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Research shows that 54 percent of financial advisors will do anything to avoid change. And it is that portion of financial advisors who tend to see their roles more as employees than the owners they actually are.

Like a frog in a slowly heating beacon of water, 54 percent of financial advisors hate change so much, they would prefer to remain as they are—however uncomfortable that may be—than create a visionary business plan with 90-day goals that could see them swimming in a much bigger pond.

The same 54 percent of financial advisors have lulled themselves into complacency over the past decade by focusing solely on money products. And now they are feeling the heat. At the same time, they are afraid to diversify for fear of change.

Perhaps it has been easy in the past decade to take orders for money products, but a complete financial package is more than that. It includes a financial plan, money products, life insurance, critical-illness insurance, disability insurance—all of which combine to create a foundation for a solid retirement as well as a legacy for the next generation.

Whether you are prepared for it or not, change will find you. It may be only a matter of time before your best clients are contacted by financial advisors who are not threatened by the changes and conflicts brought about by today’s economic realities.

Author Malcolm Gladwell talks about the theory of 10,000 hours in his book Outliers: The Story of Success, which attempts to explain why some individuals excel in their chosen fields: “That the most successful people in a field tend to be those who met a certain threshold of intelligence or talent, and then practiced their skills for at least 10,000 hours before attaining success.” He applies this recipe to hockey players, computer scientists, musicians and others and finds it to be a consistent guide to predicting the most successful.

Yes, change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and persistence. But to taking responsibility for yourself and your business and hammering out your plan and goals is the first step toward outstanding (outlier) success.

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Simon Reilly of Leading Advisor Inc. is a financial advisor coach, speaker and writer. Simon writes a daily blog and can be reached at


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