What if there were just one thing that would almost automatically guarantee you’d hit or exceed all of your goals in 2017? If such a thing existed, would you like to know about?
Well I’m here to tell you, it does exist. And I’m going to share it with you right here.
The No. 1 thing every financial advisor can do to make sure they hit their goals for 2017 is: Stop relying only on experience alone and start to actively learn from the experiences of other successful people in the industry.
It’s easy to forget that we now live in an age where we have almost instant access to thousands of years of collective experience of both our peers and the people who’ve gone before us. And all we have to do to take advantage of this knowledge and wisdom is to seek it out.
I love this saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” But so few people are willing to be a student and seek knowledge. The ones who do, however, are the ones who grow exponentially year after year.
See also: 3 insurtech trends to expect in 2017
Who else wants 90 years of experience… overnight?
If you spend 30 years learning your profession, you should be much wiser than someone who has spent only one year in the field. But what if you spent one year learning from three different people who each had 30 years of experience?
You would be gaining 90 years of hard-won experience from those three people. Therefore, you would be wiser in one year than most people who have already been in the business for 30 years.
The idea here is that you want to stand on the shoulders of giants. Learn what they’ve already discovered, then build from there.
So many people spend 30 years discovering things in their own experience that has already been learned. That’s the hard and time consuming way.
Imagine if a scientist did the same thing. Imagine if he had to learn everything from scratch, without learning from the scientists that went before him. If that were the case, we’d still be in the Stone Age.
The point is, to make rapid progress we need to actively learn from the experiences of other successful people in our industry. With that in mind, keep reading for three specific things you must do this year to reach your goals in 2017…
Mentorship can be as beneficial for the experienced professional as it for the learning professional. (Photo: iStock)
No 3: Find a successful mentor or coach
First and foremost, you need to find a successful mentor or coach who can provide you with knowledge, feedback, inspiration, wisdom, and accountability.
Keep in mind, too, that just having someone who can “soundboard” with you and listen to your ideas is very valuable. Often times they will go back and forth with you, sharing other angles that you may not have considered which sharpens your idea altogether.
The biggest problem in your business is often the biggest opportunity for growth. (Photo: iStock)
No. 2: Read a book on a topic you know you need to improve on
What’s one problem in your business that needs to be fixed? The biggest problem in your business is often the biggest opportunity for growth. Fix your biggest problem and your year is going to be a huge success. Trust me.
Related: Lost sales leads: 4 common problems
So what can you read that addresses that problem and helps you to improve? Find that book and devour it. Learn all you can from it, and it will get your mind thinking of solutions.
Why a humble book? Think about it… an author, an expert, poured a huge amount of their time, experience, and effort into creating a book that would have all the answers to the problem you’re trying to solve. Many times they’ve spent years making their book as useful and valuable as possible.
And you have access to it, all you have to do is buy that book and tap into the wealth of knowledge inside. Don’t underestimate the difference this can make for you.
Sometimes books won’t have the perfect answer to your specific problem. It may not be spelled out word for word, but as you read your mind will focus on the problem and knowledge that you are learning at the same time. This focus will fuel your own creativity which in turn will help you to come up with the answers you are looking for.
Don’t go on this career journey alone. Find a few successful people who will go on this journey with you. (Photo: iStock)
No. 3: Join a peer group
Harvard professor David McClelland conducted a 25-year study that concluded the single most influential factor for success is a person's reference group. You’ve got to be surrounded with people who are like minded. People who will encourage you to grow, people who will hold you accountable, people who will inspire you.
I once asked one of my top advisors what the biggest factor was in his success, and he said it was his peer group. He spends time with people who do more business than he does, but he knows after seeing them accomplish big things that he can do it too.
So don’t go on this journey alone. Have some courage and find a few successful people who will go on this journey with you. People who will be transparent with you and willing to share the secrets to their success — knowing that you’ll do the same for them.
Legendary personal development speaker Jim Rohn once said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. You can increase your average by spending more time with people who are better than you, people who have better businesses than you do or are better at something than you are. Before long, you’ll find yourself improving just by osmosis.
Remember, experience is the best teacher, but we don’t have to gain it all the hard way. Tap into the experiences of others and watch how much more you can accomplish this year.
Shawn Sparks is the author of, "The Advisor Breakthrough." If you’d like to learn more from Shawn, you can instantly download the first section of his book for free by clicking here.
Let’s continue the conversation on Facebook.