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What It Takes to Be a Successful Advisor

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Today, I want to talk to you about uncertainty and really mastering your mental and emotional states. As advisors we always like to talk about our intellectual capital, we’d like to talk about our designations, how smart we are, how adept we are to financial planning, or portfolio construction. Now, let’s just take the worst financial advisor out there right now and talk about what makes a person successful vs. who’s not successful or struggles?

The key core differences are the following. Number one, you must master your emotions. And what I mean by master emotions is you’ve got to be able to overcome adversity. Sometimes adversity could be like a hurricane, or it could be just a bad night’s sleep. You have to be able to bring your A-game into your business to serve your client each and every day. You need to have the capacity for mental and emotional energy.

You need this capacity to be able to talk to a client or a prospect and influence them even when you may not physically be there. Another main difference is having high standards. I look at my clients who achieve pretty much almost everything they want economic goals, physical goals, and lifestyle goals. What I notice most is the way they talk. They say “I will do this.” “I must, I will, vs. I’d like to or I’m going to try or I should.” Now that seems like a very small difference in language, but it talks about how people frame it in their own mind. The real successful person will sit there and say it’s a must. This is the language of commitment. It’s the language of being convicted and congruent. Really think about how you talk to yourself.

One of the key differences is very successful people really understand that this is a mindset game. Yes, we need physical, mental, and emotional energy, but this is also about how you frame things and your approach. For example, if your goal is to have a comfortable life or you just want to be comfortable in your business, with clients, cash flow or whatever it may be I guarantee you’ll never wake up comfortable.

Our game is how much uncomfortableness are you willing to endure to get to your goals? That is the key thing. Now I live and submitted myself as that standard,

I live a very uncomfortable lifestyle. I’m always pushing goals. I have a saying that if it’s uncomfortable, it’s the right thing to do. That could take the form of a conversation that could take the form of a task that could take the form of a goal and it will be uncomfortable because there will be pain. Then, I know it’s the right thing to do.

Some of you have to have uncomfortable conversations with clients. Some of you need to have uncomfortable conversations with team members. Some of you need to have an uncomfortable conversation with yourself and really raise your standards. That’s the game. I call it a game, because I like to gamify things, but that’s our game every day. You must ask yourself where is your opportunity to be uncomfortable today. Is it a prospect situation? Is is a client situation? Is it a leadership situation? Is it a self conversation situation? Where are you going to be uncomfortable?

Next, you need to think about calendar management. What makes a very successful person vs. a person who struggles is they understand the value and concept of time. We always hear about how time is your most valuable resource. You can never get it back and that holds to be true.

I’ve always found that advisors probably blow away half their day. The typical advisor may only work three – four hours and the rest of the time is filled with distractions like emails and what’s on your phone.

Your phone could either make you millions of dollars or it will cost you millions of dollars depending on how you deploy it. Some of you have an issue with doing this all day checking your Facebook feed or checking your fantasy football teams. You could use it to benefit you though, there are tons of motivational apps and tools out there to get your mind in a productive state. Think about how you deploy and use your phone.

I have a challenge for you. If you were to take your typical Monday through Friday, and just score yourself on a scale of one to five – one being I don’t want to get out of bed and five being you’re a rock star that day, rate yourself on that scale each day so your cognitive on how you’re approaching each day.

You will notice patterns. Maybe Tuesday was only like a two and a half or three, but it should naturally be a four or five. The more you start noticing this the more self accountable you will become. A lot of people come into my world and they say, “Joe, what I really need you to do is really hold me accountable.” I always say to them, that’s great in the short term, but I can’t be around all the time. I’m not going to come to your office every day kicking you in the ass if you need it, right? Self-accountability is really our goal.

I look at accountability as you don’t have an accountability problem, you have a goal problem, you have a vision problem, or you have a standard problem. That’s not accountability. That’s just an effect of something not the cause of something like procrastination. Now people will say I have a procrastination problem. No, you don’t, procrastination is just a strategy that you deploy. When you think about accountability and procrastination, it’s really the antithesis. On one side you have I need to get stuff done on the other side you are preventing things from getting done. It’s the same psychology deployed differently.

If you are excited about what you want to do, if you have a great business plan, a great game plan, you’ve committed to being uncomfortable, you do what we call the Magellan Eight or the Daily Five, then you get used to playing our game and you don’t need accountability.

You just need a little something in the morning to launch you. Then you go do your reps and go make your day happen.

However, if you need to be babysat everyday I would say that you have the wrong goals, vision, or you’re in the wrong business.

Nobody’s going to give you a pat on the back and you can’t just say I need to be more accountable. Really you need more passion in your life. You need to get in this game mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you’re not where you want to be and you think you need an accountability coach all you’re really doing is masking an issue. I hear people refer to this business as their job. When I hear that I immediately know we’re screwed. You don’t have a job and maybe that’s been the problem the last 20 years is you’ve deluded yourself that you had a job that there’s time off and it’s a nine to five all to get over the ‘man’. You think of it like you can kind of screw around and pretend your busy, but you’re the man. In essence, you’re screwing yourself and your family.

For some of you that statement right there will be an epiphany. I don’t work with anybody that considers this a job. They won’t make my cut. You are a business and in the worst-case scenario a career. It’s a business first and foremost. You’re a business owner, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an athlete, and you get paid to perform. You don’t like your paycheck, that means your performance sucks. Guess what that means you suck, period. That is the truth.

Now, after saying all this today, here’s a question I have for you. What are you going to do differently?

Here’s the reality it’s nice to talk about things and I love doing these shows. I’ve done over 1200 of these messages and rolling out this thing for well over 10 years, just in the video format and I’m here to tell you, there’s no better business to be in. You have economic abundance, time, freedom, and location all open to you.

If you don’t like where you are, you can move. Why squander it? Why do you sit there and just play? Play small ball? Either you don’t think you deserve it, you’re not willing to work for it, or you don’t want to be uncomfortable.

Related: Why Being Convicted is Great for Your Advisory

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