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The Elite Advisor Blueprint: Greg McKeown on the Art of Essentialism

What financial advisors need to know what not to do and a framework to focus on the things that truly matter.


In today’s conversation, I’m thrilled to speak with New York Times bestselling author Greg McKeown. He’s the author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, in which he draws on experience and insight from working with leaders of some of the most innovative companies in the world, to show how to achieve the disciplined pursuit of “less.” Special thanks to my buddy Jon Vroman for helping to make this conversation happen; however, it was my friend Michael Hyatt, who first introduced me to the concept of “essentialism” when he shared Greg’s book with me a few years back. It quickly became one of my top reads of all time as it truly spoke to me with something I’ve struggled with—and I’m sure many of you have as well—balancing everything we want to do in business with the things that truly matter in life. While highlighting passage after passage, I realized something: As financial advisors, there’s one thing we need, a book on what NOT to do and a framework to focus on the things that truly matter. And Greg has written just that book.

Greg has spoken on NBC, NPR and at countless companies across a variety of industries, including Apple, Google, NFP Securities and Goldman Sachs. He definitely knows a thing or two about helping financial advisors, as well as high-net-worth individuals, though his advice extends to almost anyone who has ever caught themselves struggling to make time for both their work and their personal life.

Today, we discuss why we trade off incredibly important things for less important ones. We explore why our world prioritizes working constantly and our obsession with the idea that you need to always be ON in order to be successful, and how you can have a fuller, happier life by focusing on what truly matters.

Here are a just a handful of the things that you’ll learn:

  • [08:05] Why essentialism matters so much to financial advisors. We dig into why we have so much emotional attachment to our clients—and the fool’s bargain that we’re prone to falling for.
  • [10:43] Greg’s “Aha!” moment that led to his book and why you simply don’t have to sacrifice essential moments of your life to grow a successful business.
  • [13:04] From there, Greg introduces the concept of the “undisciplined pursuit of more” and how our initial wins early on don’t set us up for future success, but rather, a framework that ultimately leads to burnout.
  • [14:26] Then Greg introduces the three E’s—Explore, Eliminate, and Execute, which are at the heart of practicing essentialism, along with practical strategies financial advisors can use to achieve more in less time.
  • [29:07] Greg then shares a powerful example of what happens if you continue to neglect and borrow time from other places in your life, and uses an example of a very talented entrepreneur who stretched himself too thin.
  • [57:46] Finally, Greg and I get into why financial advisors need to focus on the WHY when building a plan for prospective clients and ultimately to build meaningful connections. HINT: If you’re focusing on specific details and not the big picture, you likely aren’t relating to your clients in the way you think you may be! Greg reveals exactly where so many financial advisors go wrong when presenting to prospects, and it’s something you can easily correct!

Visit the full show notes for links to all the resources, books mentioned, and people discussed.

Brad Johnson, vice president of advisor development for Advisors Excel, mentors a small group of the country’s most elite financial advisors. Find more episodes of The Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast at

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