Dreams are an important part of any successful advisory business. Indeed, they represent perhaps the purest form of aspiration.
But there's a reason that “dreamer” is a derisive term in the business world: Many people are unwilling to pay the price for turning their dreams into reality.
Here is a quick guide to turning dreams into a positive force in your practice.
Look at your life five years from now, and project where you would like it to be if you had no limitations holding you back.
What are the things that must happen to make your dreams a reality? Ideally, these goals should be met within 12 months.
Visualize the before and after pictures and place them side by side. Make sure to set a deadline for achieving the “after.”
Play without a net
To tap into your dreams, you cannot hold anything back. Avoid becoming concerned about how far removed you are from your dreams, or how you will close the gap between where you are and where you want to be 12 months from now. In other words, do not allow any sabotaging thoughts of failure get in your way. Such thoughts are what prevent many would-be achievers from reaching their potential.
Step-two in the above process is perhaps the most important. The 12-month goals should be stated in a way that helps define the daily activities required to close the gap between dreams and reality. Each item should be measurable, and each gap you create becomes a “work in progress.” The most obvious items to include are:
- Number of new affluent clients.
- Amount of new affluent assets.
- Revenue increase (production).
- Affluent assets in the pipeline.
Think about how these four items are interrelated, and how they energize your dreams. Be honest about the numbers you are achieving now. Select challenging, but realistic numbers when stating where you want to be in 12 months. With those numbers in place, select other measurable items that you know will be important aspects of building your business. For example:
- Number of face-to-face meetings with affluent prospects and centers of influence you will have each week.
- Number of affluent introductions and referrals you will gather each week.
- Number and types of activities and events you will attend to place yourself “in the path” of affluent people you want to attract.
- Amount of affluent dollars placed into your pipeline each week.
Experts tell us that 80 percent of how we think and what we do is “habit driven.” Habits are formed over time and become stored in our subconscious mind, eliminating the need to stop and think everything through every time.
Mental habits shape our attitudes. Doing habits emerge as behavioral patterns that define and drive our actions. Over time, what we repeatedly think and do “out of habit” becomes comfortable, creating what we often refer to as our comfort zone.
Many advisors have developed self-limiting habits. They think too much about survival rather than entertaining the possibilities and potential of their practices. Behaviorally, these advisors are stuck in a limiting comfort zone.
“Playing without a net” refers to the process of taking calculated risks. It forces the advisor to shape new attitudes and behavioral patterns while ruling out failure as an option. When advisors commit to playing without a net, they set into motion a sort of synergy between their dream-induced attitudinal and behavioral patterns.
If history is an indicator, only a select few advisors will be willing to make the effort to pursue their dreams for their practices. This, of course, is good news for those who decide to make the effort.
Writer's BIO: Matt Oechsli is author of Building a Successful 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing & Retaining Affluent Clients.