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99% of people will never get into the top 1% of anything. That’s just simple math… But that doesn’t mean you’ll never get to the top 1%.

In fact, while becoming a top 1% financial advisor isn’t easy, it’s a lot simpler than you think.


Because you just have to do the simple things that 99% of people aren’t willing to do. Sure, they take time, energy, and effort. But so does pursuing anything worthwhile.

In today’s show, I’m revealing how—with brutal honesty—to get ahead of 99% of people. Now, you may not like the wisdom I share in this episode, but if you commit to it, you will be in the top 1%.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • How to attract wealth your way by treating your business success like a marriage (6:18)
  • One question you must ask yourself if you ever want to enjoy being in the top 1% financially (6:53)
  • The “ancient text” secret for becoming a top 1% financial advisor who gets to pick and choose your clients instead of chasing after them (7:25)
  • Why only reading Amazon best sellers limits your wealth potential (and why ancient books like The Bible will help you make more than $600,000 per year) (8:54)
  • The 4-word affirmation to repeat to yourself that delivers a treasure trove of opportunities and wealth to your doorstep (9:37)
  • How to become more successful than 99% of people by simply looking at this app on your phone (12:37)
  • Why setting massive goals where you experience humiliating defeat leads to more successful than going with the flow (18:00)
  • 3 dirt-simple ways to stand out to your ideal clients like a diamond in a truck full of coal (21:19)

Want to watch some of my appearances on other people's YouTube channels and listen to me as a guest on other people's podcasts? Head over to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/media

Want access to my 57 favorite financial advisor marketing ideas? Download the free PDF at https://theadvisorcoach.com/57mt

Want to become an expert at niche marketing and put growing your business on “easy mode?” Then join my niche marketing program here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/niche.html

Need help getting more clients as a financial advisor? I created a free, 53-minute video outlining the steps to my “CLIENT Method,” which helps financial advisors land more clients. Watch the video before I take it down here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/theclientmethod.html

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 https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today.

Go to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/Coaching and pick up your free 90 minute download called “5 Keys to Success for Financial Advisors” when you join The James Pollard Inner Circle.

Want to transform your website into a client-getting machine? Go to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/website to get The Client-Getting Website Guide.

Want a masterclass training in running effective Facebook Ads? Head to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training.

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with 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.

James: This episode is going to be very different from the typical Financial Advisor Marketing “get more clients, grow your business” type podcast episode. It's not going to contain tactics, or if it does, it'll contain very few of them. It's not going to be an interview with someone else. It's going to be you and me chatting about what it actually takes to be successful. [00:49.8]

I'm going to be brutally honest with you, because I care about you too much to pull my punches in order to protect your fragile little ego. I'm not going to give you some platitudes, like “You go, girl” or “You go, boy,” to make you feel good about whatever sucky situation you may be in. “Okay, it's not your fault, it's fine. We'll give you an extra pat on the back.” None of that. I'm going to be real with you.

There has always been a 1%, a top 1%, period. That is how math works. And guess what? 99% of people will not be in the top 1%. Also, with many things in life, there is a way to quantify who is in the top 1% versus everyone else, meaning, there is no debate.

For example, I recently tested my grip strength. I have a really strong grip. I work on it. I used to lift weights. I guess I still do, but I used to lift weights really well. I do pull-ups. I do the hangs. I do the farmer's carries. I am in the top 98th percentile for men when it comes to grip strength. Do you know what that means? It means two things. It means my grip is stronger than 98% of all the men out there. It also means I am not in the top 1%. It has nothing to do with my opinion. It has nothing to do with how I feel. It is objective reality. I am objectively not in the top 1% for grip strength. [02:09.1]

IQ can also be objectively measured. I know people can complain about the test and the test-retest accuracy and all that. However, for the most part, if you put 100 people in a room and have them all take an IQ test, then one of those people is going to have “the” highest score unless there's a tie. If you extrapolate across society, you will realize there is a 99th percentile, aka people who are in the top 1% of all IQ scores.

There also exists a 1% when it comes to money, and a lot of it depends on the state you're living in, but if you average it out over the United States, you'll find that the median income of the top 1% is somewhere around $600,000. The average is much higher than that because you have people who earn tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars, and they skew the average up, kind of like how Bill Gates can walk into a room of homeless people and the average net worth of everyone will still be in the millions of dollars. The average can be deceiving. [03:10.6]

But anyway, if you do not have an income of at least $600,000 or whatever the number is, you are not in the top 1%. I don't care how you feel. I don't care what your dog thinks of you. Your dog may think you're a wonderful person, but you are not in the top 1% when it comes to money. That is an objective reality that can be measured, and one of the reasons I love marketing so much is because a lot of marketing follows objective standards. If you and I both send direct-mail letters out, and my letter sets 20 appointments and yours only sets five. Then my letter objectively performed better than yours.
The same is true with online ads, email marketing, social media marketing, and more. When I post videos and screenshots of my ad accounts showing that, for example, my click-through rate is 10 times higher than average, that is a real result that is really measured, I can pull up my account, point to it and show you that I am really getting those results and I am really in the top 1%. It is an objective standard. [04:13.5]

It's also true with landing page conversion rates, calendar conversion rates. It's just so much more. All of these things lend themselves to numbers, data. There are numbers that we can see. We can track them and we can improve them. There's this funny little website called the female-delusion calculator, and there's also a male delusion calculator, but I'm going to use the female one as an example and I think it came into existence because there are these viral videos of women who say they want a man who is at least six-foot tall who makes $100,000 per year. They have all these standards. That's their benchmark, six-foot tall, $100,000 per year. Anyone who doesn't at least meet those two things isn't even considered. [04:54.4]

It's called the female delusion calculator because those types of men are rarer than most people think. In fact, according to statistical data, the probability of finding a man in the U.S. male population between the ages of 21 and 40, who is at least six foot tall, who also makes $100,000 per year is 2.2%. And guess what? We’ve forgotten something. We've forgotten something pretty darn important. If you're a female, looking for a male who meets those criteria, uh-oh, some of them are married. When you exclude the married men, the odds are now 0.7%, or the percentage of men in the population is 0.7%.

Now, I'm all for dreaming big and having standards and goals and things, but if you want to find that guy who is literally 0.7% of the population, you're likely going to have to be at least a top 5%, maybe top 2%, top 1% woman, too. You have to bring something to the table. [05:54.6]

My wife got lucky. We have been together since we were 16 years old. I was broke as a joke and she had faith in me, and now I have been able to provide for her in ways that she has never dreamed possible. I also got lucky, let's be clear. She got lucky. I got even luckier, because she was cute back then, but she has blossomed into an absolute smoke show, so both of us hit the jackpot. I obviously hit a bigger jackpot.

But I'm bringing up this relationship stuff because becoming successful is a lot like developing and cultivating a relationship. There's a reason why it said that people attract wealth. You really do attract it and you attract it by becoming the type of person who does so. Who does attract it? What value do you bring to the world? What do you bring to the table? Because I've got news for you, it is really hard to make a 1% income, if you aren't bringing the top 1% level of value to the marketplace. You might get lucky here and there and get the metaphorical one-night stand, but you are never going to have a lasting relationship with that type of success, unless you become the person who deserves it. [07:00.0]

So, let's get real right now. Let's say you want to make at least $600,000 per year or more. Do you really think you deserve that? And it's okay if you don't, because the whole point of this episode is to get you to work on yourself to become even better. That means even if you're currently a one-percenter, I want you to get to the top 1/10th of 1%. We're constantly striving. We are in that constant and never-ending improvement camp. We're going hard over here.

Let me give you a real secret that most of you are probably going to ignore. Most of you are probably going to ignore everything in this episode, but you're really going to ignore this one. Study ancient text. I'm being dead serious. I tell my financial advisors in the Inner Circle Newsletter this all the time, study ancient texts. Confucius. The Art of War, Sun Tzu. The Bible, especially the Bible. I don't care if you're religious or not. I really don't.

Look, I believe, if you sat down and you read the Book of Proverbs for a year, you wouldn't even recognize yourself at the end of that year. Your mind will be transformed, renewed, as the Bible actually says. You will have wisdom where everyone else has knowledge, and they might not even have that. [08:10.0]

And even if you've already read the Bible, read it again, because I promise you that you don't truly understand it. You don't fully understand it. Heck, I don't even understand 1/20th of what the Bible is really trying to say to me and I'm going through it for the fifth time straight through about to get to my sixth time. I haven't even scratched the surface.

I know that, because despite what you may believe, I'm a pretty humble guy, all things considered. I know I can come across as cocky or arrogant sometimes, but it's only because I know the results I bring to the table, because, again, they can be objectively quantified. If the top 1% of landing pages convert at 40%, and I'm just making that up as an example, and mine converts at 55%, then I am in the top 1% and I can show you exactly what to do to get there. [08:54.0]

But like I said, I know most of you will not take this seriously. You will ignore it. You will not actually read Proverbs or Ecclesiastes, because you think some new Amazon best-seller has all the answers you're looking for, and I love reading. I read 119 books last year on Kindle alone, so don't talk to me about reading. That doesn't include newsletters. That doesn't include the hardcover books that people sent me or I bought. That doesn't include audiobooks that I listened to, 190 books on Kindle last year alone.

But what I'm saying is that you should probably look to the stuff that has stood the test of time. There is a reason why it's called wisdom literature. You're not going to get that from a YouTube video or even a podcast, even this one. The best thing I can do is to get you pointed in that direction.

I talk a lot to different people who create stuff like products and content and things like that, and I know in my heart, we are not on the same level. They create. Now, there are exceptions, but many of them create because they're chasing money or likes, or engagement or whatever. I'm creating because I believe I'm made in God's image and that is what God is. God is a creator, so I am a creator, too. I don't have to try to create. I don't have to get motivated to create stuff. I don't have to hold crystals or sniff essential oils and put on some motivational music. I am a creator. That is what I am. [10:15.8]

Think about how powerful you could be if you leaned into things like that, where they seep into your unconscious and they influence your life. Also, imagine trying to compete with someone who believes down to the core that it is his moral obligation to get you to get involved in his world. When you are only doing it for money, you will not win.

Breaking away from the 99% is really hard for a lot of people to do, because we're wired to fit in. We want to be part of social groups and things like that. But the sad truth is, mathematically speaking, most people are never going to be in the top 1%. They're going to stay in the 99%. Duh. That's how math works. It's really hard to create a social circle where everyone in it is a top one-percenter. [11:03.5]

Chances are you will have family members and friends who either talk down to you or make fun of you because of your behaviors or your goals, or your ambition. That's normal for one-percenters. Welcome to the club, get in line, that happens to all of us. You have to get over that and move on.

I had this family member who used to be like, Why do you work so hard? Why do you work so hard? Take some time off, and all this stuff, and I thought to myself, Yo, you work harder than I do. You've been working eight hours a day at the same job for 35 years with a 30-minute commute every day. That's a huge portion of your life. That is an enormous price to pay. That doesn't include getting ready for work, getting stuck in traffic, decompressing from work, spending another hour for lunch break—and when I said traffic, I meant traffic when it happens, like a traffic jam or a backup, another hour for a lunch break and breaks at the job for decades. Decades.

My whole thing in my personal journey was that I was going to grind my butt off for a few years and work as hard as I could and set myself up to do whatever I wanted to do after that. Doesn't that seem like less work? It's ironic that the guy who was complaining about me working so much didn't realize he was the one working more than I worked, and it's just funny. We see that stuff all the time. [12:14.4]

Hey, financial advisors. If you'd like even more help building your business, I invite you to subscribe to James' monthly paper-and-ink newsletter, “The James Pollard Inner Circle”. When you join today, you'll get more than $1,000 worth of bonuses, including exclusive interviews that aren't available anywhere else. Head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching to learn more.

The next thing I want you to do if you want to get ahead of 99% of people is get rid of distractions. Look at the screen time on your phone. How many hours every single day are you staring at your little death rectangle? Dude, if aliens came to visit humanity right now, they would see everyone walking up and down city streets staring at their phones and they would think, Wow, humans are enslaved to this thing. [13:02.4]

Since I've got the Bible on the brain, I'm going to hit you with this piece of wisdom. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Don't you think your attention is a treasure? These social media companies get paid billions, aka a treasure, from advertisers to capture your attention. They're getting that treasure from you.

I’ve got to tell you, if I didn't have a business that made a ton of money from social media, I wouldn't be on it. I hate social media. I hate what it has done to our world. So much productivity is lost. Someone out there could have cured cancer or been the next world leader, but got distracted by these powerful forces that hijack people's brains. It is crazy. Where you put your resources is where your heart is. Show me where you spend your time, your money, your energy, and I will show you something you value. [13:50.7]

And let's go through the list. A lot of you value Netflix, eating fast food and killing your bodies, by the way, scrolling on your phone, scrolling through social media. The average American spends something like three hours per day watching TV and three hours scrolling on social media. It is literally an addiction. People will say they watch TV and get on social media to unwind. That's alcoholism talk. When people say, “I just need a drink to unwind,” it's an addiction. You're killing yourself, for real. And I'm not saying I never watch TV. I watch TV every now and then. This episode is probably going to come out on October 2 and I watch more TV in October than any other month. Why? Because I'm a horror movie fanatic.

I love The Conjuring. I love Paranormal Activity, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, all that stuff. When I was a kid I devoured Goosebumps and Fear Street. That was my jam, so every year, I give myself a lot of time in October to do scary stuff and watch scary movies, and I'm just doing spooky time. But I'm setting aside that time purposefully, because it's something I enjoy. I'm doing it intentionally. I'm not just mindlessly going through channels or clicking around on Netflix. I have a calendar with all of the movies I want to watch and I go through them one by one. [15:04.8]

This year, I'm going to watch a lot of the classics, like The Werewolf movie from 1956, I believe, and House of Frankenstein from the ’40s. That is my theme for this year. I'm doing it intentionally.
Multitasking is also a distraction, and this bugs me. Multitasking isn't even real. We just switch from one thing to another and it takes us a while to recover anyway, and we don't do any of the things really well. Do one thing and do it well. Then do the next thing.

Another tip I have for you to help you get ahead of the 99% is to shorten your learning curve. This is huge, and it will actually happen naturally if you do what I just talked about, because you will seek out information to help you do whatever you want to do. Get help. Ask questions. Stop banging your head against the wall. [15:55.0]

Here, I'll give you an example. The September Inner Circle Newsletter issue—which shipped out on September 1, so it's too late to get it even if you wanted it—it had a 53-minute video where I analyzed a financial advisor’s marketing funnel. I looked at his real numbers and gave him actionable insights on how to improve, but right there on the screen, I said, “Do this. Fix this. Go there. Do that. Change this.” I gave him split-test ideas, and I've loved this guy because he took my advice, which is a good idea. He implemented it and came back with, guess what? Improved numbers. Imagine that.

I sent that video to Inner Circle members. They got to see everything and learn from the two of us, not just me, but him, too. They learned from him, they learned from me, both of us. We both contributed to this. I'm not trying to take all the credit, because he did the stuff and he provided the material. They didn't have to spend a year trying to figure stuff out. They didn't have to go through the trial-and-error process. They heard it directly from me, “Go here. Do this. Change that.” Boom, learning curve shortened.

Don't you think something like that is worth $99 per month? I hope so. I hope so. Otherwise, you shouldn't really be giving financial advice for a living. I mean, how much is your time worth? Let's just talk about your time. I'm not talking about marketing campaigns and ROI from the marketing and new clients and all that. Just your time, okay? [17:07.7]

If you value your time at $50 per hour and the newsletter saves you two hours per month, every month, from that one bonus alone—that's not even the newsletter. That's not the bonuses you get right away after signing up. That's just the one bonus that was in the one newsletter issue—it pays for itself forever. If it saves you three hours per month, then it gives you a more than a 50% ROI, meaning, you could throw every single issue in the trash and never do anything with the newsletter ever again and you would still get a 50% return on your money every single month. But most people don't think like that and that's why most people are where they are.

By the way, one of the things you have to do to shorten your learning curve is to get clear on what it is you actually want. If I stopped you on the street right now and said, “Hey, what are your biggest short-term goals?” would you be able to tell me? If I asked you, what are your three biggest long-term goals? Do you have any idea? Could you name three? Do you have five? Do you have one? [18:11.8]

If you can't rattle them off right now, and that's what's called a wakeup call, because you have no goals and you have to have them so you know where you're going. You don't go to an airport and say, “Uh, take me anywhere.” No, you have a destination. If I tell you, “Look, I'm going to make an extra $300,000 this year,” you would start to wonder what I'm doing to get there, how I'm doing it and things like that. Those steps are informed by my goal.

I need to figure out how I'm going to make an additional $822 per day, $5,754 per week, or whatever I need to do to make that happen to get to $300,000 this year. But setting my sights is the first step. I need to have somewhere to go. I have to look at where I'm going. There's a quote that I really love and it goes like this: “The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy is in having no goals to reach.” [19:13.1]

If my goal is to make an additional $300,000 this year, and I don't make it, should I be sad? I don't know, maybe. Speaking personally, I’d probably be sad. But I'll tell you this, I'd be a lot sadder if I didn't have the goal and didn't make as much progress, because maybe I only make an additional $200,000 by being focused and I would have drifted aimlessly without that goal. That's a huge difference, so set goals.

There are so many different studies that have all sorts of various numbers, but I think it's very safe to say that 80% of the population does not set goals, and that's the 80-20 rule right there and that's a conservative estimate. 20% of people who set goals probably accomplish 80% of everything worthwhile that happens in the world. That's not a coincidence. So, you can get yourself to at least the top 20% by doing this one thing alone. [20:00.8]

Is this stuff difficult? Yes. But if you want to get ahead of the 99%, you need to do things that 99% of people are not willing to do. Think about it from a marketing perspective. 99% of people are not willing to connect on LinkedIn every day. Send the direct-mail pieces. Run the webinars. Network with people and have a real conversation with one person after another person after another person.

Do you know how many times I've heard from financial advisors that they want to get more clients without having to talk to people? What in the gosh-darn heck are you thinking? That's like saying you want to be a NASCAR driver, but you never want to get in a car. Hello, this is a relationship business. If you don't like it, choose a different career. If you want to succeed, talk to people. Gasp, I know that's scary. You’ve got to talk to people. But that doesn't mean picking up the phone and making cold calls.

I hate making cold calls. I hate talking on the phone. I would never pick up the phone ever again to talk on it for any reason ever, if it were up to me. I don't like it. I don't like calling customer service. I don't like having people call me back. It annoys me. It wastes a lot of time. Truthfully, I'd rather have somebody else do it, but that's a story for another day. [21:07.0]

But I still talk to a lot of people through Zoom, through social, through email, through the mail, through ads, and more. I engage with people. I learn about them. I care about them. I build relationships with them. And you know what the sad truth is about society right now? The 99%, or I should say 99% of people, are selfish, legitimately selfish, meaning, they only think about themselves.

If you can get yourself to care about other people, even a little bit, you will stand out from everyone else, I promise you. You will be a diamond in a truck full of coal. Just care about people. Talk about them. Ask how their day is going. Ask if they need help with anything. You'd be surprised, amazed, astonished how far you can get in life if you take the time to just give a crap about other people. [21:56.5]

The real mindfreak here is this. You can help yourself a lot more by caring about other people than trying to go through life screaming, “Me, me, me. Give me. Care about me. Look at me. Look, look, look, look at what I'm doing.” Isn't that weird? It's like a test that life is trying to put people through. Life is trying to see who cares about other people versus who doesn't, and the rewards go to people who care about others. It's almost as if there's a book that has been around for thousands of years that tells people to love their neighbors. Huh, you wouldn't happen to know what book that is, would you? Oh, well.

The sad truth is that most of you listening to this right now will not do anything with it. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. You'll nod your head and you'll think, Yeah, good episode, James. Or, Wow, I hate that James guy, and then you'll move on with your life. If you're a little ambitious, you will try this for a week or two, and then you'll settle back into your old habits, but, hey, not everyone can be in the 1%.

All right, that is enough for this episode. I will catch you next week. [23:00.0]

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