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In this episode of the Truest Fan Podcast, you’ll meet coach and author, Nina Cooke. Nina loves to help financial advisors and entrepreneurs strengthen their mindset. We talk about achieving peak performance. The significance of truly paying attention to the way we think. And how to keep our thoughts from becoming obstacles to our success. We also dig deep into the importance of avoiding the trap of comparing ourselves to others. These are extremely important concepts when we’re striving to achieve our next levels of success. Nina also shares a surprise bonus if you listen to the end.
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Well hello friends, you’re in for a great treat today. You’re going to meet Nina Cooke. Nina is a coach. She works with a lot of financial advisors. And she’s also co-author of the book Renegade Mindset for Unstoppable Success. It’s a book that talks about achieving peak performance by paying attention to the way you think. And we also talk about the importance of not trying to compare ourselves to others. Really interesting, important ideas when you’re trying to achieve your next level of success. And the real bonus is that Nina is going to share with you a way to get a free copy of her Renegade Mindset book. Listen in, enjoy the episode. And make sure you get your copy of Nina’s book.
You’re listening to the Truest Fan podcast. And now here’s your host, Rob Brown.
Okay, welcome, everybody. Welcome back to the Truest Fan Podcast. I’m excited today to have a fellow coach to financial advisors on board. Today you’re going to meet Nina Cooke, who is the author of Renegade Mindset for Unstoppable Success. She calls it an FA’s guide to peak performance mindset. So this is going to be an excellent conversation talking about peak performance, one of my favorite things and mindset in particular, one of Nina’s specialties. Welcome aboard Nina.
Nina Cooke 01:38
Hi, Rob. Great to be here.
Okay, to get started. I like to remind folks of the concept of being a Truest Fan and Truest Fan to me is the idea that we should all be fans of ourselves and fans of others and route them on. And oftentimes I remind folks that I kind of came up with this idea, in part by being a diehard Cleveland Indians baseball fan, and I sometimes ask my guests like who’s your favorite baseball team, but Nina is coming to us from Cambridge in the UK today. And they don’t play baseball, at least not Major League Baseball there. So, I’m not going to have her answer that question. But I am curious to know what are some of your favorite hobbies? What do you like to do when you’re not working with advisors?
Nina Cooke 02:21
My most favorite thing to do is to hang out with my family. I’ve got four children; they’re all grown up. And they are a great company. So, I love it when they will come home, they will find the nest, they come back, we have a meal, we play cards, we chat. So that’s my very favorite thing of all. Apart from that I do yoga, I try and do it consistently as possible. I love chatting with friends. I like to be with people who you know, we can have some great conversations and just be comfortable with each other. I love reading. I’m a big reader. I belong to a book club, and I read a whole host of different types of books. I love fiction and I read business books as well which I do find very interesting, and I love to read books around personal development I love doing personal development myself. I have updated mindset practice that I tried to most days I know has such a big impact on my mindset on my results when I do it consistently. What else do I love doing, walking my dog, I like to keep active, and I love going on holiday. That’s one of my most favorite things. Visiting different cultures, immersing myself. If there’s a different language then really you know love hearing different languages, trying out different cuisines, sightseeing, a bit of outdoors, a bit of city life for those the things I love doing the most.
It’s great. So, what is your dog’s name?
Nina Cooke 03:37
His name is Eddie.
Eddie. It doesn’t sound like a British name. It maybe it does. I don’t know. When I was a child, my family bought a wired hare fox terrier who was bred and had this long pedigree and we call them Charlie. But when we got him that we felt since he had this great pedigree, we needed to call him Sir Charles of Greenwood. And Greenwood was the name of the street that we live on. And maybe it’s my stereotyping. But that seems more like Sir Eddie of, of Cambridge, maybe.
Nina Cooke 04:08
The story behind Eddie is at the time we got Eddie, we were really enjoying Frasier and we had the box set. And we were just playing our way through it. So, when we got Eddie where we have the puppy, we just what, what should we call this dog and we all said Eddie, and it just seemed like the perfect fit for him.
That’s, that’s how you should, you should do it. Unlike me, who names his dog Tito after the manager of the Cleveland Indians. So, I have a theme.
Nina Cooke 04:34
Although some people think there’s another reason for the name, Tito, it’s not it. Enough about that. It was great to get that that introduction. So one of my favorite things to learn about people is the wisdom that we all tend to kind of keep packed in our brains that comes back over and over again and maybe it’s something we learn from, you know, a parent or a mentor or a spouse or even a child that just sticks with us. Is there something like that like this little nugget of truth or a couple of things that you kind of keep with you in the work that you do or the way that you go about your life?
Nina Cooke 05:10
Yeah, that’s a really great question. I was thinking about this, I think one of the most impactful things have helped me in life is when I went to see a therapist many, many, many years ago before I dived into personal development work for myself. And I wanted to see a therapist because I had a very difficult relationship with my sister. And I remember saying to therapist in the very first session, I said, I’m envious of my friends you have really great relationships with their sisters, because I’ve never had that I’ve always wanted to have that, and she says something which has stuck with me over the years. And she said, things aren’t always as they seem, so she said, you may think your friends have great relationships with their sisters, but you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And so our perception of how someone is living their life isn’t always how it actually is. And this was brought home to me when I started working with clients. And because I work with them in such a personal way. I’m working with them with their mindset. And they tell me things I’ve never told anyone else about their fears and how they limit themselves. And even though they can seem very successful on the outside, actually, when you lift the bonnet, things can be very different to how we perceive them to be about people.
That’s, that’s a great point. And as you were saying that one of the things that it made me think about is I was reading a quote the other day, and I’m going to forget the attribution, but the quote was that comparison is the thief of joy. And so, as you were talking about things aren’t always as they seem, and thinking about how we sometimes relate that to how we view our peers or our competitors, or our you know, our relate, other relationships that really jumps out. Does that, does that ring true to you? Is that something that you see in the mindset work that you do?
Nina Cooke 06:50
Absolutely. And this is something Rob, I’ve been very guilty of myself in the past, comparing myself to other people inside and outside of work. And if this is one of my favorite things, I like to talk to my clients about because they’ll say I don’t think I can do a good a job as someone else, I will ask for more experience for me the most successful etc. But we do not know really what’s going on in that other person’s life, how their business’ is running. And this, you know, you’ve probably heard this saying that there’s no point in comparing your inside to someone else’s outside because people like to show off the very best of their lives out there, whether it’s on social media or on their website, or however they’re promoting themselves. So, this is a complete waste of time, because the variables, variables are completely different between you and how you provide your service and how someone else in the same area provides their service. And I say to my clients, each and every one of us are completely unique. You can have 10, financial advisors serving the same market, but each financial advisor will bring a unique offering to that market. So, it’s a complete waste of our time, our energy, our resources, our headspace to ever compare ourselves to other people, sure, we can see what other people are doing and learn from what they’re doing. That’s absolutely fine. But please don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Because it’s like comparing an apple to an orange. It’s a complete mismatch. And it puts you off your own game. Because when you’re focused on what you do and doing it well and serving your clients as well as you can, that’s where you’re in a really great headspace and you can deliver the best to your client.
Right and in Truest Fan, one of the lessons is, that I talk about is the importance of self-belief and really putting that forward and what comes first not comparing yourself or believing in yourself, or do you have to do both at the same time? And I don’t know if my question makes sense. But it just, it’s just I was, as I was saying, thinking that out loud. I was it was I was kind of thinking chicken or egg.
Nina Cooke 08:47
Exactly. Yes. It’s this whole scale isn’t there? How much you believe in yourself from believing in yourself a little bit all the way having 100% confidence and certainty in yourself, so you know, wherever you are on the scale. It’s so tempting. It’s almost like a default mechanism we have we may be compared to our siblings as children or to other children. So, we we’re very used to be compared to other people from a very early age. And we may have heard caregivers, teachers, etc., saying, oh, why can’t you be more like so and so or you’re not doing that as well, or you come second, or third or fourth or fifth in a race you don’t get picked for a team. So, there are comparisons throughout our lives. But it’s not that that’s important. It’s what we believe to be true. It’s the meanings that we make up about what people have said to us. So, you may have grown up or you know, any of our listeners may have grown up and thought okay, my parents loved my sibling more than me. Therefore, that means that I’m not as good as my sibling. Therefore, I’m not, I’m not good enough in some way. And then we can carry that from a childhood belief into our adult lives and behave as if this was true about us. So, when it comes to relationships when it comes to being an employee or running your own business, you base your decisions about yourself and what you’re going to achieve in your life on this belief and other beliefs. That’s why the core limiting beliefs because we basically we limit ourselves by saying, there’s something wrong with me, I’m flawed, I’m a loser, I’m not as good as so and so etc. So, when we go through life, and basing our decisions on this flawed, limited perception of who we really are, then we’re going to hold ourselves back in life, we will put ourselves forward in some ways, we won’t put our fees up, we won’t go for big wealthier type of client, our business will only grow so big. And they will say, well, you know, I’ve never had the opportunities, or someone’s been really lucky. But I haven’t been lucky. But what we’re doing is we’re self-sabotaging ourselves and our success because of the decisions we’ve made about ourselves. So, this is what I say to all my clients is always an inside job, even though you may say to me, but I was about to have this breakthrough. But then this thing happened, and they got in the way it was self-sabotage on some level. There was something within you that didn’t believe you could have something so good. So, you found a way to when you felt you were reaching beyond your glass ceiling, you found a way to pull yourself back down to that place where you felt comfortable, there was always a decision that we make, even though it’s not a conscious decision, it has to be a decision that agrees with the beliefs that we hold about ourselves. So, we can’t be any more successful than we believe we can be. So it may be that you know, someone’s coach has said ah you need to start charging this march you not your target for the year should be this much AUM. But if you have beliefs that conflict with those goals, you will not reach those goals, because you will make sure it doesn’t happen because it takes you out of your comfort zone and you feel like a fraud, that you will not be able to serve that type of client or you will not be able to amass that type of AUM. So, when you have those beliefs, you will pull yourself back, you will find a reason, an excuse to do that. So only by addressing these beliefs and making sure that we have beliefs that resonate with those bigger goals that we have. That is the way to have more success in life with not just the financial success, it’s also the sense of fulfillment, the sense of contentment, a sense of belief, self-belief, self-confidence, which makes having a business run so much more smoothly.
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So, in the work that I do with and those, you make some wonderful points, and this, I think this is probably going to fill our conversation just staying on this one very, very important point. You know, one of the things that I do and with my clients, as we’re creating a vision for what success will look like for them, I go out of my way to ask them, why is that important? Or why they came up with or say, tell me more about that several times over so that I can really make sure they’re expressing in their vision, what they really want versus what maybe the industry tells them, they should do, you know, maybe they you know, have an eclipse the 250 million mark and AUM yet and that’s they’ve got their heart set on that. And so, they just throw that out there. But they’re not ready for it yet because they’re too far away. It’s unrealistic based on either where their current circumstances are easy for me to say current circumstances are or they don’t have the systems in place to be able to do that. So, it’s not clear. It’s, it’s not it could be a functional thing. But it can also be I don’t really believe that I can, that I can do that. I’m just, I’m saying that because I’m supposed to say that.
Nina Cooke 14:01
Yeah, very much so. And this is a really great question to ask your clients, you know, why do you want this goal because it helps them to clarify whether they really want this goal. But also, many of us have goals that have been set by our parents, or our teachers or some other type of person who was an authority figure in our lives. So, it’s really good to question the goals that I have, are they actually my goals? Are they something that will make me happy? Or are these someone else’s goals, because sometimes we don’t distinguish between them. And I know for myself, it took me a long time to really figure out what I wanted in life rather than what my parents expected of me and for me to be a good dutiful Indian daughter what was expected of me and it was really only, I’d say the last 10 years or so that I’ve really decided what I want in life and to make sure that what I’m pursuing is going to make me happy because this is it’s interesting. Sometimes when a client has having trouble achieving the success, they want rather than asking them what is your fear of failure, I ask them, What is your fear of success? Because often there is a big fear of success which holds people back. And it’s not question that most people would ask themselves, because they’ll think, well, of course, I want to be successful as possible. That’s why I went into, I went into business, but there may be certain reasons why they are pulling themselves back. Because they may think, well, if I’m very successful, then I may upset someone, someone in my family may be upset, or friends may think I’m getting too big for my boots, they may not want to hang around with me anymore. Or it may be that if I have that level of success, maybe I achieve it in a year that there’s huge pressure me to sustain that. And will I be able to do that? Will I be able to maintain that motivation and that drive to do that? And what if I fall back again, that will feel terrible, or it may take too much work to achieve a level of success or to build a team? And I don’t know if I want to do that. So, there’s all these fears about having what people think that they want. So, it’s really good for us to think, Okay, so do I really want this goal? And if I really want this goal, is there a downside to having that goal?
Yeah, that’s, that is such wonderful information to think about, because there’s so much packed in there. One of the things that jumped out to me, though, is sometimes because you know, being in the financial advice business is a money business. So, it’s, money is kind of always on the minds of the people that we work with, because they’re working with other people’s money as part of the planning process, it’s, it’s hard to turn it off. But then that sometimes turns into goals that only have to do with accumulating a lot of money. Because the belief is that the accumulation of that money will determine what their next set of goals are. Because they’ll have money to do that next goal, as opposed to building it into thinking about the accomplishment of a financial milestone being something that is done not for the money so that you can do something, but working in that way, so that you can do that. And making money along the way is just going to be part of that journey. It’s not, it’s not the end goal. It’s again, kind of a cart before the horse, chicken and egg. And I think that’s so important to think about things that way. Yeah, it really is. So that got me to thinking about something. I don’t know if you’ve run into this, but I run into this all the time. And a lot of financial professionals will admit this, that they stop doing the things that are working. And so, they’ll, they’ll come to me and they say, Rob, I have hit a plateau in my business, I cannot get to my next level of success. I’ve been stuck here for a year or two years, tell me what to do. And then I’ll ask, you know, well, what brought you here? What helped you be successful? And they tell me and I’m like, wow, that makes perfect sense for you. Why aren’t you doing that? And they can’t answer that question. Do you ever run into people who just stop doing what’s working?
Nina Cooke 17:46
Yeah, absolutely. This is one of the big things, lack of focus and lack of follow through. I feel that a big part of this is that we are bombarded with so many messages, marketing messages, this has worked amazing for this person, you should take a look at it. And there’s the shiny object syndrome going on probably in a bigger way than we’ve ever had, because we have access to so many different bits of information throughout the day. So, it can be very easy to take your eye off the ball and think, okay, well, that’s been working, okay, but let me just go check out this strategy. And I’ll invest in it, why would hire a coach show me how to do it. But the thing with marketing strategies I’ve found, I’ve been online since 2005, I’ve done a ton of different marketing online to get clients. So, what I’ve found is that a strategy may work brilliant for someone else. But if you’re not in tune with it, then it’s not going to work for you. So, it’s simplifying things, right, we all have a plate of things stuck to do on this plate. And this plate can get more and more, you know, busier and busier with things to do. And I say to my clients, let’s enter your plate, it’s almost like you know, you have a block of marble, and you’re going to find the statue within the marble. So you could chip away all the bits that you don’t need until you just get to that beautiful statue to get a chip away and all those bits of take all this bits off your plate that aren’t going to help you to get more clients, so you’re focused on the one thing and often that one thing I don’t know what you found, Rob, but I’ve certainly found the one of, the one thing is something very simple, and it’s outreach and its basic follow up as well. And if most financial advisors were focusing on this one strategy of reaching out connecting with potential prospects or even existing clients and following up with them and seeing if there’s anything else they need getting referrals, it costs nothing. This is free marketing.
Nina Cooke 19:34
Often and so they would probably have a thriving practice. It’s just staying focused without being overwhelmed and just focusing on the things which don’t matter because we can be busy all day. But being busy all day doesn’t mean you’re actually adding to your bottom line. It is, ask yourself the question What is the one thing that will generate clients for me what’s the shortest route to a conversation with a prospect and when you can pin that down and do it well? While it may feel like quite boring strategy, we know there’s a lot of glamorous strategies out there. But just focus on the one thing and get that going or working for you that by all means you can add something else to it. But yeah, I do come across all of this are many, many times.
And honestly, we could do a whole other podcast just on this topic alone. And maybe, maybe we, we should but the, the one thing that I really pulled out of there that I think is really important, on top of believing in that direct outreach and getting introductions and referrals as being a critical strategy is the follow through because even those advisors who may find that their the way they feel most comfortable in terms of bigger clients are like seminars or Facebook ads are some of the more automated ways of doing things, if all they do is bring people into those seminars or bring in those leads, and they only follow up with them once and they don’t get what they want right away and they move on. They’re wasting that opportunity. Because the real opportunity in any of those client acquisition strategies that you can use is the follow on because what is it like 3% of people that you might meet in in your initial marketing engagement are ready to work right away, but that percentage increases to 60, 70, 80%. The more times that you follow through with them and continue to show your expertise in that process.
Nina Cooke 21:23
I think there’s another big thing here, which stops people from following up or even reaching out in the first place. And that’s the fear of rejection. Because many people if they hear a no from a prospect, or they hear radio silence, they’ll think, ah, it’s because they don’t think I’m good enough or they don’t, they don’t think I can deliver what they want. Or they think there’s someone who can do it better than me. So sometimes people can take this very personally, and this is one of my favorite topics in terms of you know, helping my clients get over the fear of rejection, I take them through my unstoppable success process to remove the belief. Rejection is scary from the subconscious. But another way of looking at this is that it’s never personal and no, it’s never personal to you because they’re not rejecting you and who you are as a human being, they’re just saying, well actually doesn’t, this doesn’t sound right for me at the moment. And so, a no, is it’s just a no about your service. You’re not selling yourself to anyone, and we’re never for sale as people. All we’re saying is this is a service, which hopefully if I could, then I could help you would you be interested in it? And so, a no is a no about the service. And I separate that no from being, feeling personally rejected myself, I don’t even believe in rejection in what’s the word rejection or what it means to me, it doesn’t feature on my radar at all. And when, when financial advisors can separate who they are from their service, they know their rejection is never rejection personally to them, then it makes it much easier to go out and talk to people about what you do and feel unattached to a yes or a no from them.
Right. And you know, and that that separation between the person and the service is so important on many levels in the leadership work that I do with advisors who are coaching other people, sometimes you have to ask them, you know, how are you approaching that person on your team who’s not getting something done as well as you would like them to do it? Are you making them feel like you’re being critical of them as a person or just letting them know that you really are their fan, you really are rooting them on and you just want to correct the way they’re doing something that they’re doing. And if you can do that, I think that just makes a huge difference. So, it, it just works in so many different arenas. So, Nina, we’re coming up towards the end of our time and I have two more questions for you. First, if somebody is interested in getting to know you better and about the mindset work that you do with financial advisors, what’s the best way to do that?
Nina Cooke 23:49
The best way to do that is for me to give them the gift and the gift is a book, a copy of a book I’ve co-written with another financial advisor and the book is called Renegade Mindset. It’s a financial advisors guide to peak performance mindset, and it is packed full of lots of tips and help and advice about how you can overcome any fears you have about growing your business, and the fears tend to be around lack of focus, procrastination, not charging high enough fees, being worried about working with high wealth clients just to name a few of the challenges. So, it’s packed full of lots of help advice to help you to create an unstoppable mindset.
That’s a great resource and I appreciate that offer. I’m going to say very quickly the URL out loud but I promise everybody that it is in the show notes below this recording so if you don’t get it all at one time, don’t, don’t sweat it but it’s ninacooke.co.uk/renegade-mindset-book-offer so anyway, that’s it, that’s going to be in the show notes. So don’t, don’t fret or if I forget to put it in the mind, in the show notes shoot me a message at the podcast and we’ll be happy to, to get that back out to you. But I’ve crossed my fingers. I won’t, I won’t forget. And then then last question, then you have shared a lot of great information, you know, starting with just remembering that things aren’t always as they seem and the danger of comparing ourselves to others, although we didn’t dig into it too deeply. I love just this idea that you have of uniqueness. You know, sometimes when I’m talking to an advisor, they’ll say, Well, I don’t have a unique value proposition. There’s nothing unique about what I do. And I just remind them that nobody can do what they do the way they do it with the people that they choose to work with. That’s unique. That’s as unique as it gets. But you so anyway, those are some great nuggets that you’ve dropped on us during the conversation is there like a last thought that you’d like to share that maybe kind of brings that together a mindset step that somebody could take, as they’re walking away from our conversation and put it to work in their practice?
Nina Cooke 25:55
Yeah, this is one that’s really changed my life. And I’ll try and make it and I’ll try and encapsulate the big idea. And it is to stop making up meanings about things, about memories, about future events you’re thinking about Stop making up meanings. So, for example, if a prospect says no to you, it doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, it doesn’t mean that you’re a loser, it doesn’t mean you’ll never get what you want. All that’s happened is that person said no to your service. For now. That’s all it means. So, once we can start dissolving the meanings we keep making up about ourselves and about the world and about other people, these negative meanings will suddenly feel much lighter, and much more focused and much more courageous about life. So just be aware of your thinking and how you put yourself down and say to yourself, oh, that doesn’t mean what I imagined it’s meaning. It doesn’t mean anything at all about me.
That’s awesome. That’s a great way to close. Because I think especially in the world that we live in today, there’s a, maybe a tendency to be a little bit negative and feel down, because there’s just a lot of crazy stuff happening. And we let that filter back to how we view ourselves and we become less positive and more negative and have a little less, we don’t cut ourselves a break. And I think that’s really, really important. Well Nina I really appreciate your time on the podcast today. And like I said earlier, I think there’s probably an opportunity to do this again, because I think for the financial advisors in the audience, there’s some really practical stuff for improving the way that you do business and reaching your next level of success. But even if you’re not a financial advisor, just the concepts around mindset that Nina has shared are invaluable. So, thank you very much for being here.
Nina Cooke 27:33
Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
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