7 Tips for Success From 500 Top Financial Professionals

How to do everything better

One path here leads to whining about the bugs. The other leads to an opportunity to learn how to shrug off the bugs. (Photo: Thinkstock) One path here leads to whining about the bugs. The other leads to an opportunity to learn how to shrug off the bugs. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Imagine if you had a chance to sit in a room with 500 top financial professionals. Imagine learning from them over the course of a two- to three-day period.

What would you ask them? What would you hope to learn about being a successful financial professional?

(Related: Why Advisors Shouldn’t Measure Success by Money Alone)

I consider myself lucky in that I recently found myself in this exact situation. I attended Advisors Excel’s Journey event in Salt Lake City, an event that brings together many of the most successful independent financial professionals every year. While the city that hosted the event was beautiful, the tips and lessons I learned about the success of a financial professional were second to none.

They can help you whether you are simply trying to sell life insurance policies and annuities, help clients develop comprehensive retirement plans or general financial plans, or just live a good life.

I wanted to share with you the top seven things I discovered from these 500 titans of the industry:

1. It’s Beyond the Money

A lot of people believe that being a successful financial advisor is all about the money. However, after meeting with 500 of the best independent financial professionals in the country, this isn’t true. In each of the conversations I had, the focus wasn’t money, but was instead about hiring and empowering amazing employees, bringing more value to clients and prospects, and building a business that makes a lasting impact.

If you want to make money, you need to focus on the things beyond the money.

2. Surround Yourself With Other Successful People

The most successful financial professionals are also the ones who love to learn from others. They’re eager to connect with interesting and successful people and pick their brain. They want to be a part of a successful group of people who have common interests and enjoy seeing others succeed.

Many financial professionals in the group were part of a small group, or “mastermind” group, where they get together 2-3 times a year to share what they are doing. They know they’ll be more successful if they rub elbows with other success-minded people.

3. Always Be Grateful

Successful financial professionals are constantly thankful for their peers, partners, family, and friends. A common theme I picked up on was the fact that I heard the words “thank you” at least 100 times during my stay in Salt Lake City. Everyone from a fellow financial professional to the hotel staff received a hearty thank you from the top independent professionals.

Gratitude was so prevalent during the conference that I wrote a note in my phone, “always thank others and show your appreciations.” Successful financial professionals aren’t selfish, but instead recognize everyone who has and are continuing to helping them along their journey.

4. Keep a Positive Outlook

The professionals who attended the conference all sincerely looked forward to the future.

Compass (Photo: Thinkstock)

(Photo: Thinkstock)

Everyone I met was looking forward to their future endeavors and excited about them. Despite the disruptions, and industry changes they were facing, they were eager to tackle challenges and confident that their business would have a very positive future.  

5. Become a Student of the Game  

The top financial professionals that I met with loved self-improvement and consistent personal growth. They all couldn’t wait to learn new skills that would help them in life as well as in business. The best professionals in the country were hungry for knowledge, and they were constantly finding ways to improve.

In fact, the conversations among attendees were often dominated with advice on what books to read, podcasts to listen to, and events to attend. I wrote many recommendations down as I was eager to gain the same education that they were raving about.

6. Learn to Love Teaching

The top professionals I spoke with all loved to learn, yes, but even more than that, they loved to teach. They were happy to give back and help others with what has worked for them. It’s commonplace for successful people to hold their cards close to their chests, but not among these professionals. Instead, they were passionate about sharing the tips and strategies that they’ve found to work for them in their practices.

One advisor told me that the true level of success isn’t what you do in life, but is rather measured by how many people you’re able to help find their own success. I loved this.

7. Always Think Big

From my experience, the goals that these financial professionals set for themselves are far beyond the normal standard for success. Most of them are trying to make a 10x improvement in their business, rather than a 10% incremental change.

For example, one of the advisors I met with has doubled his business every year for the last 4 years. And guess what? He plans to double again this year. This mindset gives them the ability to build a scalable organization that’s poised for success.

You can download the first section of Shawn Sparks' book, The Advisor Breakthrough, by clicking here.

--- Read The 7 Deadly Sins of Financial Seminar Marketing on ThinkAdvisor.

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