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Most financial advisors set ambitious goals that would change their lives, only to abandon them and live in mediocrity forever. If that’s you, it’s not your fault. It’s because your brain isn’t much more sophisticated than a rat’s brain.

That matters because behavioral neuroscientists discovered rats sacrifice their biological instincts for cheap dopamine hits.

And you know what?

Whenever you pick up your phone, watch television, or order a drink, you do the same thing. This is why you aren’t accomplishing your goals (even though you have everything you need to make them happen).

The good news is the solution is easier than you think—but most financial advisors aren’t willing to do it. But if you follow the simple advice in this episode, it will change your life and business and bank account.

Ready to finally accomplish your wildest goals and add a 0 to your bank account? Listen now.

Show highlights include: 

  • Why watching TV or scrolling social media instead of marketing your financial services makes you no smarter than a rat that starves itself to death (3:02)
  • The cold, hard truth about why you’ll never become wealthy if you pick up your phone throughout the day (even if you use it to close clients) (6:35)
  • The “Detox Your Brain” secret for accomplishing more this year than you have in the last 3 years—combined (7:59)
  • How to use the next two minutes to never let social media distract you or sabotage your goals again (8:21)
  • Why making yourself miserable today will force your brain to become addicted to chasing your wildest dreams (11:33)
  • The morbid, yet powerful “Deathbed” trick which frees you from your smartphone’s sadistic grasp that makes you procrastinate on your goals (12:14)

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: Financial advisors, what's going on? Welcome to another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast. This episode is going to be a little bit more serious than other episodes, because it's going to be about a serious topic. I want to give you takeaways, stuff that you can actually implement in your life to help you become a better human being.

I've been blessed to work with thousands of financial advisors to help them become better business owners. I'm incredibly grateful, but sometimes I get angry. I get frustrated, because I’ve noticed that some people will seemingly stay stuck no matter what anyone says or does to help them. It is incredibly frustrating, especially when you have proven processes that can help people accomplish their goals. [01:13.7]

Imagine having car keys and having a car. It works perfectly and someone is standing next to the car complaining about, Oh, I wish I could travel somewhere. I wish I could go to the store.

You're just like, Here, here are the keys. Get in the car. You're more than welcome to use it.

They're like, Oh, yeah, I just really wish I could go somewhere.

You're like, Dude, I have the keys. I have the car. Just take it.

That's how I feel sometimes with products that have money-back guarantees and financial advisors like, Oh, woe is me. I don't know how to use email. I can't set up an autoresponder sequence. It's like the system literally comes with a 100% money back guarantee. If it doesn't work for you, I don't deserve to keep your money. It is that simple. I have a reputation with financial advisors. Do you really think I'm going to throw that away just to take your $2,000? I'm going to sleep fine, no matter what. [01:59.2]

But financial advisors will say things like, “I know what to do. Why don't I do it? I'm stuck in a rut. I can't get myself to take action,” and if you've ever said any of these things to yourself, make sure you listen to this podcast episode in its entirety, because the truth is that you are taking action. You're already doing stuff. Think of all the things you do in any given week. You shower, eat, sleep, talk with friends, watch TV, wash dishes, do the laundry, drive around town, eat McDonald’s. Maybe you don't eat McDonald’s. Maybe you don't eat fast food at all. Maybe you're holier than me. These are all actions.

The first step is to realize you are taking action. If you're one of the people who thinks to yourself, Why aren't I taking action? you already are, except most of your actions probably don't move you closer to your goals. For example, there have been many studies out there from Nielsen, like the Total Audience Report, things like that, talking about how Americans aged 18 and younger are in school during the day; 18 and older, they spend more than four hours per day watching TV. [03:07.4]

The other studies say that Americans spend about two hours per day, scrolling through social media. That is a lot of time, and guess what? Your goals can't compete with television. Your goals cannot compete with social media. Let me explain why I say that by telling you about some rats that starved themselves. If it seems like I'm going all over the place, I promise you, I'm not. I'm going to link this stuff together.

These rats, they can teach you a lot. In the 1950s, psychologists, James Olds and Peter Milner, got some rats and they inserted electrodes into their brains. These electrodes would stimulate the pleasure center of the rats’ brains to release dopamine. They put the rats in a chamber with a lever and this chamber was constructed so that each lever press would deliver direct brain stimulation. [03:56.6]

Then they observed what the rats did and it led to perhaps the most dramatic experiment in the history of behavioral neuroscience, because the rats would press the lever, get this, as many as 7,000 times per hour to stimulate their brains. They wanted the dopamine release. It was like they were on drugs. They were giving themselves little dopamine highs.

The rats preferred pleasure-circuit stimulation so much, they just pressed, pressed, pressed that lever so much that they ignored food when they were hungry. They ignored water when they were thirsty. They would walk across electrical pads that would shock their feet to get to the lever. They put the food on one side and put the lever on the other side, and put an electrical pad in the middle. The rats would literally ignore the food, walk across the pad, just to get to that lever so that they could get the stimulation, so that they could have the dopamine release. [04:55.5]

Oh, but, hey, there's more. Male rats would ignore females in heat. They wouldn't even mate. They chose to press the lever. Female rats would abandon their newborn nursing pups. They would abandon their maternal duties or instincts. It was so strong. This dopamine rush that they wanted was so strong that they would literally abandon their biological instincts. Isn't that crazy? Some rats had to be unhooked from the apparatus to prevent death by self-starvation because pressing the lever became their entire world. Nothing else existed for them, except that sweet, sweet lever.

Now, what does this have to do with you? You are probably starving your goals, and since my specialty is financial advisor marketing, I will give you an example to illustrate this point. One way for a financial advisor to get more clients is to create marketing assets. I've talked about this a lot on the show. I've talked about things such as direct mail pieces, online articles, email autoresponder sequences, and so on. But the problem is that creating marketing assets, it's a low-dopamine activity compared to something like playing with your smartphone. Your goals cannot compete with the smartphone. [06:07.0]

App developers get paid millions of dollars every year to make sure you stay on your phone. The more you use it, the more they get paid, so they have a massive incentive to engineer their apps to release dopamine. I want you to imagine that you are the rat. You are in the chamber. These things like television, smartphone, drugs, drinking, whatever, this is your lever.

Your business and your goals, the hardest stuff that is required to grow, it cannot compete with that. Your brain is going to be wired to do the easy stuff. Each time you do something that releases dopamine, your brain notices a pattern. Soon enough, your brain associates smartphone with dopamine, and since your brain naturally craves easy hits of dopamine, it begins to crave your smartphone. That's why you just pick it up randomly. You pick it up and then you forget what you were going to do. You open an app and you're like, Wait, why did I get my phone? What was I going to look up? This is why that happens. [07:03.7]

The same thing happens with every activity that gives cheap dopamine. Drinking, doing drugs, gambling, playing video games, eating junk food, watching pornography, these are all things that prevent people from accomplishing their goals, because while these activities might feel good in the short term, they can be devastating in the long term. Accomplishing your goals is the opposite. It might feel bad in the short term like, Oh, prospecting is hard. Building marketing assets is hard, but it's great in the long term. So, what should you do?

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.

You should detox your brain. I want you to make a list of all the things that give you fast, easy dopamine hits, and methodically remove them from your life. [08:08.3]

Yes, this will suck at first. Your brain will try to do whatever it can to justify getting a hit. “You've worked really hard today. You deserve it. Just one more time.” Tell your brain to shove it. Use force, if you must. If you are addicted to social media, install a browser extension called News Feed Eradicator. It will block your feeds on popular social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Reddit, and you can focus.

The downside. I'd just be transparent with you right now. The downside of News Feed Eradicator is that you can manually turn it off to access the sites, so your brain can hijack you and say, It's okay, turn News Feed Eradicator off. We can just browse LinkedIn a little bit more.

If you want to crank things up a notch, you can install an app called Freedom and the website is Freedom.to. “Freedom [dot] to”. That will allow you to set the amount of time you'd like to block distracting websites. If you set Freedom for 12 hours and you press start, you will not be able to access your selected sites. There's also a Freedom app for iOS and Android. If you install the app and you go in there and you say, “Block all my apps and all my websites and everything for 12 hours,” you will not be able to use it. [09:20.0]

The problem that people had with News Feed Eradicator, and I’ve loved it, I’ve used it for many years, aside from being able to just manually override it, is that people will go from a desktop or a laptop to their phone. If they can't access Facebook on their computer, they will train themselves to go to their phone and that is the opposite of what we want. We don't want people to go at all. We don't want them to override. We want them to stop getting the dopamine hit.

But the brain is so strong and it will literally just hijack your entire thought process to get that dopamine hit. People will go to the phones. But having an app like Freedom where you can't even open you—technically, you can open them, but they won't refresh because there is no internet connection within these apps. It'll just say your connection is lost. You'll be able to see the same feed over and over and over again, but you won't get new material. Hopefully, that makes sense, and it is powerful, powerful stuff. [10:10.8]

The News Feed Eradicator for social media websites and Freedom, it is a paid service. They offer a forever plan. If you pay 100 bucks, you can have it forever. Otherwise, it's typically like $3 or $4 a month and it is worth it.

Another tool I love is called the kSafe. It is a time lock container. The most common way I use it is by throwing my phone inside, setting the countdown timer and locking it, because even though something like Freedom can block browsers, it can block the social media apps and all apps, really, it can't stop people from calling you, messaging you, whatever.

I understand that you could just turn airplane mode on, but here's the thing. Your brain is so powerful. It would try to override it. If you have airplane mode on, you're going to start thinking, Oh, did so and so call me? Oh, did so and so message m? and you will turn the airplane mode off. You will override it. [11:03.5]

If you have a kSafe, you put your airplane mode on so there are no noises. There are no buzzes coming from the safe. Put your airplane mode on, throw it in the safe, set the timer, lock it, and you cannot get in that safe unless you break it

These are some ideas. I want you to start thinking. You don't have to use these apps. You don't have to buy a kSafe. I'm not saying that. I don't have any affiliate links that I'm going to put into the podcast description or anything like that. I'm just telling you these, because these are things that I actually use.

As you begin to eliminate the dopamine-inducing behaviors from your life, you will slowly but surely begin to associate goal-oriented behavior with dopamine, and that is what you want. Eventually, working toward your goals will become your metaphorical dopamine-releasing lever. This is what you're doing. This is the goal. Okay? Or the objective, the objective to accomplish your goals.

Working on your business, prospecting, meeting new clients, setting appointments, this will be the thing that gives you the dopamine release, not just scrolling social media, because if you can get that scrolling social media, then you're not really going to be incentivized to do other things because you can just feel good in the moment by doing that stuff. [12:11.4]

Now, why should you do this? Why should you listen to me? I don't want to get morbid on you or anything, but it's because you're going to die. The average life expectancy in the United States is 79 years old. Let's do some quick math. We'll assume you're 40. Right now, you're 40 years old. This means you have approximately 39 years left, barring any uncertainties, barring the fact that you might get hit by a bus, that you might get struck by lightning, something like that.

But, wait, a third of that is sleeping. That leaves you with 26 years. Oh, and another 20% is probably going to be filled with the mundane parts of life like showering, eating, going to the bathroom, shuffling government paperwork. Thanks DMV. That's roughly eight years. That leaves you with 26 minus eight. It is 18 years. You have 18 years left. [12:59.4]

Now, the question becomes how much of that time do you want to spend doing the things that are important to you? After all, you are guaranteed to die. There will come a day when you no longer exist in your current form. One day you will be here. The next day you'll be wherever you believe you go. Okay? When you're on your deathbed, do you think you'll wish you played with your smartphone some more? Probably not.

Heed these words and begin your dopamine detox today. This is one of the most important things you could do. I know this is not like some sexy content marketing, social media marketing thing, like the financial advisor marketing guy, right? I'm not doing that this week, because I want to give you something that can legitimately change your life if you listen to me.

Begin a dopamine detox. This is incredibly important. It will change your life. Yes, it will suck at first. It will be difficult. I'm not saying it isn't. You might cave. You might go back to your phone. You might go back to your computer, whatever it is for you. If it's drinking you, you might drink, but there are resources out there. If you used force, I’ve talked about this in my Inner Circle newsletter back in 2018, 2019, I’ve talked about using force, and people kind of got turned off by it, but let me tell you, force has a 100% success rate. [14:12.3]

If I smash my phone with a hammer, I cannot access my phone. I will have a 100% success rate in accessing my phone and using my apps, because force works. I know people are like, Oh, you should just naturally want it or whatever. No, no, no, you're forgetting, these rats literally went against all of their biological instincts. They wouldn't mate. They wouldn't eat. They wouldn't drink. They wouldn't nurse their young. They wouldn't do any of that. They just kept pressing the lever, the lever, the lever. That was the only thing that mattered to them.

You need to realize that there are some levers like that in your life. You are not above these rats, okay? I want you to identify what are the levers in your life that are controlling you right now. Swap those things out. Get rid of them, and make building your business and becoming a better human being, and becoming a better business-builder your new lever. [15:01.4]

Feel free to send me an email. James@TheAdvisorCoach.com. Let me know how it's going. Let me know what you eliminated, what you're replacing it with, and if this episode helps one person, I’ve done my good deed for the day. Thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you and I’ll catch you next week.

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