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The Most Important Investment an Advisor Needs to Make


‘What is the MOST important investment an advisor could make?’. It’s not a trick question but, is an answer that most advisors don’t think of.

When they think of an investment, most advisors think of education, marketing or the practice. While all those things are accurate, the difference is between a person who succeeds at a high level and someone who just does okay.

It’s not they are failing. It’s just that they leave success at the table. Why? The key component is, how much are you willing to reinvest back in yourself each and every year in terms of personal and professional development.

What I do with my clients is, I mandate anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of gross revenue in a line item budget to reinvest back in yourself. The key differential between people that succeed at a high level and those that don’t is the key element of reinvestment.

The funny and sad part is this. I had a 20-year veteran advisor reach out to me after watching all the social media that we do here. My process is very simple.

Every advisor can have 30-minutes of my time. No questions asked. If there’s something that we resonate with and you have a deep interest in improving yourself and willing to reinvest in yourself, then we can go forward to the evaluation and figure out what we’re going to do together.

We get on the call, he fills up the forms and does everything there. In the last eight or nine years, he has been with one of the largest independent IDBs out there.

I asked him why he was there and what was frustrating him. His answer was the same as all my other clients, albeit worded differently, ‘I am not as successful as I want to be’. 

He’s doing about 350-400 gross and probably W2-ing around 200-225. By all accounts, having a take-home of a quarter of a million dollars means you’re doing really well. But in our space, not so much. I asked him to paint me a vision.

Related: 5 Words That Will Cost You Millions

Like a lot of people in our space, his answer was, ‘I want at least a million dollars in revenue’. Everybody still has this ‘million dollar producer’ in their heads especially for those who have been around for a while.

I told him that I didn’t need to know right now why that was important to him but what I needed to know was that, after 23 years, why has he not yet achieved his goal? It was a very important question wherein I usually hear the language of blaming others.

I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘It was because of me’. Until a person makes the statement, “I know that I am both the problem and the solution”, there’s nothing that you could do.

So, I kind of wandered all through his reasons until I asked him, ‘Where do you fit in all this?’. You’re the one who hired the crappy assistant. If compliance said ‘No’, there’s always plans B, C, and D. You just don’t waste your day away. 

Then I asked him about the training he’s done in the last 23 years for him to get better at what he does. Other than some mandatory broker-dealer training, he did pretty much nothing within the last eight years.

He does the mandatory annual IBD training but he never had any breakouts. There are some crappy ones but you always get some ‘nuggets’ out of something. Then I asked him how he spends the first 60 minutes of his business day.

I get the basic answer. ‘I get up, get on my phone, check my emails, the market, read the news’. ‘I get up, get breakfast and put some more news on and be in the office by 7:30’.

There’s no rationale and so we just go round and round and he’s basically created his own prison. Both his mindset, habits, and behaviors aren’t right and he’s highly frustrated.

In the end, I said ‘We’re not a good fit’. Why? It’s because he never took responsibility. I asked him how much money a year does he set aside for a personal, professional development budget.

He goes, ‘I don’t have one’. I told him that whether he’s going to be working with me or not, I need him to set aside $50,000. It’s not all for me. I needed him to reinvest in himself to figure out where the gaps are and to become better. 

If you need a personal trainer to get yourself in shape, then that’s what we do. Need to stop ordering from the menu? Get a nutritionist. I can coordinate that. If you need someone like me to help you find your blindspots, I’ll be happy to help you – if it makes sense.

You have to be willing to reinvest at least 10% of your revenue back in you because you are the product! It is not your portfolios, business planning and definitely not all the other goodies that you have.

At the end of the day, a person hires YOU first. Then they listen to what you have for them. His answer was, ‘I can’t do that’. If I told you that if you pay me $50,000 I can get X-amount of business for you every year, will you do it?

He said he probably would find a way to do that. ‘Shiny object’ right? Here’s the solution to all my problems. Just write a check or take my Amex out. If you’ve watched all my other episodes, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean.

This guy would be all in if I show him a shiny object where he does not need to change. You know why? Because it’s safe. This is the message for everybody for today.  There’s a reason why you are a quarter of a million, half a million or a million dollar kind of guy or gal. 

If you’re looking to elevate and for whatever reason you’re stuck, don’t sit down a say it’s because you didn’t have enough resources and stuff. You’re just not willing to change. You don’t lack resources. You lack resource-FULNESS.

You need to go out there and make things happen. In this business, the differential between a quarter-million and a million dollar kind of person is not because the other guy is smarter.

It’s just that the other guy has three times the mindset. You could sit there and tell yourself that you’re good but let me tell you that you’re not. If you’re good, you wouldn’t be frustrated or be wondering what’s going on or how to make the last 5-10 years of your career your best years ever.

You’re okay? Tell your bank account that. I’m not advocating for me as I’ve made clear that I’m not right for everybody.My style is very unique.

I’ve been doing a survey with my clients and the common things I hear is that, I don’t take BS from anybody, I say it like it is. You can fire me and I wouldn’t care.

It’s because that’s how I’ve created my business. But that’s why I care so much. I can speak the truth. If you’re going to sit there and think that all you need is another ‘shiny object’ and it will fix your world, then you’re just deluding yourself.

Put 10% of your gross revenue back to yourself. If you can’t do it, then there’s a clue on why you must. There are so many people in this industry who are literally just 90-days away from being zeroed out. It’s because they have the ‘hustler’ identity.

They never made the correct identity. They just make money. The problem with that identity is, that’s all you’ll ever do. You won’t be sustainable nor leave a legacy.

I’ve run across people who are in their 60’s who should have already made empires but are trying to make the budget. After 30-35 years, they’re trying to stay afloat. I would ask them, why would I give you my money? You’re poor to start with your own. Right?

The reason why I’m saying this today is not because of that meeting I had with that gentleman. He just couldn’t get it. I’m not in the business of pounding it into people. I was not the nicest I could be. But I cared and I told him the truth.

Nothing’s going to change for him until the day that he looks in the mirror and see that he’s messed up. He needs to fix and invest in himself. Until that happens, nothing changes. Period.

In our industry, while our ego protects us a lot, it’s also detrimental because it does not allow us to grow. It’s because, in our mind, we say that we don’t need any help, resources or a different distinction. We’re good.

Ego and arrogance are getting in the way of your success. A lot of times, ego and arrogance will allow you to listen to people and still forge ahead and make it because you made it happen.

Somewhere between year one and year five is the point of inflection where you validate that you are there. After that, you’ll still need that ego because that’s what protects you but the arrogance won’t let you be a leader.

If still carry around that same ego and arrogance and you don’t pivot that and ask what you’re missing or what you need, then you’ll be in trouble. A lot of people I work with are already successful and yet trying to be more successful.

They’re going from being good to great. It’s because they get it. The advisors that need you the most are the ones that are struggling. They can really use a differential.

Those are the ones that will not buy into coaching or personal development. They don’t believe in it and they struggle.That is very sad.

What I need you to do for yourself. Ten percent. Take it off the top. Line item it. If you think you’re “too skinny” for that, then pick a number. You are the most important investment you could ever make.

If I was given the choice between funding my SEP IRA or my success, I’ll choose my success. You have to go ahead and reinvest in yourself.

If that doesn’t resonate with you, that’s the reason why you’re in the situation you’re in. Period. There is no such thing as spending too much money or a limit to how much you can put.

A client of mine met this person who puts 50% of their income to a PD budget. Think about that. Try to envision this. You’ve got a W2 of 250 and you’re going to line item 125 to yourself. That’s unique and an extreme example but that person has doubled their income in the last three or four years since they started doing it. Interesting. Right?

In closing, what I’m asking you to do is, don’t be an arrogant idiot and delude yourself that you just need to work harder or you have it figured it out and you don’t need any help. 

You’re lying to yourself. That’s you’re ego talking. Your bank account can’t cash that check. Wake up in the morning and make a change. Be honest with yourself.

If you know that time is ticking away in your career and over the last 10 years you’ve been telling yourself to get your act together and it still hasn’t then there’s a clue in that. You’re not capable of doing it yourself. Look in the mirror and just face that fact. Get some help.

Thank’s for listening. thanks for Watching this episode of The Magellan Network Show and remember. If you want to spend a month with me, 30 days –

Thanks and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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