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 the show, the Financial Advisor Marketing show. Today, we're going to talk about how to become a mentally strong financial advisor. This topic actually comes from an Inner Circle member who emailed me about this and asked for me to talk about it in the podcast. So, here we are. Like it's not a complex process. I'm not some fancy, you know, machine in the background making all these ideas for me. It just comes from you guys, the financial advisors. I just love hearing from them and while I can't get back to everyone, I certainly read all the emails and I leverage a good idea when I see one. [0:01:04.5]
So, thank you and we're going to talk about mental toughness. A lot of mental toughness actually comes from perception because the very thing you view as a curse today could be a blessing tomorrow. In the last episode, we talked about parents teaching their children about money and maybe for a time in your life, maybe you viewed it as a curse that your parents didn't teach you anything about money, or I mean… well, we all got taught about money - whether they were good things or bad things that can change. We all…all our parents taught us about money, but it just depends on what it was that they taught us. Maybe you viewed it as a curse that you had bad money habits, but now as a financial advisor, with you being able to help people, maybe you realize it's a blessing because you can see the habits more easily. You can pick out these behaviors in other people and you can tell them exactly what you did to fix your own bad money habits so they can do the same. [0:02:04.1]
So it's all about perception. Here's another example - one of the people that I study in depth… a lot of people ask me about my own reading habits and what I do personally and all that, so I'm going to give you a little glimpse into my own world. Somebody that I study is a guy named R.L. Stein and he's the creator of Goosebumps and Fear Street and all of this, all of these other books. They're horror books and you might be thinking, what in the world is James doing studying a children's author? Well, I'll tell you. It's because this guy was prolific. He's written hundreds and hundreds of books and he's sold more than 350 million.
James: I don't know if he's #1 or #2, but I know for sure he's top 10 bestselling authors, most prolific authors of all time and you do not get to that level, I don’t care what anybody says - you don’t get there without serious dedication to your craft. [0:03:00.6]
He didn't just casually waltz himself into that position. He didn't wake up one morning and be like, oh look at that – 350 million books sold. It was intentional. He was dedicated. I enjoy learning from everybody who is at the top of their game because I realize that a lot of this stuff applies everywhere. So the stuff that you can learn from Lebrun James or the stuff that you can learn from Bill Gates, the stuff you can learn from Charlie Munger, it applies everywhere because they're using the same principles of dedication, being relentless and being hungry, investing in themselves. A lot of the principles apply in all businesses, in all lives. Anyway, R.L. Stein was apparently, and I didn't know this until recently - he was apparently an editor for a social studies magazine for 7th and 8th graders and the little catch there was these 7th and 8th graders were reading at a 4th grade reading level. Now that's a very specific audience. I know I talk about having a niche all the time, but holy cow - I mean, that is a specific niche. [0:04:03.1]
So 7th and 8th graders who read at a 4th grade reading level and R.L. Stein said he hated it. He had to learn all of these systems for different reading levels and figure out which topics the 7th graders could read about, which ones they wanted to read about, what they were interested in and all this, and it was just complicated. It was very complex and he didn't enjoy it one bit. Yet, he ended up writing the enormously popular Goosebumps series, which was written for - you guessed it - kids from 4th to 7th grade. So the thing that seemed like a curse ended up being his biggest blessing because he went into the Goosebumps era with tremendous knowledge on how to write for kids and exactly what to say. I mean, he had an incredible head start, and one could argue that without that experience, he would never had been as successful. So a lot of mental toughness depends on your perception. I want you to keep that in mind as we go through this show. Any Goosebumps books in your household? I think you're right… you're over the age for that and your kid is too young for… [0:05:08.3]
Jonathan: Yeah. Huddy is too young for that, but you're … I'm thinking I might need to add this to the collection, but it's a little bit premature right now.
James: Sure, yeah - 4th and 7th is the audience that he wrote for and I mean, he just … these things flew off the shelves. Kids couldn’t get enough of them. I love them and I … well, I actually started reading Fear Street, which was like the young adult version, not the young adult version of Goosebumps because it happened before, but I even read the horror novels. I'm really into horror and I watch a lot of scary movies. That's like the only genre I really get into is the really scary stuff.
James: Yeah. I just got done watching The Haunting of Hell House on Netflix and that was eh, I give it two thumbs down. It was not that good. I thought it was going to be scary, but it wasn’t scary and maybe it's just because I read this stuff as a kid and I've watched all these movies, but a lot of the stuff doesn’t scare me. [0:06:02.9]
Jonathan: It's not scary anymore. I used to love that stuff growing up as a kid and what I think has happened is they can't scare people anymore with good writing so they've gone to the gory and gross stuff.
James: Yeah. It's just too much gore, too much blood, too much violence and I don’t want to get off track, but I mean, this is my show and I can do what I want. I have been kicking around the idea of writing a scary book or a horror book and I'm trying to flesh out this idea. I had the idea of where there's a Smart home where we have got the Alexa and we have got the Google Home and all this and interconnected devices. I've got an idea of where like a hacker hacks into a home and sets up like the …sets up the children and he starts giving the children these messages or whatever…
James: … to turn against their parents, and they set up in such a way like where the kids are on the computer. Then the minute that the parents get over there, the messages go away, so the parents think the kid is just making it up. [0:07:01.0]
And I think that would be very scary. Or where a hacker sets up a husband and installs like, you know, cheating websites and messages with other women and it's all completely fake, but they turn the husband and wife against each other and they have the family fighting… like I would make that really scary. So.
Jonathan: It is scary. It's plausible. That's what makes it scary.
James: Yeah. It's real and that's the difference. That's the stuff that scares me, the stuff that can be real. I … the lady of the house is very scared with like Poltergeist and with Paranormal Activity and all that and it does not scare me. The serial killer stuff scares me. The real stuff where people can actually get you, where stuff is like really happening and it's not just some paranormal stuff. That's what scares me. But on to the mental toughness. I think that mental toughness, hey, if someone's really after you or your family is starting to break apart, I guess you do have to be pretty mentally tough. But I think that mental toughness is your ability to overcome your own barriers, your own doubts, your own worries, your own concerns - all that. [0:08:03.5]
But the barriers don’t have to be mental either. They don’t have to be. They can be real life barriers. You could have an illness or you could have a bad family or you could have been from like a bad neighborhood or something. It's just that someone who grew up in a bad location who is also mentally tough is more likely to succeed than someone who grew up in that location who is mentally weak.
Here are some of the ways you can become a mentally tough financial advisor. First off - believe you'll get what you want. A lot of mental toughness comes from your own belief that you'll get what you want because if you don’t believe it, you won't even attempt to go after your goals and I see this with my programs all the time. I don’t want to go off on a tangent about my programs and plug the stuff, but like with "Appointments On Autopilot, I've got proof, proof and more proof on the sales page, and it comes with a 100% money back guarantee for a year, which means you can try everything, implement your autoresponder, use the sample templates. If it doesn’t work for you, you get your money back, but a lot of financial advisors just don’t believe ….they either don’t believe in me, even though they really should or they don’t believe in themselves that it could work for them, even with that money back guarantee. [0:09:12.6]
And I don’t do much one-on-one coaching with financial advisors anymore, but that used to be the main thing I did. I mean, that's why my website is literally TheAdvisorCoach.com, but back when I was doing it, a lot of the things I would help advisors with wasn’t really marketing related. It was just getting clear on the goals. A lot of times they would start off by saying, "Oh, I want to make more money." So step #1 was getting them to commit to a specific number; however, the challenge was that some financial advisors would start throwing out crazy numbers, like "Oh, I want to get 100 financial planning clients in one year," and keep in mind that they didn't have any systems for that. They didn't have any infrastructure to get anywhere near that. So they just threw out a number and that's not real goal setting. I'm all for dreaming big and setting big goals. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you don’t have any sense or belief that you will actually reach those goals. So please, please listen to what I'm saying here because this is important. [0:10:09.4]
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.
James: When I started grilling these financial advisors about their goals, they admitted to me, privately - they would never say this in public - they would never say this to their coworkers or anyone like on the board that they wanted to impress, but they said it to me. They said that they didn't really believe that they could accomplish it. So what we had to do was get them back down to a goal that they really believed they could accomplish. A lot of times I would use money because money is quantifiable and everybody kind of gets what I'm talking about when I say things in dollars and cents. So let's say I work with an advisor who made $30,000 in year one and then $50,000 in year two, and $90,000 in year three. This financial advisor has already proven that he can triple his income in three years, and he's getting better and better because he's learning more. He's developing systems and techniques and getting better at marketing and all that good stuff. All I really have to do as the coach is come in and make the most of what he already has, but my point is this - it's not that farfetched to think that in year four, that he could make $150,000, which is $60,000 more than he made the year before. But if that same advisor tried to go from $30,000 to $90,000, which is that same $60,000 increase, then he probably wouldn't believe it was possible because he's starting in the very beginning and he has no credibility. [0:12:04.7]
He has nothing to reinforce that belief. It would probably sabotage the whole deal. So you have to work from a place of belief. If you've already increased your income a large amount in one year, you know it's possible. So set a goal to do it again. That will give you a huge advantage over everyone else because you have that belief. You now have the mental toughness because it's been reinforced. Say I've increased my income a bunch. I'm just going to do it again. No big deal. Now I know you've probably experienced that. Just life is all about just reinforcing beliefs. Isn't it, Jonathan?
Jonathan: Yeah, whatever you believe, good or bad - it's going to come true.
James: And you can choose your beliefs. That's like The Matrix part of this whole deal is that you can pick and choose what you want out of life.
James: Number two - learn to deal with stress, and this could be a whole episode by itself, but the ability to deal with stress is a critical part of mental toughness. [0:13:01.7]
Now, my own personal philosophy, this is me talking now. I'm not just trying to be vague or general or anything like that. This is specific to me. My own philosophy is that building a business is like building muscle. When you want to build your muscles, you put them under stress and then you rest and they repair themselves. They get bigger and stronger. I think that building a business is very similar to that and that gives me a tremendous mental edge because it allows me to embrace stress. I look forward to it because I know that whenever I feel stress, I am going to level up. Just like whenever you work out and you lift weights and you feel the fatigue and you hit your max and you can't do anything else, you know that you're going to rest, repair and get stronger. So I actually embrace stress and people look at my work ethic and the things that I can get done in like 20 hours that take other people 80 or 90 and it's just that it looks like I'm just absolutely insane, like face melting, stuff I do - just incredible, to others. And it looks like that to other people, but I enjoy it because I embrace that stress and that's my own personal philosophy. [0:14:02.3]
Now I'm not asking you to adopt that philosophy. That would be kind of weird. I want you to do your own independent thinking, but you can adopt this one if you want and you'll be better equipped to deal with stress. So stop looking at stress as this big scary terrible thing and start looking at it as a growth opportunity and there are a lot of business people out there who pride themselves on like charging through the stress and not in the way that I'm talking about. Going hard through the whole thing and putting fire out after fire and never taking a break and that's pretty dumb because remember, you need to rest in order to build muscle and you need to rest in order to grow your business. So it's like sleep - can you work more hours if you don’t sleep? Sure. You can work more hours but will it be productive work? Probably not. And constantly driving through stress is the same way. Sure, you can do it. Anybody can do it. I could do it, if I wanted to, but it probably won't give you the same great results that resting and coming back would. So embrace stress. Look at stress as a part of life and something that's going to happen. It will happen. The more you worry about it, the worse it's going to be, which brings me to my next point. [0:15:17.1]
Number three - prepare for obstacles, and this is not popular. This is not some happy go lucky, everything's going to be great and wonderful and there are going to be unicorns pooping rainbows everywhere… if you've listened to the podcast for any length of time, you know that that's not me and that's not my personality. I will tell you what I believe to be the truth - bad things will happen. Stuff will go wrong. I'm trying to put together this webinar right now and the software is crashing and crapping out at every, every step of the way. I wanted to have this thing done literally 23 days ago, and I'm busting my hump to make sure that it's perfect and it's just failing every step of the way, but that's okay because I know bad things will happen. Stuff will go wrong and it's up to me to be prepared, and it's up to you to be prepared and knowing that you're prepared is an enormous mental advantage. [0:16:09.9]
It's like taking your already tough mind, if you did the other things, and wrapping that thing in a bulletproof vest and I love the whole positive thinking deal. I really do. I am very, very much into self-improvement, positive psychology, power of positive thinking, all that, but I also love the power of negative thinking because it allows you to prepare. I'm not talking about being down on yourself and damaging your self-esteem. I'm talking about thinking about what could go wrong. What am I not preparing for? That's the negative thinking I'm talking about. I'm talking once every few months where you just sit down, you brainstorm all the things that could go wrong and how you could be prepared for them. Will you get everything? No. Of course not. There will always be things that blindside you, but you can get a lot of them out and you're going to enhance your mental toughness through preparation. Let's say your biggest client leaves you. Are you prepared for that? What will you do if and when that happens? Let's say you go through a health crisis - are you prepared? Here's one thing I'm not prepared for - what happens if you have a health crisis or something goes wrong with you, producer Jonathan - what do I … what's your backup plan? [0:17:16.5]
Jonathan: If I die, I have plenty of life insurance.
James: But what am I going to do without you?
Jonathan: Cupcake will be your new co-host and that will be awkward.
James: Sure. I mean, I guess that kind of would. It would be like, heyyy, sorry to hear about …
Jonathan: Sorry for your loss. Now can we record?
James: I would never do that. Yeah, I don't know. I probably would shut down this version of my podcast and just… I probably wouldn’t podcast for quite some time, but I … may or may not open a new one. I don't know, but …
Jonathan: You'd be in mourning - fam, the guy would be in mourning. Isn't that sweet?
James: I would be in mourning. Now here's an example from my real life. I write my Inner Circle newsletter and I send it out to financial advisors every month. [0:18:00.5]
This is a real paper and ink newsletter which gets shipped directly to the advisors' door and every word is written by me. That's why I had to bring on the assistant because I mean I …there are a lot of other things that were demanding my time but I absolutely refused to give up writing the Inner Circle newsletter because that would be wrong of me because I promised the advisors it would come directly from me. Well, one time I was moving some stuff around in my garage and I dropped this big hunk of metal on my, like directly on my hand and my hand was like in serious pain for about a week. I couldn’t move it or squeeze it or anything. Like I couldn’t grab a cup to get something to drink and I couldn’t like hold a fork or a spoon. It was … it sucked and I definitely couldn’t type, but I prepared for such a situation by installing a dictation service on my computer and I ended up dictating what was left of the newsletter. That way, it still got written. My point is, I was prepared and even though it sucked to be like, you know, financial advisors should be doing this -period - enter - indent - like… I didn't like doing that, but I was prepared and I used a different dictation service. [0:19:06.8]
I had to get a third party one because the ones that come with the computers, the ones that are installed in there, they tend to be really slow and clunky and when disaster struck me and destroyed my hand, I was able to finish my newsletter and send it out on the first of the month, just like I do every month. I promised advisors this thing goes out on the first, and sure as heck, it did. There's a little lesson there. Prepare for the worst and if you've been in my Inner Circle, you know that, I think it was about a year ago, I wrote about nearly breaking my ankle and how that took me out of commission, but I was prepared for that too.
Number four - build some momentum. This is extremely important too. You want to get some small wins under your belt so you have belief in yourself. This goes right back to number one, which is all about belief because when you accomplish small goals, you realize you have what it takes to accomplish your goals period, which means you now have more belief to accomplish big goals and the more momentum you can get, the better off you will be. [0:20:05.4]
I've seen this a lot with financial advisors, especially the ones who have been through "Appointments On Autopilot". This program, it's designed to be easy enough so you can set up a system of 10 to 20 emails into a sequence, an autoresponder sequence that sets appointments for you while on autopilot. But there are a few financial advisors who have decided to go above and beyond. So they set up the autoresponder and then they challenged themselves to continue writing additional emails on top of that, but the idea here is that they're setting appointments from the autoresponder, which gives them momentum to write more emails, which gives them even more momentum to improve other areas of their business because their emails put them in the drivers seat. They see that they're capable of creating something which sets appointments so they carry that over into other areas of their business. It's awesome stuff. You really want to create this momentum and those are the four ways to become a mentally strong financial advisor. [0:21:05.9]
First, you've got to believe you'll get what you want. Then you want to learn to deal with stress. You should embrace it. It shouldn’t be something that you run away from and hide in the corner. Number three - prepare for obstacles. Number four - build some momentum. And if you do those four things, you'll notice your mind getting stronger and tougher, tough like a piece of leather.
Jonathan: Awesome. So what do you have coming up for us next time, James?
James: Next week is going to be very different. I've been getting a lot of questions from financial advisors, more so that usual and it's probably my…well, it is my fault because I invite them to send me questions, so I got a bunch of them. And I'm going to pick some of them out and do a Q and A episode.
James: And depending on how well this goes, I mean, we have never done this before. Depending on how well it goes, I may do more of them in the future because I've got like a war chest of questions from advisors. I could do 10 of these episodes, easily. [0:22:00.9]
Jonathan: That is going to be fun. Alright. Looking forward to it, as always. Another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can. Tune in next time for more.
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