Matthew's Mind

Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.

Moving from 1 person at your firm to 3 – things break…
You need redefined roles and goals.

Moving from 3 people at your firm to 9 – things break…
You need upgraded systems, processes and management.

Moving from 9 people at your firm to 27 – things break…
You need scalability and leadership.

Moving from 27 people at your firm to 81 – things break…
You need thought leaders, open architecture and steadfastness is your ideals.

And so it goes…

Call it the triple-sized break.
And with it; you better be prepared for reinvention. It’s the only constant.

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Do you have a 5 year plan?

If not, your first step is to make it. Then the only other step is to ask yourself:

“Why can’t I do that in 3 years? Or 2? Or 1?”

We live in the most abundant, resource-rich time in human history. The acceleration curve of progress is no longer (5 year) linear. Run with it or be passed by it.

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There’s some messed up things in your past…

It’s ugly. Jaded. Bloody. Not something you like to think about. Yes, professional themes; but even deeper are the personal issues.

Human nature says to cover those up. Put a little make-up on everything and color it pretty. If someone asks, you can talk about it, just not too much.

Stay at surface level.

Be sure to tell them you’re “alright” or “okay” and then gloss over it. Please. Quickly. Or you might make people uncomfortable.

Or you could embrace it.

You could love your past.

You could even show those scars off.

Because the more vulnerable someone’s willing to get with me. The more emotion I feel, and rawness I sense, the closer we instantaneously bond.

 

We all have scars and the human element is invaluable. You survived. And people want to know about it.

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It’s not what you know.
It’s not how you think.
It’s not who you’re connected with.
It’s not where you live.
It’s not where you went to school.
It’s not how old you are.
It’s not what’s in your bank account.
It’s not your job title.

What’s ahead of you boils down to something else.

Consistency.

What you DO consistently, methodically, with purpose, day-after-day-after-day will determine your future.

And the empowering part? That choice is 100% up to you.

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“But it’s not just hard work, it’s smart work too. You have to work smart.”

I heard that just the other day and can’t disagree. But my viewpoint is a bit jaded. Because while everyone wants to talk about “working smarter”, that doesn’t matter if the hard work isn’t already being put in.

And I don’t think it is.

If we all bled, sweat, cried, smiled, drank more coffee, maintained and focused more; results from those hours would far exceed the small tweaks from “working smarter”.

Hard before smart work.

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Walking into the gym one morning, a workout partner had two pairs of socks on (one tall, one short). I asked him what’s up and he explained an old football-habit; something about performance and how he’s carried it on. So naturally, I tried it out, eventually stole the habit and have kept it for years, still to this day – double socks every morning. Add on top of that a double knot shoe lace habit and we’re ready to get after it.

Then about two years ago I came home from work and my feet were in pain. Throbbing. Just one of those days…

So the next morning, I pulled the double sock trick. A pair of running socks, followed by a pair of dress socks. Worked like a charm! And out of instinct (I think) with the double socks, I double knotted my dress shoes that day.

Now, this morning, when I woke up at 5 am for the gym, it was double socks, double knot. Time to get better.

Now, this morning, when it was 7 am and I’m getting dressed for the office, it was double socks, doubt knot. Time to get better.

Weird? Maybe.

But it’s about habits, mindset and getting better everywhere; two socks, two knots at a time.

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Before you meet a prospect for the first time, what communication do they get? A confirmation call? That’s great.

The best in the business have a genuine, 15 minute conversation days before. Then they UPS an impressive introduction kit – including their personal and professional bios, video spotlight disc, potentially a copy of their book and a handwritten note. After that, a warm confirmation call is made, referencing back to the personal information they shared in your first call.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

At the end of your first or second meeting, after a potential client becomes vulnerable and uncovers their need(s) to you, what happens next? Another confirmation call, huh? That’s great.

The best in the business send female clients home with a flower, male clients home with snacks. Then they record a personal thank you video email, speaking directly to the person about what they can expect from here and how hard their team is going to work. After that, another UPS package hits the mail including a handwritten note, personal story or powerful piece of information for the client to enjoy until you meet again. Finally another warm confirmation call is made, this time referencing personal information they’ve given you in the meetings before.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

When someone becomes a client, and moves a portion or all of their life savings into your care, what happens next? A “policy delivery meeting? Maybe even edible arrangements? That’s great.

The best in the business jump out of their chair with excitement! They call in their staff to welcome this person to their firm and everyone shows how thrilled they are with emails, letters and calls over the coming weeks. They’ve joined the family. In addition to that, a thoughtful welcome kit is mailed to the client, perhaps with a handpicked item from staff members and a story about why they’ve chosen that item to gift to new clients. The story hits home. Thirdly, constant communication is given to the new relationship while their money is in process, helping them be confident about their decision every step of the way. Lastly, when the policies are delivered and the plan is set, a “Client Service Agreement” is outlined, showing clients what they can expect and who to contact from here. In addition to that agreement, a list of future client events is covered with them, highlighting where they’ll receive more in-depth information on topics and when/where they can introduce other people to your firm.

You tell me – who’s ignorable and who’s not?

In all my years of coaching the most elite financial professionals in the country, I’ve never … not once … spoken with someone who’s built out their client processes like above and regretted it. Never once have I spoken with someone who’s said it’s a waste of time, bad use of capital or doesn’t produce a high return on investment, client goodwill and retention rate. But for some reason, most producers don’t think this way. Is it the hard work involved? Lack of focus? Lack of coaching or accountability? I’m not sure.

But my challenge to you is one of pride. You need to take pride in this. Your prospects and clients deserve it, your firm deserves it and everyone is better for it. Become so good at what you do that you’re Un-Ignorable. From there, results will speak for themselves.

 

Federal law, state law and/or insurance carrier requirements may prohibit or place limitations on marketing activities. All producers and investment advisors should be aware of any gifting limitations imposed by federal regulation, state regulation, insurance carriers, broker-dealers and Registered Investment Advisers, as applicable. Investment advisors are strongly encouraged to obtain pre-approval from the broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Adviser with which they may be affiliated.

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“That looks great Don. I love the idea.”

“Absolutely Cathy, can’t believe we haven’t thought of that before.”

“Wow Robert, we’ll get started on that right away.”

“That’s a no brainer. I’ll have you look at this before we finalize everything Lori.”

You’re so incredibly smart, aren’t you? Come to think of it, it’s hard to remember the last time you put a thought out there and someone in “your circle” didn’t like it. You’re such a genius, why wouldn’t they move forward with your thoughts? Charge ahead, push to completion and keep coming back to you for more brilliance. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Or…

“Maybe Steve, but I’m not so sure. Here’s something you haven’t considered…”

“No way April, that’ll never work. Here’s why…”

“Instead of doing it that way, we’d crush it doing things this way Phil…”

“That idea’s dead before it starts Ann; time to start over.”

Instead of fostering a team of followers, programmed to “yes” through all your viewpoints, why not create a “RED TEAM”. People in “your circle”, varied by task, project or skill set, whose sole purpose is to tear your ideas apart. Pick everything to pieces, tell you why it won’t work and make you – and anyone else alongside you – strengthen your value and defend your position. An internal stress test team if you will.

Ready? Red Team Go!

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When I find someone diving too deep into spreadsheets, focused too hard on numbers, dollars, decimals, commas, graphs and percentages – a red flag goes up.

If we’ve known each other for a while and we’re tackling a specific problem, I get it. Spreadsheets are necessary.

But when someone’s too focused on figures, that can mean they’re struggling to find a reason to care about me; to care about the cause and the “why”.

Don’t let that be you.

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What your work space looks like says a lot about you…

  • Is everything designed and coordinated? Or haphazardly put together?
  • What pictures, awards, art (or lack thereof) do you have up? What do you value?
  • Will I find a lot of electronics or none? Drink and food stations or not? A single to-do list or thousands of stacked pages?

And most observations can be taken at face value. You created your space and dwell inside of it… 40, 50, 60, 70 hours a week! There’s no one to impress, no one to answer to. It’s authentically you.

So if I see a spotless, well designed, detail-thought-out work space; there’s a good chance your world operates in that mode. Conversely, if I see piles of dust, documents everywhere and no coordinated thought; chances are you live there mentally too. Cluttered desk, cluttered mind.

Give me 15 minutes in an office & I can tell a lot about someone – as a person and professional.

So what’s your work space say about you?

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