical realm, affecting his ability to manage his business remotely.

“However, the extensive planning and measures I put in place before setting off ensured that my business and my clients remained unaffected,” he said. “This preparation was crucial, allowing me to focus on the journey ahead with a clear mind and determined heart.”

With the trek to Everest base camp a year in the making, Visvalingham said the journey mirrored the long-term strategy required in finance.

“I learned to operate my business without being the central figure by bringing in a manager and upscaling the team,” he said. “This improved the business's resilience and revealed areas needing enhancement — a reflection of risk management and operational efficiency in finance.

“This period of being unreachable tested the business's independence from my day-to-day input, much like stress-testing financial plans for clients.”

For Visvalingham, each step on the journey represented a challenge, yet persistence was key.

“By breaking the journey into manageable parts, I tackled each section methodically, akin to managing complex financial portfolios piece by piece,” he said. 

“The presence of a guide was also invaluable, paralleling the role of a mentor who offers insights and foresight in navigating a business landscape.”

MANtalk: Individual feats for a greater cause

The trek itself began with a group of five individuals, but as the challenges of the climb unfolded, Visvalingham ultimately found himself as the sole participant to reach the base camp.

This unique experience was a testament to Visvalingham own personal resilience, underscored by his aim to shed light on the importance of mental health, particularly among men, through MANtalk – a men’s mental health initiative started by mortgage industry professionals in 2023.

“MANtalk is a cause close to heart. I leveraged the trek to engage with social media, raising awareness and support for mental health, and also to fundraise for Beyond Blue,” Visvalingham said. “This ensured that each step taken was a step towards a greater cause.” 

“The parallel for finance professionals is clear: such initiatives can harness personal passions for social good, enhancing corporate social responsibility.”

Climbing Everest: Lessons for financial professionals

While Visvalingham may be back serving the Melbourne community with their financial needs, the journey to Everest base camp will be looked back fondly as a pivotal moment in his life.

As an immigrant and a professional in Melbourne, Visvalingham said the adventure stood as a testament to facing challenges head-on, whether scaling the heights of the world's tallest mountains or navigating the complexities of mental health issues.

“I believe every professional in the finance sector could benefit from a journey like this. It teaches perspective — daily setbacks, such as loan rejections, are minimal in the grand scheme of life. The journey also highlights preparation's pivotal role,” he said.

“Just as a trek requires careful planning, so does running a business, especially in finance, where strategy and preparation are fundamental to success.”

“This adventure teaches valuable lessons in resilience, perspective, and the crucial nature of preparation and strategy, all of which are applicable to the finance industry, whether one is a mortgage broker or holds another role.”

Have you had a life-changing experience that changed the way you operate in your working life? Comment below.

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