Are You an Authentic Leader?

Most successful leaders out there realize the benefit of building a great relationship with a business coach. For me, this relationship started a little over three years ago with Brian Strock at the Cassara Clinic. The growth I've seen along the way (in both businesses) has been because of Brian's involvement and how he's shown up in my life and I'm forever grateful for his direction and counsel. A good business coach will challenge you to think differently about your business and how you approach your business as well as the relationships in…continue reading →

Hitting the Dimmer Switch

While out for a run the other morning listening to one of my favorite business podcasts I started thinking about all of the things that separate the way I'm wired and think from everyone else. I've often heard coaches, productivity experts, and others talk about the importance of "work life balance" and how that we should try and not take our work home with us....that we should "turn it off." I truly believe that systematizing your business can add a great deal of peace in your personal life because you'll have the confidence to…continue reading →

If You Want to Grow, Do This Before Anything Else

As leaders of our firms, we find ourselves constantly wearing many hats. We have to remember that, in order to be successful in business, we must dedicate and spend a certain amount of time working on the business as well as working in the business. There is a very subtle but distinct difference between the two. Working in the business is something that advisors are both used to and typically find the most enjoyment doing. Depending on who's sitting across from us or on the other end of a phone call, we typically find ourselves…continue reading →

Quantity versus Quality

Look at any organization over the history of their existence and growth and you'll realize that they will come to a pivotal point in their growth plan where they have to ensure that the quality that they've promised to their customers keeps up with the quantity of new customers. Most businesses start off not as businesses but as an idea that grows into a business because they start to find more and more people that benefit from their product or service. Without proper systems and procedures in place, most businesses can deal with…continue reading →

One Voice You Must Silence to Be Successful

One of the biggest obstacles that I had to overcome very early on in my career wasn't that of lack of prospects. It wasn't an unsupportive manager or a dysfunctional office environment. It wasn't due to lack of technology or inefficient marketing plan. No, my biggest obstacle that I had to get over was myself. It was the voice in my head that was telling me I wasn't good enough, qualified enough, smart enough, or trustworthy enough to have clients trust me with their financial affairs. It was this notion that there was…continue reading →

Streamlining an Operations Manual

While attending an industry conference earlier in the week, the discussion in the room ended up focusing on the importance of having an operations manual in your practice. An operations manual is important for many reasons: it allows continuity of your business, it can ensure consistency over time, it can reduce the number of errors, and it can streamline training for a new team member that is coming on board.One of the biggest challenges with an ops manual, though, is the implementation of the operations manual. As goes the paths of many business plans,…continue reading →

Gratitude & Perspective

I've had quite the travel hiccups the last 5 days going to and coming from Jacksonville. Between the 6hr delay-after-unexplained-delay at IAD (Dulles) on the way out and a delayed-and-then-cancelled flight on the way back, I could have very easily sat back and complained, whined, and sulked that I'll be over a day late getting home than originally planned. On the way out with my delays, I did in fact get in line with other passengers and complain to United and they did what they could to accommodate. As I sit here at…continue reading →

Distinguishing Between the Vital Few and the Trivial Many

We are just over halfway through the first quarter of 2015, and with that, hopefully halfway through to a profitable and growing first quarter. Hopefully you haven’t forgotten or lost sight of the business plan that you did at the end of 2014. You know, the one that you spent time on between Christmas and New Year’s because…well…what else were you doing to do that week? If you haven’t looked at it yet, now would be a great time to dust off the plan (or open up the file on your computer) and…continue reading →

Why a CRM Is a Must

As advisors we all-too-often get caught up putting out fires and attending to the "crisis de jour" while doing our best to "move the ball forward" on existing opportunities that we have to grow our business. The important thing to remember, though, is that by having a process and system for everything in your business it allows you to take the emotional component out of running a business and rather just focus on what you have in front of you at the moment. Once you've built, customized, and trust your systems you can…continue reading →

Make Deposits into your Emotional Piggy Bank

We coach, advise, and (sometimes) preach to clients tirelessly the importance of saving and making deposits in their accounts. We impress upon them the return on that investment and the future growth. I’ll emphasize one word again in that previous sentence: investment. An investment signifies an intention to grow the original principal. We hope the return on that investment was worth the opportunity cost of what we otherwise could have done with the original principal. I’d encourage you to heed your own advice and make an investment…but make the investment an emotional one.…continue reading →