3 ways study groups lead to more success

Study groups can come from anywhere, but I first learned about them at a Focus Session at the 2013 MDRT Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The idea resonated with me because I live and work in Vermilion, Alberta, Canada, a community of 4,500. I qualified for MDRT my first year after opening my practice, but I wasn’t always sure how I was going to keep my practice sustainable and growing. It was scary. I am close with my mentor, MDRT member Brad Brain, CFP, CLU, but also wanted someone who was going through the same challenges as me. Spouses and staff are fine to talk to, but they don’t really understand the pressures or challenges. A study group seemed to be the little family I was searching for.

A short while later, I attended an MDRT-hosted webinar, which turned out to be the perfect catalyst. During the webinar, one of the participants asked in the chatbox if anyone was interested in being in a study group. We all were. We became a group of six active members and two on the peripheral. Since then, study groups have become one of the primary driving forces in my career.

 Meagan Balaneski's study group

Meagan (fourth from left) and her husband, Darcy, with her study group in New Orleans.

I’ve noticed three main benefits of study groups. For me, these have been

1)   Achieving goals more quickly. Everyone is always willing to volunteer their guidance, resources and support. From forming a client advisory board to hosting web-based client meetings to running a 10K race, they give me the courage to keep taking that next step.

2)   Becoming more accountable. Our study group keeps our goals written in a shared Whole Person workbook, and throughout the year, we report our progress to the group. Being accountable to my study group has given me more focus, resulting in both less stress and increased production.

3)   Growing as a person. As my friends conquer their challenges and share their successes, I’m inspired to raise the bar on what I can do and who I can become. They’re becoming legends, and I’m starting to realize that it might be possible for me to become one too.

My study group has become my friends, peers, pupils and teachers. I couldn’t have anticipated the impact my study group has had on me — and I couldn’t be more grateful.

 Meagan S. Balaneski, CFP, RFP, of Vermilion, Alberta, Canada, has been an MDRT member since 2013, owns Advantage Insurance & Investment Advisor.

For more information about study groups, download MDRT’s Study Group Best Practices. Also, watch more about the Whole Person concept. (Both are MDRT member exclusives.)

  • Godfrey Phillips says:

    MDRT study groups are the way to go. Our Sydney MDRT Business Insurance study group started by Russell Collins and myself, ran for 23 years. We had a facilitator who was a Lawyer and part of the Federal Government Superannuation select committee. This strategically put us ahead of the pack. To be eligible one had to be a MDRT member. Every two months we would meet initially for an ” exchange of ideas”” meeting where every member submitted a written sales/marketing idea, and this went for around 90 minutes. This was followed for two hours with either Russell or I, Chairing the meeting, and the Lawyer educating us on the agenda items of the meeting. Over the time we had three succession plans from Farther to Son take place. With Covid-19 I have no doubt a study group would be invaluable in so many ways for all advisers. .

  • Michaela Scott says:

    This is fantastic!!!

  • Vanessa Bucklin says:

    You go girl!! So happy to be part of your team!

  • Manmohan AB says:

    Awesome.. That’s the way to go.

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