Creating the Right Mindset to Achieve Your Goals

Creating the Right Mindset to Achieve Your Goals

Sometimes we get in our own way when we’re trying to achieve our goals.

We lose sight of what’s important, or concentrate on the wrong things and wonder why we’re spinning our wheels. The truth is, in order to achieve anything in this life, you have to plan it out, work on putting your mind where it should be along the path, develop systems for getting things done and maintain a steady course.

Just as every business organization must analyze what to spend their resources on for the best amount of return for their efforts, we as individuals need to do the same thing in order to prosper. The human mind is an amazing thing. Our ability to produce thought, and then act on that thought to bring about what we want is incredible. It’s channeling our thoughts to produce the results we truly want that can be difficult.

When we’re in school as children, we occupy our minds with learning (well, most of the time), which gives us accumulated knowledge and experience. Those of us who kept the bigger picture in mind and put that knowledge and experience to work reaped the rewards of education (being prepared to get out there and earn a living). Those that didn’t—well, you get the picture.

Success isn’t something that just happens to lucky people. Or rich people. Achieving your goals has more to do with mindset than circumstances. It takes attention. It takes focus. And you must lay the groundwork first.

Prepare for What You Want to Achieve

The farmer who wants to harvest a crop of corn must first prepare the ground to accept that particular seed and grow it. He’s not thinking about wheat—he’s not thinking about beans—he’s thinking about corn. What are the specific needs of a corn seed versus all the other seeds out there? What’s his patch of earth lacking in terms of nutrients, moisture and sunlight that a corn plant needs in order to produce the most fruit?

We can relate that story to business—either B2B or B2C. If I’m a clothing retailer, for example, what do my customers most want and need, and how can I provide that to them so they’ll buy what I have to offer? First, I should be thinking about getting to know them. If I don’t, and occupy my thoughts with something else instead, there’s a good likelihood that my efforts will fail. If I don’t spend considerable thought and time understanding my customer, I won’t be producing what I know they’re looking for, but what I’m guessing they might be looking for—and miss the mark entirely.

Another way to prepare for what you want is by immersing yourself in the possibility of achievement. I’m sure you’ve heard the adage that thoughts produce actions and actions produce results? Here’s a real-life example.

A friend of mine was between jobs a few years back when the job market was really tough. Her experience was computer programming, and the market was so bad that many of her out-of-work colleagues were giving up and taking menial jobs. However, she decided to prepare the soil by filling her mind with getting the right position. Instead of sitting around in her pajamas, scouring LinkedIn and job listings, every day she got up early, got dressed as if she was headed to the office and set about cultivating leads. She studied the companies she thought would have the right position, set up a spreadsheet for job contacts and worked her social channels, email and yes… the phone, tweaked her resume, worked the phone some more, and followed up by sending out more resumes. After lunch, she spent time improving and updating her skills. Before 5:00 she reviewed her spreadsheet again, spent more time with outreach, and set up her schedule for the following day. A month later she landed the perfect position. Looking for the right job occupied her mind (and hence her activities) every day for eight hours a day, which ultimately resulted in success.

Value is Relative, but Achieving It Takes Time

Achieving goals doesn’t always have to do with monetary or business success. Whatever goal you’re looking to achieve has value to you, and is directly related to the thought and effort you put towards it. Having better relationships with your children or spouse, being healthier, learning a new language—the bigger the investment in thought and time, the more fulfilling the return.

Remember to Stay Positive

Life often throws us curve balls, and the path to success is often a very jagged line, but it’s important not to succumb to negativity because that comes back to us as well. We do reap what we sow, so it’s important to understand that the more positive your thought flow, the more directed your thoughts, the more you stay focused, the better your results will be. Surrounding yourself with positive people, and consciously shifting your thoughts in a positive direction when you feel the inevitable downturns happening—that takes effort—but it’s well worth it. I firmly believe that no one has to be a victim of circumstance. We have the power to rise above circumstances and achieve whatever we desire if we concentrate on it and never give up on what is important to us. As Zig Ziglar once said, “You are who you are and what you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change who you are and what you are by changing what goes into your mind.”

This orginally appeared on Ted Rubin

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Ted Rubin is a leading Social Media Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO for Brand Innovators. In March 2009, Ted started using and evangeli ... Click for full bio

Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips

Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips

Written by: Shileen Weber

When the American Funds’ Capital Group  asked 400 advisors last year to name the biggest issues they face in their businesses, it wasn’t the DOL, market uncertainty or the economy that sat in the center of the idea cloud of answers.

It was client issues.

At a time when regulatory concerns and market turbulence would seem to be at all-time highs, the advisors who answered the survey were most concerned about servicing their clients as well as ways to find new ones and grow their businesses.

It’s one of the ironies of the business, that the things most people find so hard to manage – creating financial plans, managing assets and staying ahead of events – are what advisors find to be the easiest parts of the business. Marketing - the business of selling themselves – can be the area advisors find the hardest elements to master.

In this age of instant communication, it can be even more intimidating to market your practice, especially to younger clients for whom many traditional methods like newsletters, postcards and phone calls don’t work anymore. For them, email is the preferred way to get information, and, if it’s important, they are more likely to respond to texts, not phone calls.

But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. The digital age gives you access to ideas and content of all kinds you can use to touch your clients in a way that positions you as a valuable resource. The key is to keep it simple, stick to some basics and create consistent outreach that clients and potential clients are interested in and will appreciate you sharing with them.

Here is a common-sense approach you can take that will not require you to hire an expensive agency or take valuable time away from managing your clients’ assets and running your business.

Content is King

Create a content calendar for the year: Think about reasons to touch a client 13 times during the year – that can be once a month and on their birthday. (The common rule of sales is that it takes at least 7-13 touches to make a connection.) The number is limited and keeps you from inundating the clients who likely already feel inundated with content. You can take the seasonal approach – tax planning in the fall, January for account review content, college financing in the spring – and supplement it with topical events during the year. Creating a calendar will help you stick to a plan. Here’s one resource for a content calendar.

Review what content is already available to you:  Basically, this means finding the resources you already have and determining what pieces will be most valuable to your clients. Start first by checking out content your broker-dealer already generates that you can personalize. Many firms have economists who write regularly about the market. That’s content you can pass along to keep clients up-to-date they would not have access to anywhere else. In addition to your broker-dealer, mutual funds, your clearing firm, and money managers are all excellent sources of informative and even analytical content.

Personalize the content you use: Add your name, the client’s name or some way to avoid making it feel like canned content that you are using just to check the outreach box. See what capabilities your email program may have to help you.

Related: What's an Investor to Do When History Doesn't Repeat Itself?

The birthday strategy: One advisor used clients’ birthdays in a new way. Instead of the card or lunch date, the advisor asked the client’s spouse for a list of friends he could invite to a birthday lunch and made it a memorable event that was also a soft approach to getting referrals.

Become a curator of good content: What your review will show you is that you don’t have to generate the content yourself. You can point clients to pieces you find insightful. You are likely already doing this every day just to keep yourself informed. The next step is to compile it and send out the very best pieces to your clients, again, with a note with your own thoughts about why you found it valuable.

Find out what is working and do more of it: Use your client interactions, in-person and online, to find out what types of content clients liked and any they didn’t. You can use tracking on your emails to see how many were opened as a measurement tool, but the personal interactions tend to provide more insight than raw data.

Be disciplined about your execution: Get help from an office assistant or schedule the time each month to do the content development and outreach. As any good strategy, if you make it a habit, it won’t seem so hard.

Most importantly, be yourself and be personal: You may want to regularly get personal by talking about your family and hobbies. The ultimate is if you can provide content that is personal to your clients, not just about their investments – they get that from their statements, apps and online portals. Think alma maters, hobbies, children and parents.

Of course, as a disclaimer, you have to make sure all content and communications are complying with regulations and the rules of your own broker-dealer.

The process of creating a plan will get you thinking about your clients in a new way. That exercise alone can re-energize your business and get you seeing marketing opportunities in places you may never have seen them before.

Shileen Weber is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at GWG Holdings. She was previously Director of Online Strategy and Client Experience at RBC Wealth Management, where they placed first in two JD Power and Associates U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (2011 and 2013).
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio