Need Advice...Have I hit a wall?

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Aug 10, 2006 7:16 pm

I've been out about 6 years with A.G. Edwards.  Came into the business with no contacts, no family money, very little savings, and absolutley no clue...I thought I passed my series 7, and people would bring me money to manage.  I found out quick this is a sales driven business. 


I hit the phones hard for 3 -4 years, worked late and on weekends.  I came out of the gates pretty quick, built my AUM up to $35 million - (which I realize is small for some of you big hitters) and I was grossing about $350,000 annually.


At $350,00 gross, I'm at a level where I make a pretty nice living - I net around $150,000 (including bonus), which is really good money in the rural area I live in.  I'm comfortable.


The thing is, I have no drive to do better.  I used to have this burning in me...and now it is gone.  I probably only do two hours of honest work a day...if I would get back on it like I used to, I could double my production...but I just don't seem to care.  I read books about motivation and positive thinking, I listen to tapes, I psyche myself up, but nothing seems to help.  I'm only 41, I seem to young to feel this old.


Any of you guys and gals ever have a problem like this?  Is this normal?  Ho do I get out of my own way and start prospecting again.


Any help would be much appreciated.

Aug 10, 2006 8:24 pm

What you're experiencing is normal and expected. When I started this business, the branch manager told me what to expect as I grew my business. He said brokers normally take a few years to work like crazy, raising 30-50 million in AUM; then they take a year off. (Not a year off for vacation, but a year off from working like crazy.) Then they're recharged and go at it again, like they're rookies.


No one but you can motivate yourself. But if your demotivation has only occurred within the past few weeks or couple of months, don't sweat it. Mentally, you probably needed the break.


To make sure this break pays-off for you in the future, you might try researching new marketing techniques, in the meantime. Or do some "passive" marketing, i.e., volunteering for non-profits, etc. Or choose to pursue truly "white elephants": market 401(k)'s, ultra high net worth prospects, etc. These "white elephants" require a long lead time and shouldn't be pursued by those in a hurry to build their book, but acquiring one or two could make your year.


Good luck!

Aug 10, 2006 8:50 pm

Billybob,

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take for you to build a book with 35mm AUM? What way did you find most effective? Also are you with a big wirehouse?

Aug 10, 2006 9:15 pm
newkid:

Billybob,

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take for you to build a book with 35mm AUM? What way did you find most effective? Also are you with a big wirehouse?


Just shoot me--Billybob says he's with AG Edwards and it took him 3 to 4 years to gather 35 million and this kid comes along and asks how long it took and who he works for.

Aug 10, 2006 9:52 pm
NASD Newbie:

Just shoot me--Billybob says he's with AG Edwards and it took him 3 to 4 years to gather 35 million and this kid comes along and asks how long it took and who he works for.



i guess you're not posting from the 19th hole-- so the old gal pulled thru and trashed your round at augusta-


so close yet so far, eh?


Aug 10, 2006 9:54 pm
BILLYBOB:

I've been out about 6 years with A.G. Edwards.  Came into the business with no contacts, no family money, very little savings, and absolutley no clue...I thought I passed my series 7, and people would bring me money to manage.  I found out quick this is a sales driven business. 


I hit the phones hard for 3 -4 years, worked late and on weekends.  I came out of the gates pretty quick, built my AUM up to $35 million - (which I realize is small for some of you big hitters) and I was grossing about $350,000 annually.


At $350,00 gross, I'm at a level where I make a pretty nice living - I net around $150,000 (including bonus), which is really good money in the rural area I live in.  I'm comfortable.


The thing is, I have no drive to do better.  I used to have this burning in me...and now it is gone.  I probably only do two hours of honest work a day...if I would get back on it like I used to, I could double my production...but I just don't seem to care.  I read books about motivation and positive thinking, I listen to tapes, I psyche myself up, but nothing seems to help.  I'm only 41, I seem to young to feel this old.


Any of you guys and gals ever have a problem like this?  Is this normal?  Ho do I get out of my own way and start prospecting again.


Any help would be much appreciated.



time to go indy---- bigger payout, more challanges to get you out of your comfort zone---


Aug 10, 2006 10:52 pm

BilllyBob- Good post; thanks for the candor.  Seems like you did an exceptional job from the beginning.


Consider "falling in love" with some terrific investments.  Splendid long-term track records in all markets.  Consider how these will likely affect your clients' situation over the years.  Make it your mission to approach/inform them and see what happens.  You don't have to push it, just make it available.


And for heaven sakes, don't leave where you're at.  Your doing well and leaving will sabatoge much of it.  Just my opinion.


Aug 10, 2006 11:36 pm

BillyBob--you have hit the proverbial "second wall". I have heard about this from several veteran brokers I am friends with. I think I am kind of hitting it now. I have been out five years and my numbers are a little below, but similar to yours. The first wall was the first time you wanted to quit becuase of an awful, awful month.


I feel the same way. Just kind of bored. I find myself spacing out. I don't work as hard a I did either. I think it's normal. It feels like mild burnout to me. I think it will pass in time. My advice is, I don't have time to think about it when I am busy. Call all of your clients in for a review whetehr they are due or not. After about 2-3 weeks of 5-a day appointments you will be so damn busy with what you uncovered on these new appointments you won't have time to think about it. It'll be good for your production too.


My other advice would be to find some niche you enjoy doing. I have gotten into planning (estate and tax) lately and it's fascinating stuff that NOBODY ELSE IS DOING. 


Hope that helps


RS  

Aug 11, 2006 2:06 am

I love threads like this...some great advice here.  At about a year out indy, I'm starting through some of my first annual reviews and have a client event scheduled for next week.  It's great to interact and it reminds you why you're in the business.  I also found the firm's national sales conference a great motivator...came back to the office ready to kick some tail...

Aug 11, 2006 7:16 am
TexasRep:
NASD Newbie:

Just shoot me--Billybob says he's with AG Edwards and it took him 3 to 4 years to gather 35 million and this kid comes along and asks how long it took and who he works for.



i guess you're not posting from the 19th hole-- so the old gal pulled thru and trashed your round at augusta-


so close yet so far, eh?



Pulled through?  She wasn't in a life threatening situation.  Yes she did get released and insisted that her husband go to Augusta, but I went too.  I was not allowed to play because there was already a foursome and they won't allow five to play--but they don't mind if somebody else tags along.


I had done that twice before, but never inside where the ropes would be.  I also got a chance to hit a few approach shots when it was not going to slow down the guys behind us.


I now have the highly sought business card of a member, and said member did suggest that I come back again sometime.


We'll see.


There must be no more boring drive than between Atlanta and Augusta, it was a six pack and then some.


Dinner last night was at a place called Bones--big steaks for big boys.


Now I'm busily packing for my trip home--seems like I'm supposed to drink my shampoo, or something like that.

Aug 11, 2006 8:21 am

If you are only putting in an honest 2 hours a day.  Have you considered only working for 2 hours a day?  Seriously.


2 hours may not be appropriate, but half days could serve you well.  You don't get paid to put in time.  You get paid to produce.  Work your butt off for a few hours a day and go home.  Nothing's wrong with not wanting to make a ton of money.  You're doing well for yourself, so why not challenge yourself to maintain your income while working as little as possible.


Spend your time enjoying your family and your friends.  I've known a few reps who have drastically cut their work hours, and none of them suffered diminished income.  In fact, a few of them experienced the exact opposite.

Aug 11, 2006 9:07 am

Your in a funk.  Ride it out, it will either go away or you will get your satisfaction elsewhere. 



$350k is a good number but a million or 2 can bring a whole do
perspective.  Its not the money in your pocket by the way, its the
miriad of other things that accompanies such production.  

Aug 11, 2006 9:42 am

BILLYBOB,


Wall, funk or any other term it would seem you have it. I've gone through it and have seen colleagues experience it too.  What got me out of mine was that I joined a local non-profit kids foundation and volunteered my time. The time spent is rewarding and occasionally I got some free publicity (via the articles that get written).  I'm not suggesting this works for everybody, it gave me a new perspective on what's important and how I can help.


best of luck in getting out of your funk.

Aug 11, 2006 12:33 pm

A man dying of thirst on the desert will do anything for a drink of water. However, once his survival is no longer threatened he will no longer risk or do all just for a drink of water. Water no longer motivates him.


You are no longer in survival mode in this business, you are in comfort mode. That is- all your financial needs are being met. Once a need is met it no longer motivates. Money no longer motivates you. Not moving beyond comfort mode is a dangerous thing as it is very possible to slip back into survival mode. Losing key clients, a down market, or new higher production standards are a few of the things that can leave you wondering where your comfortable lifestye went.


The answer has already been given to you by other posters to your thread.


To understand what that answer is and why it's the answer go to


www.bobdunwoody.com


Bob explains this and much more in his excellent book "You Can Have It All"


Buying his program "Taking Your Business to the Next Level" is money well spent. The book is included with the program or, I believe, it can be purchased seperately. Good stuff!


Aug 11, 2006 10:55 pm

Bob Dunwoody kicks arse. He did more for my business in 3 hours on a Federated due diligence trip I took than ANYBODY ever has done.


Absolutely fascinating stuff.


Highly recommended.


you'll be "retired" already.


RS


Aug 17, 2006 12:08 am

Billybob,


I'm going through the same thing.  I've tried to spend more time with my family.  Also done a lot of charity work with local organizations.  Did a large client appreciation event.  I'm gearing up for the 4th quarter.

Aug 17, 2006 9:14 am

I'm there also. A little less in the numbers but have only been at it four years. However very bored, somewhat comfortable and not sure what to do next. Actually thinking about doing something else for the challenge. What's stoping me is the 60k in fees/trails that I make without lifting a finger.

Sep 8, 2006 10:24 am

Hey ez we are at the same firm. and same production ( i have read your past posts) Why are you not going indy? I have looked at it and it seems to make sence to me. I produce about 275k a yr and have a 30MM book with $120k in trail/fees. Things may not get better for a long time.

Sep 8, 2006 12:09 pm
bankfa10:

Hey ez we are at the same firm. and same production ( i have read your past posts) Why are you not going indy? I have looked at it and it seems to make sence to me. I produce about 275k a yr and have a 30MM book with $120k in trail/fees. Things may not get better for a long time.


What is sence?

Sep 9, 2006 8:14 pm

Billybob,



Go find some 18 year old college hotty and BANG the crap out of her for a

couple weeks. It won't help your work funk, but your Johnson will thank

you!