The financial services profession allows the opportunity for us, as advisors to take big calculated risks with little capital investment. Unlike building a factory, or opening up a new storefront with equipment that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, we can simply try a new marketing approach or print a new brochure to try something completely different.

My big swing and miss moment was when I attempted to get into the seminar business. A number of my MDRT friends were very successful at running seminar marketing programs. So I thought it would be easy for me to change from a benefits 401(k) practice and get into the seminar marketing business.

I bought the programs, I booked the rooms and I actually did have a fairly good series of seminars for retirees. I invested about $30,000 and my return was about double, which would seem successful. However, I did not take into account the fact that for 15 months I was not building my benefits practice. When I calculated the lost opportunity costs of not building my benefits practice, I probably lost double my returns on the seminars.

The best value that I found out of this was in the learning lesson that I should stick to my best and highest use as an advisor.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask our advisory board? Click here to submit a challenge.