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There’s a massive difference between the bank accounts of different financial advisors.

Some experience groundbreaking success, making 8, 9, or even 10 figures a year. While others live paycheck to paycheck, can barely afford their bills, and are constantly spinning their wheels about how to grow their business.

After reflecting on the two groups, I’ve finally realized the difference:

The wealthiest financial advisors are mentally strong. And the poorest financial advisors are mentally weak.

So, what’s the difference between a mentally strong financial advisor or a mentally weak one?

In today’s show, I share 5 things mentally strong financial advisors don’t do. If you catch yourself committing any of these mistakes, the good news is that you can grow mentally stronger. Awareness is simply the first step.

Ready to find out if you’re mentally strong… or what you can do to build your mental toughness if you’re not?

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Aren’t mentally strong? This book from a social worker can make your mental toughness your biggest strength in just a few days (2:10)
  • The 3 destructive core beliefs that rob you of your mental toughness and drown you in limitations (2:54)
  • How to make your limiting beliefs wither away until they disappear by asking yourself this question (5:03)
  • Why fearing change reveals a deeper problem about you that will always make finding new clients an uphill battle (7:26)
  • How leading with your values, even if they’re not popular, magnetizes your perfect clients to your calendar (9:50)
  • The sneaky “Just 1%” marketing secret that eliminates any objections your ideal clients have (11:33)
  • Teddy Roosevelt’s weird exercise that builds an unshakeable sense of confidence (15:33)
  • 3 pieces of advice to grow mentally stronger faster than 90% of other financial advisors (22:03)

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.

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: Financial advisors, I could not wait to record this week's episode because it's about one of the biggest realizations I’ve had in a long time. It's something I realized about my business, financial advisors, and my ability to help them. It's also something I’ve realized about why some financial advisors succeed while others don't. The title of this show, which, as you can see for yourself, is “Five Things Mentally-Strong Financial Advisors Don't Do,” and that should be a clue right there. [01:00.4]

I feel like I’ve been inching toward this realization for a long time, because a few months ago, I released a podcast episode, “My Advice for Weak Financial Advisors,” and that got great feedback. Plus, I’ve talked about how I’ve been feeling more irritable. I have been less likely to put up with some of the B.S. that financial advisors give me or the excuses that they have, and I’ve been writing emails for several years now where I have been complaining, for lack of a better term, about people who whine and give up far too easily and just let life and other people walk all over them.

I've also written and talked about how my Inner Circle members, my dear, dear Inner Circle members are far, far, far less likely to do these sorts of things. Now, are there stragglers who squeak through even though I don't want them to, and they last maybe a month, or two or three, if they're lucky and I’m lucky? Yes, but . . . or unlucky, I should say. But generally speaking, my most successful newsletter subscribers, Inner Circle members, they appear to be cut from a different cloth—and that is when I have my realization. Are you ready for it? Here it is: I do my best work with mentally-strong people. [02:10.6]

This realization finally came to the surface for me when I read a book called 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin, M-O-R-I-N is how you spell her name, and as I started going through the list of the 13 things, I started thinking to myself, Wow, my Inner Circle members don't do that. Hmm, they don't do that. Nope, they don't do that either. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Again, I do my best work with mentally-strong people.
Before I dig into the things mentally-strong people don't do, I want to let you know that mental strength and mental toughness is a continuum. It's like physical strength, in the sense that you can improve it over time. You can become mentally stronger through the choices you make, the exercises you do, and the way you choose to live your life. [02:55.0]

I also want to point out that Amy identified three types of core beliefs that make people less effective and robbed them of their mental strength.
The first type of unhealthy belief is about themselves. This is if you think you are a loser or that you will never be as good as other people. Then you have unhealthy beliefs about yourself.
The second type is unhealthy beliefs about others. This is when you think everyone is out to get you that you can't trust anyone, or no one is looking out for your best interest. You have unhealthy beliefs about others.

Then the final type of core belief, which is unhealthy beliefs about the world. This is when you believe the world is against you or that the world is too tough to thrive in. Why bother? It's just going to be terrible anyway. It's rough out there.
So, an extremely mentally-weak person has a belief system like this. “I'm such a loser compared to other people who are all out to get me, and I shouldn't even try anyway, because it's too tough to thrive in this world.” That's a combination of unhealthy beliefs about themselves, unhealthy beliefs about others, and unhealthy beliefs about the world. [04:00.0]

If we were to invert this belief system, it would be something like this: “I am capable and valuable in my own unique way, and while there are challenges, most people are fundamentally good and supportive. I should always give my best effort, because the world offers ample opportunities for those who persevere and strive.” That is a mentally-strong person.
If you have any of those limiting beliefs about yourself, other people and/or the world, take some time to think about why. For example, if you believe the world is in such disarray that you can't possibly succeed, try to see where that belief comes from. Is it from past experiences where you faced significant setbacks? Is it from stories or narratives you've heard from family and friends or, heaven forbid, the media? Or perhaps it's from a fear of the unknown, a fear of stepping out of your comfort zone and facing potential failure? Maybe you just picked it up somewhere from something completely out there and you just have no idea and you have no evidence to back it up. [04:57.4]

And speaking of evidence, that's what I want you to do. I want you to seek out evidence for the belief. That's right, you heard me correctly. I want you, if you believe the world is out to get you, to ask yourself, “What evidence do I have that supports that belief that the world is out to get me?”
But I don't want you to stop there, because here's something else I want you to do. I want you to also search for evidence that contradicts that belief. Do not fall victim to the confirmation bias, where you only look for information that supports your existing beliefs, because, more often than not, if you look for evidence to support your unhealthy belief about yourself, the world and others, and you look for contradicting evidence, you'll find there's more evidence against your limiting belief than for it, and once that happens, you can now logically say, “Oh, I should not have this belief anymore,” and you start to have it wither away. It won't vanish overnight. It won't go away because if it's been with you for so long, you can't really expect it to, but it will start to wither away. [05:57.1]

I also want you to reframe your thoughts. Instead of saying, “I can't succeed because the world is in disarray,” for example, try saying, “Despite the challenges in the world, many are succeeding, and I can succeed, too.” This subtle shift in mindset can make an entire world of difference. And guess what? I have been helping financial advisors, for, gosh, it doesn't even feel real to say this, but nine years at this point, and I have been publishing my Inner Circle Newsletter for six years. That means for six years straight, I have had back-and-forth conversations every day with financial advisors.
I was coaching them before that, but I wasn't interacting with them every single day, with the newsletter, because they get email access to me for the questions about marketing and business-building, I am literally interacting with them every single day. I’ve seen the best of the best and the worst of the worst, and mental strength explains a ton of the variance between financial advisors who succeed versus those who don't. I'm telling you, as I was going through that book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin, it was like it was describing the most successful financial advisors. [07:04.0]

Of course, I'm not going to give you all 13 things mentally-strong people don't do. I want you to buy the book. I want you to read it for yourself. I want you to give some of your money to Amy who did the hard work of putting this together. But I will give you five and these are five things that I have seen from financial advisors, and seriously, it's like it's describing my most-successful newsletter subscribers.

Number one, they don't shy away from change. Mentally-strong people don't try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and they're willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and they believe in their abilities to adapt. I'll give you the perfect example of this.
Back in August, I did one-on-one LinkedIn intensives for financial advisors. There were Zoom meetings with me and the advisors, and I would walk them through a high-level strategy they could use to get clients over the long term. Almost none of the stuff I teach is tactical, by the way. I am a strategist. [07:59.2]

But anyway, this guy responded to my offer and said, “James, I'm in my late-60s. While this is appealing, I'm too old to take advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer,” and no joke, no exaggeration whatsoever, 15 minutes later, a 71-year-old financial advisor booked a call with me. This guy was older than the first person, but what was the difference? Mental strength. The second person knew that he can always learn and improve, and he did.

Change is, I said it before, an inevitable part of life. Whether it's in our personal lives or careers, or the world at large, things are constantly evolving. For many, change can be intimidating because it disrupts the familiar and it propels us into the unknown. However, mentally-strong individuals understand that change is not only inevitable, but also necessary.
So much good stuff happens when we actively seek change. Here, I’ll start listing some of the good things that can happen. Number one, we get the opportunity to hone our skills and to develop new ones. Number two, we get to think creatively and sharpen our critical-thinking skills. Change is exciting. Number three, when we overcome challenges, we boost our belief in our abilities, and we feel way more prepared to tackle the next change and I’ll talk about that a little bit later. [09:10.5]

That's just the tip of the iceberg, but I want to move on to the second thing mentally-strong financial advisors don't do, and that is, number two, they don't worry about pleasing everyone. Mentally-strong financial advisors understand a fundamental truth. You can't please everyone and not everyone will be your ideal client. They recognize that trying to be everything to everyone is not only exhausting, but it's also counterproductive. Instead of spreading themselves thin, they focused on serving their niche, serving their target market and doing it to the best of their ability.

Since this is called the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, I'll tie this back into marketing. One of the best ways to improve your conversions on your marketing materials is to include a unique value proposition. When you try to cater to everyone, your unique value proposition can become diluted, making it harder to stand out. Your UVP cannot be that you are the only person in Tampa who specializes in helping retirees, business owners, engineers and police officers. That's just too much, right? [10:15.2]

Plus, trying to meet everyone's expectations can lead to burnout, and even worse, people-pleasing behavior can sometimes lead you to sacrifice your own values or beliefs, which can erode trust over time. That is toxic to a business. If you have two separate people with opposite beliefs, you cannot agree with both of them. I don't care who you are.
In my case, I am pro freedom. I'm pro capitalism. I believe that the ability to freely provide goods and services to a willing marketplace is a wonderful thing. I believe people should be able to purchase things and improve their lives, and those who improve other people's lives are one hundred percent entitled to the wealth they create in the process. If you don't believe that than you and I are likely not going to jive with each other, and that's okay. [10:59.0]

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.

Number three, they don't fear taking calculated risk. Oh, my goodness, this is a big one. This definitely applies to the Inner Circle Newsletter, and let me tell you why. I'll pull back the curtain here just a little bit and I’ll tell you a marketing secret that I use.
One of the things I do to market the newsletter is to bring up the ROI potential. I’ve talked about that a lot on the podcast. If you're on my email list, you've seen me bring this up again and again and again because it works. I explain the downside and the potential upside advisors stand to gain when becoming Inner Circle members. I'm just being straightforward with you here, that's what I do. [12:00.0]

I’ll break it down like this. If you subscribe today, $99 will leave your bank account, but you will get nine bonuses that you can access right away before you even get your first issue in the mailbox. Those bonuses are designed to help you hit the ground running right away.

Let's say you make $100,000 per year, and you go through all of those bonuses and you only find one thing that benefits you. That's it, just one thing, and all that one thing does is help you increase your income by a measly 1%. A lot of gurus talk about helping you double your business overnight or triple your business in the next year or even 10x it. All I'm saying right here is that you just get a 1% improvement before your first issue. That is it, just 1%.
Okay, so let's do some math here. You’re a financial advisor, right? You do math all day long. What is 1% of a $100,000 income? That's $1,000. And if you make $200,000 per year, then a 1% improvement is $2,000. I don't know where you come from, but where I come from exchanging $99 to get $2,000 is a great deal. That's called taking a calculated risk, especially when you consider that the newsletter doesn't even take that much time to go through. [13:10.7]

There are people listening to this podcast right now who have been listening for months, maybe even years, and have not taken that calculated risk, and Amy Morin would say that's a mentally-weak person. Now, of course, that can always change and you can change it if that's you by going to TheAdvisorCoach.com/coaching. Hey, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just telling you what the book told me and how it led me to the realization that I do my best work with mentally-strong advisors.
Let's move on. Number four, mentally-strong financial advisors do not give up after their first failure. Mentally-strong people don't view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They're willing to keep trying until they get it right. I'm thankful, because as a marketer, I’ve been forced to not give up after the first failure. I wouldn't even last long in business or marketing if I just gave up, because if I gave up after the first failure, I would never get anything done. [14:09.0]

I wish more financial advisors knew that stuff is going to be terrible at first. Your first month really trying with LinkedIn is going to be horrible compared to where you are after a year of consistent effort. The first few emails you write are going to make you cringe in a few years, and the first time you put yourself out there on video is going to be dreadful. But that's normal. That's okay. Mentally-weak people will do something once, expect to hit a home run, and then give up when it doesn't live up to their unrealistic expectations.

From my perspective, there's only so much I can do to help you. I'm one guy. I understand that. I understand that I can scale and I can leverage my business, and it's really, really cool that I get to help financial advisors in all 50 states and in multiple countries around the world and help them every single day. But, again, I am only human and there's only so much I can do. I'm in one place. I have one body. I have one set of eyes that I can focus at any one time. [15:05.1]

For example, I regularly give financial advisors word-for-word scripts and step-by-step campaigns, but there are so many other variables that go into getting clients and building a business that I can't necessarily help with. And as much as I wish I could be in each financial advisor’s office, holding their hands and physically moving them around their desk for them, I can't. There's a lot to be said for perseverance. There's a reason why it's discussed in tons of personal development books and business books.

I encourage people to read biographies of successful people. If nothing else, these biographies will give you a reality check, because you'll see just how tough these people are and what they had to overcome, and it will make your struggles pale in comparison. If you don't know where to start, I’ll give you a recommendation. I suggest beginning with a biography of Teddy Roosevelt. Just pick one, because that guy was tough as nails. [15:57.2]

He was a sickly kid with a whole bunch of health problems, but he trained himself to be an immovable object. As president, he was famous for something called his point-to-point walks in Washington, D.C., and this is what happened. In a point-to-point walk, he would pick a point in the distance and walk straight to it regardless of obstacles in his way. There could be a fence there, a body of water there, a wall there. It didn’t matter, he would go straight to it.

Mentally-weak people might think that's weird, but doing those point-to-point walks revealed much about Teddy's personality. He was reinforcing that nothing would stop him. He was strengthening his confidence in himself by knowing, not guessing, not hoping, but knowing, if he said a destination, he would get there. It didn't matter if there was a body of water there. It didn't matter if there was a fence there. It didn't matter if there was a wall there. He would get there. It's psychological reinforcement, plain and simple. [16:59.7]

The opposite is also true, though. When people give up, they reinforce to themselves that they can't do something. Every time you give up after a failure, you get a little weaker, and it becomes a little harder to stick to the next thing, so really think about that. And, seriously, read a book about Teddy Roosevelt. That guy was just phenomenal.
Number five, they don't expect immediate results. This is also huge. Mentally-strong financial advisors do not expect results overnight. I have always abhorred the hypocrisy of financial advisors who tell their clients to invest for the long term, then turn right around and expect everything to happen overnight for them. They'll say, “Mr. Jones, you just have to contribute to this account and wait 40 years, and it will grow at an average rate of return of 8%, and then in 40 years, you'll be a millionaire. Yay.” And I don't disagree with that, because I do that in my own life and I think that most people should follow that approach, but it requires something called patience. It requires something called commitment, and most people just don't have that. [17:59.0]

What's interesting, though, is that there are certain things that can get you faster results. I recently had an interesting conversation with a financial advisor about how long it takes to get results from marketing. Here's what went down. This marketing consultant posted on LinkedIn that it takes a minimum of nine months to see results from marketing, which is neither here nor there. It's true in some cases. It's not necessarily true in other cases.
But this financial advisor tagged me and asked the following. “James, do you think it takes nine months to see results? Genuinely curious about your thoughts because I’ve listened to your podcast. Thank you so much.” If you're listening now, thank you, thank you, thank you, I appreciate it. I’ve implemented things that got results in less than that time.
So, I answered this, “It depends on the strategy and the type of result I want. I can make email marketing profitable on day one, and I can. I’ve done it so many times.” What's funny is that when I answered this guy, I actually pointed to a post I'd made the day before where I just started an email marketing funnel and it was insanely profitable on day one, so it's just funny that the timing worked out that way. [19:05.4]

“I can have direct mail profitable in a week, if I'm lucky. Online ads can work right away, too. But if I'm trying to reach a specific person and get that person to do a specific thing, it can take years. I have deals I’ve been working on for years that still haven't gone through, and that's true. That's totally true. I have deals with people that I'm trying to get, people I'm trying to work with, people I'm trying to partner with. They just brush me off. They ignore me. I get rejected just like you do.”
He replied, “You answered that so diplomatically.” Hey, if there's one thing people know about me, they know that I'm diplomatic. Not. “If someone listened to your podcast and hired you, they'd have results in less than a month. It's really not that hard.” Yes and no. He's not wrong. Getting results with your marketing really isn't that hard. But as Henry Ford once quipped, whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right. I realize that if a financial advisor truly believes that it takes nine long months to see results from good marketing, it will probably take the full nine months. [20:01.8]

Now, again, your results also depend on the strategy you use, and it's possible that strategies that take a really long time will get you really good results, and I’ve seen that in my own life, too. Seriously with this podcast, for example, 250-plus episodes of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast, that's incredible, and it's such a gift not only to you, but, selfishly, to me as well. You could start a direct mail campaign today and get results in as little as a week or however long it takes for your letters to get delivered.
But I don't get that excited about helping financial advisors get results from one campaign. I want them to become wealthier. I talked about that on Episode 250, and that comes from a consistent implementation mindset and that happens over long periods of time and that happens with commitment. [20:53.0]

What I’ve seen is that the most successful financial advisors, the ones who truly stand out in this industry, are the ones who understand the value of patience and persistence. They practice what they preach to their clients. They're the ones who, while they might celebrate a quick win, they don't rely on quick wins at all. Instead, they focus on building a solid foundation. They focus on building a consistent approach, reputation assets in their business.

That's one reason why I love the newsletter so much. It's why I talk about it all the time, because it's like a giant magnet that attracts mentally-strong financial advisors, because the mentally-strong financial advisors love the idea of a small nudge every month. They love it. The mentally-weak financial advisors want everything right now as soon as possible, but life doesn't work that way.
Now, I'm not saying you should stick with a marketing strategy that's clearly not working, because one of the most beautiful things about marketing is that you get metrics and data. Just as in investing, it's essential to review, to reassess, to rebalance, and if necessary, pivot entirely, but don't be disheartened if you don't see immediate results. Stick with it. Get the data. Get the metrics. [22:02.6]

To wrap up today's episode, I want to leave you with this thought. Mental strength is not just about resilience in the face of adversity. It's also about patience in the face of delayed gratification. It's about understanding that the journey to success is a marathon, not a sprint. Whether you're advising clients on their financial futures or crafting your next marketing strategy, remember the value of patience, persistence, a long-term vision, and mental strength.

Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of Financial Advisor Marketing. If any of the points resonated with you, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Reach out on social media. You can find me on LinkedIn, James Pollard. You can search that. You can email me james@theadvisorcoach.com. Share your experiences, and let's continue to grow together. I'll catch you next week. [22:50.1]

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