Making Success Personal

A few weeks ago I had one of those blinding glimpses of the obvious. It dawned on me that despite the grinding intensity with which some advisors focus on attracting, serving and developing loyal relationships with affluent clients, a very important something is missing. Somehow, the human element of success is being overlooked. Rarely do today's advisors become students of other high achievers not

A few weeks ago I had one of those blinding glimpses of the obvious. It dawned on me that despite the grinding intensity with which some advisors focus on attracting, serving and developing loyal relationships with affluent clients, a very important something is missing.

Somehow, the human element of success is being overlooked. Rarely do today's advisors become students of other high achievers — not just big producers, but high achievers throughout recorded history. Advisors must make an effort to study the qualities of high achievers, and use this study to develop personal habits of success. Success has always been, and will always be, very personal. Yet for many it becomes a short-sighted destination: achieving a production target, purchasing a new home and so on; this is a “success trap” that snares many advisors.

What are these special qualities and habits? That's the multi-million dollar question. To make certain we're all on the same page, let's take a moment to define “high achiever.” The following is my working definition:

High Achiever: An individual who has incorporated balance into his or her life, continues to grow, set and achieve goals, who lives by the golden rule, and adds value to his or her work, family and the community.

A lofty standard, I know, but a true achiever's objective is to maximize his or her potential. The following are 15 qualities that have long been associated with high achievers. This list is far from complete, but read through it, and take an honest assessment of where you stand with respect to each quality and its corresponding habits.

  1. Balance: High achievers live full lives, and pay attention to personal, professional, family and spiritual development.

  2. Goal Focus: Naturally, high achievers set and meet goals. But the engine driving this focus is the habit of continually re-activating the process, which I refer to as the “achievement cycle” — continually setting goals and diligently overcoming all obstacles.

  3. Self Discipline: High achievers are extremely disciplined. This is what activates their aforementioned achievement cycle. Achievers make the sacrifices this discipline requires.

  4. Courage: Whether it's establishing big goals or engaging in goal-focused activities that force them outside of their comfort zones, high achievers stretch themselves.

  5. Work Ethic: I have never found a true achiever, past or present, who didn't work hard and smart.

  6. Empowerment: These individuals develop the habit of bringing out the best in the people around them; they help others grow and develop.

  7. Gratification Delay: High achievers fully understand the law of the harvest: Seeds planted today must be carefully tended to bear fruit tomorrow.

  8. Positive Energy: Successful people have developed the habit of not only fueling themselves with positive energy, but transferring positive energy to others as well.

  9. Confidence: Forging ahead without the approval of peers builds a deep-seated confidence. This is one of the reasons there are so few high achievers. Few people have developed the habit of believing in themselves without proof of a positive result.

  10. High Self-Esteem: Self-esteem grows as one achieves. Developing the habit of setting and re-setting goals naturally reinforces self-esteem.

  11. Persistence: Ben Franklin called it resolution; President Harding said someone possessing this quality was “omnipotent.” High achievers do not make excuses, they plow forward toward their goals.

  12. Health & Fitness: Despite rumors to the contrary, most high achievers take care of themselves with exercise and decent eating habits. Without good health they can't achieve.

  13. Role Models: Michael Jordan patterned his basketball game after two local stars, Walter Davis and David Thompson. General Patton idolized Alexander the Great, reading everything about him that he could find. Throughout history, high achievers have developed the habit of studying and learning from other high-achievers.

  14. Lifetime Learning: What normal people refer to as curiosity, high achievers transform into a thirst for knowledge. They develop the habit of learning.

  15. The Golden Rule: Granted, there are notable and very public exceptions, but the majority of high achievers live by this creed. Personally, I feel strongly about treating people in the manner in which we would like to be treated ourselves. This is the timeless law of reciprocity.

Become a student of achievement and develop some habits of success. You will soon become a role model to others.

Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients. oechsli.com

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