I have been getting up on the wrong side of the bed for the past 27 months. I never really knew what it meant, but I sure do now. It’s when you are not really sick—you are just not 100%. Sometimes it is just a feeling and other times I know I just didn’t get enough sleep. But the result is the same—feeling as though things are just not right.
This is the impression I get from many of the advisors I speak with on a daily basis. Last year I spoke with 719 advisors and most of them just felt out of sorts. They were not in the position they wanted to be in their business. I have been trying to help understand what stage of business these advisors are in and what I could do to help them accelerate out of their funk.
Where is here?
I recently finished reading Making Money is Killing Your Business, by Chuck Blakeman. Chuck has seven stages of business that include descriptions of income, lifestyle, emotions and business focus. I think, as with anything, before you know how you are going to get from here to there, you need to know where “here” is. Therefore, the seven stages are beneficial for financial advisors to know where they currently are.
To help me as well as help financial planners identify where they are, I have created five questions for them to answer as I begin working with them. As a sales trainer for financial advisors, it helps me identify where an advisor is so we can quickly create value. Check out the five questions below.
We can create this value by coaching them on their business process management. We consult with them and train them on using sales strategies that have worked for us and for other advisors. Lastly, advisors can outsource their back office operations to us if they don’t want to be bogged down in the minutia and want to focus on what they do best.
Power of Five and the Power of Process
As I indicated, I have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. Why? Because I have positioned portfolios far too conservatively for this QE, money-printing environment. The result is a direct withdrawal of $149 million of assets as clients invest in more aggressive strategies.
As you all know, bringing on even $1 of assets is hard work and to see it depart is hard. This has resulted in me waking up on the wrong side of the bed for the last 27 months. It has been demoralizing.
My saving grace and what I feel has really stabilized me is to think about my process and specifically think about where I want my business to be. I do this through the five questions. They help me:
- Think about what kind of income I want to have in order to do the things I want to do and what I want to achieve for my family. Like most, I want a certain lifestyle. If my time is consumed by the business, then achieving that lifestyle is a hurdle to my goals.
- Assess where I am in order to get to the next stage of my business. Emotionally, I know it has been difficult for me to stay focused. But knowing what I need to do to get to the next stage helps me think past the frustration I have with today’s stock market and think forward to what it can be.
- Focus on areas for my business to move forward. If the business is totally dependent on me for continual growth, I need to figure out ways to shed those responsibilities.
A shark has to continuously move forward otherwise he sinks. If you are continuously moving in place—doggy paddling—just to keep the business afloat, then your business focus is not in the right place. You’re in survival mode, not attack mode.
Using the five questions has helped me to think about where I am and has also helped me to avoid thinking about the wrong side of the bed. I believe it can help you focus on where you are and more importantly, where you want to be.
Check out our five questions to assess where you are at in your business: