How to Stay Motivated in a Difficult Business


Achieve a 20-Point Day

Occasionally, most of us experience a lack of motivation. You might have distractions in your personal life. You might be discouraged by bad markets or low interest rates. Or maybe you’re just burned out. Whatever the cause, when you’re just not feeling it, it’s hard to stay focused and do the things necessary to grow your business. Specifically, it can be hard to find the energy to track quality people and remain relevant.

When you lose your motivations, you’re allowing external forces to push you off course to your success, potentially causing a downward spiral. When you’re not enthusiastic about your work, your clients can tell. They are trusting you with their financial future. They need you to be as excited about it as they are.

And, most important, when you lose your motivation you forget about doing the things that matter for long-term growth. Namely, prospecting for long-term clients. How do you do the things today that will result in more, and better, clients two, three and five years down the road?

There’s not just one answer, but I want to share a simple solution with you. When I worked in retail, I found it helpful to gamify my activity. The goal was to work for a 20-point day. It didn’t matter how I did it, but as long as I hit my 20 points, I went to bed knowing I had a successful day.  

Ready to give it a try?

Your 20 points can come from a variety of different sources. So, for instance, every time you pick up the phone and speak with somebody, you get a point. Every time you ask for an appointment, you get three points. Secure that appointment to get four points. A face-to-face meeting is worth five points—seven if you meet with a center of influence.  Earn 10 points for another revenue-generating activity. And, if you meet your daily revenue goal, that’s 20 points.  

The key is that there is no carryover to the next day. Every day when you wake up, you start brand new. You’re not focused on the successes and failures of clients choosing or not choosing to do business with you, but rather you’re focused on the revenue-generating activities important in your business, regardless of what those are. It doesn’t matter if your business is assets under management, selling life insurance or retirement income planning.

What matters is that those key revenue-generating ideas are assigned point value and importance that will keep you motivated.  By focusing on what you can control, you can avoid letting the things you can’t control start playing with your head. Instead of focusing on “why can’t I get anything done,” “my market’s down,” or “my income’s dropped 20% because the market correction,” make sure that you have the right revenue generating-activities in order to take your business to a different level.

Think about what you are trying to do. You could be working to expand your client base or develop deeper relationships with your existing clients. Whatever the case, working to become a High Performing Practice can start right now.

Need help? I encourage you to schedule your transformational call. Spend an hour with us talking about where you are and where you want your business to be.  We’ll reach back out to you in a couple of weeks with a plan about how to get there.

Transformational Tactic

Try for a 20-point day every day. Gamify your revenue-generating activities and you’ll stay motivated.

retirement high performing practice motivation

Good Marketing Is All About Consistency


Marketing. It’s one of the more important aspects of our business. And one of the biggest—both in terms of budget and effort.

But it’s hard to quantify “really good” marketing versus “really bad” marketing. When you feel like you’re spending money left and right, it has to be good, doesn’t it? The truth is, money isn’t the only factor to consider. You can pay a lot for poor marketing. And you can also leverage effective marketing for free.


So, how do you get “really good” marketing for free? There are three steps to follow.

1. There needs to be a worthwhile message to promote, and you need to have a regular block of business that is consistent, and value-driven, to promote it to.

Start by writing articles and videos for local television and news reporters. Reporters are always looking for good quality, highly professional content. Talk to anyone that might be able to provide media attention for you. Any content you create also needs to be consistent across all channels. Articles and videos need to tell the same story as your blogs and emails.

And don’t get discouraged. It takes time to develop a following. Continue to push information to those that can give you exponential free live marketing efforts.

2. Focus on your social media strategy.  Everything you post should be of high value to your target market.

3. A powerful transitional call to action is essential. It’s rare that clients come to your website, thinking “You know what? I’m ready to invest the $1,000,000 with you to plan for my retirement.” Before they allow you to start on their financial plan, they want to get to know you. They want to trust you. They want to understand how you do business. One of the best ways to help them do that is to offer value through transitional calls to action. This can be anything that encourages them to look closer at the service you offer.

For example, offer educational material on a subscription basis. To download your latest article, they need to provide an email address. This allows you to create a nurture email campaign that speaks directly to the client’s interests.

Some examples of transitional calls to action include things like:

  • Learn how to increase your curb appeal for high net worth homes over half a $1,000,000.
  • Ideas to take care of an elderly parent at home


All of your content, including the call to action, must be consistent, fresh and valuable to your audience.

Reach out to those people in your local media that can give you exponential exposure. Use a consistent message to offer valuable information to your target audience.

Transformational Tactic

Consistency is essential to a solid marketing plan. 

If you would like more information on how to transform your business to a high performing practice, please subscribe to the blog by texting the word PERFORMANCE to 72345.      

To find the right clients, you need to understand them.


Whenever I’m working with advisors one-on-one or chatting after a speaking engagement, they usually ask, “How do I find better clients?”  Typically, that question translates to “How do I find people with more money?”

My first thought is to caution that type of thinking. Just having money doesn’t necessarily make that client the right client. A lot of frustration comes from having a lot of clients but being narrow in product mix. For example, only having assets under management will leave you with a low-margin business. When you add more clients, you are also adding more service, which could mean you’re not as profitable.

We want to make sure that when you grow, you grow profitably. I want you to change your philosophy from “I need to find clients with more money” to simply, “I need to find the right client.” And the right client is defined by where you want your business to be in the next five to 10 years. If that remains assets under management, that’s fine.

But if you want to move to a High Performing Practice, you need to find more of the right clients and then develop a deeper relationship with them. That’s how you’ll remain relevant in this great shift from the workforce to retirement—one of the largest shifts the United States has ever seen.

There are three things you need to be thinking about:

  1. Can you be patient enough? I would recommend not stopping your current prospecting strategy. Add to it. Increase what you’re doing so you can attract the right client — the client that you The one that will grow your business in the next five to 10 years.
  2. Do you understand what this segment of the population really wants? People with wealth typically live a little bit longer because they have better access to health care. We tend to say, “Hey, you need my specialty.” But they often have other issues to focus on. Your specialty may be assets under management, but what they really want to talk about is how to minimize their tax burden during retirement. Or they may want to discuss legacy issues. Or how to pass their values onto kids and grandkids. To achieve a High Performing Practice, you need to know what’s important to the client and how to address it.
  3. How can you find and access the right people? Are there certain functions or restaurants that appeal to them? Evaluate their communities and plan accordingly. Choose settings and activities that are likely to interest them when planning an event.

By focusing on patience, understanding your market inside and out, and creating a campaign designed to nurture your clients, you can delve deeper into their concerns and interact with them in the style they prefer. If you do that, you will transform your business to a High Performing Practice with better clients. 

What’s the best way to prospect for new clients? Focus on keeping it simple.


Prospecting is the most difficult task when it comes to building our business — especially if we’re trying to figure out how to do it with more clients.

I was reading a book over the weekend called The Distraction-Proof Advisor by Paul Kingsman. He talks about how he prepared for the Olympic Games. As a swimmer, he said, training was simple, but it was not easy. A lot of people ask me, “How can I make prospecting easier?”

The answer is that we need to shift our focus like Paul Kingsman did. We need to talk about simplicity, not about making it easy. Paul talked about how training was simple. He had to be in the pool a certain number of hours. He had to lift weights a certain number of hours. He had to eat right to fuel his body. That’s not easy. But it is simple.

The same is true with prospecting. Let’s think about how we can make it simple. There are three steps to take:

  1. Referral Track: The first step is to really have a good referral track for every appointment — and for every time that you give someone value. Getting a referral isn’t just asking for the next person. You must have a real, clear image about who you want to build your business with over the next 10 years and you need to be able to paint that picture for the person you’re talking with. They need to be able to visualize your next-level referral.

  2. Automation: We have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of email addresses. They largely go unused. We need to make sure that we are implementing nurturing campaigns for existing clients to take them to additional products and additional services. For most of our clients, the first few products we showed them didn’t meet their needs. We persisted until we found the right solution. As financial professionals, we need to continue to nurture those relationships, to get more ingrained with our clients and continue to provide solutions.

  3. Technology: You may think that technology and automation are the same. I disagree. I consider automation the process. Technology is the tool to keep your client focused on you. How many times have you gone to or conducted a seminar and not been able to get the number of appointments you wanted? And, at the same time, not been able to get the clients back into the office? It makes holding a seminar seem like a waste of time and money. But today’s technology can change that. Now, consider employing geofencing to target your attendees. For 30-45 days following the seminar, they’ll receive targeted advertising reminding them of the problem that is still unsolved. And reminding them that you have answers.

Use the next week to focus on developing a solid referral track, learning about how automation can help nurture client relationships and using today’s technology tools to enhance your reach.


Transformational Tactic

Keep it simple.

high performing practice retirement simple prospecting

More Prospects to Meet


Our day-to-day activities pull us in different directions. Sometimes we feel like we are going 100 mph in a 55-mph speed zone and getting no where. We are servicing clients, preparing and monitoring financial plans, and listening to rapidly changing market conditions on the television in our office. We suddenly look up at the clock and the day is over. Repeat that often enough and we will look at our business in a couple of months to find that we don’t have any new prospects. Or a plan to grow our business.

We must always be finding ways to recruit new prospective clients if we want our business to grow. We need a consistent pipeline of individuals that have a problem that our expertise solves. Because we are already so busy with running the existing business, we don’t find time to devote to the key metric in our business – marketing. And, if we find the time to think about it, the marketing efforts we implement are general and not specific to a targeted audience. In some cases, we know that recruiting is such a vital activity that we outsource it to a 3rd party to “get me in front of more people.” We end up with the wrong clients and therefore compound our day-to-day activity problem. At the end of the day, we should be choosing whom we do business with instead of the other way around.

There has to be a better way. I suggest three simple changes to create an ongoing flow of high-quality people that want to speak to you due to your expertise.

1. Clarify your message. People make decisions on initial reactions. They don’t take the time to research anything about the quality of person behind the story. You must be crystal clear on what you do and for whom you will help.

2. Use technology properly. We all have websites. Even if there are chock full of pleasing graphics if they don’t produce results or show up in search engines they aren’t serving their purpose. Figure out how to use your existing email lists better while you clarify your message to your targeted audience. This saves time, money, and effort on your part. Don’t waste time weeding through everyone to get to the truly high value prospective client.

3. Make referrals a part of your presentation. Whenever you meet someone, you should ask what a good prospect looks like for them. In doing so, you have created value that will reap benefits down the road. Create a closing script that includes this verbiage to separate yourself from any competition.

It’s not easy to be clear and concise, especially in a complex financial services practice. However, if you follow our guidance using the StoryBrand seven-step framework, you can create an environment where you become a magnet instead of a megaphone. Stop wasting time and money on the outdated marketing strategies of yesterday. Instead, use a plan that brings the people that need you the most to your doorstep. Automation allows you to continually prospect, even during your busy day-to-day activities running a financial planning practice. The consistency of your message combined with automation lifts you to new levels, helps more Americans, and adds time for you to do the things that are important to you.

Transformational Tactic: Use technology and the right words to create a consistent flow of prospective clients to your firm.

high performing practice retirement prospecting