Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Without improving your goal-setting skills, you’ll forever be destined to live life as a mediocre financial advisor at best. Sure, maybe your mediocrity ensures you never have to worry about your bills, but it’s also the kryptonite to living a luxurious lifestyle, where you can enjoy the true beauty life has to offer.

Well, I have good news on that front:

In today’s episode, Mando Sallavanti, a young advisor who’s already enjoyed more success and wealth than most financial advisors ever enjoy, joins me. He reveals how he set goals that took him from making $360 in three months to building a six-figure advising business.

And you know what?

It’s probably much simpler than you’re currently making it.

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • How changing your environment can magically unlock pent up demand for your services and surge you with new clients (3:21)
  • The 3 “bedside questions” every human asks themselves (and how understanding this gives you a license to print money as a financial advisor) (5:07)
  • The bizarre way having an athletic background is a cheat code for becoming a successful financial advisor (6:57)
  • The “making a friend’ approach to sales that nukes the pressure you feel and makes your prospective client drool (8:41)
  • Why planning your wild financial goals around giving all but guarantees you’ll meet—and exceed—them in half the time you otherwise would have (10:22)
  • How simply thinking about your craziest goals and ambitions enchants your subconscious to achieve them for you (15:07)
  • The wicked way the people closest to you start despising you as you become successful (and how to handle this without sabotaging your success) (17:32)
  • One question to ask yourself as your alarm shoves you out of sleep that forces you to surpass even your wildest dreams (21:41)
  • How looking like a dummy in front of your clients actually makes them more willing to pick you instead of another financial advisor (25:12)

Disclaimer: Armando Sallavanti is a registered representative with and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. 2 Bala Plaza, Ste 901, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004. Tel: 610.766.3000.

Sallavanti Financial Services Co. is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies.

Want to connect with Mando? You can find him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallavanti/ or on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/armandosallavantiMMGP/.

Need help getting more clients as a financial advisor? I created a free, 47-minute video outlining the steps to my “CLIENT Method,” which helps financial advisors land more clients. Watch the video before I take it down here: https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/theclientmethod.html

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.

Want to transform your website into a client-getting machine? Go to https://www.theadvisorcoach.com/website to get The Client-Getting Website Guide.

Want a masterclass training in running effective Facebook Ads? Head to https://TheAdvisorCoach.com/ads-training.

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? Another week, another episode of the Financial Advisor Marketing podcast coming at you. This is another guest episode. One of my goals for 2023 was to have more guests on the show, because, quite frankly, it's easier for me. It's more entertaining for you. You get to learn from other people. It's just a win-win-win scenario—and the guest that I have this week is Mando Sallavanti, and he is just an incredible person. [00:56.1]

He is a savage, he is crushing it in life and in business, and we're going to talk about things like goal-settings, some books that he's read that have influenced him, and how he's doing so gosh darn well in his relatively short career. I mean, he hasn't been a financial advisor that long, but he's already miles ahead of even some veterans and some experienced advisors.

So, Mando, I will let you introduce yourself and take the floor from here.

Mando: Yeah, thanks, James. I appreciate you having me on, and as you mentioned, a short time in the industry, relatively. I'm going on my third year now, but, fortunately, I’ve had a lot of success and I'm grateful to be as successful as I am so far and impacting a lot of people's lives.

James: One of the things I wanted to point out is that you are in a relatively small area, too. Are you in Old Forge, Pennsylvania? Is that correct?

Mando: Yes, it is, and I noticed you were down here last year at some time or it might have been two years ago, but I noticed that.

James: I loved it. They have some good skiing there and some good snow tubing and all the fun stuff, and a lot of amazing pizza. People ask me about food all the time and they say, “What is your favorite pizza?” and I say, “It is the white pizza from Arcaro & Genell. It's out of this world.” [02:09.5]

Mando: Yeah.

James: And you get to go to it whenever you want, so I am jealous.

Mando: Yeah, it's funny you say that. That's probably my favorite white between all the places, for sure.

James: I tend to prefer a white over red, which maybe that influences my ranking. What gets you to be so driven, so ambitious, in such an industry like financial services?

Mando: Yeah, I think the best way to answer this is to tell you sort of how I ended up here, because that definitely drives it more than anything. Growing up, I never thought I was going to do this. I always thought I was going to be a doctor and the reason for that is my dad is a doctor. He's a family doctor. I looked up to him, he is my first hero, and I saw the way people treated him when we would be out and they would thank him and he was respected, and I just saw that. [03:00.2]

As a kid, I hated it because it was annoying. I wanted to go home from the store or from the restaurant or whatever. But then, over time, I realized why they did that to him. And go through high school, great student. Went to college, pre-med. I was playing football. Football was great at first, and then school wasn't so great.

My dad was paying for school. I was failing classes. He told me he wasn't going to pay for it anymore if I didn't, so now I'm lost, right? I'm a college kid. And I decided that I needed an environment change from the school I was at, so I transferred schools, still pre-med, still in the classes, and now I'm doing great, dean's list, all that, whatever.

I realized, though, I still wasn't all there mentally and it was because it wasn't my passion to be a doctor, and I went to my dad, he was very supportive and the first thing he did, he said, “That's fine, but what you're going to do is call people. You're going to learn about other careers,” and I basically got set up on a call with his financial planner, the second call I made, and since that night, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. [04:11.3]

I just want to share one quick story within the story that he shared with me. Timmy Lavelle, that was my parents' financial planner who actually is my mentor and brought me in the industry. He told me about a client of his named Eli. Eli and Marianne, they were a couple clients of his, and Eli was a referral. Took care of Eli, got referrals from there, blah, blah, blah, you know the whole story of building your business.

Years later, he gets a call, it's Eli. Marianne picked up. It's Marianne that picks up, though. Eli passed away. Timmy went over, helping life insurance investments, making sure she has income, all that stuff. James, you know the scene when someone passes away and everyone is in the house? You know the scene, everyone’s there, they're mourning together. They're grieving together. [05:02.6]

Timmy goes over. Marianne pulls them in another room. She tells him, “Timmy, there's three things everyone thinks about before they go to bed at night. Number one, did I hurt somebody? If you hurt someone, you can talk to a friend about it and make amends there. You can pray about it, whatever makes you feel better. Number two, it's the health of themselves and the health of their loved ones. Everyone has a doctor.

Everyone has someone they go to when they're sick or whatever, and if that's the case, you call your doctor when you get up in the morning. That person is my dad. He's the second person you think about before you go to sleep. The third person and the third thing, am I going to have enough money to pay that bill tomorrow? Am I making the right financial decisions for myself and my family that we're going to be set up to reach our goals? That third person is Timmy.”

That third person is now me and that story showed me I could do just as much to help people as my dad can, just in a different way, and ever since then, that was what sold me on this career. I came out of college, came into it, and I'm motivated to do as much for people as my dad does, if not more. [06:13.5]

James: I think you have a unique combination of traits that equips you to be far more successful than the average person. For example, you have a strong environment. You have strong role models. You have people to teach you. You have a connection with your clients that I think is very rare, actually, in today's environment. I wish I could say it's not rare where everybody has a strong connection, but the truth is they don't. I'm not just going to sit here and lie to people and say, “Hey, it's super common,” because it's not.

The other thing that I’ve noticed when you're talking with me is your athletic background, and I often have conversations with people where they ask me, “How would you design a perfect marketing plan? How would you design a perfect business, the perfect system? How would you design a perfect financial advisor?” When I'm designing the perfect financial advisor, I typically include an athletic background, because there's a lot of regimen. T There's a lot of structure. It takes time to build the skills. Is there anything that you've noticed about athletics that has a carryover to financial advice? [07:13.0]

Mando: Totally. I remember I was about six months into my career and I started gaining traction. I sent a text to my college football head coach and I said, “We really butted heads a lot, but everything you did for me is now showing up in my career and I never realized how much being a college football player translated to being a financial advisor now.”

The reason for that is, in college, for football, specifically—and, I mean, a lot of sports are similar to this, whether it's football, basketball, swimming, wrestling, whatever it may be—you wake up in the off season, you have lifts. Then you have to go to breakfast. Then you go to class all day. You might have a meeting at night. You might have a spring practice. In the season, you have to balance practice in the morning, maybe a lift in the afternoon, all your classes. You're studying. Film study. [08:04.8]

So, I learned in college, not even realizing I was doing it then, but I needed to time-block and I needed to structure these things. I would say, “Okay, 7:30 at night, I'm watching a film until 8:3. And then at 8:30, I'm studying for whatever class.” That structure really set me up, because, honestly, I feel like that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When you talk about today, whether I have to do some things for marketing or I have X amount of client meetings, it's cake to me.

Also, with college athletics, a big thing that taught me a lot of people skills was recruiting. There are so many sales skills in recruiting, because, in college, I was a captain for three years, so pretty much those three years, they came to me and said, “All right, we have these recruits from here. You're going to go sit down, have lunch with them and their parents.”

So, I was doing this for three years and trying to sell them on the school, and it made me learn how to have these interactions. Now when I'm sitting down trying to sell clients on my service and to hire me and pay me, it’s second nature to me. I really just view it as I'm having a conversation, like I am with you, James, trying to make a friend, you know? [09:16.5]

James: Yeah, and in many ways, people don't want to hear this, but financial products tend to sell themselves.

Mando: Yeah.

James: You're talking about insurance and investments and annuities, guaranteed income, things that people want, protection that people need. I mean, it may come in different forms, but you need to combine it with a strong personality.

Back to designing the perfect financial advisor, I don't have any studies or anything to back this up, this is purely anecdotal, but just from working with advisors, the best career changers tend to be teachers and ex-military, both very regimented and very systems-oriented. Then, of course, the college athletes, high school athletes. Those are the ones that, when they're beginning their careers, they tend to do very well, and another reason for that, and this segues perfectly into what I want to ask you, is goal-setting. [10:02.4]

Mando: Right.

James: You set goals to become better at your sport. You set goals to help your students. You set goals to be better in the military and whatever department you're in. You have a relentless focus on goal-setting and this is an area in which I think advisors have a lot to learn. What is your goal-setting process?

Mando: Yeah, so take it back a little bit. I'm three months into my career as an advisor. I've made $360 at the time. At this time, I wasn't a fee-based financial planner. It was more so advising people around managing money and insurance products. But I couldn't get anyone to trust me. I couldn't get anyone to implement strategies that I proposed.

I picked up a book called Think and Grow Rich, which many people know that book, of course, and in the book, Hill talks about his six steps to riches or I think he calls it that, something like that. What I did after reading that, I very specifically wrote down an income goal for the year, and I don't know if this is being produced in video, but even if it's just audio, I’ll show you this note for-- [11:16.0]

James: You can just describe it well.

Mando: Yeah, for video purposes, but I have this dingy little note that you could see James. It’s dusty. There’s hair on it. It's folded and gross, and I wrote down on this note in January 2021, “I will make $150,000 this year by doing--” and I have X amount of calls a week, X amount of meetings, X amount of needs analysis. “In return for this, I’ll give the best possible financial solutions to my clients and prospects to improve their lives. It's so clear to me how I’ll obtain 150,000 this year. I could see it on a platter, ready to be transferred to me.” And I wrote that down exactly to Hill's instructions. [12:01.5]

The difference between this goal I made and other goals in the past that I’ve made, this one was specific about what I was giving in return for getting something, and Hill harps on that. I never realized that that had to be a part of your goal-setting process until I read that book. I don't need to say how much money I make, and that's not the point. The point is I more than surpassed my goal and have done things I never expected to do, and it seemed like, at that turning point, a switch flipped for me.

With goal-setting, I think the most important part of it for me, and now I'm implementing this with me and my fiancée, I'm really big on vision and us looking at what we want in life and really defining that. It's like, okay, this is what we're going to do, but what are we going to give? Because you have to give to get, you know?

James: Absolutely. That's actually something I did in my personal life. I didn't go as big as you for my very first goal, and people think that's cheesy. People, when they read it, they think it's cheesy, like, “I'm not going to write down my goal.” That's exactly why they don't get what they want. [13:05.2]

I had 29,000 and some change in student-loan debt, I believe. This was years ago, so forgive me if I get this wrong, but it was 29,000-something. I'm like, I want to pay this off by this date. In exchange, I'm going to give this.

One of the personality traits that I have is I don't overthink things. I also don't try to give excuses for these things. I literally just read the text. I was like, If it worked for Bruce Lee, the copy that I had that had Arnold Schwarzenegger in the front, Bruce Lee. I'm like, If it worked for these people, it's probably going to work for me, and I just wrote the stuff out and weird stuff started happening. People dismiss this and they ignore it because it sounds so simple. Now, of course, you do have to design a plan for what you're going to give, but I'm glad that you did it, because it obviously worked for you.

Mando: Yeah, and one thing I’ll say off that, at that time, I pretty much told myself, “Hey, I have nothing to lose. I've made $360 in three months. I'll be out of this business if I don't fix something now, so I might as well do what he's telling me here,” and still here and thriving. [14:09.6]

James: You read any other Napoleon Hill works?

Mando: Yeah, I actually just read the Master Key to Riches. That was about two months ago I read it. I want to get into the other ones.

James: That's a good one. Outwitting the Devil is a great one. It's a great one to listen to in audio form through Audible or something, because it's very entertaining to hear the devil voice and then the person voice and then the devil voice again, so there's some good stuff there.

Napoleon Hill actually reveals the Secret. I don't want to talk about that in this episode, but in Think and Grow Rich, he's like, The Secret, the Secret, the Secret. He never reveals it in Think and Grow Rich explicitly, but in the Master Key to Riches and in Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind, at the very end. Grow Rich! With Peace of Mind is his last book, for those of you who don't know. He explicitly reveals the Secret, and it is totally, totally transformative. It's, personally, my favorite book of all time, so I'm very thankful that you read it and I hope it changes people's lives as a result of the show. [15:05.7]

Mando: Yeah, and one more thing I want to mention on the topic. I'm a part of a group called Arete Syndicate. It's a business coaching group. Ed Mylett and Andy Frisella run it. I don't know if you know either of them.

James: Oh, I love Andy Frisella.

Mando: Oh, yeah, he's the man. He's the man.

James: He's intense.

Mando: But one of the topics they covered one month, they talk about how our mind moves towards what's what it's most familiar with, and the more you think of your goal, the more you consciously are focusing on it, the more likely you are to become whatever that is. Or even if you do it for so long, it's just, quite frankly, unreasonable to not have what you're thinking of, you know?

James: Yeah, you just look for evidence. “What have you done so far? What have you accomplished?” It's not as if I'm asking or you ask yourself to go to the Arctic and swim in frigid waters, if you've never even taken any swimming lessons before. [16:02.5]

It's more or less, you've made $50,000 before, for example. Can you make 75,000? Sure, you can do 50% more of the 50,000. You have made 300 calls in a week. Can you make 400? Sure. Because you're already engaged in the activity. You're looking for evidence that you can get to your desired state.

Mando: Right, a hundred percent.

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.

James: Outside of Napoleon Hill’s works—and I really recommend financial advisors to check that stuff out and feel free to message me on LinkedIn. I rarely check my messages, but if I see it, then I will respond if you have something about Think and Grow Rich and Napoleon Hill—I know you've read a lot of other self-help books and a recurring theme throughout many of them is that you do become what you think about. You kind of paraphrased that with what you're familiar with. [17:09.0]

But here's the thing. A lot of times negative influences can come up from family members, from friends, from the media, especially the media these days. How do you protect yourself from those things, like negative thinking and negative self-talk?

Mando: Yeah, this is something that I really struggled with for most of my life and I feel that I’ve improved upon it a lot this year. I've been working with a business/life coach for the last three months. Her name is Alia. She's been amazing, transformative to my life, really, really helped me.

One of the things we figured out, which I knew this, but we really dove deep on it, I am a very much recognition-driven person. That is what motivates me more than anything, to get the pat on the back, people congratulating you. I'm on James' podcast right now. That is what makes me feel good inside. On the other side of that, the negative side of things and how people think of me, if it is negative or negative towards me, that would really bother me. [18:16.0]

What we came to a conclusion to deal with that, as I'm succeeding, or anyone out there, as you are succeeding, there's going to be people that you naturally outgrow, and a lot of times, I’ve found that negativity comes from people that are or historically have been close to me in my life, as I'm succeeding and as I'm trying to do bigger things.

The reason is, as you do things like that, people don't want you to because they're not comfortable getting out of their comfort zone to do things like that, so they're trying to pull you back to comfort where they are. When I realized that shift—of like, It's just the order of things. I'm going to outgrow people. The negativity will come with success, because people don't like that because it makes them uncomfortable—it really helped me mentally. [19:06.8]

Just coming to terms with the fact, to sum it up, coming to terms with the fact of you're going to outgrow people. You're going to get negativity. It's just part of the process and, if anything, it's a sign that you're doing the right thing.

James: It's absolutely a sign that you're doing the right thing, and one of the concepts, ideas, I don't know the right word to describe it, things that shock people, is that the ones who are closest to you are typically the ones who try to pull you back. They're the crabs in the bucket per se.

The reason for that is the more you have in common with them, the brighter the light is that you're shining on them that they could have done whatever it is that you are doing. If you come from the same town, if you're the same age, if you have similar socioeconomic backgrounds, you're basically telling them, “Hey, I did this thing. You could have done it.” [19:58.0]

If you're drastically different from someone, meaning, they're 40 years older, they come from a wealthy background and you don't, or they come from a poor background and you don't, then there's always something for them to fall back on to say, “Oh, well, he has this.” But for family members or for friends and people who went to school with you or college, that is very unnerving for them, and it is a natural response.

Mando: Yeah.

James: It sucks, but it happens.

Mando: Yeah, it was tough for me and, honestly, I think I built the muscle, so to speak, to deal with it because, being the doctor's kid, my whole life, I was told everything was given to me, so I always had that in the back of my mind, like, I'm going to be so successful that no one can deny I did this myself. And not really myself, because, even today, I'm not doing this myself. I have so many great people around me and so many great resources, but undeniable to the fact of it wasn't given to him, you know?

James: You can have resources and still not be resourceful. You have resources and resourcefulness, and a lot of people miss that. A lot of people have resources. Resources are abundant. They're everywhere. There are books. There's videos or YouTube. Do you have an internet connection? [21:08.3]

Mando: Right.

James: Do you have a phone? Then you can make a million dollars. You really can, and it's crazy, people don't accept it. It's true. But they don't have resourcefulness and I think that that's something that you have. Continuing with the goal-setting example, I don't want to stray too far from that topic. Why do you think people fail to set goals in the first place?

Mando: Yeah, I think, number one, it sort of relates to what we're talking about, I think they're scared. They set a goal and they realize that it requires certain actions. One of the things that really motivates me, and it's a thought process that I keep in the back of my mind, every morning when I wake up, you hear that alarm. You're tired. You don't want to get out of bed. I ask myself a question: “What life did I sign up for?” [21:56.6]

If I signed up for the life that is the vision that I talk about with my fiancée, Mattia, and what we want to do, that requires a lot of action and a lot of things. If I'm going to lay down in bed and stay there, and let my alarm go and not do the things I have to do that day, I'm signing up for a different life by default.

A lot of people will set their goals and they know what actions they're signing up for, but they'll let themselves sign up for another life by default, and I think if you think about it in that way, it's very difficult to not set goals, to not do the actions that you're supposed to. But if you just think of it as like, Oh, that's a goal, I think people don't really think it through. They just set the goal and they don't go much deeper than that.

You’ve got to go a level or two deeper to really have something tied to it.

James: People don't think about the behavior necessary to accomplish the goal.

Mando: Yeah.

James: They don't think about the systems. They don't think about what they have to give up. Going back to that, that’s how it works in the Think and Grow Rich goal-setting thing. What do you have to give up?

Mando: Yeah.

James: Unfortunately, people don't want to give up Netflix, junk food, fantasy football. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with any of those things. [23:05.5]

Mando: No, right.

James: It's just that if people would rather have that consume their life. And time is going to pass anyway, people are going to get older. Why not accomplish more along the way? Life is too short not to just get what you want.

Mando: A hundred percent, and honestly, James, my thing is I’ve very much come to terms with the fact you live once. We all die. It's going to be there eventually. I have this severe anxiety that I don't want to live the same life as everybody on this planet and I think a lot of people live the same life, not literally, but sort of, and that's what really drives me to say, “These are my goals. I'm going to take action towards them. One day, I won't be here.”

James: What has surprised you about your journey in financial services so far?

Mando: Yeah, how difficult it is.

James: Yeah, totally. [23:56.3]

Mando: That was number one, seriously. It's funny, I always joke about this, when I first got into the industry and Timmy brought me in and I told the story already, but I was like, All right, I come in, I'm going to call everybody I know, all my friends, all my old coaches, anybody my parents know. They're all going to be my clients. It's totally naïve, just like, Yeah, they know me, they’ll trust me. Not the case. I told the story of how I was falling on my face and what got me out of there, but, really, the actions that got me succeeding quicker than later, resourcefulness, flat out. That was something I wanted to bring up.

I have great mentors. I also have great specialists around me. We have two CFPs. I'm not a CFP yet, but we have two CFPs on our team within our agency that I'm able to consult on every single client that I'm helping. We have insurance experts, we have investment experts, and then there's other professionals I work with outside of the firm as well that help me. I think that's accelerated my success more than anything, after being surprised how difficult things were, because I tell people, if I don't know something, someone around me does, you know? [25:15.3]

James: Oh, that's wonderful. That's gold.

Mando: In the beginning, it was so difficult because I tried to know everything, but I know now I don't need to know everything. And now I could go sit down with a client, probably tell them everything we need to do after 45 minutes of talking with them, but I don't do it that way, because you never know what you don't know, you know?

James: Absolutely, and that's a gift that not many people have. They just try to answer everything. They try to be everything, and people are skeptical of that. When someone has an answer for every question, that actually works against them. They think that it's helping them. It's not helping them.

I geek out on the psychological stuff, and what happens in someone's brain when someone just is answering, answering, answering, and has no hesitation, they immediately think, This is scripted. This person can't think for himself or herself. They're just feeding me whatever it is that they've rehearsed, because that, that's what it sounds like, quite frankly. [26:07.1]

Mando: Yeah.

James: You're giving people this. But if you say, “I don't know,” it’s refreshing. It's honest. And you say, “I don't know, but I can get the answer for you.” Then they now know you have resources at your disposal, and if they are working with you and they're a client of yours, they, by extension, have those resources, and that's what people really want.

People want the Google. They want the Bing. They don't want the encyclopedia where they can just pull it out and they have the answers in their hands. No, no, no. They want to go through a conduit, and you're the conduit. Not many people think of that. But in financial services especially, you can google stuff about 401(k)s and Roth IRAs, and insurance, but people don't necessarily want to do that. They want you, the human being, to do it for them.

Mando: Yeah, and I always say, Google could give you financial information, but it can't tell you how it applies to you, you know? And even now with ChatGPT, it’s a great tool. I know we chatted briefly about this. You had a post about this today. But even with ChatGPT, it's great, but it's a tool. There's going to be things that you can't replace the human side of, in this case, financial advice. [27:13.3]

James: Now that you brought up ChatGPT, for those of you who don't know, that is an artificial-intelligence program. I'm not going to go into all the details, but, essentially, you can give it prompts and it will feed back responses.

One of the issues with ChatGPT with financial advice, for any of you who are listening and are curious about this, it, essentially, scrapes information from the web, meaning, it is only as good as its input. That's pretty common. In computer language. If you have garbage in, you get garbage out, and it's not necessarily that all of it is garbage, but you might have some garbage, some good stuff. It's just like any search result. If you search for Roth IRA, some search results are going to be accurate, others are not. [27:52.4]

Unfortunately, at the time of this recording, I think this episode is scheduled to come out in February at some point, ChatGPT only index or is only indexed up to, I think, 2021. So, even when contribution limits change or laws change, and the very last part of December 2022, the SECURE Act 2.0 was passed, and there's a whole bunch of stuff that's changed on that, if you ask it anything about that, then it's not going to give you the proper advice.

For anyone listening, that's a big disclaimer. Always seek a real human being, a professional, to guide you in the right direction. But I love that you brought up ChatGPT. I, personally, love it. I'm using it for a lot of stuff, but I never in a million years, as of right now, would use it for financial advice.

Mando: Yeah, I think where it's good is that it’s facilitating creativity.

James: Yes.

Mando: I've used it for myself a lot in marketing ideas, just to drum up inspiration, and taking something it gave me and then running with it. I think it's really effective to facilitate that.

James: Now, I had to learn the hard way with its limitations, because I started putting commands in like “fun things to do in this town.” Because I travel a lot, I just want ideas. I don't want to go to Google for everything. I want to have fun with artificial intelligence and learn at the same time. [29:07.0]

For example, I didn't actually do this, but if I put “fun things to do in Old Forge, Pa.”, it might tell me something that doesn't exist anymore because it's only been indexed up to a certain year, and it won't tell me stuff that comes around that's brand new. If there's something completely new that's opened up and all the cool kids are going there, it won't be in ChatGPT yet.

So, it is wonderful. It is an idea facilitator, as you said it. It's good for sparking creativity. But it does have a lot of limitations, and I know people are hyping it up and they're like, It's the best thing since sliced bread, and in some ways it is, but in other ways, not so much.

Mando: Yeah, totally.

James: Now, you've talked a lot about how difficult things have been and how it was a lot harder to get started than you anticipated. Has there been any part of your journey that has been a lot easier than you thought? [29:57.6]

Mando: That’s a good question. I would say, it never gets easier. I relate it to lifting weights. I love lifting weights. It's an essential part of my life, but I relate it to lifting weights. At my strongest when I was in college, I was squatting mid-500 pounds and everyone was like, Oh, man, you make the weight look light. And I'm like, It doesn't feel any lighter. I'm just stronger.

It's the perfect analogy for this, because nothing gets easier with client acquisition, client retention, the systems and processes and maintaining those. I don't think anything gets easier. You just become more ready to deal with it. That's how I would sort of explain what the transition has been.

James: Cool, that's awesome. It never gets easier, but you get better.

Mando: Yeah.

James: I want to wrap this up. This has been amazing and I think a lot of people can learn from this, your goal-setting, even though it's super simple. I know that there's going to be a large percentage of people who ignore what you're saying and what I'm saying, but, really, don't do that. I'm warning you, don't do it. [31:07.8]

Mando: Yeah.

James: If people want to get in touch with you, how can they do so?

Mando: Yeah, you could reach out to me on LinkedIn. My name on there just is Mando Sallavanti III. You could get me on Facebook. I think I actually have it as Armando Sallavanti III on Facebook. Those would be the two best places.

James: Oh, I got you beat on that one. Did you know I'm the IV, technically?

Mando: Are you really?

James: Yeah.

Mando: Wow. So, I would be the IV.

James: Oh, no.

James: My great-grandfather had a different middle name, but named his son and then the three of us now have the same middle name. But just a funny thing, you know?

James: So, you would've been the IV, but somebody screwed up along the way.

Mando: Yeah, right.

James: I've heard that. I've heard that before, but, yeah, it's cool. The IIIs are rare. The IVs are rare. The juniors are everywhere. Nobody cares about a II or a junior, but III, you're really getting somewhere with a III.

Mando: Yeah.

James: Thank you for doing this. I appreciate you. And financial advisors, I'm going to catch you next week. [32:02.1]

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