The Key to Success is Simple

The Key to Success is Simple

Simplicity seems to be hitting me in the face with a two-by-four. After attending a conference with a speaker focusing on simplicity, on my flight home I read some recaps of college basketball games I had missed. Again, simplicity was identified as the theme for success. 

As many of you know, I follow the Indiana Hoosiers – especially their basketball program. This season started with high hopes, followed by a lot of doubt after the team lost two games in the Maui Classic. Then, the Hoosiers were completely run out of the gym when they played the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Arena. Before they even played a conference game, their season of hope turned into a season of frustration. 

Even worse, our second-leading scorer is out for the season after a non-contact injury in practice around Christmas. So younger, less experienced players have been inserted into the line-up. In order to give them a better chance for success, their offensive scheme has been made simpler. The players were told to focus on passing, moving without the ball, and rebounding. All are very simplistic aspects in the game of basketball. 

It worked. Indiana won its first seven conference games and was one game away from Coach Tom Crean’s longest winning streak at IU. They were also one game away from the team’s longest winning streak since Bob Knight left in 2000. Coach Crean listed simplicity as the largest reason for their success.  

That’s great for IU, obviously, but what’s this mean for financial professionals like us? Too often, we complicate our business. We try to emulate the success of businesses or teams who have won lately. It doesn’t work. However, time and time again, we find success when we get back to basics. 

In any business, “blocking and tackling” won’t make the highlight reel, but I assure you those smaller victories will garner success. Take a few minutes and ask yourself, “Am I executing on the basics that drive the core revenues for my business?” If not, it’s time to change your game plan. 

Bottom Line

Simplicity wins – in basketball and business. 


About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.