In this episode, I share a few stories of my own clients and how they are leaping past obstacles and achieving big things. One thing they all have in common is the ability to break their long-term priorities down into short-term activities. They know clearly what they need to do today to reach their big dreams of tomorrow and beyond.
Face it… Too often, we tell ourselves that we can only accomplish the “little things” in life. When in reality, we can accomplish big things, bigger than we might imagine, when we view them in small bites and truly take action.
Listen to this episode to learn how.
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(0:05): You’re listening to the Truest Fan Podcast. And now here’s your host, Rob Brown.
(00:14): Friends in getting ready for this podcast, I was looking at the last couple of messages I received. The first one was from a client who hit Forbes best wealth advisor list for the first time, and he was passing along his thanks. The second message was from somebody who is inquiring about working with me. He said, things are a mess, I should be growing now. And I am just stuck. And that got me thinking, where are my clients today? What’s happened so far this year? What are the successes? What are the things that are getting in the way and what do they have in common? I’m going to call this the long-term benefit of short-term thinking. And that’s what I’ll share on this episode of the Truest Fan podcast.
(01:03): Thanks for listening in. I’m Rob Brown. First of all, let me just share a few other highlights. Fortunately, my clients in large part have had great first quarters great start to the year. I mentioned the Forbes list, I also have a client who was added to the Barron’s list, I have a client who has been trying to recruit new advisors to his team and landed a great new teammate, one client was really struggling bringing in new prospects from things other than referrals and had no real prospect pipeline to speak of. And right now, his pipeline is stronger than ever. I’ve had a client pass through 100 million in AUM, for the first time. Another one hit his 50% of his new client goal for the whole year in just the first quarter. And I had a client triple more than triple actually his AUM goal for the quarter. And those are just kind of numbers and statistics about business.
(02:06): But I also have clients who are getting ready to take a two-week trip to France, something that’s been long awaited. I have a client who’s taking significant time off as his wife just had their second child, I have another client who had an awesome weekend trip a long-planned weekend trip with his son to an NCAA tournament weekend. Lots of good stuff happening with my clients on the business front. And on the personal front. And when I think about it, I think you know, they must be doing everything right, they must not be doing anything wrong. And that may be true in parts. But it’s not completely true. Because there’s been lots of stuff that’s gotten in the way for these folks. In fact, the client who hit the Barron’s list just lost his two key– two of his key strategic partners for moving his business forward. So, he’s having to do some scrambling.
(03:04): That client who brought in all that new AUM from referrals is just totally upset by the fact that a workshop that he tried to put on was an absolute bust. I have a client in that list who lost a key team member, somebody who was going to be there while he traveled. So, it was it was a real struggle to think what is he going to do to be able to go on that trip? Another client is just upset because he’s blown through his expense budget for the first two quarters of the year in the first quarter. But he’s added a great new teammate. So, I hope you see there’s a lot of really good stuff going on with these folks inside the office outside of the office. But they also have stuff that is getting in their way just like we all do.
(03:54): We all make plans, we all get things going, we have some Mojo and then boom, nothing happens. But what’s most important is what these clients did not do when some of the short-term obstacles popped up, or when– even when they were setting their goals. First of all, they didn’t set pie in the sky goals. They didn’t say I’m going to hit this big target in 12 months or three years or six years. They said this is what we’re going to do this quarter. We call it this sprint. We try to sprint three or four times a year. They didn’t just throw out a bunch of numbers. They thought about what the numbers were that they were trying to accomplish, but also what those would mean in terms of how they would be able to do other things in their lives, the personal stuff, the building their team stuff. So it wasn’t just about setting goals around numbers. They didn’t just hope for good things to happen. They planned for good things to happen. They planned to spend time with their families and in the causes that they care about.
(5:01): So, this was important. There are things that they didn’t do. And what they did do though is they did say, you know, what are we going to do this quarter, this sprint, this next 12 weeks to be able to have a great year. And in some cases, by doing that they had blowout quarters, they hit big numbers, big numbers, than they ever thought they could do in the quarter. But other cases, what they did in that first quarter was set themselves up to succeed for the rest of the year or accomplish things they’ve been working on for a while because of the cumulative effect of the sprints that they were taking of these short-term planning objectives that they were setting for themselves and if they were putting into action. One client made sure that he clearly defined what we call his signature solution, the way he helps his clients get from point A to point B in their relationships. It was something that he certainly had in mind, it was something that he certainly talked with his clients and prospective clients about is part of his process.
(06:05): After all, he has a Barron’s list advisor. But it wasn’t clearly defined, not all of his clients could repeat it and understand it and share it and refer around it. But by coming to grips with the fact that he needed to have his own roadmap, his own signature solution, he was able to do a better job of telling his story that led to great short-term results, some incredible new asset captures from existing clients, as well as to introductions to other important people. That client who kind of blew the budget in the first quarter hired somebody at a level that he had never added somebody to his team before. Paying him more than he’s ever paid anybody on his team before who was joining his team, but he saw the opportunity to put the right person on the bus, the right person on the team, and he did it. And he’s setting himself up for long term success. And he made that a priority over the course of the first quarter to get that person on board to not put it off to not delay it. Not to hope that someday he’d find somebody like this person, he hired the person that he wanted to have on his team.
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(07:48): Remember, the client that I was telling you about that has developed this robust sales funnel? Instead of saying, you know, I’m going to work on this funnel all year long, he and a member of his team put concentrated effort is saying, you know, we’re going to bring in these new leads. But we’ve got to have a system for following up with those leads so that we can determine if they’ll be a good fit for our business. And if they are, we need to have a system for continuous follow up. So, they really get to know like and trust us and become clients of our practice. That client who had the workshop that blew up that was really thinking, well, gosh, I’m never going to hit my quarterly goals, but in fact, tripled his quarterly goals just doubled down on referrals. He and his team are awesome at bringing in introductions from clients and other people that know them. So, he doubled down on that effort. And the opportunity has paid off just by doubling down on something that he was already good at. And that trip to France that trip to the NCAA Tournament, taking time off with a new– a new child, a new baby, an expansion of his family. That all happened not because these advisors decided to do these things at the last minute. They planned them into their sprints, they planned them into their quarterly plan so that they could be sure they could be confident that their business would continue to grow and flourish even when they were taking time away, even when the unexpected happened in preparation for those trips.
(09:20): So, I know I’m bouncing around telling lots of stories and back and forth. But the common theme here is in each case, they focused on short term thinking, short term planning, what do we want to get done over the next 12 weeks that if we do that right, we’ll hit our short-term goals, but we also know we’ll be on track for our longer-term goals for what we want to accomplish this year or well out into the future. And in all cases, their businesses are stronger. Their businesses are stronger because they’re doing short-term thinking and planning with the long term in mind, they aren’t waiting to hope things happen into the future. They’re making things happen right here and right now. So, they don’t wonder if they’re on track. They know they’re on track because they’re hitting those short-term goals. They’re, in fact, they’re blowing through those short-term goals because they’re focused on the things that are most important to them today, but that will carry them out into the future.
(10:26): So as always on this podcast, what I want to do is I want to send you away with some action steps. How can you do short term planning to the point of really benefiting for the long term? What are the steps that you need to take? Well, first of all, think of it like a race. Think of it like the fact that sprints, those short-term sprints, those three month plans that you make for the upcoming quarter or for the next 90 days or the next 12 weeks wherever you are in your planning cycle. Those sprints are the keys to your long-term success, they build on each other. So don’t just set 12-month goals. Think about what are you going to accomplish in this sprint and what are the activities that are going to be involved in accomplishing that sprint? So that’s number one: sprints are the key to winning long races. Second, don’t be afraid to stretch. You know, just like you have to stretch when you’re getting ready to run a race so that you can operate at peak performance, you have to be willing to stretch when you’re setting your goals and your action plans for the next 90 days.
(11:39): Don’t tell yourself that you can only accomplish little things. You can accomplish big things if you take them on in small bites, if you really take action, and you’re really focusing on what is most important. Not stuff that you think or hope or wish was more important. But what is really most importance to accomplishing that thing that you want to do right now. Give it your focus, give it your attention. If there’s some other stuff that you want to do, that’s great! Put it off for the next sprint, but don’t let it get away in what you’re doing today. So don’t be afraid to stretch. Third, stick with the race plan. You know, I have conversations with my clients all the time during their sprints. And oftentimes those conversations will be, you know, I’ve got this new idea, or somebody told me I should try this or try that. And I say great. How does it apply to the race that you’re running right now?
(12:44): If it’s not going to help, if it’s not going to build on it, let’s put it on a list for later. Let’s make that a race for another day. Let’s stay focused on the current race. Because if we’re going to win the current race, if we’re going to accomplish those short-term goals and build towards real significant long-term success, we’ve got to stick with the race plan. Fourth, celebrate as you cross the finish line. You know, when that client texted me, it was actually a Friday night telling me and thank– telling me that he made the Forbes list and thanking me for my part in that process. The one thing that I reminded him was not only did he cross that finish line, not only did he have that big success, his team did too and it was time to celebrate.
(13:37): So, celebrate when you hit those big goals. Maybe you reward yourself with some extra time away or you do some special things for your team or some special things with your family but when you’re serious about putting into place short term plans for long term benefit, take the time to celebrate as you hit milestones. It’ll make those sprints those 12 week plans even more meaningful. And finally, step number five is leave time to recover. Don’t jump from one sprint one short term planning period to the next. Take time off in between. I like to kind of guide my clients through three sprints each year with one month built in in between each sprint. That way we have a little extra time if the sprint is taking longer than we thought it might it lets us stop and celebrate. It lets us get ready for the next sprint. It lets us recover. It’s like, you know, taking that extra lap around the track just walking after you’ve run a race.
(14:48): Just give your body, your mind, your spirit, your team a chance to recover so that when you start the next sprint you will absolutely have the energy to get it done. So those are the things that I want you to do. So, I want you to start thinking about the long term benefits of short term thinking of short term planning when you do it the right way. I want you to think about the fact that this is a five-step process. It’s a simple process that can be easily applied and you can start it right now. Remember sprints are the key to winning the long-term races, don’t be afraid to stretch, stick with the race plan, celebrate, and give yourself time to recover. I promise you if you take the time to do these things, you’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll believe even more in yourself, in your business, in your team, and you’ll hit the big goals over time and have a lot more fun along the way. Well, that’s it for today’s podcasts. Remember, I will always be your truest fan. Thanks for listening in and I hope you share this podcast with your team and with other people that you think might enjoy listening in.
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