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As a financial advisor heading out on your own, you’ve got a lot of obstacles in your way:
Skeptical prospects, competition, overwhelm, the list goes on.

But none of these things can slaughter your business as fast as the enemy we’ll talk about today.

This enemy has the power to keep you from ever living your dream—but if you turn him into your ally, you’ll become effective beyond your own belief and blow right past the biggest goals you’ve set.

In this episode, you’ll find out who hat enemy is, how to shield yourself from it and make it work for you.

Ready to defeat your biggest enemy and free yourself from any limitations you might feel right now? Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • Why you should change the lightbulbs in your bedroom if you want to perform better. (7:48)
  • How slowing down and taking less action makes you more successful in the long-term. (11:21)
  • The 4 (painful) phases of gaining success in any field—and why not to look for step-by-step advice. (16:25)
  • The only 2 things that make you money (hard work is not one of them). (19:23)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing.

Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Ready to learn even more about becoming the successful financial advisor you know you can be? Check out these resources:


Read Full Transcript

You're listening to Financial Advisor Marketing, the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal. James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard. [00:32.0]

James: Welcome to the show financial advisors. This is financial advisor marketing. Today's episode is definitely going to be more high level and more abstract than a lot of the other episodes I've done because I'm going to talk about the mental side of success, which is in, in many ways is significantly more important than any of the tactical stuff because I have never seen ever never seen it, never seen a financial advisors succeed or relying on tactics alone. And honestly, my appointments on autopilot product is probably the last all tactical product I'll ever release. I mean, I may do some small things here and there, but that product is most likely going to be the last one that truly gives you the exact step by step training with a bunch of like do this, not that type material. What will probably end up happening at TheAdvisorCoach.com, the advisor coach LLC is the tactical stuff will be cheaper, like less than 500 bucks and the abstract stuff will be more expensive and a lot of people think it should be reverse. A lot of people think that the step by step stuff should be more expensive. I disagree because the abstract stuff allows you to think for yourself. It allows you to formulate your own ideas and that's worth way more money than any tactic you could ever get because the ability to think and solve problems and change your belief systems that impacts so many different areas of your life. So that is what we're doing going forward as a business producer. Jonathan. [02:04.1]

Jonathan: Love it.

James: The good strategy, bad strategy.

Jonathan: Well, I agree with you because the tactical stuff you can go get a YouTube video on, but knowing how to think and the right questions to ask and having that, that kind of, I would say that's evolved thinking and, and everybody's not there. So you can play with tactics all you want, but if you don't know how to think about the game, then you're going to lose.

James: Sure. And we talked about that a little bit in the last episode where giving value from my perspective, like true actual value means changing someone's belief system, giving them tools that will last a lifetime. This not just one campaign because with appointments on autopilot, even though it's an amazing program and a lot of financial advisors are getting clients with it, it really is like a system that you set up, you set up the auto responder, it takes a day or two, I give you 20 email templates, you plug and play, you're done, and it just works for you whether you're working, sleeping on vacation. But the downside to it is, once it's finished, like there's nothing else. I mean you've got a system that works for you and brings in clients, but you've got nothing after that. So from now on, the direction I want to take the business is that I'm going to give more abstract material and the inner circle newsletter will go a lot deeper. [03:17.5]

James: It will be more abstract than ever. And that's because I want to affect financial advisors mental models, want to get them thinking a little bit more. I, if they provide solutions and they give me insights or they're like, Hey, I was so inspired that I did this and yeah I’ll share it, I’ll share it in the show, I'll share it in the newsletter. I share it in the tactical stuff. But as far as new products and new systems that I'm building for advisors, they will be abstract. And with that being said, we are gathered here today to marriage, right? To talk about a financial advisers, worst enemy. It's not the marketplace, it's not the public's overwhelming skepticism. And no, it's not even the compliance department that hinders you every step of the way. And if you're a long term listener, you get this reference. It's not even the little old lady that steals candy from your office.

Jonathan: Butterscotch lady. [04:13.1]

James: It is not that. The truth is that you are your own worst enemy. So let me break this down for you. First of all, you are the one who runs your business. The body operates from the head down. You are the head. Everything you see in your environment right now is a product of your own thinking and your own decision making. I talked about this several episodes ago, but I want to expand on it a little bit more. If you don't like your office, it's your fault. If you don't like your clients, it is your fault. And if you don't like the small amount of money you're making, it is — Hmm, Oh, that's right. It is your fault too. A lot of marketers will try to manipulate you and tell you that, Oh, things aren't your fault. They, they've got some magical elixir that have fixed everything. [05:07.9]

I'd rather be honest with you, even if it costs me some listeners, I know that some listeners are just gonna unsubscribe and whatever, I understand that. I would rather let the people who truly care, the fam, the financial advisor marketers, my family, financial advisor marketers, I love you. I'd rather let you know this stuff so you can begin to make change in your life. Here's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. An inner circle member emailed me and he complained about how much his clients were calling him. They were calling him for every little thing. I would tell them to be grateful that he even has people to call, they’re calling him in the first place, like I get that. But when he explained it like they were calling him for very insignificant items, he wanted to, he wanted to know if I had any like tips or tricks or anything to get them to stop calling [05:57.4]

And I asked if he has set any expectations with his clients to not call that frequently. And he said “No”. And that's exactly why people were calling him all the time because he made himself accessible. He answered the phone every single time they call, so he was the one giving them the impression that it was okay. At the core it is his fault, not the clients. The clients aren't calling him just like—Yes, they are calling of their own volition, but they're not just bothering him just to bother him. They're bothering him because he hasn't set the expectation that, Hey, I'm going to return calls. At the end of every business day, you call from nine to 12 if you have any questions, you would go to my assistant like he doesn't have a system in place, so it is his fault because I know other financial advisors who have set those expectations with their clients and everything is fine. [06:45.7]

The place didn't burn down, nothing bad happened. They just take some time in the beginning of the relationship to say, Hey, Hey, please don't worry if I don't answer or return your calls right away. I'll always get back to you even if it's not immediately. The financial advisors are the ones they're setting the expectation and it's the same with everything in your business, not just phone calls. Now here's an example from my own life. I used to struggle with getting high quality sleep. Even when I seemingly slept for eight hours straight, I would wake up and I would not feel rested, but then I realized that this was my fault. I didn't even, I didn't even blame biology and a lot of people would do that. Oh, it's in my genetics. Oh my parents were like this, so I'm like this too. That’s not even genetics. I just realized it was my fault. [07:30.8]

It was in my hand, my control to change it. So what did I do? I did a bunch of stuff. I cut out caffeine after 2:00 PM I learned about chronotypes. I optimized my schedule around my chronotype. I got a bed jet to keep my bed cold at night, so I started tracking my sleep. I started doing red light therapy. Producer Jonathan is here, has even made fun of me for this because of my red lights. Bro, I'm not even kidding I switched up the light bulbs in my bedroom too, to give off warm light instead of cool light so it wouldn't impact my melatonin production.

Jonathan: That's real. Like that's dedication.

James: A lot of people have these LEDs in their bedroom that are like super bright and they're really like cool white light and they don't realize that that impacts your ability to sleep as well. [08:19.7]

James: What you really want is like incandescent light. I mean it doesn't have to be an incandescent light bulb, but it has to be a bulb, thats like yellow, not white. It has to be a warmer color. And if you put that in your bedroom, then you should sleep better. No promises, cause I'm not a doctor. I mean I've paid expensive doctors and people to get this for me, but this is, this is my experience and I've had phone calls with producer Jonathan or zoom calls, I should say, where the camera's on and in my office I've got nothing but red light everywhere. And I do that because I'm serious about my sleep and serious about my health. But you have to realize that I'm the one that took action. Some people might think that that's taking things too far. It's not; it's all about taking responsibility for your life and improving your situation. In any way you can and as a result of this there's things I've never slept better. It's easily one of the best things I've ever done. My sleep quality, cause I did a study with NYU back in July of last year. My sleep quality is literally in the top 1% of all human beings probably in the top 10th of 1% I mean they just gave me, Hey top 1% this is the data. [09:25.4]

But my point is that this is not just about sleep, it can be about anything, anything whatsoever because this podcast is primarily about financial advisors marketing, so I'm going to help you a little bit there. Sometimes advisors will try a marketing strategy one time and if it doesn't surpass all of their wildest expectations they give up on it. They may send out one direct mailing one time and if they're not immediately flooded with appointments they give up on it. That is not taking responsibility. That's not realizing you are your own worst enemy. That's just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing if anything sticks. That is not how you want to approach marketing. Think about my sleep example. The one I just gave sleep used to be awful for me. Now I'm crushing it almost every night, but I did used to be terrible. It sounds silly to say like, how much do I have to suck as a human being in order to mess up sleeping like I lit, I literally couldn't sleep correctly, Jonathan. [10:25.0]

Like that's the thing that we're all designed to do in order to survive. We got to sleep and I couldn't even get that right. So I felt like crap mentally and physically. I was like, wow, how much do I suck? I can't even get this. So if I sucked at slaving, you can't beat yourself up if you suck at marketing. You can't get clients like I couldn't even sleep correctly, so you got to try this stuff. [10:48.7]

Let's say you're trying out Facebook ads and you're trying to set appointments with those. You're not getting any results. Ask yourself these questions. Start to think. How much time did you dedicate last week to learn about Facebook ads? Your answer to that question that's going to tell me about how much responsibility you're taking in your life. Because if you just sit back and complain without taking any action, you've got no excuse. If you say, Oh, I didn't really try to learn about Facebook ads, I just, I'm an action taker. You know, I just go out and take action, massive action. I'm going to do all these Facebook ads. I’m going to see if this works. I was like—No. Slow down. Stop the car. You got to learn what works and what doesn’t. You’ve got to educate yourself. You've got to take responsibility for your situation. You've got to say, I'm going to learn about Facebook ads and come hell or high water, this thing is going to work. [11:35.4]

If my first ads fail, I'm going to try again. I'm going to go back to the drawing board. I'm going to see what I did wrong. I'm going to educate myself based on that. I'm going to do new ads. Let me ask you this question. How many ads did you split test? Did you try one? If so, you're not taking responsibility. You're not understanding this concept. Did you try to? Hey, that's good. It's better than most people, but if you did you try three, four, five, six, seven, eight. The only correct answer is as many as it freaking takes. Period.

Hey, financial advisors, if you're looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, I invite you to sign up for James' brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. On this webinar, you'll discover why email marketing is able to generate upwards of 4400% ROI for smart financial advisors, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisors make with their emails, and the proven three-step process for converting prospects into booked appointments using email. All you have to do is head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and register today. [12:41.8]

James: And that's with anything and producer Jonathan recommended podcast to me and , it's called the MF CEO podcast. Is that the one?

Jonathan: Yes sir.

James: With Andy Frisella and I must caution you, financial advisors if you

Jonathan: MF

James: MF is true lot of curse words in this podcast. So if you've got dainty, delicate ears, that can't handle a F or a B or an S here and there. I haven't heard any C’s, but then again, I haven't listened to that many podcast episodes, but yeah, if you've got dainty, delicate ears, don't listen. But, the episode that I listened to, he was talking about how you've got a master of the boring stuff. I don't know if you listened to that episode where you've got to become good at like the monotonous, that's like the secret to success. Nobody really talks about this, the boring stuff that happens every single day. [13:32.4]
They talk about the sexy stuff. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Jonathan: Yeah…Yeah. I mean, I know what you're talking about, but I haven't heard that episode.

James: But it's completely true and nobody really wants to hear about that. If you went to YouTube and you saw a seven figure or even eight figure or nine figure CEO talk about how, Oh, every single day and just communicated with my team and I laid my expectations out and I delegated and they came back to me with feedback every, every single day and I tweaked and I did the same thing the next day and I tweaked and they did the next thing we changed a little bit more, changed it a little bit more, try it again, made a deal. Like it's just boring and this stuff that they do every single day, people be like, okay, just tell me the real stuff.

Jonathan: Where's the easy button? [14:15.5]

James: Yeah, right. Where's the easy button? They like they, that's what they tell me. They like it. Just tell me this step-by-step. Just tell me exactly what it is and I think that, that is it. It's the boring stuff. It takes investments at time. It takes investments and money. Like learning about email is boring. It really is. Learning how to master it is boring. Learning how to master social media is boring. Learning how to master direct mail, any form of marketing is boring and trying it and failing and split testing. Yeah, it sucks. It's not sexy. It's not a topic that can give you step-by-step, Do this-not that. It just, it doesn't exist. And one of the people that I used to follow a lot was MJ DeMarco, author of ‘The Millionaire Fastlane’

Jonathan: Yeah

James: And he has a website called the Fastlane forum and one of the posts in that forum was the 67 steps to success

Jonathan: What

James: And exactly it laid out 67 steps— 67 steps to success.

James: Let me see if I can find it. This is the email on it. [15:17.1]

Jonathan: The stakes are many I don’t want it

James: Let me see if I can find it here. You know you're in the fast lane. You can hear my keys clicking and clacking in the background because I'm sitting in front of computer and of course my internet is slow. Okay, so the post is called ‘Notable’. Tell me the exact steps. Okay, there are 67 of them. Now I'm going to give financial advisors that you are really in for a treat because I'm going to give you the exact steps to success. So I hope you're ready because this, this has never been revealed and the financial advisor marketing podcast, I've kept everything hidden from you because I want your money and I want you to buy stuff. But here you go. Here you go. Okay. All right. The first step is read the book, get excited and post form declaration about making $10 million in the next 10 months. Okay, you got that. That's the first step. [16:08.4]

Step number two is act. Step number three is fail. Step number four is learn. Step number five is adjust. Step number six is act. Step number seven is fail. Number eight is learn. And you've got adjust, Oh, and then after that you've got act, fail, learn, adjust. And after that act, fail, learn, adjust. Oh, Oh my goodness. There you go. No niche. Let's pack it up. People, let's go home. There's no need for you to ever listen to another success podcast. Boom. Never listened to any other marketing podcast ever again. Sorry, I just crippled my own business here because I just gave away the farm and just told you the secret. That's it. And they basically copied and pasted act, fail, learn, adjust 67 times. So those are the 67 steps to success. Producer Jonathan, what do you think?

Jonathan: I love it and I love it. [17:00.4]

James: But that's like, it's funny, but it is sad that people are looking for like the step-by-step and it just doesn't exist. And that's why I'm moving to more like an abstract thing. And another big problem that financial advisors have being their own worst enemies is them and them having an employee mindset instead of a business owner mindset. Yeah, it's a big problem because business owners realize that it takes investments of time and money to make their businesses grow. They're serious about their businesses. Employees for the most part, could care less. They're just along for the ride. They expect someone else to make the big decisions. They, they're just collecting a paycheck. Right? They may be great people, they may do their jobs extremely well. They may, they may be invaluable to your business to a certain extent, but at the end of the day they're just collecting a paycheck. They're not making any serious decisions. [17:58.8]

I've got news for you, financial advisors, nobody's coming to save you. Nobody is going to make the critical decisions in your business that really set the sales to really drive the truck, besides you. And here are some examples where you need to shift your thinking like employee mindset versus business owner mindset. Employees, they're afraid of making mistakes because they don't want to be criticized. You as a business owner, your business owner mindset, you've got to get comfortable making mistakes because that's how you learn, that's how you grow. Employees, they rely on their company to do the marketing and business development. As a business owner, that responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. Employees, they get task handed to them. As a business owner, it is up to you to think of ideas and grow your business and how you want to shake things up. [18:50.3]

You are the idea machine and perhaps most importantly, employees they are rewarded largely for their activity, how much they do, how many tasks they complete, how many hours they work, if they're paid hourly. Your rewards as a business owner will be in direct proportion to your productivity. You have got to make that shift. The bank doesn't give you a bonus when you deposit a check because you worked harder, nor does the bank charge you any extra fees because you only work 20 hours per week instead of 60. Money doesn't care. It flows as a direct result of your personal productivity and your decision making as a business owner. If you've got the employee mindset, you're like, — Oh, I'm just going to clock in the 40 hours, you know, make these phone calls follow up with prospects like— Oh, when's five o'clock going to get here? Then you're struggling. And many people struggle with that belief because they, they're stuck in the employee mindset and many people struggle with this belief. The belief that money comes from effort. [19:50.3]

I personally, I must admit, full transparency. I still struggle with this, but I, I struggled with it more than perhaps anything else and it's because I used to think that you had to work very hard to make a lot of money. And I thought that succeeding financially meant that it was because you were able to work harder and longer than other people. And like that was hammered into me. That was my belief. Like I know I've talked about this on the show, Jonathan, right?

Jonathan: Yeah

James: I mean, I think I have and it's seriously like it helped me back. It really did. And it's amazing to put the pieces together and to see that I was just like busting my butt for so many years and really grinded it out.Like I can outwork anyone. It is a blessing and a curse because I can outwork anyone. I can put my face to the grindstone. I just melt my face off effort. Like no one can do it better than I can, but that work doesn't necessarily translate into results. It just, it, it could, it could, but most of the time it doesn't. [20:56.0]

Now I want you to think about this. How many people do you know who work way harder than you do who don't make as much money? There's a bunch. There's like fast food workers, ditch diggers, day laborers, all those people, they work hard. They work harder than you could ever work. There are people who work in in racetracks and paddocks and they scuba horse manure and they load up the wheelbarrows and they empty it out and they slave away for like 4:00 AM to midnight.

They clean it, they sweep it. They're just laboring, breaking their back. They work harder than you. Working hard though, doesn't equal wealth and then how many people do you know who work less than you do, but who make more? You probably know a lot. You could probably think of at least one person even if you don't know that person personally. [21:40.8]

As you can see, the belief that you have to work hard for your money just isn't true and in my own case, because I was my own worst enemy, just like you are your own worst enemy. I was holding myself back for years and the last area that I want to talk about where financial advisors are their own worst enemies involves them not controlling their environment to serve their needs. And I alluded to this idea when I talked about the sleep thing, because I control my environment to get the best sleep possible. I mean, in the office though, there are certain things that financial advisors can do to control their environment, to allow themselves to become more productive. [22:21.7]

For example, they can install an extension on their computer or their browser to block time wasting sites, that's immediate with direct payoff. They can keep their cell phone in another room while they're working. That's a big one. One of the reasons advisors struggle to make more money than other advisors is because they can't sit down in a room and just work for hours. They are constantly distracted. They are like, let me check my phone, let me check social media. Let me check my email. Did anybody call? Did anybody send a text message. The people who make the most money is not because of some sexy hack or some sexy tip, its because for the most part they can sit down and they can do distraction-free work because one hour of distraction free work. That could be the equivalent of four hours of someone else working, but they're distracted all the time and a lot of ways merely eliminating distractions have, it has a direct effect on how much money you make, how many distractions can you eliminate from your business. [23:17.9]

Think about that. That's like your action step for this week. We don't really do action steps in this podcast, but if I were to assign one that will be it. Just make a list of the distractions in your business and strive to get rid of them and when you run the show, when you run your business, you can optimize your environment in any way you choose. It's all up to you because you are your own worst enemy and you are your own best friend. It is up to you and that's all I have for the show for today. I've got some really cool stuff coming up in the future, so making sure you listen to every episode in case I want to talk about it a little bit more.
Also, make sure you go over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar watch the webinar there on email marketing. It's 100% free. It'll be some of the most productive time you'll ever spend and that's it.

Jonathan: Yes sir. What is coming up for next time James? [24:06.8]

James: Next week's episode is going to be a really good episode, although it will, which should be a little controversial. The title is going to be ‘Why having a mentor can be a huge mistake?’, but, but before you judge it without listening to it, let me assure you that I will explain exactly why I believe that to be the case. So hold your judgment until you listen.

Jonathan: Can't wait for that one. All right, Fam another financial advisor marketing is in the can.We'll be back in your ear buzz next time. Thank you for tuning in. [24:40.3]

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