Friday, November 27, 2009

Are You Failing to Take Action?

In Lack of Progress on Your Goals I wrote about how to get a handle on your goals. Point number 3 "No action – you are simply not working on your business weekly." It can be difficult to take meaningful action to achieve your goals. So much can get in the way.

The Technician
In a normal business environment, we are busy being the technician in our business, as Michael Gerber writes in The E-Myth Revisited. We spend our time doing the work that's necessary to run a business like completing paperwork, opening mail, reading email, investing assets, sending statements, addressing compliance matters, chasing down lost paperwork, answering client's concerns, and the like.  When we are being the technician, we are living in the present and ignoring the future.

While the above are all necessary actions to run a business but they won't GROW a business. In order to grow a business, we need to be the Entrepreneur and work ON the business by taking action to grow. It's not always easy to take action because we may be so mired in busywork that we can't see the forest for the trees. 

So how can you take action?
For most of us, having too much to do can be the biggest challenge to taking meaningful action. When we write our "To Do" list with 47 things to accomplish, it's unlikely we'll get through everything.  You first need a clear, specific, measureable goal.

Start with your Business Plan. What do you need to accomplish to achieve your goals? Let's say you want five more ideal clients. What would that look like?  Imagine your day if you have achieved your goal.  With five additional clients what work and activities are you engaging in? If you can see yourself being this person, you are more likely to achieve what you want.

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."  James Allen

What actions are necessary to get those clients? What strategies and marketing activities do you need to be taking action on, right now?  This is what should be on your "To Do" list at least one to two days per week.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude – 5 Tips on How to be Grateful

It would be easy for many of us to end this year without gratitude, but that would be a mistake. There are so many things to be grateful for, we just have to notice what they are. Living a joyful life means learning to accept the things that we can't change and taking action to live the best life we can.  Here are some tips on how to be grateful now or at any time of the year.

Thank Your Clients. Create a list of your top twenty clients and send them a handwritten card thanking them for their business.  Add a personal message meant just for each person. Anyone can send a card with a pre-printed signature, but handwriting a card shows that you really care. Who do you know who would love to receive a handwritten card from you?

Thank Your Family and Loved Ones.  The whole point of the holidays is to spend meaningful time with those you love. Even though it may be difficult to convey your feelings, the joy you give others when you tell them what they mean to you is extremely gratifying. When was the last time you said to your brother, sister, mother, or father "I love you"? This point was brought home to me when I overheard my husband tell his mother that he loved her. I thought to myself, if my husband can express his feelings to his mom, so can I. To whom can you say "I love you"?

Make Gratitude a Daily Habit. If we make gratitude a part of our day, the negativity won't be so apparent. We may suddenly realize what a blessed life we lead.  At dinner each evening my husband and I tell each other three things we are grateful for that day. This shines a light on the many good things that happen to us daily. How can you make gratitude a daily habit?

Do Something For Someone Without Expectation. Yesterday at the grocery store I noticed a woman behind me with her arms full of Thanksgiving groceries. I asked her if she wanted to go ahead of me and the look of gratitude on her face was overwhelming.  What kind gesture can you bestow upon someone?

Realize How Wonderful Life Is.  Take stock of where you are and be grateful for what you have. There is always someone experiencing the pain of loss or rejection. This year my mother became very ill with a rare disease. She will be recovering for most of next year. I am very grateful she will be ok. My best friend lost her father last week. I feel her pain and have offered her my support.  Take stock of your life and be grateful!

I will end with a great quote by John Ruskin: "What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."  Be grateful and show your gratitude this holiday season!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Financial Planner - Financial Advisor? What's In a Name?

I just returned from a Scottsdale Soroptomist meeting where I spoke about taking action to have more success in 2010. There were two advisors in the group so I listened with interest when they described what they do. One said she was a Financial Planner and the other said she was a Financial Advisor.  The former has several lettered credentials after her name and the later does not.   The former is an independent with her own firm and the later works in a bank.  Because I work almost exclusively with advisors I know the difference between an independent financial planner and an employee advisor as well as what the various credentials mean.

There are many financial titles that confuse the general public - they don’t know the difference between an advisor and an insurance sales person.  I was at a networking event recently where a loan modification representative called himself a Financial Advisor. Additionally, most people do not know what it means to be a Registered Investment Advisor, nor do they understand the fiduciary standard that goes along with being an RIA.  The credential with the most recognition seems to be the CFP® mark.   

If advisors hope to counteract the negativity hovering around the profession, they need to address how they market themselves.  Advisors with a credential should explain what it means. Advisors should utilize their websites far more than they do now. More content and explanation around credentials and fiduciary standards would help clear up some of the confusion and would serve to position advisors better in the marketplace.    

Marketing Coach for Financial Advisors
Prosperity Coaching LLC