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Lets All Do the S.H.R.E.D and Control Our Destinies

Show up. Hustle. Repeat. Every. Day.

Recently I received a text from a friend who’s recently retired. It was a photo of a man holding a homemade sign, the type you probably saw someone holding on your drive to work today at a busy street corner—asking for money. Except this sign was markedly different, as you can see below, a healthy middle-aged man wearing sunglasses with a big smile, one hand holding his sign and the other with his thumb up…


Been Working 40 yrs.


I Need Nothing

Want to Give You Hope


Wish You a Good day

as my son says…

Show up





Wow! What a message and what a prescient son, who obviously learned a lot from his father. I never cease to be amazed at how amid what many argue as our “overdependence” on technology (just watch people glued to their smartphones) the formula for success has never changed. Sure, the words describing success might change, any thesaurus can do that, but the actual process of hard work, hustle and persistence is timeless.

This father and son combo illustrated in the photo above serve to remind me how few people are willing to pay the price for success. The acronym S.H.R.E.D. immediately popped into my mind. So join me in doing the SHRED, and let’s make certain that we all control our destinies.

S (Show Up): How many advisors (people for that matter) do you know who come in late, leave early and take more time off then they should? I’d bet you know more than one—these people are challenged in the most basic sense of showing up. Ben Franklin’s quip “The early bird gets the worm” says it all. How would you grade your professional calendar? Are you clockwork dependable?

H (Hustle): Yet we all know people, whether they’re colleagues, relatives or friends who show up, they’re dependable and timely, but they lack a major element of the success formula—fire in the belly. They don’t hustle. They do their job, steady as she goes, but don’t go the extra yard. It’s almost as though hustling is either beneath them or they don’t understand that it’s part of every successful job description, so they don’t want to put forth the extra energy. How would you rate your hustle on a 1-10 scale? Hopefully at least an 8+.

R (Repeat): I’ve seen a lot of financial advisors over the past 40 years who set a goal, commit to that goal and hustle to achieve it. But many of them don’t repeat the process. We’ve been studying elite advisors for over three decades, and the common denominator of this high-powered group is that they continually reactivate their achievement cycle. They repeat. They’re not part-time hustlers, they’re everyday hustlers. How often do you challenge yourself with BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals)? When was the last time you achieved a professional goal that made you truly proud? Reaching our potential requires repeat-repeat and then continuing to repeat.

E (Every): This is where it’s obvious the father didn’t edit his son’s words (every vs. everyday), but let’s not spoil the moment by getting too technical—it provides us with an acronym anyway. But the point is well made—always show up early, stay late, work hard and hustle, every…

D (Day): Day. In other words, create your $1,000-per-hour to-do list that prioritizes your day, every day. Then work your priority to-do list for that day and repeat. You do this every working day. This is what will ensure that, combined with setting BIG challenging goals,  you will be continually in your achievement cycle. And there’s nothing more powerful to the human race than the ability to consciously activate this achievement cycle.

Think about this for a moment. How many people could get far more out of their careers if they adopted this commonsense advice from the son of our happy, needs-nothing retiree? Probably more than any of us could imagine. And it involves no technology. So let’s make certain we’re all actively following the advice of this anonymous son and make certain that we’re Doing the SHRED—all the way to the finish line.

Matt Oechsli is author of How to Build a 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing, and Retaining Affluent

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