Recently one of my long term clients who has a very unique practice and lifestyle was featured in an industry leading podcast and he mentioned me and how instrumental I was to his business.
My philosophy is, any advisor can have 30 minutes of my time just to chat and figure out what works best for them. In those conversations, I ask a few questions. For instance, one of the questions I ask is, paint me a picture of where you want to be in five years.
What I get back in all cases is a concept of I want to make more money and I want to take more time off. These are all just more betters. There is no clear articulation really of what they want.
We’re not talking about people that are failing. They’re very successful but they’re just wandering through their career.
I’m passionate about financial advisors and planning because I can’t think of a better profession to be in where you can make a good living. Show me another industry where you can be dysfunctional and still make six figures.
My own daughter will be going into this industry because she wants to do something where she helps people make a lot of money, but they don’t have to work hard. It’s a beautiful industry. Yet a lot of times we don’t honor it because we don’t hold ourselves to a high standard.
Let’s talk about the basics! Every advisor needs a business plan. If you’re in business you need a vision. Here’s the secret sauce, you need a life plan that has a big business component to it.
Nothing is created by accident we all have a plan. We all work 90-day windows with a two-page game plan. That is being a pro and honoring the profession.
We have such an opportunistic window with all the baby boomers retiring, let’s just get organized and go get it. The problem is if you don’t know why you want to go get it, then why go get it? A lot of people would like to take 20 weeks off a year, but they think they can’t do it and they don’t come up with a plan to actually accomplish that.
The second question I ask is, how do you operate? I also ask do you have a financial plan and when did you last update it? Less than 20% have updated their plan as an advisor and here we are asking other people to create a plan to follow.
As an example, this is like if you said you need to get fit and you go get a personal trainer. Let’s say the personal trainer is overweight and 400 lbs. Are you going to go to that person and trust that person to get you in shape?
We lead the charge as impostors. I’m not trying to indict our space, but I would like us to hold ourselves to higher standards. This is an incongruency. Our industry will sit here and say we want to create more professionalism, so we go get more designations.
At the end of the day though you need to walk the talk. Have an investment plan, have a financial plan, and have a business plan. We want to be seen as professionals and yet we act like salespeople. This is the problem when you sound and behave like a salesperson.
Imagine a world where you’re organized, you have a vision, you have a plan, you’re excited for the future and you’re not just trying to survive. You’re really there to do good work and are compensated for helping others. Total win-win right? That’s what this is about.
Yet we go around life and we think only about ourselves about how much more money we need to make or how we need to become more successful. This is not going to get you up the morning. You need to find out the why behind what you’re after otherwise it’s not going to compel you to talk to your clients and do your morning rituals. This will not help your business just like it hasn’t been for the last 10 -15 years.
Your best day as an advisor will be the last day you’re an advisor. If you do not believe that then why are we here? Your best day as an advisor or planner is well off into the future. I have clients in their 70s and they’re rockstars. They’re having fun and contributions are happening now that weren’t in their 40s or 50s. Why? Because why not?
I’ve been at this game a long time and sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the forest and no one hears me. That’s okay because I’m going to be truthful to myself and I know what I believe.
So, why not be great? Being average in this industry does not require a lot. Get a license, talk to some people, and do the right thing. But, why not just be excellent? The difference between being okay and excellent is just changing your mindset.
If you believe you don’t deserve it and you don’t like what you see in the mirror it won’t matter what program you buy or do. Excellence comes from your mind.
I have many clients that don’t need more money and they can walk away from this business today in their 40s or 50s. So we find out what their passionate about and come up with a plan to give back or create a foundation. This is what gets me up in the morning is making things happen for people to better society.
What’s your calling? That’s what being an advisor is all about – contribution. Yes, it’s a business and a career, but if that’s all it is to you, you’re not getting this.
Back to my story with my client that was interviewed on the podcast. I told him your goals are not big enough. He’s been at $600,000 – $700,000 the last 15 years. The problem he has is he’s afraid to go big and think big. He’s uncomfortable and afraid to rock the boat, he’s treating his business like a job and it gets boring.
Humans are happiest when they’re on a quest for greatness or great contributions.
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