Does this sound familiar: One “activity point” for a lunch meeting, one for a completed factfinder, one for a close and one for each referral. Reach 100 activity points each month and you’ll be successful as an advisor — whatever that means. While my numbers may be slightly off, I think my point will stand. In order to build a career in this business, the key is activity, activity, activity … right?
To avoid sounding too cynical, I’ll add that activity is absolutely critical to a new advisor’s success. Without seeing people — a lot of people — learning to ask probing questions, seeking commitment toward their goals, and following through on those commitments, nobody is well served. Not the client, not you. In fact, too many young advisors fail to stay in this great career because they lack meaningful activity in those crucial early days.
As our client base grows and our skills develop over the years, however, a shift should occur inside each of us away from an activity mindset to one of effectiveness. I emphasize “should” because I’m afraid it’s more rare than we’d like to admit. Rather than freeing up time in our practices to be present and contemplate ways to provide more highly-leveraged and valuable services, we continue the patterns of doing more and more activities until we’re burned out and completely exhausted.
The early years of building a business can make advisors addicted to busyness because of the heavy demands of simply staying in business. That addiction manifests itself in ways that keep advisors doing more and more stuff, never stopping to question whether the mountain being climbed so heroically is even the right mountain.