I am often asked, “What is the secret of being a successful financial advisor?” Most advisors think of designations, technical knowledge, marketing systems, processes, etc. While these are important to run a successful practice, they are not the most important things to be successful. Below I have outlined some characteristics of successful financial advisors.

1. They take action. You have to be willing to go out there and make things happen.

2. Accept responsibility for their world and current situation.

3. Hold high standards. How do we define getting to the next level? There is always a next level.

4. Commit to unconscious competency. We call it mastery.

5. Have personal integrity. It’s about being congruent. Don’t just talk the talk–walk the walk.

6. Have self respect and demand respect from others. Some are so mentally and emotionally drained they have become a doormat for everyone, even their clients.

7. Master their internal dialogue. It’s like the company you keep: They either uplift you or drag you down. What’s your internal dialogue?

8. Have passion and empathy. Demand respect and have compassion for people. It’s about doing what’s right. We are dealing with people who have been wounded economically and psychologically, and we have to be ready for them.

9. Commit to lifelong learning and personal development. Successful people are confident, but they are not egotistical enough to believe they already know everything they must know.

10. Life balance and personal renewals. What we do is intense; we are dealing with highly emotionally charged situations.

Coach Joe Lukacs is a practice strategist and advisor lifestyle designer. He has specialized in coaching financial advisors for 20 years and is the author of “Practice Power: 12 Steps to Take Your Business to the Next Level.” E-mail him at jjl@ipginc.net, call him at 888-474-8133 or visit his website www.ipginc.net.