The “Secret Sauce” of Success

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I’ve devoted my blog posts this year to thinking about what differentiates large producers from small ones. Granted, large is a relative term; production success is often in the eye of the beholder. But let’s face it—almost every adviser would like to increase his or her level of production.

So far, my search for the “secret sauce” of success hasn’t produced any conclusive answers. I’ve discovered that large producers aren’t necessarily smarter, more or less committed to their clients, more or less ethical, or more or less conscientious in managing clients’ portfolios.

So how do they do it? Although the precise recipe for production success remains a mystery, I have been able to pinpoint a few key ingredients.

Ingredient No. 1: Age
It makes sense that large producers tend to be older. They’ve simply been doing what they do for longer. You may come across the occasional seven-figure 30-year-old, but that’s not the norm. As in many other professions, success seems to go hand in hand with experience.

Ingredient No. 2: Asset Management Model
Large producers frequently choose a fee-based asset management model. Instead of focusing on short-term compensation, they’re likely to leverage the longer-term, and ultimately more lucrative, fee-based model.

Ingredient No. 3: Drive
The final ingredient I’ve identified is a bit more nebulous. Ask advisers what the secret of success is and they often come up with phrases like, “fire in the belly,” “burning desire,” and “bold confidence.”

Could it be that the secret of success is simply wanting it more? Based on my conversations with advisers across the country, spirit and drive—though difficult to quantify—have plenty to do with high production.

No doubt, research is under way in a lab somewhere to boil the secret sauce of success down to a formula. In the meantime, if you want to produce more, perhaps the first place to look is within.

Joni Youngwirth
Managing Principal of Practice Management
Commonwealth Financial Network
Waltham, Mass.

One thought on “The “Secret Sauce” of Success

  1. I’d also suggest adding creativity to the above list. I believe that Einstein said: “Creativity is far more important than knowledge.”

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