Do you ever feel that you are on a treadmill, working as hard as you can just to keep up? Perhaps you’re an adviser with a successful firm but struggle to break out to the next level or to gain back your time and freedom. Maybe you’re among a growing group of seasoned advisers not yet ready to retire but bored by the routine and wondering how to regain their enthusiasm or explore new adventures. Or perhaps you’re a newer adviser figuring out the best, fastest way to achieve greater success.
If any of these feel familiar, your vision may feel out of reach.
Few advisers have clear strategic plans or a process for managing their vision. I often hear how this is “marketing fluff” because one just needs to get out there and get to work. Still other advisers do strategic planning, but with limited success achieving the results they desire.
If you’re working hard and spinning, it’s not because you lack momentum, it’s because you lack direction. After all, people on a treadmill don’t need a map. If you want to create a bigger, better future for yourself and your firm, a strategic plan is a valuable tool to have—but not nearly as important as a strategic mindset.
You Can’t Win Whack-a-Mole
Advisers often find themselves playing a perpetual game of “whack-a-mole”—the arcade game where you whack a mole head with a foam mallet as they pop up at you. Your job is to hit as many heads as possible in the time allotted, and the more you hit the faster they come. Whack-a-mole is a game no one really wins, and you feel like you’re scrambling to keep up the entire time.
This game is reminiscent of advisory firms, where a considerable amount of effort is invested reacting to daily circumstances but never really gaining control over the practice or its future.
Strategic Mindset to Create Shifts in Success
Having a strategic mindset means you have a vision for your business beyond this calendar year’s goals—that you can envision what you want the business to be in your next stage of success. You set clear strategic priorities that drive broader goals that will create immediate business impact and progress toward those long-term goals.
In short, you shift your mindset to focus on the strategy and priorities that will be most impactful, and focus your energy, attention and resources there to shift yourself from reacting to your reality to confidently creating a better one.
Forget Your Fear
The biggest reason advisers don’t achieve their envisioned futures is that they are afraid to change their current situation for fear of the potential risks and downsides. Whether we’re discussing their desire to accelerate growth, reduce complexity and overwhelm, increase profitability, better manage their teams, make the business more independent of them, working to systematize and scale or even successfully shift to a successor or merge with or be acquired by another firm—fear of the unknown is usually the culprit for the status quo.
Neuroscience now shows us that success is 80 percent mindset and 20 percent methods. Thus, mastering your mindset is the single biggest step you can take to confidently create a bigger, better future for your business and life.
Shifting into a Strategic Mindset in 60 Minutes
To get started, follow the 60 minute, six-step process outlined in my Coaches Corner on mindset to ensure you bring a strategic mindset to your planning.
As you shift into a strategic mindset, you raise your awareness, lift your head and step off the treadmill that keeps you trapped in the status quo.
Except this time, you’ll step off with a new sense of clarity and confidence—which is exactly what you need to create the bigger, better future you’ve just imagined.
Editor’s note: This blog post is an excerpt from the FPA Coaches Corner whitepaper, “Make 2019 Your Year: Business and Career Tips to Get the Most out of 2019.” See the full whitepaper here.
Stephanie Bogan is the CEO of Educe, Inc., and former CEO/Founder of Quantuvis Consulting (sold to Genworth Financial in 2008) and has spent 20 years consulting with the profession’s top advisory firms and enterprises. Educe is focused on helping financial advisors, entrepreneurs and executives build wildly successful businesses and lives that they love by expanding their mindset and business methods in ways that help them experience greater levels of success, happiness, wealth and well-being in their work. Bogan is a coach in the FPA Coaches Corner.