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80% of people fail on their New Year’s Resolutions by the second week of February. At the end of the year, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

That means that 92% of people fail to achieve their goals!

How can you prevent this, become one of the 8% of people who achieve their goals, and, who knows, add an extra zero to your bank account by this time next year?

Well, your first step is tuning into this episode. Not only do I reveal why so many people fail to achieve their goals, but I also provide you with proven goal-setting strategies to make achieving your goals easier than failing.

Think you could achieve your goals when success is easier than failing?

Listen now.

Show highlights include:

  • Want to make an extra $50-$100k in 2024? Here’s how 143 financial advisors achieved that last year (2:36)
  • 3 of the best “website traffic getting seeds” to help you harvest more website views and turn them into paying clients (5:33)
  • The weird, but powerful “I am a failure” mindset tweak that allows you to transform your shortcomings into success (9:14)
  • 92% of people fail to achieve their goals… Here’s how the “input secret” ensures you’re in the 8% of people who achieve them (10:36)
  • How to level up your marketing knowledge so that you’re a better marketer than 99% of financial advisors by January 1st, 2025 (15:17)
  • Why setting tiny goals you can stick with grow your business’s revenue more than massive goals (16:08)

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.

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, can you believe that it's 2024? I'm recording this episode in 2023, but it's scheduled to air on January 1, 2024. That is so cool. 2023 has been the best year of my life. I said the same thing about 2022 and 2021 and 2020 and 2019. Do you know why? Because I made it my best year ever. I made every single year my best year ever. I set goals and then I work to achieve them. And guess what? I did. [01:03.0]

Let me give you a farming analogy. I wanted corn, so I planted corn. But, wait, I didn't stop there. I tilled the ground. I fertilized it. I watered it. I waited. I put some sunshine on there. I watered again. I waited some more, and then at the right time, not my time, the corn’s time, corn began to sprout. Huh, isn't that something?
Lots of people go through their lives wondering why they don't have corn when they have never done any planting in their lives. Maybe they put some corn in the ground, but then they did something else. Maybe they didn't water it, they didn't give it sunshine, or maybe they planted the wrong crop entirely. Some people plant soybeans and then get upset when their soybean crop comes in. They complain about how they want corn instead of soybeans. [01:52.1]

But let me share something with you. If you plant a corn crop, then, barring any devastation out of your control, like a flood or a plague of locusts, you will harvest corn. It is a law of nature. It can be no other way. I planted corn because I wanted corn. I will continue to do so in the future. Now substitute corn with whatever you want in life. Maybe it's a better relationship with your family members. Maybe it's a healthier body. Maybe it's more money.
We talk a lot about money on this podcast, so let's talk about it some more. Back in November, I sent a survey to my Inner Circle Newsletter subscribers and I asked him to tell me how much money they estimated they made as a result of their newsletter subscription. In fact, here's the exact question, I’ll just read it to you. “How much money do you estimate you have made as a result of your Inner Circle Newsletter subscription?”

Five people said zero dollars, and they were new subscribers, or at least, I know a few of them were. I'm hoping that all of them are new subscribers.
44 said between $1 and $9,999. That was a bad survey design on my part. I should have said something like $1 to $1,000, and then more than $1,000. A handful of advisors told me that they made several thousand dollars, but didn't want me to think that they only made $1 or something. I'll do better next time. I promise, I’ll make the survey better when I do it again. [03:12.7]

171 said between $10,000 and $49,999.
94 said between $50,000 and $99,999.
49 said $100,000 or more.
Now, I am in no way suggesting that you will get similar results because I don't know you or your situation. The responses were also self-reported and anonymous. Plus, these are people who are likely to respond to surveys. Not every single newsletter subscriber answered the survey. In fact, not many of them did. People may have gotten confused. They may have hit the wrong button. They may have given me wrong answers. They may have outright lied. Some people may have said $1 to $9,999 to make me feel bad. Others might have voted $100,000 or more thinking that they were doing me a favor and making me feel good about myself. [03:57.8]

All I know is that these are the results that I got and I can only share with you what the data tells me, and the data tells me that 86% of the people who responded to this survey who were Inner Circle members say that they have made $10,000 or more as a result of the newsletter, which is $99 per month, by the way.
I'm telling you right now, if they want corn, they're not planting soybeans. You don't accidentally add another 100 grand to your business or even 10 grand. You get there because you want to get there and you've set up the stuff to make it happen, and honestly, it's not that difficult, assuming you have the marketing systems in place anyway.
Let's say that you have a website that gets an average of 250 visitors per month. I’ll assume that they're somewhat qualified because you shouldn't be getting traffic from random people anyway. Let's say that 2% of those people set appointments with you. That's five appointments per month or 60 appointments per year. [04:54.2]

Now let's say you convert half of those people into clients so you get 30 new clients from that one source. If you make an average of $3,500 per client, then you're already at $105,000 from that one marketing channel in one year. We haven't even talked about seminars or networking, or in-house lead generation, or list building or email marketing, or social media or direct mail or anything else. Literally just a website and making it better.
“But, James, I don't get that much traffic.” That's something you can work on in 2024. If you're setting resolutions, write this one down: “Get more web traffic.” Now think about the activities that you need to do in order to get more web traffic. Then do those things. Maybe it's posting on social media. Maybe it's getting featured somewhere. Maybe it's improving your content. I don't know what it is for you but if you want to reap a harvest of more website traffic, then you need to plant the right traffic-getting seeds.
You might be thinking, But, James, my website doesn't convert 2%. Then study copywriting. Get a critique from someone. Get more qualified traffic. Qualify more on your website. Don't just sit there and complain about it. Fix it. Do something about it. [06:09.4]

Or you might be thinking, But, James, I don't have a 50% closing rate. Again, that's on you and it's up to you to fix it. Qualify more when setting appointments with people. Set expectations. Let people know it is expected that they become a client. You are not just someone who sits around giving free advice all day long. You are not an appointment-haver. You're not. You're not just having appointments with people because you feel like it. No, be honest with people. Explain that it is your business. You are in business to help them and the way that you help them is by them becoming a client of yours.
One of my most successful email marketing funnels that I’ve ever designed literally says in the very first email that I expect people to buy stuff. I straight up say I expect them to give me money. I'm not writing the emails just to give a bunch of free value or because I'm an awesome person, even though I very well may be. The goal is to take some money out of their bank accounts and move it to mine. [07:08.2]

Of course, the way I do that is by providing amazing products and services, and helping people and helping them make far more money in return than they give me, but still, I made my intention clear. These are all things that you can and should fix. Think about your specific situation and what you can do to make your business better.
Now, here's a crazy statistic. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so these are New Year’s resolutions. That means 80% of you listening to this podcast right now, assuming you've set resolutions, will fail sometime in the next six weeks. I think our culture is too scared of the word “failure.” People get really touchy feely, like, Oh, I'm not a failure. Nobody's a failure. [07:58.0]

I had a guy ask me, “Does failing at something mean that I'm a failure?” Gee, let's see here. If I'm running, I'm a runner. If I'm bowling, I'm a bowler. If I'm sailing, then I'm a sailor. If I'm failing, then, gasp, yep, yep, siree, Bob, I'm a failure. Now, to be clear, before you exit this podcast and before you get your pitchforks and your torches, I don't think that failing at something makes you a permanent failure, unless you choose to make it your identity.
If I'm not currently running, I would not say I'm a runner. If I'm not currently bowling, I wouldn't say I'm a bowler because that's not my identity. Of course, there are people who do CrossFit and then they become a CrossFitter, and they have to tell everybody about it every 30 seconds or else their heads will explode, but they take on that identity. They say, “I am a CrossFitter,” even when they're not doing CrossFitting. But if I'm not bowling, I don't think I'm a bowler. I'm just a guy who happens to bowl sometimes. [09:00.3]

Likewise, you can be a person who is a failure sometimes, and we all fail at certain things. I fail all the time and I'm a better person for it. And guess what? When I am failing, I am a failure. But I want to make sure that you understand that if you fail at accomplishing your New Year's resolutions, don't try to dress it up or try to make yourself feel better. You are a failure.
The good news is that you don't have to remain a failure because you can stop failing. Fail is a verb. You’re either doing it or not doing it. Running is a verb. You're either running or you're not running. Bowling is a verb. You're either doing it or you're not. What is so hard?
And if that weren't enough, research from the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals or resolutions at all. Only 8%. Let that sink in. [09:51.7]

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.

92% of people fail to achieve their goals. Are you going to be part of the 92%? It really is sad how that's the state of our society. Why even bother setting goals if the failure rate is that high? But that's how they want you to think. That's how most people operate, too.
One of the things that you should do when planning for 2024 is to list the activities required to accomplish your goals. Don't just say that you want to get 20 extra clients, for example. Write out exactly what you intend to do to get those clients, because you can't directly control your output, but you can directly control your input. You can say, “I'm going to send 500 direct mailers this week.” You can't say, “I'm going to get three clients from those direct mailers,” because you might get them, you might not. Focus on what you can control, which is your activity. [11:06.3]

Another thing I urge financial advisors to do when planning for 2024 is to be very, very careful where you get your marketing advice. Many of the so-called marketing experts who help financial advisors are either currently Inner Circle members or have been Inner Circle members in the past, and I have seen behind the curtain. I know what they're doing. I’ve gotten emails from them about how they're broke, how they're struggling. This is not everyone, right? So, please don't make a judgment about everyone, but I'm just telling you, there are sharks in the water. Be very careful.
If you study many of these people, you will see my material between the lines. I’ve lost count of how many times financial advisors have emailed me and they say things like this. “Oh, so-and-so sounds just like you.” When you hire these people or buy their products, what you are really getting is Pollard lite. [11:52.7]

I even had a financial advisor tell me, and I quote—I'm going to read you exactly what he told me—“I canceled a marketing newsletter yesterday. Why? He's half the price of your newsletter yet gives little value. Most months are just rants for eight pages. Literally, the newsletter is eight to 12 pages with big font, bold letters and a lot of white spaces. No bonuses, no real value, and worse, sometimes the newsletter is just a repeat of his free monthly podcast, LOL.”
I told him, “James’ newsletter might be double the price, but he gives you five to 10 times the value every single month.” I told this advisor, “DM me the person's name.” And guess what? That person that was doing that was a newsletter subscriber of mine, so the financial advisor was paying to receive nothing but Pollard lite. There are lots of people out there who are offering nothing but Pollard lite.
Also, a lot of these people claim to be amazing marketers, but can't scrape together $3.26 per day that the newsletter costs. For example, I had this woman cancel and this woman talks a big game about how she can get financial advisors more clients. Bro, she can't even get clients for herself. If you're such a good marketer, you should be able to use your marketing skills or, heaven forbid, the stuff I literally give to newsletter subscribers to pull together the 326 pennies every 24 hours. [13:09.6]

A few weeks ago, actually it was last week, right—so, the Christmas episode was “The Crack Addict’s Secret to Getting Rich”—crack addicts can pull together 326 pennies 100 times that every single day. Crack addicts are beating these people who go out there and say, “Oh, yeah, I can help financial advisors get more clients.” Really? Can you really? It's amazing, and not in a good way. Be very, very careful. I'm telling you, many of these people legitimately are just charlatans, or even worse, they're charlatans and psychopathic.
Did you know that 1% of the population meets the criteria for psychopathy? That means one in every 100 people you encounter is legitimately a psychopath, and I'd be willing to bet that at least a few of these charlatans are psychopathic. They do not care about the financial advisors they claim to serve. I'm just telling you. I'm not going to name-drop anybody. I'm just telling you, be very, very careful. They don't care about the advisors. They're just out to make a quick buck. That's why they don't last very long. [14:09.8]

Look, one of the reasons why I love doing this podcast so much is because it proves to people that I'm in this for the long haul. I have spent years of my life helping financial advisors. I have more than 250 episodes of this show. You can see it. You can verify it for yourself. At one episode per week, that is nearly five years of my life that I have been giving, giving and giving some more. I can honestly say that I do more for financial advisors than they do for me.
But guess what? That's part of the game. I know that. That's how it is. That's how it's supposed to be. I have to put $100,000 of value into the marketplace in order for me to get $10,000 that I can spend or invest or do whatever I want with it. That's how wealth is created in a society. But there are some people out there who are trying to get $10,000 from the marketplace without contributing anything, and then they wonder why their lives suck. [15:00.3]

If you're a new podcast listener, I suggest going back and listening to a lot of my old episodes, and listen to all of them. I do this for you, not for me. I already know this stuff. I'm not making this podcast to make me a better marketer. I'm doing it so you can become a better marketer. I already know this.
If you're starting right now, on January 1, then you can commit to listening to three episodes per week and you will get through all of them by the end of the year, all of the ones that I’ve already done. You have to listen to the new ones as well. I promise you, if you can do that, then you will know more about marketing than 99% of all the financial advisors in the world. However, the real question is, Will you do it? Then will you do anything with the information?
When people set New Year’s resolutions, they do it because they know what to do. That's where it comes from. They know the head knowledge. According to Forbes, the most common New Year’s resolutions are things like improving diet and exercise. You know what to do. Stop inserting food into your piehole. Move your fat body around more. Get off the freakin’ couch. But do you do it? That's a whole new ballgame. [16:08.6]

Knowing and doing are two different things. That's why I want to give you this piece of advice. Keep it real with yourself. Set activity goals for things that you know you will actually do. In an ideal world, it might be awesome if you ran a new online ad every single week, but deep down in your heart you know that you're not going to do it. Still, maybe you can do an ad every two weeks. That's more palatable. Maybe you think to yourself, I can actually do that, and it's something you can stick to.
I would rather have you set an activity goal that's half of your original goal as long as you stick with it—because let's say you go all out and then you fail by the second week of February, and let's say I do half of your all-out goal, but I stick with it for the rest of the year. If that's the case, then I'm going to absolutely crush you. So, keep that in mind. Don't be ashamed to start small. [17:00.8]

I think sometimes financial advisors get this idea that successful advisors are doing all of these amazing things with big initiatives and rollouts, and campaigns and whatnot. What they're really doing is just something every day or every week, or every month, whatever frequency they choose, and a lot of times that something isn't as big as you think it is. It's just a drop of water, wearing away the rock until you get a canyon. It just drip, drip, drip, until you get the canyon.
How much would your life change if you committed to reading one book every two weeks? I have read 90 Kindle books alone in 2023, and the year is not even over yet. That doesn't include articles. That doesn't include audiobooks. That doesn't include physical books. I also read the Bible again this year. All of that stuff is in addition to the 90 books on my Kindle. Surely, you can do one book every two weeks. That's 26 books in the entire year.
How much would your life change if you committed to writing one amazing blog post every month? I'm talking about an awesome in-depth blog article complete with images and graphs and descriptive imagery, not that 500-word stuff that, gosh, doesn't even work that well anymore. You would have 12 assets working for you at the end of the year, if you just committed to that. [18:14.0]

How much would your life change if you committed to sending 10 handwritten cards to people in your network every week? That's two every working day. Monday to Friday, just do two of them every day. Set some time in the morning 15 minutes, knock it out, you're done. Surely, you can do that. It's not like I'm asking you to sacrifice your firstborn or anything. Just write the dang cards. Do something.
The bottom line is this. I think you should set New Year’s resolutions. I know that sometimes people say, “Oh, well, if you set resolutions, then that basically means that you're not setting goals the rest of the year.” No, no, no, I'm setting resolutions every quarter, every week, every month. I'm going hard right? But New Year's resolutions, I get it, there's just something that clicks. It feels like a fresh start, and I think you should take advantage of that opportunity. [19:00.4]

So, set goals for yourself, but set activity-based goals, and make the activity something you will actually do. Don't lie to yourself. Don't try to bite off more than you can chew. Don't be like the 92% of people who fail to achieve their resolutions. I'm counting on you, and I can't wait to make 2020 for the best year ever.
Thank you so much for listening, I appreciate you. And I will catch you next week.

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