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If you’ve been a financial advisor for some time, you know becoming a successful advisor is about much more than investments, sales, marketing and other business skills.

And that’s where most financial advisors fail: The mental side of being in business.

While many financial advisors set themselves up for failure, you can train your mind to seek out success instead.

You’ll find out how to “program” yourself for success in this episode. You’ll also get specific exercises you can do today to get on track to become the successful advisor you know you can be.

Show highlights include:

  • The most important self-help author to read to attract success into your life. (4:00)
  • How “Mean World Syndrome” can either turbocharge your success or keep you from ever reaching it. (13:30)
  • Beware of “Lifestyle Creep”. If this affects you, you won’t live a better life, no matter how many clients you land. (17:30)
  • “Hidden” influences that sabotage your success and can decide whether your business flourishes or perishes. (23:15)

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

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.

James: Welcome to another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing and just a reminder, we'll get it out of the way, housekeeping done - if you haven’t subscribed to my monthly paper and ink newsletter, make sure you do it because every month, I send world class business building advice and information directly to your door. I mean, you can rip this thing open, sit down with a pen and a paper or the paper and your highlighter and everything that you want to have to take notes and just start writing everything down. I even had a guy recently send me a photo of how marked up this Inner Circle newsletter was, Jonathan.

Jonathan: No way. [0:01:04.7]

James: It was incredible. I mean, he had the whole thing highlighted and it was pretty cool. But if you're not ready to make that commitment, please don’t subscribe. But if you are ready, go ahead and sign up at TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and right on the sales page, I say, "If you're wishy-washy, if you think life is just a game of hokey pokey, don’t join. And if you join and cancel, I will blacklist you, which means you can't join again," and I've done that intentionally because I only want serious people to join. So if you're ready to make a lasting change in your life, go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter. So…

Jonathan: Yes, sir.

James: Today's podcast, I plan on involving producer Jonathan a little bit more, and y'all better show him some darn respect because we're going to talk about the mental side of success and programming and the inner game type deal. And the reason I want to involve producer Jonathan is because a lot of people don’t… I mean, in the financial advisor space, not that many people know producer Jonathan, but in the marketing world, this guy has hobnobbed, rubbed elbows with some serious, like heavy hitters. [0:02:13.6]
I mean, marketing legends and you've got some guys on your team, they're doing like a million dollars a month. I mean, you know who I'm talking about, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: It's incredible. And I mean, there's financial advisors that just, I mean, that's beyond their reality, and that's okay. You know, I have no problem helping people who make $100,000, make 250 and 300 and so on and so forth.

Jonathan: A month?

James: Well… For the majority of my audience. I mean, I do have some advisors that own some pretty big businesses. I mean there are some that make over a million dollars a month in my, that are in my world. I mean, no doubt about it, but just speaking to the majority of the audience, I mean, that's aspirational for them. And that's okay. If that's aspirational for you, then sure, I mean, but you have got to listen to producer Jonathan here because he has worked with, like I said, some serious, heavy hitters and he has just soaked up their information. And one person in particular, and I was sad to hear his very last episode. [0:03:08.5]

Jonathan: You heard it, huh?

James: Yeah. And it made me feel… all 57 minutes of it, and it made me …

Jonathan: Wow.

James: Doberman Dan, in the last few dozen episodes of his podcast. He doesn’t do a podcast specifically for financial advisors, but it's like it's a marketing and inter game type podcast and he talks a lot about programming, and some of that stuff just blows my mind. I mean, I'm big into the law of attraction, and I'm big into playing the matrix and breaking the habit of being yourself and all that stuff. But I mean, Jonathan and Doberman Dan, they just have it on a whole another level. So, I'm going to involve him and we're going to talk about programming. And most people resist the idea that they're programmed, but when they do their research and they do some introspection, they realize that it's true, and I'm a very serious student of this. [0:03:59.6]
I mean, I've studied all of Napoleon Hill's work, all of the, virtually all of the personal development stuff, at least everything that's come out since like the 1970s. Even the more mystical, hard to understand stuff, you know, The Science of Getting Rich and Florence Shobo Shin I think that's how you pronounce her name, and all of this stuff that's written hundreds of years ago. And some of this stuff seems a little strange, doesn't it, Jonathan, at least to someone who's never thought about it before?

Jonathan: I think you're putting it mildly. I would say, not to muck up your show, but most people think it's BS, depending on where they are in their life.

James: Of course, yeah, and I definitely thought it was BS at first. And to be completely honest, the idea that you can just sit on a couch and attract things into your life through thinking, I mean, it's still BS, right, Jonathan? I mean total BS.

Jonathan: Well, I mean, thinking is like the first step of it. Thinking is…

James: Exactly. That's what I mean. So you think about what you want and then all of a sudden, when you focus on it, it's like ideas start coming to you and you start realizing that there are different moves you can make that will put you towards your goal. [0:05:05.5]
But the thought of that goal and the thought of what you want and that desire, that very first step is what gets it moving in the right direction, and that's the best that I've been able to put this together.

Jonathan: James, why don't you give… and I'm going to muck up your show, like I said, but why don’t you give an example. Like you were just talking and it totally just blew my mind and made me so happy for you. But you're buying a house. I don't know if you want that out there, but it's out there now.

James: Yep, yep.

Jonathan: You visualized the deal and the deal came together. Can you share? Like that's a real world example of how it works.

James: Yeah. This is a real world example. So, I am a big follower of the whole rent versus buy debate and for a lot of people, I believe that rent is the right decision. However, I'm not so naïve that I would say, "Rent all the time, never buy," like some people do. I'm just not that person because I understand that if the stars align, and the deal is right, and the money makes sense, then buying also makes sense. [0:06:04.9]

And it's kind of like if you have a $120,000 car and someone offers it to you for like $50,000, I mean, that's a good deal. It, I mean, you're just going to take it. You know you can make money. You know you can make it work. So, I have actually been looking for, it's not, it's not my dream house, but it's pretty close, and I had been looking for about two years. And I have had the patience to keep looking, and I had the fortitude to say if the deal isn't right, if the numbers aren't right, I'm not going to pull the trigger. That's discipline. A lot of people don’t have that. They want to go into debt over their heads. They're financially irresponsible. I know I'm preaching to the choir, Jonathan, with all the financial advisors, but I just want to make that clear. I had the fortitude and the patience to say, "no" to virtually everything that came across my path for two years. Now, I sat down one night and I was like, man, I have been looking, and thank goodness I wasn’t looking with a real estate agent. I mean, eventually I did, but during my search, I wasn’t working with a real estate agent. [0:07:06.4]

I was thinking thank goodness I wasn’t because he or she would probably be so pissed off at me and so frustrated that they would probably have dumped me 10 times over because I was just looking, looking, looking. I'm going to open houses every weekend and really get a feel for the market. Anyway, one night I sat down and I started thinking what do I really want in a home? Now this is the Financial Advisor Marketing Podcast and people are going to be here expecting a lecture on marketing, but realize that what I'm telling you here is some of the most valuable stuff you're ever going to listen to. So I sat down and I literally started visualizing and thinking what I wanted in a home, and I want a second floor laundry - a lot of people don’t even think about that, but I wanted that, you know, didn't have to have to or whoever is doing the laundry for me or maybe I'm doing it myself, drag all that stuff down and put it in if I had like a stain or something, you know, blood all over my shirt from none of your business, Jonathan…[0:08:02.1]

Jonathan: Fight Club?

James: I could take it to the second floor laundry and get it done. I also wanted an area for a theatre. That's something that, as a kid, I've always wanted a theatre in my house. Now the funny thing is, I barely watch TV and I barely watch movies, but I'll tell you what - I'm going to have some of the most banging Super Bowl parties because I'm going to be the guy with that in the house, you know. And part of that is an ego thing, sure, but I wanted a theatre. And I also wanted to an area in the house for a gym. I'm in very good shape. I'm not afraid to say that. I sleep well. I eat well. I work out and I encourage my Inner Circle members to do the same thing, and I share material about that. So I wanted a gym. I also wanted a very certain kitchen. I wanted a double oven and I mean, all of this stuff. I didn't explicitly say I wanted a podcast studio, but what was crazy was when I found the house, it literally had a podcast studio already in it. It was like it was a sign.

Jonathan: It was calling to you, beckoning you. [0:08:59.4]

James: God was like, here you go, dude - two years of you looking - here it is. You know, take it. And it had everything I wanted. It was just overpriced. So here I am in the same situation again. I'm thinking, oh my goodness, there's a very nice house, except this one literally has everything that I want, and it's overpriced. Well, come to find out that the sellers were especially motivated and it's a sellers' market right now, so that's very, very hard to come by. So you have to realize, not only did I find the house that I wanted, but I got it at the price that I wanted too. It's too freaky and too intense and like too intensely correlated to be a mere coincidence. It's almost scary. Like I'm getting chills thinking about it right now because it was the next day after I saw a clear picture of what I wanted, I mean clear as day, even the paint color in the kitchen and what was crazy is that I don’t even like that paint color in the kitchen, but it was in my mind. [0:10:03.0]

For some reason, it came into my mind. I saw that color and it was in the house. I mean, I'm going to paint it, but it was like, I thought of it. It's so crazy. And like I said, I'll be the first to admit that a lot of this is strange, but it happened to me. So I know that's a long-winded example, but I wanted to really give the advisors details, Jonathan. This is, this happened to me, recently.

Jonathan: Yeah, and that's, I think you nailed it there, was being clear. When you got crystal clear on what you wanted, then you could see the parts or you could see it happen, and it happened. You were prepared.

James: Absolutely. And another example of that that I have is everyone or almost everyone has a cell phone, and I was reading recently there's actually more cell phones on planet earth than there are people. So, people have cell phones.

Jonathan: Wow!

James: Yeah, I know - crazy, right? People have a bunch of cell phones. So people have these phones and we use them all the time. We get our email on them. We make calls, text messages, but almost nobody can explain to me how that cell phone works. [0:11:04.5]

They cannot explain how it fetches data, how it displays stuff on the screen, how it tracks your location. They can't get into the inner workings of it. So, people have no problem using the features on the cell phone. They're comfortable with them. They use the cell phones every day. If they want to adjust their brightness, they know how to do it. If they want to turn off location tracking, they know how to do it. That's kind of what's happening with people's programming. We are living our lives a certain way, but we can't explain how or why things happen to us, or how or why we do the things that we do, and it's just mind blowing once you start getting down the track here with all of the mental programming stuff, the visualization stuff, and how we are wired as human beings. It's really freaky stuff. [0:11:52.2]

Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle, a paper and ink newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.

Jonathan: How'd you get into that, James? What made you start looking into it?

James: So, five years ago, I actually read Think and Grow Rich for the first time, and I know I sound like a Think and Grow Rich fan boy, and I am, but I started reading that and I got it from Amazon and Amazon's got the whole "if you've read this, you may also like this" and of course, it shows a bunch of law of attraction and programming and visualization and mental stuff. So, I just said, "Sure. I'll read this one and I'll read this one and I'll read this one and I'll read this one," and eventually, I had read dozens and dozens and dozens and one of the, there's, one of the things that I realized was that everything is programming you. [0:13:03.5]

Literally everything. And I want you to think about this - let's say that you immerse yourself in a community of people who don’t eat healthy, who don’t exercise, and they don’t care about their wellbeing. Do you honestly, honestly think you would stay as healthy as you are right now? And don’t lie to yourself. Do not lie to yourself. And everything is programming. And there's even a term called mean world syndrome, and it's a term which describes how when people view violent content on TV, like I don't know, NCIS or Criminal Minds or Law and Order, when they view that violent programming, they actually come to believe that the world is more dangerous than it actually is. So, if someone watches crime shows on TV all the time, then that person may start to fear the outside world, and they'll fear the world more than someone who doesn’t watch those shows and studies have been done on this. [0:14:01.5]

Researchers have found that when you ask people questions like "Are people honest" and "Are most people kind-hearted," they're more likely to say "no" if they watch all that violent content. The content is literally warping their world view, but as producer Jonathan can attest, you can use this to your advantage. Because I mean, if you hang out with successful people, Jonathan, those people are actually warping your world view that success is easy to attain, that it's natural. It's just something that happens to you, you know, provided you put the work in, but it's easily attainable. Right, Jonathan?

Jonathan: Yeah, I mean. Getting, I mean, I think that the first part that you said there, I don’t think people even realize how far back it goes. Like the programming your parents gave you and the programming their parents gave you and looking back at what they had versus what we have, they gave you the best they could, but the programming they gave you is total crap, too. I mean, half of it might be okay, if you're lucky, but it's everywhere, bro. And the first thing you need to do is be aware. [0:14:59.0]
James: Sure. I mean, and it's not, it's not even your choice. That's the freaky thing about it - is that if you sat down today and you really had a break… like for example, the house that I wanted, it's nothing like anyone else in my family has. Nothing. So there's literally no way for my family to have programmed me to get this house. They just cannot do it. It's not part of their existence. So when your family is programming you, when your friends are programming you, it is not your choice. So one of the most important things you could ever do in your entire life is to sit down and make a choice with what you actually want, and you also have to be conscious that the limitations of your, of what you can see and what you believe, that's also influenced by your programming. So you kind, you really have to step back - not once - just to get away and make your own choice, but you have to do it again. You have to step back even more because you have to realize that the choices and stuff that you're making, even if you consciously think that they're your own, they could be still influenced by everything that has happened to you. [0:16:01.7]
So, what did your family members say about money, about success, about love, about happiness? I mean, I want to stick to money and making money here, so what are some of the things that you heard growing up, Jonathan, about money, if you don’t mind?

Jonathan: Ohhhh, really? We want to… my dad's favorite term, I joke about this all the time - "Hey dad, you want to go to the NASCAR races?" "I can't go to NASCAR, bro. I'm broke." "Hey dad, you want to go out to dinner?" "I can't go to dinner. I'm broke." I'm like, "Broke?" I grew up with that word as part of my programming and it played a terrible, terrible game with me and my money. It was just hard to break that cycle, bro.

James: Sure. I mean, did you do anything special or particular to break through that cycle?

Jonathan: Yeah. I mean, and it's all that, like I remember growing up and like, "Mommy, can I have the Nikes? I want the Jordans." And she's like, "I don’t have the money for that." So money was the thing that we didn't have. Money was a problem, and so, I didn't realize it until many years later, and it was just elevating my game, getting around the right people, marrying the right woman who …" [0:17:03.2]

James: Very, very, very important.

Jonathan: Yeah, and then, reading some T. Harv Eker, bro, with the envelope system - I started doing the envelopes and I started realizing I had more and more money, and to the point where today, I challenge myself to put away 50% of my paycheck every time I get paid.

James: That is so crazy because I'm writing about that in the September newsletter. I'm writing about that, how lifestyle affects financial advisors. And I explained this to my friends, years ago, and it is just so sad because I mean, you could explain this stuff and if someone genuinely doesn’t want it, and they genuinely don’t want to change, you're just talking to a wall, and I know that's tough to hear but it really, it is what's happening. But anyway, about saving that stuff - I mean, just do the math, and I did this years ago. If I save 10% of my income, it's going to take nine years for me to save one year of expenses. Well, if I save 50%, every single year, I'm going to save a year's worth of expenses. [0:18:04.9]

So I said, "Why not do that?" I mean, and the cool thing is that if you're saving half of your income, you're used to living on the other half anyway, so you're not tempted to lose everything, In the newsletter, I'm not going to give it all away, but I am talking about that in depth, and I'm talking about some of the stupid mistakes that people make when they start making more money, and even though I talk about the house and the theatre and the movie theatre and the gym and all that, I mean, it's still a very, very, very, very, very small percentage of what I'm doing and again, I've waited for two years. Now looking back, I realize that if I had pulled the trigger two years ago, yeah, it may have been a bad move and that I was still being influenced by my programming. So yeah, to go out, get this house and it's going to be nice, you can grow into it, you're going to make more money. And if I acted on that assumption, then, I mean, I probably would have turned out okay, but I would have put myself in great danger, and you don’t want to do that. [0:19:00.6]

You just, Warren Buffet says, "Rule #1, don't lose money. Rule #2, don’t forget rule #1." That's kind of how you want to operate. So, yeah, great, great, great feedback, Jonathan. And language is very important. Marrying the right person is very important. And I can specifically attest to both of those because with my woman - I say that jokingly because I mean, people are going to… people write me if I don’t say that it was a joke - they're like, oh my god, I can't believe you reference your woman like this. I'm like, oh. But anyway, I used to joke around whenever she asked for stuff, which is frequently. Whenever she wants to do stuff and do things, I'm like, "Oh, you know, we're not the Rockefellers." You know, "We're not the Vanderbilts." Like, "Who do you think we are?" You know, we're not … we're not the Gates family. And I was joking, right. But I stopped doing that because I realized that it was affecting me and how I operated and I could feel the creep, and yeah, so, I mean, I've stopped saying it. Words have power. [0:20:02.1]

And I want to wrap this show up. I know we kind of rambled on a little bit, but this is very, very, very important and this actually is more related to marketing than anything you've ever heard of because you could take two people and give them the same exact marketing campaign and give them the same exact steps, and they would still get different results, and I can't explain it other than it's the programming. There's something else there that you can't explain. Like with the cell phones, I mean people have cell phones, but they can't explain how it works, and if I gave two people the same exact marketing campaign, the same exact Inner Circle newsletter, one person is going to have amazing success, and the other may just have mediocre success or no success at all. I mean, it's really freaky. So I found that one of the best ways to program yourself for success, and I mean, we're all programmed. Everything is programmed. So your only option is to program yourself in the way that you want. And there is no right or wrong way. I almost say that you want to program yourself the right way, but even that would be incorrect of me, because there is no right way for everyone. [0:21:06.4]

It is what you want, your own choice. So surround yourself with positive influences, that's adaptive and conducive to what you want. If you do that, then you will slowly, but surely, gravitate towards your goal. And which means if you're a financial advisor who wants to get more clients, you're in the right place by listening to this because you're hanging around two people who know a lot about marketing and getting more clients and building businesses. So, are you truly immersed in it? Do you read about the stuff that you want? Do you consume more content about your goals than anything else? Because that's the way to get there. So, I mean, we haven’t even scratched the surface of this idea, Jonathan. I mean, we could on…

Jonathan: Not even close.

James: … go on for hours. It's such a deep topic. There are so many different aspects of it, but I only have a short amount of time each week for financial advisors - doing the podcast, that is - but I did want to get this concept across to advisors around the world. So here it is. [0:22:01.7]

You can program yourself for success. I mean, if you look up the mean world theory, there's stuff like the Bobo The Doll Experiment, and I didn't even mention this. I do want to mention this. Back in the 1960s, there were actually experiments done called The Bobo Doll Experiments, and the aim of these experiments, it was to find out if social behaviors like aggression - I mean, I talk about the mean world theory, right, the mean world syndrome - they wanted to find out if aggression could be acquired through observation. So literally, kids watching other people be aggressive made them more aggressive. So they took these kids. There were like 72. They were 3 years old. Three years old, four years old, five years old and they were like little kids, and they broke them up into three different groups. So the first group, they watched this model act aggressively towards this Bobo Doll. I can't remember if it was a clown or not. I think it was. And these adults were hitting the clown and throwing it around and things like that. The second group, they watched someone just play in the corner, and they completely ignored the doll. [0:23:02.5]
Then the third group, they were the control, so they weren’t exposed to anything at all. This study found that children who watch the aggressive person were far, far more aggressive than the other two groups. So start thinking about that: What are you immersing yourself in and it could even be the media - what news show are you watching? Are you watching people that blow things out of proportion? Your books, your movies, your TV - everything.

Jonathan: Your social media.

James: Your social media, and I'm writing about that in the September newsletter too. I mean there was an advisor that asked me about using Twitter to get more clients. I was like, "Bro, at this point, I mean, Twitter is just like everyone just talking about political stuff and just shouting their opinion and events that cause virtue signaling.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: That's what it is, and they're just like, "Oh, I'm right. You know, this person is so terrible." And people are like, "Oh Donald Trump sucks," and then other people are like, "Donald Trump is so great and I worship him" and it's just, it doesn't matter. I mean, like, your opinion, literally doesn’t matter. Like you're just Tweeting all this crap that it's not changing the world. If you want to change the world, financial advisors - we'll wrap the show with this - make a bunch of money and make stuff happen. There you go. [0:24:16.3]

Jonathan: Look at that. That's a quotable for this episode. So another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. We will be back in your ear buds next time. Thank you for tuning in.

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