What you really need to be successful

Financial advisors tell me that to be successful they need certain things they’re not getting. Usually, though, what they think they need is not what’s actually holding them back from reaching their goals.

Do you mistakenly believe any of the below challenges are getting in the way of achieving your goals?

You think you need confidence. You don’t. Confidence is a result, not a prerequisite to taking action. Fear is often a byproduct of desire. Think of something you want to do that scares you. Write down the tiniest next step you can take without actually doing that thing. Take that tiny step.Then use that as your next starting point.

You think you need to be more productive. You don’t. You need to be more creative. Forget trying to be “productive.” Trying to run your business by checking emails every five minutes and fiddling with your computer is not productive. Be creative. Do something in your business that you haven’t tried. Creativity is your true competitive advantage.

You think you need to be better at prospecting or sales. What you need to be better at is serving. Serve someone powerfully. If you’re powerful enough, they’ll ask you how they can work with you. Then you can tell them your process and your fees. And as you continue to serve them powerfully, they’ll send their friends and family to you.

You think you need to show people how smart and powerful you are. What you really need is to show them how much you care about them and their future. This is your superpower.

You think you need to go it alone. You’re great at helping others but sometimes it’s your turn. Ask someone to listen to where you want to go, how you’re getting there and what your challenges are. Ask someone to help you. Find a mentor and a coach (they’re different). It’s a sign of strength to ask for and receive support.

You think you need to be better at explaining what you do. What you need to be better at is explaining why you do it. The differentiating factor for most advisors is their “why”— not their “what.” Why do you do what you do, and why should they choose you when there are so many choices out there?

You think you can’t act until you believe in yourself. It’s not true. Find someone who tells you “I believe in you” on a regular basis and borrow their belief.

Look back on your career and on your life. Isn’t it true that any adversity you weren’t prepared for made you fearful, but you usually overcame it? Didn’t a new job or opportunity scare you until you began it? Say yes when an opportunity arises. Create something and put it out in the world. It’s OK to be afraid — we have all been there. Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s doing what needs to be done anyway, despite the fear.

Sandy Schussel is a performance acceleration coach who has been working with financial advisors for more than 20 years, helping them break through to a higher level of production.

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