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Many successful businesspeople will tell you to get a mentor. And maybe you’ve been looking for someone to take you under their wing, to help you become who you need to be.

But what if that’s a waste of time? What if listening to a mentor doesn’t get you where you want to be?

In this episode, you’ll find out who to listen to and whose advice to ignore. That way, you’ll only get the best advice from the right experts.

Stop letting bad advice ruin your business. Listen now!

Show highlights include:

  • One common piece of advice successful people don’t even follow themselves. (5:48)
  • The one thing no mentor can ever teach you (but you absolutely need). (7:07)
  • “Unsexy” ways wealthy people build successful businesses. (12:20)
  • Why you should never ask successful people to pick their brains. (14:39)
  • The most valuable thing a mentor can give you– in 30 seconds. (16:17)

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.

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




Read Full Transcript

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

James: Welcome to another week, another episode of financial advisor marketing. This is going to be a good show, good show another week, another good show. And before this particular episode, Jonathan, I was taking a walk and I was listening to your book recommendation, ‘Extreme Ownership’.

Jonathan: Oh.

James: Great book.

Jonathan: How do you like it?

James: I actually really like it. I have the audio book version. I started reading the Kindle version, but I only read in, in bed on my Kindle, so I was really slow with it. But with an audio book, if I'm walking twice a day, I can get through it fairly easily is it's a great book. So I recommend that to people who are listening as well.

Jonathan: Yes, sir. And you know what I like about the audio book is that they have the, the sound effects in the background and you get to hear their voices and it takes on a whole new dimension.

James: Yes, yes. I will admit that. That is pretty cool. The one thing that kind of turned me off was when they, it's like it's one of those books where, which just repeats the same message over and over again. But I realized once I finished the book that that's exactly what people need.

Jonathan: Yeah. [01:29.4]

James: That's what makes this stuff stick. And I mean, I do it too. I say the same stuff again and again and again in different ways in order to make it click with people. And that's what the message, the message of extreme ownership is that you should take ownership for everything that your team does and obviously by default, everything that you do, but it's just told in different ways and it's told in an entertaining, in an engaging way. And that's what makes it click with people.
Jonathan: Yeah.

James: So thank you for that recommendation.

Jonathan: Bro. Seven times. I read that last year and I'm still not any good at it.

James: I definitely can improve as well. But speaking of stuff clicking, this is something that really clicked for me recently because in addition to working with tons of financial advisors through the advisor coach, I have been listening to interviews with successful people and like really trying to figure out if anything has changed between what they say was important and what they actually did. Because I'm more interested in what they did rather than what they say. [02:27.5]

And what I mean by that is someone who says, oh, we did this 20 years ago, but I don't think that it worked. Here's what I think work that we did now. But it's like, wait a minute, wait a minute. If multiple people say the same thing about what they did 20 years ago and then they all dismiss it, I'm a little confused, because you've got a common denominator here, is what they actually did. And then they change it and say all no, you know, it's something different. So I was a little confused. I'm not going to name her, but what really did it for me was an interview with a successful entrepreneur who says that she now makes time for her family and doesn't work on her business as much. She said that she used to be hard driving and she used to have this succeed at all costs mentality and that's what got her to be super successful. Like that's it. And that was the common denominator between other interviewers as well. But what she's saying now is that slowing down is important. So that definitely confused me. And then I was listening to one of Jim Rowan speeches where he said that he paid too high a price for success and that if he could do it all over again, he would never have paid that price. [03:32.3]

And this really got me thinking because I was sitting there wondering. Well would he have ever been as successful if he didn't pay that price? And I'm not saying that my answer is the right answer. I don't really think there's a right or wrong answer, but my thinking led me to conclude that no, he would not have been as successful. And therein lies the basic flaw and having a mentor, they may give you the absolute best advice based on their own life situation. Now for example, the entrepreneur who talked about being with the kids and stuff, slowing down and spending time with their family is likely the best advice possible for someone else who already has a successful business in the family. Someone who's all in the same exact position. But it's probably not the right advice for someone who wants to grow a business. And I know I'll probably get a lot of negative feedback, but you, you kind of understand the concept of what I'm saying where, what got them. There isn't necessarily what their mind is, you know, allowing them to perceive and it's just, it's weird. It puts me in a weird space when I think about it. [04:38.7]

Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. I, I just wrote a letter to 22 year old me giving advice and I'm wondering was that advice incorrect? I wonder.

James: That's funny. Cause I just, I wrote an email about this two days ago. I was at a local high school. I gave a speech in the speech was titled, ‘Advice I would give my 17 year olds self’. So I actually like literally just got done doing something very similar. And I ended that talk with embrace productivity, which I'm leaning more and more and more towards if you've listened to the show, you know that I'm beginning to emphasize productivity more than anything else.

And I say that if you get all your work done, cause these were high school seniors and they were all going to go to college in August of this year. And I said if you get all your work done and you're super productive, you can go to, you can get A's and go to the parties as well.

Jonathan: Yeah, Right. You can have it all. [05:29.0]

James: The kids just did not like that. But it’s like their face just lit up. So that was cool. But with like a lot of stuff in life, there are discrepancies and I don't claim to have all the answers. I most definitely don't. But I'm starting to see things that I've never seen before, especially with this light gap. And another example was when the wealthiest people say they say stuff like, “Go along to Get along”, but then almost everything they do break social conventions. I think the truth is that winning a popularity contest and becoming a leader in your field are two completely different undertaking. [06:09.2]

So it always bothers me when people say, hey, go get along to go along, go along, get along, whatever the freaking saying is, and have a bunch of friends and build networks and don't burn bridges. And all of that is good advice by itself. But when you examine their actions, they're burning bridges left and right. They're breaking norms left and right. They're acting differently, they're thinking differently. So you have to look at what they actually did. And I've been reading a lot of autobiographies lately. This is kind of what got me down this rabbit hole. Books about billionaires and Titans of industry, stuff like that. I noticed that you producer, Jonathan mentioned J D Rockefeller's book ‘Titan’.

James: Well.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: That's not his book, but it's his biography. That is a great book as well. It's really long.

Jonathan: Yeah.

James: And it is really, really long and gets kind of dry at times. But like, like you said that you said on one of our private calls, like he was on a mission from God or at least he believed he was.

Jonathan: Yeah. [07:04.1]

James: And that's if you, if you're someone who wants to take that advice, you kind of can, unless you truly, deeply believe it down to the core, he can't give you that. He cannot teach you or distill into you some sense of obligation, some sense of moral duty that it is your mission in life, that God gave you this mission to just dominate industry, to help people, to build foundations, to build trust. Like you, you can't get that from a mentor.

Jonathan: No.

James: You just can't. And another thing that I've noticed with these biographies is that a lot of these super wealthy people in there, especially their autobiographies, cause it's them talking, they downplay their interest in money altogether.
Yeah, they do. But then when you listen to people who are just starting out, they were obsessed with making money. So like what, what is changing? There's like a discrepancy we have. Now I listened to a Dan Kennedy seminar where he talked about Dave, Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's, and apparently Dave would literally throw celebration parties when he put his competitors out of business. [08:11.5]

Jonathan: Wow.

James: He was a ruthless business person. But he had this public persona, rightly or wrongly, and there's no judgment here, I'm just merely telling you what I've noticed and what I've seen. He had this public persona of being a sweet old man. He was like a cuddly grandpa, but you couldn't talk to Dave for more than five minutes without him asking you what you were doing to make more money, what you were doing to increase sales. He was focused on the money and good for him that's what made him successful. That's what he did that, I mean, he doesn't have, not that I know of. He doesn't have anything where he said he wasn't focused on the money or that he suddenly had a change of heart or whatever, but he was focused on the money. I've been thinking a lot about this stuff. Now I was even reading book where I found this quote and I wanted to share it on the podcast. Here it is. I've got my notes in front of me. I will read it directly from the notes. “The business man is the only sort of person who when he obtains the object of his labors, namely making a lot of money, tries to make it appear that it was not the object of his labors.” [09:17.4]

Jonathan: Ahhh…too good.

James: Nothing to see here. Nothing to see here if we're just going to sweep it under the rug. And like I said, there's nothing wrong with having that focus and having that drive, but don't do a 180 and say, Oh, it didn't matter. Oh, it didn't play that big of a role in my success. I was just doing it to help others. Like you can, you can have all of it. You can have the drive to make more money, you can have the drive to help others, but don't downplay it and confuse people who are genuinely trying to learn and genuinely trying to get what made you different.

Jonathan: Hmm.

James: It just leads people astray. And my point of it, with all this stuff with people downplaying the importance of money is to help advisors be a little bit more careful so they don't get the wrong idea. If they do the same thing and they study super successful people, I encourage you to read autobiographies, I encourage you, listen to interviews. [10:09.4]

But if someone who is already rich says, Oh, money's not that important yet extra careful with taking that at face value because if you rewind and see why that person is successful, one of the factors is, because he or she viewed money as important. And by the way, what a lot of these interviews, like I've been listening to interviews on YouTube, but like the founder of Stripe, and you've got Dropbox, like a lot of these companies, they don't have that many views. But if you go on YouTube and you look for your favorite guru, millions of views, something's wrong there, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yeah. [10:45.2]

Hey, financial advisors, if you're looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, I invite you to sign up for James' brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. Go to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar to register today. On this webinar, you'll discover why email marketing is able to generate upwards of 4400% ROI for smart financial advisors, three fatal mistakes nearly all financial advisors make with their emails, and the proven three-step process for converting prospects into booked appointments using email. All you have to do is head on over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/webinar and register today. [11:25.0]

James: Well, you've got people who literally formed a company like Drop box, Drew Houston, or you've got Des Traynor, you've got Patrick Collison, like these are all legit disruptors, industry changers, game changers in every way. But if you Google their names and look for interviews and they've got them out there, a couple of hundred views, a couple thousand views. But if you look for like seven ways to make more sales and 2020 is no, it means a millions and millions of views from your favorite guru and its, its goofy. And another thing financial advisors that I have noticed from studying these people is how certain things are left out, like taking advantage of certain tax laws where you get the sense and you kind of put the pieces together. When you listen to interviews and you, you read multiple books about one person, you start to put the pieces together and you say, wait a minute; this person took advantage of certain tax laws, this person. But that's not sexy, right? [12:25.4]

To an extent taking advantage of all these laws and rules. It makes sense because when you're putting together a biography or an autobiography, you write about some basic story about like a hero's journey, how the person worked hard, took risk, all that cool stuff. Not necessarily about accounting or tax law and a lot of ultra-wealthy people take full advantage of the tax code. Again, no judgment, nothing right or wrong here, but the thing is when you're making an autobiography or you're making audio book or something like that, it's not a sexy topic. So you kind of leave it out and advisors don't get the full story. People who are studying successful people do not get the full story. And when it comes to financial advisors specifically, I found that mentors are kind of like, and I've said this before, they're like surgical knives because in the same way that they can be used to save a life, they can also be used to take one. [13:15.9]

You have to be extremely careful. And I remember seeing a financial advisor online who asks about how to get started. Someone responded like through a comment and said, “Start attending events and asking other advisors if you can buy them coffee and pick their brains”.

Jonathan: Hmm.

James: And I get a lot of these, pick your brain emails. I know I mentioned that on the podcast before, like pick your brain.

Jonathan: Zombies.

James: When you'd come by. I'd love to meet up. I had someone in like Wisconsin asked me that like I'd love for you to swing by my office and we can grab a coffee. It's like, do you realize that I'm on the East coast? Like I'm not going to fly to Wisconsin and down my cheese head at or whatever it is and go get coffee with you. What the hell? Like.

Jonathan: I got the solution, James, I heard it and my last strategic coach, there was a guy that says, yes, you absolutely can send over $10,000 and we can sit down for a coffee and if you do everything I say in three months I'll give you a $10,000 back. [14:15.5]

James: Hmm. I like that. I do like that a lot. I know Mike Diller did something similar with like his online programs where if you at the end of 12 months or within 12 months, I should say, if you sent him a note and explaining everything that you did and actually prove that you got resolved, he would give you your money back. And I thought that was really cool because it puts people did the test. Yeah. But anyway, back to this, back to they're picking their brains and buying them coffee, whatever. This is terrible advice and I'm sure it's well intentioned, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. That's the quote because let's use some common sense here. Do you really think the most successful advisors are doing this? Do you really believe that high achievers will have time to just lounge around and drink macchiatos with you? I mean, get real.

If I, if I had had time to do all the little coffee meetings, like I would have no time to help advisors and I say that on my contact page and a lot of people get upset with that. But it's the truth. I mean, let's say I took 30 minutes, 30 minutes. I only get five of these a day. Let's say even though I really get like seven, eight, nine, 10 if I only get five a day, that's two and a half hours back to back to back with 30 minutes each that I would have to spend sipping coffee, getting my brain picked, whatever. I would be exhausted. I wouldn't have any time to work on the inner circle newsletter, wouldn't have any time to work on new projects, wouldn't have any time to focus on the advisers who I serve. [15:36.6]

I just wouldn't be able to, and because the financial advisors who wanted to pick my brain would get the advice for free, they wouldn't implement it, wouldn't get any results from it, and they would probably end up hating me because of it. They would say, oh my God, he gave me the keys and I didn't do anything with it. So I'm going to take my frustration with myself and I'm going to project it onto him. That's what happens. And one problem with advisors who feel as if they need a mentor. Neediness kills business by the way, is that they haven't given themselves permission to go out into the marketplace and crush it. Now I know producer Jonathan, we joke around on this podcast and some sets, sometimes I say some pretty outlandish stuff, but I do want to be serious for a moment. [16:16.5]

If you're a financial advisor out there, you're listening to this right now and you're not where you want to be, I want you to give yourself permission to succeed because one thing I've discovered is that since we're children, we get brainwashed into believing we need some permission from other people. Some deity is going to come down and give us permission to succeed and when we're kids, we need permission from parents, teachers, relatives, and so on. So we grow up for 18 years, always seeking that permission from other people, which conditions our mind to always do it. Then we can seek permission from a boss. Seek permission from our spouse; continue to seek permission from our parents. But if you want to unlock your full potential, you need to become the captain of your own ship. Stop believing that other people hold the keys to the life that you want. You have the keys and it's up to you to unlock your full potential and what's even sadder is that some people still won't give themselves permission to succeed because you have limiting beliefs about success, and I'm just talking about success itself. Now I'm talking about the abstract concept. [17:15.3]

Maybe they think that it means stepping on other people, being greedy. All that type of thinking has to leave you because success is really subjective. Whatever you think, success is, that's why I said it's about the abstract concept. I want you to go ahead and give yourself permission to have and enjoy that success. Forget society's definition of success. I know I talk a lot about money on this show because I hope financial advisors make more money. Lots of it, truckloads of it, but if you don't think success involves having a lot of money, that's cool too. Do your thing, player. I just want you to succeed in your own way. Maybe you don't want all the money and it's fine, that's cool with me. I've had several financial advisors say that they just want to build a lifestyle practice or whatever. At some level, I think that's silly because if you have a gift, why wouldn't you want to want that gift to be shared with as many people as possible and to build as big of a legacy as possible. [18:07.3]

But that's a philosophical difference. It's cool with me either way. Whatever you think success is, give yourself permission to succeed. And I tell you something else that happens when you give yourself permission to succeed. When you do that, you are also giving yourself permission to be yourself. Be 100% authentic. Lots of people out there are faking their identities. You got, you've got people out there who have, who never wear a suit and tie outside of work, but they dress up every single time they get in front of a client. It's a facade. Now at some level, you've got to have some respect for yourself and dress yourself up. I get that. But if you never ever really do it, and it's not authentic to you, why in the world are you doing it for your clients and prospects? You are not being authentic. You're doing them a disservice. [18:56.3]

And I'm not saying that you have to be a slob. If you're truly a slob, maybe you don't want to be a slob in the first place, but you've got to be authentic or you've got people who never ever go off. Never, ever, ever would dream of joining a country club, but the minute they become a financial advisor, they do it because they want to meet clients. And to an extent, I will admit you have to do stuff like this because it's part of your marketing and it's, it's stuff like that. But if you're stressing yourself out by doing this and you're not being authentic, give yourself permission to stop because being yourself means accepting you for who you are. In a marketing context, this means getting comfortable with your preferred method of prospecting. If you love talking to people, make more phone calls. Who cares? Who cares about all the people out there who say, Oh, cold calling is dead cold calling you stupid. Hey, maybe it is. Maybe cold calling is dead. Maybe they're stupid, but if it's working for you, keep doing it. If you enjoy doing it, do it. Go do it. Well, let's say that you've got entertaining stories to tell people do email marketing. It just makes sense. Be yourself, be authentic. [20:00.7]

And one of the reasons why having a mentor is sometimes a stumbling block for financial advisors is because the mentors succeeded using methods that it's not going to be authentic and it's not going to jive as well with the advisor who seeking the advice. And that happens with me all the time. Email marketing, for example, I have been on a wall with financial advisors and email marketing and if you're, you want to learn more, go to theadvisorcoach.com/appointment this thing has been absolutely crushing it for financial advisors, but I will openly admit it's not right for every single financial advisor. Not every single financial advisor wants to use an auto responder. Maybe they hate technology, they hate growth, they hate metrics, maybe they don't want to, and that's completely fine. So from this day forward, I want you to stay true to yourself. I want you to think independently, life is too short to do anything less, and that's it for today's show.

Jonathan: That’s it

James: So I hope I inspired you to go out there and live your own, live your best life [21:02.2]

Jonathan: Live your best life. Cliche. Love it.

James: You got to be yourself, man. I mean, there's can't be anyone else. And sometimes getting mentor can get in the way of that because a mentor can give you bad data, outdated information, they can influence you to, make decisions that you wouldn't otherwise make. That's the, that's really it. It's like an influence for you to make a decision that you wouldn't make yourself based on your own blessings, your own gifts, your own strengths. Now, don't get it twisted. I am not bashing mentors. All I'm saying is that you should be very, very careful about choosing mentor because if you get one, it can have a huge impact on your life in good ways and bad. And like with everything else that I talk about in this show. I encourage you, again I'm stressing this. Do your own independent thinking. Draw your own conclusions. Do not just take my word for stuff. [21:57.4]

If I say, Oh yeah, mentors can influence you, good or bad. Really think about it. Is James saying the right thing? Is this true? Is this true for me? Go out and test this stuff for yourself and that is really it for this week, Jonathan.

Jonathan: All right, what do you have coming up for us next time?

James: Next week we are going to venture into high level abstract territory that's meant for deep thinkers only because next week's episode is going to be called, I think if we're going to call it ‘Four ways, emotions are killing your business’. I'm gonna talk about how financial advisors get in their own way and sabotage their business because of their emotions.

Jonathan: I love this subject. Cannot wait fam. Another financial advisor marketing isn't a can. We will be back in your earbuds next time. Thank you for tuning in. [22:44.9]

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