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Even the most ambitious financial advisors fall short of their goals. They want to multiply their client roster, skyrocket their revenue and stop working all day. But most never make those goals reality. 

Instead, they make excuses:

They don’t have time because of their family, their day job takes up too much time… instead of taking action on their goals, they waste the potential they know they have.

In this episode, you’ll discover how to stop making excuses and reach your goals, no matter what circumstances you’re in.

Want to torch your excuses and finally take action on your ambitious goals? Listen now!

Show highlights include: 

  • The oddball book that turns ADHD from an excuse into a superpower that lets you fast-track your goals. (3:03)
  • Why some advisors build million-dollar businesses from terrible circumstances—while others never even make it out of the 9-5. (6:28)
  • Why listening to podcasts will never make you successful (even if they motivate you) (12:12)
  • Why you’re poisoning your mindset and keeping yourself from succeeding whenever you complain. (16:25)

If you’re looking for a way to set more appointments with qualified prospects, sign up for James’ brand new webinar about how financial advisors can get more clients with email marketing. 

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

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

Discover how to get even better at marketing yourself with these resources:



Read Full Transcript

You're listening to “Financial Advisor Marketing”—the best show on the planet for financial advisors who want to get more clients, without all the stress. You're about to get the real scoop on everything from lead generation to closing the deal.

James is the founder of TheAdvisorCoach.com, where you can find an entire suite of products designed to help financial advisors grow their businesses more rapidly than ever before. Now, here is your host, James Pollard.

James: I'm just going to jump right into this. I've been seeing a lot of people whining and complaining lately. I don't know if there's something in the air or something in the water, but I feel like, as an entire culture, we're becoming soft, and I've said this on the show before, every time I've needed an excuse, it's been there for me. I've never had to look very far for an excuse. I know I always have excuses in my back pocket if I need them. They're not use it or lose it. They will always be there. [01:01.7]

But people are using these lame excuses for not doing something, not making progress. If you want to get fit, go out and get fit. If you want to get clients, my goodness, get clients. I have the resources here. I have the podcast. I have the blog. I have products over at TheAdvisorCoach.com/products. Go find someone else, find other coaches, other consultants, other … I don't even know. There are people out there who can help you. Read business books. Listen to other podcasts.

You live in a world of such abundance right now. Podcasts didn't even exist 40 years ago. A lot of these books where people distilled their knowledge into 200 or 300 pages, sometimes more, sometimes less, that stuff didn't really exist. Good to Great didn't exist. Think and Grow Rich did not exist 100 years ago. It's just incredible that people still make these excuses. Here are some of these excuses that I hear.

“I have anxiety.” Yeah, me too. I have the Sunday scaries, the Monday scaries, the Tuesday scaries, the Wednesday scaries, I could go on. I'm anxious all the time. I am wired every day, but I still do stuff. It's almost as if doing big things should make you nervous. [02:11.5]

Huh, isn't that interesting? If you have a big goal, you should feel a little anxious. You should feel a little nervous as you move towards it. Besides, anxiety, look, I get it. It's a treatable condition. If you're not working on your sleep, your diet and your lifestyle, then you should not complain about anxiety. Take a Stress B-Complex. Take your prescription. Get better sleep, and move on.

Another excuse is “I have ADHD.” Now, I have never been formally diagnosed with ADHD, so I can't officially relate. I have some of the symptoms. I've read a book called Driven to Distraction and I identified with it more than almost any other book that I've read, so I kinda sorta feel like maybe I do have ADHD. Again, never been formally diagnosed, so I can't officially say, oh, yeah, I have ADHD, because I haven't gotten that diagnosis. [03:02.5]

But if you're someone out there who does have ADHD, I recommend reading a book called Driven to Distraction and it will open your eyes to a lot of things and it will show you why having ADHD is a good thing. The reason I bring that up is because what if you reframed your ADHD as a superpower? What if you thought of it as an advantage instead of a disadvantage?

You have trouble multitasking? Good. That's a good thing. You should not multitask anyway. Do you have a low frustration tolerance? Good, so do I. You're a little impulsive? Good. Do you know how much of an advantage impulsivity can be in business? You get the urge to call or email a prospect, so you do it right away. You are head and shoulders above somebody with call reluctance. You're just sitting there, “Oh, I don't know if I should call this person. I don't know if I should send this letter. The anxiety is stopping me,” where the ADHD person, boom, impulsivity. Sends that letter, makes that call, just takes action. [04:00.8]

There have been studies done, which have found that people with ADHD thrive in times of crisis, and if you don't believe me, you can do your own research and go down the rabbit hole yourself. Start with a Forbes article, titled, ADHD: The Entrepreneur's Superpower, and start reading.

One more time. It's a Forbes article. ADHD: The Entrepreneur Superpower. You start reading that. You'll get links to other resources. You can see different studies and you can realize that it is not necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage. It's all about how you frame it.

Another excuse. “I'm happy where I am. I'm satisfied. I'm good. I'm content.” I think this is selfish. If you have gifts, you should share them with the world, period. Every day you don't fully express your gifts is a day you're stealing from the people you love. Maybe you are good, but what about your spouse? What about your children? Don't you think they want more? [05:01.0]

If they're a hundred percent truly satisfied, which is unlikely, then what about charities you support? Don't you think you can use your gifts to make the world a better place instead of fulfilling your hedonistic urges? “Oh, I'm good. I'm satisfied. I make 100k per year,” or “I'm good. I'm breezing. I'm chilling.” Okay, whatever.

My favorite book of all time is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and there are even out there-- I can't even speak because I'm so frustrated. There are people out there who say, Oh, that book is for suckers, but they don't realize that people like Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, S. Truett Cathy, who was the founder of Chick-fil-A, these people credit that book for their success, so I guess they're suckers, right? Come on, get real.

In that book, Napoleon Hill gives a list of 57 excuses people give for not achieving success and here are some of my favorites. “If I didn't have a past” was one of the excuses. What about your past is holding you back? If you think that, what about it? Because there's likely someone who grew up in the same circumstances as you who also experienced success. [06:13.4]

“Father was an alcoholic.” There are plenty of successes who had those.

“Abusive household.” Yep, people succeed from those.

“Grew up homeless.” Yep. The difference is, the people who made it happen, didn't let the excuse hold them back, and as you study people, as you read biographies, you realize people struggle. Stuff is hard. I'm not saying this stuff is easy. It's not supposed to be easy. The stuff can be really, really difficult and you can be at a major disadvantage, but we all have our own little disadvantages. Some have them more than others, I get that. But there are people who still make it happen.

Another excuse. “If my talents were known.” Let them be known. Get out into the world. Make people recognize who you are.

“If people didn't get on my nerves.” People get on my nerves all the time, but I don't use that as an excuse. [07:00.2]

“If I were only younger.” There are younger people who want to be older. When I first broke into the consulting space with financial services and Financial Advisor Marketing, people dismissed me left and right because of my age. There are older people who will whine and complain about ageism being real and them getting denied job applications, and so on and so forth, but let me tell you, I experience ageism from these financial advisors who would just look down on me because of my age. I get it. I understand. I sympathize.

I empathize with ageism or with people who experience ageism because I've experienced it. It is not pretty. It's not fun. It never feels good, because I could come into a business with results on top of results on top of results on top of results, and people would just take one look at me and they would dismiss all of those results and they'd say, “What can some punk kid do for me?” so, look, I understand, but I did not use it as an excuse.

“If luck were not against me” is another excuse. It's like, ugh, make your own luck. [07:59.0]

Another excuse people make is “I don't have time.” “I don't have time” is code for “I'm not making it a priority.” If you don't have time to exercise, it's because it's not a priority for you. If you don't have time to prospect and market your business, it's not a priority for you. Let's be real. Let's not lie to ourselves and give ourselves these little codes. Let's keep it 100.

If you study history, you begin to realize how easy we have it today. If you think you're burned out and that you just need a vacation, you need a getaway, take a second to understand how lucky you are that you have running water. Do you realize that indoor plumbing wasn't widely available until about 100 years ago? If you don't have to go outside to poop, if you don't have to go into that outhouse, be thankful.

Do you have poor eyesight? Do you wear glasses? Do you have contacts? Because if you had poor eyesight hundreds of years ago, you were pretty much screwed. You were screwed. Today, you pop some contacts in and you keep it moving.

Do you realize refrigerators in houses didn't become common until the 1940s? That's not even 100 years ago. Again, be thankful. [09:03.4]

If you're not working towards your goals, then your goals are not a priority for you. Let's be real. We are not talking in code. We're not trying to skirt past these issues. We're not saying, Oh, well, I'm just burned out. I need a little vacation. I need a break. I need to destress. No, you are not making your goals a priority, okay?

If you don't have time because you watch three hours of Netflix every night, then you need to evaluate your life choices. Think of this. The average American, just google this. I'm not just pulling this out of my butt. Google. How many hours per day does the average American spend watching TV? You're going to see it's between two and four hours, okay?

Studies have been done. It's different based on the state. I saw one resource that said Alaska spends the least amount of time or Alaskan citizens spend the least amount of time watching TV and West Virginians and people who live in Alabama spend the most time watching TV, but it averages out to be about three hours. [10:04.3]

Isn't that crazy? Three hours. That's 21 hours per week. You can get two full 40-hour workweeks back every month if you just cut out television, assuming you're an average American. You don't have time. Really? Does LinkedIn stop working at 5:00? Does email stop working at 5:00? Ugh. Give me a break.

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.

Are there limitations, though? People are listening to this like, Wow, James is really going on a rant, and I kind of am, and their excuses are still stuck in their head there, bouncing around, and they think, Mine is real. [11:00.6]

Okay, I'm not living in a fantasy world. If you have no limbs, you have no arms, you have no legs, it will be difficult for you to beat Michael Phelps in the water. I'm not going to lie to you and say that you can do it. But let's go back to what I said earlier.

Has anyone without limbs won a gold medal swimming? No. So, when you look for someone who has that disadvantage and you try to find someone who has been successful in the field or the area in which you want to be successful, then you can prove yourself wrong.

Has a blind person ever won a NASCAR race? No, but if you take a good hard look at your circumstances, whatever excuses percolating in your brain right now, and you begin looking for someone who is successful with that same disadvantage or the person came from those same circumstances, you're probably going to find someone.

I've noticed that a large percentage of people who complain, they simply aren't doing enough. That's just the way it is. They're not doing enough, period. It's like someone going to the gym for one day and expecting to be in incredible shape or eating one salad and expecting to be lean. It doesn't work that way. [12:08.8]

Just because you listen to a podcast and you have a rush of motivation for one day does not mean you're destined for success. You have to show up every day. Yes, that includes when you're sick. Yes, that includes when there are things you don't want to do. Yes, that includes when you have other things to do that are more pressing, that are more important, that are more urgent, whatever. There are other things that you would rather be doing. You show up.

There's a Woody Allen quote that says 80 percent of success is showing up, and I think that's true. I think I've had this beaten into me because I grew up on a farm and I've talked about this on the show before. The animals had to be fed, no matter what. It didn't matter if your mom had just died. It didn't matter if your wedding day was there. It didn't matter if you just had a child born. Those animals had to be fed. They had to have water, because it's abuse if you don't feed or water them, right?

You're not going to abuse those animals. You're not going to let them go without. You are going to get out there. You were going to take care of them, period, no matter what. You could be on your deathbed. You will crawl out from under those sheets. You could vomit all over the floor. You could be bleeding out. Those animals are still going to get fed. [13:10.4]

When you're watching TV, you're not showing up. When you're destressing, you're not showing up. Now, is destressing important? Yes. Yes, I think it's important to take some time to just chill out if you really need that. Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. I totally understand. I travel all the time. I love to destress. I love having a good time.

But think about some major historical figures. These people didn't not destress all the time. Do you think Julius Caesar needed his venti mocha latte to treat himself before making a decision? Do you think George Washington needed to take five minutes to take a breather after someone was mean to him? No. No.

Do you think Abraham Lincoln was like, Guys, guys, today has been really hard. Like, let me just plug in my AirPods and listen to some Calm and let me just meditate with some Headspace. He doesn't do that. He just got the stuff done. Literally, just show up. Send the message. Make the call. Send the cards and do it again tomorrow, and do it again the next day and do it again the next day. [14:13.7]

Let's assume that you're terrible at prospecting. You are the worst. Whatever the bee’s knees is, what is the opposite of that? The frog's legs? I don't know. Let's assume you're the frog's legs and you only set appointments with 1 percent of people, and that's horrible, by the way, but we're going to assume that that's true.

If you kept showing up, you would eventually break six figures anyway. Then you would break mid six figures and then you would break seven figures, assuming that your client service was good, assuming that you kept these people happy and that you kept your business afloat. But I'm talking about just prospecting, just marketing. You would still get there, even if you were terrible.

It's like running a marathon. It's not necessarily a sprint. You run the marathon. You jog the marathon. You walk the marathon. You crawl the marathon. Do you cross the finish line? Yes or no? Hmm, if you crawl enough, yes, if you jog enough, yes, you will still cross the finish line. [15:13.5]

Excuses, all they do is steal time. I think one of my superpowers is the ability to lock myself in a room and get stuff done. There could be a riot outside my door and I wouldn't have a clue because I'm so tuned in, no distractions, no phones, no social media, nothing. Just me and the task at hand. Whatever needs to get done will get done. I don’t care.

Again, the animal thing, right? I don't care if I'm sick. I don't care if I'm tired. I don't care if I have other things to do. I don't care if other priorities come up, other things come up. The thing is getting done, and I'm not special. In fact, I have a lot of disadvantages I'm not even going to mention because they're irrelevant.

If I wanted to talk about excuses and I wanted to talk about disadvantages, I could bring them up. The people that know me, like friends and family members who are listening to the show, they know all the disadvantages that I've had in my life. They have all the obstacles I've had to overcome, all the stuff I'm still dealing with to this day. But I'm not even going to bring them up because it doesn't matter. It doesn't have anything to do with the goals that I'm pursuing. [16:14.6]

Stop complaining. Again, every time I've needed an excuse, one has been there for me. Has an excuse, has complaining ever advanced you closer to your goal? If your goal is to save a million bucks, will complaining get you there faster? If so, more or power to you, keep complaining. But in my experience, it doesn't. It does not.

If I sit down and, first thing in the morning, I say, “Okay, what's my goal? To save $1 million. Oh, my life is so hard. Things suck. People are mean to me. People get all my nerves. Okay, okay, how much money do I have now?” Not a dime more. It sounds silly to say it like that, but you need to break through the chatter that's going on in your head. [16:59.0]

Look around you. I know I've been ranting and this can be annoying if it goes on forever, so I'm just going to take it down a notch and I'm just going to talk with you, friend to friend, okay? There's opportunity everywhere. There's a kid named Ryan who has been making millions of dollars every single year on YouTube since he was six. When he was nine years old, he made 29.5 million from his YouTube channel. That doesn't include endorsements. That doesn't include investment income. That doesn't include anything else. It's literally just YouTube.

Let me be clear. When I said that, if your first thought was something like, “Yeah, but …” okay, “Yeah, but he had his parents,” or, “Yeah, but he had this,” then you're stuck in Excuse Land. You are not getting what I'm saying here, if you're making an excuse for why he can do it and why you can't.

Now, obviously you're not six years old. You're not nine years old. You can't go back in time. I get it. That is the limitation that I brought up earlier. If you're blind, you're probably not going to win a NASCAR race. Okay. If you're 35 years old right now, you're probably not going to make 29.5 million as a nine year old. Hmm, it's kinda sorta impossible. [18:05.4]

But I don't want you to stay stuck in Excuse Land where you say, Oh, I can't do such and such now. I can't pivot. I can't do something. You say, Oh, I'm too old for this now. Hmm, okay, did Colonel Sanders not franchise his first? I know people go to the cheesy stories like Colonel Sanders, Disney, so on and so forth, but Colonel Sanders didn't start franchising his restaurants until he was in his sixties. I believe he was 62, so even that wasn't really an excuse.

Advisors can also cross their arms at this and say, Ha, duh, it's a fad. YouTube money won't last forever. But I can tell you this. The money is not a fad. The money in Ryan's bank account is not a fad. The profits you can take and invest in whatever, in real estate and the stock market, that's not a fad.

Let's say that this kid's income streams get cut tomorrow and he makes zero dollars. He still made $29.5 million in a single year. That's just one year of his life. Take away half of that for taxes and it's still more than what his haters make in two decades of working, so, yeah, think about that. [19:07.3]

Ryan could literally take half for what he made in a single year and live on $590,000 per year, according to the 4-percent rule. But, hey, you keep hating on him. You sure showed him, yeah. You keyboard warrior, you’ve got it.

I see a lot of financial advisors ripping on stuff like, I don't know, the Metaverse. For example, they hate on virtual real estate. Look, I'm not here to talk about the Metaverse. I'm not here to talk about virtual real estate. I'm not here to say if it's a smart long-term move or not, because I'm The Financial Advisor Marketing guy. You’ve got to go to a Metaverse expert to learn about that stuff. But I am involved in that world. I do bounce around. I do rub elbows with people.

But, hey, look, my point with this is that the money from that isn't a fad. Virtual real estate has sold for millions of dollars. Is the money a fad here? Is that not money that people can use to spend on other things, to invest in the stock market, to benefit their lives, to buy food, to buy shelter, to help people to donate to charity? Is that just not real? Hmm, think about this. [20:07.8]

To close this show out, the reason I wanted to record this and the overarching theme here is I want you to ditch your excuses, yes. I want you to stop complaining, yes. But I also want you to think about abundance and I want you to think abundance in your marketing.

You can reach out and contact people. You have so many opportunities that did not exist 30 years ago. I don't want you to stay stuck complaining. Do you realize that, at any time, you can take out your phone and reach out to someone on LinkedIn? Literally, anytime you want. This opportunity did not exist. 20 years ago or 30 years ago. You can contact people. It's incredible.

Email marketing. The systems that exist today are amazing. Autoresponder sequences, the data that these software, these services, give you, it's amazing. Systems can be automated. A lot of stuff. Again, it did not exist. Stop complaining. You have abundance all around you. You have opportunity all around you. You can and do it. [21:07.3]

Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, don't let your excuses hold you back. It is a wonderful time to be alive. It is a wonderful time to build a business. It's the greatest time for you to go out there and succeed.

Now, I know this episode was a little different from the regularly scheduled programming, but I want to wake some people up. I'm sick of seeing the whining and complaining. Focus on you. Focus on your goals. Do what it takes to get what you want out of your life.

And I'll catch you next week.

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