As advisors, we become inundated and buried in the daily tasks of our business. From prospecting to servicing, from education to compliance. It's easy to get caught up in the daily whirlwind of our practice. It happens to the best of us.
I’m going to share seven strategies you can use to level up and take your practice to heights you never thought imaginable.
Before I do, I would like to share a conversation I had with my coach; it hit me like ton of bricks. Little did he know how much that chat affected my mindset (to this day) and really prepared me for accepting his message.
He has two coaching programs, one for entrepreneurs who make $100K+ per year and another program for entrepreneurs who make $500K+ per year. It was my first day and I asked him what the difference was between those who earn $100K and those who earn $500K. Without skipping a beat, he said “those who earn $100K are far smarter than those who make $500K” I just sat there staring back at him, not sure how to process this information. After a few seconds of bewilderment, I asked him if he switched up the two in error. “You mean the $500K earners are smarter?” He replied with an emphatic “no”.
He explained, “Those who earn $100K per year will take my advice and go back to their office and try to break it down, try to make it better or more efficient. They will pick it apart, reverse engineer it and look for the flaws. They question it and spend time and energy on non-productive activities. They are literally too smart for their own good.” Then he asked me; “What do you think the $500K earners say after I give them the same advice? They say 'okay' and get to work implementing the strategies."
As advisors working in busy practices, we often get in our own way. I am going to teach you 7 ways to work smarter, not harder. My goal is to teach you to make 10X more money while working half the hours. This program has been proven to work so I implore you to take the advice from the $500K+ earners and just implement these strategies.
1. Focus on your unique ability and delegate the rest
Think about what you do best. It is likely your ability to foster solid relationships with your clients. Your ability to connect with people and explain how you provide value. It’s your ability to save your clients' taxes, grow their assets, and/or protect their families. In other words, income-producing activities. Converting prospects into clients and converting clients into raving fans is what you do best. But be honest with yourself; how many hours per week are you doing this? If you are like most advisors, it is probably about 25% or less.
Imagine taking what you do best and expanding it, so you get to do much more of what you do best, while everything else you currently spend time and energy on is taken care of by others who are good at and enjoy those things. This is critical for growing your results exponentially without growing the complexity of your life and business. In fact, it will simplify your life and business. Your team will play a big role in your growing ability to accomplish so much more within the same amount of time. When things are taken care of by the right people, you are freed up to grow your business much faster and have time for all of the other things you enjoy and that make your life complete.
2. Everyone on your team has a crystal-clear understanding of what they need to accomplish, and they have a simple process and tools to get the job done
Visualize that everyone in your practice just knows what to do. They are clear about how to help the practice reach its goals, and they are also highly motivated and passionate about getting those results. In fact, they are often happier when you are out of the office because they can just get on with the business of growing the practice without spending too much time reporting to you. You, in turn, trust them to make the right decisions and give you only the feedback you need to create the vision and direction for the future to keep them on track. Beneath this idyllic reality is a system for communication, problem-solving structures and tools, and processes everyone knows how to use that quickly and effectively get everyone on board and moving forward, no matter the challenge. This is what your practice should look like on your journey towards 10X growth.
3. Transform your time management into continually increasing productivity and profitability
Your time is the one finite resource you have as an advisor. Get control of it, and you can use it as a tool to produce all of the results you want in every area of your life. You will have time for everything, whether you are creating the biggest results for your business, developing new capabilities, spending enjoyable time with your friends and family, or getting relaxed and rejuvenated away from work. Plus, you’ll have the luxury of capturing opportunities to grow and enjoy life, knowing that all the while, your business is prospering.
4. Duplicate your very best clients
Once you discover what you love to do and do best, the question becomes, “Who rewards me best for doing this?” Your best clients are willing to pay for better solutions. It is safe to say that you make more money from your million-dollar clients than you do on your smaller clients. Cost is only an issue in the absence of value. Based on my experience, it is often the bigger clients who give us the least grief. You need to focus on and simplify your money-making activities, so you are not distracted from opportunities by a team or systems that aren’t up to the task. You can do this by creating a powerful solution for your niche market, matching your expertise with the areas where they most need new direction, confidence, and capability. Once you have identified the audience you want to be a hero to, and where your greatest growth opportunities lie, you’ll know exactly which opportunities to zero in on. Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none advisor. There is a reason why medical specialists make more money than general practitioners. They are perceived as experts, and they are highly sought after. You need to become an expert in the eyes of your clients and prospects. Personally, when I decided to specialize in incorporated business owners, my income skyrocketed almost overnight. The best part is, you don’t need to know everything right away. Start working with your niche market and you will discover patterns of consistency. Many people in a given market are struggling with the same handful of issues. Once you identify those issues, you will begin to create solutions that will make you very valuable in that niche market.
5. Take the time to relax and enjoy life
If you are one of the many advisors who hasn’t taken a real work-free day off in years, tsk tsk! There are huge advantages to taking real time off, scary as it may sound. To be clear, going on a vacation and checking e-mails does not count as work-free days. As much as you may love your business, you will love it, and your life, even more when you get to take some time away from it to explore other things that offer different kinds of rewards. And while you are away, your team gets a chance to shine in your absence, developing new confidence and strengths that enable them to multiply the business on their own. You will be a better parent, a better leader, and simply a nicer person to be around when you have stress-free time off. Wasn’t being free to spend your time as you wanted part of why you became an advisor? You do not get paid hourly; you get paid for being productive. More hours worked does not equal more money. Following these steps will make you more money with less time being spent at the office.
6. Implement the blue ocean strategy
Find and develop uncontested (niche) markets and avoid saturated markets. An advisor will have more success and increased revenue in a blue ocean market. When you are the only one offering water in a desert, you don’t have to do a lot of marketing to gain clients. The need for marketing is inversely proportional to how desirable your offering is. When your product is desirable, people look for you rather than you having to look for them. When it helps them get something they need, you’re out of the world of price competition and into a realm of unique value creation. Imagine you have an intimate knowledge of your clients and prospects. What keeps them up at night and what they’re most excited about. Then combine this understanding with what you know and do best, creating financial planning solutions that your clients love and your competition can’t even understand, much less copy. Eventually, you will learn and perfect how to package and distribute your unique value so that your ideas are out there selling you. If it’s not abundantly clear already, your products will not make you desirable. It’s the strategies and service package you create for a niche market that will.
7. Create talent density within your practice
When you’re trying to grow exponentially, there’s really no room for dead weight. Alert, curious, responsive, and resourceful people who have a talent for their role and are aligned with your vision and goals will contribute exponentially more than “batteries not included” people, who might be bright and talented but aren’t fully engaged. Set these four qualities as your standard, and you will notice a change in energy around your business as everyone starts to enjoy collaborating and coming into work a whole lot more. Create an environment where people are encouraged to provide ideas to the team. Open and honest communication is key.
By reading these seven strategies, you've gained a new context for thinking about your business and your future. But any good plan only becomes a reality when you have the practical structure and tools to make it happen in your daily life. One of the biggest lies we have been told is that knowledge is power. Knowledge has no power at all if not implemented. It is applied knowledge that is power. I strongly encourage you to begin implementing one or all these strategies immediately and begin to 10X your business. Don’t be the $100K earner; have the mindset of the $500K earner.
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