Production Contentment Vs. Complacency: When Is Enough … Enough?

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This year, I’ve dedicated my blog posts to the topic of increasing production. Among the specific areas we’ve discussed are:

  • Tactical approaches to increasing production (i.e., activity, activity, activity)
  • Long-term strategic approaches that typically take 12 to 24 months to produce results
  • The high-producer mindset
  • Challenges faced by new producers

Now let’s talk about the fine line between being content with your existing production and being complacent.

A Rainmaker’s Work Is Never Done—Or Is It?
As you know, rainmaking requires a unique skill set. Few people naturally possess it, and it’s not easy to develop. That’s why rainmakers are highly sought-after (and highly paid) in any industry. But when is enough revenue enough?

Many advisers reach a certain level of production and decide that they don’t want or need to continue to grow; they’re “done” accumulating clients. Other advisers never feel done and constantly seek more clients. Or, they may look to swap their existing client base for clients with greater assets or more sophisticated financial lives.

Are You Content or Complacent?
Contentment is the state of being satisfied; it’s a synonym for happiness. Complacency is self-satisfaction coupled with unawareness of potential danger. If you’re satisfied with your current production, have you accounted for lurking dangers? What if the market tanks, big clients are wooed away, expenses rise faster than revenue, or you become ill or disabled?

One difference between larger producers and smaller ones may be that larger producers see more risk to their established business. They plan for a margin of error to ensure that, if they do eventually stop seeking new clients, they can afford to be content.

So What?
For any firm, warding off complacency is essential to the business’s continued vitality. (This is especially true for enterprise firms seeking additional advisers.) No matter your production goals, however, remember to be grateful for the clients and revenue you currently have.

Beyond that, it’s up to you to decide when enough revenue is enough.


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

One thought on “Production Contentment Vs. Complacency: When Is Enough … Enough?

  1. Complacency is not a major issue in today organizations. If a company isn’t aware of the challenges of the global economy it’s probably already on the path to bankruptcy. The lurking danger comes from those that operate entirely from business textbooks and theory. Your front line personnel (sales / customer service) are your canary in the coalmine. Getting that information to the decision makers can be more than a notion.

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