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Do you sometimes feel you can’t get it all done?

Between serving clients, growing your business and your private life, it’s easy to have more tasks in your head than you feel you could ever handle.

But some people DO get it all done. In fact, some extraordinary entrepreneurs get more done in 10 years than billions of people in their lifetimes. One of them is Bill Gates. In this episode, you’ll get productivity tips the Microsoft founder himself uses to get everything done without being stressed or sacrificing family time.

Show highlights include:

  • Why not cleaning your own house isn’t selfish or arrogant, but helps you impact those around you in a great way. (8:30)
  • Why Bill Gates schedules his day down to 5-minute increments—and how doing the same can help you get more done every day. (12:20)
  • The research-backed way to get the most out of your work time while taking plenty of breaks. (12:45)
  • How to turn “dead time” (like waiting in a doctor’s office or commuting) into time which grows you and your business. (17:05)

Go to the TheAdvisorCoach.com/Newsletter 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: Welcome to another episode of Financial Advisor Marketing, best podcast in the world in my humble but accurate and biased opinion for financial advisors. Another week, another amazing podcast coming up, and this one is going to be about productivity. It's one of my favorite topics, I love to talk about it. We did a podcast in the past about productivity and sleep hygiene and things like that and it is one of my favorites, so I wanted to continue with the productivity stuff, but first I want to say if you haven't already subscribed to my monthly paper and ink newsletter, you can join by going to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and signing up. [0:01:08.8]One more time, TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletters, it's $99 a month.

Jonathan: $99?

James: I know, I know, kind of expensive but I've done it on purpose, and I've done it because it's expensive enough to keep the tire kickers and the freebie seekers out, but it's cheap enough to where anyone who is serious enough can afford it. That's a good deal, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Yeah, absolutely, and I think the main thing is when you invest that $99 and it shows up at your doorstep you're at least going to rip it open and read it and you can't help but get a result.

James: Yeah, exactly. And what I've noticed is that the best financial advisors who are in the inner circle, what they do is they actually go out and they get a binder, and it shows up, it is not hole punch but it does have like the page numbers and stuff, I mean you know that your March newsletter issue or your November newsletter issue, you know that it's all together, because it's marked that way, but it's not hole punch, but I noticed that the best financial advisors, they go out, they get a hole puncher, they get a binder, they punch it, they put it in a binder and they review all of their newsletters a few times per year. [0:02:11.7]

I thought that was really good idea, and I've actually started doing that with some of the different people that I'm doing business with and the stuff that they give me. I actually went back and I reviewed it, I put it all together in a binder. I used to have it just sitting in a drawer or something, and I was like, "Wow, you know, maybe I should do this for the stuff I subscribe to." Thank you to advisor that pointed that out to me.

Jonathan: Take it one step further, I don't know who is doing your a newsletters, but I had my people punch holes in them and then when you're sending it out send it out with a binder so they know they have to do that.

James: Yeah, that's actually a really good idea. I should probably get on that.

Jonathan: We're going to call it The Financial Advisor Marketing Bible with your picture on the front.

James: Nice little title there. I mean some people like digital downloads and stuff, the reason I don't do that with the newsletter is because it is a logistical nightmare to do that, especially with PDFs and audio, I mean I do that with all my other products, but with a newsletter it's so special and it's so valuable that I need to have tracking on it, I need to make sure you get it. [0:03:21.7]

If it's a digital download, I don't know if you got it or not, I don't know if you accessed it, but if it's shipped directly to your door and I got tracking on it, which I do, if you're in the United States, I can see it delivered and I know. It just makes me feel good, I know that you're benefiting from it, I know that you've got it in your mailbox, and it I mean it's up to you take final steps, it's up to you to read it, but I sleep well at night knowing that I'm giving my best stuff to financial advisors, and if you think I'm giving the best stuff on this podcast, you are sadly mistaken. I hate to burst your bubble, but I'm not.

Jonathan: You're getting second hand stuff on here.

James: You're getting sloppy seconds on the podcast.

Jonathan: Leftovers.

James: Sloppy seconds and leftovers. [0:04:03.0] I know there will be some people listening to this, they'll keep trying to get the free stuff and they'll be addicted to anything for free, it's just a weak mindset, and people who try to get everything for free, they usually don't get very far anyway, so that's my little shameless plug for my newsletter. We'll move on into the meat and potatoes of the podcast. I want to start this one off, once again, with a little story, and I recently had a phone call with a financial advisor, and he bought everything I have.

Jonathan: Everything?

James: Everything. All I know I was checking my order stats and I saw this guy's name come up again and again and again. I got a lot of products, I've got 37 Sales Tips, I've got The Marketing Plan, I've got The Ultimate Financial Advisor's Guide To Getting More Clients, How To Get Clients With Linkedin, I mean I've got a bunch, and this guy bought every single one of them. I decided I would surprise him, and I would send him an email and I'd offer to get on the phone with him for like 15 minutes or so, and basically answer any questions he has for me. [0:05:04.7] So basically I was going to help him solve what every business problem he wanted me to solve. By the way, a big disclaimer here, please don't buy everything I have and then expect me to email you and offer this, I mean it was just a onetime thing, I don't want to give anybody the impression that that's a thing that I'm doing now, it's not, I just wanted to, I felt good that day and wanted to surprise somebody, do my good deed of the day. Like that's it. So please, keep that in mind. And also, keep in mind that right now I'm charging $1000 for 30 minute phone consultation, and even then I turn people down.

Jonathan: Did that guy know that? Did that know you were charging $1000 for that? Is that on your website?

James: Probably. I mean if he's ever been to my contact page, I don't know if he knew or not, but if he's ever been to my contact page it says right there $1000, 30 minutes, no refunds. I don't know.

Jonathan: Damn, you are pricey, James. I got to raise my prices, brother. [0:06:01.0]

James: Well not that many people take me up on that offer, as a percentage of people don't see it. But the thing is, I mean, we talked about this in a previous episode, if I did like 10 of these a week, I mean that's 5 hours of my time, and that's 5 hours that I could be putting into different products, I could be putting into the podcast, and you have to look at it from an economies of scale perspective. So five hours of my time spent on this podcast is going to reach thousands of people, and people can listen to it, they may take action, they may not take action, they're going to learn from it, they're going to know my name, they're going to know that I've helped them, I've added value, there's that value word again, in their life in some way, and they're going to appreciate it. Versus five hours of my time with 10 different people.

Jonathan: So James, he had to take you up on the offer, right?

James: Yes, yes he did. And of course he did, I mean who wouldn't if I reached out to you. He was super happy about it, and we set it up and everything, and when I had the call with the guy I noticed something, I noticed he was on time, he was perfectly punctual, which is a good sign. [0:07:08.9] I'm a stickler for punctuality so it's always good when somebody shows up on time. He started telling me about his situation. The guy was making $180,000 per year and he had a few things going on in his business that he wanted to solve, but we actually didn't talk about anything in his business, yet in a follow up email, like a thank you email, he told me that that 15 minute call totally changed his life.

Jonathan: What did you do? Give him a bunch of compliments and tell him how good he was looking or?

James: No, no. I mean I did help him with his... At least I think I helped him with his business, but I guess if he didn't see anything directly applicable to his business, then fine. It turns out that he was making that much money per year, $180,000, and he was still doing the $10 per hour stuff in his own life. [0:08:03.8] So he felt like, I mean he was doing high value stuff during the day for a few hours in his own business, but in his own life is what I'm talking about. So he felt like he was maxed out, he was burning the candle at both ends because he was doing his own grocery shopping; he was washing his own car, cleaning his own house.

Jonathan: No.

James: Yeah.

Jonathan: At $180,000 a year he's doing grunt work?

James: He's still doing it, yeah. I don't know why, I mean maybe it's a mindset thing. I'm starting to believe that it is, people who are raised to do that kind of stuff, or maybe they feel guilty about hiring people. I don't really know what it is yet, I mean I'm sure I'll figure it out some day.

Jonathan: I feel guilty not having a cleaning lady.

James: Yes. I feel that way too, because I know if... And I am being dead serious here, financial advisors. I do, honestly feel guilty about not having people do that, because number one, I'm giving them work and employment that they want. I mean they want to do stuff, you have to understand that. [0:09:00.6]

Number two, when I spend time on my high value task, I am impacting the world in such a bigger way that I never could by cleaning my own toilets. It's the truth, and he told me that he wanted to make half a million dollars per year, I was just upfront with him, I was like, "Honestly, I don't want to be negative or anything, but I don't think you can do it if you're doing that other stuff." I mean it's just math. If you had 24 hours in a day and it you sleep for eight, so you got 16 hours left and you spend all 16 hours, I mean, just to keep it easy here, spend all 16 hours doing a $10 per hour work, that's $160 per day. I don't have my calculator on me or anything, but that's what? Like $45,000 per year or something like that. I mean the point is that it would be a heck of a lot easier for this guy to make half a million dollars per year if he's not wasting his time on low value task, so by shifting those things his productivity is going to skyrocket, so he's probably listening to this podcast now, so I hope you're doing well if you're still doing that stupid stuff, washing your own car, your groceries, don't do it, listen to me, I'll call you up again, give you a spanking. [0:10:14.4] Speaking of productivity, let's dive into this podcast here, which is all about productivity tips from Billy-Boy Gates, and we will talk about a few of these. The first one is treat your time with respect. I was watching a Charlie Rose interview, and it's on You Tube if you're interested in it, just go to YouTube and type in Charlie Rose interview with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, it's really good. In that interview Bill Gates made it clear that he can buy a lot of things, but he cannot buy more time, and neither can you. You can never get your time back, which is why it's critically important that you make the most of the time you have. You have to treat your time with respect. [0:11:01.0]

Hey financial advisors, are you ready to take your business to the next level and get more clients with less stress? I invite you to join the James Pollard Inner Circle of Paper and Ink Newsletter that gets delivered directly to your door every month. When you join now you'll also get a 90-minute instant download called, "Five Keys to Success for Financial Advisors", a $97 value for absolutely free. All you have to do is head over to TheAdvisorCoach.com/newsletter and join today.

James: Does that make sense, Jonathan?

Jonathan: No, I totally disagree with you because when you told the guy on the phone call to get a gardener and get a grocery person, I look at that as buying your time back.

James: Yes, you are... Well, yes, you are buying your time back, so I guess in that sense Bill Gates and his employees and things like that, I guess he is buying time, I didn't really think about that, but I guess what he meant was like him personally.

Jonathan: Yeah, I get it, don't waste time, I get it.

James: So it is really important to make the most of the time that you have. [0:12:01.9] So even Bill Gates can't buy more time. Number two is actually structure your time. I didn't know this, and I don't know if I didn't consciously think about it or didn't register or whatever, but Bill Gates actually breaks his calendar down into chunks, and it's sometimes in five minute increments.

Jonathan: Really?

James: Yeah, five minutes, he's back to back to back to back. I mean not every single thing is in five minutes, but when it comes time to do a five minute task, he's going to schedule it in there. I found that financial advisor work best in chunks too. In fact, got my little notes here, research from Florida State University found that productivity and performance are at their peak during uninterrupted 90 minute intervals.

Jonathan: Really? So you can stay focused for 90 minutes?

James: Well I think one of the things I talk about in the productivity product is breaking it up, there's like the Pomodoro Technique where you go for 25 minutes. [0:13:00.7]

Jonathan: 30 minutes, yeah, okay, got it.

James: And then take a five minute break. I mean I would still recommend doing that, getting up every 30 minutes or so, walking around, stretch your legs and whatnot, but then I would get right back to whatever it is that I was doing. Like I wouldn't do something else, I would just a focused on that one thing.

Jonathan: 90 minutes for one particular focus.

James: Right. So if I'm prospecting, I prospect for 25, minutes take a five minute break then come back into it again and again and we're done, and I would do something else. I actually wear something called the Oura ring, and it's a sleep tracker, sleep tracking ring, tracks my temperature, my heart rate, my overall health, things like that, and it actually gives me alerts when I haven't moved for an hour. If I don't move, it gives me a little ding on my cellphone, the stuff is connected to my computer and I see it, like, "Oh hey, time to move." I actually move every hour anyway, so I'm not sitting down and doing stuff for 90 minutes because I don't want to get, I will have this little ring get mad at me. [0:14:03.7]

And by the way, if people are interested in getting a sleep tracker, whether it's a ring or a wrist band or whatever it is, get one. I mean just do it, it's going to change your life. I was talking to a financial advisor this morning and he was asking me about all the tips and strategies and tactics and he want me to work with him and teach him a bunch of different things that nobody knows about, and I mean I can't do that, but what I can help you with is to get your foundation right. What I tell you is that if you aren't sleeping well and you aren't eating well and you aren't exercising and your mental clarity isn't there, you're not operating at a 100%. If someone comes in who is operating at 100%, they're going to crush you no question about it. They're going to absolutely devastate you and your business, and that's why sleep is so important. Because I could give you are the tips and tricks and strategies, I mean I'm giving you productivity tips right now, but if you're sleep deprived or if you're not thinking clearly, you've got brain fog, it doesn't matter because you're not going to implement it, and even if you try to implement it, you're probably not going to implement it properly, so it's extremely important you get your sleep. [0:15:14.1] So there's my low sleep tangent, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Thank you, and I ordered my Oura ring because of you.

James: Really? No way. You really did?

Jonathan: Dude, like that whole... You did an episode, on the productivity episode about the Chronobiology and I'm changing my entire life based on that.

James: Wow. Yeah, those things take a while to ship, so. If you haven't gotten it yet, be patient, but it's good, it's unbelievable. I'll throw this in there, we're going off on a bit of a tangent here, but this is some more value, I guess. Within the ring, and some people don't know this, because it tracks your temperature, if you wake up in the morning and you see that your temperature has spiked or that it has decreased quite a bit, it's actually, I'm not a doctor I'm not giving you medical advice or whatever, big disclaimer, but based on what I've seen and what I experienced, when you see those temperature variations, it's actually a warning sign that you are getting sick. [0:16:10.6]

Jonathan: Wow.

James: So if you see your temperature spike or drop or something like that, then you just boost up on your anti-oxidants and your vitamin C and your vitamins and immune system boosting drinks and things like that. If you do that, it could actually prevent you from getting sick. So indirectly you are buying, I guess, or getting back days that you would have otherwise lost because you would be sick and you'd be out of action, but because you could avoid that, I mean theoretically you could avoid getting sick, and even if you get stuffy or you get a cold or whatever, it would be a lot less severe because you've anticipated it. So really, really cool stuff. I hope you do enjoy the Oura ring, it's amazing. [0:17:01.3]

Moving on number three, third productivity tip here from Bill Gates is to take advantage of snippets of time, and this is something else that can completely change your life if you apply it, and it's all about taking what would otherwise be "dead time" and using it. I mean this is stuff like driving to and from work or waiting in a doctor's office, so what do you do with that time, ask yourself that question. What do you do? If you're driving to and them word, are you just listening to the radio? You shouldn't, you should be listening to this podcast.

Jonathan: Of course.

James: If you're listening to the podcast, thank you. You should be listen to audio books, you should be listening to the MP3 products that I have. If it's a doctor's office, you should be reading, and Bill Gates says that he always has a book nearby for a quick read. So if he's in between meetings or whatever he has a couple extra minutes or something, he reads and he gets his reading time. That may not seem like much, but when you compound that over years, it's a huge advantage, absolutely huge. [0:18:02.6] Five minutes a day for years and years of reading and you get that extra knowledge and you apply the knowledge to your business, it's just unbelievable what it could do.

Jonathan: Yeah, compound interest.

James: It's the greatest force in the world. Sweet, sweet compound interest, and it's not just with money, it's with your knowledge, it's with your time, it's with your physical health, so always keep that concept in the back of your head. Number four is, and this one may shock a lot of people, but number four is actually keep work at work and you may be surprised. Gasp. Surprise. Get ready. A little too soon here, here's the gasp moment. Bill Gates will actually sit down for a family dinner and he'll even do the dishes when he's home.

Jonathan: Come on, he has people for that.

James: Well apparently not. I mean if he's doing the dishes, and there are a lot of people out there listening this who are like, "See, Bill Gates does the dishes? See? Why don't you do it?" Productivity is not about working harder, it's about works smarter. [0:19:02.7] So many financial advisors think the only way to get more clients, to grow their businesses with longer, harder hours, and it's dumb. And I'm not saying that you should do your dishes, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that Bill Gates keeps work at work, he understands that if he can't get all of his work done within the hours he's allotted, something's wrong, he's making a mistake, he understands that. So the financial advisors who start out with like I have hours of work and somehow that creeps up into eight hours and then 10 hours, like something's wrong, you are screwing up somewhere. If you cannot get the five hours of work you have allowed it, done in five hours. I mean just plain and simple. So with that, I have a shameless plug here. A little plug, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Alright, plug away.

James: I have a productivity product.

Jonathan: You do?

James: You may not have heard about it. It's called Peak Productivity for Financial Advisors and you can find that at TheAdvisorCoach.com and you can click on the products tab and you'll see it, it's a video training which walks you through different productivity tips and strategies and techniques in detail. [0:20:13.1]

I mean this is just scraping the surface, I mean this is nothing compared to the things that you could do, and in all honesty, you could take the tips here and improve your business and the stuff about sleep and sleep hygiene, and go back and listen to that episode, it will change your life. If you like that stuff, you're going to absolutely love what's in Peak Productivity. So those are the four productivity tips I have from the man himself, Bill Gates. Number one, treat your time with respect. Number two, structure your time. Number three, take advantage of snippets of time, and I just thought about it, I was going through a Dan Kennedy training, and financial advisors probably don't know who Dan Kennedy is, but in the marketing world he's like one of the guys. He's looked up to and people admire him and respect him for all the stuff that he's done. [0:21:00.8]

He's a legendary marketer, and one of the trainings that he had, he talk about when people hire him for consulting days and they go to his house, he actually has books in his bathroom, like suggested reading. So when you're consulting with Dan Kennedy and you're at his house and you're paying him tens of thousands of dollars for one day and you go to the bathroom, he's got stuff for you to read.

Jonathan: Lending library, huh?

James: No lending, I guess. Dan Kennedy understands this concept, he understands that taking advantage of these snippets of times can give him a huge advantage and can give his customers a huge advantage. If you learn nothing else from this podcast today, take a book and put that thing in your bathroom.

Jonathan: Boom.

James: And number four is keep work at work. I like working as much as the next person in the sense that I love what I do and it seems like I can't stay away and I keep doing it, and this is something that I should work on. [0:22:03.1]

Jonathan: Do you ever shut off, James? Because I don't believe that you do.

James: I really don't. Just be being honest with the people here, I do need to work on this, keeping work at work, but I do love what I do, and I do it all the time. It never really feels like work. Now sure, there are parts of my day that I don't like and sometimes I have to deal was some pretty nasty people and some people hate what I tell financial advisors because I'm telling the truth, rather than just filling their heads with lies, but it is what it is, and I do need to take this advice and start doing my own dishes, I guess. But those are the four things from Bill Gates, and hopefully got some value from this today, financial advisors.

Jonathan: What do you have coming up for us next time, James?

James: Next time is probably going to be my personal favorite podcast episode that we've ever done, and it's going to be called, I think we're just going title it The Dark Side of Success, but really that title comes from Gary Halbert, who is a legendary marketer, I know I've said legendary marketer earlier in the podcast about Dan Kennedy, but Gary Halbert also is a legendary marketer, he's an amazing copywriter, arguably the best copy writer ever. [0:23:07.8]

Maybe second to Gary Bencivenga, I'm not going to get into that, but Gary Halpert was the guy, and he wrote a newsletter called The Dark Side of Success, and I want to talk about that because being a financial advisor who experienced a lot of success, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. There are a few things nobody really talks about, except me, and I'm going to talk about them in the next episode, The Dark Side of Success.

Jonathan: Cannot wait for that one. So another Financial Advisor Marketing is in the can, tune in next week for more.

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