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Why I’m Going to Silicon Valley and What’s in It for You


Why I'm Going to Silicon Valley and What's in It for You

One of my favourite sayings says; life, and business, are mostly long periods of seemingly flat terrain, punctuated by sudden spikes where you go high.

Success, like failure, happens gradually, then suddenly.

What I really like about it is it hints at the importance of consistently doing what counts over time, to get the opportunity to experience rapid periods of accelerated learning and personal development.

I guess it’s one of the reasons why being careful about how you manage your energy is so important, so you can be ready for those periods when that sudden energy burst comes.

Of course, another way I look at it, is success, as Woody Allen put it, is 80% just turning up.

I guess this is one of the reasons I’m so excited about the opportunity that presents itself in a little under a week from now.

In 2012, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in Sydney tech startup community, working with a number of super smart people, including other business coaches, one of the seed investors in Paypal, and a number of other big hitters, to launch Corporate to Freedom.

It was a journey that lead me to gain insight into the methods Silicon Valley has pioneered for starting online businesses and rapidly growing them.

It lead me to write a book about it, Finnovation.

It inspired me to asked how can we melt together these start up methodologies with the way professional advice firms are managed and grown, to create more scalable business models

It lead ultimately to the launch of our Leveraged Advice Program the beginning of this year.

It was on the AFA GenXt Connect tour I got the opportunity to share some of these ideas. In between traveling, it was in speaking to Matt Heine he shared that was going to be part of an entourage going to Silicon Valley to meet with a bunch of fintech startups, financial planning firms, and other academic experts in areas such a behavioural finance.

When he offered to introduce me to Santi and the team who were running the US Thought Leader Study Tour, I couldn’t have jumped faster. So fast in fact, I turned up for a meeting that I’d organised but totally failed to send an invite to Santi for. That’s another story.

I’m super excited to be joining an incredible team of people to go Stateside, to ask questions about what the future of advice and advice firms looks like.

Here’s what I want to do with that information.

I want to bring home insight into what the next five or ten years might look like for advice firms in Australia.

I want to ask questions about clients; what the research is showing about their expectations, and most importantly, how progressive advice firms are driving results. Clear demonstrable and measurable results for the clients they work with.

I want to find out what the future of technology looks like, whether it’s in the CRM space, automating aspects of outbound marketing, the way advice firms deliver value to clients and most definitely in how they use technology and automation to resource up and enhance their people’s ability to deliver.

Most importantly, I want to bring back some of this information, condense it and share it with you, so you can take it and help to lead the future of advice in Australia.

Financial stress, worry or trauma is something most people experience at some point in their lives.

We live in a society that consistently persuades us not to do the smart thing with our money, and instead to accept instant gratification, delay smart decisions and a host of other things that just don’t result in financial independence.

As that famous TedTalk demonstrated, it’s a a proven fact that we treat our future selves with less care than we would a complete stranger.

The vast majority of us have the ability to achieve financial independence in our lifetime, but most won’t.

That for me is the prize.


To engage Australians and to help them realise that the ability to achieve that independence is within their grasp and can be achieved more simply than they realise.

Here’s another belief, this isn’t going to be achieved using advice business models as they stand.

For most clients, the price point is too high.

For most advice businesses the ability to impact a larger number of Australians is restricted. They’re overwhelmed already, so the idea of bringing on more clients just isn’t possible.

Are industry funds going to do this? I doubt it.

Is robo-advice going to do it? Possibly, but not if it’s simply automated investment management dressed up as a complete solution.

I believe the ability to impact Australians wealth lies in changing financial behaviour. That requires more than just technology alone, though it has an important part to play.

That’s why I’m going to Silicon Valley. That’s why I’m super excited about the opportunity that has been provided to me by the team at Implemented Portfolios.

Here’s what I want from you; I’d love to know what you want to know.

What are the questions that you’d ask if you were sat opposite some of Silicon Valley’s brightest fintech startups, most progressive financial planning firms, or smartest academics when it comes to influencing client’s behaviour?

I’d love it if you’d email me back and let me know what the important questions are, so I know what to ask and, equally importantly, know what to share when I come back.

In exchange for your questions, I’ll be sure to make personal contact when I return and make sure I share with you the answer I received.

Again, it’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to and am hopeful of bringing back with me insight to drive the kind of change that I know we all want to see.

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